Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/177

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149
CHRISTMAS BELLS

But nought o'er the wintry plain had passed
  To tell that the Lord was there!
The oak and the olive and almond were still,
  In the night now worn and thin;
No wind of the winter-time roared from the hill
  To waken the guests at the inn;
    No dream to them the music tells
    That is to come from the Christmas Bells!

The years that have fled like the leaves on the gate
  Since the morn of the Miracle-Birth,
Have widened the fame of the marvellous tale
  Till the tidings have filled the earth!
And so in the climes of the icy North,
  And the lands of the cane and the palm,
By the Alpine cotter's blazing hearth,
  And in tropic belts of calm,
    Men list to-night the welcome swells,
    Sweet and clear, of Christmas Bells!

They are ringing to-night through the Norway firs,
  And across the Swedish fells,
And the Cuban palm-tree dreamily stirs
  To the sound of those Christmas Bells!
They ring where the Indian Ganges rolls
  Its flood through the rice-fields wide;
They swell the far hymns of the Lapps and Poles