Through the quiet of the night
on a way beset with danger,
wind sighs chill, road lies dusty,
distant window lanterns shine.
Is there welcome in the town?
Are there friends among the strangers?
Is there room, is there comfort
for a woman near her time?

And they must have been so close
as they shut the door against you.
Welcome died upon their lips
before the word was even born.
They turned their heads, turned their backs,
turned their hearts and minds against you.
And you wept within the womb
to hear their bitter words of scorn.

Cross the vastness of the plain
on a way beset with danger,
desert harsh, desert empty,
distant star shines like the sun.
Is a new king to be found
in the squalor of the manger?
Is it true? Can a stable
hold the holy infant One?

And they must have been so close
as they lay their gifts before you.
Praises whispered from their lips
in the quiet of the air.
They bowed their heads, bent their knees,
raised their voices to adore you.
And you stirred within the stall
to hear the music of their prayer.

To a hill smooth as a skull
on a way beset with danger,
thorns gash deep, whips lash bloody,
distant voices shout your crime.
Is there virtue in a world
where your friends all call you stranger?
Is there hope? Is there comfort
for a young man near his time?

And they must have been so close
bringing pain so long expected,
curses pouring from their lips
as brutal nails were driven home.
They wiped your blood from their hands,
heaven once again rejected,
and you cried upon the cross
to bear the sins of man alone.

Jim Wood
© Jim Wood / admin. The Jubilate Group
These words are set as an anthem to music by John Curtis. See the tune SO CLOSE