by Luis G. Dato

After we’re fifty, what to us the meed
Or garden, or what mystic meaning yet
May Christmas hold or memory forget,
Which the heart spurns and will refuse to heed;
The thorns of what late flowers may make bleed
The heart a fresh in younger years unmet,
What tempest in the mind, what fire or fret
A conflagration with its sparks to feed,
This is what Christmas means, end nothing more:
The meed was given long ago, not now,
When from its clay God bore
Immortal breath of life in Eden’s bough.
But we the guerdon deem of little price
Until it is near time to close our eyes.

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