Christmas Poems - Poems For Christmas
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Christmas - A Despatch From The Battlefield Of The Heart - Poem by Michael Shepherd
Christmas is a-comin’ – but
this goose is gettin’ thin…
why do I feel I’m in the dock
of some unauthorised court of moral judgment
with the prospect of spending New Year
in some condemned cell of
personal opinion remarkably similar to
a Dickensian prison now electrified in just one wing…?
Forget the whole giving-presents thing – that’s
relatively simple – it’s those bloody
Christmas cards. Sent yours yet?
I’m with the angels on this one –
peace on earth and goodwill to all, uh,
persons… I’m fully paid up on
this one – so – can we stick with that?
or do we have to prove it with
a ready-printed message once a year?
It’s Christmas, dammit – maybe my year-round goodwill
is equalled by the whole other lot of you out there?
in which case, can we just take that as read,
a universal love-in on a level playing field?
It’s the subtext – ‘I’ve forgotten your personal existence
all the year, but look – Goody Two-Shoes is sending this
to show you up – and I’m posting it
so late that short of posting in the press
one of those announcements that say
‘This year Mr and Mrs Smith are sending
a donation to charity in place of the many Christmas cards
they would have sent to their many friends…’ – or
‘Now we’re back from our Antarctic trip,
Happy New Year! ’ you’re too late to reply…’
Or there's the subtext
'We're sending you a very
religious card with just the faintest hint that
although you may not have noticed it
when we had that blazing row
across the fence which has
simmered on all year, nevertheless
we're really more - well, everything -
than you bastards - however
this puts us, spiritually,
‘Darling, Christmas cards – who sent us one
last year? ’ – say no more…
‘No, we hadn’t quite forgotten you
in case you thought we had, and
I bet it’s mutual? ’ cards, tastefully
designed, be more fun? or
'Why should we even know your
name and address if we
hadn't once thought you worth loving and
if so, why should that change? '
I reckon one acid test for those you love
is, only think of sending cards to
those you’d think of phoning on
Christmas Eve or Christmas Day – and then,
do just that – no need to send a card as well?
Oh well, any excuse to say, I love you.. especially
if we mean it...
so, anyone who reads this (apart from those
who only read to check whether they’d
sent us one too) –
If an individual can claim to share
that universal love which, do we need reminding,
should live our lives for us all the year round,
please feel my universal love
blazing, blazing, towards you…
…‘what’s that, darling? Oh yes, I suppose
we’d better send them one, in case
they think we’d forgotten them… which evidently
we had, hadn’t we…? ’
Have a happy holiday and
a loving New Year full of peace
No really I mean it
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The Mistletoe (A Christmas Tale)
A farmer's wife, both young and gay, And fresh as op'ning buds of May; Had taken to herself, a Spouse, And plighted many solemn vows, That she a faithful mate would prove, In meekness, duty, and in love! That she, despising joy and wealth, Would be, in sickness and in health, His only comfort and his Friend-- But, mark the sequel,--and attend! This Farmer, as the tale is told-- Was somewhat cross, and somewhat old! His, was the wintry hour of life, While summer smiled before his wife; A contrast, rather form'd to cloy The zest of matrimonial joy! 'Twas Christmas time, the peasant throng Assembled gay, with dance and Song: The Farmer's Kitchen long had been Of annual sports the busy scene; The wood-fire blaz'd, the chimney wide Presented seats, on either side; Long rows of wooden Trenchers, clean, Bedeck'd with holly-boughs, were seen; The shining Tankard's foamy ale Gave spirits to the Goblin tale, And many a rosy cheek--grew pale. It happen'd, that some sport to shew The ceiling held a MISTLETOE. A magic bough, and well design'd To prove the coyest Maiden, kind. A magic bough, which DRUIDS old Its sacred mysteries enroll'd; And which, or gossip Fame's a liar, Still warms the soul with vivid fire; Still promises a store of bliss While bigots snatch their Idol's kiss. This MISTLETOE was doom'd to be The talisman of Destiny; Beneath its ample boughs we're told Full many a timid Swain grew bold; Full many a roguish eye askance Beheld it with impatient glance, And many