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Anna Jane Vardill

A Christmas Carol

Listen while sweet sounds creep
 An angel’s whispers seeming!
Such sounds as steal on sleep
 When innocence lies dreaming.
As music in the stilly night
 Awakens not, yet pleases,
Life steals away with life’s delight,
 Scarce heeded ere it ceases.

Ye dream of friends that shed
 Balm on the broken-hearted—
Loves that in rosy beauty spread,
 Then to the dust departed:
They came as morning’s breath
 Wafts incense from young flowers;
They sank to earth in death,
 Like drops of summer showers![1]

Yet where the dead rose lies
 A precious seed reposes;
The fallen shower supplies
 Fresh life to other roses:
The memory of sweet mirth
 Thus solaces our sorrow,
And those kind tears we give to earth
 Shall raise new sweets to-morrow.

Listen!—for like the sound
 Of music softly swelling
Is all that on our earth is found,
 All that in life is dwelling.
It comes, it passes, and is gone,
 Leaving no trace behind it,
Unless the lonely couch upon
 In midnight dreams we find it.
Yet the loved shadows leave
 A whispering comfort near ye,
As thus in winter’s darkest eve.
 Sweet music comes to cheer ye.


  1. These four lines were suggested by a quatrain ascribed to the Persian poet Mirh Husum. 

The European Magazine, Vol. 79, January 1821, p. 73