Reprint of this story from the December 25, 1903 issue of The Grand Encampment Herald brought to you courtesy of Grandma’s Cabin, Encampment, Wyoming. Preserving History - Serving the Community.
I LEAN back in my arm-chair as the snow-flakes soft and white
Clothe the hilltops and the valleys in habiliments of white.
While the cutting winds of winter send their music far and wide,
Disputing with the mellow bells the joys of Christmas tide;
I seem to catch the echoes of the songs they sing on high,
Beyond the mystic beauty of December’s vaulted sky,
And again is told the story of the Christ-child a humble birth,
As I sit and, eager, listen by the dear old Christmas hearth.
THERE’s music in the steeples, there are chimes deep in the dells,
And the wild winds mingle gladly with the holy Christmas bells,
And I look beyond the window on the beauty of the snow.
Recalling some sweet Christmas’s in life fair “long-ago”;
What scenes come floating back along the winding ways of Time,
Like, the fragrance of the flowers of an ever cherished clime;
Till my chamber fills with faces and I hear the sounds of mirth
That brighten with infectious glee the happy Christmas hearth.
I SEE six little stockings hanging in a pretty row,
We hung them round this cherished hearth one twilight long ago,
And we laughed and nestled closer ‘neath the old roof-tree of home,
And hardly slept for watching for old Santa Claus to come;
I remember, and who does not, how the sunny Christmas morn
Reveals the wealth of treasure from the doll to drum and horn—
How the house was filled with laughter till it seemed to shake the earth,
While brighter glowed the fire upon the old Christmas hearth.
TODAY there seems to come across the fleecy snow
The beauty and the glory of that Christmas long ago.
When shepherds watched their gentle flocks upon the hills afar,
In the heaven-tinted splendor of the East’s transcendent star;
I see a mother bend above a matchless cherub face,
And a radiance not earthly drives the shadows from the place;
Till Judea wakes to glory and new beauty crowns the earth,
And the choristers of Heaven sing about my Christmas hearth.
OLD Time seems in his dotage and upon his tresses white
Lie the snowflakes of a Christmas that has filled me with delight;
Far and wide the bells are ringing, and their music, glad and free,
Tells the story of His coming on the land and on the sea;
And mingled with their anthems is that chorus all divine
That filled a mother’s heart with joy one night In Palestine;
And I bow my head a moment as the children check their mirth,
And silence comes to sanctify the dear old Christmas hearth.
I BLESS the glorious dawning of this queenly winter day,
It brings to all a gladness from a region far away.
And while the bells are ringing over all this beauteous earth
I bless the loves that cluster round the dear old Christmas hearth.