12/26/14

The Truce of Christmas

Passionate peace is in the sky ─ 
And in the snow in silver sealed
The beasts are perfect in the field,
And men seem men so suddenly ─ 
(But take ten swords and ten times ten
And blow the bugle in praising men
For we are for all men under the son,
And they are against us every one
And misers haggle and madmen clutch
And there is peril in praising much,
And we have the terrible tongues uncurled
That praise the world to the sons of the world).

The idle humble hill and wood
Are bowed about the sacred birth,
And for one little hour the earth
Is lazy with the love of good ─ 
(But ready are you, and ready am I,
If the battle blow and the guns go by;
For we are for all men under the sun,
And they are against us every one;
And the men that hate herd all together,
To pride and gold, and the great white feather,
And the thing is graven in star and stone
That the men who love are all alone).

Hunger is hard and time is tough,
But bless the beggars and kiss the kings,
For hope has broken the heart of things,
And nothing was ever praised enough.
(But hold the shield for a sudden swing
And point the sword when you praise a thing,
For we are for all men under the sun,
And they are against us every one,
And mime and merchant, thane and thrall
Hate us because we love them all,
Only till Christmastide go by
Passionate peace is in the sky).

~G.K. Chesterton

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