Except to the heart of an innocent child.
For when time has taught us the meaning of sorrow
And sobered the spirits that once were so wild,
When all the green graves that lie scattered behind us
Like milestones are marking the length of the way,
And echoes of voices that no more shall greet us
Have saddened the chimes of the bright Christmas Day, -—
The years that have brought us such manifold smarts;
But we may be happy, if only we carry
The Spirit of Christmas deep down in our hearts.
Three fold is the Spirit, thus blending together
The Faith of the Shepherds who came to the King,
And, knowing naught else but the angels' glad message,
Had only their faith to His cradle to bring;
The Hope of the Wise Men that rose like the day star
To lighten the centuries' midnight of wrong,
And the Love of the Child in the manger low-lying,
So tender and patient, so sweet and so strong.
Hence I shall not wish you the old “Merry Christmas,”
Since that is of shadowless childhood a part,
But one that is holy and happy and peaceful,
The Spirit of Christmas deep down in your heart.
(24 December 1866 ~ 08 September 1932)
The Independent, Hawarden, Iowa, December 21, 1933, Page 9