Rose Terry Cooke – Christmas

Here comes the Christmas angel,
So gentle and so calm;
As softly as the falling flakes
He comes with flute and psalm.
All in a cloud of glory,
As once upon the plain
To shepherd-boys in Jewry,
He brings good news again.
He is the young folks’ Christmas;
He makes their eyes grow bright
With words of hope and tender thought,
And visions of delight.
Hail to the Christmas angel!
All peace on earth he brings;
He gathers all the youths and maids
Beneath his shining wings.

Here comes the little Christ-child,
All innocence and joy,
And bearing gifts in either hand
For every girl and boy.
He tells the tender story
About the Holy Maid,
And Jesus in the manger
Before the oxen laid.
Like any little winter bird
He sings his sweetest song,
Till all the cherubs in the sky
To hear his carol throng.
He is the children’s Christmas;
They come without a call,
To gather round the gracious Child,
Who bringeth joy to all.

But who shall bring their Christmas
Who wrestle still with life?
Not grandsires, youths, or little folks,
But they who wage the strife
The fathers and the mothers
Who fight for homes and bread,
Who watch and ward the living,
And bury all the dead?
Ah! by their side at Christmas-tide
The Lord of Christmas stands:
He smooths the furrows from their brow
With strong and tender hands.
“I take my Christmas gift,” He saith,
“From thee, tired soul, and he
Who giveth to My little ones
Gives also unto Me.”

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