Joyce Kilmer

Gates and Doors

There was a gentle hostler

(And blessèd be his name!)

He opened up the stable

The night Our Lady came.

Our Lady and Saint Joseph,

He gave them food and bed,

And Jesus Christ has given him

A glory round his head.

So let the gate swing open

However poor the yard,

Lest weary people visit you

And find their passage barred;

Unlatch the door at midnight

And let your lantern's glow

Shine out to guide the traveler's feet

To you across the snow.

There was a courteous hostler

(He is in Heaven tonight)

He held Our Lady's bridle

And helped her to alight;

He spread clean straw before her

Whereon she might lie down,

And Jesus Christ has given him

An everlasting crown.

Unlock the door this evening

And let your gate swing wide,

Let all who ask for shelter

Come speedily inside.

What if your yard be narrow?

What if your house be small?

There is a Guest is coming

Will glorify it all.

There was a joyous hostler

Who knelt on Christmas morn

Beside the radiant manger

Wherein his Lord was born.

His heart was full of laughter,

His soul was full of bliss

When Jesus, on His Mother's lap,

Gave him His hand to kiss.

Unbar your heart this evening

And keep no stranger out,

Take from your soul's great portal

The barrier of doubt.

To humble folk and weary

Give hearty welcoming,

Your breast shall be tomorrow

The cradle of a King.