As joyless as the paying of a tax:
The ninefold slaughter and the bloody axe,
When priest and priestess gave the coup de grâce
To man and beast at golden Uppsala?
Or did joy, blackly relished, fill each throat
Where dog and stallion, friendless wretch and goat
On silver oaks, in crimson dew, were hung
To rolling carols hideously sung?
Christ rose again to break the temple chain
With kindness, and should any links remain,
The light of winter from a candle crown
Shall fill the well of memory, to drown
That wreath of hellish faces Time laid low,
Their wooden idols grinning from the snow.