Hushed are the pigeons cooing low,
On dusty rafters of the loft;
And mild-eyed oxen, breathing soft,
Sleep on the fragrant hay below.
Dim shadows in the corner hide;
The glimmering lantern’s rays are shed
Where one young lamb just lifts his head,
Then huddles ’gainst his mother’s side.
Strange silence tingles in the air;
Through the half-open door a bar
Of light from one low hanging star
Touches a baby’s radiant hair—
No sound—the mother, kneeling, lays
Her cheek against the little face.
Oh human love! Oh heavenly grace!
’Tis yet in silence that she prays!
Ages of silence end to-night;
Then to the long-expectant earth
Glad angels come to greet His birth
In burst of music, love, and light!