Our walls are wreathed with trailing pine, And hemlock boughs are leaning Dark where the blood-red berries shine, With leaves of Autumn’s gleaning; Yet ah! how pale the Summer’s pride, How barren field and fallow,– For why? the year must be so wide, And Summer still so narrow!
Our chimneys glow with generous heat, And all our lamps are burning, We list the music wild and sweet, With dance and song returning; Yet oh! the vaster dark outside, How cold and dumb with sorrow! For still the world must be so wide, And joy, alas! so narrow!
Our home throws wide its doors to-night Our threshold laughs with greeting; With clasp as warm and step as light The old-time friends are meeting; Yet oh! the few who stand aside Bowed down by hopeless sorrow, And weep that hearts should be so wide, And love, alas! so narrow!
Nay, further press the strong desire, The questioning, swift yet tender, And lifted ever strangely higher, Divine a holier splendor; On Christmas-day, whate-er betide, We have no room for sorrow, For though man’s need be e’er so wide, God’s help grows never narrow.