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THE MISTLETOE.

Mary at his elbow stayed,

Oh, oh, the mistletoe!

And, oh! we saw by each fond look,
And how his trembling quavers shook,
Her beauty was his music book.
Oh, oh, the mistletoe!

Much he tuned and much he sung,
Oh, oh, the mistletoe!

Mary still about him hung,

Oh, oh, the mistletoe!

Till taking courage, he advanced,

And struck a jig; then how we danced,
But Mary for his partner chanced.

Oh, oh, the mistletoe!

Mary tripped with panting breath,
Oh, oh, the mistletoe!

Till the magic bough beneath,
Oh, oh, the mistletoe!

Then she feigned undone her shoe,
But the swain her mischief knew,

And seized a kiss-it might be two.
Oh, oh, the mistletoe!

Then the kissing time begun,

Oh, oh, the mistletoe!

Men looked shy, and lasses fun,

Oh, oh, the mistletoe!

But honest men, whom girls believe,

Throughout the year would sigh and grieve, Did they not kiss on Christmas-eve.

Oh, oh, the mistletoe!

THE MISTLETOE.

(BARRY CORNWALL.)

WHEN winter nights grow long,

And winds without blow cold,

We sit in a ring round the warm wood fire,

And listen to stories old!

And we try to look grave (as maids should be),
When the men bring in boughs of the laurel tree.
O, the laurel, the evergreen tree!

The poets have laurels, and why not we?

How pleasant, when night falls down,
And hides the wintry sun,

To see them come in to the blazing fire,
And know that their work is done;
Whilst many bring in, with a laugh or rhyme,
Green branches of holly for Christmas time.

O, the holly, the bright green holly!

It tells (like a tongue) that the times are jolly!

Sometimes (in our grave house

Observe, this happeneth not;)

But at times the evergreen laurel boughs,

And the holly are all forgot,

And then! what then! why, the men laugh low,
And hang up a branch of- -the mistletoe!

Oh, brave is the laurel! and brave is the holly,
But the mistletoe banisheth melancholy!
Ah, nobody knows, nor ever shall know,
What is done under the mistletoe.

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CHURCH BELLS.

(JOHN KEBLE.)

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AKE me to-night, my mother dear,

That I may hear

The Christmas Bells, so soft and clear,

To high and low glad tidings tell,

How God the Father loved us well,

How God the Eternal Son

Came to undo what we had done,

How God the Paraclete,

Who in the chaste womb formed the Babe so sweet,
In power and glory came, the birth to aid and greet.

Wake me, that I the twelvemonth long

May bear the song

About with me in the world's throng;
That treasured joys of Christmas tide
May with mine hour of gloom abide;
The Christmas Carol ring

Deep in my heart, when I would sing;

Each of the twelve good days

Its earnest yield of duteous love and praise,

Ensuring happy months, and hallowing common ways.

Wake me again, my mother dear,

That I may hear

The peal of the departing year.

O well I love, the step of Time

Should move to that familiar chime:

Fair fall the tones that steep

The Old Year in the dews of sleep,

The New guide softly in

With hopes to sweet sad memories akin!

Long may that soothing cadence ear, heart, conscience win.

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DIRGE FOR THE YEAR.

(PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.)

ORPHAN hours, the year is dead,

Come and sigh, come and weep!

Merry hours smile instead,

For the year is but asleep.

See, it smiles as it is sleeping,
Mocking your untimely weeping.

As an earthquake rocks a corse
In its coffin in the clay,

So White Winter, that rough nurse,
Rocks the death-cold year to-day;

Solemn hours! wait aloud

For your mother in her shroud.

As the wild air stirs and sways

The tree-swung cradle of a child,

So the breath of these rude days

Rocks the year :-be calm and mild,

Trembling hours, she will arise

With new love within her eyes.

January grey is here,

Like a sexton by her grave;

February bears the bier,

March with grief doth howl and rave,

And April weeps-but, 0.

, ye hours,

Follow with May's fairest flowers.

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