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! Pages 27 to 50 1 CHRISTMAS POETRY Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes. Wherein our Savior's birth was cele brated, The bird of dawning singeth all night long; And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad; The rights are wholesome, then no plan ets strike, No fairy tales, nor witch hath power to charm. So hallowed and so gracious is the time. —SHAKESPEARE. No well, nowell, nowell, nowell. Who ys there that syngith so, nowell, nowell, nowell? I am here, syre Christmasse! Well come, my lord, syre Christmasse, Welcome to us all, both morn and lesse Come nere, Nowell! Dieu vous garbe, beau syre, tydinges yow bryng; A mayd hath born a chylde full young, The weche causeth yew for to syng, Nowell ! ./ Crlste is now corn of a pure mayde. In an oxe stalle he ys layde, Wher'for sying we alle atte abrayde Nowell ! Bebbex bien par tutte la company. Make gode chere and be right mery. And syng with us now joyfully, Nowell! * . THE PRINCE OF PEACE. "What means this glory round our feet," The Magi mused, "more bright than morn?" ' And voices chanted clear and sweet, "To-day the Prince of Peace is born!" "What means that star?" the shepherds said. "That brightens through the rocky glen?" And angels answering overhead. Sang, "Peace on earth," good will to men." 'Tls eighteen hundred years and more Since those sweet oracles were dumb; We wait for Him, like them of yore; Alas! He seems so slow to come! But It was said, in words of gold, No time or sorrow e'er shall dim, That little children might be bold, In perfect trust to come to Him. All round about our fet shall shine A light like that the wise men saw, If we our loving wills incline To that sweet Life which is the Law. So shall we learn to understand The simple faith of shepherds then, And, clasping kindly hand in hand. Sing, "Peace on earth, good will to men!" And they who do their souls no wrong, But keep at eve the faith of morn, Shall daily hear the angel sing, "To-day the Prince of Peace is born!" —LOWELL. ♦ Now thrice welcome, Christmas, Which brings us good cheer. '*; Minced pies and plum porridge, Good ale and strong beer; With pig, goose and capon, The best that may be. So well doth the weather And our stomachs agree. Observe how the chimneys Do smoke all about, The cooks are providing For dinner, no doubt; But those on whose tables No victuals appear, ■ O, may they keep Lent All the rest of the year. With holly and ivy So green and so gay, We deck up our houses As fresh as the day; With bay and rosemary And laurel complete; And everyone now Is a king In conceit. —Poor Robin's Almanac. « A Fragment. Oh, well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there, My mother's silver spectacles, my fath er's silver hair; And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves. So dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves. And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me, Of the shadows on the household, and the son that went to sea; And, oh, the wicked fool I seemed, In every kind of way. ro be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessed Christmas day. —ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON. THE HALLOWED TIME. WHO'S THERE? THRICE WELCOME. CHRISTMAS AT SEA. « W THE SAX FRANCISCO CALL, SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1897. THE KING OF KINGS. "Shepherds, rejoice, lift up your eyes. And send your fears away. "News from the region of the skies! Salvation's born to-day. _ "Jesus, the God whom angels fear, Comes down to dwell with you; "To-day 1!.- makes lite entrance here, But not as monaichs do. "No gold, nor purple swaddling-bands. Nor royal shining things; "A manger for Hi** cradle stands And bolus the King of kings. "Go, shepherds, where the Infant lies, And see His humble throne:— "With tears of Joy in all your eyes Go, shepherds, kiss the Son." Thus Gabriel sang: and straight around The heavenly armies throng; They tune their harps to lofty sound, And thus conclude the song: "Glory to God that red — a above, Let peace surround the earth; Mortals shall know their Maker's love. At their Redeemer's birth." ■ Lord! and shall angels have their songs, And 'men no tunes to raise? ■ 3 may we lose these useles tongues When they forget to praise! Glory to God that reigns above, That pitied us forlorn! We* join to sing our ' Maker'- love— For there's a Baylor bprn. DR. ISAAC WATTS. a CHRISTMAS TREASURES, I count my treasures o'er with care— The little toy my darling knew, A little sock of faded hue, A little lock of golden hair. Long years ago this holy time. My little one my all to me — Sat robed in white upon my knee - And heard the merry Christmas chime. i "Tell me, my little golden head, if Santa Claus should come to-night, . What shall he bring my baby bright— ; What treasures for in;.