The night is white with snow-mist
A cold monochrome stillness.
The porch-light picks out berries on the holly,
Evergreen resistant to winter’s thrall.
Inside a cheerful fire burns in the grate
But upstairs the air is icy.
He came, setting a few hearts aglow
Despite the inn’s rejection
And the austerity of the stable,
The chromatic Christ, his purity and warmth
Framed by freezing barn and innocents’ blood.
We thrill to the Nativity
Secluded by time and imagination’s haze
From the cold of commitment,
The arresting moment of decision
Where the will starkly counts the cost
And plunges into the mist.
The Child dances down the years
Inviting to light and song.
The Child dances in the blood
Of Christian man and wife
Baptizing Eros in a sunny clime
Where few beasts ravage.
The dance alters to the Man’s slow stagger
Towards noontide cosmic darkness
To redeem the cold-comforted,
The murderous red and white,
Bleeding Stephen and the Siberian snows.