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Christmas Poems

Poems for Christmas

Advent and Christmas Poetry

Christmas remains an inexhaustible source of poetic inspiration, deep religious feelings, and tender but persistent invitation to open our minds and hearts to the mystery of Jesus' birth.

We have some classic Advent and Christmas poetry from a variety of poets. Below you will find poems, wishes, quotes and verses you can use to make your Christmas greeting card special.

Nativity scene

Classic Christmas Poetry


From The Short Story "A Christmas Dream, And How It Came True"
by Louisa May Alcott


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.

Louisa May Alcott (1832 - 1888) was an American novelist.


Merry Christmas
by Louisa May Alcott


In the rush of early morning,
When the red burns through the gray,
And the wintry world lies waiting
For the glory of the day,
Then we hear a fitful rustling
Just without upon the stair,
See two small white phantoms coming,
Catch the gleam of sunny hair.

Are they Christmas fairies stealing
Rows of little socks to fill? ...

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Once in Royal David's City
by Cecil Frances Alexander


Once in royal David's city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy...

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Saw you Never, in the Twilight
by Cecil Frances Alexander


Saw you never, in the twilight,
When the sun had left the skies,
Up in heav'n the clear stars shining
Through the gloom, like silver eyes?
So of old the wise men, watching,
Saw a little stranger star,
And they knew the King was given,
And they followed it from afar.

Heard you never of the story
How they crossed the desert wild,
Journeyed on by plain and mountain,
Till they found the holy Child?
How they opened all their treasure,
Kneeling to that infant King;
Gave the gold and fragrant incense,
Gave the myrrh in offering?

Know ye not that lowly Baby
Was the bright and morning Star?
He Who came to light the Gentiles,
And the darkened isles afar?
And we, too, may seek His cradle;
There our hearts' best treasures bring;
Love, and faith, and true devotion
For our Savior, God and King.

Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander (1818- 1895) was an Irish hymn-writer and poet.


Santa's Stocking
by Katherine Lee Bates


Dame Snow has been knitting all day
With needles of crystal and pearl
To make a big, beautiful stocking
For Santa, her merriest son;
And now in some wonderful way
She has hung it, by twist and by twirl,
On the tip of the moon, and sits rocking,
Old mother, her day's work done.

How long and how empty it flaps,
Like a new, white cloud in the sky!
The stars gleam above it for candles; ...

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Music on Christmas Morning
by Anne Brontė


Music I love - but never strain
Could kindle raptures so divine,
So grief assuage, so conquer pain,
And rouse this pensive heart of mine -
As that we hear on Christmas morn,
Upon the wintry breezes borne.
Though Darkness still her empire keep,
And hours must pass, ere morning break;
From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep,
That music kindly bids us wake:
It calls us, with an angel's voice,
To wake, and worship, and rejoice; ...

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Christmas Greetings
by Lewis Carroll


(From A Fairy To A Child)

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!

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 - 1898), better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, was an English author.

Santa Claus with presents


A Hymn for Christmas Day
by Thomas Chatterton


Almighty Framer of the Skies!
O let our pure devotion rise,
Like Incense in thy Sight!
Wrapt in impenetrable Shade
The Texture of our Souls were made
Till thy Command gave light.
The Sun of Glory gleam'd the Ray,
Refin'd the Darkness into Day,
And bid the Vapours fly;
Impell'd by his eternal Love
He left his Palaces above
To cheer our gloomy Sky...

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A Christmas Carol
by G.K.Chesterton


The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world's desire.)

The Christ-child stood on Mary's knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874 - 1936) was an English writer.


The House of Christmas
by G. K. Chesterton


There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun, ...

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December
by John Clare


While snow the window-panes bedim,
The fire curls up a sunny charm,
Where, creaming o'er the pitcher's rim,
The flowering ale is set to warm;
Mirth, full of joy as summer bees,
Sits there, its pleasures to impart,
And children, 'tween their parent's knees,
Sing scraps of carols o'er by heart.

And some, to view the winter weathers,
Climb up the window-seat with glee,
Likening the snow to falling feathers,
In fancy infant ecstasy;
Laughing, with superstitious love,
O'er visions wild that youth supplies,
Of people pulling geese above,
And keeping Christmas in the skies.

