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The Sweet Passage of Ancient Carols (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Based on a bit of a history lesson about the creation of Christmas carols.]

As the years unfurl like a roll of twine

     some things endure with the toll of time

Among them those ancient songs

    first heard around bonfires as people danced along

  after the harvest season was done

    as they waited in the Winter darkness for the Spring dawn

Carols as we know them today

     sometimes accompanied performances or plays

Β  or they got sung on the doorsteps of families who might delight

     to have a choir deliver sweet music on frosty night

              on occasion in exchange for the payment of a meal

                 which for many was a miraculous deal

When Christmas carols developed countless people rejoiced

     to celebrate this holiday in the language of their choice

       much different than the solemn Latin hymns some knew

          from church as they stood amid the pews

Several of those same holiday carols are still with us today

    filled with a freedom that is here to stay

      passed from one generation to the next

        as a wonderful form of oral text         


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