Monday, 5 December 2011


Having attended an all girls Catholic School for 8 years and being made to attend Mass every Sunday and during the week on feast days, I don't have the most positive view of religion.. Nonetheless, over Christmas I find it hard to be overly sceptical and almost feel nostalgic for the days when I did genuinely believe it all to be 100% true (Father Christmas and the whole Jesus, Mary, donkey, stable shepherds malarkey). While reading for my latest fun-filled essay, it seems that Thomas Hardy had a similar experience with regards to religion (not the all-girls Catholic school part...) but I came across this poem which seemed to sum it up quite appropriately:

The Oxen

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
"Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
"Come; see the oxen kneel

"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so. 

L x

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