The first paragraph lists the tribulations of the journey: from inclement weather, inhospitable terrain, recalcitrant camels and servants, the hostile populace and dearth of even basic amenities like warmth and shelter, to cautionary voices pointing out the absurdity of this voyage. The Magus regrets leaving behind the luxury of his palace. He admits, “A hard time we had of it”. But all the privation encountered does not deter the Magi. They do not surrender to despair or heed the admonition of the mocking inner voices. On the contrary, their resolve hardens and they “preferred to travel at night”, hastening forward in the confidence and hope that that their belief in the significance of the journey will be vindicated ultimately.
Similarly, the second paragraph commences and concludes on a note of hope. The enlightenment of dawn, the serenity of a “temperate valley”, with its’ connotations of fertility and plenty, the “running stream” alluding to Christ as the ‘living waters’ of Biblical thought, which can satisfy every spiritual want and the defeat of the darkness of ignorance and despair by the water-mill are all unambiguous symbols of hope, as is the arrival at the scene of the Nativity.