Christmas Tree

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I saw you once with wonder
And infinite delight
Your silver stars gleamed under
A hundred candles’ light.
Your spheres of blue and yellow
And angels all of gold
Were seen in dimly mellow
Half-light in days of old.
Your scintillating tinsel,
That child’s eyes love so well,
Beneath the thin white pencil
Of morning light that fell
When first the curtain lifted
Seemed draped in magic curves,
And diamond snowflakes sifted
Made tingling little nerves.
Then you were a thing of Heaven
For brought by unseen hands
And Santa’s coursers seven
You came from far-off Polar lands.
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But now you hold no wonder
And naught seems strange to me
No more than the black thunder
Seems strange on winter sea.
Your trinkets gold or ruddy
Were peep-holes to the sky;
Now they are cheap and gaudy
They beat upon my eye.
And all your spell is broken
Save at the happy time
When some old friend has spoken
Or read a childhood rime.
Or, and this comes but rarely,
Like gifts of gold and myrrh
The frosty air brings fairly
The fragrance of the fir.
Then memory backward strays,
Sets old illusions loose,
And I am the lad who plays
At the foot of the fairy spruce.