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Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: rayburnjane (
Date: November 16, 2003 11:45PM

Greeting to all,
Last year I got so much help in finding "Christmas in the Poor House", which was really "Christmas in the Workhouse". I am searching for my boss and I mean the big boss...last year he was thrilled to get this poem, I want to find another. I need a sad poem about taking poor people for granted and only remembering them at Christmas. Thanks in advance for all are the best!!! Jane

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: -Les- (
Date: November 17, 2003 02:06AM

Here's one Jane, probably not the one you seek, but it's in the same spirit:

My Christmas Prayer

Well, here we are again, Lord, approaching Christmas time.
And I thank you for the year, even the worst was fine.

Lord, as I look around me and see the Christmas cheer,
I wonder why this mood can't last throughout the year.

Perhaps we'd really like to keep Christmas everyday,
But we lose the spirit, because self gets in the way.

So Lord, I write a prayer, to include the eyes of men,
That cannot see their neighbor beyond the veil of sin.

If we could just see past their faults and love the soul beyond,
We could give the gift of love to make our brothers strong.

Yes, we could give the same gift, Lord, in just a different way,
As the gift you gave the world on that first Christmas day.

Lord, I see the end approaching and love is in short supply,
And souls lost and lonely, should cause our hearts to cry.

So, Lord, I ask your spirit to guide me throughout the year,
To Love all those around me, and spread your Christmas cheer.

1998 Howard Clark

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: November 17, 2003 11:42AM

This isn't sad, but it DOES touch on the once-a-year theme:

"A Christmas Carol" by Tom Lehrer
(music is a pastiche of traditional songs)

Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly,
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don't say "when".
Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens,
Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens,
Even though the prospect sickens,
Brother, here we go again.

On Christmas Day you can't get sore,
Your fellow man you must adore,
There's time to rob him all the more
The other three hundred and sixty-four.

Relations, sparing no expense'll
Send some useless old utensil,
Or a matching pen and pencil.
"Just the thing I need! How nice!"
It doesn't matter how sincere it
Is, nor how heartfelt the spirit,
Sentiment will not endear it,
What's important is the price.

Hark the Herald Tribune sings,
Advertising wondrous things.
God rest you merry, merchants,
May you make the Yuletide pay.
Angels we have heard on high
Tell us to go out and buy!

So let the raucous sleighbells jingle,
Hail our dear old friend Kris Kringle,
Driving his reindeer across the sky.
Don't stand underneath when they fly by.

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: marian2 (
Date: November 17, 2003 12:53PM

How about this:

Christmas is really for the Children by Steve Turner

Christmas is really for the children.
Especially for children who like animals, stables,
stars and babies wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Then there are wise men, kings in fine robes,
humble shepherds and a hint of rich perfume.

Easter is not really for the children
unless accompanied by a cream filled egg.
It has whips, blood, nails, a spear
and allegations of body snatching.
It involves politics, God and the sins of the world.
It is not good for people of a nervous disposition.
They would do better to think on rabbits, chickens
and the first snowdrop of spring.
Or they'd do better to wait for a re-run of Christmas
without asking too many questions
about what Jesus did when he grew up
or whether there's any connection.

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: November 17, 2003 03:33PM

This is a sad song, not a poem- but it's in that same vein.


First Christmas Away From Home
Stan Rogers)
This day a year ago he was rolling in the snow
With a younger brother in his father's yard
Christmas break, a time for touching home
The heart of all he's known, leaving was so hard
Now three thousand miles away he's working Christmas Day
Earning double time for the minding of the store
He always said he'd make it on his own
He's spending Christmas Eve alone
First Christmas away from home

She's standing by the railway station, panhandling for change
One more dollar buys a decent room and a meal
Looks like the Sally Ann place after all
The vast and dreaming hall that echoes like a tomb
But it's warm and clean and free, there are worse places to be
And at least it means no beating from her dad
And if she cries because it's Christmas Day
She hopes it doesn't show
First Christmas away from home

