Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Advent Poem 9

From Highest Heaven, On Joyous Wing
by Martin Luther

From highest Heaven, on joyous wing,
I come to you good news to bring;
Good news I bring, a plenteous store,
Whereof my song shall tell you more.

For unto you, this happy morn,
Of virgin meek and pure, is born
A holy Child, a gentle Boy,
To be your bliss and chiefest joy.

It is the Christ, our God indeed,
The very help poor sinners need;
He will Himself your Savior be,
From sin and sorrow set you free.

To you the blessedness He bears,
Which God the Father’s love prepares,
That in His heavenly kingdom blest,
You may with us for ever rest.

So mark ye well the signs I show,
The swaddling bands, the manger low;
There shall ye find the young Child laid,
By whom the universe was made.

Then let us all right merry be,
And with the shepherds go and see
The gift which God to us hath given,
His own dear Son sent down from Heaven.

Mark thou, my heart, look well mine eyes,
What yonder in the manger lies!
What Child is that so wondrous fair?
The little Jesus lieth there.

Welcome, thrice welcome, noble Guest!
The sinner’s friend, the mourner’s rest;
For coming thus to grief and me,
How can I thank Thee worthily?

Ah! mighty Lord, who madest all,
How couldst Thou make Thyself so small,
To lie upon the coarse dry grass,
The food of humble ox and ass?

And were the world ten times as wide,
With gold and jewels beautified,
It would be far too small to be
A little cradle, Lord, for Thee?

Thy silk and velvet are coarse hay,
Thy swaddling bands the mean array,
With which e’en Thou, a King so great,
Art clad as with a robe of state.

And thus, perhaps, it pleaseth Thee
To make this truth quite plain to me,
That worldly honor, wealth, and might
Are mean and worthless in Thy sight.

Ah! Jesus, lay Thy gentle head,
And make Thyself a clean, soft bed
Here in the corner of my heart,
That I and Thou may never part.

So will I ever joyful be,
And sing and dance right merrily,
As mothers sing, the cradle nigh,
Their sweetest, softest lullaby.

Now praise we God on His high throne,
Who giveth us His only Son!
Such the good news the angels bring,
Such the new year of which they sing.