With what a flood of wondrous thoughts
Each Christian breast must swell
When, wandering back through ages past,
With simple faith they dwell
On quiet Nazareth's sacred sod,
Where the Child Saviour's footsteps trod.
Awe-struck we picture to ourselves
That brow serene and fair,
That gentle face, the long rich curls
Of wavy golden hair,
And those deep wondrous, star-like eyes,
Holy and calm as midnight skies.
We see Him in the work-shop shed
With Joseph, wise and good,
Obedient to His guardian's word,
Docile and meek of mood;
The Mighty Lord of Heaven and Earth
Toiling like one of lowly birth.
Or else, with His young Mother fair -
That sinless, spotless one,
Who watched with fond and reverent care,
Her high and glorious Son,
Knowing a matron's joy and pride,
And yet a Virgin pure beside.
All marvelled at the strange, shy grace
Of Mary's gentle Son;
Young mothers envied her the Boy
Who love from all hearts won;
And, gazing on that face so mild,
Prayed low to Heaven for such a child.
Though with the boys of Nazareth
He never joined in mirth,
Yet young and old felt strangely drawn
Towards His modest worth;
E'en though that quiet, wondrous Child,
Had never laughed nor even smiled.*
For even then prophetic rose
Before His spirit's gaze
The cruel Cross, the griefs reserved
For manhood's coming days,
And, worse than all, the countless host
That, spite His pangs, might yet be lost.
Silent and calm, He held His way
From morn till evening still;
His thoughts intent on working out
His Mighty Father's will;
While Heaven bent in ecstasy,
O'er the Boy-God of Galilee.