In the hall they've got the biggest tree but it looks so small and bare
Not like it was meant to be
And the angel on the top it's not the same old silver star
You once made for your own
First Christmas away from home

In the morning there are prayers, then there's tea and crafts downstairs
Then another meal up in his little room
Hoping that the boys will think to call
Before the day is done, well it's best they do it soon
When the old girl passed away he fell apart more every day
Each had always kept the other pretty well
But the boys agreed the nursing home was best
'Cause he couldn't live alone
First Christmas away from home

In the common room they've got the biggest tree, it's huge and lifeless
Not like it was meant to be
The Santa Claus on top it's not the same old silver star
You once made for your own
First Christmas away from home

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: ilza (200.162.243.---)
Date: November 17, 2003 05:32PM

not what you asked for,
but one I like a lot ( and find it to be so sad ... )
The Maid-Servant at the Inn
Dorothy Parker

"It's queer," she said; "I see the light
As plain as I beheld it then,
All silver-like and calm and bright ---
We've not had stars like that again!

"And she was such a gentle thing
To birth a baby in the cold.
The barn was dark and frightening ---
This new one's better than the old.

"I mind my eyes were full of tears,
For I was young, and quick distressed
But she was less than me in years
That held a son against her breast.

"I never saw a sweeter child ---
The little one, the darling one! ---
I mind I told her, when he smiled
You'd know he was his mother's son.

"It's queer that I should see them so ---
The time they came to Bethlehem
Was more than thirty years ago;
I've prayed that all is well with them."

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: November 17, 2003 07:04PM



Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: rikki (
Date: November 17, 2003 08:44PM

Another 'sad' Christmas song, from Shane MacGowan -

A Christmas Lullaby

It seems like a freeze out
It seems like a freize
Stumbling I fell down
And prayed on my knees
The ice wagon's coming
To pick up the stiffs
Had a chat with an old one
He was gone in a jiff
And Santa and his reindeer
Jumped over the moon
So hush little child
Santa's coming here soon

Tura lura luray
Tura lura lie
Tura lura luray
It's a Christmas lullaby
Tura lura luray
Tura lura lie
Tura lura luray
It's a Christmas lullaby

I hope you grow up angry
Just like your dear old dad
I hope you grow up brave and strong
Not like me - all weak and sad
You said "Daddy, daddy,
You're stinking of booze"
I kissed him and said, "Kid,
I was born to lose.
But you have a future
And a big one to save
And I hope you'll remember
All the love that I gave."

Here's to all the little kids
Who haven't got no clothes
Here's to all the little kids
Who haven't got no homes
It's Christmas time in Palestine
It's Christmas in Beirut
They're scrapping 'round for rice
Not for tutti fruits
And the Christmas lights, they blew up
Now the 'lecky's all gone dead -
I look like a coal miner
And I've a pain inside my head.

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: November 17, 2003 09:12PM

Okay, now that we're all thoroughly depressed.........,plum pudding, anyone?


Still haven't found the first one- I think it's one of those Chicken Soup type of poems.

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: bill (
Date: November 18, 2003 12:18AM

This really brought tears to my eyes.

Thank you,


Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: rayburnjane (
Date: November 19, 2003 01:15AM

Greetings to all again, Wow!!! These are great, thanks so much. I am going to hit the boss up for a big favor and this will break the ice and then I will attack!!!! I feel we should always have poetry in hand when trying to get on the good side of the boss. I really appreciate all these good examples....Thanks again.....Jane

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: November 19, 2003 11:22AM

Not sad, perhaps, but contemplative: Eliot's Journey of the Magi and Betjeman's Christmas

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: November 20, 2003 12:34PM

Dear RJAllen - thanks for reminding us of "The Journey"!


The Journey of the Magi
by T S Eliot

'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For the journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death,
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: November 20, 2003 02:15PM

An excellent book of Christmas stories is Miracle and Other Christmas Stories, by Connie Willis. She's a science fiction writer who does Christmas stories each year.


