As a Christmas treat to Ledbury Reporter readers, Ledbury clergyman, The Revd Martyn Sanders has composed his own touching version of the famous poem, The Night Before Christmas, by Clement Clarke Moore.

The night before Christmas

Rev Martyn Sanders

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the inn

there was noise and commotion, an incredible din.

The innkeeper was busy, his rooms were all taken

Most arrived for a census, the nation was shaken

Their animals watered, their children were fed

and for many they shared the same floor for their bed.

But soon it was quiet as all fell asleep,

save for sheep on the hills –

you could just hear them bleat.

The silence was broken by a knock at the door –

a man and his wife,

expecting one more.

“I’ve nowhere to put you,” the innkeeper said,

“But go to the stable, where there’s straw for your bed.”

So they lay themselves down and prepared for the night

When soon the young girl received such a fright.

The time had come for her baby was due

But poor old Joseph didn’t know what to do.

In the still of the night the baby was born,

New life in the world – a new era had dawned.

Then on the dark hillside a glorious sound

Was heard by those woken as it echoed around

‘Peace on the earth and good will to all men’

But no one quite realised its significance then.

Now shepherds were out with their flocks for the grazing

When angels appeared, the sight was amazing

‘Go see the young boy who’s laid in a manger

He’ll welcome you all for no one’s a stranger.

So leaving their sheep they hurried on down

to locate the new born in Bethlehem town.

And there they did find as the angels had said

A Mum and her child with straw for his bed.

They went back to their sheep and as if with one voice

They gave thanks to God and to him did rejoice.

It made such a disturbance, for right through the town

The shepherd’s exuberance just echoed around.

So news of the angels and the baby they saw

Spread with excitement no one could ignore.

Then the mid-wife suggested the Mum get some rest

So she curled up in the straw as if making a nest

And checking the baby was safe in the manger

And that neither of them was in any danger

She tiptoed outside for her work was done

Leaving the woman to be with her son.

So, Mary, the mother, looked back on the night

And turning to God, prayed she’d done what was right

And pondered how life would be different now on

Not just for her, but for everyone.