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The Christmas Story

An angel of the Lord,
Came forth with joyful news,
Of Him Who is adored,
Messiah of the Jews.

The angel hailed the one,
A Virgin pure and bright,
Who chosen for the Son,
Would crush the serpent’s bite.

“Oh Favored one behold,
Thou shalt conceive a Son,
Of whom the prophets told,
The might of sin is done.”

The Maiden then replied,
“But how is this to be?
In chasteness, I abide,
No man is known to me.”

The angel then declared,
With harp and joyful strum,
“Thou shalt remain unmarred,
The Holy Ghost will come.”

Then Mary did reply,
“To me let it be done,”
And with a humble aye,
True victory was won.

The angel then revealed,
To Joseph in his sleep,
That he would be the shield,
God’s treasures he would keep.

So Joseph pure and chaste,
Took Mary as his wife,
In his good care was placed,
The healer of all strife.

A wicked king of men,
Sought out to count the Jews,
And forced by Caesar’s pen,
A donkey bore Good News.

Then on a holy night,
In stable filled with hay,
Was placed the truest Light,
The maker of the day.

To Christ the Angels sang,
A lullaby so sweet,
Their holy voices rang,
And not a lamb did bleat.

With splendid wings they fly,
To shepherds in the dells,
They shouted from the sky,
Like mighty golden bells.

“Glory Glory Glory,
All praise to God on high,
Hear the greatest story,
Thy Savior now is nigh.”

The shepherds shook with fear,
Then danced with sheer delight,
With voices strong and clear,
The psalms they did recite.

Then lo from far away,
Three wise men from the East,
Adorned in fine array,
Processed on lavish beast.

They tracked a single star,
To find the treasured pearl,
A lamb without a mar,
For Him, their hearts unfurl.

Three kingly gifts they gave,
With shepherds they adored,
Prefiguring the grave,
They knelt before the Lord.

And hark unto this day,
The Churches we adorn,
We go to Mass and pray,
When Christ the Word was born.

.

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Blessed

Blessed be the heavens,
A bright and brilliant blue,
Sunrise gold and vibrant,
A peek at what is true.

Blessed be the Sunrise,
Who brings his shining light,
Down to lands in darkness,
He drives away the night.

Blessed be the Mountain,
In all his majesty,
Deigns to look upon us,
He brings humility.

Blessed be the Tree Tops,
All reaching for the sky,
Pointing toward the heavens,
Directing every eye.

Blessed be the Songbird,
Her chipper melody,
Brings the world good tidings,
Her singing oh so free.

Blessed be the Flower,
Her pretty little ways,
Brings the world her beauty,
She dances all her days.

Blessed be the Worker,
The busy honey bee,
Bringing life his sweetness,
His buzzing full of glee.

Blessed be the Morning,
A new and splendid day,
Full of grace and beauty,
A gift without decay.

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Lauren V. Leon is a 20-year-old pianist, amateur poet, writer, and Catholic artist. She is an advanced student in the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) through a private piano studio and is working towards a teaching certification in that field. She resides in Riverside, California, and has earned three Associate of Arts Degrees at Riverside City College (RCC) as of June 2022 in Communications, Media and Languages, Social and Behavioral Studies, and Humanities, Philosophy and Arts. She has been recognized formally as an excellent student by both RCM and RCC. Leon takes a particular interest in Children’s Literature and hopes to publish it in the future. 


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7 Responses

  1. Margaret Coats

    Lauren, your retelling of The Christmas Story is a remarkably light and lovely account of a tale that’s been told countless times in countless ways. Your skill at meter gives it an ease of reading that suits contemporary tastes. “Profits” in line 11 should be “prophets,” but perhaps your spell-checker was too business-minded to understand. “Favored one” in that stanza is common in modern Bible translations, but I strongly suggest you consider “Full of grace.” “Favored one” is far beneath the Greek meaning, and even “Full of grace” doesn’t reach the absolute fullness of what the angel says. If you can bear my improvements just a bit more, please say “a stable” in line 38 and “beasts” in line 60. Slight adjustments to meter and rhyme thus serve good usage and meaning! Your echo artistry in word choice works nicely at several points–for example, “unmarred” for Mary and “without a mar” for Jesus. I also like the closing references to the Baby as both Lord and Word. And “Blessed” as your benediction for the morning is charming, especially the heavens and sunrise as “a peek at what is true.”

    Reply
  2. Lauren V. Leon

    Hello Margaret,
    Thanks so much for the feedback and compliments. I appreciate it greatly. I am happy you know that “Favored one” and “Full of Grace” though lovely translations still fall short of the original Greek! It is so gratifying when someone knows that information. I went with “Favored one” partly because I had learned that its meaning was far closer to “Full of Grace” than previously understood, and partly because I thought it flowed better.

    As for the Profits vs Prophets problem, my spell-checker indeed has no sense of artistry. I had originally put “manger” instead of “stable” but my spell-checker insistently and consistently changed it to “manager” I finally gave up and put stable instead. Thanks again for the detailed suggestions.

    Reply
  3. Sally Cook

    Dear Lauren,
    I admire the grace of your verse. One of your few years has gained so much, so far. It only remains for you to continue on. You are one of the blessed multi-talented; I too studied piano for years, and have since pursued both poetry and painting with some success. Margaret Coats is an inexhaustible font of knowledge, and CB Anderson has given you the best possible advice.

    I hope you will continue to publish here, and come to think of this site as your your poetic home.

    Reply
    • Lauren V. Leon

      Dear Sally,

      Thank you for the kind words and compliments. I will for sure continue to publish here and hone my poetry skills. I really am an amateur, I still haven’t got meter as a concept worked out. I confess to counting syllables. These poems turned out great because the inspiration behind them is infinitely greater.

      Reply

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