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A bright and joyous welcome to the berries and the leaves That hang about our household walls in dark and rustling
sheaves ! Up with the holly and the bay, set laurel on the board, And let the mistletoe look down while pledging draughts
are poured. But there must be some hallowed bloom to garland with
the rest ;All, all must bring toward the wreath some flowers of the
breast. For though green boughs may thickly grace low root and
palace dome, Warm hearts alone will truly serve to deck a Christmas
Then fill once more, from Bounty's store, red wine, or nut
brown foam, And drink to honest hearts within an English Christmas home.
SPEAK gently! it is better far
To rule by love than fear;
The good we might do here.
Speak gently! Love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind ;
Affection's voice is kind.
Speak gently to the little child
Its love be sure to gain ;
It may not long remain.
Speak gently to the young, for they
Will have enough to bear:
Pass through this life as best they may,
'Tis full of anxious care.
Speak gently to the aged one-
Grieve not the care-worn heart; The sands of life are nearly run--
Let such in peace depart.
Speak gently, kindly to the poor
Let no harsh tone be heard ;
Without an unkind word.
Speak gently to the erring-know
They must have toiled in vain: Perchance unkindness made them so-
Oh, win them back again !
Speak gently! He who gave His life
To bend man's stubborn will, When elements were in fierce strife,
Said to them, “ Peace! be still."
Speak gently !-'tis a little thing,
Dropped in the heart's deep well ;The good, the joy which it may bring, Eternity shall tell.
A CHEAP BUT PRECIOUS TREASURE.
THERE's not a cheaper thing on earth,
Nor yet one half so dear-'Tis better than distinguished birth,
Or thousands gained a year. It lends the day a new delight;
'Tis virtue’s firmest shield ; It adds more beauty to the night
Than all the stars can yield.
It maketh poverty content ;
To sorrow whispers peace ;
For mortals to increase.
It lulls you to repose ;
An everlasting rose !
As smiles the rainbow through the cloud,
When threatening storm begins ;
Its way in sweetness wins ;
Where waves conflicting foam--
This angel of our home!
What may this wondrous spirit be
This power unheard beforeThis charm, this bright divinity ?
Good TEMPER! nothing more! Good Temper ! 'tis the choicest gift
That woman homeward brings, And can the poorest peasant lift To bliss unknown to kings.
THE DYING CHILD.
"O MOTHER ! what brings music here ?
Now listen to the song,
The night winds bear along !”
"My child, I only hear the wind,
As with a mournful sound
And strews their leaves around.”
And dimmer grew his heavy eyes,
His face more deadly fair ;
His book of infant prayer.
“I know it now, my mother dear,-
That song for me is given ;
L. E. LANDON.
THE MOTHER PRAYING.
SEE, in yon chamber's dim recesses,
other Look with those rapt looks, save a mother? That bosom, which seems nigh the bursting, Yon child was suckled, nestled, nursed in ; That heart,—to God outpoured and offered, Death, for her son, hath three times suffered. Oh! of all mortal pangs, there's nought So dreadful as the death of thought ! He wakes-he smiles-looks up-and there He rises--God hath heard her prayer !
Whilst she, 'twixt sobbing, tears, and shrieking,
THE CHILD AND THE DEW-DROPS.
“O FATHER, dear father, why pass they away,
My child,” said the father, “look up to the skies, Behold yon bright rainbow, those beautiful dyes ; There, there are the dew-drops in glory reset, – 'Mid the jewels of heaven they are glittering yet ! Then are we not taught by each beautiful ray, To mourn not for beauty, though fleeting away ? For though youth of its brightness and beauty be riven, All that withers on earth blooms more brightly in heaven.
Alas for the father! how little knew he
J. E. CARPENTER.