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Poem by Joyce Kilmer
Gates and Doors
(For Richardson Little Wright) There was a gentle hostler (And blessed be his name!) He opened up the stable The night Our Lady came. Our Lady and Saint Joseph, He gave them food and bed, And Jesus Christ has given him A glory round his head. So let the gate swing open However poor the yard, Lest weary people visit you And find their passage barred; Unlatch the door at midnight And let your lantern’s glow Shine out to guide the traveler’s feet To you across the snow. There was a courteous hostler (He is in Heaven to-night) He held Our Lady’s bridle And helped her to alight; He spread clean straw before her Whereon she might lie down, And Jesus Christ has given him An everlasting crown. Unlock the door this evening And let your gate swing wide, Let all who ask for shelter Come speedily inside. What if your yard be narrow? What if your house be small? There is a Guest is coming Will glorify it all. There was a joyous hostler Who knelt on Christmas morn Beside the radiant manger Wherein his Lord was born. His heart was full of laughter, His soul was full of bliss When Jesus, on His Mother’s lap, Gave him His hand to kiss. Unbar your heart this evening And keep no stranger out, Take from your soul’s great portal The barrier of doubt. To humble folk and weary Give hearty welcoming, Your breast shall be to-morrow The cradle of a King.
Joyce Kilmer's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org