December 25, 2013

FROM THE ARCHIVES: GO WITH HIM:

The Oxen--A Poem for Christmas 1915 (Thomas Hardy, Times of London, 24 December 1915)

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.


[originally posted: 2004-12-24]

Posted by at December 25, 2013 5:37 AM
  

At a literary party around 1900, someone asked if there was anyone in the room who believed in Christianity. Only Thomas Hardy stood up.

Posted by: pj at December 24, 2004 6:37 PM

It is sad how he was so terribly misinterpreted and gave up writing novels (just when he was getting really, really good).

"Tess" was one of the few books I really loved in my teens.

Posted by: Randall Voth at December 25, 2004 10:23 AM
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