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So hallowed and so gracious

By Michael J. Smith on Friday December 25, 2009 12:53 AM

Some say that ever 'gainst the season comes,
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, or witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
I couldn't leave the image in the previous post at the top of the page for Christmas. So what we have instead, above, is the famous Christmas Truce of 1914, when German and French and British soldiers spontaneously climbed out of their trenches -- the first man to emerge must have been a very brave guy -- and fraternized "all night long", as the poet says, in No Man's Land.

It's a story that makes you think: maybe people aren't, in fact, just no damn good.

Apparently the truce drove the generals and the politicians crazy. They couldn't wait to get the men killing each other again. Perhaps this is why Dick Nixon, and Ehud Olmert, and the New York Times, have all felt it's necessary to keep us braced up and mindful of our homicidal duty at this time of year.

Do they worry that all this talk of peace of earth -- good will towards men -- the shepherds who heard angels singing -- the wise men from Persia, who came to do the polite thing, and realized very quickly that Herod, with his royal purple and gaudy court, was a bad lot -- do they worry, our masters, that we might start to take this stuff seriously?

I wish they had more to worry about.

But perhaps they know their business better than I do; and if they're worried, perhaps they have reason.

On that hopeful note, I wish us all as merry a Christmas as we can manage, and a New Year better than the last.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Friday December 25, 2009 12:53 AM.

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