Song of a Shepherd Boy at Bethlehem

by Josephine Preston Peabody

Sleep, Thou little Child of Mary,
Rest Thee now.
Though these hands be rough from shearing
And the plow,
Yet they shall not ever fail Thee,
When the waiting nations hail Thee,
Bringing palms unto their King.
Now—I sing.
Sleep, Thou little Child of Mary,
Hope divine.
If Thou wilt but smile upon me,
I will twine
Blossoms for Thy garlanding.
Thou’rt so little to be King,
God’s Desire!
Not a brier
Shall be left to grieve Thy brow;
Rest Thee now.
Sleep, Thou little Child of Mary,
Some fair day
Wilt Thou, as Thou wert a brother,
Come away
Over hills and over hollow?
All the lambs will up and follow.
Follow but for love of Thee.
Lov’st Thou me?
Sleep, Thou little Child of Mary,
Rest Thee now.
I that watch am come from sheep-stead
And from plough.
Thou wilt have disdain of me
When Thou’rt lifted, royally,
Very high for all to see:
Smilest Thou?