The First Christmas
by Michael R. Burch
’Twas in a land so long ago . . .
the lambs lay blanketed in snow
and little children everywhere
sat and watched warm embers glow
and dreamed (of what, we do not know).
And THEN—a star appeared on high,
The brightest man had ever seen!
It made the children whisper low
in puzzled awe (what did it mean?).
It made the wooly lambkins cry.
For far away a new-born lay,
warm-blanketed in straw and hay,
a lowly manger for his crib.
The cattle mooed, distraught and low,
to see the child. They did not know
it now was Christmas day!
Chanukah I think most dear
Of the feasts of all the year.
I could sit and watch all night
Every twinkling baby light.
Father lights the first one—green;
Hope it always seems to mean;
Hope and Strength to glow anew
In the heart of every Jew.
Jacob lights the blue for Truth.
Pink for Love is lit by Ruth.
Then the white one falls to me,
White that shines for Purity.
How the story of those days
Fills my wondering heart with praise!
And in every flame one sees
The heroic Maccabees.
"Hope" is the thing with feathers
by Emily Dickinson
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea,
Yet never in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.