Tonight the wind gnaws
With teeth of glass,
The jackdaw shivers
In caged branches of iron,
The stars have talons.
There is hunger in the mouth
Of vole and badger,
Silver agonies of breath
In the nostril of the fox,
Ice on the rabbit’s paw.
Tonight has no moon,
No food for the pilgrim;
The fruit tree is bare,
The rose bush a thorn
And the ground is bitter with stones.
But the mole sleeps, and the hedgehog
Lies curled in a womb of leaves,
The bean and the wheat-seed
Hug their germs in the earth
And the stream moves under the ice.
Tonight there is no moon,
But a new star opens
Like a silver trumpet over the dead.
Tonight in a nest of ruins
The blessed babe is laid.
And the fir tree warms to a bloom of candles,
And the child lights his lantern,
Stares at his tinselled toy;
And our hearts and hearths
Smoulder with live ashes.
In the blood of our grief
The cold earth is suckled,
In our agony the womb
Convulses its seed;
In the first cry of anguish
The child’s first breath is born.
Laurie Lee's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Christmas Landscape by Laurie Lee )
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
Percy Bysshe Shelley
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
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