A lot of people don’t realize Lovecraft had a sentimental side. As I shared last year, it seems around Christmas he would often spend time writing some pretty sappy poetry. Well, thanks to the wonderful resource of the H.P. Lovecraft Archive this year I get to share a few more of his silly little Christmas poetry with you. In these Christmas Greetings, Lovecraft writes a few short poems for his friends and their cats.
May good St. Nick, like as a bird of night,
Bring thee rich blessings in his annual flight;
Long by thy chimney rest his pond’rous pack,
And leave with lessen’d weight upon his back!
As Christmas snows (as yet a poet’s trope)
Call back one’s bygone days of youth and hope,
Four metrick lines I send—they’re quite enough
Tho’ once I fancy’d I could write the stuff!
Once more the ancient feast returns,
And the bright hearth domestic burns
With Yuletide’s added blaze;
So, too, may all your joys increase
Midst floods of mem’ry, love, and peace,
And dreams of Halcyon days.
St. John, whose art sublimely shines
In liquid odes and melting lines,
Let Theobald his regard express
In verse of lesser loveliness.
As now in regal state appear
The festive hours of Yuletide cheer,
My strongest wish is that you may
Feel ev’ry blessing of the day!
Little Tiger, burning bright
With a subtle Blakeish light,
Tell what visions have their home
In those eyes of flame and chrome!
Children vex thee—thoughtless, gay—
Holding when thou wouldst away:
What dark lore is that which thou,
Spitting, mixest with thy meow?
As when a pigeon, loos’d in realms remote,
Takes instant wing, and seeks his native cote,
So speed my blessings from a barb’rous clime
To thee and Providence at Christmas time!
Haughty Sphinx, whose amber eyes
Hold the secrets of the skies,
As thou ripplest in thy grace,
Round the chairs and chimney-place,
Scorn on thy patrician face:
Hiss not harsh, nor use thy claws
On the hand that gives applause—
Good-will only doth abide
In these lines at Christmastide!
Man, Lovecraft had a soft spot for Frank Belknap Long’s cat. Felis better have appreciated both those little poems. But, like most cats, I’m sure he was probably indifferent and a little smug.
I hope you enjoyed reading these silly little poems as much as I did. It’s always enjoyable looking into a different side of a writer like Lovecraft. So much of his work is mired in his xenophobic fears it’s always interesting to see something that is the complete opposite of his more known work. It shows the complexity inherent in a person.
[!] UPDATE: My rad little sister sent me a picture of Lovecraft holding his buddy Felis. I figured since we just read two poems for him, it’d be great to see a pic as well. So here they are broin’ down: