A Carol For My Son.

Didst thou mount, my son, and ride1
By the river’s swelling tide,2
With the old Chaldean sages ?3
Trace the Fountain to its birth,4
Where it bubbles from the earth5
In the hoary mist of ages ?6
Hast thou knelt a moment there,7
Doffed thy bonnet for a prayer,8
And, before thy King discrowned thee ?9
Caught the accents of the hymn10
Warbled in the twilight dim,11
By the Angels all around thee ?12
Didst thou glance within the shrine,13
Where on straw, among the kine,14
Lies the Babe—the Lord of Glory ?15
Then thy favoured ears have heard16
The divine, eternal Word17
Key-note of thine own strange story.18
Thou thyself the rhythmic rune19
Murmured low, while sun and moon20
Light thee to thine hour appointed21
Mystic utterance, crooned in time,22
Where they sing the cradling rime23
While He sleeps—the Lord’s Anointed !24
O fulfil thyself aright !25
Round thee lies the Infinite !26
Roam at will—the land before thee ;27
Live—and should thy life star pale,28
Here within the mother’s veil,29
May the Infant Christ restore thee !30


These be Christmas meditations,31
As its joyous celebrations32
Fade into the shadows gray ;33
Up, my spritely cavalier !34
Blithely greet the maiden year,35
Coming up the eastern way.36