The HyperTexts

The Best Christmas Poems Ever

Which poets wrote the best Christmas poems and songs in the English language? The following are the best Christmas poems and songs of all time, in my opinion. I have also included some "darker," more heretical Christmas poems toward the bottom of the page, for readers who don't mind a little variety. My personal top ten poets of Christmastime are W. H. Auden, Robert Frost, Thomas Hardy, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christina Rossetti, Dr. Seuss, William Shakespeare, Sara Teasdale, Alfred Lord Tennyson and William Wordsworth. High Honorable Mentions go to Anne Bronte, G. K. Chesterton, e. e. cummings, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Walter de la Mare, John Milton and Clement Clarke Moore (the latter wrote the best-known Christmas poem of all time, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," which begins: "'Twas the night before Christmas ...").

compiled by
Michael R. Burch



Christmas is Coming

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!

The poem above is a traditional nursery rhyme often sung in rounds during the Christmas season. There are many variations of the lyrics, due to the poem's antiquity. The poem was adapted into the Bing Crosby song "Christmas Is A-Comin'" when Frank Luther added the fine opening lines: "When I'm feeling blue, when I'm feeling low, / I start to think about the happiest man I know." Despite its inauspicious beginning as a nursery rhyme, "Christmas is Coming" has been performed by serious artists like Harry Belafonte, Pat Boone, The Kingston Trio, The Manhattan Transfer, Lorne Greene of Bonanza, and even John Denver in a calypso version with the Muppets! But perhaps more importantly it has been sung by millions of unknown carolers around the world as a call for compassion, generosity and "peace on earth, goodwill toward men" during the Christmas season. When I hear carolers singing the goodhearted song, I always think of Tiny Tim exclaiming "God bless us, every one!" And of course Tiny Tim was close to the heart of Charles Dickens, the "man who created Christmas" with his Christmas Carol and the story of Ebenezer Scrooge.



Christmas Trivia: Did you know that the Puritan Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas carols during the English Reformation? What a Scrooge! 



The First Christmas
by Michael R. Burch

’Twas in a land so long ago . . .
the lambs lay blanketed in snow
and little children everywhere
sat and watched warm embers glow
and dreamed (of what, we do not know).

And THEN—a star appeared on high,
The brightest man had ever seen!
It made the children whisper low
in puzzled awe (what did it mean?).
It made the wooly lambkins cry.

For far away a new-born lay,
warm-blanketed in straw and hay,
a lowly manger for his crib.
The cattle mooed, distraught and low,
to see the child. They did not know

it now was Christmas day!

This is a poem in which I tried to capture the mystery and magic of the first Christmas day. If you like my poem, you are welcome to share it, but please cite me as the author, which you can do by including the title and subheading.



Silent Night
by Joseph Mohr

Silent night,
Holy night;
All is calm,
All is bright ...

Joseph Mohr wrote the lyrics to Stille Nacht ("Silent Night" in German) in 1816. The melody was composed later, by Franz Xaver Gruber in 1818. During World War I, Germans troops singing the song in German heard English troops singing the song in English, and that led to a Christmas truce!



I Syng of a Mayden (circa 1400)
translation by Michael R. Burch

I syng of a mayden               I sing of a maiden
þat is makeles,                     that is matchless:
kyng of alle kynges              the king of all kings
to here sone che ches           for her son she chose.

He came also stylle              He came as still
þer his moder was                where his mother was
as dew in aprylle,                 as the April dew
þat fallyt on þe gras.             falling on the grass.

He cam also stylle                He came as still
to his moderes bowr            to his mother's bower
as dew in aprille,                  as the April dew
þat fallyt on þe flour.            falling on the flower.

He cam also stylle                He came as still
þer his moder lay                 where his mother lay
as dew in Aprille,                 as the April dew
þat fallyt on þe spray.           falling on the spray.

Moder & mayden                Mother and maiden
was neuer non but che—      there was none but she—
wel may swych a lady          well may such a lady
Godes moder be.                God's mother be!

