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Good Night Near Christmas


And now good night.  Good night to this old house

Whose breathing fires are banked for their night's rest.

Good night to lighted windows in the west.

Good night to neighbors and to neighbor's cows


Whose morning milk will be beside my door.

Good night to one star shining in.  Good night

To earth, poor earth with its uncertain light,

Our little wandering planet still at war.


Good night to one unstarved and gnawing mouse

Between the inner and the outer wall.

He has a paper nest in which to crawl.

Good night to men who have no bed, no house.


Robert Francis



From Robert Francis: Collected Poems: 1936-1976,
University of Massachusetts Press,  1985.
Reprinted by permission.


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