Nativity, The - Scene 2

SCENE II The stable. Midnight. Mary and Joseph, with shepherds and angels, adoring at the crib.

From heaven He came,
The Eternal Flame,
To fire men's hearts
With Love's own darts,
To conquer sin
And mercy win
Of God above.

Lo, in the straw —
Near may ye draw,
For God is weak
That ye may speak, —
The God of peace;
Let earth's war cease —
Toward men good will.

R EBECCA .

God knows, God knows, my heart is bleeding sore;
My son had hardly come to months that knew
His mother's lips, his mother's face and voice;
Warm with my kisses slept he, in an hour
Cold in mine arms.
But she, that pilgrim spouse,
With all the lights of mother in her eyes,
In dewy deeps the trembling wistfulness
Of hopes unfathomable, — pleading eyes,
Ye draw me from the shrouding of my babe,
For she hath need of me.
What wondrous light,
What music is there here! The Mother, ah,
Her Babe. O God, stop all the clocks of time
And never ring the passing of this hour!

Joseph .

Woman, thou look'st upon the face of God.

R EBECCA .

I saw Him in His Mother's waiting eyes,
And I have come from mine own babe's stark form
With swaddling bands. I never may need again.

M ARY .

The heart of Abraham is in thy breast.
Lay these upon thine infant's quiet side,
Sister, that hast this night befriended God.
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