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Famous Christmas Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Christmas poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous christmas poems. These examples illustrate what a famous christmas poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Thomas, Dylan
...One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound
except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember
whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve
nights when I was six.

All the C...Read More

by Betjeman, John
...stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
'The church looks nice' on Christmas Day.

Provincial Public Houses blaze,
Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze,
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says 'Merry Christmas to you all'.

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And m...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...(A Christmas Circular Letter)

THE CITY had withdrawn into itself
And left at last the country to the country;
When between whirls of snow not come to lie
And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove
A stranger to our yard, who looked the city,
Yet did in country fashion in that there
He sat and waited till he drew us out
A-buttoning coats to ask him who he...Read More

by Larkin, Philip
...whta it was; one of the crew
That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were?
Some ruin-bibber randy for antique 
Or Christmas-addict counting on a whiff
Of grown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh?
Or will he be my representative 

Bored uninformed knowing the ghostly silt
Dispersed yet tending to this cross of ground
Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt
So long and equably what since is found
Only in separation--marriage and birth 
And death and thought...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...m 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."...Read More

by Betjeman, John
...bothers me,
So here I eat my frugal tea.
My bread is sawdust mixed with straw;
My jam is polish for the floor.
Christmas and Easter may be feasts
For congregations and for priests,
And so may Whitsun. All the same,
They do not fill my meagre frame.
For me the only feast at all
Is Autumn's Harvest Festival,
When I can satisfy my want
With ears of corn around the font.
I climb the eagle's brazen head
To burrow through a loaf of bread.
I scramble up the ...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...aught and reflected the flame, as shields of armies the sunshine.
Fragments of song the old man sang, and carols of Christmas,
Such as at home, in the olden time, his fathers before him
Sang in their Norman orchards and bright Burgundian vineyards.
Close at her father's side was the gentle Evangeline seated,
Spinning flax for the loom, that stood in the corner behind her.
Silent awhile were its treadles, at rest was its diligent shuttle,
While the monotonous drone...Read More

by Cisneros, Sandra flannel shirt
of yours I liked but remembered to take
your toothbrush. Where are you tonight?

Richard, it’s Christmas Eve again
and old ghosts come back home.
I’m sitting by the Christmas tree
wondering where did we go wrong.

Okay, we didn’t work, and all
memories to tell you the truth aren’t good.
But sometimes there were good times.
Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep
beside me and never dreamed afraid.

There should be ...Read More

by Chesterton, G K
Of kings and clowns in a merry plight,
And the clock gone wrong and the world gone right,
That the mummers sing upon Christmas night
And Christmas Day in the morning.

"Now here is a good warrant,"
Cried Alfred, "by my sword;
For he that is struck for an ill servant
Should be a kind lord.

"He that has been a servant
Knows more than priests and kings,
But he that has been an ill servant,
He knows all earthly things.

"Pride flings frail palaces at the sky,
As a...Read More

by Nash, Ogden
...rough nursery and kindergarten,
Whispering low to every tot,
'There isn't any, no there's not!'

The children wept all Christmas eve
And Jabez chortled up his sleeve.
No infant dared hang up his stocking
For fear of Jabez' ribald mocking.

He sprawled on his untidy bed,
Fresh malice dancing in his head,
When presently with scalp-a-tingling,
Jabez heard a distant jingling;
He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof
Crisply alighting on the roof.
What good to rise and...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...hat her vow she broke
And answered. So they drifted into seeing
Each other as before. There was no fleeing.
Christmas was over and the Carnival
Was very near, and tripping from each tongue
Was talk of the new opera. Each book-stall
Flaunted it out in bills, what airs were sung,
What singers hired. Pictures of the young
"Maestro" were for sale. The town was mad.
Only Charlotta felt depressed and sad.
Each day now brought a struggle 'twixt her wi...Read More

