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December Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Fragment 3: Come, come thou bleak December wind by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  2. December Days by Caleb Prentiss
  3. December by Rebecca Hey
  4. December by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  5. On December 21 by Anonymous
  6. An Interview by John B. Tabb
  7. December by Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  8. What December Says by Mary B. C. Slade
  9. December Snow by William Belcher Glazier
  10. December by William B. Tappan

  1. Fragment 3: Come, come thou bleak December wind

    by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    Come, come thou bleak December wind,
    And blow the dry leaves from the tree!
    Flash, like a Love-thought, thro' me, Death
    And take a Life that wearies me.

  2. December Days

    by Caleb Prentiss

    Ruthless winter's rude career
    Comes to close the parting year;
    Fleecy flakes of snow descend,
    Boreal winds the welkin rend.
    Reflect, oh man! and well remember
    That dull old age is dark December;
    For soon the year of life is gone,
    When hoary hairs like snow come on.

  3. December

    by Rebecca Hey

    As human life begins and ends with woe,
    So doth the year with darkness and with storm.
    Mute is each sound, and vanish'd each fair form
    That wont to cheer us; yet a sacred glow—
    A moral beauty,—to which Autumn's show,
    Or Spring's sweet blandishments, or Summer's bloom,
    Are but vain pageants,—mitigate the gloom,
    What time December's angry tempests blow.
    'Twas when the "Earth had doff'd her gaudy trim,
    As if in awe," that she received her Lord;
    And angels jubilant attuned the hymn
    Which the church echoes still in sweet accord,
    And ever shall, while Time his course doth fill,
    'Glory to God on high! on earth, peace and good will!'

  4. December

    by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

    Only the sea intoning,
    Only the wainscot-mouse,
    Only the wild wind moaning
    Over the lonely house.

    Darkest of all Decembers
    Ever my life has known,
    Sitting here by the embers,
    Stunned and helpless, alone—

    Dreaming of two graves lying
    Out in the damp and chill:
    One where the buzzard, flying,
    Pauses at Malvern Hill;

    The other—alas! the pillows
    Of that uneasy bed
    Rise and fall with the billows
    Over our sailor's head.

    Theirs the heroic story —
    Died, by frigate and town!
    Theirs the Calm and the Glory,
    Theirs the Cross and the Crown.

    Mine to linger and languish
    Here by the wintry sea.
    Ah, faint heart! in thy anguish,
    What is there left to thee?

    Only the sea intoning,
    Only the wainscot-mouse,
    Only the wild wind moaning
    Over the lonely house.

  5. On December 21

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Now let the weather do its worst,
    With frost and sleet and blowing,
    Rage like a beldam wild and curst,
    And have its fill of snowing.
    Now let the ice in savage vise
    Grip meadow, brook, and branches,
    Down from the north pour winter forth
    In roaring avalanches.

    I turn my collar to the blast
    And greet the storm with laughter:
    Your day, old Winter! use it fast,
    For Spring is coming after.
    The world may wear a frigid air,
    But ah! its heart is burning;
    Soon, soon will May dance down this way:
    The year is at the turning.

    There's not a sabre-charge of cold
    But brings the blossoms nearer;
    By every frost-flower we shall hold
    The violets the dearer.
    So rage and hlow the drifting snow
    And have your fill of sorrow:
    The turning years bring smiles for tears;
    We'll greet the spring to-morrow!

  6. An Interview

    by John B. Tabb

    I sat with chill December
    Beside the evening fire.
    "And what do you remember,"
    I ventured to inquire,
    "Of seasons long forsaken?"
    He answered in amaze,
    "My age you have mistaken;
    I've lived but thirty days."

  7. December

    by Thomas Wentworth Higginson

    The evening sky unseals its quiet fountain,
    Hushing the silence to a drowsy rain;
    It spreads a web of dimness o'er the plain
    And round each meadow tree;
    Makes this steep river-bank a dizzy mountain,
    And this wide stream a sea.

    Stealing from upper headlands of deep mist,
    The dark tide bears its icebergs ocean bound,
    White shapeless voyagers, by each other kissed,
    With rustling, ghostly sound;
    The lingering oak-leaves sigh, the birches shiver,
    Watching the wrecks of summer far and near,
    Where many a dew-drop, frozen on its bier,
    Drifts down the dusky river.

    I know thee not, thou giant elm, who towerest
    With shadowy branches in the murky air;
    And this familiar grove, once light and fair,
    Frowns, an Enchanted Forest.
    Couldst thou not choose some other night to moan,
    O hollow-hooting owl?
    There needs no spell from thy bewildered soul;
    I'm ghost enough alone.

  8. What December Says

    by Mary B. C. Slade

    Open your hearts ere I am gone,
    And hear my old, old story;
    For I am the month that first looked down
    On the beautiful Babe of glory.
    You never must call me lone and drear
    Because no birds are singing;
    Open your hearts, and you shall hear
    The song of the angels ringing.

    Open your hearts, and hear the feet
    Of the star-led Wise Men, olden;
    Bring out your treasures of incense sweet;
    Lay down your offerings golden.
    You say you look, but you see no sight
    Of the wonderful Babe I'm telling;
    You say they have carried him off, by night,
    From Bethlehem's lowly dwelling.

    Open your hearts and seek the door
    Where the alway poor are staying;
    For this is the story, for evermore
    The Master's voice is saying:
    Inasmuch as ye do it unto them.
    The poor, the weak, and the stranger,
    Ye do it to Jesus of Bethlehem—
    Dear Babe of the star-lit manger!

  9. December Snow

    by William Belcher Glazier

    Fall thickly on the rose-bush,
    O faintly falling snow!
    For she is gone who trained its branch,
    And wooed its bud to blow.

    Cover the well-known path-way,
    O damp December snow,
    Her step no longer lingers there,
    When stars begin to glow.

    Melt in the rapid river,
    O cold and cheerless snow!
    She sees no more its sudden wave,
    Nor hears its foaming flow.

    Chill every song-birds music,
    O silent, sullen snow!
    I cannot hear her loving voice,
    That lulled me long ago.

    Sleep on the Earth's broad bosom,—
    O heavy, winter snow!
    Its fragrant flowers and blithesome birds
    Should with its loved one go.

  10. December

    by William B. Tappan

    Farewell, December! cheerless as thou art,
    Arrayed in gloom, thou hast for me no smile;
    Thou canst not whisper pleasure to this heart,
    Thy aspect cannot life's sad ills beguile.
    O'er thee, the sombre child of Winter, stern,
    Nature is weeping in funereal gloom;
    Cheerless the trophies that adorn thy urn;
    Cold are the rites that consecrate thy tomb.

    Farewell, December! and with thee, the year,―
    Another year, that ends its course with thee;
    Another year that's severed from my span,
    Lost in the embrace of dark Eternity.
    What hopes and fears, what schemes of future bliss
    Have sparkled on the past with fairy gleam!
    Futile those schemes, and false each hope, for this
    Brief life is but the shadow of a dream.

    Farewell, December!—Ere in frowns, again
    Thou reign'st, the empress of the howling storm,
    Perhaps this bosom, free from secret pain.
    May rest in quiet;—this unconscious form
    May pillow kindly on its lowly bed,
    And know ofgrief no more.—Will't not be sweet,
    When gently called by an approving God,
    On yonder peaceful shore to rest the weary feet?