Poems for the holidays

happy-holidaysDust of Snow
By Robert Frost

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Thanksgivings
By Harriet Maxwell Converse

Translated from a traditional Iroquois prayer

We who are here present thank the Great Spirit that we are here to praise Him.
We thank Him that He has created men and women, and ordered that these beings
shall always be living to multiply the earth.
We thank Him for making the earth and giving these beings its products to live on.
We thank Him for the water that comes out of the earth and runs for our lands.
We thank Him for all the animals on the earth.
We thank Him for certain timbers that grow and have fluids coming from them for us all.
We thank Him for the branches of the trees that grow shadows for our shelter.
We thank Him for the beings that come from the west, the thunder and lightning that water the earth.
We thank Him for the light which we call our oldest brother, the sun that works for our good.
We thank Him for all the fruits that grow on the trees and vines.
We thank Him for his goodness in making the forests, and thank all its trees.
We thank Him for the darkness that gives us rest, and for the kind Being of the darkness that gives us light, the moon.
We thank Him for the bright spots in the skies that give us signs, the stars.
We give Him thanks for our supporters, who had charge of our harvests.
We give thanks that the voice of the Great Spirit can still be heard through the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o.
We thank the Great Spirit that we have the privilege of this pleasant occasion.
We give thanks for the persons who can sing the Great Spirit’s music, and hope they will be privileged to continue in his faith.
We thank the Great Spirit for all the persons who perform the ceremonies on this occasion.

* * * * * * * * * *

Te Deum
By Charles Reznikoff

Not because of victories
I sing,
having none,
but for the common sunshine,
the breeze,
the largesse of the spring.
Not for victory
but for the day’s work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.

* * * * * * * * * *

Winter Song
By Katherine Mansfield

Rain and wind, and wind and rain.
Will the Summer come again?
Rain on houses, on the street,
Wetting all the people’s feet,
Though they run with might and main.
Rain and wind, and wind and rain.

Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.
Will the Winter never go?
What do beggar children do
With no fire to cuddle to,
P’raps with nowhere warm to go?
Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.

Hail and ice, and ice and hail,
Water frozen in the pail.
See the robins, brown and red,
They are waiting to be fed.
Poor dears, battling in the gale!
Hail and ice, and ice and hail.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Winter’s Spring
By John Clare

The winter comes;
I walk alone,
I want no bird to sing;
To those who keep their
hearts their own
The winter is the spring.
No flowers to please—no
bees to hum—
The coming spring’s
already come.

I never want the
Christmas rose
To come before its time;
The seasons, each as
God bestows,
Are simple and sublime.
I love to see the
snowstorm hing;
‘Tis but the winter
garb of spring.

I never want the
grass to bloom:
The snowstorm’s best in white.
I love to see the tempest come
And love its piercing light.
The dazzled eyes that
love to cling
O’er snow-white
meadows sees the spring.

I love the snow, the
crumpling snow
That hangs on everything,
It covers everything below
Like white dove’s
brooding wing,
A landscape to the
aching sight,
A vast expanse of
dazzling light.

It is the foliage of the woods
That winters bring—the dress,
White Easter of the
year in bud,
That makes the winter Spring.
The frost and snow
his posies bring,
Nature’s white spurts
of the spring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.