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The owl sits huddling by himself,

The cold has pierced his body thorough ;
The patient cattle hang their head;
The deer are 'neath their winter shed;

The ruddy squirrel's in his bed,
And each small thing within its burrow.

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In rich men's halls the fire is piled,

And ermine robes keep out the weather ;
In poor men's huts the fire is low,
Through broken panes the keen winds blow,

And old and young are cold together.
Oh poverty is disconsolate!

Its pains are many, its focs are strong:
The rich man in his jovial cheer,
Wishes 'twas winter through the year;

The poor man ʼmid his wants profound,
With all his little children round,

Prays God that winter be not long !

One silent night hath passed, and lo!

How beautiful the earth is now!
All aspect of decay is gone,
The hills have put their vesture on,

And clothed is the forest bough.

Say not ’t is an unlovely time!

Turn to the wide, white waste thy view;
Turn to the silent hills that rise
In their cold beauty to the skies;

And to those skies intensely blue.

Silent, not sad, the scene appeareth;

And fancy, like a vagrant breeze,

Ready a-wing for flight, doth go
To the cold northern land of snow,

Beyond the icy Orcades,

The land of ice, the land of snow,

The land that hath no summer flowers,
Where never living creature stood-
The wild, dim, polar solitude :

How different from this land of ours !

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Walk now among the forest trees,

Said'st thou that they were stripped and bare?
Each heavy bough is bending down
With snowy leaves and flowers—the crown

Which Winter regally doth wear.
”T is well—thy summer garden ne'er

Was lovelier with its birds and flowers,
Than is this silent place of snow,
With feathery branches drooping low,

Wreathing around thee shadowy bowers !


This is now the winter time,

My merry gentlemen,
Yule logs are burning in your hall,
Fair forms are circling in the ball,
And cups are filled with purple wine
To aid the pudding and the chine.
This is now the winter time;

Remember, gentles, then,
That none shall starve while


shall dine;
That none shall thirst who grow the vine.
Yet give no alms in mean award,
But spread the just, the well-earned board.


This is now the winter time,
My noble gentlemen.

This is now the winter time,

My reverend clergymen;
Christ came to save in winter time,
And not in summer's sultry prime :
And He your pattern sure must be,
When glows with red the holly tree.
This is now the winter time,

Remember, clerks all, then,
That Christ in winter came to save
Not only souls, but bodies brave.
The bread His body, and the wine
His blood. Then spread the feast divine;
This is now the winter time,

My Christian clergymen.

This is now the winter time,

My honest working men,
“ Weave truth with trust,” ye weavers, then;
And “ draw straight furrows,” farming men,
And with good grace and no hard knocks-
Take justice for a Christmas box.
This is now the winter time,

Remember, workers, then,
That none should starve while others have.
That Christ in winter came to save,
And, but in no alms-taking way,
Accept your rights on New Year's day.
This is now the winter time,

My gallant working men.


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Would that our scrupulous sires had dared to leave

Less scanty measure of those graceful rites

And usages, whose due return invites
A stir of mind too natural to deceive;
Giving the memory help when she could weave

A crown for Hope !—I dread the boasted lights

That all too often are but fiery blights,
Killing the bud o'er which in vain we grieve.
Go, seek, when Christmas snows discomfort bring,

The counter Spirit found in some gay church

Green with fresh holly, every pew a perch In which the linnet or the thrush might sing,

Merry and loud, and safe from prying search, Strains offered only to the genial spring.

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( READER! hast thou ever stood to see

The holly tree? The

eye that contemplates it well perceives

Its glossy leaves,
Ordered by an intelligence so wise,
As might confound the atheist's sophistries.

Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen,

Wrinkled and keen;
No grazing cattle, through their prickly round,

Can reach to wound;
But as they grow where nothing is to fear,
Smooth and unarmed the pointless leaves appear.

I love to view these things with curious eyes,

And moralize :
And in this wisdom of the holly tree

Can emblems see,
Wherewith, perchance, to make a pleasant rhyme,
One which may profit in the after time.

Thus, though abroad perchance I might appear

Harsh and austere,
To those who on my leisure would intrude

Reserved and rude,
Gentle at home amid my friends I'd be,
Like the high leaves upon the holly tree.

And should my youth, as youth is apt I know,

Some harshness show,
All vain asperities I day by day

Would wear away,

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