Heigh-O! For the Christmas-Tide (Christmas History 13)

Heigh-O 1_1Heigh-O! For the Christmas-Tide is an illustrated children’s poetry book, written by Annie C. McQueen, and published in 1887.  She wrote several poems for children, generally centred around events such as Christmas, Easter and birthdays, published by Hard & Parsons.  Beyond that I can find little information about the author.  Although this is a departure from the usual remit of the blog, I thought it worth including as it is such an enchanting book, and offers a little window into a different world.  The poem follows, and the accompanying images are reproduced beside this text and below.

Heigh-O 2_2A couple of explanatory notes: to avoid any confusion, ‘freighted’ is the equivalent of ‘laden’, which would probably be a more natural word to use nowadays.  ‘Heigh-O’ is a varient of ‘Hey-ho’ or ‘Heigh-ho’ (as popularised in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937).  The phrase has nautical origins, and is associated with pulling or heaving something, hence the suitability for pulling a sledge, although it is being used here more as a generic exclamation.

Heigh-O 3_3
Heigh-o! Berries, my joy, my pride,
My bright-eyed darlings sweet,
My beautiful gems for the Christmas-tide,
To wear, my true love to greet.

Heigh-o! My beautiful shining snow,
My pearls, my opals rare;
My jewels so bright in the sunlight’s glow,
With tintings of rainbow fair.

Heigh-o! My love, are you coming true?
Well, I’m waiting behind this tree,
And a beautiful snow-ball is waiting too!
Is waiting my love for thee.

Heigh-O 4_4“Heigh-o!” To welcome the Christmas-tide,
When life is young and gay,
Freighted with joy the hours glide,
Over the pleasant way.

From 1st to 24th December there will be a “Christmas History” article on Windows into History every day, exploring how people spent Christmas in the past through first-hand accounts in forgotten books.  Please come back tomorrow for the next article!

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About Roger Pocock

Co-writer on junkyard.blog. Author of windowsintohistory.wordpress.com. Editor of frontiersmenhistorian.info
This entry was posted in Books, Christmas, Christmas History, History, Poems, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

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