Five years ago I wrote this poem in memory of my Granny and celebration of Christmas. I’ve always loved it and so I thought I would share it again, in this space. For my family this poem is very special and I hope it speaks to you as well. The woman in the poem was even better than she sounds and I hope her legacy is able to touch many more people through this poem!
Twas the Night when Granny Knelt
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
Us children were nestled all snug in our beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in our heads.
And Granny in her chair, the last one awake
Sat and bowed her head, for all of our sake
When I in my bed heard a small chatter
I woke from my sleep to see what was the matter.
I ran down the hall and I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The Christmas tree lights put off such a glow
Giving lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But my Granny alone, knelt down in prayer.
With a quiver in her voice, so very sincere
I knew in a moment she prayed to God with cheer
More rapid than eagles her coursers they came,
And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Brandon! now, Daniel! now, Alisha and Brittany!
On, Luci! On, Gabby! on Kate, and Amberly!
Watch Isabelle and Faith! Kane, Hope and Audrey so small!
Now watch them Lord! Save them! Keep them safe all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So when trouble they meet, they’ll know what is true,
With hearts full of joy, and Jesus Christ too.
And then, in a twinkling, the bright sun will rise
The children will open and examine each prize
As I drew in my head, I heard her slowly say
Don’t let them forget who was born on this day
He was dressed in swaddling cloth, from his head to his foot,
And in a manger he laid with ashes and soot.
No bundle of Toys he had in his hand,
Yet Shepherds still came from each distant land
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And a drop of his blood can cleanse white as the snow.
His mother, she held him tight in her arms
Like Granny holds us when we face alarms
With illusion in mind I remember my place
There still knelt Granny, not a break in her pace
She was caring and strong, never thought of herself
And I sighed when I saw her, in spite of myself!
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
Though she spotted me I know I had nothing to dread.
She spoke not a word, but motioned me near,
She lead me to sit by her and not fear
And gently lacing her fingers through mine
She let me listen to her prayer’s final closing line.
Lord thank you for sending your son for our sake
In your hands all my children I pray you will take.
Now I shall leave you, on this Christmas nigh
With Happy Birthday my Jesus, I love you. Goodbye.
Twas the Night before Christmas
By Clement Moore