Pause for Poetry-In Bethlehem

In Bethlehem

Annie Johnson Flint

‘Twas night in little Bethlehem,
All calm and clear and mild,
And tenderly, with voice and touch,
A mother soothed her child;
“Sleep, little one, the day is done,
Why do you wake so long?”
“Oh, mother dear, I seem to hear
A wondrous angel song.”
“Not so, my son, my precious one,
‘Twas but the wind you heard,
Or drowsy call of dreaming bird,
Or osiers by the streamlet stirred
Beneath the hillside trees;
Some bleating lamb that’s gone astray,
Or traveler singing on his way
His weariness to ease.
Rest, little son, till night is done,
And gloomy darkness flees.”
Yet while she spoke the shepherds ran
In haste the road along,
To find the Mother and the Babe,
For they had heard the song.

“Rest, little son, the night’s begun,
Why do you toss and sigh?”
“A brighter star than others are,
O’er yon low roof hangs nigh.”
“Not so, my son, my darling one,
I see no gleaming star
That shines more bright than others are;
‘Tis but a lamp that burns afar,
Or glow-worm’s wandering spark;
Some shepherd’s watch-fire in the night,
Or traveler’s torch that blazes bright
To cheer him through the dark.
Sleep, little son, till night is done,
And upward springs the lark.”
Yet, while she spoke, three kings had come,
Three kings who rode from afar,
To lay their gifts at Jesus’ feet,
For they had seen the star.

And so today, beside our way,
The heavenly portents throng,
Yet some there be who never see
The Star, nor hear the Song.

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I wish you well.


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