Group Title: Christmas Eve series
Title: The Robin's Christmas Eve
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: The Robin's Christmas Eve
Series Title: Christmas Eve series
Physical Description: 14 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bowen, C. E ( Charlotte Elizabeth ), 1817-1890
McLoughlin Bros., inc ( Publisher )
Publisher: McLoughlin
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: c1889
Copyright Date: 1889
Subject: Christmas -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Birds -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry -- 1889
Bldn -- 1889
Genre: Children's poetry
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00054515
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AJG4750
alephbibnum - 001751811
oclc - 07091531

Full Text

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'TWAS Christmas time: a dreary night: Not far from Jem's, another house,
The snow fell thick and fast, Of different size and form,
And o'er the country swept the wind, Rose high its head, defying well
A keen and wintry blast. The fierce and pelting storm.

The little ones were all in bed, It was the Squire's stately home--
Crouching beneath the clothes, A rare, upright Squire he,
Half trembling at the angry wind, As brave and true a gentleman
Which wildly fell and rose. As any one could see.

Old Jem the Sexton rubbed his leg,
For he had got the gout; The Squire's lady and himself
For he had got the gout;
Sat cosily together,
He said he thought it wondrous hardat cosi together
That hemust sally out. hen suddenly he roused himself,
That he must sally out.
To see the kind of weather.

I iLifting the shutters' ponderous bar,
He threw them open wide,
S'And very dark, and cold, and drear,
He thought it looked outside.

S' Ah. Squire little do you think
A trembling beggar's near,
i --' -Although his form you do not see,
His voice you do not hear.
The Baldwin Library


Yes, there he stands-so very close,
He taps the window pane;
And when he sees you turn away,
He feebly taps again. -

But all in vain; the heavy bar -I
Was fastened as before;
The Squire's portly form retraced '
His highly polished floor. 4- .J '

Now, is there any one who thinks
It cannot be worth while For food grew scarce; so having spied
To write about a Robin's fate, Some holly-berries red
And treat it with a smile? Within the Rectory garden grounds.
Thither our hero fled.
If so, I bid them to their mind
Those words of Scripture call, One evening everything was dull,
Which say that not without God's will The clouds looked very black,
E'en a Sparrow can fall. The wind ran howling through the sky,
And then came grumbling back.

Our Robin's history simple was, The Robin early went to bed,
There is not much to tell,- Puffed out just like a ball;
A little happy singing bird, He slept all night on one small leg,
Born in a neighboring dell. Yet managed not to fall.

And through the summer, in the wood, When morning came he left the tree,
Life went on merrily; But stared in great surprise
But winter came, and then he found Upon the strange, unusual scene
More full of care was he, That lay before his eyes.

I "i-h w! little do
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At length, by way of passing time,

/ But started up, when on his head
He felt a gentle tap.

U4 I 'Twas but a snow-flake, after all!
'. 'Yet, in his wretched plight,
', The smallest thing could frighten him,
And make him take his flight.

It seemed as if a great white sheet But soon he found he must not hope
Were flung all o'er the lawn; From these soft flakes to fly:
The flower-beds, the paths, the trees Down they came feathering on his head,
And all the shrubs were gone! His back, his tail, his eye!

His little feet grew sadly cold, No gardeners appeared that day:
And felt all slippery too; The Rector's step came by,
He stumbled when he hopped along And Robin fluttered o'er the snow
As folks on ice will do. To try and catch his eye.

And yet he had not learnt the worst But being Christmas Eve, perhaps
Of this new state of things; His sermons filled his mind,
He'd still to feel the gnawing pangs For on he walked, and never heard
That cruel hunger brings. The little chirp behind.

No food to-day had touched his beak, Half-blinded, on and on he roamed,
And not a chance had he Quite through the Squire's park;
Of ever touching it again, At last he stood before the house,
As far as he could see. But all was cold and dark.
As far as he could see.


"No gardeners appeared that day : the Rector's step came by,
And Robin fluttered o'er the snow to try and catch his eye."

Now suddenly his heart beats high! So on he went, and as it chanced,
He sees a brilliant glare, He passed into a lane,
Shutters unfurl before his eyes- And once again he saw a light
A sturdy form stands there! Inside a window-pane.

He almost frantic grew, poor bird! Chanced, did we say? let no such word
Fluttered, and tapped the pane, Upon our page appear;
Pressed hard his breast against the glass, Not chance, but watchful Providence,
And chirped,-but all in vain! Has led poor Robin here.

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Jem the Sexton's house."

'Twas Jem the Sexton's house from which The stove had not burnt very low,
Shone forth that cheering light- But still was warm and bright,
For Jem had drawn the curtain back And round the spot whereon it stood
To gaze upon the night. Threw forth a cheerful light.

