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Rudyard Kipling

A Nativity


The Babe was laid in the Manger

Between the gentle kine—

All safe from cold and danger— 

"But it was not so with mine,

(With mine! With mine!)

"Is it well with the child, is it well?"

The waiting mother prayed.

"For I know not how he fell,

And I know not where he is laid."

A Star stood forth in Heaven;

The Watchers ran to see

The Sign of the Promise given— 

"But there comes no sign to me.

(To me! To me!)

"My  child died in the dark.

Is it well with the child, is it well?

There was none to tend him or mark,

And I know not how he fell."

The Cross was raised on high;

The Mother grieved beside— 

"But the Mother saw Him die

And took Him when He died.

(He died! He died!)

"Seemly and undefiled

His burial-place was made—

Is it well, is it well with the child?

For I know not where he is laid."

On the dawning of Easter Day

Comes Mary Magdalene;

But the Stone was rolled away,

And the Body was not within— 

(Within! Within!)

"Ah, who will answer my word?

The broken mother prayed.

"They have taken away my Lord,

And I know not where He is laid."

. . . . . . .

"The Star stands forth in Heaven.

The watchers watch in vain

For Sign of the Promise given

Of peace on Earth again— 

(Again! Again!)

"But I know for Whom he fell"—

The steadfast mother smiled,

"Is it well with the child—is it well?

It is well—it is well with the child!"