by Edward Thomas
Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flowers of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass.
Christ and The Pagan
by John Bannister Tabb
I had no God but these,
The sacerdotal Trees,
And they uplifted me.
‘I hung upon a Tree.’
The sun and moon I saw,
And reverential awe
Subdued me day and night.
‘I am the perfect Light.’
Within a lifeless Stone-
All other gods unknown-
I sought Divinity.
‘The Corner-Stone am I.’
For sacrificial feast
I slaughtered man and beast,
Red recompense to gain.
‘So I, a Lamb, was slain.
‘Yea; such My hungering Grace
That wheresoe’er My face
Is hidden, none may grope
Beyond eternal Hope.’
Immensity, cloister’d in thy dear womb,
Now leaves His well-beloved imprisonment.
There he hath made himself to his intent
Weak enough, now into our world to come.
But O! for thee, for Him, hath th’ inn no room?
Yet lay Him in this stall, and from th’ orient,
Stars, and wise men will travel to prevent
The effects of Herod’s jealous general doom.
See’st thou, my soul, with thy faith’s eye, how He
Which fills all place, yet none holds Him, doth lie?
Was not His pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pitied by thee?
Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go,
With His kind mother, who partakes thy woe.
Song to Our Mother
At the foot of the hill
Where the roses bloomed
I contemplate the Virgin
Who captured my heart.
Mother mine of Guadalupe
Mother mine, all love,
We beg thee to give us
Thy benediction and peace.
No other nation on earth
Has been so blessed by God
For that the Indians of Mexico
Carry thee in their hearts.
The name that brings us joy,
May it be ever on our lips
With great devotion.
Mayest thou be praised in heaven
Sweet Virgin Mother of God
And on earth beloved
From end to end of our land.
On Tepeyac she appeared
Like a divine Star
She is there to be our light
To protect and guide us.
Glory to the Immortal Princess
Who freed us from great evil
And to make us happy
She crushed the serpent.
The name that brings us solace
It’s the name of my mother,
Of my mother and of God’s.
by Anne B. Quinn
An Indian’s brown cheek curved to a dusky rose,
Once long ago upon Tepeyac’s barren hill
When winter roses bloomed
And roses were mere roses in the glowing laughter
of the lady’s smile.
‘My little son. I love you.’ So all Tepeyac’s holy hill
Now sang an Indian lullaby of roses and wild birds.
A sword of silver cuts the fields asunder—
A silver sword to-night, a lake in June—
And plains of snow reflect, the maples under,
The silver arrows of a wintry moon.
The trees are white with moonlight and with ice-pearls;
The trees are white, like ghosts we see in dreams;
The air is still: there are no moaning wind-whirls;
And one sees silence in the quivering beams.
December night, December night, how warming
Is all thy coldness to the Christian soul:
Thy very peace at each true heart is storming
In potent waves of love that surging roll.
December night, December night, how glowing
Thy frozen rains upon our warm hearts lie:
Our God upon this vigil is bestowing
A thousand graces from the silver sky.
O moon, O symbol of our Lady’s whiteness;
O snow, O symbol of our Lady’s heart;
O night, chaste night, bejewelled with argent brightness,
How sweet, how bright, how loving, kind thou art.
O miracle: to-morrow and to-morrow,
In tender reverence shall no praise abate;
For from all seasons shall we new jewels borrow
To deck the Mother born Immaculate.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
and on the wall pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sobering thought came to m mind.
For this house was different, so dark and so dreary,
the home of a soldier, now I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, children would play,
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoy freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help wondering how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,
my life is my god, my country, my corps.”
The soldier rolled over and soon drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still,
and we both shivered from the cold evening’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark, night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, “Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas day, all is secure.”
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
“Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.”