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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

From The Short Story A Christmas Dream, And How It Came True

From our happy home
Through the world we roam
One week in all the year,
Making winter spring
With the joy we bring
For Christmas-tide is here.

Now the eastern star
Shines from afar
To light the poorest home;
Hearts warmer grow,
Gifts freely flow,
For Christmas-tide has come.

Now gay trees rise
Before young eyes,
Abloom with tempting cheer;
Blithe voices sing,
And blithe bells ring,
For Christmas-tide is here.

Oh, happy chime,
Oh, blessed time,
That draws us all so near!
"Welcome, dear day,"
All creatures say,
For Christmas-tide is here.

by Louisa May Alcott.

Alone--with one fair star for company,
The loveliest star among the hosts of night,
While the grey tide ebbs with the ebbing light--
I pace along the darkening wintry sea.
Now round the yule-log and the glittering tree
Twinkling with festive tapers, eyes as bright
Sparkle with Christmas joys and young delight,
As each one gathers to his family.

But I--a waif on earth where'er I roam--
Uprooted with life's bleeding hopes and fears
From that one heart that was my heart's sole home,
Feel the old pang pierce through the severing years,
And as I think upon the years to come
That fair star trembles through my falling tears.

by Mathilde Blind.

Christmas Greetings

Lady dear, if Fairies may
For a moment lay aside
Cunning tricks and elfish play,
'Tis at happy Christmas-tide.

We have heard the children say -
Gentle children, whom we love -
Long ago, on Christmas Day,
Came a message from above.

Still, as Christmas-tide comes round,
They remember it again -
Echo still the joyful sound
'Peace on earth, good-will to men!'

Yet the hearts must childlike be
Where such heavenly guests abide:
Unto children, in their glee,
All the year is Christmas-tide!

Thus, forgetting tricks and play
For a moment, Lady dear,
We would wish you, if we may,
Merry Christmas, glad New Year!

by Lewis Carroll.

Our First War-Christmas

HARD to wait for the postman's tramp
Up the snowy walk, for the hand that gropes
Deep in his pack, while the children tease
For the rainbow-ribboned packages,
And women wax faint with their fearful hopes
For those tattered, grimy envelopes
With the foreign stamp,
— Word, dear word from overseas,
From the fleet, the trench, the camp.
Oh, not jewels nor curious toys
Of art and fashion, no gift most rare
Can gladden those eyes that weep in the hush
Of lonely nights, can bring the flush
To faces white with their silent prayer,
Like the letters, precious beyond compare,
From our soldier-boys,
Letters to laugh over, cry over, crush
To the lips, our Christmas joys.

by Katharine Lee Bates.

Modern Love Xxiii: 'Tis Christmas Weather

'Tis Christmas weather, and a country house
Receives us: rooms are full: we can but get
An attic-crib. Such lovers will not fret
At that, it is half-said. The great carouse
Knocks hard upon the midnight's hollow door,
But when I knock at hers, I see the pit.
Why did I come here in that dullard fit?
I enter, and lie couched upon the floor.
Passing, I caught the coverlet's quick beat:--
Come, Shame, burn to my soul! and Pride, and Pain--
Foul demons that have tortured me, enchain!
Out in the freezing darkness the lambs bleat.
The small bird stiffens in the low starlight.
I know not how, but shuddering as I slept,
I dreamed a banished angel to me crept:
My feet were nourished on her breasts all night.

by George Meredith.

Oh, hush thee, little Dear-my-Soul,
The evening shades are falling,--
Hush thee, my dear, dost thou not hear
The voice of the Master calling?

Deep lies the snow upon the earth,
But all the sky is ringing
With joyous song, and all night long
The stars shall dance, with singing.

Oh, hush thee, little Dear-my-Soul,
And close thine eyes in dreaming,
And angels fair shall lead thee where
The singing stars are beaming.

A shepherd calls his little lambs,
And he longeth to caress them;
He bids them rest upon his breast,
That his tender love may bless them.

So, hush thee, little Dear-my-Soul,
Whilst evening shades are falling,
And above the song of the heavenly throng
Thou shalt hear the Master calling.

by Eugene Field.

A Child’s Song Of Christmas

MY counterpane is soft as silk,
My blankets white as creamy milk.
The hay was soft to Him, I know,
Our little Lord of long ago.

Above the roof the pigeons fly
In silver wheels across the sky.
The stable-doves they cooed to them,
Mary and Christ in Bethlehem.

Bright shines the sun across the drifts,
And bright upon my Christmas gifts.
They brought Him incense, myrrh, and gold,
Our little Lord who lived of old.

O, soft and clear our mother sings
Of Christmas joys and Christmas things.
God's holy angels sang to them,
Mary and Christ in Bethlehem.

Our hearts they hold all Christmas dear,
And earth seems sweet and heaven seems near.
O, heaven was in His sight, I know,
That little Child of long ago.

by Marjorie Lowry Christie Pickthall.

A Christmas Carol

TUNE--'God rest ye, merry gentleman.'

GOD rest ye, merry gentlemen; let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas-day.
The dawn rose red o'er Bethlehem, the stars shone through the gray,
When Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas-day.

God rest ye, little children; let nothing you affright,
For Jesus Christ, your Saviour, was born this happy night;
Along the hills of Galilee the white flocks sleeping lay,
When Christ, the Child of Nazareth, was born on Christmas-day.

God rest ye, all good Christians; upon this blessed morn
The Lord of all good Christians was of a woman born:
Now all your sorrows He doth heal, your sins He takes away;
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas-day.

by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik.

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th'unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
'There is no peace on earth, ' I said
'For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.'

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.'

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Christmas Eve 1914

Silent, to-night, o'er Judah's hills
Bend low the angel throng,
No heavenly music fills the air
Exultantly with song;
Yet, close above the sin-scarred earth,
Broods still the Love Divine,
And through the darkness, as of old,
The stars of pity shine.


Silent, to-night, is Bethlehem:
Along the hushèd ways
No eager feet of worshippers,
No melodies of praise;
Yet, in the quietness that fills
The waiting hearts of men,
The ancient miracle of hope
Is wrought, to-night, again.


O holy Christ! to whom, of old,
The wondering shepherds came,
The light they sought with flaming joy
We seek in contrite shame;
And though men strive, we dare to hope
That Thou again art born,
For, through the night of our despair,
Behold! Thy star of morn!

by Eugene Field.

A Christmas Child

SHE came to me at Christmas time and made me mother, and it seemed
There was a Christ indeed and He had given me the joy I'd dreamed.

She nestled to me, and I kept her near and warm, surprised to find
The arms that held my babe so close were opened wider to her kind.

I hid her safe within my heart. 'My heart' I said, 'is all for you,'
But lo! She left the door ajar and all the world came flocking through.

She needed me. I learned to know the royal joy that service brings,
She was so helpless that I grew to love all little helpless things.

She trusted me, and I who ne'er had trusted, save in self, grew cold
With panic lest this precious life should know no stronger, surer hold.

She lay and smiled and in her eyes I watched my narrow world grow broad,
Within her tiny, crumpled hand I touched the mighty hand of God!

by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay.

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