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Best Famous Holiday Poems

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

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

See also: Best Member Poems

by Oscar Wilde | |

Hélas

To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which all winds can play,
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom, and austere control?
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
Surely there was a time I might have trod The sunlit heights, and from life's dissonance Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God.
Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod I did but touch the honey of romance— And must I lose a soul's inheritance?


by Philip Larkin | |

MCMXIV

Those long uneven lines
Standing as patiently
As if they were stretched outside
The Oval or Villa Park 
The crowns of hats the sun
On moustached archaic faces
Grinning as if it were all
An August bank Holiday lark;

And the shut shops the bleached 
Established names on the sunblinds 
The farthings and sovereigns 
Adn dark-clothed children at play
Called after kings and queens 
The tin advertisements
For cocoa and twist and the pubs
Wide open all day;

And the countryside ont caring:
The place-names all hazed over
With flowering grasses and fields
Shadowing Domesday lines
Under wheat's restless silence;
The differently-dressed servants
With tiny rooms in huge houses 
The dust behind limousines;

Never such innocence 
Never before or since 
As changed itself to past
Without a word--the men
Leaving the gardens tidy 
The thousands of marriages
Lasting a littlewhile longer:
Never such innocence again.
1964


by Emily Dickinson | |

Me! Come! My dazzled face

Me! Come! My dazzled face
In such a shining place!

Me! Hear! My foreign ear
The sounds of welcome near!

The saints shall meet
Our bashful feet.
My holiday shall be That they remember me; My paradise, the fame That they pronounce my name.


More great poems below...

by Emily Dickinson | |

Me! Come! My dazzled face

Me! Come! My dazzled face
In such a shining place!

Me! Hear! My foreign ear
The sounds of welcome near!

The saints shall meet
Our bashful feet.
My holiday shall be That they remember me; My paradise, the fame That they pronounce my name.


by | |

Betty Blue

 

    Little Betty Blue
    Lost her holiday shoe;
What shall little Betty do?
    Give her another
    To match the other
And then she'll walk upon two.


by T S (Thomas Stearns) Eliot | |

The Naming Of Cats

 The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey-- All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames: Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter-- But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular, A name that's peculiar, and more dignified, Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular, Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride? Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum, Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat, Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum- Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over, And that is the name that you never will guess; The name that no human research can discover-- But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation, The reason, I tell you, is always the same: His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name: His ineffable effable Effanineffable Deep and inscrutable singular Name.


by Edna St Vincent Millay | |

Lines Written In Recapitulation

 I could not bring this splendid world nor any trading beast
In charge of it, to defer, no, not to give ear, not in the least
Appearance, to my handsome prophecies,
which here I ponder and put by.
I am left simpler, less encumbered, by the consciousness that I shall by no pebble in my dirty sling avail To slay one purple giant four feet high and distribute arms among his tall attendants, who spit at his name when spitting on the ground: They will be found one day Prone where they fell, or dead sitting —and pock-marked wall Supporting the beautiful back straight as an oak before it is old.
I have learned to fail.
And I have had my say.
Yet shall I sing until my voice crack (this being my leisure, this my holiday) That man was a special thing, and no commodity, a thing improper to be sold.


by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

Now What Is Love

 Now what is Love, I pray thee, tell?
It is that fountain and that well
Where pleasure and repentance dwell;
It is, perhaps, the sauncing bell
That tolls all into heaven or hell;
And this is Love, as I hear tell.
Yet what is Love, I prithee, say? It is a work on holiday, It is December matched with May, When lusty bloods in fresh array Hear ten months after of the play; And this is Love, as I hear say.
Yet what is Love, good shepherd, sain? It is a sunshine mixed with rain, It is a toothache or like pain, It is a game where none hath gain; The lass saith no, yet would full fain; And this is Love, as I hear sain.
Yet, shepherd, what is Love, I pray? It is a yes, it is a nay, A pretty kind of sporting fray, It is a thing will soon away.
Then, nymphs, take vantage while ye may; And this is Love, as I hear say.
Yet what is Love, good shepherd, show? A thing that creeps, it cannot go, A prize that passeth to and fro, A thing for one, a thing for moe, And he that proves shall find it so; And shepherd, this is Love, I trow.


