Christmas Eve

by Liam P. Clancy

Let the door be open wide
And no blind be down at all,
For maybe she'd be walking
With the child within her shawl;
And how could we be bearing
The weight of shame and sin,
If she'd pass upon the roadway
With no light to guide her in?

Let the chair be readied now,
And the fire kept burning bright;
For sorely she'll be needing
The rest and warmth this night.
The rushes too be spreading
Upon the earthen floor,
To make it sweet and wholesome
Her blessed feet before.

Full oft I've heard the story
How once this night were known
To rest within a shieling
Three strangers meek and lone;
But dawn did yield no tidings
Of man, or maid, or child:
T'was Joseph's self was in it,
And Christ, and Mary mild.

So set the candles burning
Upon each window high,
And leave the door wide open
To guide their footsteps nigh:
Right warmly they'll be welcome
To share our hearth-fire bright-
For Mary's sake in heaven-
Who walk the wilds this night.

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