Christmas with William


On Christmas Eve 1863, William Makepeace Thackeray passed away.  He is most famous for his satirical works, specifically Vanity Fair, a mocking portrayal of English society. Even though he experienced great success as a writer, even hailed as equal to Charles Dickens, his personal life was marked by tragedy.  His second child, Jane, died at eight months. After the birth of their third child, his wife, Isabella Gethin Shawe, succumbed to depression.  Even though he left no stone “un-turned” in his desperate search for a cure, she was eventually confined to a home outside of Paris. He once said, “To love and win is the best thing. To love and lose, the next best.”

The Mahogany Tree is a Christmas poem that looks back fondly on past Christmas holidays that were spent happily under a huge mahogany tree, which served as shade and a place to house joyful Christmas memories.

May we remember that this Christmas we are making memories for all that follow.

Merry Christmas,  my dear friends!

The Mahagany Tree

William Makepeace Thackeray

Christmas is here;
Winds whistle shrill,
Icy and chill,
Little care we;
Little we fear 
Weather without,
Shelter’d about 
The Mahogany Tree.

Once on the boughs
Birds of rare plume
Sang, in its bloom;
Night birds are we;
Here we carouse, 
Singing, like them, 
Perch’d round the stem 
Of the jolly old tree.

Here let us sport,
Boys, as we sit- 
Laughter and wit
Flashing so free.
Life is but short-
When we are gone, 
Let them sing on,
Round the old tree.

Evenings we knew,
Happy as this;
Faces we miss,
Pleasant to see.
Kind hearts and true,
Gentle and just, 
Peace to your dust!
We sing round the tree.

Care, like a dun,
Lurks at the gate:
Let the dog wait;
Happy we ‘ll be!
Drink every one;
Pile up the coals,
Fill the red bowls,
Round the old tree.

Drain we the cup.-
Friend, art afraid?
Spirits are laid
In the Red Sea.
Mantle it up;
Empty it yet;
Let us forget,
Round the old tree.

Sorrows, begone!
Life and its ills,
Duns and their bills,
Bid we to flee. 
Come with the dawn,
Blue-devil sprite,
Leave us to-night, 
Round the old tree.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

4 thoughts on “Christmas with William

  1. Beautiful ! Dear my friend , I wish to you a Merry Christmas to be blessed with happiness, good health, prosperity, and also your entire family!
    With much love, Stefan


    1. Merry Christmas!! May the blessing of this season be with you as we enter a new year. I am excited about all the blogging adventures waiting for us in 2013


  2. There’s something about trees that live on. One of my favorite books is “The Giving Tree” by Phil Silverstein. “Once there was a tree….and she loved a little boy.”….(a great short illustrated story for all ages).


    1. I know that story…have read it many times. It really shows how our environment continues to give to us and we continue to accept the gifts…I live in Vancouver Canada and we are surrounded by wonderful tress that breathe life into our city….Merry Christmas


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