Her mother said, "It's no concern;
When you're with child you have to learn
That ankles which were once quite thin
Swell, near the end, like new wine skin;
And sandal straps sink as in clay
And leave prophetic lines which say
The child is near. The child is near."
As if there weren't enough to fear
Beloved Joseph brings the word
Which gentle Mary calls absurd:
"That in a fortnight, when he's due
I'm just to up and go with you
A four day's walk with child and packs
Because the Caesar wants his tax!"
But Mary didn't want to stay
Alone with Joseph far away.
And he explained he had to go.
"I've something here I'd like to show,"
He said, and stepped outside. "I bought
Old Eli's mule because I thought
You'd like to ride. Old Eli said
This lantern in the sack has led
Him to Jerusalem at night
A hundred times. ‘It gives good light,'"
He said. Then held it up and smiled:
"A gift from Eli for the child."
Today we light that lamp anew
And call it advent candle two.