Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/210

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Pray Heaven that early love and truth
  May never wholly pass away.

And in the world as in the school
  I'd say how fate may change and shift,
The prize be sometimes to the fool,
  The race not always to the swift:
The strong may yield, the good may fall,
  The great man be a vulgar clown,
The knave be lifted over all,
  The kind cast pitilessly down.

Who knows the inscrutable design?
  Blessed be He who took and gave !
Why should your mother, Charles, not mine,
  Be weeping at her darling's grave?
We bow to Heaven that willed it so.
  That darkly rules the fate of all,
That sends the respite or the blow.
  That's free to give or to recall.

This crowns his feast with wine and wit,—
  Who brought him to that mirth and state?
His betters, see, below him sit.
  Or hunger hopeless at the gate !
Who bade the mud from Dives's wheel
  To spurn the rags of Lazarus?
Come, brother, in that dust we'll kneel,
  Confessing Heaven that ruled it thus.