Christmas Fancies

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,
   We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago,
      And etched on vacant places
      Are half-forgotten faces
   Of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know—
   When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow.

   Uprising from the ocean of the present surging near,
   We see, with strange emotion, that is not free from fear,
      That continent Elysian
      Long vanished from our vision,
   Youth’s lovely lost Atlantis, so mourned for and so dear,
   Uprising from the ocean of the present surging near.

   When gloomy, gray Decembers are roused to Christmas mirth,
   The dullest life remembers there once was joy on earth,
      And draws from youth’s recesses
      Some memory it possesses,
   And, gazing through the lens of time, exaggerates its worth,
   When gloomy, gray December is roused to Christmas mirth.

   When hanging up the holly or mistletoe, I wis
   Each heart recalls some folly that lit the world with bliss.
      Not all the seers and sages
      With wisdom of the ages
   Can give the mind such pleasure as memories of that kiss
   When hanging up the holly or mistletoe, I wis.

   For life was made for loving, and love alone repays,
   As passing years are proving, for all of Time’s sad ways.
      There lies a sting in pleasure,
      And fame gives shallow measure,
   And wealth is but a phantom that mocks the restless days,
   For life was made for loving, and only loving pays.

   When Christmas bells are pelting the air with silver chimes,
   And silences are melting to soft, melodious rhymes,
      Let Love, the world’s beginning,
      End fear and hate and sinning;
   Let Love, the God Eternal, be worshipped in all climes
   When Christmas bells are pelting the air with silver chimes.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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