BY DR. B. F. LEGGETT.
Many and many a year ago,
In the land beyond the sea,
The shepherds hailed the wondrous star
That arose for you and me.
Endless the light of its kindled flame
As it shone in beauty there.
And fair was the light that drifted down
To earth from the startled air.
Rising, they wondered, and lo! a song
Came down from the skies afar,
And sages came from the morning land,
Led on by the gleaming star.
Ringing to-day is the chorus still—
The beautiful song we know,
The "Peace on earth and good will to men,"
That came from the long ago.
Yearning and weary, they waited long
Till banners of strife were furled—
Till the darkness waned and morning came
With sunrise-hope for the world.
Cheering the earth with a strain sublime,
On hovering wings they came,
And the waiting world was glad to hear
The sound of the wondrous name!
Heavy and sad had the nations bowed
While waiting the years to bring
The Hope of the world foretold so long—
Messiah, the royal King!
Rising, they went where the bright star led,
With a glory as of morn,
Till it stood above the far white walls
Where the infant Christ was born.
Into the streets of the dreaming town
The kings and the sages filed,
With treasures of frankincense and gold
For the manger-cradled child.
Slowly they tuned from the lowly stall
Where the babe in beauty lay,
But the angel strain rings on and on
In the Christmas song to-day,
Telling of peace by the couch of pain—
Or of a love that lingers here,
Eternal hope of a breaking dawn
That filleth the world with cheer.
Mellow and sweet as the angels' song
On the star-lit hills of old.
The hope that sings in the loyal heart
By faith in the long foretold.
Alas for us, if our love shall fail,
Or the wondrous star grow dim,
If one can grow dull and hear no more
The strains of the angels' hymn!
Sweetly, O song of the eastern hills,
Ring on through the world for aye,
Till peace on earth and good will shall reign
For an endless Christmas day!
Troy Weekly Times. December 25, 1890: 6 col 1.