Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/111

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83
CHRISTMAS EVE

          "Ring out, ye crystal spheres,
          And bless our human ears,
If ye have power to touch our senses so;
          And let your silver chime
          Move in melodious time;
And let the bass of heaven's deep organ blow;
And, with your ninefold harmony,
Make up full concert to the angelic symphony.

          "For, if such holy song
          Enwrap our fancy long,
Time will run back and fetch the age of gold;
          And speckled vanity
          Will sicken soon and die,
And leprous sin will melt from earthly mold;
And hell itself will pass away,
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.

..........

          "The oracles are dumb,
          No voice or hideous hum
Runs through the archéd roof in words deceiving;
          Apollo from his shrine
          Can no more divine
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving,
No nightly trance or breathéd spell
Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.

          "The lonely mountains o'er,
          And the resounding shore,
A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;
          From haunted spring, and dale
          Edgéd with poplars pale,
The parting genius is with sighing sent;
With flower-enwoven tresses torn,
The nymphs in twilight shades of tangled thickets mourn."