This 15th century medieval lyric, found in the Sloane Manuscript, may be one of the oldest poems in the English language about Mary and Jesus. It has been described as one of the first Christmas carols, and as one of the first English lyrics about the Virgin Mary and the Annunciation, in which the angel Gabriel announced that Mary would bear the Christ child. If the lyric had a tune, it has been lost. But it remains a lovely, gently haunting poem.



My Top Ten Poems of Christmas

"On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" by John Milton
"Christmas Bells" and "The Children's Hour" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Ring Out, Wild Bells" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
"little tree" by e. e. cummings
"Love Came Down at Christmas" by Christina Rossetti
"A Christmas Carol: In the Bleak Midwinter" by Christina Rossetti
"Journey of the Magi" by T. S. Eliot
"The Oxen" by Thomas Hardy and "The Burning Babe" by Robert Southwell (tie)
"For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio" by W. H. Auden
"Winter Time" and "Christmas at Sea" by Robert Louis Stevenson



It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
by Edmund Sears aka E. H. Sears

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven's all-gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

This popular hymn and Christmas carol was written as a five-stanza poem in 1849, and it was published as a poem the same year. The poem was set to music the following year. The melody was composed by Richard Storrs Willis. The resulting song has been performed by Bing Crosby, Julie Andrews, Ray Price, Johnny Mathis, the Carpenters, Celtic Women, Josh Groban, Norah Jones, and many other artists over the years.



How the Grinch Stole Christmas
by Dr. Seuss (the pen name of Theodore Seuss Geisel)

Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot …
But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did NOT!
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all,
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small ...



A Child’s Christmas Prayer of Despair for a Hindu Saint
by Michael R. Burch

Santa Claus,
for Christmas, please,
don’t bring me toys, or games, or candy ...
just ... Santa, please,
I’m on my knees! ...
please don’t let Jesus torture Gandhi!

According to orthodox Christianity, human beings who don't "believe" in Jesus Christ as Savior will go to hell when they die. But who can "believe" in a God who punishes human beings for not believing things that cannot be proven, and which would make God seem infinitely worse than the Devil? In reality, the biblical God and his Hebrew prophets never mentioned a place called "hell" or any possibility of suffering after death. If this subject interests you, please consider There is No "Hell" in the Bible.



Cradle Hymn or "Away in a Manger"
by Martin Luther (?)

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay—
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus! look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

This popular Christmas hymn has been ascribed to the first Protestant reformer, Martin Luther (1483-1546). However, no one has ever found a German version of "Luther's Cradle Hymn" that can be traced back to the first Protestant. While Martin Luther did write hymns, he probably did not write this particular one.



Christmas Bells
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The Carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
‘For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!’



Ring Out, Wild Bells
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.



little tree
by e. e. cummings

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy…



Minstrels
by William Wordsworth

The minstrels played their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,
The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

And who but listened?—till was paid
Respect to every inmate's claim,
The greeting given, the music played
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And "Merry Christmas" wished to all.



Christmas Past
by Carice Williams

Each Christmas I remember
The ones of long ago;
I see our mantelpiece adorned
With stockings in a row.

Each Christmas finds me dreaming
Of days that used to be,
When we hid presents here and there,
For all the family.

Each Christmas I remember
The fragrance in the air,
Of roasting turkey and mince pies
And cookies everywhere.

Each Christmas finds me longing
For Christmases now past,
And I am back in childhood
As long as memories last.



Mistletoe a Christmas
by Walter de la Mare

Sitting under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
One last candle burning low,
All the sleepy dancers gone,
Just one candle burning on,
Shadows lurking everywhere:
Some one came, and kissed me there.

Tired I was; my head would go
Nodding under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
No footsteps came, no voice, but only,
Just as I sat there, sleepy, lonely,
Stooped in the still and shadowy air
Lips unseen—and kissed me there.



