Christmas in the ‘Hard Times’
Title:Christmas in the ‘Hard Times’
Written in melodic trochaic tetrameter with some lines omitting the last syllable of the pattern, this poem functions as both an encouragement to celebrate the gifts of Christmas and an advertisement for a clothing store. The narrator addresses the personification of Christmas with words of optimism despite “dimness in [its] glory.” A capitalistic tone (“Bless the rich with noble feeling, / That the rich may bless the poor”) emerges halfway through the poem; this eventually culminates in a call to patronize E. Taylor’s clothing store in the last four lines. Rather than ending with a tone of universal solidarity against poverty and strife, the poem appeals to a class who can afford to shop at a clothing store like Taylor’s and implores Christmas to keep “the wasted hand” from stealing, and keep “gaunt famine” from the door.
Bess Amelia Yeager, University of Exeter