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The Robin’s Christmas

December 17, 2022
by the gentle author

If you fancy a bracing walk as a respite from the festivities, tickets are available for THE GENTLE AUTHOR’S TOUR OF SPITALFIELDS on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.


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This extract is from ‘Aunt Louisa’s Keepsake’ published by Frederick Warne which was given to me by Libby Hall. The copy is inscribed ‘Christmas 1896’ inside the front cover.


‘Twas Christmas-time, a dreary night,

The snow fell thick and fast,

And o’er the country swept the wind,

A keen and wintry blast.



The Robin early went to bed,

Puffed up just like a ball,

He slept all night on one small leg,

Yet managed not to fall.


No food had touched his beak,

And not a chance had he

Of ever touching food again,

As far as he could see.



The stove had not burnt very low,

But still was warm and bright,

And round the spot whereon it stood,

Threw forth a cheerful light.


Now Robin from a corner hopped,

Within the fire’s light.

Shivering and cold, it was to him

A most enchanting sight.


But he is almost starved, poor bird!

Food he must have, or die,

Unless it seems, alas! for that

Within these walls to try.



Perhaps ‘t is thought by those who read

To doubtful to be true,

That just when they were wanted so

Some hand should bread crumbs strew.


But this is how it came to pass,

An ancient dame had said,

Her legacy unto the poor

Should all be spent on bread.


Enough there was for quite a feast,

Robin was glad to find.

The hungry fellow ate them all,

Nor left one crumb behind.


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6 Responses leave one →
  1. December 17, 2022

    What I beautiful poem, lovely.

  2. December 17, 2022

    *** MERRY CHRISTMAS! ***
    *** JOYEUX NOËL! ***

    A wonderful story is told here. And it is so real: the birds came to the bird feeder on my window board again in numbers this morning, because everything is covered in snow. And it’s 21 degrees Fahrenheit!

    Interesting for me: the book was published in 1896 — the year my grandfather was born!

    Love & Peace

  3. Garrick Davis permalink
    December 17, 2022

    Captivating. Thank you.

  4. Andy permalink
    December 17, 2022


  5. Gee Farrow permalink
    December 17, 2022

    How lovely…many thanks for this – reminds me of the things my nan would read to me, or just recite by heart. She was born in the last decade of the 19th century.

  6. Cherub permalink
    December 18, 2022

    What a lovely poem. Seeing a robin always makes me feel there is hope the world can be a better place, they are beautiful little birds.

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