Advent to Candlemas (Vol. 3)


Here is the most comfort that we can afford,
Rough flax for a peasant, not silk for a lord;
Let me lay you down quietly in the sweet hay
Which is not what the angel appeared to say.

Here are five fine shepherds enjoying their sport,
Music fit for a tavern but not for a court;
They have brought you a lamb from the flock's finest yew
And yet it is tiny and weak just like you.

Here are seven grave sages who have followed a star,
Which has led them, they tell me, to just where we are:
They left their fine presents and fled in the night,
And we will be leaving as soon as it's light.

Here are eight fierce cavalry blocking our way,
At least they are Romans, not in Herod's pay;
And the more I reflect it seems Simeon was right,
And the angel seduced me with heavenly light.

Here are seventeen furlongs before the next bend,
The road of an exile seems never to end;
And if what Simeon told me is faithful and true,
What has happened to me will soon happen to you.