In The Town
Anon

Joseph

Take heart, the journeyís ended:
I see the twinkling lights,
Where we shall be befriended
On this the night of nights.

Mary

Now praise the Lord that led us
So safe into the town,
Where men will feed and bed us,
And I can lay me down.

Joseph

And how then shall we praise him?
Alas, my heart is sore
That we no gifts can raise him,
We are so very poor

Mary

We have as much as any
That on earth do live,
Although we have no penny,
We have ourselves to give.

Joseph

Look yonder, wife, look yonder!
A hostelry I see,
Where travellers that wander
Will very welcome be.

Mary

The house is tall and stately,
The door stands open thus;
Yet husband, I fear greatly
That inn is not for us.

Joseph

God save you, gentle master!
Your littlest room indeed
With plainest walls of plaster
Tonight will serve our need.

Host

For lordlings and for ladies
Iíve lodgings and to spare;
For you and yonder maid is
No closet anywhere.

Joseph

Take heart, take heart, sweet Mary,
Another inn I spy,
Whose host will not be chary
To let us easy lie.

Mary

O aid me, I am ailing,
My strength is nearly gone;
I feel my limbs are failing,
And yet we must go on.

Joseph

God save you, Hostess, kindly!
I pray you, house my wife,
Who bears beside me blindly
The burden of her life.

Hostess

My guests are rich menís daughters,
And sons, Iíd have you know!
Seek out the poorer quarters,
Where ragged people go.

Joseph

Good sir, my wifeís in labour,
Some corner let us keep.

Host

Not I: knock up my neighbour,
And as for me, Iíll sleep.

Mary

In all the lighted city
Where rich men welcome win,
Will not one house for pity
Take two poor strangers in?

Joseph

Good woman, I implore you,
Afford my wife a bed.

Hostess

Nay, nay, Iíve nothing for you
Except the cattle shed.

Mary

Then gladly in the manger
Our bodies we will house
Since men tonight are stranger
Than asses are and cows.

Joseph

Take heart, take heart, sweet Mary,
The cattle are our friends,
Lie down, lie down, sweet Mary,
For here our journey ends.

Mary

Now praise the Lord that found me
This shelter in the town,
Where I with friends around me
May lay my burden down.

 

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