Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/33

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5
LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM

a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.


O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM

PHILLIPS BROOKS

O little town of Bethlehem,
   How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
   The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
   The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
   Are met in thee to-night.

For Christ is born of Mary,
   And, gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
   Their watch of wondering love.