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Fire Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Fire by Emily Dickinson
  2. The Consignment by Hannah Flagg Gould
  3. The End of Wood Cutting by William Francis Barnard
  4. A Fireside Vision by Bliss Carman
  5. XVIII. The Fireside by Christopher Pearse Cranch
  6. The Bonfire by Ruby Archer
  7. The Camp-Fire by Ruby Archer
  8. Wood Smoke by Herbert Jones
  9. The Fire of Driftwood by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  10. Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
  11. The Old Fire-Place by John S. Mohler
  12. At the Fireside by John Davis Long
  13. The Old-Time Fire by Samuel Harden
  14. The Old Hickory Wood by Evander A. Crewson

  1. Fire

    by Emily Dickinson

    Ashes denote that fire was;
    Respect the grayest pile
    For the departed creature's sake
    That hovered there awhile.

    Fire exists the first in light,
    And then consolidates, —
    Only the chemist can disclose
    Into what carbonates.

  2. The Consignment

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Fire, my hand is on the key,
    And the cabinet must ope!
    I shall now consign to thee,
    Things of grief, of joy, of hope.
    Treasured secrets of the heart
    To thy care I hence entrust:
    Not a word must thou impart,
    But reduce them all to dust.

    This—in childhood's rosy morn,
    This was gaily filled and sent.
    Childhood is for ever gone;
    Here—devouring element.
    This was friendship's cherished pledge;
    Friendship took a colder form:
    Creeping on its gilded edge,
    May the blaze be bright and warm!

    These—the letter and the token,
    Never more shall meet my view!
    When the faith has once been broken,
    Let the memory perish too!
    This—'t was penned while purest joy
    Warmed the heart and lit the eye:
    Fate that peace did soon destroy;
    And its transcript now will I!

    This must go! for, on the seal
    When I broke the solemn yew,
    Keener was the pang than steel;
    'T was a heart-string breaking too!
    Here comes up the blotted leaf,
    Blistered o'er by many a tear.
    Hence! thou waking shade of grief!
    Go, for ever disappear!

    This is his, who seemed to be
    High as heaven, and fair as light;
    But the visor rose, and he—
    Spare, O memory! spare the sight
    Of the face that frowned beneath,
    While I take it, hand and name,
    And entwine it with a wreath
    Of the purifying flame!

    These—the hand is in the grave,
    And the soul is in the skies,
    Whence they came! 'T is pain to save
    Cold remains of sundered ties!
    Go together, all, and burn,
    Once the treasures of my heart!
    Still, my breast shall be an urn
    To preserve your better part!

  3. The End of Wood Cutting

    by William Francis Barnard

    Red leaf and yellow leaf
    Are flaunting through the air;
    The paths are rustling underfoot,
    The sun is everywhere.
    Bright creepers clasp the rugged wood
    Of many a hardy tree;
    The squirrel stores his winter nuts
    And chatters in his glee.
    The ripened year is done at last;
    The fuel is at home.
    One song for joyous seasons past
    And happy days to come,
    My friends,
    And happy days to come!

    Come build a fire upon the ground,
    And let the wine flow free;
    Make smooth a place where we may sit
    And raise our revelry.
    The sun will hasten to the west,
    But we have naught to care:
    With meat and drink we need no more,
    Save that the night be fair.
    Beach wood and chestnut wood;
    Make a cheerful blaze.
    Forget the bad and praise the good.
    Here's joy and many days,
    My friends,
    Here's joy and many days!

  4. A Fireside Vision

    by Bliss Carman

    Once I walked the world enchanted
    Through the scented woods of spring,
    Hand in hand with Love, in rapture
    Just to hear a bluebird sing.

    Now the lonely winds of autumn
    Moan about my gusty eaves,
    As I sit beside the fire
    Listening to the flying leaves.

    As the dying embers settle
    And the twilight falls apace,
    Through the gloom I see a vision
    Full of ardor, full of grace.

    When the Architect of Beauty
    Breathed the lyric soul in man,
    Lo, the being that he fashioned
    Was of such a mould and plan!

