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christmas poems

Many short Christmas poems are great pieces of artwork that convey deep meanings and significance. These artwork pieces usually describe winter setting and all things related to Christmas Day. Poems about Christmas are quite fun to read. So you want to inspire a loved one or a friend this Christmas? You may be able to do that using a short poem about Christmas. Here, you will find some good inspirational Christmas poems, Christmas poems for kids for your friends and dear ones.

 
Poems    Christmas poems
 
 

When I was very young
I really believed in Father Christmas
The whole package - Reindeers - Santa Claus
The Christmas Elves - Gobal distribtion etc.
I made a 'Christmas Present List' and mailed it
faithfully each year to: Mr S Claus - North Pole
I left mince pies - sherry and nine carrots
Sure enough they had all been eaten
By Dasher - Dancer - Prancer - Vixen - Comet
Cupid - Donner - Blitzen and of course Rudolph.
And all the presents on my list were there.
My parents explained that the Father Christmas
In the CO-OP was just a local representative.
It all seemed so logical and so plausible.
When I was ten - I went to Grammar School.
We started to study Physics - always a mistake
I applied the Laws of Physics to Christmas.
Aerodynamics taught me that a sleigh
Loaded with presents and a 260 pound Santa
Pulled by nine reindeers was very very...
Unlikely to have lift off even on a day
With a gale force following wind.
There was also the questions of the
Restrictions of girth and friction on Santa
Negotiating even one chimney on Chrstmas Eve.
MyTime & Motion study also ruled out the feasiblity
Of delivery to over one billion homes in 24 hours!
My time as a Christmas Agnostic lasted 17 years
Then my daughter Sharon arrived and I was a Real Father.
Then on 24 December 1960 - I was a 'Real' Father Christmas.
I did not try to negotiate the chimney - but I did
Look the part - White beard - Red suit - Santa hat.
She was only nine months old at Christmas
But I did not want her to see her Daddy - in his
Pyjamas filling the pillow case - at the end of her bed
(Socks were out in 1960) - With everything on her list.
She didn't acctually write the list - but dictated it
To her Mother who was also dressed up - as a Fairy.
My stint as a 'Real' Father Christmas lasted nearly 30 years
'Til the last of my fledglings flew the nest in 1999.
When I 'played' Father Christmas at my Son's School
He said 'Daddy Father Christmas had hands just like yours! '
My 30 year stint as 'Father Christmas in Residence' was over
And the responsibilty of maintaining the myth with my........
Eight Grandchildren lies with my Children - not with me.
There is a problem however that effects all Englishmen.
Once we retire at 65 - in my case nineteen-ninety-nine
We metamorphise - by a series of not so slow transitions.
1. The hair turns grey and then snowy white
2. There is no incentive to shave - so we grow a white beard
3. We become more rotund in the tummy area
4. We spend a lot of time pottering in the garden in wellies
5. We wear a red wooly hat with a white bobble
6. We wear the wife's old red winter coat to keep warm.
From a distance - the perfect Father Christmas!
Because of this transformation we are soon in demand
The Local School and the ubiquitous Church Christmas Fete.
The news spreads - Have you seen John Knight
He's a dead ringer for Father Christ mas - He looked wonderful
with his Elves at the Supermarket Precinct on Saturday.
This is my worst nightmare - This is no longer pretend
I really am 'The Definitive Father Christmas' - From July
Through to March in the next year - and all for Charity.
In reality I quite enjoyed it - Until in October I heard my Wife
Discussing my Funeral wih her friend Patsy! ! ! 'I've been....
to the Undertakers and they have given me a decent price'.
'For a white coffin - on a sleigh shaped hearse - pulled by nine....'
'Not reindeers' Patsy gasped - 'I just don't believe it! '
'Yes they have contacted Colchester Zoo - and it's OK'.
'Oh Gosh' sceamed Patsy 'I hope he dies in December! ! ! ! ! '
(John Knight - Colchester - December 2009)
1007 Father Christmas - Christmas Father
John Knight

