BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

The Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling,
And Festivities Of The Christmas Season.

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INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER.
5
make it the true and solemn symbol of him—the old unresting and unreturning one—who receded not, even when that same shadow went back on the dial of the king of Judah, nor paused when the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and the moon lingered over the valley of Ajalon ! Of that mysterious type and its awful morals, a lost friend of ours* has already spoken better than we can hope to speak !—and as he is (" alas ! that he is so !") already one whose "sun shall no more go down, neither shall his moon withdraw itself,"—we will avail ourselves of a language which deserves to be better known,—and sounds all the more solemnly, that he who uttered it hath since furnished in his own person, a fresh Verification of tire solemn truths which he sung so well.
" Upon a dial-stone, Behold the shade of Time, For ever circling, on and on In silence more sublime Than if the thunders of the spheres Pealed forth its march to mortal ears !
" It meets us hour by hour, Doles out our little span, Reveals a presence and a power Felt and confessed by man ;— The drop of moments, day by day, That rocks of ages wear away.
" Woven by a hand unseen, Upon that stone, survey A robe of dark, sepulchral green, The mantle of decay,— The fold of chill oblivion's pall, That falleth with yon shadow's fall!
"Day is the time for toil,—
- Night balms the weary breast,— Stars have'their vigils,—seas, awhile, Will sink to peaceful rest;— But round and round the shadow creeps Of that which slumbers not—nor sleeps .
* The late John Malcolm, of Edinburgh.
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