Christmas-time at the farm. Reuben Lee and his wife,
Fair Rose, and our grave lawyer son,
Have gathered. Moist, stealthy eyes go
To the cap in the hall and the gun.
Farmer Grey and his wife draw nigh to the hills
From whence the far Glory streams over,
Ere the night-shadows come and hide them a while
Under myrtle and roses and clover.
Still mother-eyes watch, tho their sparkle is dim,
Still a voice for the wanderer pleads,
Tho tremulous tones break chapter and verse,
As the Prodigal's story he reads.
And now, as the children come back to the hearth,
He bids them in silence draw nigh,
That, gathered again, he may give hearty thanks
To their Master and Sovereign on high:
"God bless you, my children, and keep you His own!"
"And I, O my father, bless me."
Ha! who is this soldier, with medal and strap,
Who kneels by the patriarch's knee?
Thy blessing, O father; take home the black sheep,
Let it into the dear fold again,
Where the sunshine of love and the dew of thy prayers
Shall bid it grow white from its stain.