Friday, December 20, 2013

What to give my blogger friends for Christmas?

Almost exactly thirty-eight years ago -- I was 34 at the time -- a poem formed in my mind and I wrote it down. If memory serves, I was thinking that day about how much I had enjoyed Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses when I was a boy -- “The Land of Counterpane” and “Oh, How I Love To Go Up In A Swing” and so on. I couldn’t think of a title for my poem, so I stuck it in a folder and promptly forgot all about it. A couple of months ago I found it, and I thought it might make a nice Christmas present this year from me to all of my cyberfriends out there in the blogosphere.

Just give me a fire, and a frosty night,
.....A book, and a big stuffed chair;
And let me read to my heart’s delight
.....In the glow of the firelight there.

For whatever it be, whether ships at sea,
.....Or Arabian jewels rare;
A planet in space, or an auto race,
.....Or a girl with golden hair;

Or African jungles, or frozen North,
.....Or snarls from a lion’s lair;
One by one, gems sparkle forth
.....Like candles on the stair.

Be it circus clown, or a Wild West town,
.....Or a dancing Russian bear;
Like a flag unfurled, ’tis a wider world
.....To be found in the pages there.

Inventors and heroes; explorers and kings;
.....And saints who knelt in prayer;
And hundreds of other exciting things
....That are fiendish and fine and fair.

So if you would let your soul take flight,
.....Oh, there’s nothing that can compare
With a cozy fire on a frosty night,
.....A book, and a big stuffed chair!

...............................................--Robert H. Brague
..................................................19 December 1975


  1. I love it! The best presents are home made ones and this one is highly appreciated. Great stuff. Thank you rhymes and may you and Mrs rhymes have a marvellous Christmas. *beams a large smile at him.

  2. Marvellous! And I am so glad that you unearthed it because if you hadn't done it might have been forever lost. It's such a shame that the simple enjoyment of a good book is now being swamped by technological distractions that are more "easy" to engage with

  3. Thank you. Tis a wonderful gift, and my world would indeed be diminished without reading. Whatever the season.

  4. Bravo Robert!

    Hope you and yours have wonderful Holidays.


  5. Sir Robert ~ who would have known that when you wrote that poem 38 years ago, you would be sharing it with a bunch of people in cybersphere. It has surely stood the test of time, much as the sentiment you write about. My very best wishes to yourself and Lady RWP at this time of year xx

  6. Love it! Thank you for the thoughtful Christmas gift. Merry merry to you and your kin.

  7. Thank you Robert. (unwraps it with delight).
    And a very most excellent and delightful Christmas to you and Ellie too.

    I will treasure this poem to the end of my days.

  8. I love Christmas presents! And you let us open it early! (Are you one who can't wait until Christmas???)
    Thank you so much for a wonderful kindred spirit kind of poem. Some of my best friends are books! My favorite stuffed chair sits between our 8' south facing window that looks out on the hills of Weyerhaueser timberland, BawFaw Peak (3200') and my Elmira cookstove, but many adventures in many places have started there!
    God Bless you and the missus too this Christmas season! (My Christmas wish: that you blog until you're 102!!)

  9. we have the ugliest big chair in the world><>><><>all my books are there, my used to be wood fire is now a gas log<><>now my daughter has turned my kindle fire which she gave me>> into a net flix movie portable instantanious theater and books and games and pandora music, classical, 50's so i become a fat blob inert unmovable old 71 year old old old old man><<>thanks for the present

  10. Thats a very nice poem. Books should be read slowly and enjoyed.

  11. That is just the kind of poem that I love to curl up in an armchair and read when the weather is bleak outside, Bob. Thank you - it's beautiful.

    A joyous and blessed Christmas season to you and Ellie. xx

  12. Elizabeth ~ nice to see you online. I did ask after you to Sir RWP. Wishing you a very Happy Christmas from Australia x

  13. Merry Christmas Rhymes to you and your family!!