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Where consecrated branches spread Their weeping tendrils o'er the dead; While there the elm and sable yew Lend all their ruggedness to view, Nor shield they now with leafy bloom The villager's unsculptured tomb ; As when, with summer foliage crowned, They hid from gaze each little mound. Lo, where a goodly blooming train, The maiden artless, and the swain ; They hear the summons from afar, And gather where the holy are. The aged sire there bends his way, Yo staff his feeble arm to stay, But one whose joy has been to share, As now, thro’ life his pious prayer. They bie their tribute just to pay To Ilim who lengthened has their day ; Within yon deeply shaded pile Where meek Religion's seen to smile, As if the wayward to beguile; While decked with modest evergreen IIer sanctuary may be seen ; A token sure of heavenly grace, Befitting such a holy place. The Squire upon his bended knee, With all his family we see, Gracing the velvet cushioned pew With every mcek observance due. O may each humble heart now share The Church's vencrable prayer, Arid may this day of all the year


The best and holiest appear :
And 'mid our deep affliction show
The bliss unmerited below,
Which Christ descended to bestow.



Glad Christmas comes, and every hearth

Makes room to give him welcome now, E’en want will dry its tears in mirth,

And crown him with a holly bough ;
Though tramping 'neath a winter sky,

O’er snowy paths and rimy stiles,
The housewife sets her spinning by,

To bid him welcome with her smiles.

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Each house is swept the day before,

And windows stuck with evergreens, The snow is besomed from the door,

And comfort crowns the cottage scenes. Gilt holly with its thorny pricks,

And yew, and box, with berries small, These deck the unused candlesticks,

And pictures hanging by the wall.

Neighbours resume their annual cheer,

Wishing, with smiles and spirits high, Glad Christmas and a happy year,

To every morning passer-by;

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The shepherd now no more afraid,

Since custom doth the chance bestow, Starts up to kiss the giggling maid,

Beneath the branch of mistletoe, That 'neath each cottage beam is seen,

With pearl-like berries shining gay; The shadow still of what hath been,

Which fashion yearly fades away,

The singing waits--a merry throng,

At early morn, with simple skill, Yet imitate the angel's song,

And chaunt their Christmas ditty still ;


And, 'mid the storm that dies and swells

By fits, in hummings softly steals
The music of the village bells,

Ringing around their merry peals.

When this is past, a merry crew,

Bedecked in masks and ribbons gay,
The Morris Dance, their sports renew,

And act their winter evening play.
The clown turned king, for penny praise,

Storms with the actor's strut and swell,
And harlequin, a laugh to raise,

Wears his hunch-back and tinkling bell.

And oft for pence and spicy ale,

With winter nosegays pinned before,
The wassail-singer tells her tale,

And drawls her Christmas carols o'er.
While 'prentice boy, with ruddy face,

And rime-bepowdered dancing locks,
From door to door, with happy face,

Runs round to claim his “ Christmas-box."

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The block upon the fire is put,

To sanction custom's old desires,
And many a fagot's bands are cut

For the old farmer's Christmas fires :
Where loud-tongued gladness joins the throng,

And Winter meets the warmth of May,
Till, feeling soon the heat too strong,

He rubs his shins and draws away.

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While snows the window-panes bedim,

The fire curls up a sunny charm,

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