|Harlan Hubbard woodcut|
When the white stars talk together like sisters
And when the winter hills
Raise their grand semblance in the freezing night,
Somewhere one window
Bleeds like the brown eye of an open forge.
White stars that stand above the eastern stable,
Look down and offer Him
The dim adoring light of your belief,
Whose small Heart bleeds with infinite fire.
Shall not this Child
(When we shall hear the bells of His amazing voice)
Conquer the winter of our hateful century?
And when His lady Mother leans upon the crib,
Lo, with what rapiers
Those two loves fence and flame their brilliancy!
Here in this straw lie planned the fires
That will melt all of our sufferings:
He is our Lamb, our holocaust!
And one by one the shepherds, with their snowy feet,
Stamp and shake out their hats upon the stable dirt,
And one by one kneel down to look upon their Life.
-Thomas Merton, "A Christmas Card", Figures for an Apocalypse, p. 79