by Laura Riding Jackson | |

The Quids

 The little quids, the million quids,
The everywhere, everything, always quids,
The atoms of the Monoton—
Each turned three essences where it stood
And ground a gisty dust from its neighbors' edges
Until a powdery thoughtfall stormed in and out,
The cerebration of a slippery quid enterprise.
Each quid stirred.
The united quids Waved through a sinuous decision.
The quids, that had never done anything before But be, be, be, be, be, The quids resolved to predicate And dissipate in a little grammar.
Oh, the Monoton didn't care, For whatever they did— The Monoton's contributing quids— The Monoton would always remain the same.
A quid here and there gyrated in place-position, While many essential quids turned inside-out For the fun of it And a few refused to be anything but Simple, unpredicated copulatives.
Little by little, this commotion of quids, By threes, by tens, by casual millions, Squirming within the state of things— The metaphysical acrobats, The naked, immaterial quids— Turned inside on themselves And came out dressed, Each similar quid of the inward same, Each similar quid dressed in a different way— The quid's idea of a holiday.
The quids could never tell what was happening.
But the Monoton felt itself differently the same In its different parts.
The silly quids upon their rambling exercise Never knew, could never tell What their pleasure was about, What their carnival was like, Being in, being in, being always in Where they never could get out Of the everywhere, everything, always in, To derive themselves from the Monoton.
But I know, with a quid inside of me, But I know what a quid's disguise is like, Being one myself, The gymnastic device That a quid puts on for exercise.
And so should the trees, And so should the worms, And so should you, And all the other predicates, And all the other accessories Of the quid's masquerade.


by Jennifer Reeser | |

Good Friday 2001 Riding North

 Yellow makes a play for green among
the rows of some poor farmer's field outside
the Memphis city limits' northern edge.
A D.
J.
plays The Day He Wore My Crown, not knowing it entices into tears this woman never once disposed to travel the holiday before.
My children squander unleavened bread brought forth from Taco Bell.
What sacrifice of mine could be worth mention? Enshroud it.
Christ's is death enough to mourn.
Casino Aztar, Blytheville slide from view, their souvenir and deli stations yielding to miles of scrub-packed, newly-cultured meadow -- the man beside me rushed at the expense of all around him.
Gripped by sentiment at being once again in this, the country his innocence absorbed, he sings the songs of artists prone to praise the great Midwest, prodigal farms and wheat.
My eyes are burning.
An eighteen-wheeler whip has somehow managed to drive his truck straight up a grass embankment which rises to an overpass ahead.
It lingers there, a sacrament of chrome, as I make peace at length with pink crape myrtles, white baby's breath in bloom, whose counterparts have two months past surrendered back at home.
How long were they bent down, exhausted, jealous for what could not be theirs, before they fell? And did the lilies of Gethsemane cry out with all their strength for God's relent, or were they sweetly mute as these I see?


by Oscar Wilde | |

HELAS!

 To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which can winds can play,
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom and austere control?
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
Surely there was a time I might have trod The sunlit heights, and from life's dissonance Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God: Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod I did but touch the honey of romance - And must I lose a soul's inheritance?


by Robert William Service | |

Brother Jim

 My brother Jim's a millionaire,
while I have scarce a penny;
His face is creased with lines of care,
While my mug hasn't any.
With inwardness his eyes are dim, While mine laugh out in glee, And though I ought to envy him, I think he envies me.
He has a chateau, I a shack, And humble I should be To see his stately Cadillac Beside my jalopy.
With chain of gold his belly's girt, His beard is barber trim; Yet bristle-chinned with ragged shirt, I do not envy Jim.
My brother is a man of weight; For every civic plum He grabs within one pie of state, While I am just a bum.
Last Winter he was near to croak With gastric ulcers grim.
.
.
.
And no! although I'm stony broke I will not envy Jim He gets the work, I get the fun; He has no tie for play; Whereas with paddle, rod and gun My life's a holiday.
As over crabbed script he pores I can the sky's blue rim.
.
.
.
Oh boy! While I have God's outdoors I'll never envy Jim.