    Bravely through the deepening shadows
    Moves that figure half divine,
    With its tenderness of bearing,
    With its dignity of line.

    Eyes more wonderful than evening
    With the new moon on the hill,
    Mouth with traces of God's humor
    In its corners lurking still.

    Ah, she smiles, in recollection;
    Lays a hand upon my brow;
    Rests this head upon Love's bosom!
    Surely it is April now!

  5. XVIII. The Fireside

    by Christopher Pearse Cranch

    With what a live intelligence the flame
    Glows and leaps up in spires of flickering red,
    And turns the coal just now so dull and dead
    To a companion — not like those who came
    To weary me with iteration tame
    Of idle talk in shallow fancies bred.
    From dreary moods the cheerful fire has led
    My thoughts, which now their manlier strength reclaim.
    And like some frozen thing that feels the sun
    Through solitudes of winter penetrate,
    The frolic currents through my senses run;
    While fluttering whispers soft and intimate
    Out of the ruddy firelight of the grate
    Make talk, love, music, poetry in one.

  6. The Bonfire

    by Ruby Archer

    Ho—gather the pine-cones
    And build a great fire,
    And fling all your sorrows
    To burn on the pyre.

    Bethink you of legends
    Of mining or deer,
    And make the night merry
    With idle good cheer.

    These little brown wizards
    Have spells in their bones.
    Their crackle is laughter,
    So pile on the cones.

    But bright eyes are near you
    With sparkle and dart.
    Beware, lest the pine-cones
    Enkindle a heart!

  7. The Camp-Fire

    by Ruby Archer

    In a gulch among the mountains,
    Red and golden creeps the flicker,
    All impatient to be monarch
    Of the quivering pine-tree branches.
    Now the wind between the boulders
    Shrieks incentive to the flame-king,
    And with mighty roar and crackling
    And with flourishing of smoke-flags,
    Leaps the fire to meet the moonlight.—
    Fire of earth and fire of heaven
    Mingle weirdly, mingle wildly,
    As the motives in men's bosoms—
    Heavenly hopes and earthly longings.
    From the shadows on the hillside
    Comes the whinnying of horses,
    Where we left them deep in grasses
    To the quiet peace of roving.
    Gladly crowd we to the circle
    Of the eerie flaming branches.
    Who so joyous or contented
    As our merry little party
    Horseback faring o'er the mountains?
    We are glad with every valley
    Smiling faintly in the moonlight.
    We are full of conquering triumph
    In the pride of every summit.
    But the camp-fire 'mong the boulders,
    Flinging high its burning banner,
    Laughing gleeful to the moonlight,—
    Sings the spirit of our freedom,
    Sings our liberty incarnate,
    All our full warm love of living!

    In the years when recollection
    Fills the senses with contentment,
    And we yearn no more for doing,
    But to memory turn us musing,—
    Surely we that knew the camp-fire
    And that night among the mountains,
    Shall delight in this recalling,
    Shall delight and say that never
    Have we known a scene more wondrous,
    Awe-compelling, joy-commanding,
    Than that moonlight and that midnight
    In the mountains, by the camp-fire.

  8. Wood Smoke

    by Herbert Jones

    One evening as the dusk came softly down,
    Walking along a road outside the town
    I watched the sunset burning low and red,
    And heard the leaves a-rustling, dry and dead,
    Harried by breezes to their wintry bed.

    By chance I passed a fire beside the way,
    With small flames leaping in their impish play.
    Bright in the dimness of the dying day;
    And as the wind blew smoke across my face
    Around me all the Bush rose up apace.

    The great dim forest blotted out the farms
    And close around the red fire flung its arms,
    Canoe and portage, tent and camping place,
    Ghosts in the wood smoke, lingered for a space,
    Then passed, and with them went a comrade's face.

  9. The Fire of Driftwood

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Devereux Farm

    We sat within the farm-house old,
    Whose windows, looking o’er the bay,
    Gave to the sea-breeze, damp and cold,
    An easy entrance, night and day.

    Not far away we saw the port,
    The strange, old-fashioned, silent town,
    The lighthouse, the dismantled fort,
    The wooden houses, quaint and brown.

