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Easter Day
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A collection of Christmas poems by Christina Rossetti

Below you'll find a variety of Christmas poems by Christina Rossetti.

To see all available titles by other authors, drop by our index of free books alphabetized by author or arranged alphabetically by title.



Potential uses for the free books, stories and prose we offer
* Rediscovering an old favorite book, Christmas poem or story.
* Bibliophiles expanding their collection of public domain eBooks at no cost.
* Teachers trying to locate a free online copy of a classic holiday poem or short story for use in the classroom.

NOTE: We try to present these classic poetic works as they originally appeared in print. As such, they sometimes contain adult themes, offensive language, typographical errors, and often utilize unconventional, older, obsolete or intentionally incorrect spelling and/or punctuation conventions.


"A Christmas Carol" by Christina Rossetti

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

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 mid-winter
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
Throng'd 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.


"A Christmas Carol: Before the paling of the stars"

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: BEFORE THE PALING OF THE STARS

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Before the paling of the stars,
Before the winter morn,
Before the earliest cockcrow
Jesus Christ was born:
Born in a stable,
Cradled in a manger,
In the world His hands had made
Born a stranger.

Priest and king lay fast asleep
In Jerusalem,
Young and old lay fast asleep
In crowded Bethlehem:
Saint and Angel, ox and ass,
Kept a watch together,
Before the Christmas daybreak
In the winter weather.

Jesus on His Mother's breast
In the stable cold,
Spotless Lamb of God was He,
Shepherd of the fold:
Let us kneel with Mary maid,
With Joseph bent and hoary,
With Saint and Angel, ox and ass,
To hail the King of Glory.


"A Christmas Carol, for my Godchildren"

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, FOR MY GODCHILDREN

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

The shepherds had an angel,
The wise men had a star,
But what have I, a little child,
To guide me home from far,
Where glad stars sing together
And singing angels are?--

Lord Jesus is my Guardian,
So I can nothing lack:
The lambs lie in His Bosom
Along life's dangerous track;
The wilful lambs that go astray
He bleeding fetches back.

Lord Jesus is my Guiding Star,
My Beacon Light in heaven:
He leads me step by step along
The path of life uneven;
He, True Light, leads me to that land
Whose day shall be as seven.

Those shepherds thro' the lonely night
Sat watching by their sheep,
Until they saw the heavenly host
Who neither tire nor sleep
All singing 'Glory glory'
In festival they keep.

Christ watches me His little lamb,
Cares for me day and night,
That I may be His Own in heaven:
So angels clad in white
Shall sing their 'Glory, glory'
For my sake in the height.

The wise men left their country
To journey morn by morn
With gold and frankincense and myrrh
Because the Lord was born:
God sent a star to guide them
And sent a dream to warn.

My life is like their journey,
Their star is like God's Book,
I must be like those good wise men
With heavenward heart and look:
But shall I give no gifts to God?--
What precious gifts they took.

Lord I will give my love to Thee,
Than gold much costlier,
Sweeter to Thee than frankincense,
More prized than choicest myrrh:
Lord make me dearer day by day,
Day by day holier.

Nearer and dearer day by day:
Till I my voice unite
And sing my 'Glory, glory'
With angels clad in white,
All 'Glory, glory' given to Thee
Thro' all the heavenly height.


A Christmas Carol, (on the stroke of Midnight.)

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, (ON THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT.)

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Thank God, thank God, we do believe,
Thank God that this is Christmas Eve.
Even as we kneel upon this day,
Even so the ancient legends say
Nearly two thousand years ago
The stalled ox knelt, and even so
The ass knelt full of praise which they
Could not express, while we can pray.
Thank God, thank God, for Christ was born
Ages ago, as on this morn:
In the snow-season undefiled
God came to earth a little Child;
He put His ancient glory by
To live for us, and then to die.

How shall we thank God? how shall we
Thank Him and praise Him worthily?
What will He have Who loved us thus,
What presents will He take from us?
Will He take gold, or precious heap
Of gems, or shall we rather steep
The air with incense, or bring myrrh?
What man will be our messenger
To go to Him and ask His Will?
Which having learned we will fulfil
Tho' He choose all we most prefer:--
What man will be our messenger?

