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

by Calvin Ziegler | |

Am Grischtdaag / At Christmas

AM GRISCHTDAAG

Sis Grischtdaag.
Die ganz Welt iwwer Frei die Leit sich sehr, Un alles is harrlich, as wann der Daag Vom Himmel gelosse waer.
Ich hock allee in mei Zimmer Un denk so iwwer die Zeit - Wie der Geischt vun Grischt sich immer Weider un weider ausbreid: Un wie heit in yeder Famillye Frehlich un gutes Mut In die liewi aldi Heemet Sich widder versammle dutt.
Ach widder deheem! Ach, Yammer! - Net all! Deel sin yo heit Zu weit vun uns ab zu kumme - Fatt in de Ewichkeit.
Net all deheem! Verleicht awwer - Unich behaap's kann sei - Im Geischt sin mir all beisamme Un griesse enanner uff's nei! So sin mir vereenicht widder - Loss die Zeit vergeb wiesie will; Ich drink eich ein Gruss, ihr Brieder! Verwas sitzt dir all so schtill? Weit ab - iwwer Barig un Valley, Un iwwer die Ewichkeit's Brick - Vun eich Brieder all, wie Geischdeschall Kummt mir Eier Gruss zerick.
AT CHRISTMAS It's Christmas.
The whole world over Everyone's filled with love, And everything's joyful, as if the day Was given from above.
I sit alone in my room Thinking about the times - How the spirit of Christ always Wider and wider shines.
And how today all families With much happiness embrace As they gather once again In the dear old home place.
All home again! Oh, not so! - Not all! Some today in reality Are far from us below - Away in eternity! Not all at home! Perhaps though - And I insist I knew - In the spirit we're all together And greet each other anew.
So we are together again - May the time go as it will, I drink to you a toast, brothers! Why do you all sit so still? Far away - over valley and ridge, And over the eternal bridge - From you brothers, like a spiritual echo Your greeting returns below.


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 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.


More great poems below...

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 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 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 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 Philip Larkin | |

Mr Bleaney

 'This was Mr Bleaney's room.
He stayed The whole time he was at the Bodies, till They moved him.
' Flowered curtains, thin and frayed, Fall to within five inches of the sill, Whose window shows a strip of building land, Tussocky, littered.
'Mr Bleaney took My bit of garden properly in hand.
' Bed, upright chair, sixty-watt bulb, no hook Behind the door, no room for books or bags - 'I'll take it.
' So it happens that I lie Where Mr Bleaney lay, and stub my fags On the same saucer-souvenir, and try Stuffing my ears with cotton-wool, to drown The jabbering set he egged her on to buy.
I know his habits - what time he came down, His preference for sauce to gravy, why He kept on plugging at the four aways - Likewise their yearly frame: the Frinton folk Who put him up for summer holidays, And Christmas at his sister's house in Stoke.
But if he stood and watched the frigid wind Tousling the clouds, lay on the fusty bed Telling himself that this was home, and grinned, And shivered, without shaking off the dread That how we live measures our own nature, And at his age having no more to show Than one hired box should make him pretty sure He warranted no better, I don't know.


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 James Wright | |

Having Lost My Sons I Confront The Wreckage Of The Moon: Christmas 1960

 After dark
Near the South Dakota border,
The moon is out hunting, everywhere,
Delivering fire,
And walking down hallways
Of a diamond.
Behind a tree, It ights on the ruins Of a white city Frost, frost.
Where are they gone Who lived there? Bundled away under wings And dark faces.
I am sick Of it, and I go on Living, alone, alone, Past the charred silos, past the hidden graves Of Chippewas and Norwegians.
This cold winter Moon spills the inhuman fire Of jewels Into my hands.
Dead riches, dead hands, the moon Darkens, And I am lost in the beautiful white ruins Of America.


