Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/211

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183
THE END OF THE PLAY

So each shall mourn, in life's advance,
  Dear hopes, dear friends, untimely killed;
Shall grieve for many a forfeit chance,
  And longing passion unfulfilled.
Amen ! — whatever fate be sent,
  Pray God the heart may kindly glow.
Although the head with cares be bent.
  And whitened with the winter snow!

Come wealth or want, come good or ill,
  Let young and old accept their part,
And bow before the awful will.
  And bear it with an honest heart.
Who misses or who wins the prize.
  Go, lose or conquer, as you can;
But if you fail, or if you rise.
  Be each, pray God, a gentleman!

A gentleman, or old or young!
  (Bear kindly with my humble lays;)
The sacred chorus first was sung
  Upon the first of Christmas days;
The shepherds heard it overhead,—
  The joyful angels raised it then:
"Glory to Heaven on high," it said,
  "And peace on earth to gentle men!"

My song, save this, is little worth;
  I lay the weary pen aside.
And wish you health and love and mirth,
  As fits the solemn Christmas-tide.