I also love The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson

Re: Sad Christmas poem tks Pam
Posted by: rayburnjane (
Date: November 20, 2003 09:18PM

Hi Pam, Thanks for the book suggestion, sounds good. I have the book Best Christmas Pagent Ever and I agree, it is very good. I will check out the Willis book...thanks so much....Jane

Re: Sad Christmas poem tks Marian
Posted by: rayburnjane (
Date: November 20, 2003 09:25PM

Hi Marian, Thanks so much for posting "The Journey" it is so very good. I always learn so much here....thanks again...Jane

Re: Sad Christmas poem tks RJ
Posted by: rayburnjane (
Date: November 20, 2003 09:28PM

Hi RJ, Contemplative is a good thing, your suggestions were great, thanks so much...Jane

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: November 21, 2003 02:52PM

I've been in a Horatio Alger mood lately, and came across this one.


-Horatio Alger

In the far-off Polar seas,
Far beyond the Hebrides,
Where the icebergs, towering high,
Seem to pierce the wintry sky,
And the fur-clad Esquimaux
Glides in sledges o'er the snow,
Dwells St. Nick, the merry wight,
Patron saint of Christmas night.

Solid walls of massive ice,
Bearing many a quaint device,
Flanked by graceful turrets twain,
Clear as clearest porcelain,
Bearing at a lofty height
Christ's pure cross in simple white,
Carven with surpassing art
From an iceberg's crystal heart.

Here St. Nick, in royal state,
Dwells, until December late
Clips the days at either end,
And the nights at each extend;
Then, with his attendant sprites,
Scours the earth on wintry nights,
Bringing home, in well-filled hands,
Children's gifts from many lands.

Here are whistles, tops and toys,
Meant to gladden little boys;
Skates and sleds that soon will glide
O'er the ice or steep hill-side.
Here are dolls with flaxen curls,
Sure to charm the little girls;
Christmas books, with pictures gay,
For this welcome holiday.

In the court the reindeer wait;
Filled the sledge with costly freight.
As the first faint shadow falls,
Promptly from his icy halls
Steps St. Nick, and grasps the rein:
And afar, in measured time,
Sounds the sleigh-bells' silver chime.

Like an arrow from the bow
Speed the reindeer o'er the snow.
Onward! Now the loaded sleigh
Skirts the shores of Hudson's Bay.
Onward, till the stunted tree
Gains a loftier majesty,
And the curling smoke-wreaths rise
Under less inclement skies.

Built upon a hill-side steep
Lies a city wrapt in sleep.
Up and down the lonely street
Sleepy watchmen pace their beat.
Little heeds them Santa Claus;
Not for him are human laws.
With a leap he leaves the ground,
Scales the chimney at a bound.

Five small stockings hang below;
Five small stockings in a row.
From his pocket blithe St. Nick
Fills the waiting stockings quick;
Some with sweetmeats, some with toys,
Gifts for girls, and gifts for boys,
Mounts the chimney like a bird,
And the bells are once more heard.

Santa Claus! Good Christmas saint,
In whose heart no selfish taint
Findeth place, some homes there be
Where no stockings wait for thee,
Homes where sad young faces wear
Painful marks of Want and Care,
And the Christmas morning brings
No fair hope of better things.

Can you not some crumbs bestow
On these Children steeped in woe;
Steal a single look of care
Which their sad young faces wear;
From your overflowing store
Give to them whose hearts are sore?
No sad eyes should greet the morn
When the infant Christ was born.

Re: Sad Christmas poem
Posted by: IanB (
Date: November 21, 2003 05:21PM

Surprising that 'The Journey of the Magi' isn't included in the Eliot poems available through the Classical Poets List.

Re: Sad Christmas poem tks again Pam
Posted by: rayburnjane (
Date: November 22, 2003 12:51AM

Hi Pam, Oh, this is a winner (St. Nicholas). I get in that Horatio Alger mood sometimes myself. Thanks so much, Jane

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