The Oxen by Thomas Hardy for Christmas Eve

                                       The Oxen

by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
written in 1915
A poem for Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, everyone.

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock,
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come, see the oxen kneel

In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom
Hoping it might be so.

 

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