a ruddy cheek confest, The triumphs of the beating breast; And many a rustic rover sigh'd Who ask'd the kiss, and was denied. First MARG'RY smil'd and gave her Lover A Kiss; then thank'd her stars, 'twas over! Next, KATE, with a reluctant pace, Was tempted to the mystic place; Then SUE, a merry laughing jade A dimpled yielding blush betray'd; While JOAN her chastity to shew Wish'd "the bold knaves would serve her so," She'd "teach the rogues such wanton play!" And well she could, she knew the way. The FARMER, mute with jealous care, Sat sullen, in his wicker chair; Hating the noisy gamesome host Yet, fearful to resign his post; He envied all their sportive strife But most he watch'd his blooming wife, And trembled, lest her steps should go, Incautious, near the MISTLETOE. Now HODGE, a youth of rustic grace With form athletic; manly face; On MISTRESS HOMESPUN turn'd his eye And breath'd a soul-declaring sigh! Old HOMESPUN, mark'd his list'ning Fair And nestled in his wicker chair; HODGE swore, she might his heart command-- The pipe was dropp'd from HOMESPUN'S hand! HODGE prest her slender waist around; The FARMER check'd his draught, and frown'd! And now beneath the MISTLETOE 'Twas MISTRESS HOMESPUN'S turn to go; Old Surly shook his wicker chair, And sternly utter'd--"Let her dare!" HODGE, to the FARMER'S wife declar'd Such husbands never should be spar'd; Swore, they deserv'd the worst disgrace, That lights upon the wedded race; And vow'd--that night he would not go Unblest, beneath the MISTLETOE. The merry group all recommend An harmless Kiss, the strife to end: "Why not ?" says MARG'RY, "who would fear, "A dang'rous moment, once a year?" SUSAN observ'd, that "ancient folks "Were seldom pleas'd with youthful jokes;" But KATE, who, till that fatal hour, Had held, o'er HODGE, unrivall'd pow'r, With curving lip and head aside Look'd down and smil'd in conscious pride, Then, anxious to conceal her care, She humm'd--"what fools some women are!" Now, MISTRESS HOMESPUN, sorely vex'd, By pride and jealous rage perplex'd, And angry, that her peevish spouse Should doubt her matrimonial vows, But, most of all, resolved to make An envious rival's bosom ache; Commanded Hodge to let her go, Nor lead her to the Mistletoe; "Why should you ask it o'er and o'er?" Cried she, "we've been there twice before!" 'Tis thus, to check a rival's sway, That Women oft themselves betray; While VANITY, alone, pursuing, They rashly prove, their own undoing.
Sir Galahad, A Christmas Mystery
It is the longest night in all the year, Near on the day when the Lord Christ was born; Six hours ago I came and sat down here, And ponder'd sadly, wearied and forlorn. The winter wind that pass'd the chapel door, Sang out a moody tune, that went right well With mine own thoughts: I look'd down on the floor, Between my feet, until I heard a bell Sound a long way off through the forest deep, And toll on steadily; a drowsiness Came on me, so that I fell half asleep, As I sat there not moving: less and less I saw the melted snow that hung in beads Upon my steel-shoes; less and less I saw Between the tiles the bunches of small weeds: Heartless and stupid, with no touch of awe Upon me, half-shut eyes upon the ground, I thought: O Galahad! the days go by, Stop and cast up now that which you have found, So sorely you have wrought and painfully. Night after night your horse treads down alone The sere damp fern, night after night you sit Holding the bridle like a man of stone, Dismal, unfriended: what thing comes of it? And what if Palomydes also ride, And over many a mountain and bare heath Follow the questing beast with none beside? Is he not able still to hold his breath With thoughts of Iseult? doth he not grow pale With weary striving, to seem best of all To her, "as she is best," he saith? to fail Is nothing to him, he can never fall. For unto such a man love-sorrow is So dear a thing unto his constant heart, That even if he never win one kiss, Or touch from Iseult, it will never part. And he will never know her to be worse Than in his happiest dreams he thinks she is: Good knight, and faithful, you have 'scaped the curse In wonderful-wise; you have great store of bliss. Yea, what if Father Launcelot ride out, Can he not think of Guenevere's arms, round Warm and lithe, about his neck, and shout Till all the place grows joyful with the sound? And when he lists can often see her face, And think, "Next month I kiss you, or next week, And