Outside the afterlight’s lucent rose
Is smiting the hills and brimming the valleys,
And shadows are stealing across the snows;
From the mystic gloom of the pineland alleys.
Glamour of mingled night and day
Over the wide, white world has sway,
And through their prisoning azure bars,
Gaze the calm, cold eyes of the early stars.
But here, in this long, low-raftered room,
Where the blood-red light is crouching and leaping,
The fire that colors the heart of the gloom
The lost sunshine of old summers is keeping
The wealth of forests that held in fee
Many a season’s rare alchemy,
And the glow and gladness without a name
That dwells in the deeps of unstinted flame.
Gather we now round the opulent blaze
With the face that loves and the heart that rejoices,
Dream we once more of the old-time days,
Listen once more to the old-time voices!
From the clutch of the cities and paths of the sea
We have come again to our own roof-tree,
And forgetting the loves of the stranger lands
We yearn for the clasp of our kindred’s hands.
There are tales to tell, there are tears to shed,
There are children’s flower-faces and women’s sweet laughter;
There’s a chair left vacant for one who is dead
Where the firelight crimsons the ancient rafter;
What reck we of the world that waits
With care and clamor beyond our gates,
We, with our own, in this witching light,
Who keep our tryst with the past tonight?
Ho! how the elf-flames laugh in glee!
Closer yet let us draw together,
Holding our revel of memory
In the guiling twilight of winter weather;
Out on the waste the wind is chill,
And the moon swings low o’er the western hill,
But old hates die and old loves burn higher
With the wane and flash of the farmhouse fire.