THE RETURNING

by Jane Best

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LYRICS

Here, by the Christmas hearth, the heart remembers
The loved ones, now no longer in the flesh,
Who shared with us the joys of far Decembers,
Whose glances, in the fancy, shine afresh.

Their shadowy forms surround us in our musing;
Their unseen hands upon our shoulders rest;
The sense of their affection comes suffusing
The unforgotten anguish of the breast.

We cannot see them but their eyes are on us;
We cannot touch them but they touch us still;
Through joy and sorrow their deep glances scan us;
They watch our lives in love through good and ill.

Are these the spirits who have shared our living?
Then still more close must be the Heart of Love
That in the climax of Creation’s giving
Came as a Babe, in pity from above.

The birth of God Himself in human fashion
Hallows this season beyond word or thought,
For in His Birth we also see His Passion
And an Atonement for His loved ones wrought.

And so, enfolding all the glad endeavour
In which, with the departed, we take part,
We feel God’s living presence bless forever
The Peace of Christmas to the human heart.
Peace!

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