by Leonard M Hawkes

Bethlehem, O, Bethlehem,
How oft we've sung of thee:
A winter night, a virgin birth
In David's royal city.

Bethlehem where shone the star,
A light to guide the wise;
Redemption's love eternal,
Sent earthward from on High.

But Bethlehem, O, Bethlehem
Hate now mocks thy name.
Paths that knew the holy child
Bespeak an ancient shame.

Blood flows daily in thy streets;
False martyrs murder peace;
Thy rancor spreads to foreign shores
And vengence will not cease.

Bethlehem, O, Bethlehem
What ill unseemly lies,
Reason sleeps--yet wilt thou reap
His peace from Wintery skies.


Posted on 12/12/2002
Copyright © 2024 Leonard M Hawkes

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Christina Bruno on 12/12/02 at 06:07 AM

oh very festive!

Posted by David R Spellman on 12/17/02 at 05:14 AM

A sad indictment of the current state of affairs in that once blessed city. Timely for the season and for the state of current affairs. Well done.

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 12/19/02 at 02:46 AM

A wonderfully thoughtprovoking and timely poem. Vivid imagery and relevant message.

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 12/21/03 at 01:36 PM

Very beautiful and timely! Congratulations on POTD! A blessed Christmas to you and yours.

Posted by Cathlyn Cartier on 12/21/03 at 02:48 PM

Beautiful.... a timely reminder, of both the season, and the current state of world affairs/mindsets. Congratulations on POTD! I wish I'd found this one sooner.

Posted by Anne Engelen on 12/21/03 at 04:48 PM

Such a suitable POTD..congrats!!!

Posted by Maureen Glaude on 12/21/03 at 05:19 PM

years ago, my husband went there to audit the Peacekeeping Forces of Canada, and told me about it. You write about it so well, the contrast from the ideal we have of it from the carols and the story of Christ, so tragic how it's turned out there for so long. Important message

Posted by Agnes Eva on 12/21/03 at 06:21 PM

the simplicity and clarity of a child's prayer... yet all the seriousness of the socio-political strifes that this ancient land is facing today. this is really beautifully rendered- a poem of classic stature

Posted by Kate Donovan on 12/21/03 at 09:25 PM

i don't know if you meant to do this, but the entire poem fits almost perfectly (the only line that would be a little awkward is the first of the fourth stanza) with the song "o little town of bethlehem"... anyway, beautiful and sad, and very well done.

Posted by Christel Crews on 12/22/03 at 04:55 AM

this piece brought tears to my eyes- its incredible! congrats on potd- you deserved it!

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