A Christmas Day Poem

Alas, our journey to the headwaters of Advent and Fragmentia – Adventia – has reached its glorious end. The beginning of new hope, a new road; the way of peace, grace, love, forgiveness. All of it hidden consequentially, but stealthily, in a shivering child born in the trailer park of ancient Israel. To such an inauspicious entrance for grandiose purpose, I think this piece by Cecil Day-Lewis a fitting conclusion to our spiritual and literary sojourn.

Merry Christmas, dear friends…

The Christmas Rose

What is the flower that blooms each year
In flowerless days,
Making a little blaze
On the bleak earth, giving my heart some cheer?

Harsh the sky and hard the ground
When the Christmas rose is found.
Look! its white star, low on earth,
Rays a vision of rebirth.

Who is the child that’s born each year —
His bedding, straw:
His grace, enough to thaw
My wintering life, and melt a world’s despair?

Harsh the sky and hard the earth
When the Christmas child comes forth.
Look! around a stable throne
Beasts and wise men are at one.

What men are we that, year on year,
We Herod-wise
In our cold wits devise
A death of innocents, a rule of fear?

Hushed your earth, full-starred your sky
For a new nativity:
Be born in us, relieve our plight,
Christmas child, you rose of light!

Cecil Day-Lewis was once the Poet Laureate England. He was only child of Rev. F. C. Day-Lewis and father of Daniel Day-Lewis. He was born in 1904 in Ballintubbert House, County Queen’s in Ireland (now Co. Laois). When Cecil was four, his mother died and the family moved to England. This poem is from “C. Day-Lewis, The Complete Poems,” Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA (1992).

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