As tho' the homestead trees were drest,
In lieu of snow, with dancing leaves,
As tho' the sun-dried martin's nest,
Instead of ickles, hung the eaves,
The children hail the happy day -
As if the snow were April's grass,
And pleas'd, as 'neath the warmth of May,
Sport o'er the water froze as glass.

John Clare (1793 - 1864) was an English poet.


The Savior must have been a docile Gentleman
by Emily Dickinson


The Savior must have been
A docile Gentleman-
To come so far so cold a Day
For little Fellowmen-

The Road to Bethlehem
Since He and I were Boys
Was leveled, but for that 'twould be
A rugged Billion Miles-

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (1830 - 1886) was an American poet.


Christmas In The Heart
by Paul Laurence Dunbar


The snow lies deep upon the ground,
And winter's brightness all around
Decks bravely out the forest sere,
With jewels of the brave old year.
The coasting crowd upon the hill
With some new spirit seems to thrill;
And all the temple bells achime.
Ring out the glee of Christmas time.

In happy homes the brown oak-bough
Vies with the red-gemmed holly now ...

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The Foolish Fir-Tree
by Henry Van Dyke


"A tale that the poet Ruckert told
To German children, in days of old;
Disguised in a random, rollicking rhyme
Like a merry mummer of ancient time,
And sent, in its English dress, to please
The little folk of the Christmas trees."

A Little fir grew in the midst of the wood
Contented and happy, as young trees should.
His body was straight and his boughs were clean;
And summer and winter the bountiful sheen
Of his needles bedecked him, from top to root,
In a beautiful, all-the-year, evergreen suit...

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Christmas baubles


Christmas treasures
by Eugene Field

I count my treasures o'er with care.--
The little toy my darling knew,
A little sock of faded hue,
A little lock of golden hair.
Long years ago this holy time,
My little one--my all to me--
Sat robed in white upon my knee
And heard the merry Christmas chime.
"Tell me, my little golden-head,
If Santa Claus should come to-night,
What shall he bring my baby bright, ...

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THE CHRISTMAS-BOX
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832) was a German poet.


A Christmas Ghost Story
by Thomas Hardy


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.

Thomas Hardy ( 1840 - 1928) was an English novelist and poet.


Snow in the Suburbs
by Thomas Hardy


Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute:
Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward when
Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again.
The palings are glued together like a wall,
And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall.
A sparrow enters the tree,
Whereon immediately
A snow-lump thrice his own slight size
Descends on him and showers his head and eye
And overturns him,
And near inurns him,
And lights on a nether twig, when its brush
Starts off a volley of other lodging lumps with a rush.
The steps are a blanched slope,
Up which, with feeble hope,
A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;
And we take him in.

Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928) was an English novelist and poet.


Bells Across the Snow
by Frances R. Havergal


Christmas, merry Christmas!
Is it really come again?
With its memories and greetings,
With its joys and with its pain
There's a minor in the carol,
And a shadow in the light,
And a spray of cypress twining
With the holly wreath tonight.
And the hush is never broken
By laughter, light and low,
As we listen in the starlight
To the "bells across the snow." ...

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An Ode of the Birth of our Savior
by Robert Herrick


In numbers, and but these few,
I sing Thy birth, Oh, Jesu!
Thou pretty Baby, born here,
With sup'rabundant scorn here:
Who for Thy princely port here,
Hadst for Thy place
Of birth, a base
Out-stable for Thy court here.

Instead of neat inclosures
Of interwoven osiers,
Instead of fragrant posies ...

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Ceremonies for Christmas
by Robert Herrick


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 Psaltries play,
That sweet luck may
Come while the log is a-tinding.

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.

Robert Herrick (1591 - 1674) was an English poet.

Front porch with snowman


Moonless darkness stands between
by Gerard Manley Hopkins


Moonless darkness stands between.
Past, the Past, no more be seen!
But the Bethlehem-star may lead me
To the sight of Him Who freed me
From the self that I have been.
Make me pure, Lord: Thou art holy;
Make me meek, Lord: Thou wert lowly;
Now beginning, and alway:
Now begin, on Christmas day.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844 - 1889) was an English poet.


