December 2, 2022

Poem to Read Aloud: The Seductive Christmas Wreath

Resources , Poems to Read Aloud , The Buckley Experience

The Buckley School's founder believed that all public speakers should hone their presentation skills by reading poetry out loud. We keep that worthwhile practice alive by including a poem in our magazine each month for you to read aloud.

The Comptess de Brémont had the sort of life that inspires novels. Born in New York in 1849, Anna Dunphy became a professional singer, a journalist, an actress, a novelist - and a poet. 

A newspaper illustration of Anna de Brémont, from coverage of a defamation lawsuit she filed against a man who claimed she was not a true countess.

In 1877, she met and married a French doctor, Emile-Leon, the Count de Brémont who was working in New York. After his death five years later, she moved to Europe and embarked on her varied and interesting career.

In London, she joined a secret society alongside Oscar Wilde's wife, leading her to later write a memoir of Wilde and his mother. During this time, she also appeared at the Globe Theatre in As You Like It.

The poet's first novel.

She traveled from London to South Africa, where she found inspiration for her first novel. She later returned to London during the First World War, where her experiences during air raids led her to write another novel The Black Opal.

Below, for your read aloud holiday joy, Anna Dunphy de Brémont unleashes her romantic imagination in the general direction of the Christmas wreath. (Move over, mistletoe.)


The Christmas Wreath

 Oh! Christmas wreath upon the wall,

     Within thine ivied space

I see the years beyond recall,

     Amid thy leaves I trace 

The shadows of a happy past, 

     When all the world was bright,

And love its magic splendour cast

     O’er morn and noon and night.


Oh! Christmas wreath upon the wall,

     'Neath memory's tender spell

A wondrous charm doth o'er thee fall,

     And round thy beauty dwell.

Thine ivy hath the satiny sheen

     Of tresses I've caressed, 

Thy holly’s crimson gleam I've seen

     On lips I oft have pressed.


Oh! Christmas wreath upon the wall,

     A mist steals o'er my sight.

Dear hallow'd wreath, these tears are all

     The pledge I now can plight

To those loved ones whose spirit eyes

     Shine down the flight of time;

Around God's throne their voices rise

     To swell the Christmas Chime!

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