A Christmas Carol: In the Bleak Midwinter
by Christina Rossetti

In the bleak mid-winter
   Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
   Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
   Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
   Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
   Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
   When He comes to reign:
In the bleak midwinter
   A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
   Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
   Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
   And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
   Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
   Which adore.

Angels and archangels
   May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
   Thronged the air;
But only His mother
   In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
   With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
   Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
   I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
   I would do my part,—
Yet what I can I give Him,
   Give my heart.



Christmas Carol
by Sara Teasdale

The kings they came from out the south,
All dressed in ermine fine;
They bore Him gold and chrysoprase,
And gifts of precious wine.

The shepherds came from out the north,
Their coats were brown and old;
They brought Him little new-born lambs—
They had not any gold.

The wise men came from out the east,
And they were wrapped in white;
The star that led them all the way
Did glorify the night.

The angels came from heaven high,
And they were clad with wings;
And lo, they brought a joyful song
The host of heaven sings.

The kings they knocked upon the door,
The wise men entered in,
The shepherds followed after them
To hear the song begin.

The angels sang through all the night
Until the rising sun,
But little Jesus fell asleep
Before the song was done.



A Visit from St. Nicholas
by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”


Christmas Trivia: Did you know that a Christmas poem published two years before Clement Clarke Moore's famous one above was the first to mention reindeer, a sleigh, and Santa arriving on Christmas Eve? The poem "Old Santeclaus with Much Delight" was published in 1821. Its author remains unknown, but he/she was a trendsetter!



Here are some darker and more "heretical" poems about Christmas ...



Christmas: 1924
by Thomas Hardy

'Peace upon earth!' was said. We sing it,
And pay a million priests to bring it. A
fter two thousand years of mass
We've got as far as poison-gas.  



What Would Santa Claus Say
by Michael R. Burch

What would Santa Claus say,
I wonder,
about Jesus returning
to kill and plunder?

For he'll likely return
on Christmas Day
to blow the bad
little boys away!

When He flashes like lightning
across the skies
and many a homosexual
dies,

when the harlots and heretics
are ripped asunder,
what will the Easter Bunny think,
I wonder?



"Lines for a Christmas Card" from the novel The Four Men
by Hilaire Belloc

May all good fellows that here agree
Drink Audit Ale in heaven with me.
And may all my enemies go to hell!
Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!
May all my enemies go to hell!
Noel! Noel!



A Little Bell
by Ann Drysdale

A little bell, a little golden bell
A little golden Christmas-looking bell
With Santa on his sleigh, waving goodwill
While six wild reindeer rear into the sky
Making a cunning little handle.

If you take it between finger and thumb
And give it the teeniest shake, it tinkles
Like babies' laughter. Such a pretty thing
And it is all for you. Nurse gave it to you
To keep for as long as you need it.

Nurse gave the bell to you because last night
You had a paroxysm of vomiting
That made green curtains run down all four walls
And rang the "help me" bell and no-one came
Because the bell was broken.

So you cried out at the top of your voice
Begging for someone, anyone, to come;
But cries of distress on the ward at night
Are constant and for the most part ignored.
You lay ill and afraid alone.

Today I asked if something could be done
And they brought you the little golden bell.
I went back home and fetched a sleeping bag.
I will be here tonight and every night.
Because I don't believe in Santa Claus.



I—Easter Hymn
by A. E. Housman

If in that Syrian garden, ages slain,
You sleep, and know not you are dead in vain,
Nor even in dreams behold how dark and bright
Ascends in smoke and fire by day and night
The hate you died to quench and could but fan,
Sleep well and see no morning, son of man.

But if, the grave rent and the stone rolled by,
At the right hand of majesty on high
You sit, and sitting so remember yet
Your tears, your agony and bloody sweat,
Your cross and passion and the life you gave,
Bow hither out of heaven and see and save.