by Masefield, John
...ds on the church looked down 
On "Russell, Blacksmith of this Town," 
And all the graves of all the ghosts 
Who rise on Christmas Eve in hosts 
To dance and carol in festivity 
For joy of Jesus Christ's Nativity 
(Bell-ringer Dawe and his two sons 
Beheld 'em from the bell-tower once}, 
To and two about about 
Singing the end of Advent out, 
Dwindling down to windlestraws 
When the glittering peacock craws, 
As craw the glittering peacock should 
When Christ's own star come o...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...o'er Moriah--the good saint 
Arimathan Joseph, journeying brought 
To Glastonbury, where the winter thorn 
Blossoms at Christmas, mindful of our Lord. 
And there awhile it bode; and if a man 
Could touch or see it, he was healed at once, 
By faith, of all his ills. But then the times 
Grew to such evil that the holy cup 
Was caught away to Heaven, and disappeared.' 

To whom the monk: `From our old books I know 
That Joseph came of old to Glastonbury, 
And there ...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...ung it. 'Doubt my word again!' he said. 
'Come, listen! here is proof that you were missed: 
We seven stayed at Christmas up to read; 
And there we took one tutor as to read: 
The hard-grained Muses of the cube and square 
Were out of season: never man, I think, 
So mouldered in a sinecure as he: 
For while our cloisters echoed frosty feet, 
And our long walks were stript as bare as brooms, 
We did but talk you over, pledge you all 
In wassail; often, like as many gir...Read More

by Frost, Robert
...undisposed of.
It wouldn't do to be too hard on Brad
About his telescope. Beyond the age
Of being given one for Christmas gift,
He had to take the best way he knew how
To find himself in one. Well, all we said was
He took a strange thing to be roguish over.
Some sympathy was wasted on the house,
A good old-timer dating back along;
But a house isn't sentient; the house
Didn't feel anything. And if it did,
Why not regard it as a sacrifice,
And an old-fashion...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...g child!  Sad case, as you may think, for one  Who had a brain so wild!  Last Christmas when we talked of this,  Old Farmer Simpson did maintain,  That in her womb the infant wrought  About its mother's heart, and brought  Her senses back again:  And when at last her time drew near,  Her looks were calm, her senses clear. XV. &n...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...less and abandoned one
Who stoops to perpetrate a pun. 

"The man that smokes - that reads the TIMES -
That goes to Christmas Pantomimes -
Is capable of ANY crimes!" 

He felt it was his turn to speak,
And, with a shamed and crimson cheek,
Moaned "This is harder than Bezique!" 

But when she asked him "Wherefore so?"
He felt his very whiskers glow,
And frankly owned "I do not know." 

While, like broad waves of golden grain,
Or sunlit hues on cloistered pane,
His colo...Read More

by Masefield, John
...t to her berth, the sovereign of the storm. 

I never did, and many years went by, 
Then, near a Southern port, one Christmas Eve, 
I watched a gale go roaring through the sky, 
Making the cauldrons of clouds upheave. 

Then the wrack tattered and the stars appeared, 
Millions of stars that seemed to speak in fire; 
A byre cock cried aloud that morning neared, 
The swinging wind-vane flashed upon the spire. 

And soon men looked upon a glittering earth, 
Intensely...Read More

by Clare, John
...winter is the spring.
No flowers to please—no bees to hum—
 The coming spring's already come.

I never want the Christmas rose
 To come before its time;
The seasons, each as God bestows,
 Are simple and sublime.
I love to see the snowstorm hing;
 'Tis but the winter garb of spring.

I never want the grass to bloom:
 The snowstorm's best in white.
I love to see the tempest come
 And love its piercing light.
The dazzled eyes that love to cling
 O'er snow...Read More

by Akhmatova, Anna
...nd a Chinese arbour-place.

x x x

All promised him to me:
The heaven's edge, dark and kind,
And lovely Christmas sleep
And multi-ringing Easter wind,

And the red branches of a twig,
And waterfalls inside a park,
And two dragonflies
On rusty iron of a bulwark.

And I could not disbelieve,
That he'll befriend me all alone
When on the mountain slopes I went
Along hot pathway made of stone.

x x x

Every evening I receive
A letter l...Read More

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