Monday, December 24, 2007

The Shortest Day

One of my favorite authors is Susan Cooper of the Dark Is Rising sequence.

One of my favorite musical events are the performances by The Revels. I have never seen them live, I just have a lot of their CDs, but I look forward to one of these years getting the kids up to Boston to see them.

And what I did not know until recently was that Susan Cooper actually worked with and contributed material to the Revels. Below is her evocative poem which the Revels set to music.

The Shortest Day

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.

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