When the merry spring time weaves Its peeping bloom and dewy leaves; When the primrose opes its eye, And the young moth flutters by; When the plaintive turtle dove Pours its notes of peace and love; And the clear sun flings its glory bright and wide— Yet, my soul will own More joy in winter's frown, And wake with warmer flush at Christmas tide. The summer beams may shine On the rich and curling vine, And the noon-tide rays light up The tulip's dazzling cup: But the pearly misletoe And the holly-berries' glow Are not even by the boasted rose outvied; For the happy hearts beneath The green and coral wreath Love the garlands that are twined at Christmas tide. Let the autumn days produce Yellow corn and purple juice, And Nature's feast be spread In the fruitage ripe and red; ’Tis grateful to behold Gushing grapes and fields of gold, When cheeks are brown'd and red lips deeper dyed: But give, oh! give to me The winter night of glee, The mirth and plenty seen at Christmas tide. The northern gust may howl, The rolling storm-cloud scowl, King Frost may make a slave Of the river's rapid wave, The snow-drift choke the path, Or the hail-shower spend its wrath; But the sternest blast right bravely is defied, While limbs and spirits bound To the merry minstrel sound, And social wood-fires blaze at Christmas tide. The song, the laugh, the shout, Shall mock the storm without; And sparkling wine-foam rise ’Neath still more sparkling eyes; The forms that rarely meet Then hand to hand shall greet, And soul pledge soul that leagues too long divide. Mirth, friendship, love, and light Shall crown the winter night, And every glad voice welcome Christmas tide. But while joy's echo falls In gay and plenteous halls, Let the poor and lowly share The warmth, the sports, the fare; For the one of humble lot Must not shiver in his cot, But claim a bounteous meed from wealth and pride. Shed kindly blessings round, Till no aching heart be found; And then all hail to merry Christmas tide!
This poem appeared in Melaia and Other Poems (Charles Tilt, 1840). It is in the public domain.