T IS Christmas, and the North wind blows; 't was two years yesterday
Since from the Lusitania's bows I looked o'er Table Bay,
A tripper round the narrow world, a pilgrim of the main,
Expecting when her sails unfurled to start for home again.
'T is Christmas, and the North wind blows; to-day our hearts are one,
Though you are 'mid the English snows and I in Austral sun;
You, when you hear the Northern blast, pile high a mightier fire,
Our ladies cower until it 's past in lawn and lace attire.
I fancy I can picture you upon this Christmas night,
Just sitting as you used to do, the laughter at its height:
And then a sudden, silent pause intruding on your glee,
And kind eyes glistening because you chanced to think of me.
This morning when I woke and knew 't was Christmas come again,
I almost fancied I could view white rime upon the pane,
And hear the ringing of the wheels upon the frosty ground,
And see the drip that downward steals in icy casket bound.
I daresay you 'll be on the lake, or sliding on the snow,
And breathing on your hands to make the circulation flow,
Nestling your nose among the furs of which your boa 's made,?
The Fahrenheit here registers a hundred in the shade.
It is not quite a Christmas here with this unclouded sky,
This pure transparent atmosphere, this sun midheaven-high;
To see the rose upon the bush, young leaves upon the trees,
And hear the forest's summer hush or the low hum of bees.
But cold winds bring not Christmastide, nor budding roses June,
And when it 's night upon your side we 're basking in the noon.
Kind hearts make Christmas?June can bring blue sky or clouds above;
The only universal spring is that which comes of love.
And so it 's Christmas in the South as on the North-Sea coasts,
Though we are starved with summer-drouth and you with winter frosts.
And we shall have our roast beef here, and think of you the while,
Though all the watery hemisphere cuts off the mother isle.
Feel sure that we shall think of you, we who have wandered forth,
And many a million thoughts will go to-day from south to north;
Old heads will muse on churches old, where bells will ring to-day?
The very bells, perchance, which tolled their fathers to the clay.
And now, good-night! and I shall dream that I am with you all,
Watching the ruddy embers gleam athwart the panelled hall;
Nor care I if I dream or not, though severed by the foam,
My heart is always in the spot which was my childhood's home.
A Christmas Letter From Australia
Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen

IT was the calm and silent night!
Seven hundred years and fifty-three
Had Rome been growing up to might,
And now was Queen of land and sea.
No sound was heard of clashing wars;
Peace brooded o'er the hush'd domain;
Apollo, Pallas, Jove and Mars,
Held undisturb'd their ancient reign,
In the solemn midnight
Centuries ago.
'T was in the calm and silent night!
The senator of haughty Rome
Impatient urged his chariot's flight,
From lordly revel rolling home.
Triumphal arches gleaming swell
His breast with thoughts of boundless sway;
What reck'd the Roman what befell
A paltry province far away,
In the solemn midnight
Centuries ago!
Within that province far away
Went plodding home a weary boor:
A streak of light before him lay,
Fall'n through a half-shut stable door
Across his path. He pass'd?for nought
Told what was going on within;
How keen the stars! his only thought;
The air how calm and cold and thin,
In the solemn midnight
Centuries ago!
O strange indifference!?low and high
Drows'd over common joys and cares:
Was the earth still,but knew not why;
The world was listening?unawares.
How calm a moment may precede
One that shall thrill the world for ever!
To that still moment none would heed,
Man's doom was link'd, no more to sever,
In the solemn midnight
Centuries ago.
It is the calm and solemn night!
A thousand bells ring out, and throw
Their joyous peals abroad, and smite
The darkness, charm'd and holy now.
The night that erst no name had worn,
To it a happy name is given;
For in that stable lay new-born
The peaceful Prince of Earth and Heaven,
In the solemn midnight
Centuries ago.
A Christmas Hymn
Alfred Domett