And now, with lantern in his hand, Jem lost no time; he flung on coals,
He hobbles down the lane, And raked the ashes out,
Mutt'ring and grumbling to himself, Then hurried off to go to bed,
Because his foot's in pain. Still grumbling at his gout.

He gains the church; then for the key Now Robin from a corner hopped,
Within his pocket feels, Within the fire's light;
And as he puts it in the door, Shivering and cold, it was to him
Robin is at his heels. A most enchanting sight.

Jem thought, when entering the church, But he is almost starved, poor bird!
That he was all alone, Food he must have, or die:
Nor dreamed a little stranger bird, Useless it seems, alas! for that
Had to its refuge flown, Within these walls to try.


Enough there were for quite a feast,
Robin was glad to find;
S-r,. :" The hungry fellow ate them all,
S I Nor left one crumb behind.

' V j} J He soon was quite himself again,
And it must be confessed
i: His first thought, being warmed
it: and fed,
JWas all about his breast.

STo smooth its scarlet feathers down,
Our hero did not fail,
And when he'd made it smart, he then
Yet, see he makes a sudden dart Attended to his tail!
His searching eye has found
The greatest treasure he could have,- Worn though he was with sheer fatigue,
Some bread-crumbs on the ground And being up so late,
He did not like to go to bed
In such a rumpled state.
Perhaps 'tis thought by those who read
Too doubtful to be true, His toilet done, he went to sleep,
That just when they were wanted so, And never once awoke,
Some hand should bread-crumbs strew. g Christmas morn,
Till, coming in on Christmas morn,
Jem gave the stove a poke.
But this is how it came to pass;
An ancient dame had said Then in alarm he flew away
Her legacy unto the poor Along the middle aisle,
Should all be spent in bread. And perching on the pulpit-top,
He rested there awhile.

So every week twelve wheaten loaves But what an unexpected sight
The Sexton brought himself; Is this that meets his eyes!
And crumbs had doubtless fallen when The church is dressed with holly green,
He placed them on the shelf. To him so great a prize.

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For 'mongst the leaves the berries hung, /
Inviting him to eat; \/
On every side were hundreds more,-
A rich and endless treat.
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He could not know that Christian folks '"'- ;>.
Had brought the holly green, i '
That so their joy for Jesus' birth
Might in this way be seen.

Now, very soon a little troop
Of children entered in: When suddenly, from high above,
They came to practice Christmas songs Another song they hear,
Ere service should begin. And all look up in hushed amaze,
At notes so sweet and clear.
The Rector followed them himself,
To help the young ones on, 'Twas Robin, sitting on a spray
And teach their voices how to sing Of twisted holly bright;
In tune, their Christmas song. His light weight swayed it, as he sang
His song with all his might.

And first he charged them all to try His heart was full of happiness,
His heart was full of happiness,
And feel the words they sang; d this t was that drew
'- And this it was that drew
Then reading from his open book,
SPraise to his Maker, in the way,
He thus the hymn began.
The only way, he knew.

" Glory to God from all
Glory to God from all It seemed as though he understood
To whom He's given breath; The words he just had heard,
The words he just had heard,
Glory to God from all
Glory to God from all As if he felt they suited him,
Whom He has saved from death." Though but a little bird.
Though but a little bird.

Now, when the Rector's voice had ceased, The Rector's finger lifted up,
The Rector's finger lifted up,
The children, led by him,
The children, led by him, Kept all the children still,
Were just about, with earnest voice, Their eyes uplifted to the bird
The verse of praise to sing. Singing with open bird
The verse of praise to sing. Singing with oven bill.


They scarcely breathed, lest they should lose
One note of that sweet strain;
And Robin scarcely paused before / --'
He took it up again.

Now, when he ceased, the Rector thought
That he would say a word;
For Robin's tale had in his breast
A strong emotion stirred. I

" Children," said he, "that little voice
A lesson should have taught:
It seems to me the Robin's song
Is with instruction fraught.

" He was, no doubt, in great distress;
Deep snow was all around;
He might have starved, but coming here
Both food and shelter found.

"Seek God, my children, and when times
Of storm and trouble come,
He'll guide you as He did the bird,
And safely lead you home.

"Another lesson we may learn The Rector paused, for now rang forth
From those sweet notes we heard, The merry Christmas chime,
That God has given voice of praise And warned them all that it was near
To that unconscious bird; The usual service-time.

"But unto us His love bestows And we must close the Robin's tale;
A far more glorious gift, 'Twill be a blessed thing
For we have reason, and our souls, Should it have taught but one young voice,
As well as voice can lift." To praise as well as sing.

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