Patrick Wedd: A Poor Place

 Patrick Wedd (b. 1948)

A poor place this, no place to welcome kings;
No place for myrrh nor frankincense nor gold.
A place for simple folk and simple things,
A place of shadows, comfortless and cold.
Yet kings are here, and now as daylight dies,
By their command a minstrel softly sings
To calm the child, while Magi search the skies
For mighty Jupiter and Saturn’s rings.

So poor a place, yet now it welcomes kings.
See how they pause outside the stable door.
See how they kneel as each one humbly brings
A gift and lays it on the earthen floor.
For if the stars are true, if planets speak,
And if their journey to this humble place
Has guided them aright, this child they seek
Is mighty ruler both of time and space. 

A poor place this, the world of these our days,
So poor in justice, poor in joy and peace;
Where children starve while every evil pays,
And empires clash in wars that never cease.
Yet still the Holy Child is brought to birth;
The grace he gives far more than we can tell.
His loving hands enfold the wounded earth,
And all is well, and all things shall be well.

                Herbert O’Driscoll