It's mighty lonesome-like and rear.
Above the Wild, the moon rides high,
And shows up sharp and needle-clear
The emptiness of earth and sky;
No happy homes with love aglow;
No Santa Claus to make belief:
Just snow and snow, and then more snow;
It's Christmas Eve, it's Christmas Eve.
And here am I where all things end,
And Undesirables are hurled;
A poor old man without a friend,
Forgot and dead to all the world;
Clean out of sight and out of mind. .
Well, maybe it is better so;
We all in life our level find,
And mine, I guess, is pretty low.
Yet as I sit with pipe alight
Beside the cabin-fir
take to-night
The backward trail of fifty years.
The school-house and the Christmas tree;
The children with their cheeks aglow;
Two bright blue eyes that smile on me . .
Just half a century ago.
Again (it's maybe forty years),
With faith and trust almost divine,
These same blue eyes, brim with tears,
Through depths of love look into mine.
A parting, tender, soft and low,
With arms that cling and lips that leave . .
Ah me! it's all so long ago,
Yet seems so sweet this Christmas Eve.
Just thirty years ago, again . .
We say a bitter, last good-bye;
Our lips are white with wrath and pain;
Our little children cling and cry.
Whose was the fault? it matters not,
For man and woman both deceive;
It's buried now and all forgot,
Forgiven, too, this Christmas Eve.
And she (God pity me) is dead;
Our children men and women grown.
I like to think that they are wed,
With little children of their own,
That crowd around their Christmas tree . .
I would not ever have them grieve,
Or shed a single tear for me,
To mar their joy this Christmas Eve.
Stripped to the buff and gaunt and still
Lies all the land in grim distress.
Like lost soul wailing, long and shrill,
A wolf-howl cleaves the emptiness.
Then hushed as Death is everything.
The moon rides haggard and forlorn . .
"O hark the herald angels sing!"
God bless all men -- it's Christmas morn.
The Trapper's Christmas Eve
Robert William Service

 
 

The first Nowell the Angel did say
Was to three poor Shepherds in the fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
In a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.
They looked up and saw a Star
Shining in the East beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.
And by the light of that same Star,
Three Wise Men came from country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the Star wherever it went.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.
This Star drew nigh to the North West,
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest,
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over the place where Jesus lay.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then did they know assuredly
Within the house the King did lie:
One entered in then for to see,
And found the Babe in poverty.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then enter'd in those Wise Men three
Most reverently upon their knee,
And offer'd there in his presence,
Both gold, and myrrh, and frankincense.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

Between an ox stall and an ass,
This Child truly there born he was;
For want of clothing they did him lay
All in the manger, among the hay.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
And with his blood mankind hath bought.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

If we in our time shall do well,
We shall be free from death and Hell,
For God hath prepared for us all
A resting place in general.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.
For Christmas Day In The Morning
Anonymous Americas

HVO recalls not
a weather, he believes, a sky more could conformed
A ram on every soul, from Cain to it,
God last condemned,
cursed the earth from hell escaped and
tempted them to betray heaven ....
a storm the voting
terrible I more can oversight?
Thi all thought, it must be sent
for me one;
hurricane thunders me only me they think;
my sins the spirits acquaintance ...
a storm the strength
can learn priest and believers to cultivate
demons in that element, if smash
the old hearing
from childhood in his bemoste cents
a cloud earthquakes, atmospheric doom
a storm that shook
the strong heart of its collapse in the chest,
a heaven, in which his own name
he p'ropt heard
of spirits, storms carried past him,
while every treetop screamed like a raven! But the raven hid
themselves in the rock, wolf hungry tuned,
and fox dared not look.
In the house extinguished
every light, and the Watchdog kept indoors ....
In such weather, then you get beans, God!
In such weather - it was a Christmas Eve -
when night fell before the day had reached its end,
there was a Jew, nearly overcome,
found himself in Sweden desert, Tived Forest.
He expected to the this side
of the settlements on the other, for the sake of Christmas,
the girls with longing for knapsack
buckles, lace and everything they needed
for tomorrow, another day and New Year's.
It made the longing, but not upset;
thi still had "old-Jakob" never
them failed some Christmas: He was as sure
as Christmas was even.
" Tysse! it was again the storm
that howled through the branches, it screamed.
Now scream it again. " And Old-Jakob
abruptly paused and listened for another time.
Now tier it. For the storm increases,
which falls washes over a drowning man.
He wanders again. "Tysse! Leave a sound!"
- A sound that cut through the forest soda.
"The fake owl screams like a child.
Who would let kids out in such weather
Not even the wolf even with his." And
the old man trudges again into the snow.
Then the scream again, so his doubts;
thi this gust, who lost everything
a snout snet'rn whorls of the forest,
has led a word, a simple word;
and flux once he turns to whence it arrived,
working his way deeper into the woods
and deeper into the snow and in the night
there as a deep black cliff stood up
against each items are steps, only visible through light,
as if the whole forest was full
of flying sl'rhyllete ghouls,
where howling themselves pledged him in the way,
the airy toe themselves whirled, grew frightfully,
and then disappeared among the trees.
Dog old man fights his way through the storm.
he wanders when it grows, when it slows
and dragons breath, he listens to his knees.
But he jumps up and walks into the dark
like a dwarf through the black mold.
.... He hears nothing more. The old tremble
at the thought that his evil spirits are playing,
and mumbling until the beans, which he knows.
Then whimpering again, and pretty close;
his own shout the storm pushes
back in his mouth. But hist, yes hist!
Ten Steps yet! There something dark out
on the snow, as if the storm were playing with
a stump, loosened at the root.
"O Lord, an arm! O Lord,
a child, a child! But dead! -"
Ah, thought the stars of this night,
when the star of Bethlehem shone between them,
and nothing good could happen on earth?
Thi none of them looked that old Jacob
so happy as if a treasure he had found,
flux wasted their entire wealth: slightest hesitation
, pulled off his gown , praised it
for the child's limbs, exposing her breast,
and let the cold cheek thereby
until it woke from his heartbeat.
and he ran up. But now whither? For the storm
has blown his tracks again. It ei concerned.

