The Christmas Silence



Hushed are the pigeons cooing low

On dusty rafters of the loft;

And mild-eyed oxen, breathing soft,

Sleep on the fragrant hay below.

Dim shadows in the corner hide;

The glimmering lantern's rays are shed

Where one young lamb just lifts his head,

Then huddles 'gainst his mother's side.

Strange silence tingles in the air;

Through the half-open door a bar

Of light from one low-hanging star

Touches a baby's radiant hair.

No sound: the mother, kneeling, lays

Her cheek against the little face.

Oh human love! Oh heavenly grace!

'Tis yet in silence that she prays!

Ages of silence end to-night;

Then to the long-expectant earth

Glad angels come to greet His birth

In burst of music, love, and light!