Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Christmas poem by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) is famous for novels like Far From the Madding Crowd, Tess of the D'urbervilles,  The Mayor of Casterbridge, and Jude the Obscure. The latter was so controversial that he gave up writing novels and turned to poetry. Below is is poem, "The Oxen":

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.