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About this Poem 

From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).

 

The Mahogany Tree

  Christmas is here:
  Winds whistle shrill,
  Icy and chill,
  Little care we:
  Little we fear
  Weather without,
  Sheltered 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,
  Perched 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.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray, born July 18, 1811, was an English writer best known for his novels, particularly The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. (The Mershon Company Publishers, 1852) and Vanity Fair (Bradbury and Evans, 1848). While in school, Thackeray began writing poems, which he published in a number of magazines, chiefly Fraser and Punch. He died on December 24, 1863.

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