by Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928)

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock
Language: English 
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]1
[They]2 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.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
First published in The Times, December 1915
1 omitted by Gibbs.
2 Gibbs: "As they"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2015-02-19 16:08:06
Line count: 16
Word count: 106