This Section is a Christmas Tree
by Vachel Lindsay


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.

Nicholas Vachel Lindsay (1879 - 1931) was an American poet.


A Christmas Carol
by William Topaz McGonagall


Welcome, sweet Christmas, blest be the morn
That Christ our Saviour was born!
Earth's Redeemer, to save us from all danger,
And, as the Holy Record tells, born in a manger.

Chorus --

Then ring, ring, Christmas bells,
Till your sweet music o'er the kingdom swells,
To warn the people to respect the morn
That Christ their Saviour was born.

The snow was on the ground when Christ was born,
And the Virgin Mary His mother felt very forlorn ...

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A Tale of Christmas Eve
by William Topaz McGonagall


'Twas Christmastide in Germany,
And in the year of 1850,
And in the city of Berlin, which is most beautiful to the eye;
A poor boy was heard calling out to passers-by.
"Who'll buy my pretty figures," loudly he did cry,
Plaster of Paris figures, but no one inclined to buy;
His clothes were thin and he was nearly frozen with cold,
And wholly starving with hunger, a pitiful sight to behold.

And the twilight was giving place to the shadows of approaching night,
And those who possessed a home were seeking its warmth and light;
And the market square was dark and he began to moan,
When he thought of his hungry brother and sisters at home...

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Modern Love XXIII: 'Tis Christmas Weather
by George Meredith


'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.

George Meredith ( 1828 - 1909) was an English novelist and poet.


Hang Up The Baby's Stocking
by Emily Huntington Miller


Hang up the baby's stocking:
Be sure you don't forget;
The dear little dimpled darling!
She ne'er saw Christmas yet;
But I've told her all about it,
And she opened her big blue eyes,
And I'm sure she understood it-
She looked so funny and wise.

Dear! what a tiny stocking!
It doesn't take much to hold
Such little pink toes as baby's ...

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On the Morning Of Christ's Nativity
by John Milton


I
On the Morning of Christ's Nativity
This is the month, and this the happy morn
Wherein the Son of Heav'n's eternal King,
Of wedded Maid, and Virgin Mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing,
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace. ...

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Burning candles


The Christmas Night
by Lucy Maud Montgomery


Wrapped was the world in slumber deep,
By seaward valley and cedarn steep,
And bright and blest were the dreams of its sleep;
All the hours of that wonderful night-tide through
The stars outblossomed in fields of blue,
A heavenly chaplet, to diadem
The King in the manger of Bethlehem.

Out on the hills the shepherds lay,
Wakeful, that never a lamb might stray,
Humble and clean of heart were they; ...

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A Visit From St. Nicholas
by Clement Clarke Moore


'Twas the night before Christmas', when all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. ...

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Merry Christmas And Happy New Year!
by Ellis Parker Butler


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!

Ellis Parker Butler (1869 - 1937) was an American author.


The Poor Boy's Christmas
by Ellis Parker Butler


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.

Ellis Parker Butler (1869 - 1937) was an American author.


The Rich Boy's Christmas
by Ellis Parker Butler


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.

Ellis Parker Butler (1869 - 1937) was an American author.


In the Bleak Midwinter
by Christina Rossetti


In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 - 1894) was an English poet.


A Bell
by Clinton Scollard


Had I the power
To cast a bell that should from some grand tower,
At the first Christmas hour,
Outring,
And fling
A jubilant message wide,
The forgėd metals should be thus allied:-
No iron Pride,
But soft Humility, and rich-veined Hope
Cleft from a sunny slope;
And there should be
White Charity,
And silvery Love, that knows not Doubt nor Fear,
To make the peal more clear;
And then to firmly fix the fine alloy,
There should be Joy!

Clinton Scollard (1860 -1932) was an American poet.


Marmion
by Sir Walter Scott


Heap on more wood! - the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We'll keep our Christmas merry still.
Each age has deem'd the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer:
Even, heathen yet, the savage Dane
At Iol more deep the mead did drain;
High on the beach his galleys drew,
And feasted all his pirate crew;
Then in his low and pine-built hall
Where shields and axes deck'd the wall
They gorged upon the half-dress'd steer; ...

