Advent to Candlemas (Vol. 1)

The Shepherds' Tale

1. The wind cut our clothes no matter how tight
as we dourly prepared for our tedious night.
We checked all the markings and counted the sheep
And prayed that our tiredness would send us some sleep:
I had almost dozed off when the sky came alive
With a noise that I thought we would never survive.

2. Unbearable light clamped our eyelids with fear
But an unlikely voice bade us be of good cheer;
The sheep were transfixed in an ordered array
As a Heavenly choir sang of birth on that day
Proclaiming Messiah was born for all men
And commanded us to go to Bethlehem.

3. We didn't have courage to argue the watch
But snatched at our bundles and went with despatch;
A baby was lying in a manger of straw
Radiating the light that we'd seen just before.
We gave gifts and went back to our flock full of fear
But we counted and found that we were in the clear.

4. There was slaughter of babes and rumours of kings
Which were linked to the birth and our strange happenings;
And we heard that they fled into Egypt at first
So we thought they'd been blessed but they seemed to be cursed:
But as boredom and mayhem went on year by year
The hope that we placed in that night disappeared.

5. I'm too old for the sheep so I like a good tale
And I heard that the baby had blazed a great trail
From the temple to trial and then to a Cross
And some say that he won a great triumph from loss;
That he was the Messiah who came down to earth
Then went back to where we had first heard of his birth.