BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

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

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146                              THE BOOK OF CHRISTMAS.
Through many a long and lonely day, Come back upon the dreaming ear, From grave-lands, far away; And gleams look forth, of spirit-eyes, Like stars along the darkening skies ! When fancy and the lark are still— Those riders of the morning gale ! And walks the moon o'er vale and hill, With memory and the nightingale;— The moon that is the daylight's ghost (As memory is the ghost of hope), And holds a lamp to all things lost Beneath night's solemn cope, Pale as the light by memory led Along the cities of the dead !
Alas, for thee ! alas for thine ! Thy youth that is no longer young ! Whose heart, like Delphi's ruined shrine, Gives oracles—oh ! still divine !— But never more in song ! Whose breast, like Echo's haunted hall, Is filled with murmurs of the past, Ere yet its " gold was dim," and all Its " pleasant things" laid waste! From whose sweet windows never more Shall look the sunny soul of yore!
Farewell!—I do not bid thee weep,— ' The smile and tear are past for thee; The river of thy thoughts must keep Its solemn course, too still and deep For idle eyes to see ! Oh ! earthly things are all too far To throw their shadows o'er its stream !— But, now and then, a silver star, And, now and then, a gleam Of glory from the skies be given, To light its waves with dreams of heaven !
To the out-door sports of this merry time, which arise out of the natural phenomena of the season itself, we need do no more than allude here,—because every school-boy knows far more about them than we are now able to tell him—though we too reckoned them all amidst the delights of our boyhood. The rapid
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