by Lauren Cooper
(1964 - 1999)

I am reclining, lost in reveree,
When greatly startled by the shattering round
Of tolling bell.  Deep-toned monotony
Lacks warmth in greeting sweet Epiphany.
What a cold, metallic sound
It makes, aloft in stone belfry.

The decorations in my room defiantly
Freeze in response to such a wisdom grey.
I do no more than mope.  I sit and say:
"I'm bored!  Where is the winter's Christmas-tree?

"Everything's turned cold.  Gone is the prettiness for God."
Through the season spoilt-men's feet have trod
Christ's day rudely beneath their heels.
Now, glad at this sign, they are forgetting
The previous chaotic weeks of fretting.
They cheer to the sombre note St. Andrew's peals.

Where is the Christ-child then?  Epiphany
Has come, to take, into her arms, the Eve
Of joy, to fly to where some poor folk grieve
At life, trapped by their slavery.

St. Lucia has worn her candles seven;
St. Nicholas' white steed is in its stall;
Parades have been, and gone to some Church hall.
Epiphany is here; Christ's back in his Heaven.

So they believe, the commercial men who solve
Their finances by selling tinsel, tree;
But Lord, for us, your love reigns eternally.
If only Faith would lessen or resolve
The painfulness of power's discrepancy;
Arrest the powers!  The bitter arbitry
Spare peace.  It is Epiphany!

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