Blessed be the innocent

A reader thinking about the child victims in Newtown, Conn. remembers her grandmother's poem.

To the Editor,

I was thinking of the children of Newtown while going through old papers when a small piece of paper slipped from between cards and special keepsakes my Mother had carefully folded away. On it is a poem by Annie Johnson Flint entitled Spirit of Christmas.

And, in my maternal grandmother’s handwriting is the notation “How true”.

The poem reads:

“I question if Christmas can ever be “merry”

Except to the heart of an innocent child.

For when time has taught us the meaning of sorrow

When all the green graves that lie scattered behind us

And echoes of voices that no more shall greet us

Have saddened the chimes of the bright Christmas day,

We may not be merry, the long years forbid it,

But we may be happy, if only we carry

The Spirit of Christmas deep down in our hearts.

Hence I shall not wish you the old “Merry Christmas,”

Since that is of shadowless childhood a part,

But one that is holy and happy and peaceful,

The Spirit of Christmas deep down in your heart.”

Both Nana and Mum have gone now, but Nana used to say that “the Lord works in mysterious ways —His wonders to unfold”. Surely it’s not so mysterious this poem should suddenly reveal itself now in light of Newtown’s grief. Along with a comforting reminder that there were surely angels assigned to guide all the souls crossing over that day, especially the children.

Liz Stonard,

Port Alberni