Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Christmas Greetings and Bacon Love


My friend Mary Jo gave me a beautiful book of Christmas poems, and I’d love to share three of them this morning. Whatever else the day holds for you, I hope you find a moment of peace and stillness in your heart.

The Magi
~William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Now as at all times I can see in the mind’s eye,
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky
With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,
And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
Being by Calvary’s turbulence unsatisfied,
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.

*      *      *

The Oxen
~Thomas Hardy (1840 – 1928)

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock,
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel

“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

*      *      *

From Rorate Celi Desuper
~William Dunbar (c.1460 – c.1515)

Rorate celi desuper! (1)
Ye Heavens distil your balmy shouris
For now is risen the bright day star
Fae the rose Mary, flour of flouris;
The clear Son, whom no cloud devouris,
Surmounting Phoebus in the east,
Is comen of his heavenly touris;
Et nobis Puer Natus est (2)

Celestial fowlis in the air
Sing wi’ your notis upon hight
In firthis and in Forestis fair
Be mirthful now, at all your might
For passit is your dully night;
Aurora has the cloudis pierc’d,
The sun is risen with gladsome light,
Et nobis Puer Natus est

Sing heaven imperial, most of hight
Regions of air mak harmony;
A’ fish in flood and fowl of flight
Be mirthful and mak melody:
All Gloria In Excelsis cry,
Heaven, erd, sea, man, bird, and beast,
He that is crownit abune the sky
Pro nobis Puer Natus est


(1) Drop down ye heavens from above
(2) Unto us a son is born

shouris ~ showers
Fae ~ from
flour ~ flower
touris ~ towers
firthis ~ firths
A’ ~ all
erd ~ earth
abune ~ above

*     *     *


*      *      *

Coming soon: Top 10 Cozy Reads for Winter, to be published at Styleblueprint on December 29.

Coming even sooner:

In my immediate future. What’s in yours?!


  1. A beautiful start to this day. Merry Christmas, Jennifer!

  2. Merry Christmas! Thank you for sharing these poems, and for all your posts through the year. They truly bring joy to your readers.

  3. My day is made! Thank you for sharing these words to begin Christmas Day. Your generosity is a treasure.

  4. What a wonderful start to Christmas Day!

  5. Merry Christmas, Jennifer. It is so good to be reading Bacon again as I sip my morning coffee

  6. I am thinking of you and Beth this morning! Sending Christmas love and hopes for peace and joy and a trip to NYC to meet baby Franny very soon!! Xoxo

  7. Thank you, dear Jennifer. We are hoping to come home tomorrow to the lacy beauty of bare limbs traced against a winter sky, and even to a couple of camellia bushes that have been nursed and fertilized and watched carefully all fall. You remind us of how beautiful Christmas is!

  8. I’ve missed you! I hope this is just one of many tastes of bacon to come…

  9. A Christmas gift – the return of Bacon.

  10. I’m among the many who’ve missed you so very much! Thank you for sharing lovely poems and yourself this Christmas morning!!! OXO

  11. Merry Christmas Jennifer & family!
    These were the perfect start to this wondrous day.. I’m so happy you’re BAAACK.
    Warmest Wishes!

  12. Thank you for sharing! Just perfect! ❤️ Merry Christmas Jennifer!

  13. Beautiful words on this day of hope. Merry Christmas to the Puryears, some of my favorite blessings!

  14. It’s a Christmas miracle…BACON IS BACK ON THE MENU!!!! Second helpings, please! much love to you, Jennifer ♥️

  15. Took me a minute to get the quiet time. Love this and love you. Thank bees were all over the camellias! Xoxo

    • I’m glad you found your quiet moment, Lawrence… so glad… and yes I’ve seen many bees sipping camellia nectar! It’s strange to see them out this time of year! Sending much honey love to you and yours… xoxo

  16. Oh goodness – what a gift. You’re back. I am among the many who have so sorely missed your voice. Merry Christmas, Jennifer.

  17. Merry Christmas, Jen! Thank you for these joyful words and beautiful thoughts.

  18. Oh joy! Thank you, dear Jennifer, for gifting us all with your intriguing, insightful, and thought-provoking Bacon posts!
    Your lovely pictures are gifts as well.
    Now the fresh new year will be extra bright~
    All Thanks!

  19. Thank you for sharing these lovely Christmas poems from the past. Reading them at Christmas inspires much promise for the future. I’ve missed you and the good writing on Bacon

  20. Jennifer these are a lovely and thoughtful addition to my day. Thank you so very much for sharing them, wishing you all the best for 2022

  21. Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing this gift.

  22. Thank you for such a serene picture of Christmas you have painted for us Jennifer ❤️

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