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    HUGGING THE SHORE.   Table of Contents     A LOVE-LETTER.

Tucker, Mary E.
Poems

- CHRISTMAS, SOUTH, 1866.


CHRISTMAS, SOUTH, 1866.


LAUGHING, merry, childish voices, woke us
in their eager glee,
When the rosy blush of morning in the east we
scarce could see:
Surely, ne'er a Christmas morning was so cold and
drear as this;
Can it be our hearts are frozen with the sere frost's
icy kiss?
Ah, stern want and desolation has a heavy, heavy
hand,
And no mirth should ever issue from beneath the
iron band.

Now the voices draw still nearer--bless the
children, all are here!
"Mother, don't weep, they won't mind it; oh,
God help thee, mother, dear!"
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206

One by one they took their stockings, gazed upon
the store, then turned:
"Sissic," said the bravest rebel,"did Santee have
his cotton burned?"
"Hush, hush, Buddie; don't say nothing; just see
how poor mamma cries."
Now the repentant Buddy to his mother's bedside
hies--
"I'm so sorry, mother, darling: when I'm grown
You shan't be poor;
I'll write for the Yankee papers, that will make us
rich once more."
Off I turned to hide my feelings--feelings deep by
care refined,--
Ah! my child, like sister Annie's, your poor piece
may be declined.

Ah, there is some joy in sorrow! in the door two
freed-men creep:
"Christmas gif, ole Mis, Miss Annie--why, what
fur you white folks weep?
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207
All dis time you give us Christmas; now, we going
to give to you:
Here, old Missus, here, Miss Annie--children, here's
your Christmas, too!"
In black bosoms true love lingers, deeply by our
kindness riven,
And the tender tie that binds us, can be severed
save by heaven.
O'er the day that dawned so sadly, that kind act
a ray imparts,
And we grasp the sunbeam gladly, for it cheers
our aching hearts.
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    HUGGING THE SHORE.   Table of Contents     A LOVE-LETTER.