Innkeeper’s Excuses

I read this poem that i had come across to the Senior’s Christmas Meal and it went down a treat:

“Oh, if only I had known!”

Said the keeper of the inn.

“But no hint to me was shown,

And I didn’t let them in.
“Yes, a star gleamed overhead,

But I couldn’t read the skies,

And I’d given every bed

To the very rich and wise.
“And she was so poorly clad,

And he hadn’t much to say!

But no room for them I had,

So I ordered them away.
“She seemed tired, and it was late

And they begged so hard, that I

Feeling sorry for her state,

In the stable let them lie.
“Had I turned some rich man out

Just to make a place for them

‘Twould have killed, beyond a doubt,

All my trade at Bethlehem.
“Then there came the wise men three

To the stable, with the morn,

Who announced they’d come to see

The great King who had been born.
“And they brought Him gifts of myrrh,

Costly frankincense and gold,

And a great light shone on her

In the stable, bleak and cold.
“All my patrons, now are dead

And forgotten, but to-day

All the world to peace is led

By the ones I sent away
“It was my unlucky fate

To be born that Inn to own,

Against Christ I shut my gate�

Oh, if only I had known!”
From Collected Verse of Edgar Guest

NY:Buccaneer Books, 1976, pg. 614

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