A Christmas Poem

There are so many wonderful songs and poems that tell the Christmas story. From the sonorous verses of the King James Bible, to the soaring lyrics of our favorite hymns, poets and musicians down the ages have taken their turn at telling and retelling the tale.

It is, at once, a most simple event, yet, at the same time, singular. It has had dramatic consequences, forever changing to course of this world’s history for better or for worse, depending on your point of view. Nevertheless, it is a wondrous thing, how the birth of one small child could cause such sweeping change.

I have written several Christmas songs, and, in fact, while writing this poem, had the thread of a melody running through my head. Perhaps this will become a song one day.

In the meantime though, it is a story poem, told in simple words, about a baby, and the bright star which guided kings and shepherds so long ago…

And, O, The Stars Were Bright!

On a night in cold December, rode a woman, great with child,
On a donkey, meek and gentle, with her husband by her side;
To be numbered for the census, many came, from far away,
No room left, but lowly stable, which became her stopping place;

And, O, she bore her baby there,
Laid him in the straw;
Witnessing Love’s miracle,
The ox and ass looked on,
And the stars shone all around…

In the hills above a village, shepherds wait for morning’s light,
To keep their flocks in safety through the long and silent night;
Voices from the skies cascading, bright with glory, songs of joy,
Told the frightened men, “Have courage. Go and seek the mangered boy!”

And, O, the skies were filled with light,
Such beauty on them shone;
They ran — they left their sheep behind,
To see Love’s holy child;
And they knelt there in the straw….

Through the cold and dark of winter, ‘cross the desert, strangers came;
Bringing gifts of balm and spices, gold, from kingdoms far away;
Some have called them men of wisdom, some have called them men of power;
But they came as wondering children, simply following His star;

And, O, it led so brightly then,
Beckoning them on;
Blazing through the winter night, and
Heralding Love’s son,
And they followed where it shone…

In the quiet of the evening, winter snows or verdant dales,
We await the new Messiah, and we share our father’s tales
Of a land, once dark and starless, ‘lorn of hope — for heart, no ease;
We tell the story of a baby who was born to bring us peace;

And, O, it shines within our hearts,
A story for all time;
Love’s star come down to light our way,
Love’s light for humankind…

And the stars that shone so bright that night, still shines in you and me,
As we welcome friends and family, and place upon our tree
A star, a single shining star, to keep Love’s memory;
And, O, the star is bright…

Writer-songwriter-poet, educator, with thirty plus years directing and designing for the theatre, Elle recently completed her second novel and is working on a series of short stories. Visit Ellie at ElleFredine.com.
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Writer-songwriter-poet, educator, with thirty plus years directing and designing for the theatre, Elle recently completed her second novel and is working on a series of short stories. Visit Ellie at ElleFredine.com.

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