* boy?" I said. And then he named this little toy, ;; While in his round and mournful eyes There came a look of sweet surprise, That spoke his quiet, trustful joy. ' And as he lisped his evening prayer He asked the boon with childish grace. Then, toddling to the chimney-place, ' He hung his little stocking there. - That night while lengthening shadows crept, I saw the white-winged angels come With singing to our lowly home And kiss my darling as he slept. They must have heard his little prayer, - For in the morn, with rapturous face. lie toddled to the chimney-place - And found his little treasure there. _-*■■■-■■__-■■■ —-**--» v-s>»«o •*____ They came again one Christmastide— That angel host, so fair and white! And singing all that glorious night. They lured my darling from my side. A little sock, a little toy; A little lock of golden hair, The Christmas music in the air, A watching for my baby boy! But if again that angel train, And golden head come back for me. To bear me to eternity. My watching will not be in vain. —EUGENE FIELD. ♦ BALLADE OF CHRISTMAS GHOSTS. Between the moonlight and . the fire In winter twilights lons ago. What ghosts we raised for your desire. To make your merry blood run slow! How old, how grave, how wise we grow! No Christmas ghost can make us chill. Save those that troop in mournful row, The ghosts we all can raise at will! rhe beasts ran talk In barn and byre On Christmas Eve, old legends know. A- year by year the years retire. We men fall silent then I trow. Such sights hath memory to show, v Such voices from the silence thrill. :'_-.:£ Such shapes return with Christmas snow — * The ghosts we all can raise at will. 3h, children of the village choir. Your carols on the midnight throw, ' Ml, bright across the mist and mire. Ye ruddy hearths of Christmas glow! Beat back the dread, beat down the woe, Let's cheerily descend the hill; ' Be welcome all. to come or go. The ghosts we all can raise at will! ENVOY, friend, sursam corda, soon or slow We part, like guests who've joyed their fill; Forget them not, nor mourn them so, The ghosts we all can raise at will. A. LANG. A HYMN TO THE NATIVITY. sing the birth was born to-night, rhe author, both of life and light; The angels so did sound it. .nd like the ravished shepherds said, ,Vho saw the light and were afraid, Yet searched, and true they found it. Ah.it comfort by Him do we win, .Vho made himself the price of sin, , To make us heirs of glory! !*o see this babe all innocence; V. martyr born in our defense; Can man forget the story? —BEN JONSON. AS IT FELL UPON A DAY. •* handsome hostess, merry host, ** pot of ale and now a toast, ' tobacco, and a good coal fire, Ire things this season doth require. —Poor Robin's Almanac. CHRISTMAS BELLS. The time draws near the birth of Christ: The moon is hid; the night is still; The Christmas bells from hill to hill Answer each other in the mist- Four voices of four hamlets round. From far and near, on mead and moor, Swell out and fall as if a door Were shut between me and the sound. Each voice four changes on the wind, That now dilate, and now decrease, Peace and good will, good will and peace, Peace and good will, to all mankind. This year I slept and .woke with pain, I almost wished no more to wake. And that my hold on life would break Before I heard those bells again. But they my troubled spirit mile. For they controlled me when a boy; They bring me sorrow touched with joy. The merry, merry bells of Yule. —TENNYSON. • .■ . * JEST TORE CHRISTMAS. Father' calls me William, sister calls me Will, Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill! Mighty glad 1 ain't a girl— ruther be a boy. Without them sashes, curls and things, that's worn by Fauntleroy! Love to chawnk green apples an' go Bwlmmin' in the lake — Hate to take the castor-ile they give for belly-ache! Most all the time, the whole year' round, there ain't no flies on me, But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as 1 kin be! Got a yeller dog named Sport, sick him on the cat; First thing she knows she don't know where she's at! Got a clipper sled, an' when us kids goes out to slide, 'Long comes the grocery cart, and we all hook a ride! But sometimes when the grocery man Is worrited an' cross. He reaches at us with his whip, an' lar rups up his boss, An' then I laff an*, holler, "Oh, ye never teched me!" But Jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be! " Gran'ma says she hopes that when I get to be a man, I'll be a missionarer like her oldest brother, Dan, As was et up by the cannibuls that lives in Ceylon's Isle, Where every prospeck pleases, an' only man is vile! But gran'ma she has never been to see a Wild .West show, Nor read the life of Daniel Boone or else I guess shed- know, Il_»- _M| i in That Buff 'lo Bill