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100 HYMN OP NATURE.

That wrestles singly with the gale,
Lifts up admiring eyes to thee;

But more majestic far they stand,
When, side by side, their ranks they form,

To wave on high their plumes of green,
And fight their battles with the storm.

God of the light and viewless air!

Where summer breezes sweetly flow,
Or, gathering in their angry might,

The fierce and wintry tempests blow;
All—from the evening's plaintive sigh,

That hardly lifts the drooping flower,
To the wild whirlwind's midnight cry—

Breathe forth the language of thy power.

God of the fair and open sky!

How gloriously above us springs
The tented dome, of heavenly blue,

Suspended on the rainbow's rings!
Each brilliant star, that sparkles through,

Each gilded cloud, that wanders free
In evening's purple radiance, gives

The beauty of its praise to thee.

God of the rolling orbs above!
Thy name is written clearly bright

HYMN OF NATURE. 101

In the warm day's unvarying blaze,

Or evening's golden shower of light. For every fire that fronts the sun,

And every spark that walks alone Around the utmost verge of heaven,

Were kindled at thy burning throne.

God of the world! the hour must come

And Nature's self to dust return; Her crumbling altars must decay

Her incense fires shall cease to burn; But still her grand and lovely scenes

Have made man's warmest praises flow; For hearts grow holier as they trace

The beauty of the world below.

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'T Was the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse:
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS. 103

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugarplums danced through their heads-,

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap—

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter:

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny raindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now, Dasher! now,Dancer! now, Prancer! now,Vixen!

On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Blixen—

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!"

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So, up to the housetop the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys—and St. Nicholas too.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound,

104 M. VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a pedlar just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow;

And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly

That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump; a right jolly old elf;

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

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