Dinah Maria Mulock Craik (20 April 1826 - 12 October 1887 / Stoke-on-Trent / England)
The First Waits
A MEDITATION FOR ALL.
SO, Christmas is here again!--
While the house sleeps, quiet as death,
'Neath the midnight moon comes the Waits' shrill tune,
And we listen and hold our breath.
The Christmas that never was--
On this foggy November air,
With clear pale gleam, like the ghost of a dream,
It is painted everywhere.
The Christmas that might have been--
It is borne in the far-off sound,
Down the empty street, with the tread of feet
That lie silent underground.
The Christmas that yet may be--
Like the Bethlehem star, leads kind:
Yet our life slips past, hour by hour, fast, fast,
Few before--and many behind.
The Christmas we have and hold,
With a tremulous tender strain,
Half joy, half fears--Be the psalm of the years,
'Grief passes, blessings remain!'
The Christmas that sure will come,
Let us think of, at fireside fair;--
When church bells sound o'er one small green mound,
Which the neighbors pass to prayer.
The Christmas that God will give,--
Long after all these are o'er,
When is day nor night, for the LAMB is our Light,
And we live forevermore.
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