Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Christmas Ghost Story / Thomas Hardy

A Christmas Ghost Story

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
Christmas Eve, 1899

[Poem is in the public domain  in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Thomas Hardy biography

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