Christmas: Excerpt from ‘The Shepherds Calender’

excerpt from The Shepherds Calender,      John Clare 1793 – 1864


Christmas is come, and every hearth

Makes room to give him welcome now.

E’en want will dry its tears in mirth

And crown him wi’ a holly bough,

Though tramping ‘neath a winter sky

O’er snow track paths and rimy stiles;

The huswife sets her spinning by

And bids him welcome wi’ her smiles.

Each house is swept the day before

And windows stuck wi’ evergreens,

The snow is bosomed from the door

And comfort crowns the cottage scenes,

Gilt holly wi’ its thorny pricks

And yew and box wi’ berries small,

These deck the unused candlesticks

And pictures hanging by the wall.

Neighbours resume their annual cheer,

Wishing wi’ smiles and spirits high

Glad Christmas and a happy year

To every morning passer-by,John Clare lifesize statue at his cottage in Helpston

Milk maids their Christmas journeys go

Accompanied wi’ favoured swain,

And children pace the crumping snow

To taste their granny’s cake again.


also tagged as  seasons





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