The Three Kings by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


What a beautiful poem to read this Christmas, (despite the fact we don't know that there were three wise kings, nor do we know their names). This would make a great addition to an All-Age service, or as part of a church service during Advent. Find someone in your congregation with a great reading voice. You might even like to have them sit in a comfy arm chair with a lamp for light. 

For extra drama, soak a little frankincense or myrrh oil onto cotton-wool balls and pass these out before you read the poem. Let people smell the spice of the wise kings gifts, as they listen to the poem, and take home the cotton-wool ball as a reminder. 

The Three Kings 
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Three Kings came riding from far away,
Melchior and Gaspar and Baltasar;
Three Wise Men out of the East were they,
And they travelled by night and they slept by day,
For their guide was a beautiful, wonderful star.

And when they came to Jerusalem,
Herod the Great, who had heard this thing,
Sent for the Wise Men and questioned them;
And said, “Go down unto Bethlehem,
And bring me tidings of this new king.”

So they rode away; and the star stood still,
The only one in the grey of morn;
Yes, it stopped—it stood still of its own free will,
Right over Bethlehem on the hill,
The city of David, where Christ was born.

And the Three Kings rode through the gate and the guard,
Through the silent street, till their horses turned
And neighed as they entered the great inn-yard;
But the windows were closed, and the doors were barred,
And only a light in the stable burned.

And cradled there in the scented hay,
In the air made sweet by the breath of kine,
The little child in the manger lay,
The child, that would be king one day
Of a kingdom not human, but divine.

His mother Mary of Nazareth
Sat watching beside his place of rest,
Watching the even flow of his breath,
For the joy of life and the terror of death
Were mingled together in her breast.

They laid their offerings at his feet:
The gold was their tribute to a King,
The frankincense, with its odor sweet,
Was for the Priest, the Paraclete,
The myrrh for the body’s burying.

And the mother wondered and bowed her head,
And sat as still as a statue of stone,
Her heart was troubled yet comforted,
Remembering what the Angel had said
Of an endless reign and of David’s throne.

Then the Kings rode out of the city gate,
With a clatter of hoofs in proud array;
But they went not back to Herod the Great,
For they knew his malice and feared his hate,
And returned to their homes by another way.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

12. Jesus has his first visitors.

Matariki - celebrating together the Māori New Year!

The Colours of Sunday