The Great War

from A Calendar of Verse, an electronic edition

Christmas Eve, 1914

Silent, to-night, o'er Judah's hills

Bend low the angel throng,

No heavenly music fills the air

Exultantly with song;

Yet, close above the sin-scarred earth,

Broods still the Love Divine,

And through the darkness, as of old,

The stars of pity shine.

Silent, to-night, is Bethlehem:

Along the hush├Ęd ways

No eager feet of worshippers,

No melodies of praise;

Yet, in the quietness that fills

The waiting hearts of men,

The ancient miracle of hope

Is wrought, to-night, again.

O holy Christ! to whom, of old,

The wondering shepherds came,

The light they sought with flaming joy

We seek in contrite shame;

And though men strive, we dare to hope

That Thou again art born,

For, through the night of our despair,

Behold! Thy star of morn!