by Robert William Service | |

Lobster For Lunch

 His face was like a lobster red,
His legs were white as mayonnaise:
"I've had a jolly lunch," he said,
That Englishman of pleasant ways.
"Thy do us well at our hotel: In England food is dull these days.
" "We had a big langouste for lunch.
I almost ate the whole of it.
And now I'll smoke and read my Punch, And maybe siesta a bit; And then I'll plunge into the sea And get an appetite for tea.
" We saw him plunge into the sea, With jolly laugh, his wife and I.
"George does enjoy his food," said she; "In Leeds lobsters are hard to buy.
How lucky we to have a chance To spend our holiday in France!" And so we watched him swim and swim So far and far we scarce could see, Until his balding head grew dim; And then there came his children three, And we all waited there for him, - Ah yes, a little anxiously.
But George, alas! came never back.
Of him they failed to find a trace; His wife and kids are wearing black, And miss a lot his jolly face .
.
.
But oh how all the lobsters laugh, And write in wrack his epitaph.


by Robert William Service | |

Alpine Holiday

 He took the grade in second - quite a climb,
Dizzy and dangerous, yet how sublime!
The road went up and up; it curved around
The mountain and the gorge grew more profound.
He drove serenely, with no hint of haste; And then she felt his arm go round her waist.
She shrank: she did not know him very well, Being like her a guest at the hotel.
Nice, but a Frenchman.
On his driving hand He wore like benedicks a golden band .
.
.
Well, how could she with grace refuse a drive So grand it made glad to be alive? Yet now she heard him whisper in her ear: "Don't be afraid.
With one hand I can steer, With one arm hold you .
.
.
Oh what perfect bliss! Darling, please don't refuse me just one kiss.
Here, nigh to Heaven, let is us rest awhile .
.
.
Nay, don't resist - give me your lips, your smile .
.
.
" So there in that remote and dizzy place He wrestled with her for a moment's space, Hearing her cry: "Oh please, please let me go! Let me get out .
.
.
You brute, release me! No, no, NO!" .
.
.
In that ravine was found their burnt-out car - Their bodies trapped and crisped into a char.


by Robert William Service | |

Romance

 In Paris on a morn of May
I sent a radio transalantic
To catch a steamer on the way,
But oh the postal fuss was frantic;
They sent me here, they sent me there,
They were so courteous yet so canny;
Then as I wilted in despair
A Frenchman flipped me on the fanny.
'Twas only juts a gentle pat, Yet oh what sympathy behind it! I don't let anyone do that, But somehow then I didn't mind it.
He seemed my worry to divine, With kindly smile, that foreign mannie, And as we stood in waiting line With tender touch he tapped my fanny.
It brought a ripple of romance Into that postal bureau dreary; He gave me such a smiling glance That somehow I felt gay and cheery.
For information on my case The postal folk searched nook and cranny; He gently tapped, with smiling face, His reassurance on my fanny.
So I'll go back to Tennessee, And they will ask: "How have you spent your Brief holiday in gay Paree?" But I'll not speak of my adventure.
Oh say I'm spectacled and grey, Oh say I'm sixty and a grannie - But say that morn of May A Frenchman flipped me on the fanny!


by Robert William Service | |

My Holiday

 I love the cheery bustle
Of children round the house,
The tidy maids a-hustle,
The chatter of my spouse;
The laughter and the singing,
The joy on every face:
With frequent laughter ringing,
O, Home's a happy place!

