BETA

Household Christmas Carols.

Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest.”

Chorus.

Bright thoughts and hopes are now awake,1
As constant as the circling years ;2
They penetrate each grief, and make3
A golden radiance of our tears.4
In that confused, yet heavenly shrine,5
The soul unearthly music hears ;6
The Eastern Star sheds rays divine7
On our afflictions and our fears ;8
And now amidst a gleaming halo stands9
The Infant Christ—and stretches forth his hands !10

THE LAME CHILD’S CAROL.

To the chords of the harp,11
And the warbling of the flute,12
The merry tambourine,13
And the beat of shoe and boot14
In the drawing-room, the parlour,15
The alms-house, or the street,16
Oh, what joy it always is to me17
To see those dancing feet !18
The ball-room is all brightness !19
I sit and watch the throng ;20
My spirit, with their lightness,21
Bounds happily along ;22
The village school-room strives to shine23
With candles prim and small !24
But oh, what beaming faces25
Light up the whitewashed wall !26
Then dance, my loving playmates,27
Like birds upon the wing,28
Flit by me—whirl around me—29
While I sit here, and sing.30

Chorus.

Bright sunny hopes are now awake,31
As constant as the circling years ;32
They penetrate each grief, and make33
A golden radiance of our tears,34

THE DEAF CHILD’S CAROL.

Sing, happy children, standing in a row35
With smiling rosy cheeks, and hand in hand ;36
When the voice answers to the full heart’s flow,37
Mine sings within—and I can understand.38
’Tis now three Christmas Eves since I have lost39
All sense of sound—in constant silence dwelling ;40
But in my soul I hear, in tones august,41
The wonders that the earth and heavens are
telling.
42
Sun, stars, and moons, and oceans fathomless ;43
Man’s generations—seed, and grass, and corn ;44
All these are hymned ; but in its happiness,45
The heart hears angels sing, that “ Christ was
born !
46
So, will I gaze upon each emblem holy,47
And at the festive board, or merry game,48
In sympathy absorb all melancholy49
And loving thoughts to joyful visions frame.50

Chorus.

Bright sunny hopes are now awake,51
As constant as the circling years ;52
They penetrate each grief, and make53
A golden radiance of our tears.54

THE DEFORMED CHILD’S CAROL.

There was a gentle steadfast gleam55
Upon the morning sky,56
Which shone across a stable door,57
With shepherds standing by.58
And wise old men were also there,59
With beards that downward flowed,60
And folded turbans on their heads,61
And staves, o’er which they bowed.62
The shepherds were of manly grace,63
Their limbs of finest mould,64
And noble were those field-born fronts,65
Sun-brent to swarthy gold.66
The stable-door was open wide,—67
Within ’ twas dusky dim,68
Save that a circle of soft rays69
Glowed to a low-breathed hymn.70
It shone around an Infant’s head ;71
And to its Mother’s voice72
The glory seemed to palpitate,73
And tell me to rejoice.74
I turned unto those shepherd men,75
Of matchless thews and bone,76
So lordly in their grace and strength—77
And they were kneeling down !78
I turned to see those old, wise men,79
The wisest of the land ;80
And all of them were kneeling, too—81
Bowed head—and upraised hand !82
Another, and a greater strength83
To cope with earth’s sad storms84
Another, and a wiser lore,85
Smiled in that Mother’s arms.86
And shall not I, with these frail limbs,87
This framework of poor earth,88
Rejoice with inward grace and strength89
At my great Teacher’s birth ?90

Chorus.

Bright sunny hopes are now awake,91
As constant as the circling years ;92
They penetrate each grief, and make93
A golden radiance of our tears.94

THE DEAF AND DUMB CHILD’S CAROL.

I cannot speak, I cannot hear,95
But I can feel and think,96
And mine eyes are filled with the joyfulness97
That hand to hand doth link,—98
While round and round99
The dancers bound,100
And laugh and shout—and I see the sound,101
Though silent to me102
All the noise and the glee103
Of the dance, the round-game, and revelry.104
Something within me struggles oft105
My happiness to tell in sounds ;106
Words—words—I strive to shout, or waft,107
Along the room—across the grounds108
And o’er the snow109
As my playmates go ;110
But though ’ tis in vain since the day of my birth,111
The voice of my mind112
Is ne’er left behind,113
And cries welcome Christmas and all its good mirth !114
The faces laugh in the red fire light !115
Fingers, looks, actions, all speak to me ;116
Antics and fun make a merry night,117
Till I fancy I hear the low hum of a sea,—118
A murmur and rush119
Though it ends in a hush,120
And tell me there’s something outside of my ears ;121
But my life ’ s in my eyes122
Oh, thank God for the prize !123
Which I carol at Christmas as year rolls on years !124

Chorus.

