A Christmas Carol.

Noël, Noël, Noël, Noël !1
To-night strange news we have to tell.2
Three wandering merchantmen we be,3
Come to you from a far countree.4
The world is wide from sea to sea,5
Many as sands its wonders be ;6
But never sailor’s tongue can tell7
Of stranger goods than these we sell.8
With scented woods in far Cathay9
The merchants traffic day by day,10
With carven ivory, ball in ball,11
Tables of teak and jade-beads small.12
The hunters from the chase come back,13
Where their own blood has made the track,14
With tiger-claws and tiger-hide,—15
The world is rich, the world is wide.16
But we three merchants have to sell17
A thing more warm than wild beast’s fell,18
A thing more rich than teak or jade,19
Fairer than toys for princes made.20
Here in a carven box lies hid21
A secret Egypt’s pyramid22
Were all too poor to buy, a thing23
By beggars sought, scorned by a king.24
Who to this casket puts his ear25
The singing of the stars shall hear ;26
And under those strong melodies27
He shall hear, too, a Baby’s cries.28
Who to this casket kneels to see29
What secret in its clasp may be,30
Shall see the shining of a star31
Brighter than those which flame afar.32
The bounds of time shall break, and he33
A night in Nazareth shall be,34
And seek the manger manifest,35
To see God on His mother’s breast.36
Ages ago such sight we sought,37
And beyond space and time were brought38
To roam the world as merchants three,39
Bearing for sale this mystery.40
The world is fair, the world is wide,41
The strong men perish in their pride :42
The world spins on, and all is well43
Noël, Noël, Noël, Noël !44