Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best Famous Christmas Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Christmas poems. This is a select list of the best famous Christmas poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Christmas poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of christmas poems.

Search for the best famous Christmas poems, articles about Christmas poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Christmas poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also: Best Member Poems

Go Back

by Christina Rossetti | |

Before The Paling Of The Stars

 Before the winter morn,
Before the earliest cock crow,
Jesus Christ was born:
Born in a stable,
Cradled in a manger,
In the world his hands had made
Born a stranger.
Priest and king lay fast asleep In Jerusalem; Young and old lay fast asleep In crowded Bethlehem; Saint and angel, ox and ass, Kept a watch together Before the Christmas daybreak In the winter weather.
Jesus on his mother's breast In the stable cold, Spotless lamb of God was he, Shepherd of the fold: Let us kneel with Mary maid, With Joseph bent and hoary, With saint and angel, ox and ass, To hail the King of Glory.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

Moonless darkness stands between

 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.


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

Karma

 Christmas was in the air and all was well
With him, but for a few confusing flaws
In divers of God's images.
Because A friend of his would neither buy nor sell, Was he to answer for the axe that fell? He pondered; and the reason for it was, Partly, a slowly freezing Santa Claus Upon the corner, with his beard and bell.
Acknowledging an improvident surprise, He magnified a fancy that he wished The friend whom he had wrecked were here again.
Not sure of that, he found a compromise; And from the fulness of his heart he fished A dime for Jesus who had died for men.


by Maria Mazziotti Gillan | |

My Daughter at 14 Christmas Dance 1981

 Panic in your face, you write questions
to ask him.
When he arrives, you are serene, your fear unbetrayed.
How unlike me you are.
After the dance, I see your happiness; he holds your hand.
Though you barely speak, your body pulses messages I can read all too well.
He kisses you goodnight, his body moving toward yours, and yours responding.
I am frightened, guard my tongue for fear my mother will pop out of my mouth.
"He is not shy," I say.
You giggle, a little girl again, but you tell me he kissed you on the dance floor.
"Once?" I ask.
"No, a lot.
" We ride through rain-shining 1 a.
m.
streets.
I bite back words which long to be said, knowing I must not shatter your moment, fragile as a spun-glass bird, you, the moment, poised on the edge of flight, and I, on the ground, afraid.
Maria Mazziotti Gillan Copyright © 1995


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

THE CHRISTMAS-BOX.

 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.
1807.


by Walter de la Mare | |

Winter

 A wrinkled crabbed man they picture thee, 
Old Winter, with a rugged beard as grey 
As the long moss upon the apple-tree; 
Blue-lipt, an icedrop at thy sharp blue nose, 
Close muffled up, and on thy dreary way 
Plodding alone through sleet and drifting snows.
They should have drawn thee by the high-heapt hearth, Old Winter! seated in thy great armed chair, Watching the children at their Christmas mirth; Or circled by them as thy lips declare Some merry jest, or tale of murder dire, Or troubled spirit that disturbs the night, Pausing at times to rouse the mouldering fire, Or taste the old October brown and bright.


by A E Housman | |

Bring In This Timeless Grave To Throw

 XLVI

Bring, in this timeless grave to throw
No cypress, sombre on the snow;
Snap not from the bitter yew
His leaves that live December through;
Break no rosemary, bright with rime
And sparkling to the cruel crime;
Nor plod the winter land to look
For willows in the icy brook
To cast them leafless round him: bring
To spray that ever buds in spring.
But if the Christmas field has kept Awns the last gleaner overstept, Or shrivelled flax, whose flower is blue A single season, never two; Or if one haulm whose year is o'er Shivers on the upland frore, --Oh, bring from hill and stream and plain Whatever will not flower again, To give him comfort: he and those Shall bide eternal bedfellows Where low upon the couch he lies Whence he never shall arise.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

Merry Christmas And Happy New Year!

 Little cullud Rastus come a-skippin’ down de street,
A-smilin’ and a-grinnin’ at every one he meet;
My, oh! He was happy! Boy, but was he gay!
Wishin’ “Merry Chris’mus” an’ “Happy New-Year’s Day”!
Wishin’ that his wishes might every one come true—
And—bless your dear heart, honey,—I wish the same to you!


by Louisa May Alcott | |

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

 From our happy home 
Through the world we roam 
One week in all the year, 
Making winter spring 
With the joy we bring 
For Christmas-tide is here.
Now the eastern star Shines from afar To light the poorest home; Hearts warmer grow, Gifts freely flow, For Christmas-tide has come.
Now gay trees rise Before young eyes, Abloom with tempting cheer; Blithe voices sing, And blithe bells ring, For Christmas-tide is here.
Oh, happy chime, Oh, blessed time, That draws us all so near! "Welcome, dear day," All creatures say, For Christmas-tide is here.


by | |

Little Jack Horner

 

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
    Eating of Christmas pie:
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
    And said, "What a good boy am I!"


by Ben Jonson | |

To Groom Idiot


LVIII.
 ? TO GROOM IDIOT.
  
IDIOT, last night, I pray'd thee but forbear
To read my verses ;  now I must to hear :
For offering with thy smiles my wit to grace,
Thy ignorance still laughs in the wrong place.

And so my sharpness thou no less disjoints,
Than thou didst late my sense, losing my points.