    We sat and talked until the night,
    Descending, filled the little room;
    Our faces faded from the sight,
    Our voices only broke the gloom.

    We spake of many a vanished scene,
    Of what we once had thought and said,
    Of what had been and might have been,
    And who was changed and who was dead,

    And all that fills the hearts of friends,
    When first they feel, with secret pain,
    Their lives thenceforth have separate ends,
    And never can be one again;

    The first slight swerving of the heart,
    That words are powerless to express,
    And leave it still unsaid in part,
    Or say it in too great excess.

    The very tones in which we spake
    Had something strange, I could but mark;
    The leaves of memory seemed to make
    A mournful rustling in the dark.

    Oft died the words upon our lips,
    As suddenly, from out the fire
    Built of the wreck of stranded ships,
    The flames would leap and then expire.

    And, as their splendor flashed and failed,
    We thought of wrecks upon the main,
    Of ships dismasted, that were hailed
    And sent no answer back again.

    The windows, rattling in their frames,
    The ocean, roaring up the beach,
    The gusty blast, the bickering flames,
    All mingled vaguely in our speech;

    Until they made themselves a part
    Of fancies floating through the brain,
    The long-lost ventures of the heart,
    That send no answers back again.

    O flames that glowed! O hearts that yearned!
    They were indeed too much akin,
    The drift-wood fire without that burned,
    The thoughts that burned and glowed within.

  10. A Boy and His Dad

    by Edgar A. Guest

    I'm sorry for a fellow if he cannot look and see
    In a grate fire's friendly flaming all the joys which used to be.
    If in quiet contemplation of a cheerful ruddy blaze
    He sees nothing there recalling all his happy yesterdays,
    Then his mind is dead to fancy and his life is bleak and bare,
    And he's doomed to walk the highways that are always thick with care.

    When the logs are dry as tinder and they crackle with the heat,
    And the sparks, like merry children, come a-dancing round my feet,
    In the cold, long nights of autumn I can sit before the blaze
    And watch a panorama born of all my yesterdays.
    I can leave the present burdens and that moment's bit of woe,
    And claim once more the gladness of the bygone long ago.

    There are no absent faces in the grate fire's merry throng;
    No hands in death are folded, and no lips are stilled to song.
    All the friends who were are living—like the sparks that fly about;
    They come romping out to greet me with the same old merry shout,
    Till it seems to me I'm playing once again on boyhood's stage,
    Where there's no such thing as sorrow and there's no such thing as age.

    I can be the care-free schoolboy! I can play the lover, too!
    I can walk through Maytime orchards with the old sweetheart I knew;
    I can dream the glad dreams over, greet the old familiar friends
    In a land where there's no parting and the laughter never ends.
    All the gladness life has given from a grate fire I reclaim,
    And I'm sorry for the fellow who can only see the flame.

  11. Fire and Ice

    by Robert Frost

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

  12. By the Fire-Place

    by Arthur Franklin Fuller

    When the days are getting shorter,
    When the nights are long and chill,
    With my cares and work forgotten,
    And the whole world hushed and still—
    Then I love to make a fire,
    Watch the flamelets dance and race,
    For things are mighty cozy,
    By the fire-place.

    I love to have a friend or two
    To make the deal complete—
    Shoes off, cocked on an extry chair,
    We toast our weary feet;
    A bowl of pop-corn sittin' near,
    While time slips by apace,
    Why folks, it's awful cozy,
    By the fire-place.

  13. The Old Fire-Place

    by Rev. John S. Mohler

    How sad is the memory of days that are gone
    When parents and children in a circle at home
    Around the Old Fire-place would cheerfully gather,
    Away from the cold and inclemency of weather.

    Around the Old Fire-place mother, all the day long,
    Was toiling, and toiling with cheer and with song
    For father and children preparing them food,
    While nourishing and rearing her innocent brood.

    At evening with treadle she was humming the wheel
    While father was wrapping the yarn from the reel;
    And brothers and sisters were reading their books,
    Or merrily playing in their innocent sports.

