High above human thought the stars are bright ,
Black trees grope skyward through a drift of snow ,
Darkened the stable , but the children know
That ox and ass are kneeling there tonight :
Keep silent vigil in the candlelight ,
As once three shepherds by a manger low :
Star guided bearing gifts , long years ago
Three kings rode westward to adore this sight .
Sweet helpless child , warm in thy manger sleep ,
While rank on rank the hosts of heaven stand guard :
In this thy mother’s hour we call to her —
Lady , pray thou for us who vigil keep :
Guide , star ; our burdened souls come riding hard ,
With gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh .
Received 31st December 1951