Journey | Magi Poem/ Poetry -- Thomas Stern Eliot

Journey Of The Magi Poem -- Thomas Stern Eliot

Journey Of The Magi

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 , sore - footed , 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 arrived at evening, not a moment too soon 
Finding the place;  it was ( you may 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 place, 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.