Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
The Hostage
By Walter de la Mare
      IN dead of dark to his starry North
      Saint Nicholas drew near—
      He had ranged the world this wintry night,
      His elk-bells jangling clear.
      Now bitter-worn with age was he,        5
      And weary of mankind, for few
      Had shown him love or courtesy.
      His sacks lay empty—all save one;
      And this to his affright
      Stirred as he stooped with fingers numb,        10
      Ablaze with hoar-frost bright.
      Aghast he stood. Showed fumbling thumb,
      Small shoulder, a wing—what stowaway
      Was this, and whence was ’t come?
      And out there crept a lovely Thing—        15
      Half angel and half child:
“I, youngest of all Heaven, am here, to be thy joy,” he smiled.
“O Nicholas, our Master Christ thy grief hath seen; and He
Hath bidden me come to keep His tryst, and bring His love to thee:
To serve thee well, and sing Nowell, and thine own son to be.”        20

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