Monday, December 24, 2007

Poetry Train Monday - 31 - Christmas Eve Offering by Phillips Brooks

The moon came up Sunday night, huge and full and golden. I'm always entranced by the moon. I gaze at it often, many times while walking my dog. I can say I've seen gorgeous moonrises a great deal.

But Sunday night as I looked rapturously at the moon in the clear blue winter sky, I realized I was seeing a rather incredible aura around it. Not encircling it, like most halos. No -

This aura gleamed out in the shape of a magnificent cross.

As wide across as the full moon itself, it stretched out into the night, up and down, side to side. I kept going away, returning, going away, returning. Still I could see it. I can't describe the feeling it gave me. I quivered with the impossibilty, but still I saw it there.

I did a look around on the net and discovered I'd seen a moon pillar, an optical effect caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere. Of course, most of the moon pillars only go up and down. This one also went side to side. FANTASTIC.

For this week's Poetry Train, I offer a poem, or what seem to be the lyrics to a hymn, written by the same man who wrote 'O Little Town of Bethlehem'. I can't find a title for it. But I came across it several years ago and was entranced by the middle verse, which I wrote in my Christmas cards that year. It really captures that magical, awe-filled sensation I always get on Christmas Eve.

The earth has grown old with its burden of care,
But at Christmas it always is young,
The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair,
And its soul, full of music, bursts forth on the air,
When the song of the angels is sung.

It is coming, Old Earth, it is coming tonight!
On the snowflakes which cover thy sod

The feet of the Christ Child fall gentle and white,
And the voice of the Christ Child tells out with delight,
That mankind are the children of God.

On the sad and the lonely, the wretched and poor,
The voice of the Christ Child shall fall;
And to every blind wanderer open the door
Of hope that he dared not to dream of before,
With a sunshine of welcome for all.

- Phillips Brooks

Merry, merry Christmas to all of you! May peace surround you, may joy embrace you.


Anonymous said...

The moon is very special this year in more ways than one! I have a found poem about this particular full moon on my blog you might want to check out (it's a couple posts below the poetry train one).

Did you take those images? v. cool. I also like the one you put with the lyrics by Brooks.

Jill said...

I really like you prelude!! Since I've always love looking at the sky at night, and there is a peace in winter, I can really relate to your facination for it! But, I,ve never seen one of those!!
Thank for sharing the poem, too!

Wylie Kinson said...

I've seen that phenomenon before! It's very cool... in an eerie, mythical sort of way.

I've never heard that poem before. It's lovely.

Merry Christmas to you and Brad!

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Artpredator - I didn't take the pictures myself, I found them on Google image search. But I love them.

Toni said...

I can hardly take it in. That poem is exquisite, Julia. Thank you so much for sharing such a precious gem with us.

Akelamalu said...

Fabulous photos and poem Julia.

I just popped over to wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, may they be everything you're hoping for.

Much Love and Reiki Blessings

Amy Ruttan said...

Merry Christmas Julia! Here's to many successes in 2008!

That was a wonderful poem. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting post! I love the moon in all its nuances..

Wishing you laughter,love, joy and much peace for Christmas and coming New Year!

Much power to your pen too!

Rhian said...

I'm with Wylie - i love stuff like this!

Best of holidays to you Julia!

Anonymous said...

Julia! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful find!

Unknown said...

Wow, I've never seen those lyrics written out before. How beautiful! I'm glad you put them on here!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

We were totally entranced by the moon last night, too. No halos or pillars here, just a bright, big, clear moon. It was amazing.

Merry Christmas to you guys. May you have a wonderful, peaceful holiday.

Olga said...

Thank you for the poem, very nice for today. May Father Christmas fill your stocking with your hearts desire!

Camille Alexa said...

Peace and all that is Merry to you, Julia!