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The Old Man's Christmas

The Old Man's Christmas image
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Why, let the wind whistle- who cares? Let it blow, Driving hither and thitlier the flakes of the snow. Ijet the wretcheu without, as they shiverme pass, Hzo with envy and hatred at me through the glass ; I am safe from the storm, with all men could de. siro, A dinner of dainties, a hickory flre. This luxury round me ; all eheerf ui and bright : And my siitieth Cbristmas is with me to-night. Wheel tho chair aronnd, William ; the cloth tako ftway . Drop the curtain, and then light the tover- but. stay- Place tha sherry in reach ; put cigars there ut hand- 4 dozen or so c,f my favorite brand. You may go. Should I need you, the bell-rops ill brlng, bedient to summons the slavo of the ring. 'm alome bnt not onely; uijseen by this llght, 'here are guests from the paBt who are with me toajght. rstj is Albert, my brother, tho golden-lired one, be pet of his mother, the yountfect-born sou. e aied on the ocean- tho bViic, swollinK wave, h t home of his ehoice, at the last was his grave, le, comes as he went, with a frank, earnest gaeo d ae warms his wet frame in the bright, eheerfm biaze. 'ad now twenty years, but his eyes are as bjiftht - Jf matter- you're welcome, dcar brother, to-night. T.ere is Milton on whom I could ever depend - Just less than a brother, and more than a friend- Stout Milton, who dled not a twelvemonth ago, From his homo in tile churchyaid wades here through the ecow. He comes to sjwütl Christmas, as of ton bef ore ; But lees briskly tnan wont seems to enter the door. What mxkes him so pulseless and pallid and whito ? Chcer np ; we'll be jolly together to-night. A-U ! Amy, my darling ! ten years since we laid Your body to reet iu the cypress'a Bhade, And now you return to the husband who pressed That sd night in anguish your form to hia breast. Oome back on a yisit? No ! come to remain, For I swear nothing ever shall part us again. Thirty years since your eyes eheered my life witü their light ; And yet you look yoúnger than ever to-night. What! Sybi!, my daughter, have you too returned To the father whoee heart for you evermore yearned 1 Has he whom you chose at the risk of my curse Sent yon back here to open the strinra of mv purse? J Why, you died throngh neglcct Of the husband who vowed To cherish and lovc- died, despairing and proud. Does the grave give you holiday ? Would thnt it might, And you were bnt living to Bit hertcnigüt. AH well-deslrefi guestu foï the revel are near- Wife, daughter, f Wend, brother -all risón and here. Yet it seetns to mv judgment the sherry lacks taste, The eifiar has no flavor- itall burns to waste ■ The taper expires, and the gas-light sinks low; The fire fallo to embers- what troubles mts Bo? All here, no one missing- the lief !s hot right ; ne guest, and the gretet,Is lacking to-night. He enters at lsst. 'Tis a stranger to me, Ss draped with dim shadows, so gaunt- who is ho 1 Suns deep are his eyes, there is ice in his brealn- A guest most unwelcome ! I kno' h!ai- 'tis Death Un welcome? Kot so ! Mot diieired of them all His skeleton foot hs f. musical fall ; His shadows h.vt changed to a ha'.o of light- Best friend ana deliverer, welcome to-night.


Old News
Michigan Argus