Punctually at Christmas the soft plush Of sentiment snows down, embosoms all The sharp and pointed shapes of venom, shawls The hills and hides the shocking holes of this Uneven world of want and wealth, cushions With cosy wish like cotton-wool the cool Arm's-length interstices of caste and class, And into these folds subtracts from sight All truculent acts, bleeding the world white.
Punctually that glib pair, Peace and Goodwill, Emerges royally to take the air, Collect the bows, assimilate the smiles Of waiting men. It is a genial time; Angels like stalactites descend from heaen; Bishops distribute their own weight in words, Congratulate the poor on Christlike lack, And the member for the constituency Feeds the five thousand, and has plenty back.
Punctually, to-night, in old stone circles of set reunion, families stiffly sit and listen; this is the night and this the happy time when the tinned milk of human kindness is upheld and holed by radio-appeal; Hushed are hurrying heels on hard roads, And every parlor's pink pond of light To the cold and travelling man going by in the dark, without a bark or a bite.
But Punctually tomorrow you will see All this silent and dissembling world Of stilted sentiment suddenly melt Into mush and watery welter of words Beneath the warm and moving traffic of Feet and actual fact. Over the stark plain The silted mill-chimneys once again spread Their sackcloth and ashes, a flowing mane Of repentance for the false day that's fled.