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Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Nativity

by Pavel Chichikov

The barn is cold and dark, let’s make it warm -
Flame of olive, flame inside the lamp,
Rise, you brush of burning olive, form
These walls and slanting beams, drive out the damp

Who’s inside to friendship us, an ox?
A donkey too, and mourning doves, and swallows;
Scurry in the straw, you clever mouse,
Make some room for us, gray-suited fellow

Dearest, settle here, I’ll turn away -
Dusk outside is frosty and I hear
Golden singing in the eastern sky
As if the stars themselves had gathered near

I see my breath - be still a little while -
Where should I find miracles enough?
A place where yellow straw receives this Child
Of miracles, as if he were a calf

Hug the little baby from the cold,
Ox and donkey breathe a summer wind,
Doves and angels tell the shepherd’s fold
That Christ is born of she who never sinned

—from Mysteries and Stations in the Manner of Ignatius.

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