It may have been cold, as it is now
(we stand shivering in wool and fur)
with a stable—said to have been down there—
no fit place for a child newborn
or his young mother, bedded on straw.
The telling's all smoothed to the sound of a song.
All comes to pass as if played out
with ineffable ease, in hallowed air:
beasts gently kneel in a clean, sweet stall;
the immaculate girl, in her Mary-blue,
is already fixed in that sculptured pose;
the Wise Ones stand in a group, just so,
and the Shepherds, up from the fields below
(a long rough climb through mud and stones)
are olive-wood figures, not winded men,
in a light that falls as no light comes
rude and weak, from wax or oil,
but direct from a heaven still serenely known
to hang, all furnished, just overhead.
There are wings! there is singing! and a splendid star
especially shaped to announce the event
here—all here—where we stand tonight
in David's town, on a holy hill.