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Famous Christmas Eve Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Christmas Eve 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 eve poems. These examples illustrate what a famous christmas eve poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Thomas, Dylan
...t the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen.

It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero's garden, waiting for cats, with her
son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland,
though there were no reindeers. But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we
waited to snowball the cats. Sleek a...Read More



by McGonagall, William Topaz
...the almost despairing boy cried aloud,
And related his distress to the increasing crowd;
Oh! What a pitiful sight on a Christmas eve,
But the dense crowd didn't the poor boy relieve, 

Until a poor wood-cutter chanced to come along,
And he asked of the crowd what was wrong;
And twenty ready tongues tells him the sad tale,
And when he heard it the poor boy's fate he did bewail. 

And he cried, "Here! Something must be done and quickly too,
Do you hear! Every blessed soul ...Read More

by Lawson, Henry
...Jack Denver died on Talbragar when Christmas Eve began, 
And there was sorrow round the place, for Denver was a man; 
Jack Denver's wife bowed down her head -- her daughter's grief was wild, 
And big Ben Duggan by the bed stood sobbing like a child. 
But big Ben Duggan saddled up, and galloped fast and far, 
To raise the longest funeral ever seen on Talbragar. 

By station home 
And s...Read More

by Betjeman, John
...re 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 marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children's hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say 'Come!'
Even to shining o...Read More

by Sexton, Anne
...Oh sharp diamond, my mother! 
I could not count the cost 
of all your faces, your moods-- 
that present that I lost. 
Sweet girl, my deathbed, 
my jewel-fingered lady, 
your portrait flickered all night 
by the bulbs of the tree. 

Your face as calm as the moon 
over a mannered sea, 
presided at the family reunion, 
the twelve grandchildren 
you us...Read More



by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...etiche, the ghost of a child who unchristened
Died, and was doomed to haunt unseen the chambers of children;
And how on Christmas eve the oxen talked in the stable,
And how the fever was cured by a spider shut up in a nutshell,
And of the marvellous powers of four-leaved clover and horseshoes,
With whatsoever else was writ in the lore of the village.
Then up rose from his seat by the fireside Basil the blacksmith,
Knocked from his pipe the ashes, and slowly extending his ...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...To-night ungather'd let us leave 
This laurel, let this holly stand:
We live within the stranger's land,
And strangely falls our Christmas-eve.
Our father's dust is left alone
And silent under other snows:
There in due time the woodbine blows,
The violet comes, but we are gone.
No more shall wayward grief abuse
The genial hour with mask and mime;
F...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...Again at Christmas did we weave 
The holly round the Christmas hearth;
The silent snow possess'd the earth,
And calmly fell our Christmas-eve:

The yule-log sparkled keen with frost,
No wing of wind the region swept,
But over all things brooding slept
The quiet sense of something lost.

As in the winters left behind,
Again our ancient games had place,
...Read More

by Carman, Bliss
...TO the assembled folk 
At great St. Kavin’s spoke 
Young Brother Amiel on Christmas Eve; 
I give you joy, my friends, 
That as the round year ends, 
We meet once more for gladness by God’s leave. 

On other festal days 
For penitence or praise 
Or prayer we meet, or fullness of thanksgiving; 
To-night we calendar 
The rising of that star 
Which lit the old world with new joy of living. 

Ah, we disparage still 
The Tidings...Read More

by Cisneros, Sandra
...at 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 Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...to you, 
Don’t ask me what I mean to do,” 
Said he. “Believe that even I 
Would rather tell the truth than lie— 
On Christmas Eve. No matter why.” 

His unshaved, educated face,
His inextinguishable grace. 
And his hard smile, are with me still, 
Deplore the vision as I will; 
For whatsoever he be at, 
So droll a derelict as that
Should have at least another hat....Read More

by Service, Robert William
...r as I can recall...

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Christmas Eve in the school-house! A scene of glitter and glee;
The children eager and joyful; parents and neighbours too;
Right in the forefront, Millie, close to the Christmas Tree.
While Billie, her brother, recited "The Shooting of Dan McGrew."

I reckon you've heard the opus, a ballad of guts and gore;
Of a Yukon frail and a frozen trail and a f...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 Edgar, Marriott
...reach like an 'ero,
He said, "All their fears I'll relieve, 
And it isn't their puddings I'm after,
As I told them last Christmas Eve.

"Though many have tackled the Channel
From Grisnez to Dover that is,
For the honour and glory of England 
I'll swim from Dover to Gris-niz."

As soon as his words were made public
The newspapers gathered around
And offered to give him a pension 
If he lost both his legs and got drowned.

He borrowed a tug from the Navy 
To swim in...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 Lawson, Henry
...e 
Or perished in their hives, 
And with the stock the kangaroos 
Went flying for their lives. 

The sun had set on Christmas Eve, 
When, through the scrub-lands wide, 
Young Robert Black came riding home 
As only natives ride. 
He galloped to the homestead door 
And gave the first alarm: 
`The fire is past the granite spur, 
`And close to Ross's farm.' 

`Now, father, send the men at once, 
They won't be wanted here; 
Poor Ross's wheat is all he has 
To pull him ...Read More

by Lanier, Sidney
...A Story of Christmas Eve.

Strange that the termagant winds should scold
The Christmas Eve so bitterly!
But Wife, and Harry the four-year-old,
Big Charley, Nimblewits, and I,

Blithe as the wind was bitter, drew
More frontward of the mighty fire,
Where wise Newfoundland Fan foreknew
The heaven that Christian dogs desire --

Stretched o'er the rug, serene and grave,...Read More

by Hardy, Thomas
...Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
 "Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
 By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
 They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
 To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
 In these years! Yet, ...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 Service, Robert William
...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;
Whi...Read More

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