‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS A LONG TIME AGO
by Judy Harper
‘Twas the first night of Christmas a long time ago,
The hillside was peaceful, the moon was aglow.
The world couldn’t know from what happened before,
That men would remember this night evermore.
The sheep on the hillside—their days journey over,
Were dreaming sweet dreams of a field full of clover.
The shepherds were watchful while guarding their flock,
The earth was their pillow, the stars were their clock.
Then all of a sudden, they jumped at the sight
Of the sky all a blaze with a heavenly light.
They huddled in fear, then they started to rise
As the lightening-like flash tore open the skies.
The heavens were split by the silvery ray,
The dark disappeared and the night became day.
And lo, at the end of the rainbow of light
Appeared then an angel to banish their fright.
The angel brought news of a birth in a manger
And bade them to hasten to welcome the stranger.
For Mary had just given birth to a boy
Whose coming would bring so much comfort and joy.
A choir of angels looked down from the sky
And heavenly voices were heard from on high:
Peace be on earth and good will to all men.
The Savior has come on this night, Amen.
The heavenly angels then faded from sight,
The sky once again turned from day to night.
The shepherds all quietly rose from the ground,
And hurried to go where the child would be found.
As they reached Bethlehem and the inn was in sight
From the barn came a trickle of half-hidden light.
It led like a path to a soft little bed
And shone very tenderly on a child’s head.
The child in the manger was sleeping so sound,
His eyes were still closed, as the shepherds stood round.
From that instant of grace on that night long ago
Thousands of years would be warmed by the glow.
Guided by light from a bright shining star
Came a pilgrimage led of three kings from afar.
They were dressed in the finest of satins and lace,
Their complexions were that of an Orient race.
The three wealthy kings were wise men and proud,
But they went to the Christ child and solemnly bowed.
They came bearing treasures of incense and gold
To that sweet little child, still not very old.
The star in the sky twinkled down from above,
The world was awakened to kindness and love.
The past was forgotten, the future was bright,
And the spirit of Christmas was born on that night.