Sunlight may turn drops of dust to gold;
One red drop of blood can crimson waters pale:
Like alchemic transformations worked of old
Concentric rings spread from redemption's tale.
Redemption spreads; Saul turns into Paul,
And churches stand where pagan temples stood.
The church fathers hew down druid woods
And what was heathen consecrate to good.
Christ shall hold all men and custom yet;
No good will fall useless by the way.
Claus is a saint, caught in Peter's net,
And wise men still bring gifts on Christmas Day.
Every Christmas some newspaper or TV show points out the scandalous fact that Christmas has-gasp!-pagan origins. Well, duh. We were all pagans once; we dwelt on the heath with the heathens. The fact that early Christians preserved what was good and pleasant about the old religions (bonfires and decorated trees, no human sacrifice, please) and re-dedicated them to Christ seems no drawback or hypocrisy to me. So I wrote this poem.