Thi him in thunder in the forest tops
now heard David cheers harps only;
He saw the gusts as cherubs,
which showed the way on swan white wings,
and in that to and he followed, felt
he Lord strong guiding hand.
But house on would Tiveden to find
in such a night, when light a dare burned
And midway there is only a single space;
the low ceiling which could not be from the snow,
the black wall a of a cut piece.
Dog by a miracle he of the .
Where he sank. He could go no further
and many gusts before his burden
he orkede to drag herself to the door.
He knocked softly at first, awake the child;
and now for the first time he missed his scrip,
for he had nothing to give
the good French people, who soon,
with hospitable hasten open door. Alas,
he knocked many times before it responded:
"In the name of Jesus, who is going there in such a night "
"The old Jacob. You know me
The old Jew !" "Jew!" screamed horrified
one male and female voice. "When you are out there!
We own nothing to buy,
and only misfortune will bring the house
this night, when he was born, you killed."
"I"
"Yes, your people, and it is sin that
through thousand generations to be punished. "
" Alas!
in the night when the dog is kept in "
" yes, the dog,
but no Jew in a Christian house. "
He heard no more. The harsh words
him colder than the wind gjennomhvinte,
and slammed stronger than them, him down
in the snow, bent over the sleeping child.
Then it seemed to him, as he stared toward the window,
as if the white face again came
into view, however, that if he sank down,
the fair is hot through his veins flowed,
and as familiar beings, whispering
as summer winds,
surrounded him, until one
lifted finger said, came! he sleeps.
And in a lighted room beside
disappeared all; only the child stayed
at the foot of his bed, pulling
his pillows more about him,
it seemed to him self, he slept in.
- Where the snow was, which grew on the dead.
"O Jesus! Jew is still there!"
cried the man, when he looked out that morning.
"so rush him away! It's Christmas Day,"
the wife chimed in. "And see the j'deskjelm,
which he holds to his chest!"
"He is aggressive with its goods.
With rigid glance he looks here, as if
we had enough money to buy."
"Though I'd see what he has to sell. "
" Show off then, Jew! "
they both went out.
the frozen glaze they saw in the corpse's eyes.
they faded more than that, they screamed
and shook in remorse.
" O Jemini!
What accident here happened! "
They stood him up
and bundle came with. They opened the dress.
There hung with arms Jew throat,
Margaret, their children - a body like him.
Then turn a lightning, so swift worm a bit,
as fear and pain the couple struck.
So pale as the father was a snow,
so howling storm ei as the mother.
"O God have punished us! Not the cold,
our own cruelty has killed our children!
in vain! Ah, for the Jew on our door
on grace we would vainly knocking."

