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Successe un Natale che presto al mattino

due vicini si recaron da un amico ciabattino.


Trovarono il negozio, sempre scuro e spoglio
abbellito da rami di abete ed agrifoglio.

It happened one day at the years white end;


Two neighbors called on an old-time friend.
They found his shop, so meager and mean,
Made bright with a thousand boughs of
green.

Corrado sedeva, con il volto illuminato,


depose lo stivale che aveva aggiustato
e disse agli amici: Miei cari, stamattina
al canto del gallo, quando lalba si avvicina,
in un sogno il Signore si messo a parlare
e ha detto: Oggi ospite ti vengo a trovare.
Mi son quindi affrettato, ci vuol tempo, sapete,
ad ornare la casa di rami dabete.
La tavola pronta, imbandita con orgoglio,
le travi del soffitto son coperte dagrifoglio.
Ora attendo soltanto che il Signore compaia.
Son qui in attesa dei suoi passi sulla ghiaia;
si avvicina e son pronto, allimprovviso
ad aprire la porta e ammirare il suo viso.
And Conrad was sitting with face a-shine,
When he suddenly stopped as he stitched a twine,
And said, Old friends, at dawn today,
When the cock was crowing the night away,
The Lord appeared in a dream to me,
And said, `Im coming your guest to be.
So Ive been busy with feet astir,
Strewing my shop with branches of fir.
The table is spread and the kettle is shined
And over the rafters, the holly is twined.
And now I will wait for my Lord to appear,
And listen closely so I will hear
His step as He nears my humble place,
And I open the door and look in His face.

Se ne vanno gli amici e Corrado si appresta


a godersi felice questo giorno di festa.
Son Natali di lutto quelli che passato
da quando i suoi cari lo hanno lasciato.
Col Signore che presto lo verr a trovare
il Natale pi bello che possa passare.
fremente in attesa, ha la gioia nel cuore,
a ogni suono sobbalza, saffaccia con tremore.
D unocchiata per vedere se l che laspetta,
in risposta alla preghiera che con fervore ha
detta.

So his friends went home and left Conrad alone,


For this was the happiest day he had known.
For long since, his family had passed away,
And Conrad had spent a sad Christmas Day.
But he knew with his Lord as his Guest,
This Christmas would be the dearest and best.
He listened with only joy in his heart,
And with every sound, he would rise with
a start.
And look for the Lord to be standing there,
In answer to his earnest prayer.

Corre alla finestra ad ogni suono che ode,


ma tutto quel che vede la neve che cade.
Ecco ... No, un mendico, ha le scarpe sfondate;
le sue vesti son stracci, son mal rattoppate.
Ma Corrado colpito, gli apre la porta,
gli dice: C un freddo che non si sopporta;
ho qui delle scarpe per i tuoi piedi gelati
e vestiti pesanti che non sono strappati.
Se nand presto luomo, caldo e rifocillato,
ma Corrado not il gran tempo passato.
Chiss mai perch ritardava il Signore,
c'era forse da attendere molte altre ore?

So he ran to the window after hearing a sound,


But all that he saw on the snow-covered ground
Was a shabby beggar whose shoes were torn,
And all of his clothes were ragged and worn.
So Conrad was touched and went to the door,
And he said , Your feet must be frozen and sore.
I have some shoes in my shop for you,
And a coat that will keep you warmer, too.
So with grateful heart, the man went away,
But as Conrad noticed the time of day,
He wondered what made his dear Lord so late,
And how much longer hed have to wait.

Sent un tocco alla porta e guard da un pertugio,


ma era solo qualcuno che chiedeva rifugio:
una vecchia, coperta solo da una mantellina,
ingobbita dal peso di una grossa fascina.
Chiedeva soltanto un po di caldo e riposo.
Aspetto un ospite, disse lui, non oso.
Ti prego, implorava, dove vuoi che vada?
Natale, non mettermi al freddo per strada.
Corrado le fece una tazza di brodo,
la fece sedere alla mensa a suo modo;
ma quando fu andata si sent disperare,
vedendo che il tempo continuava a passare.
Il Signore non veniva come aveva annunciato.
Corrado pens che sera proprio sbagliato.
When he heard a knock, he ran to the door,
But it was only a stranger once more;
A bent old crone with a shawl of black,
A bundle of branches piled on her back.
She asked for only a place to rest,
But that was reserved for Conrads Great Guest.
But her voice seemed to plead, Dont send me away,
Let me rest for a while on Christmas Day.
So Conrad brewed her a steaming cup,
And told her to sit at the table and sup.
But after she left, he was filled with dismay,
For he saw that the hours were passing away.
The Lord had not come, as He said He would,
And Conrad felt sure he had misunderstood.

Nel silenzio dimprovviso si sent una vocina:


Aiuto, vi prego, mi son persa e son piccina.
Fu di nuovo deluso, certo, ma che importa?
Scacci la tristezza e and ad aprire la porta.
Era solo una bimba che sera allontanata
per caso e smarrita in quella giornata.
Corrado si sentiva anche lui triste e smarrito,
ma limportante era la bimba, laveva capito
La fece entrare, le asciug il pianto,
le tolse ogni traccia di tristezza e spavento,
poi la riport dai suoi genitori.
Torn chera buio sia in casa che fuori.

Then out of the stillness, he heard a cry,


Please help me and tell me where am I?
He stood disappointed, as twice before,
But shook off his sadness and went to the door.
It was only a child who had wandered away,
And was lost from her family on Christmas Day.
Again Conrads heart was heavy and sad
But he knew he should make this little girl glad.
So he called her in and wiped her tears,
And quieted all her childish fears.

Ormai il Signore non sarebbe arrivato,


quel giorno di Natale era tutto passato.
Sal nella sua stanza e cominci a pregare:
Perch, Signore, ti sei fatto aspettare?
Che cosa ha mai potuto trattenerti,
quando il mio desiderio era solo vederti?
Il silenzio fu rotto da una voce, una sola:
Rialza il capo, ho mantenuto la parola.

Then he led her back to her home once more.


But as he entered his darkened door,
He knew that the Lord was not coming today
For the hours of Christmas had passed away.
So he went to his room and knelt down to pray,
And he said, Dear Lord, why did You delay?
What kept You from coming to call on me?
For I wanted so much Your face to see.
When soft in the silence, a voice he heard:
Lift up your head, for I kept My Word.

Tre volte la mia ombra su di te si sporta,


tre volte ho varcato la tua porta.
Ero il mendico vecchio, lacero e spossato.
Ero la vecchia che hai rifocillato.
Ero la bimba smarrita che hai confortato.

Three times My shadow crossed your floor,


Three times I came to your lonely door.
For I was the beggar with bruised, cold feet.
I was the woman you gave to eat.
And I was the child on the homeless street.

In verit vi dico: tutte le volte che l'avete


fatto ad uno di questi miei minimi fratelli,
l'avete fatto a me". (Matteo 25:40, LND)

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of


the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me. (Matthew 25:40, NIV)

Presentation by www.freekidstories.org. Text The Family International.


Photo Credits:
Page 1 & background image courtesy of 123rf.com
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Page 3 Courtesy of Alykat via Flickr

Page 4 Courtesy of Tinou Bau via Flickr


Page 5 Courtesy of WageIndicator Paulien Osse via Flickr
Page 6 Courtesy of .aG via Flickr