Wednesday, 24 December 2008

The Oxen - Thomas Hardy

The Oxen by Thomas Hardy - a favourite Christmas poem of mine. He wrote it, I believe, on Christmas Eve 1916 . . .

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


Tea with Willow said...

Thank you for this BB - I don't know Hardy's poetry very well, but this is lovely - must read more of them in the New Year.

Merry Christmas to you.

Willow x

Greentwinsmummy said...

happy christmas BB x x x x

thelma said...

Happy Christmas to you and your family Jennie, you make it a lovely traditional time of the year. Thomas Hardy is a favourite ;)
Love Thelma xxx

Kim said...

Oh, that is a lovely poem.

Merry Christmas to you all :)

Kim x

nancy said...

Oh, AMEN! I love this one and am caught up in the same hope!