Verse > Anthologies > Alfred Kreymborg, ed. > Others for 1919
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Alfred Kreymborg, ed.  Others for 1919.  1920.
 
Vigil
By Wallace Gould
 
AGAIN they are singing about the Christ.
It is another year that is gone.
Out in the streets they are singing about the Christ.
Slowly the snow is descending.
Silently and straightly the snowflakes descend.        5
The snowflakes are oblivious white nuns.
The night is a vast, unlighted church
swarming with oblivious white nuns
and resounding with songs about the Christ.
The night is a vast, unlighted church.        10
Hours ago, the many came
with many bundles in their arms.
They hid the bundles mysteriously
and hung up holly in the windows.
I, in the spirit of bringing things,        15
brought to my cat a globe of goldfish.
I hid the globe as mysteriously
as the many hid their many bundles.
The snowflakes are oblivious white nuns with folded arms. They are oblivious of things that are hidden away. They are oblivious of the wreaths of holly. They come to purge. They come in speechless finality.
It is another year that is gone.        20
 
How many years have passed since the first of our love?
How many times did we listen while they sang about the Christ?
How many times have I listened alone for the carols?
This is another year that I have listened alone.
 
At dawn, when the carols shall have ceased, the merry bells of the sleighs will begin to sound.        25
At dawn, perhaps, there will be a merry sunlight.
The wreaths of holly will glimmer. I shall bring from hiding the globe of goldfish. I shall place the globe in the sunlight. Buttons shall catch the fish for his morning meal. I shall watch them flash as they scurry before his paw.
At dawn, the many will bring from hiding their many bundles. They will bring them mysteriously.
At dawn, the world will be a huddle of white nuns
all silent—obliviously silent,        30
as for years
we have been.
 
 
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