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Their robes were of crimson silk with rows
Their turbans like blossoming almond-trees.
And so the Three Kings rode into the West, Through the dusk of night, over hill and dell, And sometimes they nodded with beard on breast, And sometimes talked, as they paused to rest,
With the people they met at some wayside well.
"Of the child that is born," said Baltasar,
And the people answered, "You ask in vain;
We know of no king but Herod the Great!" They thought the Wise Men were men insane, As they spurred their horses across the plain,
Like riders in haste, and who cannot wait.
And when they came to Jerusalem,
Herod the Great, who had heard this thing, Sent for the Wise Men and questioned them; And said, "Go down unto Bethlehem,
And bring me tidings of this new king."
So they rode away; and the star stood still,
Yes, it stopped, it stood still of its own free will,
Right over Bethlehem on the hill,
The city of David where Christ was born.
And the Three Kings rode through the gate and the guard,
Through the silent street, till their horses turned And neighed as they entered the great inn-yard; But the windows were closed, and the doors were barred, And only a light in the stable burned.
And cradled there in the scented hay,
In the air made sweet by the breath of kine, The little child in the manger lay,
The child, that would be king one day
His mother Mary of Nazareth
Sat watching beside his place of rest,
They laid their offerings at his feet:
The gold was a tribute to the King, The frankincense, with its odor sweet, Was for the Priest, the Paraclete,
The myrrh for the body's burying.
And the mother wondered and bowed her head,
Remembering what the Angel had said
Then the Kings rode out of the city gate,
HE night was moonless; Judah's shepherds kept Their starlight watch; their flocks around them
To heaven's blue fields their wakeful eyes were turned,
The swan and eagle wing their silent flight;
And there Boötes roll his lucid wain,
On sparkling wheels, along the ethereal plain;
Pursue forever the star-studded lyre;
And there, with bickering lash, heaven's charioteer
While thus the shepherds watched the host of night,
Peace to the world"; and in full concert came,
Glow unextinguished; 't was Salvation's Star.
WO sad-faced women, haggard, worn, and wan, Passed wearily through Bethlehem's sun-scorched
street; The city, moved to pity, round them ran,
And some with wondering cry the strangers greet, "What! Is this Naomi?" She quickly broke Upon them trembling, as they thus began, "Call me not Naomi," she weeping spoke, "For Naomi is numbered with the dead; My name is Mara, for, O friends, with me The Lord hath dealt exceeding bitterly!
The hand of God has touched me, and I mourn; Has robbed me both of husband and of son; Woe worth the bitter day that I was born! My prop, my stay, my life of life, is gone; I went out full, empty come back to you, A widow, childless, desolate, and forlorn; The graves in Moab hold my dead heart too, I left it with them where they sleep in peace. So from my years has gone the sun, the light; I grope as one through some dark dreary night.”
Charles D. Bell.
THEY GAVE TO THEE.
THEY gave to Thee
Myrrh, frankincense, and gold;
Present ourselves before thy majesty,
Whom thou redeemedst when we were sold?
We've nothing but ourselves, and scarce that neither;
Vile dirt and clay;