I. CHRISTMAS DAY.
O HAPPY day, with seven-fold blessings set
Amid thy hallowed hours—the memories dear
Of childhood’s holidays—and household cheer,
When friends and kin in loving circle met—
And youth’s glad gatherings, where the sands were wet
By waves that hurt not, whilst the great cliffs near,
With storms erewhile acquaint, gave echo clear
Of voices gay and laughter gayer yet.
And graver thoughts and holier arise
Of how, ’twixt that first eve and dawn of thine,
The Star ascended which hath lit our skies
More than the sun himself; and ’mid the kine
The Child was born whom shepherds, and the wise;
Who came from far, and angels, called Divine.
II. THE NEW YEAR.
WITH supple boughs and new-born leaflets crowned,
Rejoicing in fresh verdure stands the tree,
Though weather-scarred and scooped by fire may be
Its ancient trunk. So may our lives be found
(God leaving still our roots within His ground.)
Where gaps of loss and waste show brokenly
May each new year that comes to greet us see
Branches, and foliage, and flowers abound.
Where Fortune, spoiling wayfarer, hath left
Unsightly rents, may garlands spring apace.
And if, perchance, some pitiless wind hath reft
Away what newer green shall ne’er replace,
May heaven-light come the closer for the cleft
O’er which no tender fronds shall interlace.