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First Winter Morning

by Lydia Sigourney

Awake, and let the tuneful lay,
With joy to Heaven's high palace rise,
Ere the rejoicing King of Day,
Returns to light the glowing skies,

While o'er the hillocks' ice-wrapt heads,
Refulgent steals his golden hue,
And wreathing smoke, aspiring spreads,
In curling volumes, light and blue.

Great Giver of our fleeting days,
The changeful year is full of Thee,
Each opening season speaks thy praise,
And so, with grateful heart, should we.

Deep lies the snow, o'er dale and brake,
Our bright fire sparkles on the hearth,
And laughter from the neighbouring lake,
Proclaims the graceful skater's mirth.

Yet think of those in lowly shed,
By pining penury darkly prest,
For whom no blazing fire is fed,
No cheering board with plenty drest.

Oh, haste to seek and save the lost,
Raise the warm prayer to Him above,
So Winter with its links of frost,
Shall bind thee to a God of love.

Fall'n are the flowers that deck'd our path, The birds of summer-song are fled,
And 'neath the bitter tempest's wrath, The groves lie desolate and dead.

From my lov'd plants, now icy cold,
I hear a voice of warning gloom,
"In us the mournful fate behold,
That darkly waits on youthful bloom."

But when those charms so bright and frail,
Must shrink, and wither, and decay,
Say, is there naught to countervail,
The good that time shall take away?

Is there no joy to light the eye,
When beauty, youth, and health, are past?
When all our earthly pleasures fly,
Like leaves before the wintry blast?

There is a joy that checks the throng,
Of chilling care, and sorrow's shock,
That strikes an anchor deep and strong,
In Heaven's imperishable rock.

Grant me this joy, and when my soul,
Her farewell to the world shall sigh,
When unknown seas around me roll,
And toss their deathful billows high,

When to yon wintry hills afar,
To all of earth, these eyes are dim,
The lustre of my Saviour's star,
Shall clearly mark my way to Him.

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