Straight thro’ a fold of purple mist The sun goes down—a crimson wheel— And like an opal burns the sea That once was cold as steel. With pomp of purple, gold and red, Thou wilt come back at morrow’s dawn… But thou can’st never bring, O Sun, The Christmas that is gone!
Lord God, the winter has been sweet and brief
In this fair land;
For us the budded willow and the leaf,
The peaceful strand.
For us the silver nights and golden days,
The violet mist;
The pearly clouds pierced with vibrating rays
At evening, every wave of our blue sea
Hollowed to hold
A fragment of the sunset’s mystery—
A fleck of gold.
The crimson haze is on the alder trees
In places lush;
Already sings with sweet and lyric ease
The western thrush.
Lord God, for some of us the days and years
Have bitter been;
For some of us the burden and the tears,
The gnawing sin.
For some of us, O God, the scanty store,
The failing bin;
For some of us the gray wolf at the door,
The red, within!
But to the hungry Thou hast given meat,
Hast clothed the cold;
And Thou hast given courage strong and sweet
To the sad and old.
And so we thank Thee, Thou most tender God,
For the leaf and flower;
For the tempered winds, and quickening, velvet sod,
And the gracious shower.
Yea, generous God, we thank Thee for this land
Where all are fed,
Where at the doors no freezing beggars stand,
Pleading for bread.