Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/50

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Leave, O lambs, the dripping sedges, quit the bramble and the brier,
Leave the fields of barley stubble, for we light the watching fire;
Twinkling fires across the twilight, and a bitter watch to keep,
Lest the prowlers come a-thieving where the flocks unguarded sleep.

   Oh, the Shepherds in Judea,
      They are singing soft and low—
   Song the blessed angels taught them
      All the centuries ago!

There was never roof to hide them, there were never walls to bind;
Stark they lie beneath the star-beams, whom the blessed angels find,
With the huddled flocks upstarting, wondering if they hear aright.
While the Kings come riding, riding, solemn shadows in the night.

   Oh, the Shepherds in Judea,
      They are thinking, as they go,
   Of the light that broke their watching
      On the hillside in the snow!—

Scattered snow along the hillside, white as springtime fleeces are,
With the whiter wings above them and the glory-streaming star—