O, helping hands and Christian hearts,
Twin parents of the race’s gladness,
God speed the time when your sweet arts
Shall banish every sign of sadness!
When mournful cries, when pain’s wild darts,
Shall cease to curse the days of living,
And Heaven’s love to man imparts
The joys of giving and forgiving.
“O, SACRED SOULS THAT GRANDLY SING.”
O sacred souls that grandly sing
The secret songs of human hearts,
Where your wild music madly starts,
The sorrows into raptures spring!
Within the warbles of your chimes
Man reads the longings of his days,
And finds, amid your lofty lays,
Glad music for his gloomy times.
How sweet the mute, melodious cries
Which only lives like yours may hear,
Where pleasures thrill the singer’s ear
With laughing strains of lullabies!
You know soft voices, rich with love,
That mingle in the fields and woods,
To bless the silent solitudes
With carols coming from above.
Your golden harps resound alway,
Where valley bound with blossom lies,
And rugged mountains highest rise,
And silver fountains softly play;
While in the gladness of your songs
The fainting bosoms hope again,
And toil among their fellow men,
Forgetful of their ancient wrongs.
You sport with singing meadows bright,
With fragrant winds and scented gales,
Where shine and shadow kiss the vales
In fairy fondness of delight;
For where the meads and forests blend,
The sweetest songs of life are found,
And where the lonely hills abound
The soul of music meets a friend.
Glad hearts that warble songs divine,
Sweet singers of a mourning race,
The ages long your brows shall grace
With crowns where bays and laurels twine!
For man the grandest garland brings,
To bless the tender lives that tell,
And with their mystic music swell,
The lays that Nature fondly sings!
How sweet the brazen belfries chime
Across the hills and through the dales,
And o’er the breasts of meadowed vales,
Beneath the smiles of Christmas time!
Rough sorrow’s thorny fingers grow
As soft and waxen as a child’s,
And balmy pleasures o’er the wilds
Chant music to the drifting snow.
Ah, scattered locks that fringe my face,
With wintry wisps of white and gray!
Ah, sad, dimmed eyes that look away
To artless childhood’s tender grace!
To-night those years with joys sublime
Steal over me and fill my soul
With lullabies of bliss that roll
The golden glees of Christmas time.