Bright sunny hopes are now awake,125
As constant as the circling years ;126
They penetrate each grief, and make127
A golden radiance of our tears.128

THE BLIND CHILD’S CAROL.

My life is in the night129
The never-ending night130
But my soul is not in darkness,131
And hath a starry flight.132
My nights are like my days133
All never ending days134
And to me a constant morning135
Of heaven-enfolding rays.136
To me the sun and shade137
Are of one substance made,138
And one eternal glory139
Which ne’er can fail or fade,140
For on my close-seal’d eyes141
Hath Christ, in all things wise,142
Reversed the common miracle—143
And given me inward skies.144
Therein His form I trace,145
In all it’s Infant grace ! —146
And pictures of His sufferings147
For all the human race !148
Therein, I recognise149
Earth’s littleness of size,—150
And all the planet-nations151
Whom Love will Christianise.152

Chorus.

Bright thoughts and hopes are now awake,153
As constant as the circling years ;154
They penetrate each grief, and make155
A golden radiance of our tears.156

THE SICK CHILD’S CAROL.

You say I do not look so pale to-day,157
But in my cheek158
A rose-leaf tint begins to bloom and play,159
And I am not so weak.160
It is because I see you all161
So happy at the feast—the ball162
The merry-making in the hall.163
And Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, to me164
Are very dear ;165
They bring a bright and wondering memory166
Of one delightful year.167
I look back through my little span,168
And thinking how its joys began169
Forget how thin and changed I am.170
They led me—I was then a little child171
Through a dark door,172
Into a room all hung with branches wild,173
With lights upon the floor ;174
And lights above—in front—behind175
So bright they almost made me blind,176
While other sights confused my mind.177
It was the splendour of a Christmas Tree !178
With fruits thick hung,179
And glittering pictures, lights, and spanglery,180
The dark fir boughs among.181
While soft-toned music came—and went182
I cried in joy’s bewilderment,183
This Tree I ’ m sure from heaven was sent ! 184

Chorus.

Bright sunny hopes are now awake,185
As constant as the circling years ;186
They penetrate each grief, and make187
A golden radiance of our tears.188

THE HEALTHY CHILD’S CAROL.

Come hither, dear playmates,189
Let’s rove hand in hand,190
And some shall be carried,191
And others be led.192
You can speak with eyes—fingers—193
We all understand,194
And away we will go195
To the frosty upland,196
Where the sun shines like gold197
On the roof of the shed.198
There, the long row of sliders199
Go down the keen slide !200
There, others are building201
A huge man of snow !202
While yonder a crowd,203
Half-way down the hill side,204
A great snow-ball battle205
Are now to decide,206
And all the fresh faces207
Are sharp and a-glow.208
Now come home—draw the curtains,209
More coals, and a log ! —210
Clear the room for the forfeits,211
The dance, and the game ;212
Horace promised to gallop213
Thrice round like a dog,214
And Virgil will show215
His proud fear of “the frog,”216
While we all look like ghosts217
In the snap-dragon’s flame.218
The green holly-boughs,219
With their berries so red,220
Adorn the bright room221
Where the feast is set out ;222
Ah, this is a night223
When we can’t go to bed,224
For no one could sleep225
While such mirth fills his head,226
With troops of gay fancies227
All dancing about.228
Now all clasp your hands229
At the treasure all find,230
That He whose Nativity231
Angels now quire,232
Gave help to the weak,233
In the strength of the mind,234
Bidding those who are strong235
To be loving and kind,236
When the holly-boughs sparkle237
And blaze in the fire !238

Chorus.

Bright thoughts and hopes are now awake,239
As constant as the circling years ;240
They penetrate each grief, and make241
A golden radiance of our tears.242
In that confused, yet heavenly shrine,243
The soul unearthly music hears ;244
The Eastern Star sheds rays divine245
On our afflictions and our fears ;246
And now amidst a gleaming halo stands247
The Infant Christ—and stretches forth his hands !248