Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Christmas wish for all of you...

The most evocative carol for me is found in the penultimate verse of It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. Apparently Dr. Jerry Pournelle and I share the view:

O ye, beneath life's crushing load, whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow,
Look now! For glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing:
O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing!

Yet with the woes of sin and strife, the world has suffered long
Beneath the heavenly strain have rolled two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not the tidings that they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing!

For those defending themselves this night, as some did on Christmas Night, 1950, this is not meant as insult; it is a wish that it might be so. I do not think anyone in the situation of having to bear arms on Christmas Night will misunderstand or take this amiss.

And the best wishes of the nation to all our troops overseas. To those who are under arms this night, may you be safe from harm.
Amen, Doctor.
NOTA BENE: the [colorful adjective] numbskulls who created the modern Episcopal Hymnal bowdlerized this, among many other, hymns and carols. Please accept my presentation of the true lyrics as a show of deliberate disrespect to those responsible.

Everyone else, as our British cousins say, Happy Christmas!

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