Archive for December 22nd, 2009

YesterYear for Christmas

December 22, 2009

Thomas Nast illustration, Harper's Weekly

Image from Cannonba!! at York Blog (local history section)

HEART CHIMES IN HOLLY TIME.

AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED TO CAPT. CHARLES L. EASAM, 15th REG. KY. VOLL.

We are waiting, brother, patiently awaiting
To feel thy fond, fond kiss upon our cheek;
And breathe the welcome words we fain would speak
To thee — the hero, who the tide of battle
Strong, hast breasted since the last time greeting.
We are waiting, patiently awaiting.

We are waiting, brother, hopefully awaiting,
Within our dear old home the childhood light
Is burning cheerily for thee to-night.
Seasons are weary since our New Year parting,
And changes many since our last fond meeting.
We are waiting, hopefully awaiting.

We are waiting, brother, anxiously awaiting,
Ever through the long, long night we’re pining.
Thou comest not while stars are sweetly shining,
Nor yet at morning in the glory light.
And when the sunshine and the day is waning
We are waiting, anxiously awaiting.

We are waiting, brother, tearfully awaiting,
White as snow, thy mother’s cheek is failing
While listening to the chill wind wailing.
The Christmas hearth-lights burn but dimly — faintly!
Cold dew-damps gather fast, and hope is dying.
We are waiting, tearfully awaiting.

Hark! hear the watch dog bark! we are not waiting!
We hear a manly voice so soft and tender —
We raise our own to meet thy dark eyes splendor —
That heart beat — then Christmas chime is sweeter,
Lights are brighter and the hearth stone, glowing.
Thank God! we are not waiting, vainly waiting.

Yes, we are waiting, hopelessly awaiting.
A messenger came with that cruel letter:
Be patient, mother dear. I am not coming;
No leave of absence yet — no home returning.”
For me no Christmas chimes, no hearth light burning.
Only waiting, hopelessly awaiting.

Dear brother, through this agony of waiting,
“While the old year lies a dying” — waiting!
Other forms we love may come without thee!
Thy vacant place, ah! none can fill it!
Thy voice is silent — again to hear it!
God grant we may not thus be ever waiting!

SALLIE J. HANCOCK, of Kentucky.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 9, 1864

From the Wilkesbarre Democrat.

A PARODY.

Turkies! who on Christmas bled,
Turkies! who on corn have fed,
Welcome to us now you’re dead,
And in the frost have hung.

“Now’s the day and now’s the hour,”
Through the market how we scour,
Seeking Turkies to devour,
Turkies old and young.

Who would be a Turkey hen;
Fed and fatten’d in a pen —
Kill’d and ate by hungry men; —
Can you tell, I pray?

Lay the proud old Turkies low,
Let the young ones run and grow,
To market they’re not fit to go,
Till next Christmas day.

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Dec 27, 1831

CHRISTMAS DAY.

Let this day see all wrongs forgiven,
Let peace sit crowned in every heart;
Let bitter words be left unsaid,
Let each one take his brother’s part;
Let sad eyes learn again to smile, —
A day is such a little while, —
Of all days this the shortest!

Let rich and poor together meet,
While words of kindness fill the air;
Let love spread roses in the way,
Though winter reigneth everywhere;
Let us know naught of craft or guile,
A day is such a little while, —
Of all days this the shortest!

Let us help, each with loving care,
Our brothers on the way to Heaven;
Let’s lay aside all selfishness;
Let pride from every heart be driven,
Let Christmas-day bring many a smile, —
A day is such a little while, —
Of all days this the shortest.

Indiana Weekly Messenger (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Dec 22, 1880

The Christmas Jubilee.

We can almost hear the chiming
Of the joyous Christmas bells;
Almost feel the mirth and gladness
That the Christmas tide foretells.
We can almost hear the echo
From Judea’s distant plain;
Almost hear the bursts of music
That will float in sweet refrain.

Everywhere in expectation
Hearts are beating with delight,
And in childhood’s happy kingdom
Every eye is beaming bright.
Soon the dawn will be upon us
As from out the night it wells,
And the earth will hear the music
Of the merry Christmas bells.

Soon the wondrous star of glory
Will illume the Eastern sky,
And the angel bands of heaven
Will sing paeans from on high.
Soon the story of the manger
Will be heard throughout the earth,
And each heart will leap with gladness
O’er a loving Savior’s birth.

Soon the chiming bells of Christmas
Will be ringing sweet and clear,
Pealing forth the joyful message
To all nations, far and near.
Soon the lofty dome of heaven
Will resound with music sweet,
As the bells of earth exultingly
The old-time song repeat.

Hail we then the joyful Christmas —
Happiest time of all the year —
With its sweet and ringing music,
With its mirth and boundless cheer.
Every lip is singing praises;
Every fireside rings with glee;
Every heart is shouting “welcome!”
To the Christmas jubilee.

— G.C. RHODERICK, JR., in Middletown Register.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 21, 1891

Yule-Tide in Many Lands

by Mary P. Pringle and Clara A. Urann 1916

Chapter IXYule-Tide in America