If wares beneath a candled tree
Stood wise of all eternity,
If bow-wrapp’d toys and Christan wile
On early morn leant even smile
If clotted cream and dancing drink
Did men of every caste make think
Or subtle draw the spirit forth
From absent souls, their gilded worth
And christen lives that empty were
From sorrow, for the merrier,
Oh, I would Christian convert ever be
And church to church destory all heresy!
I would from pulpit and from cobbled ground
The men of innocence and sin confound!
There would not silence live beside
All passioned sermons of the Christmastide!
Oh, what of Christianity has failed
That all my inner spirit hence has sailed
To liberal shores that find all friends
And water that from danger wends?
It counts not blessing, here above
Whence Noah trusted once his dove
‘Til now, when all the trusted sleep
And lives cannot the honest keep.
What sickness calls the heart away,
Rejoicing in the warring day?
But dearest Christ, once born and prayed
Among the fiendest souls that Satan made,
Is there no grace for us to find
To bring us to closer to your angel-kind?
I have a hope that lies beyond your church
And gives a different men, a different mirth.
It says of us, creation made of God
And in His image, and in His footsteps trod,
So what of all the hope in men
That counts not on a Christian acumen?
What then of Islam, the faiths of East
And all what I know not, or know of least?
Might there be You, great God and Lord
Who these dark waters faithful ford?
Oh, come to me in desperate doubt
Who from the dismal valleys shout
And I will carry forth your testament
To churches that in darkness went;
Oh, God, Oh, Allah, shall I uphold
All peoples of your faith: the young, the old
And bring yon Christmas to their door
Which ne’er have they believed before.
For surely there is Christmas time
Which valleys all and mountains climb;
Which seas confer is best and least
And forests, from the west and east;
All citizens of nature, and of men, agree
This Christmas shall be God, the Majesty!