Brush the floor and clean the hearth, And set the fire to keep, For they might visit us tonight When all the world's asleep. Don't blow the tall white candle out But leave it burning bright, So that they'll know they're welcome here This holy Christmas night. Leave out the bread and meat for them, And sweet milk for the Child, And they will bless the fire, that baked And, too, the hands that toiled. For Joseph will be travel-tired, And Mary pale and wan, And they can sleep a little while Before they journey on. They will be weary of the roads, And rest will comfort them, For it must be many a lonely mile From here to Bethlehem. O long the road they have to go, The bad mile with the good, Till the journey ends on Calvary Beneath a cross of wood. Leave the door upon the latch, And set the fire to keep, And pray they'll rest with us tonight When all the world's asleep.
-- Sigerson Clifford