by Joyce Kilmer (1886 - 1918)

Christmas Eve
Language: English 
There was a gentle hostler
(And blessed be his name!)
He open’d up the stable
The night our Lady came.
Our Lady and Saint Joseph,
He gave them food and bed,
And Jesus Christ has given him
A glory round his head.

So let the gate swing open
However poor the yard,
Lest weary people visit you
And find their passage barred;
Unlatch the door at midnight
And let your lantern’s glow
Shine out to guide the traveler’s feet
To you across the snow.

There was a joyous hostler
Who knelt on Christmas morn
Beside the radiant manger
Wherein the Lord was born.
His heart was full of laughter,
His soul was full of bliss
When Jesus, on his Mother’s lap,
Gave him His hand to kiss.

Unbar your heart this ev’ning
And keep no stranger out,
Take from your soul’s great portal
The barrier of doubt.
To humble folk and weary
Give hearty welcoming,
Your breast shall be tomorrow
The cradle of a King.

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Researcher for this text: Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-02-28
Line count: 32
Word count: 165