I may not go tonight to Bethlehem,
Nor follow star-directed ways, nor tread
The paths wherein the shepherds walked, that led
To Christ, and peace, and God’s good will to men.
I may not hear the herald angel’s song
Peal through the oriental skies, nor see
The wonder of that Heavenly company
Announce the King the world had waited long.
The manger throne I may not kneel before,
Or see how man to God is reconciled,
Through pure St. Mary’s purer, holier Child;
The human Christ these eyes may not adore.
I may not carry frankincense and myrrh
With adoration to the Holy One;
Nor gold have I to give the Perfect Son,
To be with those wise kings a worshipper.
Not mine the joy that Heaven sent to them,
For ages since Time swung and locked his gates,
But I may kneel without—the star still waits
To guide me on to holy Bethlehem.
— Pauline Johnson
The Children’s Friend, December 1961
unidentified cover art