Come, Mary, come with me, beloved,
Come with me to Bethlehem.
Come to the house of bread
The home of my ancestors.
I want to take you home
To the place of belonging.
You are heavy with child
And we will take the journey steadily
Walking mile upon mile,
Stopping whenever you are weary.
You are young and fit and well;
I know you can make it.
I shall be counted among my own people
To satisfy the enumerators.
And maybe your child will be born there
And that will be a bond between us –
You child will be born in my home-town.
I know he is not my son, strictly speaking,
But to all intents and purposes,
To the friends and neighbours who look on us,
I shall be the father
And he the son.
Poor substitute that I am.
I will teach him the ways of my family
Of living kindly and generously.
I will teach him skills and crafts.
He will not want for anything I can provide.
Come, Mary, come with me, beloved.
Let us go to Bethlehem.
You will be safe with me.
We have been given a task, you and I,
And it begins in Bethlehem.
(c) Meg Gilley