La Gran Pastorela de Belén

Twas in the dim capilla, cold and stark,

Where we portrayed the scenes of Christmas night,

When earth at last surrendered all that’s dark

To the encroaching armies of the light.


We wore the shepherds’ patched and tattered fleece,

And knew their journey, weaknesses, and trials;

With wooden swords we fought our own caprice,

And watched a paper star for endless miles.


For, those wise men, when they had named our town—

This ancient Spanish hamlet, poor and spare—

Paid homage to that place of great renown

Where God with human lungs first breathed this air,


Where the Invisible at last was seen

Asleep, within the arms of Heaven’s Queen.

From Sonnets for the Queen of Heaven © Joseph Charles MacKenzie. All rights reserved.