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It faded on the crowing of the cock
by William Shakespeare


Marcellus (to Horatio and Bernardo, after seeing the Ghost):

" It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever, 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time."

Hamlet, Act I, Scene 1
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) was an English poet and playwright.


New Prince, New Pomp
by Robert Southwell


Behold a silly tender Babe, in freezing winter night;
In homely manger trembling lies, alas a piteous sight:
The inns are full, no man will yield this little Pilgrim bed,
But forced He is with silly beasts, in crib to shroud His head.
Despise Him not for lying there, first what He is enquire:
An orient pearl is often found, in depth of dirty mire;
Weigh not His crib, His wooden dish, nor beasts that by Him feed:
Weigh not His mother's poor attire, nor Joseph's simple weed.
This stable is a Prince's court, the crib His chair of state:
The beasts are parcel of His pomp, the wooden dish His plate.
The persons in that poor attire, His royal liveries wear,
The Prince Himself is come from heaven, this pomp is prized there.
With joy approach, O Christian wight, do homage to thy King,
And highly prize this humble pomp, which He from heaven doth bring.

Robert Southwell (1561 - 1595) was an English Roman Catholic priest.


The Burning Babe
by Robert Southwell


As I in hoary winter's night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, though scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed,
As though his floods should quench his flames, which with his tears were fed.
"Alas," quoth he, "but newly born, in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts, or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men's defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood."
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas Day.

Robert Southwell (1561 - 1595) was an English Roman Catholic priest.


Christmas at Sea
by Robert Louis Stevenson


The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seamen scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head...

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A Christmas Carol
Samuel Taylor Coleridge


The shepherds went their hasty way,
And found the lowly stable-shed
Where the Virgin-Mother lay:
And now they checked their eager tread,
For to the Babe, that at her bosom clung,
A Mother's song the Virgin-Mother sung.

They told her how a glorious light,
Streaming from a heavenly throng.
Around them shone, suspending night!
While sweeter than a mother's song,
Blest Angels heralded the Savior's birth,
Glory to God on high! and Peace on Earth.

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Christmas Carol
by Sara Teasdale


The kings they came from out the south,
All dressed in ermine fine;
They bore Him gold and chrysoprase,
And gifts of precious wine.

The shepherds came from out the north,
Their coats were brown and old;
They brought Him little new-born lambs--
They had not any gold.

The wise men came from out the east,
And they were wrapped in white;
The star that led them all the way
Did glorify the night.

The angels came from heaven high,
And they were clad with wings;
And lo, they brought a joyful song
The host of heaven sings.

The kings they knocked upon the door,
The wise men entered in,
The shepherds followed after them
To hear the song begin.

The angels sang through all the night
Until the rising sun,
But little Jesus fell asleep
Before the song was done.

Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933) was an American poet.


Ring out, wild bells
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind...

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The Mahogany Tree
by William Makepeace Thackeray


Christmas is here;
Winds whistle shrill,
Icy and chill,
Little care we;
Little we fear
Weather without,
Shelter'd about
The Mahogany Tree.

Once on the boughs
Birds of rare plume
Sang, in its bloom;
Night birds are we;
Here we carouse,
Singing, like them,
Perch'd round the stem
Of the jolly old tree...

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Christmas Carol
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


When Christ was born in Bethlehem,
'Twas night, but seemed the noon of day;
The stars, whose light
Was pure and bright,
Shone with unwavering ray;
But one, one glorious star
Guided the Eastern Magi from afar.

Then peace was spread throughout the land;
The lion fed beside the tender lamb;
And with the kid,
To pasture led,
The spotted leopard fed;
In peace, the calf and bear,
The wolf and lamb reposed together there.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882) was an American poet.


Christmas Bells
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


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!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day, ...

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The Three Kings
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Three Kings came riding from far away,
Melchior and Gaspar and Baltasar;
Three Wise Men out of the East were they,
And they travelled by night and they slept by day,
For their guide was a beautiful, wonderful star.

The star was so beautiful, large and clear,
That all the other stars of the sky
Became a white mist in the atmosphere,
And by this they knew that the coming was near
Of the Prince foretold in the prophecy.

