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Wassail! wassail! Ye merry men, hail,

Who brightened the days of old; What brave conceits, and humoursome feats, Are sung


our fathers bold.
From morning chime, unto vesper time,

They revelled in careless glee,
And danced at night with spirits as light

As the notes of their minstrelsy.

Wassail! wassail! At the knight's regale

"Twas the signal for deep carouse, Nor there alone, for the joyous tone

Shook many a priestly house ;
The monks forgot their bachelor's lot,

Swrounded by goodly cheer,
And raised the cup, in its brim full up,

To the utter contempt of care.

Wassail! wassail! cried the yeoman hale,

As he shouldered his quarter-staff,
And homeward rode where the spiced ale stood

Awaiting his hearty quaff ;
The cot meanwhile lit up by the smile

Of a frank good-hearted mirth,
And free to all who might chance to call,

Was the happiest place on earth!





HE Minstrels played their Christinas tune

To-night beneath my cottage eaves ; While, smitten by a lofty moon,

The encircling laurels, thick with leaves, Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen, That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze

IIad sunk to rest with folded wings: Keen was the air, but could not freeze,

Nor check the music of the strings; So stout and hardy were the band That scraped the chords with strenuous hand!


And who but listened ?-till was paid

Respect to every inmate's claim :
The greeting given, the music played,

In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And “merry Christmas” wished to all!

O brother! I revere the choice

That took thee from thy native hills; And it is given thee to rejoice:

Though public care full often tills (Heaven only witness of the toil) A barren and ungrateful soil.

Yet, would that Thou, with me and mine,

Hadst heard this never-failing rite; And seen on other faces shine

A true revival of the light, Which Nature and these rustic powers, In simple childhood, spread through ours !

For pleasure hath not ceased to wait

On these expected annual rounds; Whether the rich man's sumptuous gate

Call forth the unelaborate sounds,
Or they are offered at the door
That guards the lowliest of the poor.

How touching, when, at midnight, sweep

Snow-muffled winds and all is dark, To hear—and sink again to sleep!

Or, at an earlier call, to mark, By blazing fire, the still suspense Of self.complacent innocence.

The mutual nod,--the grave disguise

Of hearts with gladness brimming o’er; And some unbidden tears that rise

For names once heard, and heard no more ; Tears brightened by the serenade For infant in the cradle laid.

Ah! not for emerald fields alone,

With ambient streams more pure and bright Than fabled Cytherea's zone

Glittering before the Thunderer's sight,
Is to my heart of hearts endeared
The ground where we were born and reared !

Ilail, ancient Manners ! sure defence,

Where they survive, of wholesome laws;
Remnants of love whose modest sense

Thus into narrow room withdraws;
Ilail, Usages of pristine mould,
And ye that guard them, Mountains old!

Bear with me, Brother! quench the thought

That slights this passion, or condemns ;
If thee fond Fancy ever brought

From the proud margin of the Thames,
And Lambeth's venerable towers,
To humbler streams and greener bowers.

Yes, they can make, who fail to find,

Short leisure even in busiest days;
Moments, to cast a look behind,

And profit by those kindly rays
That through the clouds do sometimes steal,
And all the far-off past reveal.


Hence, while the imperial City's din

Beats frequent on thy satiate ear,
A pleased attention I may win

To agitations less severe,
That neither overwhelm nor cloy,
But fill the hollow vale with joy!

Krliginus Carols.



The shepherds went their hasty way,

And found the lowly stable shed
Where the virgin mother lay:

And now they checked their eager tread,
For, to the babe that at her bosom clung,
A mother's song the virgin mother sung.

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They told her how a glorious light,

Streaming from a heavenly throng,
Around them shone, suspending night!

While, sweeter than a mother's song,
Blest angels heralded the Saviour's birth,
Glory to God on high! and peace on earth.

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She listened to the tale divine,

And closer still the babe she pressed : And while she cried, the babe is mine!

The milk rushed faster to her breast :

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