688. The Holy Tide

Frederick Tennyson. 1807-1898

THE days are sad, it is the Holy tide:
  The Winter morn is short, the Night is long;
So let the lifeless Hours be glorified
  With deathless thoughts and echo'd in sweet song:
And through the sunset of this purple cup
  They will resume the roses of their prime,
And the old Dead will hear us and wake up,
  Pass with dim smiles and make our hearts sublime!

The days are sad, it is the Holy tide:
  Be dusky mistletoes and hollies strown,
Sharp as the spear that pierced His sacred side,
  Red as the drops upon His thorny crown;
No haggard Passion and no lawless Mirth
  Fright off the solemn Muse,--tell sweet old tales,
Sing songs as we sit brooding o'er the hearth,
  Till the lamp flickers, and the memory fails.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition