Four thousand years earth waited,
Four thousand years men prayed,
Four thousand years the nations sighed,
That their King delayed.
The prophets told His coming,
The saintly for Him sighed,
And the Star of the Babe of Bethlehem
Shone o’er them when they died.
Their faces toward the future,
They longed to hail the light,
That in after centuries
Would rise on Christmas nights.
But still the Saviour tarried
In His Father’s home,
And the nations wept and wondered why
The promised had not come.
At last earth’s prayer was granted,
And God was a child of earth,
And a thousand angels chanted
The lowly midnight birth.
Ah! Bethlehem was grander
That hour, than Paradise;
And the light of earth, that night, eclipsed
The splendors of the skies.
Abram J. Ryan