Inspired by my father’s translation of Théophile Gautier’s poem “Noël”
“The sky is dark, the earth is white,
oh bells ring out with joy
Jesus is born, the Virgin quiet
shelters her baby boy.
Noel Noel Noel
bells ring out with joy!
No wraps No festooned curtains
spread to shield the child from frost
nothing but flimsy spider webs
trail from the beams aloft.
He shivers in that cold stable
this Jesus child so dear,
and so to warm him in the cradle,
the ass and ox draw near.
The snow hangs down in lacy fringe.
But far above the heavens swell
reveal the angel choir that sings to men
Noel Noel ”