5 APRIL 1957, Page 12

Christmas Hymn for My Father

When I was young and naughty, I said to myself, said I : 'If I live to the age of forty 'Twill be time for me to die.

`For a man he is old at forty And the silver cord is loose; And he, who no more may be naughty, Is really not much more use.'

But now that I've lived past forty, I do not wish to die And, though not quite so naughty I say to myself, say I : `A man, he is young at forty, And young, dear Father, are you; For if life's lessons once be well taught, we Can be young at a hundred too.'

So blessed be the day that bore us, And blessed the end of our way; For the God, who walks before us Blessed both first and seventh day.

Though the grasshopper be a burden, Though the voice of the grinders sound low, Yet joy is the Christian's guerdon, Such joy as Christians know.

For we worship the Babe in the Manger Though we rise at the voice of the bird; And man, to earth a stranger, Welcomes the living Word, That took up this life in December Our Lord of Suffering, And rose, do you not remember, Triumphant in the Spring?