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The mutual nod,—the grave disguise

Of hearts with gladness brimming o'er ; And some unbidden tears that rise

For names once heard, and heard no more ; Tears brightened by the serenade For infant in the cradle laid.

Ah! not for emerald fields alone,

With ambient streams more pure and bright Than fabled Cytherea's zone

Glittering before the Thunderer's sight,
Is to my heart of hearts endeared
The ground where we were born and reared !

Hail, ancient Manners ! sure defence,

Where they survive, of wholesome laws;
Remnants of love whose modest sense

Thus into narrow room withdraws;
Hail, Usages of pristine mould,
And ye that guard them, Mountains old !

Bear with me, Brother! quench the thought

That slights this passion, or condemns;
If thee fond Fancy ever brought

From the proud margin of the Thames,
And Lambeth's venerable towers,
To humbler streams and greener bowers.

Yes, they can make, who fail to find,

Short leisure even in busiest days:
Moments, to cast a look behind,

And profit by those kindly rays
That through the clouds do sometimes steal,
And all the far-off past reveal.

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The shepherds went their hasty way,

And found the lowly stable shed
Where the virgin mother lay:

And now they checked their eager tread,
For, to the babe that at her bosom clung,
A mother's song the virgin mother sung.

They told her how a glorious light,

Streaming from a heavenly throng,
Around them shone, suspending night!

While, sweeter than a mother's song,
Blest angels heralded the Saviour's birth,
Glory to God on high! and peace on earth.

She listened to the tale divine,

And closer still the babe she pressed : And while she cried, the babe is mine!

The milk rushed faster to her breast :

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Joy rose within her, like a summer's morn;
Peace, peace on earth! the Prince of Peace is born.

Thou mother of the Prince of Peace,

Poor, simple, and of low estate,
That strife should vanish, battle cease,

O why should this thy soul elate ?
Sweet music's loudest note, the poet's story,-
Didst thou ne'er love to hear of fame and glory?

And is not war a youthful king,

A stately hero clad in mail? Beneath his footsteps laurels spring ;

Him earth's majestic monarchs hail Their friend, their playmate ! and his bold bright eye Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.

“Tell this in some more courtly scene,

To maids and youths in robes of state!
I am a woman poor and mean,

And, therefore, is my soul elate.
War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled,
That from the aged father tears his child !

“A murderous fiend, by fiends adored,

He kills the sire and starves the son ; The husband kills, and from her board

Steals all his widow's toil had won ? Plunders God's world of beauty; rends away All safety from the night, all comfort from the day.

“ Then wisely is my soul elate,

That strife should vanish, battle cease :


I’m poor and of a low estate,

The mother of the Prince of Peace, Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn: Peace, peace on earth, the Prince of Peace is born."



() LOVELY voices of the sky,

That hymned the Saviour's birth!
Are ye not singing still on high,

Ye that sang, “ Peace on earth ?”
To us yet speak the strains,

Wherewith, in days gone by,
Ye blessed the Syrian swains,

O voices of the sky!

O clear and shining light, whose beams

That hour heaven's glory shed
Around the palms, and o’er the streams,

And on the shepherds' head;
Be near, through life and death,

As in that holiest night
Of Hope, and Joy, and Faith,

() clear and shining light!

O star which led to Him, whose love

Brought down man's ransom free;
Where art thou?—’midst the hosts above,

May we still gaze on thee?

In heaven thou art not set,

Thy rays earth might not dimSend them to guide us yet!

() star which led to Him!



Though rude winds usher thee, sweet day,

Though clouds thy face deform,
Though nature's grace is swept away

Before thy sleety storm ;
E’en in thy sombrest wintry vest,
Of blessed days thou art most blest.

Nor frigid air nor gloomy morn

Shall check our jubilee;
Bright is the day when Christ was born,

No sun need shine but He;
Let roughest storms their coldest blow,
With love of Him our hearts shall glow.

Inspired with high and holy thought,

Fancy is on the wing ;
It seems as to mine ear it brought

Those voices carolling:
Voices through heaven and earth that ran,
Glory to God, good-will to man.

I see the shepherds gazing wild

At those fair spirits of light;

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