My Cart 


Under the Holly Bough
Charles Mackay


Ye who have scorned each other,
Or injured friend or brother,
    In this fast-fading year;
Ye who, by word or deed,
Have made a kind heart bleed,
    Come gather here!

Let sinned against and sinning
Forget their strife's beginning,
    And join in friendship now.
Be links no longer broken,
Be sweet forgiveness spoken
    Under the Holly-Bough.

Ye who have loved each other,
Sister and friend and brother,
    In this fast-fading year:
Mother and sire and child,
Young man and maiden mild,
    Come gather here;

And let your heart grow fonder,
As memory shall ponder
    Each past unbroken vow;
Old loves and younger wooing
Are sweet in the renewing
    Under the Holly-Bough.

Ye who have nourished sadness,
Estranged from hope and gladness
    In this fast-fading year;
Ye with o'erburdened mind,
Made aliens from your kind,
    Come gather here.

Let not the useless sorrow
Pursue you night and morrow,
    If e'er you hoped, hope now.
Take heart,— uncloud your faces,
And join in our embraces
    Under the Holly-Bough.

This poem is in the public domain.

Charles Mackay (1814 – 1889) was a Scottish writer whose work encompassed numerous genres, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and song lyrics. He worked as an editor of several different newspapers and spoke at least three languages. Charles published more than a half dozen books, but his best known is Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, which remains popular even today.


Post New Comment:
Posted 12/16/2021 01:23 PM
Arlene Gay Levine:
Much wisdom here and would that the whole world could gather "under the Holly-Bough"...Great post, Jayne!
Posted 12/16/2021 12:02 PM
A lovely reminder of the peace that comes with mending fences, and taking time to really be present with loved ones.
Posted 12/16/2021 11:57 AM
I love the message of pondering one's memories and bringing them into some kind of peace. I can imagine the people of Mackay's time taking this poem to heart, having so much less to distract themselves with than we have. And yet, the benefit of this kind of pondering is as powerful today.
Posted 12/16/2021 10:30 AM
Surprise Reading Teacher:
So beautifully descriptive.
Posted 12/16/2021 10:00 AM
Like this poet's sensitivity to the universal condition. He certainly captures "my" life within this poem. He ends not in despair but in hope . . . true to the season.
Posted 12/16/2021 08:59 AM
I like the AABCCB pattern.
Posted 12/16/2021 08:52 AM
I love the beauty of his complex rhyme!
Posted 12/16/2021 08:37 AM
Darrell Arnold:
Another complex rhyming scheme. I love it. As for content, Mr. Mackay hit it right on the head as how we should behave. Doing as he says, however, is often close to impossible to achieve. Striving for it is wonderful. Achieving it . . . ?
Posted 12/16/2021 08:10 AM

Contents of this web site and all original text and images therein are copyright © by Your Daily Poem. All rights reserved.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Purchasing books through any poet's Amazon links helps to support Your Daily Poem.
The material on this site may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, stored, altered, adapted,
or otherwise used in any way without the express written permission of the owner.