Three caskets they bore on their saddle-bows,
Three caskets of gold with golden keys; ...

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Christmas Fancies
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, ...

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A Christmas Carol
by George Wither


So now is come our joyful feast,
Let every man be jolly;
Each room with ivy leaves is dressed,
And every post with holly.
Though some churls at our mirth repine,
Round your foreheads garlands twine,
Drown sorrow in a cup of wine,
And let us all be merry.

Now all our neighbors' chimneys smoke,
And Christmas blocks are burning;
Their ovens they with baked meats choke,
And all their spits are turning.
Without the door let sorrow lie,
And if for cold it hap to die,
We'll bury it in a Christmas pie,
And evermore be merry...

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Minstrels
by William Wordsworth


The minstrels played their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,
The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

And who but listened?--till was paid
Respect to every inmate's claim,
The greeting given, the music played
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And "Merry Christmas" wished to all.

William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850) was an English poet.

Classic Children's Poetry


Kriss Kringle
by Thomas Bailey Aldrich


Just as the moon was fading
Amid her misty rings,
And every stocking was stuffed
With childhood's precious things,
Old Kriss Kringle looked around,
And saw on the elm-tree bough,
High hung, an oriole's nest,
Lonely and empty now.
"Quite a stocking," he laughed,
"Hung up there on a tree!
I didn't suppose the birds
Expected a present from me!"
Then old Kriss Kringle, who loves
A joke as well as the best,
Dropped a handful of snowflakes
Into the oriole's empty nest.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836 - 1907) was an American poet and novelist.


Grandfather Knows
by Evaleen Stein


Grandfather says of all things
The silliest he's heard
Is that some children call things
They've never seen, "absurd!"
And have their doubts of true things,
And won't believe, because
They say, "If you but knew things,
There is no Santa Claus!"
Grandfather says he knows him,
And sees him every year,
And Santa often shows him
The playthings he brings here;
He says, too, Santa told him
If any girls and boys
Laugh at and won't uphold him,
They'll not get any toys!

Evaleen Stein (1863-1923) was an American poet.


Sleigh Bells
by Evaleen Stein


Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle!
Happy winter-time!
Baby's eyes a-twinkle,
Hear the sleigh-bells chime!

Each one rings a merry
Ting-a-ling-a-ling!
For a sleigh-bell fairy
Hides inside to sing.

See them quake and quiver,
Up and downward tossed,
Seems as if they shiver
In the nipping frost!

Shiver into laughter,
Jolly little elves!
Till we laugh thereafter,
Merry as themselves!

Evaleen Stein (1863-1923) was an American poet.

Christmas Short Stories


The Little Match Seller
by Hans Christian Andersen


It was terribly cold and nearly dark on the last evening of the old year, and the snow was falling fast. In the cold and the darkness, a poor little girl, with bare head and naked feet, roamed through the streets. It is true she had on a pair of slippers when she left home, but they were not of much use. They were very large, so large, indeed, that they had belonged to her mother, and the poor little creature had lost them in running across the street to avoid two carriages that were rolling along at a terrible rate. One of the slippers she could not find, and a boy seized upon the other and ran away with it, saying that he could use it as a cradle, when he had children of his own.

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The Snow Man
by Hans Christian Andersen


It is so delightfully cold," said the Snow Man, "that it makes my whole body crackle. This is just the kind of wind to blow life into one. How that great red thing up there is staring at me!" He meant the sun, who was just setting. "It shall not make me wink. I shall manage to keep the pieces."
He had two triangular pieces of tile in his head, instead of eyes; his mouth was made of an old broken rake, and was, of course, furnished with teeth. He had been brought into existence amidst the joyous shouts of boys, the jingling of sleigh-bells, and the slashing of whips. The sun went down, and the full moon rose, large, round, and clear, shining in the deep blue.

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Letter


Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
From the Editorial Page of The New York Sun, written by Francis P. Church, September 21, 1897


We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
"Dear Editor--I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, 'If you see it in The Sun, it's so.'
Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?"
Virginia O'Hanlon,
115 West Ninety-fifth Street
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.

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Short Quotes about Christmas:
A collection of short Christmas Quotes

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