Mary Eliza Tucker Lambert


Laughing, merry, childish voices, woke us in their eager glee,
When the rosy blush of morning in the east we scarce could see:
Surely, ne'er a Christmas morning was so cold and drear as this;
Can it be our hearts are frozen with the sere frost's icy kiss?
Ah, stern want and desolation has a heavy, heavy hand,
And no mirth should ever issue from beneath the iron band.
Now the voices draw still nearer-bless the children, all are here!
"Mother, don't weep, they won't mind it; oh, God help thee, mother, dear!"
One by one they took their stockings, gazed upon the store, then turned:
"Sissie," said the bravest rebel, "did Santee have his cotton burned?"
"Hush, hush, Buddie; don't say nothing; just see how poor mamma cries."
Now the repentant Buddy to his mother's bedside hies-
"I'm so sorry, mother, darling: when I'm grown you shan't be poor;
I'll write for the Yankee papers, that will make us rich once more."
Off I turned to hide my feelings-feelings deep by care refined,-
Ah! my child, like sister Annie's, your poor piece may be declined.
Ah, there is some joy in sorrow! in the door two freed-men creep:
"Christmas gif, ole Mis, Mis Annie-why, what fur you white folks weep?
All dis time you give us Christmas; now, we going to give to you:
Here, old Missus, here, Miss Annie-children, here's your Christmas, too!"
In black bosoms true love lingers, deeply by our kindness riven,
And the tender tie that binds us, can be severed save by heaven.
O'er the day that dawned so sadly, that kind act a ray imparts,
And we grasp the sunbeam gladly, for it cheers our aching hearts.