(1) The Firewood Poem:
By Lady Celia Congreve
Published in the Times: March 2nd 1930
Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year.
Chestnut’s only good they say,
If for logs ’tis laid away.
Make a fire of Elder tree,
Death within your house will be.
But ash new or ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold
Birch and fir logs burn too fast,
Blaze bright and do not last.
It is by the Irish said,
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E’en the very flames are cold.
But ash green or ash brown,
Is fit for a queen with golden crown
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke.
Apple wood will scent your room,
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom.
Oaken logs, if dry and old,
Keep away the winter’s cold.
But ash wet or ash dry,
A king shall warm his slippers by.
__________ oOo __________
The above is an abbreviated version. If you want a copy of this poem in full, as seen in the picture below, download it by clicking the following hyperlink and print as required.
(2) The Firewood Rhyme:
Logs to Burn, Logs to burn,
Logs to save the coal a turn.
Here’s a word to make you wise,
When you hear the woodman’s cries.
Never heed his usual tale,
That he has good logs for sale,
But read these lines and really learn,
The proper kind of logs to burn.
Oak logs will warm you well,
If they’re old and dry.
Larch logs of pine will smell,
But the sparks will fly.
Beech logs for Christmas time,
Yew logs heat well.
“Scotch” logs it is a crime,
For anyone to sell.
Birch logs will burn too fast,
Chestnut scarce at all.
Hawthorn logs are good to last,
If you cut them in the fall.
Holly logs will burn like wax,
You should burn them green,
Elm logs like smouldering flax,
No flame to be seen.
Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room,
Cherry logs across the dogs,
Smell like flowers in bloom
But ash logs, all smooth and grey,
Burn them green or old;
Buy up all that come your way,
They’re worth their weight in gold.
(3) The Fire of Drift-wood:
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807–1882
Devereux Farm, Near Marblehead
We sat within the farm-house old,
Whose windows, looking o’er the bay,
Gave to the sea-breeze damp and cold,
An easy entrance, night and day.
Not far away we saw the port,
The strange, old-fashioned, silent town,
The lighthouse, the dismantled fort,
The wooden houses, quaint and brown.
We sat and talked until the night,
Descending, filled the little room;
Our faces faded from the sight,
Our voices only broke the gloom.
We spake of many a vanished scene,
Of what we once had thought and said,
Of what had been, and might have been,
And who was changed, and who was dead;
And all that fills the hearts of friends,
When first they feel, with secret pain,
Their lives thenceforth have separate ends,
And never can be one again;
The first slight swerving of the heart,
That words are powerless to express,
And leave it still unsaid in part,
Or say it in too great excess.
The very tones in which we spake
Had something strange, I could but mark;
The leaves of memory seemed to make
A mournful rustling in the dark.
Oft died the words upon our lips,
As suddenly, from out the fire
Built of the wreck of stranded ships,
The flames would leap and then expire.
And, as their splendor flashed and failed,
We thought of wrecks upon the main,
Of ships dismasted, that were hailed
And sent no answer back again.
The windows, rattling in their frames,
The ocean, roaring up the beach,
The gusty blast, the bickering flames,
All mingled vaguely in our speech;
Until they made themselves a part
Of fancies floating through the brain,
The long-lost ventures of the heart,
That send no answers back again.
O flames that glowed! O hearts that yearned!
They were indeed too much akin,
The drift-wood fire without that burned,
The thoughts that burned and glowed within.