The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Shepherd's Tale

Words: Edith Simpson

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

A strange night it was,
With the air icy and still
And the sheep huddled together
Against the cold hill.
I took my strongest staff
And, striding into the night,
Followed, as one that dreamed,
A great star's light.
And so to Bethlehem's inn
I came, as the cocks crowed,
And my tired feet flagged
On the frosty road.
Over the stable roof
The star shone bright,
Drawing me to the door
With a beckoning light.
Only a man was there
With his wife, and Babe new-born,
Sharing the oxen's straw
In the bitter dawn;
Only a homeless maid
With her Babe at breast,
Yet I knew when she smiled on me
That I was blessed;
And I strode home with the pride
Of one who has met with Kings,
While the air trembled with song
And the beating of wings.

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