EVE, SOUTH, 1865
Reigns throughout our once fair land,
And he wields no fancy sceptre,
In his iron-covered hand.
Stifled sighs our hearts are rending,
Thanks for peace-with want contending.
Widows, orphans, homeless, dreary,
Call in vain for earthly aid,-
There is rest for all the weary,
On Him, let your cares be stayed.
He his helpless ones protecting,
Who abideth his directing.
'Tis the merry Christmas even,
Hallowed throughout all the earth;
Angels, too, rejoice in Heaven,
O'er the blessed Saviour's birth.
Yet many are sad vigils keeping
For those who all unknown are sleeping.
Children hush their eager voices,
They by instinct seem to feel,
That the heart which now rejoices
Must, indeed, be cased in steel.
Yet still they turn with bitter sighing,
To where their little socks are lying.
"Mother! mother! darling mother!
Please don't weep so any more;
We are left you, I and brother,
We don't care if we are poor.
Now, mother, darling, stop your weeping,
And kiss us ere we both are sleeping."
Rosy sleep at last has bound them;
Now they revel in their dreams;
"Santa Claus" now hovers round them,
Showering o'er them fairy gleams
Darlings, what is life but dreaming?
Grasp a pleasure-'tis but seeming.
Mother! kneel in adoration,
That thou hast some comfort left;
Send forth, now, thy invocation
For the sad of all bereft.
With faith in God, in Christ believing,
For Heaven is real, and earth deceiving.