Monday, December 7, 2009

The Brownie's Christmas

I love old Christmas poems! I included a number of different ones throughout the years in my dramatic monologues performed this time of the year. With so many struggling with low or no funds this year, I thought I would share some with you over the next month as we approach Christmas. So many of the poems of the 1800s or early 1900s were meant to encourage during similar difficult times! Here's a lovely poem -- a story poem, author unknown -- titled, "The Brownie's Christmas,"  written during a time when imagination soared and children often talked of elves, brownies and fairies. And isn't that where fancy took off from true stories of St. Nicholas and the tales of Santa Claus began?

"The Brownie who lives in the forest,
Oh, the Christmas bells they ring!
He has done for the farmer's children
Full many a kindly thing:

When their cows were lost in the gloaming
He has driven them safely home;
He has led their bees to the flowers,
To fill up their golden comb;

At her spinning the little sister
had napped til the setting sun --
She awoke, and the kindly Brownie
Had gotten it neatly done;

Oh, the Christmas bells they are ringing!
The mother she was away,
And the Brownie'd played with the baby
And tended it all the day;

The Brownie who lives in the forest,
Oh, the Christmas bells they ring!
He has done for the farmer's children
Full many a kindly thing.

'Tis true that his face they never
For all their watching could see;
Yet who else did the kindly service,
I pray, if it were not he!

But the poor little friendly Brownie,
His life was a weary thing;
For never had he been in holy church
And heard the children sing;

And never had he had a Christmas;
Nor had bent in prayer his knee;
He had lived for a thousand years,
And all weary-worn was he.

Or that was the story the children
Had heard at their mother's side;
And together they talked it over,
One merry Christmas-tide.

The pitiful little sister
With her braids of paly gold,
And the little elder brother,
And the darling five-year-old,

All stood in the western window --
'Twas toward the close of day --
And they talked about the Brownie
While resting from their play.

'The Brownie, he has no Christmas;
While so many gifts had we,
To the floor last night they bended
The boughs of the Christmas-tree.'

Then the little elder brother,
He sapke up in his turn,
With both of his blue eyes beaming,
While his cheeks began to burn:

'Let us do up for the Brownie
A Christmas bundle now,
And leave it in the forest pathway
Where the great oak branches bow.

'We'll mark it, "For the Brownie,"
And "A Merry Christmas Day!"
And sure will he be to find it,
For he goeth home that way!'

Then the tender little sister
With her braids of paly gold,
And the little elder brother,
And the darling five-year-old,

Tied up in a little bundle
Some toys, with a loving care,
And marked it, 'For the Brownie,'
In letters large and fair,

And, 'We wish a Merry Christmas!'
And then, in the dusk, the three
Went to the wood and left it
Under the great oak tree.

While the farmer's fair little children
Slept sweet on that Christmas night,
Two wanderers through the forest
Came in the clear moonlight.

And neither one was the Brownie,
But sorry were both as he;
And their hearts, with each fresh footstep,
Were aching steadily.

A slender man with an organ
Strapped on by a leathern band,
And a girl with a tambourine
A-holding close to his hand.

And the girl with the tambourine,
Big sorrowful eyes she had;
In the cold white wood she shivered,
In her ragged raiment clad.

'And what is there here to do?' she said;
'I'm froze I' the light o' the moon!
Shall we play to these sad old forest trees
Some merry and jigging tune?

'And, father, you know it is Christmas-time,
And had we staid I' the town
And I gone to one o' the Christmas-trees,
A gift might have fallen down!

'You cannot certainly know it would not!
I'd ha' gone right under the tree!
Are you sure that none o' the Christmases
Were meant for you and me?'

'These dry dead leaves,' he answered her, sad,
'Which the forest casteth down,
Are more than you'd get from a Christmas tree
In the merry and thoughtless town.

'Though tonite be the Christ's own birthday night,
And all the world hath grace,
There is not a home in all the world
Which holdeth for us a place.'

Slow plodding adown the forest path,
'And now, what is this?' he said;
And the children't bundle he lifted up,
And, 'For the Brownie,' read.

And, 'We wish a Merry Christmas Day!'
'Now if this be done,' said he,
'Somewhere in the world perhaps there is
A place for you and me!'

And the bundle he opened softly:
'This is children's tender thought:
Their own little Christmas presents
They have to the Brownie brought.

'If there liveth such tender pity
Toward a thing so dim and low,
There is kindness sure remaining
Of which I did not know.

'Oh, children, there's never a Brownie --
That sorry, uncanny thing;
But nearest and next are the homeless
When the Christmas joy-bells ring.'

Out laughed the little daughter,
And she gathered the toys with glee:
'My Christmas present has fallen!
This oak was my Christmas tree!'

Then away they went through the forest,
The wanderers, hand in hand;
And the snow, they were both so merry,
It glinted like the golden sand.

Down the forest the elder brother,
In the morning clear and cold,
Came leading the little sister
And the darling five-year-old.

'Oh,' he cries, 'he's taken the bundle!'
As carefully round he peers;
'And the Brownie has gotten a Christmas
After a thousand years!'"

1 comment:

MYSAVIOR said...

God has given you a gift. You are amazingly talented.

I am praying for you and your family.



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