Christmas Day And Every Day

Star high,
Baby low:
'Twixt the two
Wise men go;
Find the baby,
Grasp the star-
Heirs of all things
Near and far!

by George MacDonald.

A Christmas Greeting To K.B.

While changing Seasons run their course,
Controlled and guided from above,
It is thy part to re-enforce
The broadening stream of Light and Love.

by Joseph Furphy.

A Christmas Hymn

The Seraph-song of morning's prime
That hail'd Messiah's birth,
The charter of a coming time
When Love shall rule the earth,
Rings from yon far Judaean hill —

by Joseph Furphy.

Christmas Blessings

As when a pigeon, loos'd in realms remote,
Takes instant wing, and seeks his native cote,
So speed my blessings from a barb'rous clime
To thee and Providence at Christmas time!

by Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

Christmas Snows

As Christmas snows (as yet a poet's trope)
Call back one's bygone days of youth and hope,
Four metrick lines I send-they're quite enough-
Tho' once I fancy'd I could write the stuff!

by Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

Christmas Roses

White-faced Winter Roses,
O'er the grave I plant you
Where the dead reposes,
That a soul may haunt you,
And your ghostly whiteness
In the Winter gloom,
Seem some spirit-brightness
Shining from the tomb!

by Francis William Bourdillon.

The Christmas Child

'Little one, who straight hast come
Down the heavenly stair,
Tell us all about your home,
And the father there.'

'He is such a one as I,
Like as like can be.
Do his will, and, by and by,
Home and him you'll see.'

by George MacDonald.

Christmas Prayer

Cold my heart, and poor, and low,
Like thy stable in the rock;
Do not let it orphan go,
It is of thy parent stock!
Come thou in, and it will grow
High and wide, a fane divine;
Like the ruby it will glow,
Like the diamond shine!

by George MacDonald.

Somehow not only for Christmas

Somehow not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you.

And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing
Returns to make you glad.

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

A Christmas Wish

I'd like a stocking made for a giant,
And a meeting house full of toys,
Then I'd go out in a happy hunt
For the poor little girls and boys;
Up the street and down the street,
And across and over the town,
I'd search and find them everyone,
Before the sun went down.

by Eugene Field.

Egyptian Christmas

Haughty Sphinx, whose amber eyes
Hold the secrets of the skies,
As thou ripplest in thy grace,
Round the chairs and chimney-place,
Scorn on thy patrician face:
Rise not harsh, nor use thy claws
On the hand that gives applause-
Good-will only doth abide
In these lines at Christmastide!

by Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

Merry Christmas And Happy New Year!

Little cullud Rastus come a-skippin’ down de street,
A-smilin’ and a-grinnin’ at every one he meet;
My, oh! He was happy! Boy, but was he gay!
Wishin’ 'Merry Chris’mus' an’ 'Happy New-Year’s Day'!
Wishin’ that his wishes might every one come true—
And—bless your dear heart, honey,—I wish the same to you!

by Ellis Parker Butler.

Christmas Meditation

He who by a mother's love
Made the wandering world his own,
Every year comes from above,
Comes the parted to atone,
Binding Earth to the Father's throne.

Nay, thou comest every day!
No, thou never didst depart!
Never hour hast been away!
Always with us, Lord, thou art,
Binding, binding heart to heart!

by George MacDonald.

The Poor Boy’s Christmas

Observe, my child, this pretty scene,
And note the air of pleasure keen
With which the widow’s orphan boy
Toots his tin horn, his only toy.
What need of costly gifts has he?
The widow has nowhere to flee.
And ample noise his horn emits
To drive the widow into fits.

MORAL:

The philosophic mind can see
The uses of adversity.

by Ellis Parker Butler.

The Rich Boy's Christmas

And now behold this sulking boy,
His costly presents bring no joy;
Harsh tears of anger fill his eye
Tho’ he has all that wealth can buy.
What profits it that he employs
His many gifts to make a noise?
His playroom is so placed that he
Can cause his folks no agony.

MORAL:

Mere worldly wealth does not possess
The power of giving happiness.

by Ellis Parker Butler.

Love Came Down At Christmas

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

Christmas, 1884

Though in my heart no Christmas glee,
Though my song-bird be dumb,
Jesus, it is enough for me
That thou art come.

What though the loved be scattered far,
Few at the board appear,
In thee, O Lord, they gathered are,
And thou art here.

