Scripture Verse

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Luke 2:10


Words: Hen­ry J. Van Dyke, 1912.

Music: Old 124th Ge­ne­van Psal­ter, 1551 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Henry J. Van Dyke (1852–1933)


The day re­turns by which we date our years:
Day of the joy of giv­ing—that means love;
Day of the joy of liv­ing—that means hope;
Day of the roy­al Child—and day that brings
To old­er hearts the gift of Christ­mas tears!

Look, how the cand­les twin­kle through the tree,
The child­ren shout when ba­by claps his hands,
The room is full of laugh­ter and of song!
Your lips are smil­ing, dear­est—tell me why
Your eyes are brim­ming full of Christ­mas tears?

Was it a si­lent voice that joined the song?
A van­ished face that glim­mered once again
Among the hap­py cir­cle round the tree?
Was it an un­seen hand that touched your cheek
And brought the sec­ret gift of Christ­mas tears?

Not dark and an­gry like the win­ter storm
Of self­ish grief—but full of star­ry gleams,
And soft and still that oth­ers may not weep—
Dews of re­mem­bered hap­pi­ness des­cend
To bless us with the gift of Christ­mas tears.

Ah, lose them not, dear heart—life has no pearls
More pure than me­mo­ries of joy love-shared.
See, while we count them one by one with pray­er,
The hea­ven­ly hope that lights the Christ­mas tree
Has made a rain­bow in our Christ­mas tears!