Under the bare brown rafters,
In his garret bed he lay,
And dreamed of the bright hereafters.
And the merry morns of May.
The snow-flakes slowly sifted
In through each cranny and seam,
But only the sunshine drifted
Into the news-boy's dream.
For he dreamed of the brave to-morrows,
His eager eyes should scan,
When battling with wants and sorrows,
He felt himself a Man.
He felt his heart grow bolder
For the struggle and the strife,
When shoulder joined to shoulder,
In the battle-field of life.
And instead of the bare brown rafters,
And the snowflakes sifting in,
He saw in the glad hereafters,
The home his hands should win.
The flowers that grew in its shadow,
And the trees that drooped above;
The low of the kine in the meadow,
And the coo of the morning dove.
And dearer and more tender,
He saw his mother there,
As she knelt in the sunset splendour,
To say the evening prayer.
His face--the sun had burned it,
And his hands were rough and hard,
But home, he had fairly earned it,
And this was his reward!
The morning star's faint glimmer
Stole into the garret forlorn,
And touched the face of the dreamer
With the light of a hope new-born.
Oh, ring harmonious voices
Of New Year's welcoming bells!
For the very air rejoices.
Through all its sounding cells!
I greet ye! oh friends and neighbours
The smith and the artizan;
I share in your honest labours,
A Canadian working-man.
To wield the axe or the hammer,
To till the yielding soil,
Enroll me under your banner,
Oh Brotherhood of Toil!
Ring, bells of the brave to-morrows!
And bring the time more near:
Ring out the wants and the sorrows,
Ring in the glad New Year!