an' cowboys Is good enough for me! Excep' jest 'fore Christmas, when I'm good as 1 kin be! And then old Sport he hangs around, so solemn-like an' still, • His eyes they seem a-sayln'; "What's the matter, little Bill?" The old cat sneaks down off her perch Ml' wonders what's become Of them two enemies of hern that used to make things hum! But 1 am so perlite an' tend so earnestly to biz. That mother says to father: "How im proved our Willie Is!" But father, havin' been a boy hisself, suspicions me When jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be! For Christmas, with its lots an' lots of candies, cakes and toys. Was made, they say, for proper kids and not for naughty boys; So wash yer face an' bresh yer hair, an' mind yer p's and q's. And don't bust out yer pantaloons, and don't wear out yer shoes; Say "Y'essum" to the ladies, and "Yes - sur". to the men. An* when they's company, don't pass yer plate for pie again; But, thinkln' of the things yer'd like to see upon that tree", ' Just 'fore Christmas be as good as yer. kin be! —EUGENE FIELD. ♦ " THE MAHOGANY TREE. Christmas Is here. Winds whistle shrill, Icy and. chill. Little care we: Little we fear Weather without, Sheltered about The Mahogany tree. Sorrow begone! Life and its ills, Duns and their bills, Bid we to flee. Come with the dawn, Blue devil sprite. Leave us to-night Round the old tree. -THACKERAY. a ON CHRISTMAS DAY. Assist me, Muse divine! to sing " the morn On which the Savior of mankind was born; But, oh! what numbers to the theme can rise? . Unless kind angels aid me from the skies. —GEORGE WASHINGTON. A CHRISTMAS DITTY. Sweep the ingle, froth • the beer, Tiptoe on till chanticleer, Loose the laugh, dry the tear- Crack the drums I When Christmas comes! booooooooocooooooooooooooooooooooo'o I Pages 27 to 50 oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooco A VISIT FROM SANTA CLAUS. 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;. The stockings were hung by the chim ney with care. In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug In their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in 'kerchief, and I in my cap. Had just settled our brains for a long winter's n-yi — When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash. Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a luster of midday to objects be low; When, what to my wondering eye should appear. But miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein deer, With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew In a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled and shouted and called them by name: "Now. Dasher! Now, Dancer; now, Prancer, and Vixen! On, Comet! on Cupid! on Donder and Blitzen! To the top of • the porch, to the top ol the wall! * Now, dash away, dash away, dash away. all!" As dry leaves that before the wild hurri cane, fly. When they meet with an obstacle ' mount to the sky. So up to the house top the coursers they flew. With the sleigh full of toys— and St. . . Nicholas, too. And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head and was turning around, Down the chimney St- Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all In fur from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back. And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes how they twinkled! His dim ples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry; His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow. And the beard on his chin was as white I as. the snow. The stump of a pipe he held tight In his teeth, And the smoke It encircled his head like a wreath. He had. a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump— a right jolly old elf; And I laughed when' I saw him, in spite of . myself. A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word but went straight to his work. And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose. And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose. He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle; But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night." —CLEMENT C. MOORE. » THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM. As shadows cast by cloud and sun Flit o'er the summer grass, So, in thy sight, Almighty One! Earth's generations pass. And while the years, an endless host, Come pressing swiftly on The brightest names that earth can boast Just glisten, and are gone. Yet doth the Star of Bethlehem shed A luster pure and sweet, And still It looks, as sure It led, To the Messiah's feet. And deeply at this later day Our hearts rejoice to see How children, girded by Its ray, Come to the Savior's knee. D, Father, may that holy star, Grow every year more bright, _nd send its glorious beam afar, To fill the world with light. —WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.