How Far to Bethlehem?
Just over Jerusalem hills adown,
Past lovely Rachel’s white-domed tomb—
Sweet shrine of motherhood’s young doom.
“It isn’t far to Bethlehem Town—
Just over the dusty roads adown,
Past Wise Men’s well, still offering
Cool draughts from welcome wayside spring;
Past shepherds with their flutes of reed
That charm the woolly sheep they lead;
Past boys with kites on hilltops flying,
And soon you’re there where Bethlehem’s lying.
Sunned white and sweet on olived slopes,
Gold-lighted still with Judah’s hopes.
“And so we find the Shepherd’s field
And plain that gave rich Boaz yield,
And look where Herod’s villa stood.
We thrill that earthly parenthood
Could foster Christ who was all-good;
And thrill that Bethlehem Town to-day
Looks down on Christians homes that pray.
“It isn’t far to Bethlehem Town!
It’s anywhere that Christ comes down
And finds in people’s friendly face
A welcome and abiding place.
The road to Bethlehem runs right through
The homes of folks like me and you.”