So the Shortest Day came and the year died
Everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter tress;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the New Year`s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now
This year and every year.
By Susan Cooper www.irelandcalling.ie