Gates and Doors
(For Richardson Little Wright)
There was a gentle hostler
   (And blessed be his name!)
He opened up the stable
   The night Our Lady came.
Our Lady and Saint Joseph,
   He gave them food and bed,
And Jesus Christ has given him
   A glory round his head.
So let the gate swing open
   However poor the yard,
Lest weary people visit you
   And find their passage barred;
Unlatch the door at midnight
   And let your lantern’s glow
Shine out to guide the traveler’s feet
   To you across the snow.
There was a courteous hostler
   (He is in Heaven to-night)
He held Our Lady’s bridle
   And helped her to alight;
He spread clean straw before her
   Whereon she might lie down,
And Jesus Christ has given him
   An everlasting crown.
Unlock the door this evening
   And let your gate swing wide,
Let all who ask for shelter
   Come speedily inside.
What if your yard be narrow?
   What if your house be small?
There is a Guest is coming
   Will glorify it all.
There was a joyous hostler
   Who knelt on Christmas morn
Beside the radiant manger
   Wherein his Lord was born.
His heart was full of laughter,
   His soul was full of bliss
When Jesus, on His Mother’s lap,
   Gave him His hand to kiss.
Unbar your heart this evening
   And keep no stranger out,
Take from your soul’s great portal
   The barrier of doubt.
To humble folk and weary
   Give hearty welcoming,
Your breast shall be to-morrow
   The cradle of a King.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created April 1, 2001; not revised.