A Single Star

We had another busy day today.  Church this morning, and then our Home Education Group party with Nativity Play from scratch!  Straight after that, we went to Granny’s church for a carol service, and then back to her house for supper.  By the time we were home it was after 9pm, and the children needed to go straight to bed.  I decided that a shared story time might wake them up too much, so I read some Christmas poems to them when they were in bed, first to the little ones and then to the big boys.  The poems were from A Single Star, a collection of poems that I have had since I was a child.

a single star

This is a varied collection of songs, carols and poems, some well known and some less so.  A lot of the poems are more suitable for older children, but there are some that are simple enough for the little ones to understand too.  I particularly enjoyed reading one of my childhood favourites to all of the children – “How Far to Bethlehem?” by Frances Chesterton.

How far is it to Bethlehem?

Not very far.

Shall we find the stable-room

Lit by a star?

Can we see the little child,

Is He within?

If we lift the wooden latch

May we go in?

May we stroke the creatures there,

Ox, ass and sheep?

May we peep like them and see

Jesus asleep?

If we touch His Tiny hand

Will He awake?

Will He know we’ve come so far

Just for his sake?

Great kings have precious gifts,

And we have naught;

Little smiles and little tears

Are all we brought.

For all weary children

Mary must weep.

Here on His bed of straw

Sleep, children, sleep.

God in His mother’s arms,

Babes in the byre

Sleep as they sleep who find

Their heart’s desire.

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