Sunday, December 09, 2012

Not sure of the story behind this poem.  Is this the cry of a mother's heart whose son 
has died in war, perhaps?  Or a miscarriage?  I'll have to snoop around and see if I can 
find out the backstory. *"Adoration of the Shepherds" by Gerard von Honthurst 1622
A Nativity by Rudyard Kipling
The Babe was laid in the Manger
  Between the gentle kine --
All safe from cold and danger --
  "But it was not so with mine,
                  (With mine!  With mine!)
  "Is it well with the child, is it well?"
    The waiting mother prayed.
  "For I know not how he fell,
    And I know not where he is laid."

A Star stood forth in Heaven;
  The Watchers ran to see
The Sign of the Promise given --
  "But there comes no sign to me.
                   (To me! To me!)
  "My child died in the dark.
    Is it well with the child, is it well?
  There was none to tend him or mark,
    And I know not how he fell."

The Cross was raised on high;
  The Mother grieved beside --
"But the Mother saw Him die
  And took Him when He died.
                   (He died! He died!)
  "Seemly and undefiled
    His burial-place was made --
  Is it well, is it well with the child?
    For I know not where he is laid."

On the dawning of Easter Day
  Comes Mary Magdalene;
But the Stone was rolled away,
  And the Body was not within --
                   (Within! Within!)
  "Ah, who will answer my word?
    The broken mother prayed.
  "They have taken away my Lord,
    And I know not where He is laid."

      .    .    .    .    .
"The Star stands forth in Heaven.
  The watchers watch in vain
For Sign of the Promise given
  Of peace on Earth again --
                   (Again! Again!)
  "But I know for Whom he fell" --
    The steadfast mother smiled,
  "Is it well with the child -- is it well?
    It is well -- it is well with the child!"


Beth Waltersdorff Markle said...

Hi. I enjoy your blog! I know we haven't met but I knew your in laws as a student at HSBC.
Rudyard Kipling's son died in the war. (WW 1?) You can watch the story in the movie "Jack". Unfortunately, it's not for children - smoking, war, and probably a few things I've forgotten.
Merry Christmas,
Beth Waltersdorff Markle

Kathryn said...

Thanks so much for your comment. I assume this poem was written after the disappearance of his son? I'll have to watch the movie. I love history! Thanks for dropping by (and saying something). So much better than just 'lurking' anonymously ;o)