by Mrs. M. E. Sangster
We had gone to the forest for holly and pine,
.. And gathered our arms full of cedar,
And home we came skipping, our garlands to twine,
.. With Marcus, the bold, for our leader.
The dear Mother said we might fix up the place,
.. And ask all the friends to a party;
So joy, you may fancy, illumined each face
.. And our manners were cordial and hearty.
But whom should we have? There were Sally and Fred,
.. And Martha and Luke and Leander;
There was Jack, a small boy with a frowsy red head,
.. And the look of an old salamander.
There was Dickie, who went to a college up town,
.. And Archie, who worked for the neighbors;
There were Timothy Parsons and Anthony Brown,
.. Old fellows, of street-cleaning labors.
And then sister had friends like the lilies so fair,
.. Sweet girls with white hands and soft glances;
At a frolic of ours these girls must be there,
.. Dear Mildred and Gladys and Frances.
At Christmas, my darlings, leave nobody out,
.. 'Tis the feast of the dear Elder Brother,
Who came to this world to bring freedom about,
.. And whose motto is "Love one another."
When the angels proclaimed Him in Judea's sky
.. They sang out His wonderful story,
And peace and good will did they bring from on high,
.. And the keystone of all laid with glory.
A frolic at Christmas must needs know not change
.. Of fortune, or richer or poorer;
If any one comes who is lonesome and strange,
.. Why, just make his welcome the surer.
We invited our friends and we dressed up the room
.. Till it looked like a wonderful bower,
With starry bright tapers, and flowers in bloom,
.. And a tree with white popcorn a-shower.
And presents and presents, for every one there,
.. In stockings, and bags full of candy,
And old Santa Claus (Uncle William) was fair,
.. And—I tell you, our tree was a dandy.
Then, when nine o'clock struck, and the frolic and fun
.. Had risen almost to their highest,
And pleasure was beaming, and every one
.. Was happy, from bravest to shyest.
Our dear Mother went to the organ and played
.. A carol so sweet and so tender;
We prayed while we sang, and we sang as we prayed,
.. To Jesus, our Prince and Defender.
Oh! Jesus, who came as a Babe to the earth,
.. Who slept 'mid the kine, in a manger;
Oh! Jesus, our Lord, in whose heavenly birth
.. Is pledge of our ransom from danger.
Strong Son of the Father, divine from of old,
.. And Son of the race, child of woman;
Increasing in might as the ages unfold,
.. Redeemer, our God, and yet human.
We sang to His Name, and we stood in a band,
.. Each pledged for the Master wholly,
To work heart to heart, and to work hand to hand,
.. In behalf of the outcast and lowly.
Then we said "Merry Christmas" once more and we went
.. Away from the holly and cedar,
And home we all scattered, quite glad and content,
.. And henceforward our Lord is our Leader.