Long lay the world in sin and error pining
     Till he appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoicing
     For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn.
-John Sullivan Dwight 

All the nations grope about in the dark
to find some substance true beneath the rust
beside the sodden leaves and blooming mold–
something dry enough to catch a spark.
To burn and forge fresh life from dying dust–
to burn away this fog and banish cold
from our fingers. I note the day and mark
the hour; it’s late December. The dawn must
come; it must. The night grows too long, too old.
A light must come to spare the dying, spare the old,
from this world of wet and winter. There must
be an end. Some strange Eastern star to mark
a noble birth and lead old men through the cold
across their deserts full of dirt and dust
or full of salt and spray. They pray for a spark
to wake the Sun from slumber. Then to mold
new men from the mud and mire. For the rust
is in our blood and our homes we’ve made of dark.