A King Is Born

Prelude--Joseph Ponders

And Joseph pondered and was sad of heart

For his beloved Mary was with child.

Her virgin purity! (His teardrops start.)

Her uncrushed-petaled-sweetness, and her mild

Sweet womanhood seemed suddenly as naught!

He could not understand, but this he knew:

He would not shame her openly. He thought

To put her quietly away. When to

His harassed thoughts a Heaven-sent answer came--

An angel, smiling, said, "Be of good cheer

For that which Mary bears partakes no shame--

A Son of God, born to a virgin here."

So Joseph pledged her troth, and love and peace

Were theirs while waiting for the Lord's increase.

To Bethlehem

Upon the little donkey Mary rode

With Joseph striding manfully beside.

The little creature sensed a sacred load--

Was Mary not his kindly master's bride,

Now delicate in health! He picked his way

And stumbled not, avoided every stone.

He loved to hear her laugh, but as the day

Wore on, he often heard a stifled moan

Within her patient yet pathetic voice.

Her Joseph's smile would cheer her, and his kiss,

His "Courage, Mary," bade her to rejoice.

(Could Heaven, she wondered, be more dear than this!)

Her babe would wear a kingly diadem--

They must push on and soon reach Bethlehem.

Nativity

The little donkey did his very best

But every movement brought a cry of pain,

Then Joseph took her in his arms to rest,

But very soon they started on again

For Mary urged, "Press on. My infant son,

He must be born where prophets have forsaid,

In Bethlehem." And when, their journey done,

There was no room for Mary ... nor a bed ...

She went exultant, sweet, but not forlorn,

Began travail with only Heavenly king.

So in a hay-filled manger He was born--

The King of Kings--amid a stable's din.

The little donkey gave a reverent nod,

For he had carried here the Son of God.