At Epiphany the Journey of the Magi by TS Elliot

“A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a
journey, and such a long journey:
The was deep and the weather sharp,

The very dead of winter.”
And the camels galled, sore-footed,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken
girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires
gong out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the
towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices.:
hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,

Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,

Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream
and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,

And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a
tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door
dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening,
not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say)

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do
it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we lead all that way
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and
no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were
different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease
here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their
I should be glad of another death.


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