Christmas crept in coloured paper Wrapped around the year's decline Compensation packed and paid for Swapping friends who hadn't time. Orion in the south at midnight Betelgeuse was shoulder high Rigel stepping out before him Leading Leo round the sky. Jupiter was in conjunction Herod hunting baby boys Kepler keenly calculating Why the wise men were so wise. Reilly's cow was in the byre Ruminating in the hay Heard the alleluia choir Some yahoos going off to pray. Stall-fed men in Christian faces Sitting watching glasses drain Naggins on inverted bottles Christmas spirits easing pain. Saturnalia's pagan feastday Celebrating life's return Slaves and bondsmen given freedom Wars that ceased and hatreds spurned. Sifted snow on morning's shoulder Fog breath freezing into dawn Pagans celebrating Christmas Where was Saturnalia gone?