Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lessons & Carols: No. 2

South of the Line, inland from far Durban,

A mouldering soldier lies---your countryman.

Awry and doubled up are his gray bones,

And on the breeze his puzzled phantom moans

Nightly to clear Canopus: 'I would know

By whom and when the All-Earth-gladdening Law

Of peace, brought in by that Man Crucified,

Was ruled to be inept, and set aside?

And what of logic or of truth appears

In tacking "Anno Domini" to the years?

Near twenty-hundred liveried thus have hied,

But tarries yet the Cause for which He died.'

Thomas Hardy: A Christmas Ghost Story
Christmas Eve, 1899, during the Boer War

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