In God We Trust
by T. Merrill

Absolve yourselves, believe them saved,
Whom hungrily you brought to fare
As chance decrees, and leave to them
The fortune to which you rose heir.
Now theirs shall be the kingdom too,
This one and that, and all they hold,
All marvels present, and as well
Fresh wonders when the flesh turns cold.

All you who by blind pulse renew
The primal blessing cast in heat,
And to a season's course entrust
Frail issue weather can defeat,
Who from flung seed grew anxious too—
Deny earth feeds on them and you.



White Hot Christmas
by Michael R. Burch

I’m back from my jog;
it felt like summer
on Christmas Eve.
What a bummer!
Forget the sleigh, Santa,
hire a Hummer.



Nuns, Skating
by Ann Drysdale

Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room
Because their spirits can escape beyond
The place that holds them in respectful gloom
To seek the Lord beside the frozen pond.
There He will make their laughter into bells
And turn their breath to incense. He will show
Shadows of magi on the distant hills
And flights of angels shining in the snow.
He will make rushes sing and grasses dance
To the intrusive music of their chatter,
Whispering in their ears that, just this once,
They too can walk as He did, on the water.
Oh, may the year to come be full of these
Small serendipitous epiphanies.



Willy Nilly
by Michael R. Burch

for the Demiurge aka Yahweh/Jehovah

Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?
You made the stallion,
you made the filly,
and now they sleep
in the dark earth, stilly.
Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?

Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?
You forced them to run
all their days uphilly.
They ran till they dropped—
life's a pickle, dilly.
Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?

Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?
They say I should worship you!
Oh, really!
They say I should pray
so you'll not act illy.
Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?



Hamlet
Act I, Scene I
by William Shakespeare (1603)
 
BERNARDO. It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
 
HORATIO. And then it started, like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day; and at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
Th’ extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine; and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.
 
MARCELLUS. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever, ’gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow’d and so gracious is the time.
 
HORATIO. So have I heard and do in part believe it.
But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o’er the dew of yon high eastward hill.
Break we our watch up; and by my advice
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.



The Garden Of Love
by William Blake

I laid me down upon a bank,
Where Love lay sleeping;
I heard among the rushes dank
Weeping, weeping.

Then I went to the heath and the wild,
To the thistles and thorns of the waste;
And they told me how they were beguiled,
Driven out, and compelled to the chaste.

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut
And "Thou shalt not," writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore.



The Corporate Christmas Carol
by Joseph S. Salemi

God rest ye merry businessmen,
Start markups on your trash!
Remember that this holiday
Is when you rake in cash!
It saves you from those creditors
You owe from that last crash…

            Oh, tidings of bottom-lines grown fat, ever so fat!
            Oh, tidings of bottom-lines grown fat!

From commerce wonks in Washington
There comes this press release:
“Just keep the boobs in spending-mode
So cash flow doesn't cease!
A Christmas without splurging means
That profits won't increase…”

             Oh, tidings of credit lines gone wild, ever so wild!
             Oh, tidings of credit lines gone wild!

The euro's going down the tubes;
The E.U. too, en masse
We owe some fifteen trillion bucks
That we don't have, alas!
If China calls our paper debt,
We might as well take gas…

             Oh, tidings of bankruptcy and loss, ever such loss!
             Oh, tidings of bankruptcy and loss!

That's why we need this frenzied rush
Of buying gone berserk!
At Christmas you must drum into
The head of every jerk
That he should spend and spend and spend
To keep us all in work…

             Oh, tidings of avarice unrestrained, unrestrained!
             Oh, tidings of avarice unrestrained!



