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In the Bleak Midwinter
By Christina Rossetti

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak midwinter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part--
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

--------

Poem because Paul and I are just back from the holiday concert at the Birchmere by Ocean Orchestra and the Washington Revels, which was wonderful in every way. Yet again we ate too much -- the Birchmere has very good food -- before the show, which included the Revels' children's chorus and local harp player Sue Richards as well as most of Ocean Orchestra's regulars and several other guests, plus the Foggy Bottom Morris Men dancing to two of Ocean's songs from Song of Solstice (whose local release party we went to last winter). We got more Chanukah songs at this concert than any other holiday event we've been to this winter -- the Revels did "Shalom Chaverim" in Hebrew and Arabic, plus a Ladino song since the theme of their winter concerts this year is the music of Andalusia -- and performers from both groups did a Mummers Play which was as funny when people missed their cues as when they stuck to the traditional script.











We had a fairly quiet family afternoon in preparation for evening plans -- Adam had friends in and out while waiting for his childhood friend Emiliano, whose mother is a diplomat and who moved back to Venezuela several years ago, yet who is visiting relatives in the area so they all had a reunion, while Daniel decided to take my parents up on their offer of dinner for the last night of Chanukah. In the afternoon we all watched Doctor Who's "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" which I liked better than most Eleventh Doctor stories, though it figures that this set of writers concludes yet again that a woman can only be heroic if she's in a maternal-familial role (and what is with Moffat's obsession with giant dollhouses?). There were a couple of lines I liked -- "Oh, grow up, Lily. Fairyland looks completely different." "It's a big universe! Everything happens somewhere." -- and the references to Narnia, which it figures the Doctor would claim as his own just like everything else. But I remain utterly underwhelmed by Smith and most especially by Moffat.

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