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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Good Night Near Christmas

(Winter Scene, linocut from The Bottesfordian, 1951,
Bottesford, England)

“It was always said of [Ebenezer Scrooge], that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!” ~ Charles Dickens (1812-1870), the conclusion of A Christmas Carol


And now good night. Good night to this old house
Whose breathing fires are banked for their night’s rest.
Good night to lighted windows in the west.
Good night to neighbors and to neighbors’ cows

Whose morning milk will be beside my door.
Good night to one star shining in. Good night
To earth, poor earth with its uncertain light,
Our little wandering planet still at war.

Good night to one unstarved and gnawing mouse
Between the inner and the outer wall.
He has a paper nest in which to crawl.
Good night to men who have no bed, no house.

~ Robert Francis (1901-1987), American poet

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