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when the song of angels is sung
Posted by: rikki (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 14, 2005 08:27PM

Christmas is just around the corner!



Christmas Lullaby for a New-Born Child


'Where did I come from, Mother, and why?'
'You slipped from the hand of Morn.
A child's clear eyes have wondered why
Since the very first child was born.'

'What shall I do here, Mother, and when?'
'You'll dream in a waking sleep,
Then sow your dreams in the minds of men
Till the time shall come to reap.'

'What do men long for, Mother, and why?'
'They long for a star's bright rays,
And when they have glimpsed a tiny light
They follow with songs of praise.'

'Where does that star shine, Mother, and when?'
It glows in the hearts of a few.
So close your eyes while I pray, dear child,
That the star may shine in you.'


Yvonne Gregory


Re: when the song of angels is sung
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: December 14, 2005 11:30PM


Messiah (Christmas Portions)
Mark Doty

A little heat caught
in gleaming rags,
in shrouds of veil,
torn and sun-shot swaddlings:

over the Methodist roof,
two clouds propose a Zion
of their own, blazing
(colors of tarnish on copper)

against the steely close
of a coastal afternoon, December,
while under the steeple
the Choral Society

prepares to perform
Messiah, pouring, in their best
blacks and whites, onto the raked stage.
Not steep, really,

but from here,
the first pew, they're a looming
cloudbank of familiar angels:
that neighbor who

fights operatically
with her girlfriend, for one,
and the friendly bearded clerk
from the post office

- tenor trapped
in the body of a baritone? Altos
from the A&P, soprano
from the T-shirt shop:

today they're all poise,
costume and purpose
conveying the right note
of distance and formality.

Silence in the hall,
anticipatory, as if we're all
about to open a gift we're not sure
we'll like;

how could they
compete with sunset's burnished
oratorio? Thoughts which vanish,
when the violins begin.

Who'd have thought
they'd be so good? Every valley,
proclaims the solo tenor,
(a sleek blonde

I've seen somewhere before
- the liquor store?) shall be exalted,
and in his handsome mouth the word
is lifted and opened

into more syllables
than we could count, central ah
dilated in a baroque melisma,
liquefied; the pour

of voice seems
to make the unplaned landscape
the text predicts the Lord
will heighten and tame.

This music
demonstrates what it claims:
glory shall be revealed. If art's
acceptable evidence,

mustn't what lies
behind the world be at least
as beautiful as the human voice?
The tenors lack confidence,

and the soloists,
half of them anyway, don't
have the strength to found
the mighty kingdoms

these passages propose
- but the chorus, all together,
equals my burning clouds,
and seems itself to burn,

commingled powers
deeded to a larger, centering claim.
These aren't anyone we know;
choiring dissolves

familiarity in an up-
pouring rush which will not
rest, will not, for a moment,
be still.

Aren't we enlarged
by the scale of what we're able
to desire? Everything,
the choir insists,

might flame;
inside these wrappings
burns another, brighter life,
quickened, now,

by song: hear how
it cascades, in overlapping,
lapidary waves of praise? Still time.
Still time to change.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Check out a bibliography of Christmas poetry here: [www.poets.org] />
Les


Re: when the song of angels is sung
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: December 14, 2005 11:35PM



AT CHRISTMAS

Edgar Guest


"A man is at his finest
towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be
when the Christmas season is here;
Then he's thinking more of others
than he's thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children
is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than
at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him
he comes close to the sublime.

When it's Christmas man is bigger
and is better in his part;
He is keener for the service
that is prompted by the heart.
All the petty thoughts and narrow
seem to vanish for awhile
And the true reward he's seeking
is the glory of a smile.
Then for others he is toiling and
somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas he is almost
what God wanted him to be.

If I had to paint a picture of a man
I think I'd wait
Till he'd fought his selfish battles
and had put aside his hate.
I'd not catch him at his labors
when his thoughts are all of pelf,
On the long days and the dreary
when he's striving for himself.
I'd not take him when he's sneering,
when he's scornful or depressed,
But I'd look for him at Christmas
when he's shining at his best.

Man is ever in a struggle
and he's oft misunderstood;
There are days the worst that's in him
is the master of the good,
But at Christmas kindness rules him
and he puts himself aside
And his petty hates are vanquished
and his heart is opened wide.
Oh, I don't know how to say it,
but somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas man is almost
what God sent him here to be."


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/2005 11:36PM by lg.


Re: when the song of angels is sung
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 15, 2005 07:05AM

Oh, I don't know how to say it,
but somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas man is almost
what God sent him here to be


According to this one, Les, it's not just men. Some boys too show improved behaviour at Christmastime.


Jest 'Fore Christmas
by Eugene Fields

Father calls me William, sister calls me Will,
Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill!
Mighty glad I ain't a girl---ruther be a boy,
Without them sashes, curls, an' things that's worn by Fauntleroy!
Love to chawnk green apples an' go swimmin' in the lake---
Hate to take the castor-ile they give for bellyache!
'Most all the time, the whole year round, there ain't no flies on me,
But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be!

Got a yeller dog named Sport, sick him on the cat;
First thing she knows she doesn't know where she is at!
Got a clipper sled, an' when us kids goes out to slide,
'Long comes the grocery cart, an' we all hook a ride!
But sometimes when the grocery man is worrited an' cross,
He reaches at us with his whip, an' larrups up his hoss,
An' then I laff an' holler, "Oh, ye never teched me!"
But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be!

Gran'ma says she hopes that when I git to be a man,
I'll be a missionarer like her oldest brother, Dan,
As was et up by the cannibuls that lives in Ceylon's Isle,
Where every prospeck pleases, an' only man is vile!
But gran'ma she has never been to see a Wild West show,
Nor read the Life of Daniel Boone, or else I guess she'd know
That Buff'lo Bill an' cowboys is good enough for me!
Excep' jest 'fore Christmas, when I'm good as I kin be!

And then old Sport he hangs around, so solemnlike an' still,
His eyes they seem a-sayin': "What's the matter, little Bill?"
The old cat sneaks down off her perch an' wonders what's become
Of them two enemies of hern that used to make things hum!
But I am so perlite an' tend so earnestly to biz,
That mother says to father: "How improved our Willie is!"
But father, havin' been a boy hisself, suspicions me
When, jest 'fore Christmas, I'm as good as I kin be!

For Christmas, with its lots an' lots of candies, cakes, an' toys,
Was made, they say, for proper kids an' not for naughty boys;
So wash yer face an' bresh yer hair, an' mind yer p's and q's,
An' don't bust out yer pantaloons, and don't wear out yer shoes;
Say "Yessum" to the ladies, and "Yessur" to the men,
An' when they's company, don't pass yer plate for pie again;
But, thinkin' of the things yer'd like to see upon that tree,
Jest 'fore Christmas be as good as yer kin be!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2005 07:06AM by IanB.


Re: when the song of angels is sung
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 15, 2005 09:43AM

All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
As the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by 'the Prince of Peace'
And they call him by 'the Savior'
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

But pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
We have need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus

jackson browne


Re: when the song of angels is sung
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 15, 2005 12:08PM

It must be timely to bring up the Henry Livingston versus Clement Moore authorship controversy again.

[www.iment.com] />
[www.iment.com] />
[tinyurl.com] />


Re: when the song of angels is sung
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 15, 2005 12:35PM

[www.petuniapress.com] />
regarding the Donder & Blitzen (Thunder&Lightning, which makes a hell of a lot more sense)

If Livingston wrote Blixum, clearly he misheard this somehwere else




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