The Vigil of Joseph

Joseph chose to believe God’s unbelievable plan. But imagine what thoughts must still have harried his heart. In 1910, poet Elsa Barker did.

Detail from “The Dream of St Joseph” (1773-74) by Anton Raphael Mengs
Click here to see the full painting

The Vigil of Joseph
by Elsa Barker

After the Wise Men went, and the strange star
Had faded out, Joseph the father sat
Watching the sleeping Mother and the Babe,
And thinking stern, sweet thoughts the long night through.

“Ah, what am I, that God has chosen me
To bear this blessed burden, to endure
Daily the presence of this loveliness,
To guide this Glory that shall guide the world?

“Brawny these arms to win Him bread, and broad
This bosom to sustain Her. But my heart
Quivers in lonely pain before that Beauty
It loves — and serves — and cannot understand!”

from The Frozen Grail and other poems by elsa barker
(duffield & Company, 1910)

One thought on “The Vigil of Joseph

  1. The gospel in action: What blessed burden has God called you to bear? How, like Joseph, have you resolved to bear it for Him?

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