If this were twenty centuries ago
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If this were twenty centuries ago,
And three wise men should seek my house, and say:
"We bring glad tidings! Christ is born today;
Arise, and follow yonder star, whose glow
Will lead you to the child!"--would I obey,
If this were twenty centuries ago?
From out my urn of precious, hoarded things
Would I make haste to pour the richest share
For him? The sweetest of my perfumes spare
To bathe the feet of the young King of kings?
Or break the costliest ointment on his hair
From out my urn of precious, hoarded things?
Alas! I dare not say this would I do,
Since I have slighted many another guest
That came from God--have stayed from many a quest
That would have led me to the good and true,
To slumber on with head upon my breast;
Nay, nay! I dare not say this would I do.
My best resolves like shifting shadows are;
Each day some holy light shines on unsought--
And while my silly, fluttering wings are caught
By the world's rosy candle, Christ's own star--
How can I tell?--might beckon me for naught;
My best resolves like shifting shadows are.
And when Christ comes again--as come he will--
And wise ones hasten forth with rapt delight
To welcome him, and own his kingly right,
Will men be questioning and doubting still,
As when upon that first, far Christmas night--
When Christ shall come again--as come he will?
May Riley Smith
Published Fri 10th May 2013 12:56:12