Thank God, thank God, the Man is found,
Sure-footed, knowing well the ground:
He knows the road, for this the way
He travelled once, as on this day.
He is our Messenger; beside,
He is our Door, and Path, and Guide;
He also is our Offering,
He is the Gift that we must bring.
Let us kneel down with one accord
And render thanks unto the Lord:
For unto us a Child is born
Upon this happy Christmas morn;
For unto us a Son is given,
Firstborn of God and Heir of Heaven.


"Christmas Carols" by Christina Rossetti

CHRISTMAS CAROLS

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

1.

Whoso hears a chiming for Christmas at the nighest,
Hears a sound like Angels chanting in their glee,
Hears a sound like palm boughs waving in the highest,
Hears a sound like ripple of a crystal sea.

Sweeter than a prayer-bell for a saint in dying,
Sweeter than a death-bell for a saint at rest,
Music struck in Heaven with earth's faint replying,
"Life is good, and death is good, for Christ is Best."

2.

A holy, heavenly chime
Rings fulness in of time,
And on His Mother's breast
Our Lord God ever-Blest
Is laid a Babe at rest.

Stoop, Spirits unused to stoop,
Swoop, Angels, flying swoop,
Adoring as you gaze,
Uplifting hymns of praise:--
"Grace to the Full of Grace!"

The cave is cold and strait
To hold the angelic state:
More strait it is, more cold,
To foster and infold
Its Maker one hour old.

Thrilled thro' with awestruck love,
Meek Angels poised above,
To see their God look down:
"What, is there never a Crown
For Him in swaddled gown?

"How comes He soft and weak
With such a tender cheek,
With such a soft, small hand?--
The very Hand which spann'd
Heaven when its girth was plann'd.

"How comes He with a voice
Which is but baby-noise?--
That Voice which spake with might
--'Let there be light!' and light
Sprang out before our sight.

"What need hath He of flesh
Made flawless now afresh?
What need of human heart?--
Heart that must bleed and smart,
Choosing the better part.

"But see: His gracious smile
Dismisses us a while
To serve Him in His kin.
Haste we, make haste, begin
To fetch His brethren in."

Like stars they flash and shoot,
The Shepherds they salute.
"Glory to God" they sing:
"Good news of peace we bring,
For Christ is born a King."

3.

Lo! newborn Jesus,
Soft and weak and small,
Wrapped in baby's bands
By His Mother's hands,
Lord God of all.

Lord God of Mary,
Whom His Lips caress
While He rocks to rest
On her milky breast
In helplessness.

Lord God of shepherds
Flocking through the cold,
Flocking through the dark
To the only Ark,
The only Fold.

Lord God of all things,
Be they near or far,
Be they high or low;
Lord of storm and snow,
Angel and star.

Lord God of all men,--
My Lord and my God!
Thou who lovest me,
Keep me close to Thee
By staff and rod.

Lo! newborn Jesus,
Loving great and small,
Love's free Sacrifice,
Opening Arms and Eyes
To one and all.


"Christmas Day" by Christina Rossetti

CHRISTMAS DAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

A baby is a harmless thing
And wins our hearts with one accord,
And Flower of Babies was their King,
Jesus Christ our Lord:
Lily of lilies He
Upon His Mother's knee;
Rose of roses, soon to be
Crowned with thorns on leafless tree.

A lamb is innocent and mild
And merry on the soft green sod;
And Jesus Christ, the Undefiled,
Is the Lamb of God:
Only spotless He
Upon His Mother's knee;
White and ruddy, soon to be
Sacrificed for you and me.

Nay, lamb is not so sweet a word,
Nor lily half so pure a name;
Another name our hearts hath stirred,
Kindling them to flame:
"Jesus" certainly
Is music and melody:
Heart with heart in harmony
Carol we and worship we.


"Christmas Eve" by Christina Rossetti

CHRISTMAS EVE

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Christmas hath a darkness
Brighter than the blazing noon,
Christmas hath a chillness
Warmer than the heat of June,
Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

Earth, strike up your music,
Birds that sing and bells that ring;
Heaven hath answering music
For all Angels soon to sing:
Earth, put on your whitest
Bridal robe of spotless snow:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.


