Our American Holidays - Christmas/The Christmas Silence

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Hushed are the pigeons cooing low
   On dusty rafters of the loft;
   And mild-eyed oxen, breathing soft,
Sleep on the fragrant hay below.

Dim shadows in the corner hide;
   The glimmering lantern's rays are shed
   Where one young lamb just lifts his head,
Then huddles 'gainst his mother's side.

Strange silence tingles in the air;
   Through the half-open door a bar
   Of light from one low-hanging star
Touches a baby's radiant hair.

No sound: the mother, kneeling, lays
   Her cheek against the little face.
   Oh human love! Oh heavenly grace!
'Tis yet in silence that she prays!

Ages of silence end to-night;
   Then to the long-expectant earth
   Glad angels come to greet His birth
In burst of music, love, and light!