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[307]
     And more than all the sages teach
From lisping voices learns,—

The voices loved of him who sang,
     Where Tweed and Teviot glide,
That sound to-day on all the winds
     That blow from Rydal-side,—

Heard in the Teuton's household songs,
     And folk-lore of the Finn,
Where'er to holy Christmas hearths
     The Christ-child enters in!

Before life's sweetest mystery still
     The heart in reverence kneels;
The wonder of the primal birth
     The latest mother feels.

We need love's tender lessons taught
     As only weakness can;
God hath His small interpreters;
     The child must teach the man.

We wander wide through evil years,
     Our eyes of faith grow dim;
But he is freshest from His hands
     And nearest unto Him!

And haply, pleading long with Him
     For sin-sick hearts and cold,
The angels of our childhood still
     The Father's face behold.

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