When Joseph went to Bethlehem
I think he took great care
To place his tools and close his shop
And leave no shavings there.
He urged the donkey forward,
Then, with Mary on its back,
And carried bread and goat cheese
In a little linen sack.
I think there at the busy inn
That he was meek and milk
And awed to be the guardian
Of Mary's sacred Child.
Perhaps all through the chilly hours
He smoothed the swaddling bands,
And Jesus felt the quiet strength of
Joseph's gentle hands.
And close beside the manger bed
He dimmed the lantern's light,
And held the little Jesus close upon
That holy night.