And if our hearts be low with lack,
They are not therefore numb;
Not always will thy day come back-
Thyself will come!

by George MacDonald.

WHAT woman hugs her infant there?
Another star has shot an ear.

What made the drapery glisten so?
Not a man but Delacroix.

What made the ceiling waterproof?
Landor's tarpaulin on the roof

What brushes fly and moth aside?
Irving and his plume of pride.

What hurries out the knaye and dolt?
Talma and his thunderbolt.

Why is the woman terror-struck?
Can there be mercy in that look?

by William Butler Yeats.

This Section Is A Christmas Tree

This section is a Christmas tree:
Loaded with pretty toys for you.
Behold the blocks, the Noah's arks,
The popguns painted red and blue.
No solemn pine-cone forest-fruit,
But silver horns and candy sacks
And many little tinsel hearts
And cherubs pink, and jumping-jacks.
For every child a gift, I hope.
The doll upon the topmost bough
Is mine. But all the rest are yours.
And I will light the candles now.

by Vachel Lindsay.

A Christmas Prayer

Loving looks the large-eyed cow,
Loving stares the long-eared ass
At Heaven's glory in the grass!
Child, with added human birth
Come to bring the child of earth
Glad repentance, tearful mirth,
And a seat beside the hearth
At the Father's knee-
Make us peaceful as thy cow;
Make us patient as thine ass;
Make us quiet as thou art now;
Make us strong as thou wilt be.
Make us always know and see
We are his as well as thou.

by George MacDonald.

Christmas Eve: 1872

Peace in the snowy breast,
O cloud from storm at rest!
Peace in the winds that sleep
Upon the deep.

Peace in the starry height:
Peace infinite,
Through all the worlds that move
Within His love.

O! all sad hearts, that be
On land or on the sea,
God’s peace with you rest light
This Christmas night!

And with the souls that stand
In that dear land
Where pain and all tears cease,
Most perfect peace!

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

CHRISTMAS hath darkness
Brighter than the blazing noon,
Christmas hath a chillness
Warmer than the heat of June,
Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.
Earth, strike up your music,
Birds that sing and bells that ring;
Heaven hath answering music
For all Angels soon to sing:
Earth, put on your whitest
Bridal robe of spotless snow:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

Christmas Roses

THE summer roses all are gone--
Dead, laid in shroud of rain-wet mould;
And passion's lightning time is done,
And Love is laid out white and cold.
Summer and youth for us are dead,
What do old age and winter bring instead?


They bring us memories of old years,
And Christmas roses, cold and sweet,
Which, washed by not unhappy tears,
I bring and lay beside your feet,
With gifts that come with flowers like these--
Friendship, remembrance of our past, and peace!

by Edith Nesbit.

A Christmas Ghost Story.

South of the Line, inland from far Durban,
A mouldering soldier lies--your countryman.
Awry and doubled up are his gray bones,
And on the breeze his puzzled phantom moans
Nightly to clear Canopus: "I would know
By whom and when the All-Earth-gladdening Law
Of Peace, brought in by that Man Crucified,
Was ruled to be inept, and set aside?

And what of logic or of truth appears
In tacking 'Anno Domini' to the years?
Near twenty-hundred livened thus have hied,
But tarries yet the Cause for which He died."

by Thomas Hardy.

At Christmas-Time

For that old love I once adored
I deck my halls and spread my board
At Christmas-time.
With all the winter's flowers that grow
I wreathe my room, and mistletoe
Hangs in the gloom of my doorway,
Wherein my dear lost love might stray
When joy bells chime.
What phantom was it entered there
And drunk his wine and took his chair
At Christmas-time?
With holly boughs and mistletoe
He crowned his head, and at my woe
And tears I shed laughed long and loud;
'Get back, O phantom! to thy shroud
When joy bells chime.'

by Dora Sigerson Shorter.

Christmas In Heaven

HOW hushed they were in Heaven that night,
How lightly all the angels went,
How dumb the singing spheres beneath
Their many-candled tent!

How silent all the drifting throng
Of earth-freed spirits, strangely torn
By dim and half-remembered pain
And joy but newly born!

The Glory in the Highest flamed
With awful, unremembered ray--
But quiet as the falling dew
Was He who went away.

