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Christmas Light   By:

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Christmas Light

[Illustration]

Christmas Light

BY ETHEL CALVERT PHILLIPS

With Illustrations

[Illustration]

BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY The Riverside Press Cambridge 1922

COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY ETHEL CALVERT PHILLIPS

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Riverside Press CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

TO

MY MOTHER

Light of the world, the world is dark about Thee; Far out on Judah's hills the night is deep. Not yet the day is come when men shall doubt Thee, Not yet the hour when Thou must wake and weep; O little one, O Lord of Glory, sleep!

Love of all heaven, love's arms are folded round Thee, Love's heart shall be the pillow for Thy cheek. Not yet the hour has come when hate shall wound Thee, Not yet for shelter vainly must Thou seek. Rest, little one, so mighty and so weak.

Lie still and rest, Thou Rest of earth and heaven; Rest, little hands our Hope of bliss ye keep; Rest, little heart one day shalt Thou be riven; O newborn Life, O Life eternal, sleep! Far out on Judah's hills the night is deep.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

Contents

I. Naomi's Garden 1

II. One Sabbath 20

III. The Trip to Jerusalem 37

IV. In the Dark 60

V. All the World Comes Visiting 73

VI. The Shepherds 88

VII. In a Manger 101

VIII. The Light of the World 116

[Illustration]

Christmas Light

CHAPTER I

NAOMI'S GARDEN

It was in a little garden in the village of Bethlehem, many and many a year ago, that four scarlet poppies stood side by side and swayed gently back and forth upon their slim green stalks in the soft afternoon wind.

A little girl came running over the grass and halted before the poppies.

"How beautiful you are!" said the little girl, whose name was Naomi, and who was eight years old.

She clasped her hands before her in delight, and stood smiling down upon the flowers that seemed to nod courteously in reply.

This little Jewish girl had dark curling hair and gentle brown eyes. Her cheeks were as rosy as the poppies, and she wore a gay little robe of scarlet and yellow striped stuff, while upon her bare brown feet were tied soft leather sandals.

"How beautiful you are!" said Naomi again to the poppies. "You are mine, for I made you grow, and you are the most beautiful flowers in all our lovely garden."

And she looked as proudly round the tiny garden plot as if it were as spacious and as wonderful as the famous gardens of the wicked King Herod, or even those of the Temple High Priest himself.

In the center of the grass plot stood an orange tree, and under it, in the shade of its glossy leaves, had been placed a light wooden bench. A tall hedge of prickly thorns prevented passers by on the narrow village street from peeping in. At one end a heavy grapevine clambered over a trellis, while at the other there were several rich clumps of myrtle that showed dark against the surrounding grass. Below the thorn hedge stood a row of bold flaunting tulips, and there were two flower beds, one of white, the other of tall red lilies.

The garden was indeed a pleasant place, and Naomi's happiest hours were spent here, whether playing peacefully alone, or amusing baby Jonas, or when the family gathered together under the orange tree, Father and Mother, brother Ezra, baby Jonas, and herself.

To be sure there were vines and flowers growing on the roof of Naomi's house, which was often used as a place to sit in the cool of the day and even to sleep when the house grew unbearably warm. For Naomi's dwelling looked like nothing so much as a square box turned upside down with only a door cut in the front and not a window to break the smooth white sides... Continue reading book >>




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