Other Christmas Poems of Note:

"For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio" by W. H. Auden
"Christmas" by John Betjeman
"Music on Christmas Morning" by Anne Bronte
"A Hymn for Christmas Day" by Thomas Chatterton (written as a child)
"A Christmas Carol" by G. K. Chesterton
"The House of Christmas" by G. K. Chesterton
"Christmas" by John Clare
"A Christmas Carol" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"A Christmas Poem" by Wendy Cope
"little tree" by e. e. cummings
"'Twas just this time last year I died" by Emily Dickinson
"Before the ice is in the pools" by Emily Dickinson
"Journey of the Magi" by T. S. Eliot
"Just 'Fore Christmas" by Eugene Field
"Christmas Trees" by Robert Frost
"At Christmas" by Edgar Guest
"The Oxen" by Thomas Hardy
"A Christmas Ghost Story" by Thomas Hardy
"Ceremonies for Christmas" by Robert Herrick
"A Christmas Carol" by Robert Herrick
"Christmas in India" by Rudyard Kipling
"The Three Kings" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" by John Milton
"The Boy Who Laughed at Christmas" by Ogden Nash
"Balloons" by Sylvia Plath
"A Christmas Sonnet (For One in Doubt)" by Edward Arlington Robinson (the last sonnet he wrote, and a fine one)
"Love Came Down at Christmas" by Christina Rossetti
"Christmas in the Olden Time" from Marmion by Sir Walter Scott
"Christmas Eve" by Anne Sexton
"Christmas at Sea" by Robert Louis Stevenson
"Winter Time" by Robert Louis Stevenson
"The Burning Babe" by Robert Southwell
"Christmas Carol" by Sara Teasdale
"Christ's Nativity" by Henry Vaughan
"The True Christmas" by Henry Vaughan
"A Christmas Carol" by George Wither
"The Magi" by William Butler Yeats

Other Christmas Hymns, Carols and Songs of Note:

"O Holy Night" by Placide Cappeau, as translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight
"What Child is This?" by William Chatterton Dix
"The Twelve Days of Christmas" by James O. Halliwell
"We Three Kings" by John Henry Hopkins Jr.
"Santa Baby" by Joan Javits and Philip Springer (originally performed by Eartha Kitt)
"Good King Wenceslas" by John Mason Neale
"O Come O Come Emmanuel" by John Mason Neale
"O Come All Ye Faithful" by John Fancis Wade
"Joy to the World" by Isaac Watts
"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" by Charles Wesley
"Go Tell It on the Mountain" by John Wesley Work Jr.
"The Twelve Days of Christmas" by Anonymous
"Happy XMAS (War is Over)" by John Lennon

These are some additional Christmas poems of mine ...



Late Frost
by Michael R. Burch

The matters of the world like sighs intrude;
out of the darkness, windswept winter light
too frail to solve the puzzle of night’s terror
resolves the distant stars to salts: not white,

but gray, dissolving in the frigid darkness.
I stoke cooled flames and stand, perhaps revealed
as equally as gray, a faded hardness
too malleable with time to be annealed.

Light sprinkles through dull flakes, devoid of color;
which matters not. I did not think to find
a star like Bethlehem’s. I turn my collar
to trudge outside for cordwood. There, outlined

within the doorway’s arch, I see the tree
that holds its boughs aloft, as if to show
they harbor neither love, nor enmity,
but only stars: insignias I know—

false ornaments that flash, overt and bright,
but do not warm and do not really glow,
and yet somehow bring comfort, soft delight:
a rainbow glistens on new-fallen snow.

I had Robert Frost in mind when I wrote this poem, and thus the title. Frost was fond of the word “arch,” and it’s here because of that fondness. The poem imagines him as an old man and a skeptic, but one who never really made a complete break from his childhood faith. The rainbow created by the “artificial stars” was not something I had planned ... in fact, I believe I wrote that line before I understood that the Christmas tree ornaments were creating the rainbow.



Christmas Wishes
by Michael R. Burch

My wish for you, with Christmas near,
is troubles fleeing, fleet as deer,
and peace encompassing as snow
and merriment in brilliant flow.

I wish for you, with Christ’s Eve here,
a silver moon should skies seem drear,
bright stars to light a festive sky,
a warmth caressing from on high.

