Journey of the Magi
How we cite our quotes:
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death. (38-39)
Far from being a cause for celebration (as the Bible very clearly depicts it), Jesus's birth is "hard and bitter agony" for the Magi. Um, awkward. Because, as we've talked about a bit already, with the literal birth comes a metaphorical birth (of Christianity) and a metaphorical death (of pretty much everything the Magi are used to). We'll get to the death part in a bit, but for now what's important is that the witnessing of the birth of Jesus brings it all home for the Magi, who suddenly realize the full implications of the event.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation, (40-41)
To continue in the vein of post-birth-of-Jesus suffering, this passage has the Magi back in their palaces, surveying what they know will soon be a lost way of life. Upon seeing the actual baby, they totally get it. After all, seeing is believing. All that physical discomfort they experienced on the journey fades into the background, only to be replaced by sheer mental anguish. Welcome to the wonderful world, baby Jesus?