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The Tree of Life

From the Grand Forks Daily Herald, December 19, 1914.

In his mother’s sacred eyes,
    Lit from God’s own altar place,
Earth grows heaven, and gray time dies
    In the infant’s smiling face.
From the shroud of withered years
    Love and hope come young again,
And the heart awakened hears
    Songs that make the life of men.

Children’s lightsome laughter rings;
    Dull waste places hear their tread,
And the gleams of gracious wings
    Light old chambers of the dead.
All bright shapes of memory,
    All glad dreams of youth and love,
Meet about the Christmas tree
    Underneath the mystic dove.

Time and fate are babbling words,
    Vain vibrations of the tongue,
Since the song God’s singing birds
    O’er the Babe of Bethlehem sung.
Child of death that was to be,
    Child of love and life with men
Round the holy Christmas tree
    Make us children, too, again.

Eyes that are love’s deathless shrine,
    Where our holiest prayers arise,
Blest and blessing, dear, divine,
    Little children’s happy eyes,
In your light the dark years change,
    From your light all foul things flee,
And all sweet hopes soar and range
    Round the Christ Child’s Christmas tree.

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