Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

Christmas Fancies - Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,
We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago.
And etched on vacant places,
Are half forgotten faces
Of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know –
When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow.

Uprising from the ocean of the present surging near,
We see, with strange emotion that is not free from fear,
That continent Elysian
Long vanished from our vision,
Youth’s lovely lost Atlantis, so mourned for and so dear,
Uprising from the ocean of the present surging near.

When gloomy gray Decembers are roused to Christmas mirth,
The dullest life remembers there once was joy on earth,
And draws from youth’s recesses
Some memory it possesses,
And, gazing through the lens of time, exaggerates its worth,
When gloomy gray December is roused to Christmas mirth.

When hanging up the holly or mistletoe, I wis
Each heart recalls some folly that lit the world with bliss.
Not all the seers and sages
With wisdom of the ages
Can give the mind such pleasure as memories of that kiss
When hanging up the holly or mistletoe, I wis.

For life was made for loving, and love alone repays,
As passing years are proving for all of Time’s sad ways.
There lies a sting in pleasure,
And fame gives shallow measure,
And wealth is but a phantom that mocks the restless days,
For life was made for loving, and only loving pays.

When Christmas bells are pelting the air with silver chimes,
And silences are melting to soft, melodious rhymes,
Let Love, the worlds beginning,
End fear and hate and sinning;
Let Love, the God Eternal, be worshipped in all climes
When Christmas bells are pelting the air with silver chimes.


Comments about Christmas Fancies by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  • (12/30/2017 8:58:00 AM)


    End fear, hate and sinning, ...steps to Christ oh i love christmas.....a good poem (Report) Reply

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  • Glen Kappy (12/30/2017 8:41:00 AM)


    This poem impresses me with it’s craft—it’s sustained lyricism and easy rhymes. And then there’s its message, of what lies at the foundation of life. Thank you PH for introducing me to this poem. -GK (Report) Reply

  • Sylvia Frances Chan (12/30/2017 7:03:00 AM)


    My highest CONGRATULATIONS to Ella's family, as The Classic Poem of The DAY! Sincerest, Sylvia Frances Chan, The Netherlands (Report) Reply

  • Sylvia Frances Chan (12/30/2017 7:01:00 AM)


    My highest CONGRATULATIONS to Ella's family, wherever they may be, this is my statement here, my grandest thankfulness to the PoemHunter Committee and Team that I may know Ella closer than before. PoemHunter gives the possobility to know Ella as closest as can be. THANK YOU O MUCH, DEAR POEMHUNTER and TEAM! (Report) Reply

  • Sylvia Frances Chan (12/30/2017 6:56:00 AM)


    I love this Christmas Classic by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. She is such a sweet poetess, timeless words she uttered here and we are forgetting our own everything, since she is telling like nowadays life we are amidst in. Such an ardent poetess is she. The Rhyming Royale is such a joyful read throughout the whole poem, nothing is dull, not a thing is dull, Ella I love you, your timeless. I never dare to give such a huge mighty classic poetess a vote, she may be earning myriads of votes, countless. (Report) Reply

  • (12/30/2017 1:32:00 AM)


    Christmas is a merry day to all and the verse so well scripted it felt like the first light of the Christmas morning is coming through the windows bringing love, peace and happiness immense and boundless.......thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

  • (12/20/2017 8:23:00 PM)


    a gorgeous poem. wow. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (12/16/2015 2:27:00 PM)


    There is magic just in the word Christmas but she adds the sweetest touches to her poem until you would have to be Grinch not to remember your own sweet Christmases past (Report) Reply

  • Kim Barney (12/16/2015 9:26:00 AM)


    Very nice poem. I especially liked the lines
    For life was made for loving, and love alone repays,
    As passing years are proving for all of Time’s sad ways.
    and
    And wealth is but a phantom that mocks the restless days,
    For life was made for loving, and only loving pays.
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/16/2015 9:15:00 AM)


    For life was made for loving, and love alone repays
    As passing years are proving for all of times sad ways
    Philosophy of life is given in a nut shell by the poetess in beautifully crafted Christmas Fancies. Thanks for sharing.
    (Report) Reply

  • Darwin Henry Beuning (12/16/2015 5:24:00 AM)


    Nice, Very appropriate poem for this time of year, as we in Utah are recovering from a major snow storm. My home is buried in over a foot of fresh snow. Peace and happiness to all. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: christmas, ocean, silver, snow, fear, memory, hate, kiss, sad, joy, lost, alone, time, life, world, god, love, remember, friend



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 3, 2003



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