When the forest road was, came a message from farm,
where little Gretha foster the floor lay,
and where did she, when the weekend in was encircled,
before the weather came, walked by herself,
her parents on Christmas Eve.
but they came not to ask about the child,
but the Jew from the town girls,
whose hope to go to the guest church
only stood to New Year's day, if he existed.
There he lay dead before the hearth,
where the man whose look Jew frozen,
and in a position curved like corpse, set
the fire red ash staring
and stetse increasing its fire, the corpse
dog could BLIVE funnel and hand crossed.
But before kneeling Margaret 's mother,
his s arms still
stronger around the corpse's neck.
"she belongs more to us," she sobbed,
"He has our children themselves tilkj pt for his death.
We dare a separate small Greta from him;
for she must pray Jesus for
his intercession with his father; because He
will poor Jew - - "
Christmas Eve (Christmas Eve)
Henrik Wergeland

 
 

The Christmas homes of England!
How far-famed and how dear;
In bright array they ever stand,
That glad day of the year;
When gathered round the hearth-stone,
The loved ones joyful meet,
With one accord from far and near,
The circle glad to greet.
The Christmas homes of England!
O, many a joyous brow,
Which ever yet hath hailed that day,
Will sorrowfully bow,
When this one now returneth;
For they look, but look in vain,
The pride and joy of that glad home,
They ne'er shall see again!
The Christmas homes of England!
In manhood's noblest bloom,
On Alma's bloody fields thy lords
Have found their lowly tomb;
The warrior grey, whose stalwart arm
Had prostrate laid the foe;
And gallant sons of noble sires,
By them in death lie low!

The Christmas homes of England!
Alike in peasant's cot,
Where hath the death-wail not been heard,
Where hath it entered not?
And the widowed mother silent weeps,
And sheds the bitter tear,
As fancy sees her gallant boy,
The cold ground for his bier!

The Christmas homes of England!
In that far-off Eastern land,
What thoughts will be awakened
Among that gallant band
How from scenes so dark and fearful,
Their spirit will take flight
To the bright home of their childhood,
And the happy Christmas night!

The Christmas homes of England!
The love of many years
Is turned into a ceaseless fount
Of bitterness and tears;
The mother and the widow,
The maiden and the child,
They call; but none shall answer,
Those loving accents mild!

O, Christmas homes of England!
There's One, the widow's God!
Who, while He chastens, pitieth
The sad ones 'neath His rod;
His arm beneath supported
Thy loved ones in the field,
And whispered, "Leave thy little ones
To me, their God, their shield!

O, Christmas homes of England!
Let all unite in prayer,
That He, the widow's God, may take
Such to His special care;
And we to whom he spareth
Our hearts best treasure yet;
The widow and the orphan,
O let us not forget!
The Christmas Homes Of England
Caroline Hayward

In the dark and damp of the alley cold,
Lay the Christmas tree that hadn't been sold;
By a shopman dourly thrown outside;
With the ruck and rubble of Christmas-tide;
Trodden deep in the muck and mire,
Unworthy even to feed a fire...
So I stopped and salvaged that tarnished tree,
And thus is the story it told to me:
"My Mother was Queen of the forest glade,
And proudly I prospered in her shade;
For she said to me: 'When I am dead,
You will be monarch in my stead,
And reign, as I, for a hundred years,
A tower of triumph amid your peers,
When I crash in storm I will yield you space;
Son, you will worthily take my place.'

"So I grew in grace like a happy child,
In the heart of the forest free and wild;
And the moss and the ferns were all about,
And the craintive mice crept in and out;
And a wood-dove swung on my highest twig,
And a chipmunk chattered: 'So big! So big!'
And a shy fawn nibbled a tender shoot,
And a rabbit nibbled under my root...
Oh, I was happy in rain and shine
As I thought of the destiny that was mine!
Then a man with an axe came cruising by
And I knew that my fate was to fall and die.

"With a hundred others he packed me tight,
And we drove to a magic city of light,
To an avenue lined with Christmas trees,
And I thought: may be I'll be one of these,
Tinselled with silver and tricked with gold,
A lovely sight for a child to behold;
A-glitter with lights of every hue,
Ruby and emerald, orange and blue,
And kiddies dancing, with shrieks of glee -
One might fare worse than a Christmas tree.

