Famous Holiday Poem

In this famous narrative poem, William Wordsworth (1770-1850), recounts a Christmas tradition. Minstrels would travel door to door, playing music and providing wishes for a great Christmas season. In true Wordsworth fashion, this poem highlights the natural elements of the night. He uses descriptive language such as lofty moon, encircling laurels, and dazzling sheen.

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Minstrels

default By more William Wordsworth

The minstrels played their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,
The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

And who but listened?—till was paid
Respect to every inmate's claim,
The greeting given, the music played
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And "Merry Christmas" wished to all.

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