by Robert William Service | |

Someones Mother

 Someone's Mother trails the street
Wrapt in rotted rags;
Broken slippers on her feet
Drearily she drags;
Drifting in the bitter night,
Gnawing gutter bread,
With a face of tallow white,
Listless as the dead.
Someone's Mother in the dim Of the grey church wall Hears within a Christmas hymn, One she can recall From the h so long ago, When divinely far, in the holy alter glow She would kneel in prayer.
Someone's Mother, huddled there, Had so sweet a dream; Seemed the sky was Heaven's stair, Golden and agleam, Robed in gown Communion bright, Singingly she trod Up and up the stair of light, And thee was waiting - God.
Someone's Mother cowers down By the old church wall; Soft above the sleeping town Snow begins to fall; Now her rags are lily fair, but unproud is she: Someone's Mother is not there .
.
.
Lo! she climbs the starry stair Only angels see.


by Robert William Service | |

White Christmas

 My folks think I'm a serving maid
Each time I visit home;
They do not dream I ply a trade
As old as Greece or Rome;
For if they found I'd fouled their name
And was not white as snow,
I'm sure that they would die of shame .
.
.
Please, God, they'll never know.
I clean the paint from off my face, In sober black I dress; Of coquetry I leave no trace To give them vague distress; And though it causes me a pang To play such sorry tricks, About my neck I meekly hang A silver crufix.
And so with humble step I go Just like a child again, To greet their Christmas candle-glow, A soul without a stain; So well I play my contrite part I make myself believe There's not a stain within my heart On Holy Christmas Eve.
With double natures we are vext, And what we feel, we are; A saint one day, a sinner next, A red light or a star; A prostitute or proselyte, And in each part sincere: So I become a vestal white One week in every year.
For this I say without demur From out life's lurid lore, Each righteous women has in her A tincture of the whore; While every harpy of the night, As I have learned too well; Holds in her heart a heaven-light To ransom her from hell.
So I'll go home and sweep and dust; I'll make the kitchen fire, And be a model of daughters just The best they could desire; I'll fondle them and cook their food, And Mother dear will say: "Thank God! my darling is as good As when she went away.
" But after New Year's Day I'll fill My bag and though they grieve, I'll bid them both good-bye until Another Christmas Eve; And then .
.
.
a knock upon the door: I'll find them waiting there, And angel-like I'll come once more In answer to their prayer.
Then Lo! one night when candle-light Gleams mystic on the snow, And music swells of Christmas bells, I'll come, no more to go: The old folks need my love and care, Their gold shall gild my dross, And evermore my breast shall bear My little silver cross.


by Robert William Service | |

Window Shopper

 I stood before a candy shop
Which with a Christmas radiance shone;
I saw my parents pass and stop
To grin at me and then go on.
The sweets were heaped in gleamy rows; On each I feasted - what a game! Against the glass with flatted nose, Gulping my spittle as it came; So still I stood, and stared and dreamed, Savouring sweetness with my eyes, Devouring dainties till it seemed My candy shop was paradise.
I had, I think, but five years old, And though three-score and ten have passed, I still recall the craintive cold, The grimy street, the gritty blast; And how I stared into that shop, Its gifts so near and yet so far, Of marzipan and toffee drop, Of chocolate and walnut bar; Imagining what I would buy Amid delights so rich and rare .
.
.
The glass was misted with my sigh: "If just one penny Pop could spare!" And then when I went home to tea Of bread and butter sparsely spread, Oh, how my parents twitted me: "You stood for full an hour," they said.
"We saw you as we passed again; Your eyes upon the sweets were glued; Your nose was flattened to the pane, Like someone hypnotized you stood.
" But when they laughed as at a joke, A bitterness I could not stem Within my little heart awoke.
.
.
.
Oh, I have long forgiven them; For though I know they did no own Pennies to spare, they might, it seems More understanding love have shown More sympathy for those vain dreams, Which make of me with wistful gaze God's Window Shopper all days.


