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The Journey Of The Magi – T.S. Eliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.


Journey of the Magi – Frank Turner

Moses was old, a chill in his bones
Falling apart, he knew in his heart that his time had come
As he lay in his tent in the hot desert sands
He smiled at how he would never see his promised land
He sang, “I could have lived and died an Egyptian prince
I could have played safe
But in the end the journey’s brought joys that outweigh the pain”

Now, Odysseus sat tired and alone
He’d always held out against all the doubts that he would come home
But now he was here, his soul felt estranged
His wife and his dog, his son and his Gods, everything changed
He sang “I could have stayed and ruled as an Ithican prince
I could’ve played safe
But in the end the journey’s brought joys that outweigh the pain”

Balthazar rode for seven long years
Eastwards and far, he followed his star, and it brought him here
To a stable in ruins in some backwater town
To a virgin defiled, no king but a child, too small for a crown
He sang “I could have lived with my Gods as a Persian prince
I could’ve played safe
But in the end the journey’s brought joys that outweigh the pain”

Paupers and kings, princes and thieves
Singers of songs, righters of wrongs, be what you believe
So saddle your horse and shoulder your load
Burst at the seams, be what you dream, and then take to the road