A Ballad of Wise Men

Representative Text

1. When that our gentle Lord was born,
And cradled in the hay,
There rode three wise men from the east—
Three rich wise men were they—
All in the starry night they came
Their homage gifts to pay.

2. They got them down from camel-back,
The cattle shed before,
And in the darkness vainly sought
A great latch on the door;
Ho, this is strange, quoth Balthazar,
Aye, strange, quoth Melchior.

3. Quoth Gaspar, I can find no hasp,
Well hidden is the lock;
The door, quoth Melchior, is stout
And fast, our skill to mock;
Quoth Balthazar, The little King
Might wake, we dare not knock.

4. The three wise men they sat them down
To wait for morning dawn,
The cunning wards of that old door
They thought and marveled on;
Quoth they, No gate in all the East
Hath bar-bolts tighter drawn.

5. Anon there came a little lad
With lambskins for the King,
He had no key, he raised no latch,
He touched no hidden spring,
But gently pushed the silent door
And open it gan swing.

6. A miracle! a miracle!
Cried out the wise men three;
A little child hath solved the locks
That could not opened be.
In wonder spake the shepherd lad,
It hath no locks, quoth he.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #367

Author: George M. P. Baird

In 1909, Baird grad­u­at­ed from the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Pitts­burgh, where he ed­it­ed of the stu­dent year­book and wrote the lyr­ics to the school song. His works in­clude: Rune and Rann (Al­dine Press, 1916) The Book of Words of the Pa­geant and Masque of Free­dom (Pitts­burgh Char­ter Cen­ten­ni­al Com­mit­tee, 1916) The Sto­ry of Barn­ey May, Pi­o­neer (A­ldine Press, 1917) Mirage (Stew­art Kidd Com­pa­ny, 1922) The Heart o’ Ma­ry (S. French, Ltd., 1927) http://www.hymntime.com/tch/bio/b/a/i/baird_gmp.htm  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When that our gentle Lord was born
Title: A Ballad of Wise Men
Author: George M. P. Baird (1916)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



MORNING SONG is a folk tune that has some resemblance to the traditional English tune for "Old King Cole." The tune appeared anonymously in Part II of John Wyeth's (PHH 486) Repository of Sacred Music (1813). In 1816 it was credited to "Mr. Dean," which some scholars believe was a misprinted referen…

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The Cyber Hymnal #367
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The Cyber Hymnal #367

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