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The Telltale Tile
OLIVE THORNE MILLER IT BEGINS with a bit of gossip...

A Ballade Of Old Loves
CAROLYN WELLS Who is it stands on the polish...

Stand And Wait
I. CHRISTMAS EVE. "They've come! they've come!"...

Christmas Eve At Mr Wardle's
From Pickwick Papers CHARLES DICKENS From the cen...

Christmas At Fezziwig's Warehouse
CHARLES DICKENS Yo ho! my boys, said Fezziwig. No mo...

A Christmas Matinee
MRS. M. A. L. LANE IT WAS the day before Christmas...

Church Decking At Christmas
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH Would that our scrupulous...





The Shepherds In Judea






MARY AUSTIN

Oh, the Shepherds in Judea,
They are pacing to and fro,
For the air grows chill at twilight
And the weanling lambs are slow!

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--
Guiding-star across the housetops; never fear the Shepherds felt
Till they found the Babe in manger where the kindly cattle knelt.

Oh, the Shepherds in Judea!--
Do you think the Shepherds know
How the whole round earth is brightened
In the ruddy Christmas glow?

How the sighs are lost in laughter, and the laughter brings the tears,
As the thoughts of men go seeking back across the darkling years
Till they find the wayside stable that the star-led Wise Men found,
With the Shepherds, mute, adoring, and the glory shining round!





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Previous: The Adoration Of The Wise Men



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