Words: Edward Moxon
Source: Henry Vizetelly, Christmas With The Poets (London: David Bogue, 1851).
Now holier thoughts awake my rhyme,
The village bells with pealing chime;
And sweeter far their notes to me
Than those of loudest revelry.
To wonder heaven-pointing spire
Is bent the charitable Squire,
Where consecrated branches spread
Their weeping tendrils o'er the dead;
While there the elm and sable yew
Lend all their ruggedness to view,
Nor shield they now with leafy bloom
The villager's unsculptured tomb;
As when, with summer foliage crowned,
They hid from gaze each little mound.
Lo, where a goodly blooming train,
The maiden artless, and the swain;
They hear the summons from afar,
And gather where the holy are.
The aged sire there bends his way,
No staff his feeble arm to stay,
But one whose joy has been to share,
As now, thro' life his pious prayer.
They hie their tribute just to pay
To Him who lengthened has their day;
Within you deeply shaded pile
Where meek Religion's seen to smile,
As if the wayward to beguile;
While decked with modest evergreen
Her sanctuary may be seen;
A token sure of heavenly grace,
Befitting such a holy place.
The Squire upon his bended knee,
With all him family we see,
Gracing the velvet cushioned pew
With every meek observance due.
O may each humble heart now share
The Church's venerable prayer,
And may this day of all the year
The best and holiest appear:
And 'mid our deep affliction show
The bliss unmerited below,
Which Christ descended to bestow.