by Eugene Field
The angel host that sped last night,
Bearing the wondrous news afar,
Came in their ever-glorious flight
Unto a slumbering little star.
Awake and sing, O star! they cried.
Awake and glorify the morn!
Herald the tidings far and wide --
He that shall lead His flock is born!
The little star awoke and sung
As only stars in rapture may,
And presently where church bells hung
The joyous tidings found their way.
Awake, O bells! 't is Christmas morn --
Awake and let thy music tell
To all mankind that now is born
What Shepherd loves His lambkins well!
Then rang the bells as fled the night
O'er dreaming land and drowsing deep,
And coming with the morning light,
They called, my child, to you asleep.
Sweetly and tenderly they spoke,
And lingering round your little bed,
Their music pleaded till you woke,
And this is what their music said:
Awake and sing! 't is Christmas morn,
Whereon all earth salutes her King!
In Bethlehem is the Shepherd born.
Awake, O little lamb, and sing!
So, dear my child, kneel at my feet,
And with those voices from above
Share thou this holy time with me,
The universal hymn of love.
December 25, 1890.
Source:Christmas Tales And Christmas Verse
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York
Illustrator: Florence Storer