Aye, Home's a bit of heaven;
I love it every day;
My line-up of eleven
Combine to make it gay;
Yet when in June they're leaving
For Sandport by the sea,
By rights I should be grieving,
But gosh! I just fell free.
I'm left with parting kisses, The guardian of the house; The romp, it's true, one misses, I'm quiet as a mouse.
In carpet slippers stealing From room to room alone I get the strangest feeling The place is all my own.
It seems to nestle near me, It whispers in my ear; My books and pictures cheer me, Hearth never was so dear.
In peace profound I lap me, I take no stock of time, And from the dreams that hap me, I make (like this) a rhyme.
Oh, I'm ashamed of saying (And think it's mean of me), That when the kids are staying At Sandspot on the sea, And I evoke them clearly Disporting in the spray, I love them still more dearly Because .
.
.
they're far away.


by Robert William Service | |

Dedication To Providence

 I loved to toy with tuneful rhyme,
My fancies into verse to weave;
For as I walked my words would chime
So bell-like I could scarce believe;
My rhymes rippled like a brook,
My stanzas bloomed like blossoms gay:
And that is why I dream this book
 A verseman's holiday.
The palm-blades brindle in the blaze Of sunsets splendouring the sea; The Gloaming is a lilac haze That impish stars stab eagerly.
.
.
.
O Land of Song! Oh golden clime! O happy me, whose work is play! Please take this tribute of my rhymes: A verseman's holiday.


by Arthur Symons | |

In the Stalls

 My life is like a music-hall, 
Where, in the impotence of rage, 
Chained by enchantment to my stall, 
I see myself upon the stage 
Dance to amuse a music-hall.
'Tis I that smoke this cigarette, Lounge here, and laugh for vacancy, And watch the dancers turn; and yet It is my very self I see Across the cloudy cigarette.
My very self that turns and trips, Painted, pathetically gay, An empty song upon the lips In make-believe of holiday: I, I, this thing that turns and trips! The light flares in the music-hall, The light, the sound, that weary us; Hour follows hour, I count them all, Lagging, and loud, and riotous: My life is like a music-hall.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Little Big Man

 I am small because I am a little child.
I shall be big when I am as old as my father is.
My teacher will come and say, "It is late, bring your slate and your books.
" I shall tell him, " Do you not know I am as big as father? And I must not have lessons any more.
" My master will wonder and say, "He can leave his books if he likes, for he is grown up.
" I shall dress myself and walk to the fair where the crowd is thick.
My uncle will come rushing up to me and say, "You will get lost, my boy; let me carry you.
" I shall answer, "Can't you see, uncle, I am as big as father? I must go to the fair alone.
" Uncle will say, "Yes, he can go wherever he likes, for he is grown up.
" Mother will come from her bath when I am giving money to my nurse, for I shall know how to open the box with my key.
Mother will say, "What are you about, naughty child?" I shall tell her, "Mother, don't you know, I am as big as father, and I must give silver to my nurse.
" Mother will say to herself, "He can give money to whom he likes, for he is grown up.
" In the holiday time in October father will come home and, thinking that I am still a baby, will bring for me from the town little shoes and small silken frocks.
I shall say, "Father, give them to my data, for I am as big as you are.
" Father will think and say, "He can buy his own clothes if he likes, for he is grown up.
"


by Jane Taylor | |

The Disappointment

 In tears to her mother poor Harriet came, 
Let us listen to hear what she says:
"O see, dear mamma, it is pouring with rain, 
We cannot go out in the chaise.
"All the week I have long'd for this holiday so, And fancied the minutes were hours; And now that I'm dress'd and all ready to go, Do look at those terrible showers! " "I'm sorry, my dear, " her kind mother replied, The rain disappoints us to-day; But sorrow still more that you fret for a ride, In such an extravagant way.
"These slight disappointments are sent to prepare For what may hereafter befall; For seasons of real disappointment and care, Which commonly happen to all.
"For just like to-day with its holiday lost, Is life and its comforts at best: Our pleasures are blighted, our purposes cross'd, To teach us it is not our rest.
"And when those distresses and crosses appear, With which you may shortly be tried, You'll wonder that ever you wasted a tear On merely the loss of a ride.
"But though the world's pleasures are fleeting and vain, Religion is lasting and true; Real pleasure and peace in her paths you may gain, Nor will disappointment ensue.
"


