+[my favorite poem ever]+

"A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of year
For such 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 wineskins.
But there was no information, and so
we continued.

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was ( as 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 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 places, 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.

- T.S. Eliot's The Journey of the Magi