by Robert William Service | |

Courage

 Today I opened wide my eyes,
And stared with wonder and surprise,
To see beneath November skies
An apple blossom peer;
Upon a branch as bleak as night
It gleamed exultant on my sight,
A fairy beacon burning bright
Of hope and cheer.
"Alas!" said I, "poor foolish thing, Have you mistaken this for Spring? Behold, the thrush has taken wing, And Winter's near.
" Serene it seemed to lift its head: "The Winter's wrath I do not dread, Because I am," it proudly said, "A Pioneer.
"Some apple blossom must be first, With beauty's urgency to burst Into a world for joy athirst, And so I dare; And I shall see what none shall see - December skies gloom over me, And mock them with my April glee, And fearless fare.
"And I shall hear what none shall hear - The hardy robin piping clear, The Storm King gallop dark and drear Across the sky; And I shall know what none shall know - The silent kisses of the snow, The Christmas candles' silver glow, Before I die.
"Then from your frost-gemmed window pane One morning you will look in vain, My smile of delicate disdain No more to see; But though I pass before my time, And perish in the grale and grime, Maybe you'll have a little rhyme To spare for me.
"


by Robert William Service | |

The Sceptic

 My Father Christmas passed away
When I was barely seven.
At twenty-one, alack-a-day, I lost my hope of heaven.
Yet not in either lies the curse: The hell of it's because I don't know which loss hurt the worse -- My God or Santa Claus.


by Robert William Service | |

The Dream

 Said Will: "I'll stay and till the land.
" Said Jack: "I'll sail the sea.
" So one went forth kit-bag in hand, The other ploughed the lea.
They met again at Christmas-tide, And wistful were the two.
Said Jack: "you're lucky here to bide.
" Said Will: "I envy you.
" "For in your eyes a light I see Of tropic shores agleam.
" Said Jack: "You need not envy me, For still you have the Dream.
"The Dream that lured me out to sea; 'Twas bright as paradise; Far fairer than the memory You see within my eyes.
So if my foolish urge you share In foreign lands to roam, Take up my kit-bag waiting there And I will stay at home.
" * * * * * * * * Yet while the years have fated Will To sow the sober loam, The eyes of Jack are starry still, High-riding hills of foam.


by Barry Tebb | |

LEFTOVERS

 Empty chocolate boxes, a pillowcase with an orange at the bottom,

Nuts and tinsel with its idiosyncratic rustle and brilliant sheen

And the reflection in it of paper-chains hand-made and stuck with

Flour-paste stretching from the light-bowl to every corner of the room.
Father Christmas himself was plastic and his vast stomach painted red With a bulging sack behind his back and he was stuck in the middle Of a very large cake.
The icing was royal and you could see the Whites of many eggs in the glister of its surface and on the Upright piano the music of Jingle Bells lay open.
With aching hands I wrote thank you notes for socks to sainted aunts And played on Nutwood Common with Rupert until Tiger Lily’s father, The Great Conjuror, waved his wand and brought me home to the last Coal fire in Leeds, suddenly dying.
I got through a whole packet of sweet cigarettes with pink tips Dipped in cochineal and a whole quarter of sherbet lemons at a sitting And there was a full bottle of Portello to go at, the colour Of violet ink and tasting of night air and threepenny bits Which lasted until the last gas-lamp in Leeds went out.
I had collected enough cardboard milk-tops to make a set of Matchstick spinners and with my box of Rainbow Chalks drew circles On my top, red, white and Festival of Britain blue and made it spin All the way to the last bin-yard in Leeds while they pulled it down.
I was a very small teddy-bear crouched on a huge and broken chair Ready to be put out into the wide world and my mother was there To see me off.
The light in her eyes was out, there was no fire In her heart and the binyard where I played was empty space.