So swift He went, His passing left
A low, bright door in Heaven ajar--
With God it was a covenant,
To man it seemed a star.

by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay.

Christmas, His Masque (Extract)

Why Gentlemen, doe you know what you doe? ha!
Would you ha'kept me out? Christmas, old Christmas?
Christmas of London, and Captaine Christmas?
Pray you let me be brought before my Lord Chamberlaine, i'le not be answer'd else:
'Tis merrie in hall when beards wag all:
I ha'seene the time you ha'wish'd for me, for a merry Christmas,
And now you ha'me; they would not let me in:
I must come another time!
A good jest, as if I could come more than once a year;
Why, I am no dangerous person, and so I told my friends, o'the Guard.
I am old Gregorie Christmas still

by Ben Jonson.

Christmas Without Christ

HOW can I keep my Christmas feast
In its due festive show,
Reft of the sight of the High Priest
From whom its glories flow?

I hear the tuneful bells around,
The blessèd towers I see;
A stranger on a foreign ground,
They peal a fast for me.

O Britons! now so brave and high,
How will ye weep the day
When Christ in judgment passes by,
And calls the Bride away!

Your Christmas then will lose its mirth,
Your Easter lose its bloom:
Abroad, a scene of strife and dearth;
Within, a cheerless home!

by John Henry Newman.

ABOVE the weary waiting world,
Asleep in chill despair,
There breaks a sound of joyous bells
Upon the frosted air.
And o'er the humblest rooftree, lo,
A star is dancing on the snow.
What makes the yellow star to dance
Upon the brink of night?
What makes the breaking dawn to glow
So magically bright,—
And all the earth to be renewed
With infinite beatitude?
The singing bells, the throbbing star,
The sunbeams on the snow,
And the awakening heart that leaps
New ecstasy to know, —
They all are dancing in the morn
Because a little child is born.

by Bliss William Carman.

The sky is dark, the snow descends:
Ring, bells, ring out your merriest chime!
Jesus is born; the Virgin bends
Above him. Oh, the happy time!
No curtains bright-festooned are hung,
To shield the Infant from the cold;
The spider-webs alone are slung
Upon the rafters bare and old.
On fresh straw lies the little One,
Not in a palace, but a farm,
And kindly oxen breathe upon
His manger-bed to keep it warm.
White wreaths of snow the roofs attire,
And o'er them stars the blue adorn,
And hark! In white the angel-quire
Sings to the Shepherds, 'Christ is born.'

by Toru Dutt.

On Christmas Eve

In byre and barn the mows are brim with sheaves,
Where stealeth in with phosphorescent tread
The glimmering moon, and, ’neath his wattled eaves,
The kennelled hound unto the darkness grieves
His chilly straw, and from his gloom-lit shed,
The wakeful cock proclaims the midnight dread.

With mullioned windows, ’mid its skeleton trees,
Beneath the moon the ancient manor stands,
Old gables rattle in the midnight breeze,
Old elms make answer to the moaning seas

Beyond the moorlands, on the wintry sands,
While drives the gust along the leafless lands.

by William Wilfred Campbell.

Ceremonies For Christmas

Come, bring with a noise,
My merry, merry boys,
The Christmas log to the firing,
While my good dame, she
Bids ye all be free,
And drink to your heart's desiring.

With the last year's brand
Light the new block, and
For good success in his spending,
On your psalteries play,
That sweet luck may
Come while the log is a-teending.

Drink now the strong beer,
Cut the white loaf here,
The while the meat is a-shredding;
For the rare mince-pie,
And the plums stand by,
To fill the paste that's a kneading.

by Robert Herrick.

A Christmas Folk-Song

The little Jesus came to town;
The wind blew up, the wind blew down;
Out in the street the wind was bold;
Now who would house Him from the cold?

Then opened wide a stable door,
Fair were the rushes on the floor;
The Ox put forth a horned head :
'Come, Little Lord, here make Thy bed.'

Up rose the Sheep were folded near:
'Thou Lamb of God, come, enter here.'
He entered there to rush and reed,
Who was the Lamb of God, indeed.

The little Jesus came to town;
With Ox and Sheep He laid Him down;
Peace to the byre, peace to the fold,
For that they housed Him from the cold!

by Lizette Woodworth Reese.

