Don’t believe in stars. Stars are distant things,
that don’t dispel the darkness over any Bethlehem.
They were not lit for us. They burn for themselves.
For people, eyes shine bright. Let us follow them.
Don’t believe in kings. They think themselves wise men.
They don’t journey through the desert to new life.
They live in a desert that separates us from them.
A sword is their gaze and their hand a sharp knife.
Don’t believe in angels. They will not soon descend.
They find space empty and cold. They find the road too long.
If it is song we seek, if light,
seek the light in our brother’s gaze and in our own throats the song.
Don’t believe in stars. Stars are burnt out things.
Long gone; dead grasses on the steppe of the universe.
Beacons beam and sparkle much closer to the earth.
Toward the eyes of others, people should steer their ships.
Don’t believe in kings. They themselves are filled with doubt.
What is life and death for us, is their idle play.
Believe only in shepherds, who know and tend to lambs.
To their belts, we attach our lives without fear.
Don’t believe in angels. They are merely prisoners,
dragging their wings as shackles of lead.
If there is freedom, it is in our brother’s eye.
If freedom sings, the song will be heard in our blood.
STIG DAGERMAN, 1951
(Julbudskap in translation by Lo Dagerman)