I wish for you on Christmas day
a tree enchanted, festooned, gay . . .
and Christmas night, as carols play,
white candles lined in bright array.

But most of all, I wish you well,
and so much more than words can tell.
For this and every coming year,
Noel, Noel and Christmas cheer!



King of the World
by the Child Poets of Gaza, an alias of Michael R. Burch

If I were King of the World, I would make
every child free, for my people’s sake.

And once I had freed them, they’d all run and scream
back to my palace, for free ice cream!

Why are you laughing? Can’t a young king dream?

If I were King of the World, I would banish
hatred and war, and make mean men vanish.

Then, in their place, I’d bring in a circus
with lions and tigers (but they’d never hurt us!)

Why are you laughing? What else is a king’s purpose?

If I were King of the World, I would teach
the preachers to always do as they preach;

and so they could practice being of good cheer,
we’d have Christmas —and presents—every day of the year!

Why are you laughing? Some dreams do appear!

If I were King of the World, I would send
my counselors of peace to the wide world’s end ...

But all this hard dreaming is making me thirsty!
I proclaim Pink Lemonade; please bring it in a hurry!

Why are you laughing? Mom’ll make it in a flurry!

If I were King of the World, I’d declare
a year of happiness, with no despair—

only playing allowed, for my joyful subjects!
Not a toy left behind! Repair all rejects!

Why are you laughing? Surely no one objects!

If I were King of the World, I would fire
racists and bigots, with their message so dire.

And we wouldn’t build walls, to shut people out.
I would build amusement parks, have no doubt!

Why are you laughing? Should I use my clout?

If I were King of the World, I would drive
a red Ferrari, like no man alive!

But behind would be busses for my legions of friends:
we’d party like maniacs; the fun never ends!

Why are you laughing? Hop aboard! Let’s be friends!

If I were King of the World, I would make
every child blessed, for my people’s sake,

and every child safe, and every child free,
and every child happy, especially me!

Why are you laughing? Appoint me and see!



Malpractice
by Michael R. Burch

“He needs a new nose,”
Ma said, “suppose—
one that glows!”

The doc agreed
and worked with speed
on Santa’s steed.

The surgery done,
Ma told her son—
“It’s posh, and fun!”

But Rudolph wheezed
and cried and sneezed
with disbelief.

“It should’ve been red!”
the reindeer said,
pale and distraught in his hospital bed.

“Doc, what did you do?
Alas, boo-hoo!
It’s K-Mart-special chintzy blue!”



Economical Fall
by Michael R. Burch

The time to make love is autumn;
so kiss your sweethearts (if you’ve got ’em).
Seek ways to keep warm
but observe this norm:
by Christmas be sure you “forgot” ’em!



Lines Written After Misinterpreting a Christmastime Remark About “The Holy Family”
by Michael R. Burch

Our family’s as holey as any:
we’ve nostrils and a-holes aplenty!



Yet Another Unmerry Xmas Poem
by Michael R. Burch

the Shepherds should have tended flocks
of sheep, and not become them.

the Wise Men should have used their heads:
religion numbs and dumbs them.

the Angels should have saved their praise
for saviors who can save us

from ludicrous superstitions
and Profits who deprave us.



Christmas Bliss
by Michael R. Burch

Christ I’m so happy
that Jesus is sappy
and only saves suck-ups
who praise Yahweh’s fuck-ups!

My faith in the Devil
will save me: I revel
in devout Christmas bliss,
knowing I’m his!

As long as he saves me,
though his largess depraves me
and heaven’s unfair,
what the hell do I care?

You whine: Gandhi’s not there!
Am I his au pair?
Let the chaff burn in hell,
Noel! Sweet Noel!



The Twelve Hours of Christmas
by Michael R. Burch

for a slightly yeasty Beth

On the first hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a stockpile of Monistat D.

On the second hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
truckloads of Vagisil
and a stockpile of Monistat D.

On the third hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
A & D ointment,
truckloads of Vagisil
and a stockpile of Monistat D.

