Christmas in Wartime

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Christmas in Wartime (or Christmas in Trouble) is a poem written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Guards Came Through and Other Poems on 16 december 1919.


Christmas in Wartime


Cheer oh, comrades, we can bide the blast
And face the gloom until it shall grow lighter.
What though one Christmas should be overcast,
If duty done makes all the others brighter.


We seldom were quick off the mark,
And sprinting was never our game;
But when it's insistence and hold-for-the-distance,
We've never been beat at that same.

The first lap was all to the Hun,
At the second we still saw his back;
But we knew how to wait and to spurt down the straight,
Till we left him dead-beat on the track.

He's a bluffer for all he is worth,
But he's winded and done to the core, So the last lap is here, with the tape very near,
And the old colours well to the fore.


Not merry! No—the words would grate,
With gaps at every table-side,
But chastened, thankful, calm, sedate,
Be your victorious Christmas-tide.

[The part below has been added for his 1921-1922 christmas card]


"Now for Peace and now for plenty !"
So we said in 1920.
Alas there followed fire and flood,
1920 proved a dud.

But we were not to be done,
"Stand by now for '21 !"
Economic strife and bother !
It was dudder than the other.

Well we raise our peckers still,
'22 may fill the bill,
When old Ireland troubles not.
And the Trotskys cease to trot.

We hope so—and we wear meanwhile
Our patent shock-absorbing smile.
But whatever fate may do.
We send our greeting out to you.