THREE CHRISTMAS TREES
The tree of night has all its candles lit,
and dreams are piled about its foot: oh son,
oh sleeping son, what do you take from it?
There is no age in sleep; the boy is one
with infant and with patriarch: how guess
what shining branches lift, or rivers run,
on what far day, in this your timelessness?
Are you companion to that other boy
whose parents' dreams lay round him as he slept?
Between them in their sleep, what starry joy
of leaves arose, what holy river crept
- Jordan, the olives green round Galilee?
Or innocent blood, and tears that Rachel wept;
an only gift upon a fatal tree?
Son, do not wake too early. All tonight
is yours to bid, a safe deceiver; day
with all its presents opened, every light
its coloured mystery lost, will not obey.
Late rising to your Paradise, take all
our other gifts; but let the apple stay
on that tree's bough, which breaking, you will fall.