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High on the beach his galleys drew,
And well our Christian sires of old Loved when the year its course had rolled, And brought blithe Christmas back again, With all his hospitable train. Domestic and religious rite Gave honour to the holy night: On Christmas-eve the bells were rung; On Christmas-eve the mass was sung ; That only night in all the year Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear. The damsel donn'd her kirtle sheen ; The hall was dress’d with holly green; Forth to the wood did merry-men go To gather in the mistletoe. Then open’d wide the baron's hall To vassal, tenant, serf, and all; Power laid his rod of rule aside, And Ceremony doff'd his pride ;
The heir with roses in his shoes,
The fire, with well-dried logs supplied, Went roaring up the chimney wide; The huge hall-table's oaken face, Scrubb'd till it shone, the day to grace, Bore then upon its massive board No mark to part the squire and lord. Then was brought in the lusty brawn, By old blue-coated serving-man; Then the grim boar's-head frown'd on high, Crested with bays and rosemary. Well can the green-garb'd ranger tell How, when, and where, the monster fell ; What dogs before his death he tore, And all the baiting of the boar. The wassail round in good brown bowls, Garnish'd with ribbons, blithely trowls ; There the huge sirloin reek'd; hard by Plum-porridge stood and Christmas pie; Nor failed old Scotland to produce, At such high-tide, her savoury goose. Then came the merry masquers in, And carols roard with blithesome din ; If unmelodious was the song It was a hearty note and strong. Who lists may in their mumming see Traces of ancient mystery ;
White shirts supplied the masquerade,
Still linger in our northern clime
If absent from home at these happy seasons, we dream of it only the more ardently.
THE DREAM OF HOME. Who has not felt how sadly sweet
The dream of home, the dream of home, Steals o'er the heart, too soon to fleet,
When far o'er sea or land we roam ?
Sunlight more soft may o'er us fall,
To greener shores our bark may come;
That dream of home, that dream of home.
His light bark bounds o'er ocean's foam, What charms him most when evening's star
Smiles o’er the wave? To dream of home.
At that sweet hour around him come;
MOORE. The New Year brings with it to many devout minds new and rapturous hopes of a golden age approaching on the earth, as promised at our Saviour's birth in
THE ANGELS' SONG.
That glorious song of old,
To touch their harps of gold:
From heaven's all-gracious King:
To hear the angels sing.
With peaceful wings unfurld,
O’er all the weary world;
They bend on heavenly wing,
The blessed angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffer'd long;
Two thousand years of wrong ;
The love-song which they bring :
And hear the angels sing !
And ye, beneath life's crushing load
Whose forms are bending low,
With painful steps and slow;
Come swiftly on the wing:
And hear the angels sing !
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet-bards foretold,
Comes round the age of gold;
Its ancient splendours Aling,
Which now the angels sing.
That lamented poet, Miss Adelaide. Proctor, las left precious counsel for us all in
A THOUGHT FOR THE NEW YEAR.
One by one the moments fall,
Do not strive to grasp them all !