"So they stood me up with a hundred more
In the blaze of a big department store;
But I thought of the forest dark and still,
And the dew and the snow and the heat and the chill,
And the soft chinook and the summer breeze,
And the dappled deer and the birds and the bees...
I was so homesick I wanted to cry,
But patient I waited for someone to buy.
And some said 'Too big,' and some 'Too small,'
And some passed on saying nothing at all.
Then a little boy cried: Ma, buy that one,'
But she shook her head: 'Too dear, my son."
So the evening came, when they closed the store,
And I was left on the littered floor,
A tree unwanted, despised, unsold,
Thrown out at last in the alley cold."

Then I said: "Don't sorrow; at least you'll be
A bright and beautiful New Year's tree,
All shimmer and glimmer and glow and gleam,
A radiant sight like a fairy dream.
For there is a little child I know,
Who lives in poverty, want and woe;
Who lies abed from morn to night,
And never has known an hour's delight..."
So I stood the tree at the foot of her bed:
"Santa's a little late," I said.
"Poor old chap! Snowbound on the way,
But he's here at last, so let's be gay."
Then she woke from sleep and she saw you there,
And her eyes were love and her lips were prayer.
And her thin little arms were stretched to you
With a yearning joy that they never knew.
She woke from the darkest dark to see
Like a heavenly vision, that Christmas Tree.
Her mother despaired and feared the end,
But from that day she began to mend,
To play, to sing, to laugh with glee...
Bless you, O little Christmas Tree!
You died, but your life was not in vain:
You helped a child to forget her pain,
And let hope live in our hearts again.
The Christmas Tree
Robert William Service

And wilt thou hear the fevered heart
To Thee in silence cry
And as th' inconstant wildfires dart
Out of the restless eye,
Wilt thou forgive the wayward though
By kindly woes yet half untaught
A Saviours right, so dearly bought,
That Hope should never die

Thou wilt: for many a languid prayer
Has reached Thee from the wild,
Since the lorn mother, wandering there,
Cast down her fainting child,
Then stole apart to weep and die,
Nor knew an angel form was nigh,
To show soft waters gushing by,
And dewy shadows mild.

Thou wilt--for Thou art Israel's God,
And Thine unwearied arm
Is ready yet with Moses' rod,
The hidden rill to charm
Out of the dry unfathomed deep
Of sands, that lie in lifeless sleep,
Save when the scorching whirlwinds heap
Their waves in rude alarm.

These moments of wild wrath are Thine -
Thine, too, the drearier hour
When o'er th' horizon's silent line
Fond hopeless fancies cower,
And on the traveller's listless way
Rises and sets th' unchanging day,
No cloud in heaven to slake its ray,
On earth no sheltering bower.

Thou wilt be there, and not forsake,
To turn the bitter pool
Into a bright and breezy lake,
This throbbing brow to cool:
Till loft awhile with Thee alone
The wilful heart be fain to own
That He, by whom our bright hours shone,
Our darkness best may rule.

The scent of water far away
Upon the breeze is flung;
The desert pelican to-day
Securely leaves her young,
Reproving thankless man, who fears
To journey on a few lone years,
Where on the sand Thy step appears,
Thy crown in sight is hung.

Thou, who did sit on Jacob's well
The weary hour of noon,
The languid pulses Thou canst tell,
The nerveless spirit tune.
Thou from Whose cross in anguish burst
The cry that owned Thy dying thirst,
To Thee we turn, our Last and First,
Our Sun and soothing Moon.

From darkness, here, and dreariness
We ask not full repose,
Only be Thou at hand, to bless
Our trial hour of woes.
Is not the pilgrim's toil o'erpaid
By the clear rill and palmy shade
And see we not, up Earth's dark glade,
The gate of Heaven unclose
Second Sunday After Christmas
John Keble

GOOD fellows are laughing and drinking
(To-night no heart should grieve),
But I am of old days thinking,
Alone, on Christmas Eve.
Old memories fast are springing
To life again; old rhymes
Once more in my brain are ringing?
Ah, God be with old times!
There never was man so lonely
But ghosts walked him beside,
For Death our spirits can only
By veils of sense divide.
Numberless as the blades of
Grass in the fields that grow,
Around us hover the shades of
The dead of long ago.
Friends living a word estranges;
We smile, and we say Adieu!
But, whatsoever else changes,
Dead friends are faithful and true.
An old-time tune, or a flower,
The simplest thing held dear
In bygone days has the power
Once more to bring them near.

