A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields/Christmas (Théophile Gautier)
The sky is dark, the snow descends:
Ring, bells, ring out your merriest chime!
Jesus is born; the Virgin bends
Above him. Oh, the happy time!
No curtains bright-festooned are hung,
To shield the Infant from the cold;
The spider-webs alone are slung
Upon the rafters bare and old.
On fresh straw lies the little One,
Not in a palace, but a farm,
And kindly oxen breathe upon
His manger-bed to keep it warm.
White wreaths of snow the roofs attire,
And o'er them stars the blue adorn,
And hark! In white the angel-quire
Sings to the Shepherds, 'Christ is born.'