Sunday, December 24, 2006

West Bank carol

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above your empty ruined streets
The tracer fire goes by;
Your refugees in basements wait
Indefinitely in flight
From where they fled for many years
By curfew here tonight.

For Jibril born of Mariam,
And gathered up in love,
While people slept, the soldiers kept
Their watch from hills above.
A heavy shell projected sent
From far to mark the birth
Blasted all to bits and rent
A short life from this earth.

How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift inspired!
No kamikaze, neo-Nazi -
Professionally fired.
No ear may hear its coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive it, still
It blasts their shelters in.

Where children pure and happy
Both hate and are reviled,
Where misery cries out to thee,
Son of the mother mild;
Where charity stands watching
And faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
And Herod comes once more.

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