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Carol of the Field Mice
Kenneth Grahame


Villagers all, this frosty tide,
Let your doors swing open wide,
Though wind may follow, and snow beside,
Yet draw us in by your fire to bide;
              Joy shall be yours in the morning!
Here we stand in the cold and the sleet,
Blowing fingers and stamping feet,
Come from far away you to greet—
You by the fire and we in the street—
              Bidding you joy in the morning!
For ere one half of the night was gone,
Sudden a star has led us on,
Raining bliss and benison—
Bliss to-morrow and more anon,
              Joy for every morning!
Goodman Joseph toiled through the snow—
Saw the star o'er a stable low;
Mary she might not further go—
Welcome thatch, and litter below!
              Joy was hers in the morning!
And then they heard the angels tell
'Who were the first to cry NOWELL?
Animals all, as it befell,
In the stable where they did dwell!
              Joy shall be theirs in the morning!'

From The Wind in the Willows (New York: Charles Scriber's Sons, 1908).
This poem is in the public domain.

Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932) was born in Scotland. His mother died when he was five, and his father was an alcoholic, so Kenneth and his siblings were raised by their maternal grandmother. Though he began successfully writing and publishing in his twenties, Kenneth spent nearly 30 years working for the Bank of England. His best known books are The Wind in the Willows and The Reluctant Dragon.



Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
I had forgotten about this poem! Thank you for publishing it.
Posted 12/29/2022 08:56 AM
Carol Clearwater:
I wondered if this had ever been set to music, so checked YouTube. Yes, at least 3 settings. The one I really like is on Kiltartan Road Christmas, with a folksy dance melody on a fiddle. Glad you highlighted this!
Posted 12/27/2022 03:19 AM
Larry Schug:
Great title, great perspective. Also, interesting bio.
Posted 12/26/2022 05:26 PM
What a wonderful (and new to me!) poem! Thank you, Jayne!
Posted 12/26/2022 01:22 PM
Mary and Joseph were indeed ready to stop for the night.
Posted 12/26/2022 09:33 AM

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