Fair faces crowd on Christmas night
Like seven sons a-row,
But all beyond is the wolfish wind
And the crafty feet of the snow.
But through the route one finger groes
With quick and quiet tread;
Her robe is plain, her form is frail--
Wait if she turn her head.
I say no word of line or hue,
But if that face you see,
Your soul shall know the smile of faith's,
Know that in this grotesque old masque,
Too loud we cannot sing,
Or dance to wild, or speak to wide
To praise a hidden thing.
That though the jest be as old as night,
Still shaketh sun and sphere
An everlasting laughter
Too loud of us to hear.