Twelve Days of Christmas Poetry: I

The Oxen

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel

“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

–Thomas Hardy


  1. Steve Evans says:

    Looking forward to this series, Kristine. This Hardy poem is a favourite of mine; a portrait of doubt, faith and miracles all in one.

  2. Thanks, Kristine. This is lovely; I also look forward to the full twelve days.

  3. Eric Russell says:

    Kristine, nice one.

    Steve Evans, to what extent do Albertans spell in British? They don’t speak British do they?

  4. Steve Evans says:

    Excellent question young Eric! Canadians, loyal Commonwealthers that they are, use American spellings. Having dwelt amongst your people for some time now, I have been corrupted, but occasional glimpses of true British spelling creep through.

%d bloggers like this: