Advent to Candlemas (Vol. 4)

No Halo

No halo but his freezing breath,
The star shine was the only light;
In birth so very near to death,
An outcast on that Winter night.

The grizzled shepherds, bent and thin,
Not lusty youths of rustic charm,
Their pipes a melancholy din,
Breaking what sense there was of calm.

The kings brought torment with their gifts,
Herod's scent clinging to their hair,
His words encoded in their shifts
From reverence to abject fear.

But is our welcome, bright and shrill,
What he would want, who lay so low?
And are our tidings of goodwill,
A parody of long ago?