And whether it be through thinking
Of memories sad and sweet,
Or hearing the cheery clinking
Of glasses across the street,
I know not; but this is certain
That, here in the dusk, I view
Like shadows seen through a curtain,
The shades of the friends I knew.

Methinks that I hear their laughter
An echo of ghostly mirth,
As if in the dim Hereafter
They jest as they did on earth.
The fancy possibly droll is,
And yet it relieves my mind
To think the enfranchised soul is
So humorously inclined.
But hark! whose steps in the glancing
Moonbeams are these I hear,
That sound as if timed to dancing
Music of gallant cheer!
Half Galahad, half Don Juan,
His head full of wild romance;
'Twas thus that of old would Spruhan
Come lilting, We met by chance.

Sure never a spirit lighter
At heart quaffed mountain dew;
Never was goblin brighter
That Oberon's kingdom knew.
And though at this season yearly
I miss the grasp of his hand,
I know that Spruhan has merely
Gone back to Fairyland.

. . . . .
The shades grow dimmer and dimmer,
And now they fade from view,
I see in the East the glimmer
Of dawn. Old friends, adieu!
Sitting here, lonely hearted,
Writing these random rhymes.
I drink to the days departed,
Ah, God be with old times!
A Christmas Eve
Victor James Daley

 
 

I -- In Church

Thou whose birth on earth
Angels sang to men,
While thy stars made mirth,
Saviour, at thy birth,
This day born again;
As this night was bright
With thy cradle-ray,
Very light of light,
Turn the wild world's night
To thy perfect day.
God whose feet made sweet
Those wild ways they trod,
From thy fragrant feet
Staining field and street
With the blood of God;
God whose breast is rest
In the time of strife,
In thy secret breast
Sheltering souls opprest
From the heat of life;
God whose eyes are skies
Love-lit as with spheres
By the lights that rise
To thy watching eyes,
Orbed lights of tears;

God whose heart hath part
In all grief that is,
Was not man's the dart
That went through thine heart,
And the wound not his
Where the pale souls wail,
Held in bonds of death,
Where all spirits quail,
Came thy Godhead pale
Still from human breath -
Pale from life and strife,
Wan with manhood, came
Forth of mortal life,
Pierced as with a knife,
Scarred as with a flame.
Thou the Word and Lord
In all time and space
Heard, beheld, adored,
With all ages poured
Forth before thy face,
Lord, what worth in earth
Drew thee down to die
What therein was worth,
Lord, thy death, and birth
What beneath thy sky
Light above all love
By thy love was lit,
And brought down the Dove
Feathered from above
With the wings of it.
From the height of night,
Was not thine the star
That led forth with might
By no worldly light
Wise men from afar

