The First Christmas Eve
Only a stable and straw for her bed.
And no one to notice the star overhead;
And only poor shepherds the Christ-child to see,
Who had heard that a cradle His manger would be.
How strangely God’s purpose is hidden from men!
They were merely two travel-worn wanderers then.
Just Joseph and Mary in pitiful plight,
A stall in a stable her chamber that night.
No heralds with trumpets the Prince to receive,
No welcome by cannon that first Christmas Eve,
Just Joseph and Mary, with straw for her bed:
A babe in a manger, a star overhead.
Edgar A. Guest (1881 – 1959)
I know I just said yesterday that "A Christmas Poem" was probably my favorite of my Advent poems this year, but this one by Edgar Guest is a very close second. I tend to prefer free verse, but I think the strict meter and simple rhyme scheme really works well in this case.