Toward Bethlehem

Toward that sweet city where the Virgin mild
Brought forth her Child
Fain would I turn upon this Christmas day,
And softly pray

That I might see the place wherein he slept,
While Mary kept
Her watch and ward about His sacred bed,
And kissed His head;

And I would pray that I might see His face
In that poor place,
And be a shepherd or a worshipper,
Bringing my myrrh

Unto the little Babe who is my King--
Heaven's offering;
Bringing my frankincense and all the gold
That earth doth hold.

And I would kiss the crib wherein He is,
And I would kiss
The little swaddling-clothes that wrap his form
Safe, safe and warm.

O little city far beyond the sea!
'Tis not for me
To journey unto you. Here must I bide
This Christmas-tide.

Hush! tho' wide wastes divide us, still near me
Your walls may be,
And I can dream of you, and shut mine eyes
And see arise

The little manger-bed where once He lay
So far away.
And I can love Him just the same as tho'
Across the snow

I came toward you on that first Christmas night,
Led by love's light,
And laid my gifts before Him. Now, as then,
With those wise men,

I too can journey o'er the midnight hill,
Weary, until
I worship Him and feel Him at my side
This Christmas-tide.

by Charles Hanson Towne

Other poems of CHARLES HANSON TOWNE (106)

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