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RICHARD HEBER, Esq.
Mertoun-House, Christmas. HEAP on more wood !—the wind is chill ; But let it whistle as it will, We'll keep our Christmas merry still. Each age has deemed the new-born year The fittest time for festal cheer: Even heathen yet, the savage Dane At Iol more deep the mead did drain ; High on the beach his galleys drew, And feasted all his pirate crew; Then in his low and pine-built hall, Where shields and axes decked the wall,
They gorged upon the half-dressed steer ; Caroused in seas of sable beer; While round, in brutal jest, were thrown The half-grawed rib, and marrow-bone; Or listened all, in grim delight, While scalds yelled out the joys of fight. Then forth, in frenzy, would they hie, While wildly loose their red locks fly, And dancing round the blazing pile, They make such barbarous mirth the while, As best might to the mind recal 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. Domestic and religious rite Gave honour to the holy night: On Christmas eve the bells were rung ; On Christmas eve the mass was sung;
That only night, in all the year,
The fire, with well-dried logs supplied, Went roaring up the chimney wide;