Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Christmas Eve, King's College

In the desert of sand and stone
The hoofprints of a camel train
That travels on to Bethlehem,
In a stone-walled barn
A baby's cry among the lambs
And lanterns glow from the beams.

And drawn to that same glow
We walk over the quad's stones
In the lifeless hush of an English
Evening, through ash-grey mist
The chapel's candle-lit windows
Welcome us. What gifts do we bring?

Only now to let our hearts sing
Soaring to the one-starred sky
In the solo "Once in Royal David's city..."
Swelled by the choir's resounding
"He came down to Earth from Heaven..."
So it is now, it seems, as it was then.

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