On Christmas Eve, in this dim room,
There drifts across the deepening gloom
The faint, old fashioned, spicy scent
Of mistletoe and holly blent;
And while the cheery wood-fire burns,
She whom I loved and lost returns
To sit beside me,--soft and low,
I hear the voice which, long ago,
Around my heart a spell did weave,
When life was young on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Eve I see the pond,
And from the hollow woods beyond,
Comes echoing back the skaters' glee
As happy sweethearts swinging free,
In rhythmic stroke and graceful curve
Across the crystal surface swerve.
O eyes of blue! O curls of brown!
O streaming scarf! O fluttering gown!
How doth your lover lonely grieve
When all are glad on Christmas Eve!
On Christmas Eve, along the street
The people pass on eager feet,
With gifts to greet the gladsome morn
Of that blest day when Christ was born.
Each to his own will cry, "Take this!"
And each will share the smile, the kiss,
While I alone shall try, thro' tears,
To count the sad and sombre years
Since that dark day when thou didst leave
This world all cold, on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Eve I envy not
The laughing ones, whose happier lot
It is to join the scenes of mirth,
And cry, rejoicing, "Peace on earth!"
Some day I feel I too shall win
My Father's house, and enter in;
For by the portal she doth bide,
Robed and expectant as a bride;
Then all her love I will receive,
In God's good time on Christmas Eve.