SWEET Mother, eight and fifty years,
Thy Christmas blessings crowned my brow;
Thy seat is vacant, by my side;
And Christmas comes, without thee, now.
A shadow creeps, across my hearth;
The cypress twines the holly-bough;
I cannot frame the Christmas phrase:
For Christmas comes, without thee, now.
Along the line of threescore years,
In gifts and prayers, like tracks in snow,
I trace thy ever-living love:
But Christmas comes, without thee, now.
And yet, sweet Mother, though the thought
Will choke and tear, my bursting breast;
And tears o'ercast this joyous day;
I would not call thee, from thy rest.
Safe in the Paradise of God,
Thy home is with the holy dead;
Where Christmas boughs are ever green;
And the Christ-feast is always spread.