The Christmas-Box

THIS box, mine own sweet darling, thou wilt find
With many a varied sweetmeat's form supplied;
The fruits are they of holy Christmas tide,
But baked indeed, for children's use design'd.
I'd fain, in speeches sweet with skill combin'd,
Poetic sweetmeats for the feast provide;
But why in such frivolities confide?
Perish the thought, with flattery to blind!
One sweet thing there is still, that from within,
Within us speaks,--that may be felt afar;
This may be wafted o'er to thee alone.
If thou a recollection fond canst win,
As if with pleasure gleam'd each well-known star,
The smallest gift thou never wilt disown.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb,
Now leaves His well-belov'd imprisonment,
There He hath made Himself to His intent
Weak enough, now into the world to come;
But O, for thee, for Him, hath the inn no room?
Yet lay Him in this stall, and from the Orient,
Stars and wise men will travel to prevent
The effect of Herod's jealous general doom.
Seest thou, my soul, with thy faith's eyes, how He
Which fills all place, yet none holds Him, doth lie?
Was not His pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pitied by thee?
Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go,
With His kind mother, who partakes thy woe.

by John Donne.

Christmas Holidays

Along the Woodford road there comes a noise
Of wheels, and Mr. Rounding's neat post-chaise
Struggles along, drawn by a pair of bays,
With Reverend Mr. Crow and six small boys,
Who ever and anon declare their joys
With trumping horns and juvenile huzzas,
At going home to spend their Christmas days,
And changing learning's pains for pleasure's toys.
Six weeks elapse, and down the Woodford way
A heavy coach drags six more heavy souls,
But no glad urchins shout, no trumpets bray,
The carriage makes a halt, the gate-bell tolls,
And little boys walk in as dull and mum
As six new scholars to the Deaf and Dumb!

by Thomas Hood.

Christmas Day, 1850

Beautiful stories wed with lovely days
Like words and music:-what shall be the tale
Of love and nobleness that might avail
To express in action what this sweetness says-

The sweetness of a day of airs and rays
That are strange glories on the winter pale?
Alas, O beauty, all my fancies fail!
I cannot tell a story in thy praise!

Thou hast, thou hast one-set, and sure to chime
With thee, as with the days of 'winter wild;'
For Joy like Sorrow loves his blessed feet
Who shone from Heaven on Earth this Christmas-time
A Brother and a Saviour, Mary's child!-
And so, fair day, thou
hast
thy story sweet.

by George MacDonald.

Christmas In Australia

O DAY, the crown and crest of all the year!
Thou comest not to us amid the snows,
But midmost of the reign of the red rose;
Our hearts have not yet lost the ancient cheer
That filled our fathers’ simple hearts when sere
The leaves fell, and the winds of Winter froze
The waters wan, and carols at the close
Of yester-eve sang the Child Christ anear.
And so we hail thee with a greeting high,
And drain to thee a draught of our own wine,
Forgetful not beneath this bluer sky
Of that old mother-land beyond the brine,
Whose gray skies gladden as thou drawest nigh,
O day of God’s good-will the seal and sign!

by Victor James Daley.

Sonnets - I - Christmas Day

O happy day, with seven-fold blessings set
Amid thy hallowed hours, the memories dear
Of childhood's holidays, and household cheer,
When friends and kin in loving circle met,
And youth's glad gatherings, where the sands were wet
By waves that hurt not, whilst the great cliffs near,
With storms erewhile acquaint, gave echo clear
Of voices gay and laughter gayer yet.
And graver thoughts and holier arise
Of how, 'twixt that first eve and dawn of thine,
The Star ascended which hath lit our skies
More than the sun himself; and 'mid the kine
The Child was born whom shepherds, and the wise;
Who came from far, and angels, called Divine.

by Mary Hannay Foott.

The Christmas Walk

How brisk in frost we stept together west!
The sky, as pearly as her lucent face,
Wore, too, the faint austere which gives her grace,
The sacredness that calms my heart to rest.


Up toward the Roxbury hill, whose builded crest
Outlined a rim serrate of flamelike sky,
Her virginal beauty flushed,—and oh, the shy
Gleam of her pleasure as her glove caressed,
Upon her heart abloom, my glowing rose!


And yet, before our Christmas walk was done,
Its scarlet loveliness of petals froze,
Whereby upon the stalk it drooped and died;
So cruel shone the nightward slanting sun
This day of our first marching side by side.

by Edward William Thomson.