Come to Bethlehem / Silent Night


Song and Poem by James A. Tweedie

Come to Bethlehem, come and see
God stripped bare of majesty.
Fragile as a flower;
Emptied of might and power;
Come to set God’s people free.
Jesus Christ is born.

Born into a family.
Died upon a family tree.
Raised to reign in glory.
Angels proclaim the story;
Off’ring life eternally.
Jesus Christ is born.

As my Lord is, may I be:
Born anew in liberty.
Free from sin and sadness.
Filled with joy and gladness.
Peace, good-will from God to me.
Jesus Christ is born.



A Christmas Haiku

by Joe Tessitore

The Virgin, the Child.
All that was, all that will be,
The moment they smiled.

Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet.



The Golden Age

by Nathaniel Todd McKee

Setting: The Roman Empire, 1st century BC, just before the birth of Jesus.

Legions marching, shield to shield,
Bearing trophies from the field:
Valiant foes bound chain by chain,
Swords and silver fill their train.
The Golden Age! The Golden Age!
Behold our Golden Age!

Aquaducts o’er rivers blue,
Stone-paved roads link old to new.
Emperor declares his will,
Præfects each command fulfill.
The Golden Age! The Golden Age!
Behold our Golden Age!

Steaming baths, both hot and cold,
Tables set with goblets gold.
Silk for weaving garments fair,
Frankincense adorns the air.
The Golden Age! The Golden Age!
Behold our Golden Age!

Father, brother, husband, son
Don’t return when Rome has won.
Boar’s head standard drowned in mud,
Lifeless bodies caked with blood.
The Golden Age! The Golden Age!
Behold our Golden Age!

Filling master’s cup with wine,
Worked to death inside a mine.
Aphrodite’s trembling maid
Forced to ply earth’s oldest trade.
The Golden Age! The Golden Age!
Behold our Golden Age!

Leper rots inside his tent,
Widow begs in garments rent.
Shepherds sleeping on the ground,
All seek hopecan it be found?
The Golden Age! The Golden Age!
Behold our Golden Age!

Silent night, holy night,
Lonely star shines pure and bright.
“Go to Bethlehem and see!”
Liberty for slave and free—
Abundant life, eternally!
The Golden Age! The Golden Age!
Behold our Golden Age!

Nathaniel McKee’s interest in classical poetry first grew while studying for a master’s in business administration at the University of Oxford, UK. Somehow this whimsical place deepened an already strong appreciation for the humanities, even as he studied business. Nathaniel’s literary interests include Greek and Roman classics, 18th-19th century English literature, 18th-19th century French literature, the Bible, and history in general. He currently purchases agricultural commodities and energy for a mid-sized food manufacturing company in the foothills of southeastern Tennessee, USA, where he lives with his wife, Bethany.

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7 Responses

  1. James A. Tweedie

    My poem’s full title is “Come to Bethlehem/Silent Night.” If you listen to the song long enough you will see (or hear ) why! Merry Christmas all. “Jesus Christ is born.”

    • Carole Mertz

      Always a new way to deliver the message. Enjoyed it, James. And enjoyed your haiku, Joe. Will share “The Golden Age” with my history buff friend. Thank you for it.

  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    In the second stanza of “The Golden Age,” the first word should be spelled “Aqueducts,” with an e.

  3. Mark F. Stone

    James, I read the text of the poem before I read the title. As I was reading the text, I thought, hmm, this poem could work as the lyrics of a song. Then I read the title and saw that we agree on this. Nice work! Mark

    Joe, A very nice Christmas haiku. Thank you! Mark

    Nathaniel, I enjoy trochaic meter and the meter in the non-italicized parts of this poem is perfect trochaic meter (with just one substitution). I enjoyed the poem! Mark

    • Nathaniel

      Thank you Mark for the kind words, glad you enjoyed! I added the extra line on the final stanza in a non-trochaic manner to (perhaps) give a sense of completeness there.


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