The Twenty-Second Of December

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Wild was the day; the wintry sea
  Moaned sadly on New-England's strand,
When first the thoughtful and the free,
  Our fathers, trod the desert land.

They little thought how pure a light,
  With years, should gather round that day;
How love should keep their memories bright,
  How wide a realm their sons should sway.

Green are their bays; but greener still
  Shall round their spreading fame be wreathed,
And regions, now untrod, shall thrill
  With reverence when their names are breathed.

Till where the sun, with softer fires,
  Looks on the vast Pacific's sleep,
The children of the pilgrim sires
  This hallowed day like us shall keep.

© William Cullen Bryant