On the fourth hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
mountains of Desitin,
A & D ointment,
truckloads of Vagisil
and a stockpile of Monistat D.

On the fifth hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
anti-fungal powder,
mountains of Desitin,
A & D ointment,
truckloads of Vagisil
and a stockpile of Monistat D.

On the sixth hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
“something for jock itch,”
anti-fungal powder,
mountains of Desitin,
A & D ointment,
truckloads of Vagisil
and a stockpile of Monistat D.

On the seventh hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
towers of ice packs,
“something for jock itch,”
anti-fungal powder,
mountains of Desitin,
A & D ointment,
truckloads of Vagisil
and a stockpile of Monistat D.

On the eighth hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
extra-strength Gold Bond,
towers of ice packs,
“something for jock itch,”
anti-fungal powder,
mountains of Desitin,
A & D ointment,
truckloads of Vagisil
and a stockpile of Monistat D.

On the ninth hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
“don’t forget the rewards points,”
extra-strength Gold Bond,
towers of ice packs,
“something for jock itch,”
anti-fungal powder,
mountains of Desitin,
A & D ointment,
truckloads of Vagisil
and a stockpile of Monistat D.

On the tenth hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
“a fan to cool my cootchie,”
“don’t forget the rewards points,”
extra-strength Gold Bond,
towers of ice packs,
“something for jock itch,”
anti-fungal powder,
mountains of Desitin,
A & D ointment,
truckloads of Vagisil
and a stockpile of Monistat D.

On the eleventh hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Diflucan capsules,
“a fan to cool my cootchie,”
“don’t forget the rewards points,”
extra-strength Gold Bond,
towers of ice packs,
“something for jock itch,”
anti-fungal powder,
mountains of Desitin,
A & D ointment,
truckloads of Vagisil
and a stockpile of Monistat D.

On the twelfth hour of Christmas, my true love gave to me
this poem to cure distemper,
Diflucan capsules,
“a fan to cool my cootchie,”
“don’t forget the rewards points,”
extra-strength Gold Bond,
towers of ice packs,
“something for jock itch,”
anti-fungal powder,
mountains of Desitin,
A & D ointment,
truckloads of Vagisil
and a stockpile of Monistat D.



Gifts of the Vagi
by Michael R. Burch

for a slightly yeasty Beth

Approximately two thousand years after the Magi followed the Christmas Star to Bethlehem, another similar miracle has taken place, filling our hearts with renewed senses of wonder.

There are many parallels to the first event, but because all encounters with the supernatural are unique, there are some differences too. For instance, in the first marvel there were three wise men of Middle Eastern origins, while in this latter-day spectacle there was just one. And rather than three gifts there were (as the recipient of the gifts might put it herself) a “buttload.” Also, because in biblical times man’s technology was not up to snuff for long-distance communications, God employed a star back then, whereas this time more mundane text messages sufficed. And finally, in the former all the gifts were gifts, while in the latter the only free things were the reward points. But one must never quibble with miracles and how they are accomplished, so let us concentrate on the more wondrous aspects ...

Our story begins not with a virgin seeking shelter from the elements, but with a vagina seeking relief from a Christmastime yeast infection. Fortunately for the vagina’s beleaguered owner, a benevolent God had foreseen Beth’s predicament, just as he had foreseen Mary’s. Thus he had sent a wise young man from the ends of the earth (or, more correctly, Arizona) to rescue Beth (or, more correctly, her cootchie). Furthermore, in his infinite wisdom God had planned ahead by discretely making sure that man’s ability to communicate was vastly improved. Thus in her hour of need, our heroine was able to text her distress call to our hero. This, I maintain, was obviously part of the Divine Plan.

To make a long, potentially painful story short, our heroine was able to make her needs known to our hero, and he was able to miraculously deliver the Gifts of the Vagi: extra-strength Gold Bond, ice packs, “something for jock itch,” anti-fungal powder, Desitin, A & D ointment, Vagisil and Monistat D.

