|When Death Comes at Christmastime|
|By Dimitri Shostakovich|
|When death must come at Christmastime,
There is a special grief,
A mourning that must mix with joy,
A pain that must be brief.
There is an anguish underneath
The labyrinth of light
That longs for simple emptiness
To contemplate the night.
But life must bubble on its way
And pleasure be put on,
For neither sorrow nor delight
Is ever left alone.
And, like the Virgin, we must smile
With enigmatic grace
As we receive the fragile gift
That nothing can replace.