    As the embers on the hearth were dying away,
    Our father more fuel would carefully lay,
    Till the Old Fire-place blazed again in a roar,
    Which caused us to widen our circle still more.

    When the toils and the pleasures of evening were o'er,
    We knelt 'round the Fire-place, God's mercy to implore,
    From harm and from evil us safely would keep,
    As defenseless we lay in the silence of sleep.

    As the cold wintery winds were passing away,
    And the gentle breeze sighed through the long summer day,
    And the embers had died on the once blazing hearth,
    Now vocal at evening with the cricket's soft chirp.

    The Old Fire-place scenes, alas, I see them no more,
    For its circle is scattered to far distant shores:
    the wheel and the reel are covered with rust,
    And parents and children are moldering to dust.

    The hearth that once glowed with warmth and with cheer,
    Is forsaken and desolate, cold and drear;
    No prattling of children's sweet voices are there,
    No songs of devotion, thanksgiving, or prayer.

    Just a few broken links of the beautiful chain,
    That bound us together on earth, yet remain;
    But that circle complete I hope I shall view
    In the day when the Lord maketh all things new.

  14. At the Fireside

    by John Davis Long

    At nightfall by the firelight's cheer
    My little Margaret sits me near,
    And begs me tell of things that were
    When I was little, just like her.

    Ah, little lips, you touch the spring
    Of sweetest sad remembering;
    And hearth and heart flash all aglow
    With ruddy tints of long ago!

    I at my father's fireside sit,
    Youngest of all who circle it,
    And beg him tell me what did he
    When he was little, just like me.

  15. The Old-Time Fire

    by Samuel Harden

    "Talk about yer buildin's
    That's het up by steam―
    Give me the old oak fire
    Where the old folks used to dream.

    "The rickety dog-irons,
    One-sided as could be;
    The ashes banked with 'taters
    That was roastin' there fer me.

    "The dog on one side, drowsin', Or barkin' near the door;
    The kitten cuttin' capers With the knittin' on the floor.

    "An' me a little tow head
    By mammy's side at night;
    With both my cheeks a-burnin'
    From the red flames leapin bright.

    "These steam-het buildin's make me
    Jest weary fer the blaze
    That was heap more comfortable
    In my childhood's nights and days.

    "An I'd give the finest heater
    In the buildin's het by steam
    Fer the old-time chimbley corner
    Where the old folks used to dream."

  16. The Old Hickory Wood Fire

    by Evander A. Crewson

    As I sit by the stove, all polished and nickeled,
    Where a carpet of velvet covers the floor,
    I reckon I ought to feel wonderfully tickled
    While the wind thumps and bangs at the door;
    Yes, ought to feel glad—so much to admire,
    But it all will not cure a longing desire
    A fellow will have for the old hickory fire;
    With its curling and snapping,
    And its whirling and lapping;
    That good old fashioned hickory wood fire.

    Their anthracite coal don't have any snap;
    No bright burning flame up the flue rolls;
    I can't help missing the sweet hickory sap
    Frying out of the fore-stick over the coals;
    These new fangled fires are all very well,
    But one thing I miss, and its easy to tell:
    'Tis the good old fashioned hickory wood smell;
    That old rustic perfume
    Which filled up the room;
    That good old fashioned hickory wood smell.

    How often we'd sit by that wide open fire,
    The wild winds howling and roaring outside;
    The bright hickory flames mounting up higher,
    Beaming on "linsey-woolsey" close to our side.
    Yep, thoughts of it oft' my memory will throng
    As I dream how, with apples and cider and song,
    We'd while away evenings that never seemed long;
    And when the fire burned low,
    How it would tell of the snow
    In the old winter evenings that never seemed long.

    You can take your coal and your natural gas,
    Which the tastes of to-day are made to desire;
    The bright burnished stove in its nickel and brass,
    But give me the old fashioned hickory wood fire;
    Where, with apples and walnuts, before it we'd sit,
    While father would doze and mother would knit,
    And the flames would snap and sparkle and spit;
    But the fire burned low
    In the long, long ago,
    And the ashes of years lie forever on it.