Advent to Candlemas (Vol. 1)

Real Bethlehem

1. Now snow has gone
And the wet wind drives in from the sea;
Now stars are dim,
Cloud reflecting sodium ubiquity:
When soldiers guard
The Church of Your Nativity
And bombs explode
In nameless, inhumanity:
Then Bethlehem is our woe
Not seen in deep and peaceful snow.

2. Now sullen wind
And unremitting, probing rain,
Now warm unkind
Plays music in a restless strain;
When neon picks
The rags of beggars in the street
And tills not towers
Join battle for Your last defeat:
Then Bethlehem is our home,
A town of empire worse than Rome.

3. Now satan sweet
Tempts with a moderate appetite,
Now tiny feet
Are lethal in the red and white;
When we no longer
Learn from pain and suffering;
And feel much stronger
When our hold is weakening:
Then bethlehem must be real,
A town of torment, torture, blood and steel.