Christmas Poems - Poems For Christmas - Christmas In India

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Christmas In India - Poem by Rudyard Kipling

Dim dawn behind the tamerisks -- the sky is saffron-yellow --
As the women in the village grind the corn,
And the parrots seek the riverside, each calling to his fellow
That the Day, the staring Easter Day is born.
Oh the white dust on the highway! Oh the stenches in the byway!
Oh the clammy fog that hovers
And at Home they're making merry 'neath the white and scarlet berry --
What part have India's exiles in their mirth?

Full day begind the tamarisks -- the sky is blue and staring --
As the cattle crawl afield beneath the yoke,
And they bear One o'er the field-path, who is past all hope or caring,
To the ghat below the curling wreaths of smoke.
Call on Rama, going slowly, as ye bear a brother lowly --
Call on Rama -- he may hear, perhaps, your voice!
With our hymn-books and our psalters we appeal to other altars,
And to-day we bid "good Christian men rejoice!"

High noon behind the tamarisks -- the sun is hot above us --
As at Home the Christmas Day is breaking wan.
They will drink our healths at dinner -- those who tell us how they love us,
And forget us till another year be gone!
Oh the toil that knows no breaking! Oh the Heimweh, ceaseless, aching!
Oh the black dividing Sea and alien Plain!
Youth was cheap -- wherefore we sold it.
Gold was good -- we hoped to hold it,
And to-day we know the fulness of our gain.

Grey dusk behind the tamarisks -- the parrots fly together --
As the sun is sinking slowly over Home;
And his last ray seems to mock us shackled in a lifelong tether.
That drags us back how'er so far we roam.
Hard her service, poor her payment -- she is ancient, tattered raiment --
India, she the grim Stepmother of our kind.
If a year of life be lent her, if her temple's shrine we enter,
The door is hut -- we may not look behind.

Black night behind the tamarisks -- the owls begin their chorus --
As the conches from the temple scream and bray.
With the fruitless years behind us, and the hopeless years before us,
Let us honor, O my brother, Christmas Day!
Call a truce, then, to our labors -- let us feast with friends and neighbors,
And be merry as the custom of our caste;
For if "faint and forced the laughter," and if sadness follow after,
We are richer by one mocking Christmas past.


Comments about Christmas In India by Rudyard Kipling

  • Gold Star - 27,481 Points Douglas Scotney (12/26/2015 11:49:00 PM)

    the odd Oh and O is crazy, but 7 spell 'lazy'. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 15,155 Points Francis Lynch (12/26/2015 7:02:00 PM)

    He was racist, prejudiced and biggoted, and one sees it in all his works. He was in favor of Irish genocide. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 15,155 Points Francis Lynch (12/26/2015 7:00:00 PM)

    Reminds me of Charlie Brown's mother: Wah...wah...wah.. (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »

Poems About Christmas

  1. 1. A Child's Christmas In Wales , Dylan Thomas
  2. 2. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  3. 3. Christmas Bells , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  4. 4. Christmas Eve , Anne Sexton
  5. 5. A Christmas Ghost Story. , Thomas Hardy
  6. 6. Christmas Party At The South Danbury Chu.. , Donald Hall
  7. 7. Jest 'Fore Christmas , Eugene Field
  8. 8. A Family Christmas , Ernestine Northover
  9. 9. Christmas Carol , Sara Teasdale
  10. 10. Christmas In India , Rudyard Kipling
  11. 11. Christmas - A Little Friend's Poem - Wri.. , Ernestine Northover
  12. 12. A Christmas Tree! A Christmas Tree! , David Keig
  13. 13. Remembrance Of Christmas Past , Judith Viorst
  14. 14. A Christmas Carol , William Topaz McGonagall
  15. 15. What Reminds You Of Christmas? , Ernestine Northover
  16. 16. Christmas , John Clare
  17. 17. Lines For A Christmas Card , Hilaire Belloc
  18. 18. Christmas Spirit , Paul Moosberg
  19. 19. Sam's Christmas Pudding , Marriott Edgar
  20. 20. Our Christmas Tree , Ernestine Northover
  21. 21. Having Lost My Sons, I Confront The Wrec.. , James Arlington Wright
  22. 22. Christmas Is Really For The Children , Steve Turner
  23. 23. Christmas Holidays , Thomas Hood
  24. 24. Christmas Fancies , Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  25. 25. Christmas - Senryus , Ernestine Northover
  26. 26. A Christmas Carol, Sung To The King In T.. , Robert Herrick
  27. 27. From The Short Story A Christmas Dream, .. , Louisa May Alcott
  28. 28. (727) Christmas Past , Melvina Germain
  29. 29. This Section Is A Christmas Tree , Vachel Lindsay
  30. 30. Christmas At Mel’s , C.J. Heck
  31. 31. A Hymn For Christmas Day , Thomas Chatterton
  32. 32. The Christmas Night , Lucy Maud Montgomery
  33. 33. A Tale Of Christmas Eve , William Topaz McGonagall
  34. 34. Music On Christmas Morning , Anne Brontë
  35. 35. Baby's First Christmas (Children) , C.J. Heck
  36. 36. Christmas At The Orphanage , Bill Knott
  37. 37. A Christmas Wish , David Keig
  38. 38. A Christmas Carol , George Wither
  39. 39. A Christmas Fancy , Robert Fuller Murray
  40. 40. Christmas , Henry Timrod
  41. 41. The Cast Of Christmas Reassembles For Ea.. , Steve Turner
  42. 42. Modern Love Xxiii: 'Tis Christmas Weather , George Meredith
  43. 43. Christmas Treasures , Eugene Field
  44. 44. Christmas Spirit , Tess Gurney
  45. 45. Christmas Day , John Keble
  46. 46. The House Of Christmas , Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  47. 47. The Christmas-Box , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  48. 48. A White Christmas , Carla Jean Laglia Esely
  49. 49. ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Christmas Card(Being An .. , Dónall Dempsey
  50. 50. (728) Christmas Joy , Melvina Germain
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