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The huge hall-table's oaken face,
Scrubbed till it shone, the day to grace,
Bore then upon its massive board
Crested with bays and rosemary.
Well can the green-garbed ranger tell,
At such high tide, her savoury goose.
And carols roared with blithesome din;
If unmelodious was the song,
It was a hearty note, and strong.
Traces of ancient mystery ;
White shirts supplied the masquerade,
And smutted cheeks the visors made;
Old Christmas brought his sports again. "Twas Christmas broached the mightiest ale ;
'Twas Christmas tolử the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
Still linger, in our northern clime, Some remnants of the good old time; And still, within our vallies here,
We hold the kindred title dear,
Even when, perchance, its far-fetched claim
To Southron ear sounds empty name;
For course of blood, our proverbs deem,
And thus, my Christmas still I hold
Where my great-grandsire came of old,
And lost his land, --but kept his beard.
In these dear halls, where welcome kind
Is with fair liberty combined ;
“Blood is warmer than water,"—a proverb meant to vindicate our family predilections.
Where cordial friendship gives the hand,
Of the fair dame that rules the land.
Little we heed the tempest drear,
When not a leaf is on the bough.
Tweed loves them well, and turns again,
As loath to leave the sweet domain;
And holds his mirror to her face,
And clips her with a close embrace :-
And as reluctant turn us home.
How just, that, at this time of glee, My thoughts should, Heber, turn to thee !
For many a merry hour we've known,
Cease, then, my friend! a moment cease, And leave these classic tomes in peace!
Of Roman and of Grecian lore,
Sure mortal brain can hold no more.
These ancients, as Noll Bluff might say,
Were “ pretty fellows in their day;"*
Of wonder and of war
.“ Profane !
What! leave the lofty Latian strain,
To hear the clash of rusty arms ;
In Fairy Land or Limbo lost,
touch my charter, hear; Though Leyden aids, alas ! no more, My cause with many-languaged lore. This may
I say :-in realms of death Ulysses meets Alcides' wraith;
* “ Hannibal was a pretty fellow, sir-a very pretty fellow in his day."--Old Bachelor.