The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Barn

Words: Elizabeth Coatsworth

Source: Anne Thaxter Eaton, ed., Welcome Christmas! A Garland Of Poems. New York: The Viking Press, 1955.

"I am tired of this barn!'' said the colt,
"And every day it snows.
Outside there's no grass any more
And icicles grow on my nose.
I am tired of hearing the cows
Breathing and talking together.
I am sick of these clucking hens.
I hate stables and winter weather!"

"Hush, little colt," said the mare,
"And a story I will tell
Of a barn like this one of ours
And the wonders that there befell.
It was weather much like this
And the beasts stood as we stand now
In the warm good dark of the barn
A horse and an ass and a cow."

"And sheep?" asked the colt. "Yes, sheep
And a pig and a goat and a hen.
All of the beasts of the barnyard
The usual servants of men.
And into their midst came a lady
And she was as cold as death,
But the animals leaned above her
And made her warm with their breath.

"There was her baby born
And laid to sleep in the hay
While music flooded the rafters
And the barn was as light as day,
And angels and kings and shepherds
Came to worship the Babe from afar,
But we looked at Him first of all creatures
By the bright strange light of a star!"

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