Hora Christi

Alice Brown

Sweet is the time for joyous folk
 Of gifts and minstrelsy;
Yet I, O lowly-hearted One,
 Crave but Thy company.
On lonesome road, beset with dread,
 My questing lies afar.
I have no light, save in the east
 The gleaming of Thy star.
In cloistered aisles they keep to-day
 Thy feast, O living Lord!
With pomp of banner, pride of song,
 And stately sounding word.
Mute stand the kings of power and place,
 While priests of holy mind
Dispense Thy blessed heritage
 Of peace to all mankind.
I know a spot where budless twigs
 Are bare above the snow,
And where sweet winter-loving birds
 Flit softly to and fro;
There with the sun for altar-fire,
 The earth for kneeling-place,
The gentle air for chorister,
 Will I adore Thy face.
Loud, underneath the great blue sky,
 My heart shall pæan sing,
The gold and myrrh of meekest love
 Mine only offering.
Bliss of Thy birth shall quicken me;
 And for Thy pain and dole
Tears are but vain, so I will keep
 The silence of the soul.