Poem for Christmas Day: “Christmas” by George Mackay Brown

‘Toll requiem’, said sun to earth,
As the grass got thin.
The star-wheel went, all nails and thorns,
Over mill and kirk and inn.

The old sun died. The widowed earth
Tolled a black bell.
‘Our King will return’, said root to bone,
To the skeleton tree on the hill.

At midnight, an ox and an ass,
Between lantern and star
Cried, Gloria…Lux in tenebris…
In a wintered byre.

George Mackay Brown

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