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1875

CHRISTMAS IN 1875

by William Cullen Bryant

CHRISTMAS IN 1875 -

No trumpet-blast profaned

The hour in which the Prince of Peace was born;

No bloody streamlet stained

Earth's silver rivers on that sacred morn;

Buto'er the peaceful plain

The war-horse drew the peasant's loaded wain. -

The soldier had laid by

The sword and stripped the corselet from his breast

And hung his helm on high-

The sparrow's winter home and summer nest;

Andwith the same strong hand

That flung the barbed spearhe tilled the land. -

Ohtime for which we yearn;

Ohsabbath of the nations long foretold!

Season of peacereturn

Like a late summer when the year grows old

When the sweet sunny days

Steeped mead and mountain-side in golden haze. -

For now two rival kings

Flaunto'er our bleeding landtheir hostile flags

And every sunrise brings

The hovering vulture from his mountain-crags

To where the battle-plain

Is strewn with deadthe youth and flower of Spain. -

Christ is not comewhile yet

O'er half the earth the threat of battle lowers

And our own fields are wet

Beneath the battle-cloudwith crimson showers-

The life-blood of the slain

Poured out where thousands die that one may reign. -

Soonover half the earth

In every temple crowds shall kneel again

To celebrate His birth

Who brought the message of good-will to men

And bursts of joyous song

Shall shake the roof above the prostrate throng. -

Christ is not comewhile there

The men of blood whose crimes affront the skies

Kneel down in act of prayer

Amid the joyous strainsand when they rise

Go forthwith sword and flame

To waste the land in His most holy name. -

Ohwhen the day shall break

O'er realms unlearned in warfare's cruel arts

And all their millions wake

To peaceful tasks performed with loving hearts

On such a blessed morn

Well may the nations say that Christ is born. - -

THE END




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