Patrick Kavanagh

Christmas Memories

One side of the potato-pits was white with frost - 
How wonderful that was! how wonderful!
And when we put our ears to the pailing-post
The music that came out was magical.

The light between the ricks of hay and straw
Was a hole in Heaven's gable. An apple tree
With its December-glinting fruit we saw - 
And you, Eve, were the world that tempted me.

To eat the knowledge that grew in clay
And death the germ within it! Now and then
We can remember something of the gay
Garden that was childhood's. Again

The tracks of cattle to a drinking-place
A green stone lying sideways in a ditch
Or any common sight, the transfigured face
Of beauty that the world did not touch.

(24 December 1943)

§This poem was revised as ‘A Christmas Childhood’
and is in Collected Poems.

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