When dark December glooms the day,
And takes our autumn joys away;
When short and scant the sun-beam throws,
Upon the weary waste of snows…
~Walter Scott, Marmion, 1808
Of all the months of the year there is not a month one-half so welcome to the young, or so full of happy associations, as the last month of the year… ~”All the Year Round: December,” All the Year Round: A Weekly Journal Conducted by Charles Dickens, 1887 December 10th
Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.
~Sara Coleridge (1802–1852), “The Garden Year”
Will love be true as December frost, or fickle and fall like the rose in June? ~Clement Scott, “In Sight of Home,” c.1883
He had been walking for a long time, ever since dark in fact, and dark falls soon in December. ~Charlotte Riddell (1832–1906), “The Old House in Vauxhall Walk,” 1882 [Her stories, at the time, were published under the name of Mrs. J.H. Riddell—tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
A bare tree stands
with roots on both ends
in December days.
~Kiran Bantawa, “Bare Trees”
How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
You have had many rectors here in St. Andrews who will continue in bloom long after the lowly ones such as I am are dead and rotten and forgotten. They are the roses in December; you remember someone said that God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December…. [M]y December roses—have been very simple folk. ~J.M. Barrie, “Courage” (The Rectorial Address Delivered at St. Andrews University, 1922 May 3rd) [Ah, yes, roses in December… “And shall we own such judgment? no—as soon/Seek roses in December, ice in June…” ~Lord Byron (1788–1824), English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
And last December drear,
With piteous low-drooped head,
In a voice of desolation
Crying out, “The year is dead!”
And so, with changeful gear,
With smile or frown or song,
The months, in strange variation,
Are ever gliding along.
~Edgar Fawcett, “The Masque of Months,” 1878
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen?
What old December’s bareness every where!
~William Shakespeare, Sonnet XCVII
If the October days were a cordial like the sub-acids of fruit, these are a tonic like the wine of iron. Drink deep or be careful how you taste this December vintage. The first sip may chill, but a full draught warms and invigorates. ~John Burroughs, “Winter Sunshine,” 1875
On cold December fragrant chaplets blow,
And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.
~Alexander Pope (1688–1744), The Dunciad
If cold December gave you birth—
The month of snow, and ice, and mirth—
Place on your hand a turquoise blue,
Success will bless whate’er you do.
~Author unknown, “A Gem for Every Month,” c.1883
Christmas begins about the first of December with an office party and ends when you finally realize what you spent, around April fifteenth of the next year. ~P.J. O’Rourke, Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People, 1983
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December,
A magical thing,
And sweet to remember:
“We are nearer to spring
Than we were in September.”
~Oliver Herford, “Hope,” in The Century Magazine, January 1914
If winter comes can spring be… We’re nearer to spring than we were in september, i heard a bird sing in the dark of december, january, febmar, aprimay, apricots, beneath the bough. ~Sylvia Plath, journal, 1953
December drops no weak, relenting tear,
By our fond summer sympathies ensnared;
Nor from the perfect circle of the year
Can even winter’s crystal gems be spared.
~Christopher Pearse Cranch, “December” (last stanza), 1872
Do your heart and head keep pace?
When does hoary Love expire,
When do frosts put out the fire?
Can its embers burn below
All that chill December snow?
~Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908), “Toujours Amour”
The cold is coming.
December’s winter solstice.
Start of the season.
~Robert Pettit, “Winter Solstice”
What should we speak of
When we are old as you? when we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark December? how,
In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
The freezing hours away?…
~William Shakespeare, Cymbeline (Arvirargus)
And in December’s gloomy shades
Some Chickweed stars did shine.
One Daisy, too, the bleak month gave
To baffle melancholy;
And e’en I saw fair Flora smile
When crowned with crimson Holly!
And then the queen of all the flowers
Passed onward, soft and slow—
Her radiant brows adorned with Pearls
Of sacred Mistletoe!
~James Rigg, “The Progress of Queen Flora, Adorned by a Hundred Wild Flowers,” Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897