still you think of me": therefore the place Grows very pleasant, whatsoever he seek. But me, who ride alone, some carle shall find Dead in my arms in the half-melted snow, When all unkindly with the shifting wind, The thaw comes on at Candlemas: I know Indeed that they will say: "This Galahad If he had lived had been a right good knight; Ah! poor chaste body!" but they will be glad, Not most alone, but all, when in their sight That very evening in their scarlet sleeves The gay-dress'd minstrels sing; no maid will talk Of sitting on my tomb, until the leaves, Grown big upon the bushes of the walk, East of the Palace-pleasaunce, make it hard To see the minster therefrom: well-a-day! Before the trees by autumn were well bared, I saw a damozel with gentle play, Within that very walk say last farewell To her dear knight, just riding out to find (Why should I choke to say it?) the Sangreal, And their last kisses sunk into my mind, Yea, for she stood lean'd forward on his breast, Rather, scarce stood; the back of one dear hand, That it might well be kiss'd, she held and press'd Against his lips; long time they stood there, fann'd By gentle gusts of quiet frosty wind, Till Mador de la porte a-going by, And my own horsehoofs roused them; they untwined, And parted like a dream. In this way I, With sleepy face bent to the chapel floor, Kept musing half asleep, till suddenly A sharp bell rang from close beside the door, And I leapt up when something pass'd me by, Shrill ringing going with it, still half blind I stagger'd after, a great sense of awe At every step kept gathering on my mind, Thereat I have no marvel, for I saw One sitting on the altar as a throne, Whose face no man could say he did not know, And though the bell still rang, he sat alone, With raiment half blood-red, half white as snow. Right so I fell upon the floor and knelt, Not as one kneels in church when mass is said, But in a heap, quite nerveless, for I felt The first time what a thing was perfect dread. But mightily the gentle voice came down: "Rise up, and look and listen, Galahad, Good knight of God, for you will see no frown Upon my face; I come to make you glad. "For that you say that you are all alone, I will be with you always, and fear not You are uncared for, though no maiden moan Above your empty tomb; for Launcelot, "He in good time shall be my servant too, Meantime, take note whose sword first made him knight, And who has loved him alway, yea, and who Still trusts him alway, though in all men's sight, "He is just what you know, O Galahad, This love is happy even as you say, But would you for a little time be glad, To make ME sorry long, day after day? "Her warm arms round his neck half throttle ME, The hot love-tears burn deep like spots of lead, Yea, and the years pass quick: right dismally Will Launcelot at one time hang his head; "Yea, old and shrivell'd he shall win my love. Poor Palomydes fretting out his soul! Not always is he able, son, to move His love, and do it honour: needs must roll "The proudest destrier sometimes in the dust, And then 'tis weary work; he strives beside Seem better than he is, so that his trust Is always on what chances may betide; "And so he wears away, my servant, too, When all these things are gone, and wretchedly He sits and longs to moan for Iseult, who Is no care now to Palomydes: see, "O good son, Galahad, upon this day, Now even, all these things are on your side, But these you fight not for; look up, I say, And see how I can love you, for no pride "Closes your eyes, no vain lust keeps them down. See now you have ME always; following That holy vision, Galahad, go on, Until at last you come to ME to sing "In Heaven always, and to walk around The garden where I am." He ceased, my face And wretched body fell upon the ground; And when I look'd again, the holy place Was empty; but right so the bell again Came to the chapel-door, there entered Two angels first, in white, without a stain, And scarlet wings, then, after them, a bed Four ladies bore, and set it down beneath The very altar-step, and while for fear I scarcely dared to move or draw my breath, Those holy ladies gently came a-near, And quite unarm'd me, saying: "Galahad, Rest here awhile and sleep, and take no thought Of any other thing than being glad; Hither the Sangreal will be shortly brought, "Yet must you sleep the while it stayeth here." Right so they went away, and I, being weary, Slept long and dream'd of Heaven: the bell