It came upon a midnight clear

This villanelle is for the Secret Keeper’s writing prompt. Some of you might guess who the poem is dedicated to. A clue—it isn’t Jesus.

The words (or synonyms) are:



It came upon a midnight clear,

A star looked down on earth below,

In silence spinning, this blue sphere.


In starlit glade, a timid deer

Watched silver fall in silent show,

It came upon a midnight clear.


A red fox saw bright beams appear,

Yet night was black as any crow,

In silence spinning, this blue sphere.


Beams bent and curled, a form unclear,

Of light and grace, a silver glow,

It came upon a midnight clear.


It wove a song sweet as a tear

That fell to earth like rivers flow,

In silence spinning, this blue sphere.


A mesh of light that drove out fear,

With words that every heart should know,

The song rained down on midnight clear,

And bathed in beauty this blue sphere.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

40 thoughts on “It came upon a midnight clear”

  1. Another example of me liking rhyme. (Your rhyme) whilst still detesting the majority. You’ll have to sit on my mantle dear one.
    These two lines work wonders: A mesh of light that drove out fear, / With words that every heart should know,

      1. Ah yes, this is true, and I omitted that when it cannot be without it – rhythm equally important and harder to capture than rhyme. Many can rhyme, but rhythm alludes all but those who really know how to wield the form. That would be you by the way! 😉

      2. Do you know how much I miss the word naff? Well … a lot. Total agreement. I often write things and think good grief that’s naff, twee, poncy, pretentious, vapid, vacuous … vile 😉

      3. I do too! I think it’s a question of realising when you’ve given in to your Disney instinct and just draw a big red line through it. Some people don’t ever ask themselves the vital question—is it original, or did I see it in Fantasia/Mulan/Pocahontas etc etc?

      4. Oh how right you are. We are influenced by so much that it’s almost impossible to be UN influenced. I mean HOW? Sometimes I want to clear my head of all the crap and just get back to the basics but it’s impossible for my generation brought up on TV as we were. Though Scooby Doo is a keeper me thinks 😉

      5. We all have a lot of rubbish in our heads, but that’s surely the point—if you can’t dig down beneath the heap of manure to find the new growth, you’re not an original thinker.

      6. mmm some more than others. I doubt you were ever a child who sat in front of the tv like I did. Just a guess. But you’re right about this being the test for original thinking!

      7. In the 70s and late 60s there wasn’t much TV that would interest a child. But it’s true that our attitude has changed about what constitutes ‘suitable entertainment’ for kids. We slotted favourite programmes in between doing other things, usually outdoors. Now parents want to keep their children where they can see them, and feed them video games, TV and worthy sit-down occupations. We maybe didn’t end up with more brains, but we neither did we end up fat 🙂

      8. Absolutely. .. horrific how today Viagra adverts talk about erections at 3pm, just not okay with that or parents letting kids watch sexual or horror t.v. at young ages. I went to an R film with some violence at the cinema, the people next to me had their three year old with them. Not ok.

      1. Picked-up for falling a sleep in a community centaur an take to a Saint Paul’s Emergency, ending being more sick than i’ve ever felt in all my life….

        That was five days ago….

      2. What’s a community centaur? Hospitals are great things, but sometimes you come out of them worse than when you went in. Hope the sickness is finished now.

      3. Oh, that’s a disappointment. Not that you’re being looked after, but that it’s at a community centre. I had visions of your community being watched over by a kindly Centaur.

      4. Comment did go through…

        The golden Arches decided to cut me off…

        These community center’s are public places… Wash rooms, showers, gym, most times helpful resources… An a place where young mothers get together…

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