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Mertoun-House, Christmas. HEAP on more wood !—the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
has deemed the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer :
Even heathen yet, the savage
They gorged upon the half-dressed steer ;
Caroused in seas of sable beer;
While round, in brutal jest, were thrown
The boisterous joys of Odin's hall.
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.
On Christmas eve the mass was sung ;
That only night, in all the year,
The hall was dressed with holly green ;
Forth to the wood did merry-men go,
To gather in the misletoe.
To vassal, tenant, serf, and all ;
Power laid his rod of rule aside,
And Ceremony doffed his pride.
The fire, with well-dried logs supplied, Went roaring up the chimney wide;