In drear-nighted December

Yesterday we had a wonderful Christmas. There were friends and family, decorated cookies, stollen and panettonne, casseroles and decorations and a Bueche de Noel – all the best from every culture we could filch from and some that we made up. There’s another side of Christmas, though, as there is to every day we set aside to gather with family and friends. To properly celebrate the holiday with those we did not see or will not see again, we need some Keats.

In drear-nighted December,tree

Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne’er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne’er remember
Apollo’s summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would ’twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.”
–   John Keats