Silence Falls

Silence falls in moonlight on a manger bare
in the gath’ring midnight, ‘ere the shepherds’ care;
in darkness waiting, still in death’s own fold,
we anticipate the ancient story told.

Silence falls in whispers, voices hushed in fear;
hearts will quake at this: the time is drawing near.
Though kings may plait for him a crown of thorns,
we anticipate the kingdom yet unborn.

Silence falls in heartache, silence pools in blood;
stillness in the earthquake, shelter in the flood.
Time seems to wait, the whole world holds its breath;
we anticipate the last approach of death.

Silence falls in sorrow on the sylvan hill;
silence in the graveyard, all waits cold and still.
Too long we pace the paths among the tombs;
we anticipate a new way coming soon.

Silence falls in wonder in the light of dawn;
heavens rent asunder, darkness now is gone.
Stone rolled away, the tomb yields up its prize.
We anticipate with sunlight in our eyes.

Note: Written as an Advent/Paschal Vigil hymn, this poem may be sung to the tune NOEL NOUVELET (the tune for the familiar French Christmas carol, “Sing We Now of Christmas”).