Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CHRISTMAS (1), by PHOEBE CARY

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CHRISTMAS (1), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O time by holy prophets long foretold
Last Line: May live one day for thee!
Subject(s): Christmas; Nativity, The

O TIME by holy prophets long foretold,
Time waited for by saints in days of old,
O sweet, auspicious morn
When Christ, the Lord, was born!

Again the fixed changes of the year
Have brought that season to the world most dear,
When angels, all aflame,
Bringing good tidings came.

Again we think of her, the meek, the mild,
The dove-eyed mother of the holy Child,
The chosen, and the best,
Among all women blest.

We think about the shepherds, who, dismayed,
Fell on their faces, trembling and afraid,
Until they heard the cry,
Glory to God on high!

And we remember those who from afar
Followed the changing glory of the star
To where its light was shed
Upon the sacred head:

And how each trembling, awe-struck worshiper
Brought gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh,
And spread them on the ground
In reverence profound.

We think what joy it would have been to share
In their high privilege who came to bear
Sweet spice and costly gem
To Christ, in Bethlehem.

And in that thought we half forget that He
Is wheresoe'er we seek Him earnestly;
Still filling every place
With sweet, abounding grace.

And though in garments of the flesh, as then,
No more He walks this sinful earth with men,
The poor, to Him most dear,
Are always with us here.

And He saith, Inasmuch as ye shall take
Good to these little ones for my dear sake,
In that same measure ye
Have brought it unto me!

Therefore, O men in prosperous homes who live,
Having all blessings earthly wealth can give,
Remember their sad doom
For whom there is no room --

No room in any home, in any bed,
No soft white pillow waiting for the head,
And spare from treasures great
To help their low estate.

Mothers whose sons fill all your homes with light,
Think of the sons who once made homes as bright,
Now laid in sleep profound
On some sad battle-ground;

And into darkened dwellings come with cheer,
With pitying hand to wipe the falling tear,
Comfort for Christ's dear sake
To childless mothers take!

Children whose lives are blest with love untold,
Whose gifts are greater than your arms can hold,
Think of the child who stands
To-day with empty hands!

Go fill them up, and you will also fill
Their empty hearts, that lie so cold and still,
And brighten longing eyes
With grateful, glad surprise.

May all who have, at this blest season seek
His precious little ones, the poor and weak,
In joyful, sweet accord,
Thus lending to the Lord.

Yea, Crucified Redeemer, who didst give
Thy toil, thy tears, thy life, that we might live,
Thy Spirit grant, that we
May live one day for thee!

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