Advent to Candlemas (Vol. 4)

The Christmas Show

There is no snow to cloak the barren rocks,
Blurring the outlines of the scrawny flocks;
The wind shifts from a whisper to a shout,
The rain seems not to pacify the drought.

He shall not want that picturesque display
Of passing beauty, soon grown thin and grey;
But songs of sheltering shepherds at the gate,
Grumbling at wind and weather as they wait.

For nature's core is not the high romance
Of peak and glade, but human circumstance;
The beauty of his birth lies in its mess,
The ingrained human trait of incompleteness.

Of craft and artifice, there was the trough,
Where he was laid in coarse but wholesome cloth,
The star that hovered over Bethlehem,
The nearest form of brightness to a gem.

But can we bear the lash of wind and rain,
His cold so close to death where he was lain?
Or shall we keep the sheen of perfect snow,
The sentimental, pretty Christmas show?