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,
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
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)