Out of the mists of childhood,
Steeped in a golden glory,
Come dreamy forms and faces,
Snatches of song and story;
Whispers of sweet, still faces;
Rays of ethereal glimmer,
That gleam like sunny heavens,
Ne'er to grow colder or dimmer:
Now far in the distance, now shining near,
Lighting the snows of the shivering year.
Faces there are that tremble,
Bleared with a silent weeping,
Weird in a shadowy sorrow,
As if endless vigil keeping.
Faces of dazzling brightness,
With childlike radiance lighted,
Flashing with many a beauty,
Nor care nor time had blighted.
But o'er them all there's a glamour thrown.
Bright with the dreamy distance alone.
Aglow in the Christmas halo,
Shining with heavenly lustre,
These are the fairy faces
That round the hearthstone cluster.
These the deep, tender records,
Sacred in all their meetness,
That, wakening purest fancies,
Soften us with their sweetness;
As, gathered where flickering fagots burn,
We welcome the holy season's return.