Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A BALLAD OF THE NATIVITY, by CHARLES HANSON TOWNE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A BALLAD OF THE NATIVITY, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Now it was mary dreamed this dream
Last Line: Clasped close upon her breast!
Subject(s): Christmas; Nativity, The

NOW it was Mary dreamed this dream,
Ere yet her Child was born
In that poor place in Bethlehem,
In that poor stall forlorn,
Before the dark of night had fled
From the white face of morn.

She fell asleep, and dreamed this dream,
That filled her heart with fear --
That she had died that One might live
Whose life was very dear,
And that she never saw His face
Or dried His earliest tear.

She dreamed that her own life went out --
Her life divinely sweet --
Ere she could press His little hands
Or kiss His little feet,
Or know the bliss that was to make
Her womanhood complete.

She dreamed she died before she knew
The trembling joy to say,
"I am a mother -- I, whose life
So bleak was yesterday!
I know at last that perfect hour
For which all women pray!"

O strangely came this dream to her,
This dream of utter woe,
While through the dark Judean night,
Above the wastes of snow,
A star flamed in the midnight heaven
And set the East aglow.

And ere the pallid dawn had come
To break her sacred rest,
She wakened, with a startled moan,
And tears the bitterest,
And lo! she felt two little hands
Clasped close upon her breast!

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