comes near, I doubt it grows to morning. Miserere! [Enter Two Angels in white, with scarlet wings; also, Four Ladies in gowns of red and green; also an Angel, bearing in his hands a surcoat of white, with a red cross.] AN ANGEL O servant of the high God, Galahad! Rise and be arm'd: the Sangreal is gone forth Through the great forest, and you must be had Unto the sea that lieth on the north: There shall you find the wondrous ship wherein The spindles of King Solomon are laid, And the sword that no man draweth without sin, But if he be most pure: and there is stay'd, Hard by, Sir Launcelot, whom you will meet In some short space upon that ship: first, though, Will come here presently that lady sweet, Sister of Percival, whom you well know, And with her Bors and Percival: stand now, These ladies will to arm you. [FIRST LADY, putting on the hauberk] Galahad, That I may stand so close beneath your brow, Margaret of Antioch, am glad. [SECOND LADY, girding him with the sword.] That I may stand and touch you with my hand, O Galahad, I, Cecily, am glad. [THIRD LADY, buckling on the spurs.] That I may kneel while up above you stand, And gaze at me, O holy Galahad, I, Lucy, am most glad. [FOURTH LADY, putting on the basnet.] O gentle knight, That you bow down to us in reverence, We are most glad, I, Katherine, with delight Must needs fall trembling. [ANGEL, putting on the crossed surcoat.] Galahad, we go hence, For here, amid the straying of the snow, Come Percival's sister, Bors, and Percival. [The Four Ladies carry out the bed, and all go but Galahad.] GALAHAD. How still and quiet everything seems now: They come, too, for I hear the horsehoofs fall. [Enter Sir Bors, Sir Percival and his Sister.] Fair friends and gentle lady, God you save! A many marvels have been here to-night; Tell me what news of Launcelot you have, And has God's body ever been in sight? SIR BORS. Why, as for seeing that same holy thing, As we were riding slowly side by side, An hour ago, we heard a sweet voice sing, And through the bare twigs saw a great light glide, With many-colour'd raiment, but far off; And so pass'd quickly: from the court nought good; Poor merry Dinadan, that with jape and scoff Kept us all merry, in a little wood Was found all hack'd and dead: Sir Lionel And Gauwaine have come back from the great quest, Just merely shamed; and Lauvaine, who loved well Your father Launcelot, at the king's behest Went out to seek him, but was almost slain, Perhaps is dead now; everywhere The knights come foil'd from the great quest, in vain; In vain they struggle for the vision fair.
For Christmas Day
Hark, how all the welkin rings, "Glory to the King of kings; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconcil'd!" Joyful, all ye nations, rise, Join the triumph of the skies; Universal nature say, "Christ the Lord is born to-day!" Christ, by highest Heaven ador'd, Christ, the everlasting Lord: Late in time behold him come, Offspring of a virgin's womb! Veil'd in flesh, the Godhead see, Hail th' incarnate Deity! Pleas'd as man with men to appear, Jesus, our Immanuel here! Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace, Hail, the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, Risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth; Born to give them second birth. Come, desire of nations, come, Fix in us thy humble home; Rise, the woman's conquering seed, Bruise in us the serpent's head. Now display thy saving power, Ruin'd nature now restore; Now in mystic union join Thine to ours, and ours to thine. Adam's likeness, Lord, efface, Stamp thy image in its place. Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in thy love. Let us thee, though lost, regain, Thee, the life, the inner man: O, to all thyself impart, Form'd in each believing heart.
(724) Christmas With All The Little Children
All you little children gather round. Let’s sing beautiful Christmas songs. Take your bells and chime away, we celebrate Christmas here today. Now raise your hands if you know the reason, we celebrate this colorful season. One, two, three, four, oh my, more and more. You all deserve a great big score. Now, let’s think a moment of our sweet Jesus. Why we know he’ll never leave us. He gave his life upon the cross, we would live, not become lost. Today we celebrate his precious birth, while he watches over us here on earth. Clap your hands rejoice for all to see. Keep Jesus in your hearts infin-ite-ly. Written: Dec.10/06