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!

Christmas Morn

There’s a holy light like a beacon bright,
     Afar over land and sea.
Soft its lambent ray o’er the broad earth plays
     With a rosy dancing glee,
And the topmost peak of the mountains bleak
     Blush fair in the glowing morn.
Over wood and tarn sweeps the glorious dawn
     To herald the Child-Christ born.

White the sea-waves fling like an angel’s wing
     The foam as their blue crests rise,
While each gallant ship, with a skim and a dip,
     In the wind’s lap speeding flies;
And the sailor’s song is borne along
     The breeze of the golden morn,
For joyous he sings as the mast he swings
     To herald the Child-Christ born.

In the land of snow where the keen winds blow
     And the ice-king holds his sway,
A glittering sheen on the plains is seen,
     As tribute to him they pay.
While merrily sing with a peal and a ring
     The bells on the crystal morn,
As gayly they chime with silvery rhyme
     To herald the Child-Christ born.

To his sea-girt home, where’er he may roam,
     Speed the thoughts of Briton’s son.
In city or plain, on the crested main,
     The heart of the absent one
Again in his dreams with ecstasy seems
     To swell in the happy morn,
As he hears the voice of his loved rejoice,
     To herald the Child-Christ born.

In dreams borne along, he joins the glad throng,
     The riot and wassail gay;
And the boar’s head bold as in Nowel old
     Brave crowns the feast of the day;
The holly’s red blush ’mid the ivy’s crush;
     The mistletoe greets the morn
With kisses to claim in love’s holy name,
     To herald the Child-Christ born.

Then Charity sweet with most gracious feet
     Walks forth o’er the smiling land,
To widow’s relief, to fatherless grief,
     She bringeth a helping hand.
For peace and good-will the whole world doth fill
     With the dawn of the Nowel morn.
Let every heart sing a glad welcoming,
     To herald the Child-Christ born.

The Parting of the Year

The midnight hour had come. With tearful eyes
And sad the Old Year strained I to my breast.
For we were loth to part—his lips I pressed
All tenderly in answer to his sighs.
A generous lover he; to say good-bye
Wrung heart and soul, bowed was his head and chilled
The hand with gifts and blessings lately filled.
’Twas hard to part—the dear Old Year and I.

        Lo! as he lingered, came thro’ casement pane
        A silvery summons echoing far and near.
        He faltered, trembled, gasped, then thrust atwain
        The casement, vanished in the starlight clear,
        No vestige leaving of his happy reign,
        While hand in hand stood I and the New Year!