At last the greatest light
Shines beneath the swaddling cloth
That tightly wraps the sweet life of God.
Nothing from this moment on will speak
Without waking the baby who sleeps
Even while the stars wait to burst.
How could this tiny child have drawn the sky,
Flung the sun and centered the moon
To reflect such brilliant lights!
Condensed and pressed into his flesh are
All the earth's beginnings
For what he dreams becomes the reality
That enfolds our deepest hope.
As he lies so still beneath his earthly blanket
Beholding the face of his virgin mother,
this child sees into her soul.
He knows the truth will soon be visible;
Hell will breathe its fiery heat and send the coldest chill
Into his mother's heart.
Slow, now mother, slow this drama down;
On this gentle night, hear the sacred songs,
Listen for the angel voices; worship with the lowly shepherds;
marvel at the richest wise men....
They adore your little son.
Hold him, mother, hold him tight,
Press him gently to your breast;
Nurture what heaven has let go of this night
And never look back with regret.
Written by Rhodara Shreve
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