by Jane Taylor | |

The Holidays

 "Ah! don't you remember, 'tis almost December,
And soon will the holidays come;
Oh, 'twill be so funny, I've plenty of money,
I'll buy me a sword and a drum.
" Thus said little Harry, unwilling to tarry, Impatient from school to depart; But we shall discover, this holiday lover Knew little what was in his heart.
For when on returning, he gave up his learning, Away from his sums and his books, Though playthings surrounded, and sweetmeats abounded, Chagrin still appear'd in his looks.
Though first they delighted, his toys were now slighted, And thrown away out of his sight; He spent every morning in stretching and yawning, Yet went to bed weary at night.
He had not that treasure which really makes pleasure, (A secret discover'd by few).
You'll take it for granted, more playthings he wanted; Oh naught was something to do.
We must have employment to give us enjoyment And pass the time cheerfully away; And study and reading give pleasure, exceeding The pleasures of toys and of play.
To school now returning­to study and learning With eagerness Harry applied; He felt no aversion to books or exertion, Nor yet for the holidays sigh'd.


by Barry Tebb | |

THE LAST DAY OF ANOTHER HOME HOLIDAY

 I sat on a low stone wall

Watching the blue blood of the azaleas

Spatter on Haworth’s cobbles.
A seamless transparency of rain Lowering over the turning trees My thoughts drifting to Claudel’s ‘Five Great Odes’, to the stone marker To the swathes of heather.
I stood on the moor top Where the tracks cross The fellside green The fellside ochre, Shifting reflections Of C?zanne’s last winter.


by Katharine Tynan | |

Easter

 Bring flowers to strew His way, 
Yea, sing, make holiday; 
Bid young lambs leap, 
And earth laugh after sleep.
For now He cometh forth Winter flies to the north, Folds wings and cries Amid the bergs and ice.
Yea, Death, great Death is dead, And Life reigns in his stead; Cometh the Athlete New from dead Death's defeat.
Cometh the Wrestler, But Death he makes no stir, Utterly spent and done, And all his kingdom gone.


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Lucinda Matlock

 I went to the dances at Chandlerville,
And played snap-out at Winchester.
One time we changed partners, Driving home in the midnight of middle June, And then I found Davis.
We were married and lived together for seventy years, Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children, Eight of whom we lost Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick, I made the garden, and for holiday Rambled over the fields where sang the larks, And by Spoon River gathering many a shell, And many a flower and medicinal weed-- Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all, And passed to a sweet repose.
What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, Anger, discontent and drooping hopes? Degenerate sons and daughters, Life is too strong for you-- It takes life to love Life.


by William Topaz McGonagall | |

Beautiful Newport on the Braes o the Silvery Tay

 Bonnie Mary, the Maid o' the Tay,
Come! Let's go, and have a holiday
In Newport, on the braes o' the silvery Tay,
'Twill help to drive dull care away.
The scenery there is most enchanting to be seen, Especially the fine mansions with their shrubbery green; And the trees and ivy are beautiful to view Growing in front of each stately home in the avenue.
There the little birds and beautiful butterflies Are soaring heavenwards almost to the skies, And the busy bees are to be seen on the wing, As from flower to flower they hummingly sing, As they gather honey all the day, From flowery gardens of Newport on the braes o' the Tay.
And as we view the gardens our hearts will feel gay After being pent up in the workshop all the day.
Then there's a beautiful spot near an old mill, Suitable for an artist to paint of great skill, And the trees are arched o'erhead, lovely to be seen, Which screens ye from the sunshine's glittering sheen.
Therefore, holiday makers, I'd have ye resort To Newport on the braes o' the Tay for sport, And inhale the pure air with its sweet perfume, Emanating from the flowery gardens of Newport and the yellow broom.
And when bright Sol sinks in the West You'll return home at night quite refreshed, And dream in your beds of your rambles during the day Along the bonnie braes o' the silvery Tay.