Virginia Barton

17 December 2014: The Wise Men

17 December 2014


Wise men (2)Step softly, under snow or rain,
To find the place where men can pray;
The way is all so very plain
That we may lose the way.

Go humbly … it has hailed and snowed…
With voices low and lanterns lit;
So very simple is the road,
That we may stray from it.

The world grows terrible and white,
And blinding white the breaking day;
We walk bewildered in the light,
For something is too large for sight,
And something much too plain to say.

The Child that was ere worlds begun
(… We need but walk a little way,
We need but see a latch undone…)
The Child that played with moon and sun
Is playing with a little hay.

— from “The Wise Men” by GK Chesterton


ChestertonThese charming verses are an extract from a poem by GK Chesterton that arrived as an e-card. (Far more classy than the ones I’ve sent, must do better next year.)

Just occasionally GK whams you in the solar plexus and you shout Yes!!

Another of Chesterton’s poems, “The Donkey,” is one such; powerful, and with a direct appeal that never fails.

Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.


Apart from everything else, Advent has been for me a rediscovery of words. Isaiah tumbling off every day’s Reading: warning, provoking, consoling, inviting. The sheer mightiness of Isaiah reduces one to one’s proper size, a speck, actually.

How extraordinary it is that his words, written all those hundreds of years ago, have survived to leap off the page into my tiny brain in 2014.

Deo gratias.





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