Yet the wise men's eyes
Saw thee not more clear
Then they saw thee rise
Who in shepherd's guise
Drew as poor men near.
Yet thy poor endure,
And are with us yet;
Be thy name a sure
Refuge for thy poor
Whom men's eyes forget.
Thou whose ways we praised,
Clear alike and dark,
Keep our works and ways
This and all thy days
Safe inside thine ark.
Who shall keep thy sheep,
Lord, and lose not one
Who save one shall keep,
Lest the shepherds sleep
Who besides the Son
From the grave-deep wave,
From the sword and flame,
Thou, even thou, shalt save
Souls of king and slave
Only by thy Name.
Light not born with morn
Or her fires above,
Jesus virgin-born,
Held of men in scorn,
Turn their scorn to love.
Thou whose face gives grace
As the sun's doth heat,
Let thy sunbright face
Lighten time and space
Here beneath thy feet.
Bid our peace increase,
Thou that madest morn;
Bid oppressions cease;
Bid the night be peace;
Bid the day be born.
II--OUTSIDE CHURCH
We whose days and ways
All the night makes dark,
What day shall we praise
Of these weary days
That our life-drops mark
We whose mind is blind,
Fed with hope of naught;
Wastes of worn mankind,
Without heart or mind,
Without meat or thought;
We with strife of life
Worn till all life cease,
Want, a whetted knife,
Sharpening strife on strife,
How should we love peace
Ye whose meat is sweet
And your wine-cup red,
Us beneath your feet
Hunger grinds as wheat,
Grinds to make your bread.
Ye whose night is bright
With soft rest and heat,
Clothed like day with light,
Us the naked night
Slays from street to street.
Hath your God no rod,
That ye tread so light
Man on us as God,
God as man hath trod,
Trod us down with might.
We that one by one
Bleed from either's rod.
What for us hath done
Man beneath the sun,
What for us hath God
We whose blood is food
Given your wealth to feed,
From the Christless rood
Red with no God's blood,
But with man indeed;
How shall we that see
Nightlong overhead
Life, the flowerless tree,
Nailed whereon as we
Were our fathers dead -
We whose ear can hear,
Not whose tongue can name,
Famine, ignorance, fear,
Bleeding tear by tear
Year by year of shame,
Till the dry life die
Out of bloodless breast,
Out of beamless eye,
Out of mouths that cry
Till death feed with rest -
How shall we as ye,
Though ye bid us, pray
Though ye call, can we
Hear you call, or see,
Though ye show us a day
We whose name is shame,
We whose souls walk bare,
Shall we call the same
God as ye by name,
Teach our lips your prayer
God, forgive and give,
For His sake who died
Nay, for ours who live,
How shall we forgive
The, then, on our side
We whose right to light
Heaven's high noon denies,
Whom the blind beams smite
That for you shine bright,
And but burn our eyes,
With what dreams of beams
Shall we build up day,
At what sourceless streams
Seek to drink in dreams
Ere they pass away
In what street shall meet,
At what market-place,
Your feet and our feet,
With one goal to greet,
Having run one race
What one hope shall ope
For us all as one
One same horoscope,
Where the soul sees hope
That outburns the sun
At what shrine what wine,
At what board what bread,
Salt as blood or brine,
Shall we share in sign
How we poor were fed
In what hour what power
Shall we pray for morn,
If your perfect hour,
When all day bears flower,
Not for us is born
III--BEYOND CHURCH
Ye that weeps in sleep,
Souls and bodies bound,
Ye that all night keep
Watch for change, and weep
That no change is found;
Ye that cry and die,
And the world goes on Without ear or eye,
And the days go by
Till all days are gone;
Man shall do for you,
Men the sons of man,
What no God would do
That they sought unto
While the blind years ran.
Brotherhood of good,
Equal laws and rights,
Freedom, whose sweet food
Feeds the multitude
All their days and nights
With the bread full-fed
Of her body blest
And the soul's wine shed
From her table spread
Where the world is guest,
Mingling me and thee,
When like light of eyes
Flashed through thee and me
Truth shall make us free,
Liberty make wise;
These are they whom day
Follows and gives light
Whence they see to slay
Night, and burn away
All the seed of night.
What of thine and mine,
What of want and wealth,
When one faith is wine
For my heart and thine
And one draught is health
For no sect elect
Is the soul's wine poured
And her table decked;
Whom should man reject
From man's common board
Gods refuse and choose,
Grudge and sell and spare;
None shall man refuse,
None of all men lose,
None leave out of care.
No man's might of sight
Knows that hour before;
No man's hand hath might
To put back that light
For one hour the more.
Not though all men call,
Kneeling with void hands,
Shall they see light fall
Till it come for all
Tribes of men and lands.
No desire brings fire
Down from heaven by prayer,
Though man's vain desire
Hang faith's wind-struck lyre
Out in tuneless air.
One hath breath and saith
What the tune shall be -
Time, who puts his breath
Into life and death,
Into earth and sea.
To and fro years flow,
Fill their tides and ebb,
As his fingers go
Weaving to and fro
One unfinished web.
All the range of change
Hath its bounds therein,
All the lives that range
All the byways strange
Named of death or sin.
Star from far to star
Speaks, and white moons wake,
Watchful from afar
What the night's ways are
For the morning's sake.
Many names and flames
Pass and flash and fall,
Night-begotten names,
And the night reclaims,
As she bare them, all.
But the sun is one,
And the sun's name Right;
And when light is none
Saving of the sun,
All men shall have light.

All shall see and be
Parcel of the morn

 
 
 
 
 

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