(wiping tears away) I, too, enjoy reading this each year! When I lived/worked at a barn a few years back, I did the midnight Christmas visit hoping to see the "story"...alas, none were kneeling, but it was really cool to share that time with the horses...not that they had a clue why I was there at that hour (I did night check at 10 PM normally) !
I just came across this online and thought I would post it here to go with the story. --
CHRISTMAS Eve, and twelve of the clock.
‘Now they are all on their knees,’
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
‘Come; see the oxen kneel
‘In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,’
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.
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