Oh, and of course, the reward points.

Now, you may opine that my “Gifts of the Vagi” doesn’t have quite the magisterial ring of “Gifts of the Magi.” But this is merely because the letters “magi” appear in the word “magisterial.” When discussing miracles, one must consider results.

Well, granted, this new miracle has been unfolding a bit slowly. Certainly more slowly than our heroine and her “Achy, Breaky Cootch” would prefer.

But God is not always about instantaneous relief! That is merely a human preference. One must always have perfect faith in the Divine Plan. And so I am supremely confident that, when all is said and done, according to the Will of Heaven, our heroine’s vajayjay will be saved from its current hell!

And so for God’s sake, please have a little faith, and have a very Merry Christmas!

 

Achy Breaky Cooch
by Michael R. Burch

for a slightly yeasty Beth

You can tell my cooch it makes it hard to smooch.
You can tell my crotch that it betrays.
And you can tell my pelvis it's scaring off my Elvis,
Thus ruining my loveless nights and days ...

But don't tell my cooch, my achy breaky chooch,
I'd be better off without it! It might hear
and run away offended
while weepy and distended,
and make an awful mess, I truly fear!

You can say, "Vajayjay, you make it hard to play!"
You can say, "You're as bumpy as a toad!"
You can say, "Heal faster, or we're heading for disaster!"
But don't tell my cooch to hit the road!

No don't tell my cooch, my achy breaky chooch.
I just don't think it'd understand.
It might run away offended,
all weepy and distended,
and leave this lovely girl a eunuched man.



Donald Trump Christmas Poems and Christmas Campaign Songs

Trump's Donor Song
by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

(lines written after it became apparent that Trump is not
"draining the swamp" but stocking it with his crocodilian
donors and political piranha)

christmas is coming, the Trumpster's purse is flat:
please put a Billion in the Fat Cat's hat!
if you haven't got a Billion, a Hundred Mil will do.
if you haven't got a Hundred Mil, the yoke's on you!



Christmas is coming!
Tycoons are getting fat!
TRUMP says, "Let's all piss
in some beggar's hat!
Beat him to a pulp
then run him out of town
if he dares object to
My sNAZI GOLDEN CROWN.
'Cause if you're not a Christian,
hell, nothing else will do!
But if you're just like TRUMP,
then may TRUMP bless you!
Michael R. Burch



SANTA CLAWS is coming to town!
He sees Spics when they're sleeping
and Blacks when they're awake!
He knows that Whites are always good,
dark skin is God's mistake!
So if you're some poor orphan
with slightly darker skin,
BIG BROTHER will be WATCHING
all blacks and Mexicans!
Michael R. Burch



Alt-Right White Christmas
by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

Trump's dreaming of a White Christmas,
just like the ones he used to know
when black renters groveled
or lived in hovels
while he laughed a demented Ho-Ho-Ho!



Trump’s Christmas Shutdown
by Michael R. Burch

The Grinch is quite proud of his friend Trump tonight:
To see Whoville shut down? “An enormous delight!”
And old cranky Scrooge approves of Trump’s whims:
“Who the hell cares about all those dark Tiny Tims?”
Meanwhile in the Kremlin a vodka glass clinks
As a pale being smiles at his latest hijinks:
“Merry Xmas to all my AmeriKKKan friends
As the bright lights go out and democracy ends!”



Egad,
what a cad;
the Orange Heffalump
scowls when he sees
a baby bump!
Like the Grinch who stole Christmas
(but every day of the year),
The Donald eyes expectant
mothers with a leer!
Michael R. Burch

Donald Trump Grinch McGrump actually body-shamed Kim Kardashian for having a baby bump, saying that she was "large" and ought to watch the kind of clothes she wears in public!

Related Pages: The Best Christmas Songs of All Time, Trump Christmas at the White House

The HyperTexts