Thoughts Of Christmas-Day In India

IT is Christmas, and the sunshine
Lies golden on the fields,
And flowers of white and purple
Yonder fragrant creeper yields.

Like the plumes of some bold warrior,
The cocoa-tree on high,
Lifts aloft its feathery branches,
Amid the deep blue sky.

From yonder shadowy peepul,
The pale fair lilac dove,
Like music from a temple,
Sings a song of grief and love.

The earth is bright with blossoms,
And a thousand jewelled wings,
Mid the green boughs of the tamarind
A sudden sunshine flings.

For the East, is earth's first-born,
And hath a glorious dower,
As Nature there had lavished
Her beauty and her power.

And yet I pine for England,
For my own—my distant home:
My heart is in that island,
Where'er my steps may roam.

It is merry there at Christmas—
We have no Christmas here;
'Tis a weary thing, a summer
That lasts throughout the year

I remember how the banners
Hung round our ancient hall,
Bound with wreaths of shining holly,
Brave winter's coronal.

And above each rusty helmet
Waved a new and cheering plume,
A branch of crimson berries,
And the latest rose in bloom.

And the white and pearly misletoe
Hung half concealed o'er head,
I remember one sweet maiden,
Whose cheek it dyed with red.

The morning waked with carols,
A young and joyous band
Of small and rosy songsters,
Came tripping hand in hand.

And sang beneath our windows
Just as the round red sun
Began to melt the hoar-frost,
And the clear cold day begun.

And at night the aged harper
Played his old tunes o'er and o'er;
From sixteen up to sixty,
All were dancing on that floor.

Those were the days of childhood,
The buoyant and the bright;
When hope was life's sweet sovereign,
And the heart and step were light.

I shall come again—a stranger
To all that once I knew,
For the hurried steps of manhood
From life's flowers have dash'd the dew.

I yet may ask their welcome,
And return from whence I came;
But a change is wrought within me,
They will not seem the same

For my spirits are grown weary,
And my days of youth are o'er,
And the mirth of that glad season
Is what I can feel no more.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Letitia Elizabeth Landon was an English poet. Born 14th August 1802 at 25 Hans Place, Chelsea, she lived through the most productive period of her life nearby, at No.22. A precocious child with a natural gift for poetry, she was driven by the financial needs of her family to become a professional writer and thus a target for malicious gossip (although her three children by William Jerdan were successfully hidden from the public). In 1838, she married George Maclean, governor of Cape Coast Castle on the Gold Coast, whence she travelled, only to die a few months later (15th October) of a fatal heart condition. Behind her post-Romantic style of sentimentality lie preoccupations with art, decay and loss that give her poetry its characteristic intensity and in this vein she attempted to reinterpret some of the great male texts from a woman’s perspective. Her originality rapidly led to her being one of the most read authors of her day and her influence, commencing with Tennyson in England and Poe in America, was long-lasting. However, Victorian attitudes led to her poetry being misrepresented and she became excluded from the canon of English literature, where she belongs. more…

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"Thoughts Of Christmas-Day In India" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 15 Jul 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/25737/thoughts-of-christmas-day-in-india>.

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