It is Christmas, and the sunshine
Lies golden on the fields,
And flowers of white and purple,
Yonder fragment 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 jewell'd 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 lavish'd
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 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 conceal’d 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
Play'd 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.

Related material


Blackie, Walker Graham. The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography, Physical, Political, Statistical and Descriptive. 4 vols. London: Blackie & Son, 1856. Internet Archive. Inline version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 7 November 2018.

Landon, Latitia E. The Poetical Works of Miss Landon. Philadelphia: E.L. Cary and A. Hart, 1839. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the New York Public Library. Web. 17 July 2020.

Last modified 18 July 2020