A Star In The East by Idris Davies

When Christmastide to Rhymney came

And I was six or seven

I thought the stars in the eastern sky

Were the brightest stars of heaven.

 

I chose the star that glittered most

To the east of Rhymney town

To be the star above the byre

Where Mary’s babe lay down.

 

And nineteen hundred years would meet

Beneath a magic light,

And Rhymney share with Bethlehem

A star on Christmas night.

 

by Idris Davies

‘I Hear The Oriole’s Always Grieving Voice…’ by Anna Akhmatova

I hear the oriole’s always grieving voice,

And the rich summer’s welcome loss I hear

In the sickle’s serpentine hiss

Cutting the corn’s ear tightly pressed to ear.

 

And the short skirts on the slim reapers

Fly in the wind like holiday pennants,

The clash of joyful cymbals, and creeping

From under dusty lashes, the long glance.

 

I don’t expect love’s tender flatteries,

In premonition of some dark event,

But come, come and see this paradise

Where together we were blessed and innocent.

 

– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (Summer, 1917)

– from Подорожник (Plantain/Wayside Grass, 1921) translation by D. M. Thomas

Children’s Song by R.S. Thomas

We live in our own world,

A world that is too small

For you to stoop and enter

Even on hands and knees,

The adult subterfuge.

And though you probe and pry

With analytic eye,

And eavesdrop all our talk

With an amused look,

You cannot find the centre

Where we dance, where we play,

Where life is still asleep

Under the closed flower,

Under the smooth shell

Of eggs in the cupped nest

That mock the faded blue

Of your remoter heaven.

 

by R. S. Thomas

– from Songs At The Year’s Turning (1955)