by Leonard Feeney, S.J.
No music He heard, and no angels He saw
As He lay in His wrappings of linen and straw;
And the ox and the ass could not kneel and adore
For the poor creatures never were angels before.
The palace He found was an old cattle stall
With a broken-down roof and a windowless wall,
And it looked so ashamed of its spider-worn wood;
But it tried to be Heaven, as well as it could.
A dull stable-lantern that hung dark and dim
Was the small bit of moonlight that flickered on Him.
Now it longed to be beautiful, starry and bright;
And it sputtered and wept for the dearth of its light.
But a Lady of Beauty stood over His head.
While she gathered the strewings about for His bed.
And her soul was as sweet as a fresh-budding rose
And as white as the fusion of myriad snows.
And her hands did not soil this immaculate prize,
And her breath did not sully the bloom in His eyes.
On her breast sweet and safe could He slumber and nod:
The lily-white village-maid, Mother of God.
~ Excerpt from The Eternal Babe Twenty-five Nativity Poems
May you have a blessed and joyous Christmas!