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CHRISTMAS MORNING. 115
I laid my hand upon his hair,
And press'd it backward from his brow— That face, how strangely, sadly fair!
I seem to look upon it now!
He mildly raised his eyes to mine, Then wish'd me, in a cheerful tone,
" A merry Christmas "—paused, and said, " Sister, I meant a happy one.
"-I know you '11 not be merry now, Your buoyant spirits all have flown;
Sadness is brooding on your brow, Sadness is breathing in your tone."
That day is fled, and years have gone Since my pale brother pass'd away;
But ever, as the Christmas morn Sheds over me its earliest ray,
Thought wanders back to the sad hour
I saw my brother lying there; And then I hear his voice once more,
And fondly smooth his dewy hair.
And when, from many a happy heart, The Merry Christmas wish I hear,
The swelling tear-drops quickly start,— My brother's tone is in my ear!