by Barry Tebb | |

NEW YEAR POEM

 For Jeremy Reed



Rejection doesn’t lead me to dejection

But to inspiration via irritation

Or at least to a bit of naughty new year wit-

Oh isn’t it a shame my poetry’s not tame

Like Rupert’s or Jay’s - I never could

Get into their STRIDE just to much pride

To lick the arses of the poetry-of-earthers

Or the sad lady who runs KATABASIS from the back

Of a bike, gets shouted at by rude parkies

And writing huffy poems to prove it.
.
.
Oh to be acceptable and IN THE POETRY REVIEW Like Lavinia or Jo With double spreads And a glossy colour photo Instead I’m stuck in a bus queue at Morden London’s meridian point of zero imagination Actually it’s a bit like ACUMEN with the Oxleys Boasting about their 150,000 annual submissions- If what they print’s the best God help the rest.
.
.
) At least my Christmas post had - instead of a card From Jeremy Reed - his ELEGY FOR DAVID GASCOYNE - The best poem I’ve had by post in forty years And Jeremy’s best to date in my estimate - The English APOLLINAIRE - your ZONE, your SONG OF THE BADLY LOVED - sitting in a cafe in South End Green I send you this poem, Jeremy, sight unseen, A new year’s gift to you, pushing through To star galaxies still unmapped and to you, BW, Sonneteer of silence, huddled in the fourth month Of your outdoor vigil, measuring in blood, tears and rain Your syllable count in hour-glass of pain.


by Henry Vaughan | |

The True Christians

 So stick up ivy and the bays,
And then restore the heathen ways.
Green will remind you of the spring, Though this great day denies the thing.
And mortifies the earth and all But your wild revels, and loose hall.
Could you wear flowers, and roses strow Blushing upon your breasts' warm snow, That very dress your lightness will Rebuke, and wither at the ill.
The brightness of this day we owe Not unto music, masque, nor show: Nor gallant furniture, nor plate; But to the manger's mean estate.
His life while here, as well as birth, Was but a check to pomp and mirth; And all man's greatness you may see Condemned by His humility.
Then leave your open house and noise, To welcome Him with holy joys, And the poor shepherd's watchfulness: Whom light and hymns from heaven did bless.
What you abound with, cast abroad To those that want, and ease your load.
Who empties thus, will bring more in; But riot is both loss and sin.
Dress finely what comes not in sight, And then you keep your Christmas right.


by Francois Villon | |

The Ballad Of The Proverbs

 So rough the goat will scratch, it cannot sleep.
So often goes the pot to the well that it breaks.
So long you heat iron, it will glow; so heavily you hammer it, it shatters.
So good is the man as his praise; so far he will go, and he's forgotten; so bad he behaves, and he's despised.
So loud you cry Christmas, it comes.
So glib you talk, you end up in contradictions.
So good is your credit as the favors you got.
So much you promise that you will back out.
So doggedly you beg that your wish is granted; so high climbs the price when you want a thing; so much you want it that you pay the price; so familiar it gets to you, you want it no more.
So loud you cry Christmas, it comes.
So, you love a dog.
Then feed it! So long a song will run that people learn it.
So long you keep the fruit, it will rot.
So hot the struggle for a spot that it is won; so cool you keep your act that your spirit freezes; so hurriedly you act that you run into bad luck; so tight you embrace that your catch slips away.
So loud you cry Christmas, it comes.
So you scoff and laugh, and the fun is gone.
So you crave and spend, and lose your shirt.
So candid you are, no blow can be too low.
So good as a gift should a promise be.
So, if you love God, you obey the Church.
So, when you give much, you borrow much.
So, shifting winds turn to storm.
So loud you cry Christmas, it comes.
Prince, so long as a fool persists, he grows wiser; so, round the world he goes, but return he will, so humbled and beaten back into servility.
So loud you cry Christmas, it is here.


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 A E Housman | |

Bredon Hill

 In summertime on Bredon
The bells they sound so clear;
Round both the shires they ring them
In steeples far and near,
A happy noise to hear.
Here of a Sunday morning My love and I would lie, And see the coloured counties, And hear the larks so high About us in the sky.
The bells would ring to call her In valleys miles away: 'Come all to church, good people; Good people, come and pray.
But here my love would stay.
And I would turn and answer Among the springing thyme, 'Oh, peal upon our wedding, And we will hear the chime, And come to church in time.
But when the snows at Christmas On Bredon top were strewn, My love rose up so early And stole out unbeknown And went to church alone.
They tolled the one bell only, Groom there was none to see, The mourners followed after, And so to church went she, And would not wait for me.
The bells they sound on Bredon, And still the steeples hum.
'Come all to church, good people,' - Oh, noisy bells, be dumb; I hear you, I will come.


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.