So have I seen, at Christmas-sports, one lost,
And hood-wink'd, for a man embrace a post.



by Erin Belieu | |

Rondeau at the Train Stop

 It bothers me: the genital smell of the bay
drifting toward me on the T stop, the train
circling the city like a dingy, year-round
Christmas display.
The Puritans were right! Sin is everywhere in Massachusetts, hell-bound in the population.
it bothers me because it's summer now and sticky - no rain to cool things down; heat like a wound that will not close.
Too hot, these shameful percolations of the body that bloom between strangers on a train.
It bothers me now that I'm alone and singles foam around the city, bothered by the lather, the rings of sweat.
Know this bay's a watery animal, hind-end perpetually raised: a wanting posture, pain so apparent, wanting so much that it bothers me.


by Marianne Moore | |

Rosemary

 Beauty and Beauty's son and rosemary - 
Venus and Love, her son, to speak plainly -
born of the sea supposedly, 
at Christmas each, in company, 
braids a garland of festivity.
Not always rosemary - since the flight to Egypt, blooming indifferently.
With lancelike leaf, green but silver underneath, its flowers - white originally - turned blue.
The herb of memory, imitating the blue robe of Mary, is not too legendary to flower both as symbol and as pungency.
Springing from stones beside the sea, the height of Christ when he was thirty-three, it feeds on dew and to the bee "hath a dumb language"; is in reality a kind of Christmas tree.


by Elizabeth Bishop | |

Lines Written In The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

 You won't become a gourmet* cook 
By studying our Fannie's book-- 
Her thoughts on Food & Keeping House 
Are scarcely those of Lévi-Strauss.
Nevertheless, you'll find, Frank dear, The basic elements** are here.
And if a problem should arise: The Soufflé fall before your eyes, Or strange things happen to the Rice --You know I love to give advice.
Elizabeth Christmas, 1971 * Forbidden word ** Forbidden phrase P.
S.
Fannie should not be underrated; She has become sophisticated.
She's picked up many gourmet* tricks Since the edition of '96.


by Sylvia Plath | |

Balloons

 Since Christmas they have lived with us,
Guileless and clear,
Oval soul-animals,
Taking up half the space,
Moving and rubbing on the silk

Invisible air drifts,
Giving a shriek and pop
When attacked, then scooting to rest, barely trembling.
Yellow cathead, blue fish ---- Such queer moons we live with Instead of dead furniture! Straw mats, white walls And these traveling Globes of thin air, red, green, Delighting The heart like wishes or free Peacocks blessing Old ground with a feather Beaten in starry metals.
Your small Brother is making His balloon squeak like a cat.
Seeming to see A funny pink world he might eat on the other side of it, He bites, Then sits Back, fat jug Contemplating a world clear as water.
A red Shred in his little fist.


by Rg Gregory | |

christmas the delinquent

 i got nothing last year
and i expect nothing this
so i've got to find
if i'm to be rewarded

so all good people
you'd better learn to give
from the goodness of your heart 
or at knife-point

i'm a taker by trade
takers is keepers
it won't hurt you to bleed
it's a good colour - red

give of your blood
you're not having mine
i'm the collector
santa looks after himself

your birthright - get lost
when i'm on my rounds
what i see i snaffle
that's today's lesson

give to santa - or
i'll cut your throat
that's today's christmas
the future looks good


by Rg Gregory | |

bad for ears

 the song wasn't up to the task
of getting through the double-glazing
into the ears pressed on the outside pane
the rest of their bodies had faded away but
the ears were straining still towards the music
in order to know the good times being had in the room
night fell the cold grew and the lights went out but
the ears hung around believing in music until
they froze and dropped to the ground like
slugs that had missed out on the seasons
it was a bad christmas for ears


by Rg Gregory | |

at the sixty-ninth station

 (after hiroshige – stations of oi)

here at the sixty-ninth station
of the gregokaido road
i have a sense of completion
that is not completed yet

the long journey to this moment
has many disparate paths
fragments of people within me
have stuttered their broken mantras

what a bowl of uneasy pieces
litters the well of my bed - my name
doesn't know how to welcome
tomorrow with its single demands

this christmas will say goodbye
to the last traces of middle age
the sere's banners will be ready
to set off on its late procession

i have not gathered myselves together
with anything like that composure
wisdom and age should concoct
i have lost control of my strivings

christmas a game of new birth
the light giving hope to the dark
i wish i had the will to recover
the young coals that kept me bright


by Rg Gregory | |

wimborne minster

 though there's not much faith left 
and very little snow
this scene of wimborne minster
still makes its christmas show

the building's warm proportions
its sense of move-me-not
catches this winter pagan
on a most forgiving spot

christmas itself unwinds
back to that moment when
mind first let a light in
and darkness cried amen

shopping today i glide
casually on worn ice
the ocean holds its breath
prehistory hides its price

the minster's not my pigeon 
yet moons upon the town
as if no one can walk there
lost to its looking down

in me some old anger
shocks its ailing ghost
lets the festive transport
use me as its staging post

however the time is barren
and so much mutters no
i share my godless pleasure
with the minster clad in snow


by Thomas Hood | |

Christmas Holidays

 Along the Woodford road there comes a noise 
Of wheels, and Mr.
Rounding's neat post-chaise Struggles along, drawn by a pair of bays, With Reverend Mr.
Crow and six small boys, Who ever and anon declare their joys With trumping horns and juvenile huzzas, At going home to spend their Christmas days, And changing learning's pains for pleasure's toys.
Six weeks elapse, and down the Woodford way A heavy coach drags six more heavy souls, But no glad urchins shout, no trumpets bray, The carriage makes a halt, the gate-bell tolls, And little boys walk in as dull and mum As six new scholars to the Deaf and Dumb!