"Christmastide" by Christina Rossetti

CHRISTMASTIDE

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.


"Epiphany" by Christina Rossetti
0
EPIPHANY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

"Lord Babe, if Thou art He
We sought for patiently,
Where is Thy court?
Hither may prophecy and star resort;
Men heed not their report."--
"Bow down and worship, righteous man:
This Infant of a span
Is He man sought for since the world began!"--
"Then, Lord, accept my gold, too base a thing
For Thee, of all kings King."--

"Lord Babe, despite Thy youth
I hold Thee of a truth
Both Good and Great:
But wherefore dost Thou keep so mean a state,
Low-lying desolate?"--
"Bow down and worship, righteous seer:
The Lord our God is here
Approachable, Who bids us all draw near."--
"Wherefore to Thee I offer frankincense,
Thou Sole Omnipotence."--

"But I have only brought
Myrrh; no wise afterthought
Instructed me
To gather pearls or gems, or choice to see
Coral or ivory."--
"Not least thine offering proves thee wise:
For myrrh means sacrifice,
And He that lives, this Same is He that dies."--
"Then here is myrrh: alas! yea, woe is me
That myrrh befitteth Thee."--

Myrrh, frankincense, and gold:
And lo! from wintry fold
Good-will doth bring
A Lamb, the innocent likeness of this King
Whom stars and seraphs sing:
And lo! the bird of love, a Dove
Flutters and coos above:
And Dove and Lamb and Babe agree in love:--
Come all mankind, come all creation hither,
Come, worship Christ together.


"For Advent" by Christina Rossetti
1
FOR ADVENT

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Sweet sweet sound of distant waters falling
On a parched and thirsty plain;
Sweet sweet song of soaring skylark, calling
On the sun to shine again;
Perfume of the rose, only the fresher
For past fertilizing rain;
Pearls amid the sea, a hidden treasure
For some daring hand to gain;--
Better, dearer than all these
Is the earth beneath the trees:
Of a much more priceless worth
Is the old, brown, common earth.

Little snow-white lamb piteously bleating
For thy mother far away;
Saddest, sweetest nightingale retreating
With thy sorrow from the day;
Weary fawn whom night has overtaken,
From the herd gone quite astray;
Dove whose nest was rifled and forsaken
In the budding month of May;--
Roost upon the leafy trees;
Lie on earth and take your ease:
Death is better far than birth,
You shall turn again to earth.

Listen to the never pausing murmur
Of the waves that fret the shore:
See the ancient pine that stands the firmer
For the storm-shock that it bore;
And the moon her silver chalice filling
With light from the great sun's store;
And the stars which deck our temple's ceiling
As the flowers deck its floor;
Look and hearken while you may,
For these things shall pass away:
All these things shall fail and cease;
Let us wait the end in peace.

Let us wait the end in peace; for truly
That shall cease which was before:
Let us see our lamps are lighted, duly
Fed with oil, nor wanting more:
Let us pray while yet the Lord will hear us,
For the time is almost o'er;
Yea, the end of all is very near us;
Yea, the Judge is at the door.
Let us pray now while we may;
It will be too late to pray
When the quick and dead shall all
Rise at the last trumpet call.


"A Hymn for Christmas Day"
2
A HYMN FOR CHRISTMAS DAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

The Shepherds watch their flocks by night,
Beneath the moon's unclouded light,
All around is calm and still,
Save the murm'ring of the rill:
When lo! a form of light appears,
And on the awe-struck Shepherds' ears
Are words, of peace and comfort flowing
From lips with love celestial glowing.
Spiritual forms are breaking
Through the gloom, their voices taking
Part in the adoring song
Of the bright angelic throng.
Wondering the Shepherds bend
Their steps to Bethlehem, and wend
To a poor and crowded inn:--
Tremblingly their way they win
To the stable, where they find
The Redeemer of mankind,
Just born into this world of danger,
Lying in an humble manger.
And they spread abroad each word
Which that joyful night they'd heard,
And they glorified the name
Of their gracious God, Who came
Himself to save from endless woe
The offspring of this world below.


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