The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday and Christmas Day

The Mahogany Tree
By William Makepeace Thackeray

Christmas is here;
Winds whistle shrill,
Icy and chill,
Little care we;
Little we fear
Weather without,
Shelter'd about
The Mahogany Tree.

Once on the boughs
Birds of rare plume
Sang, in its bloom;
Night birds are we;
Here we carouse,
Singing, like them,
Perch'd round the stem
Of the jolly old tree.

Here let us sport,
Boys, as we sit-
Laughter and wit
Flashing so free.
Life is but short-
When we are gone,
Let them sing on,
Round the old tree.

Evenings we knew,
Happy as this;
Faces we miss,
Pleasant to see.
Kind hearts and true,
Gentle and just,
Peace to your dust!
We sing round the tree.

Care, like a dun,
Lurks at the gate:
Let the dog wait;
Happy we 'll be!
Drink every one;
Pile up the coals,
Fill the red bowls,
Round the old tree.

Drain we the cup.-
Friend, art afraid?
Spirits are laid
In the Red Sea.
Mantle it up;
Empty it yet;
Let us forget,
Round the old tree.

Sorrows, begone!
Life and its ills,
Duns and their bills,
Bid we to flee.
Come with the dawn,
Blue-devil sprite,
Leave us to-night,
Round the old tree.


We spent Christmas Day in Hanover with my in-laws and my parents, who were able to drive up since the snow had mostly melted by noon, at which point we had had bagels and Swedish pastries and were ready for the next course (veggie and turkey Swedish meatballs, chicken and tofurkey, potatoes, veggies, bread, cheese, nuts, and about eleven desserts). I ate far too much, got presents and generally had a lovely time. By the time we drove home, there wasn't snow on the trees or even by the side of the road, so we just eked out a White Christmas.

When we got home and unpacked, we watched the two-part Merlin series finale, which was superbly done, one of the most moving finales in memory, which oddly does not make me wish the show had gone on longer but confirms my belief that a show is better off going away while it's still excellent. It's heartbreaking, but very true in spirit to the legends and I approve of the ways in which it diverges in detail. Afterward we watched the Doctor Who Christmas special, which has a couple of nice moments but...well, like I said, some shows should go away while they're excellent.


Happy Boxing Day!

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