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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 No mark to part the squire and lord. Then was brought in the lusty brawn By old blue-coated serving-man ; Then the grim boar's-head frowned on high, Crested with bays and rosemary. Well can the green-garbed ranger tell, How, when, and where, the monster fell; What dogs before his death he tore, And all the baiting of the boar. The wassel round, in good brown bowls, Garnished with ribbons, blithely trowls. There the huge sirloin reeked; hard by Plumb-porridge stood, and Christmas pye; Nor failed old Scotland to produce, At such high tide, her savoury goose. Then came the merry masquers in, And carols roared with blithesome din;

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If unmelodious was the song,

It was a hearty note, and strong.

Who lists may in their mumming see

Traces of ancient mystery ;

White shirts supplied the masquerade,
And smutted cheeks the visors made ; :
But, O! what masquers, richly dight,
Can boast of bosoms half so light!
England was merry England, when
Old Christmas brought his sports again.
'Twas Christmas broached the mightiest ale ;
'Twas Christmas tolù the merriest tale ;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man's heart through half the year.

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,
Is warmer than the mountain-stream. *
And thus, my Christmas still I hold
Where my great-grandsire came of old,
With amber beard, and flaxen hair,
And reverend apostolic air-
The feast and holy-tide to share,
And mix sobriety with wine,
And honest mirth with thoughts divine :
Small thought was his, in after time
E’er to be hitched into a rhyme.
The simple sire could only boast,
That he was loyal to his cost;
The banished race of kings revered,
And lost his land,--but kept his beard.

In these dear halls, where welcome kind Is with fair liberty combined; i

• “Blood is warmer than water,"—a proverb meant to vindicate our family predilections.

Where cordial friendship gives the hand,
And Alies constraint the magic wand
Of the fair dame that rules the land.
Little we heed the tempest drear,
While music, mirth, and social cheer,
Speed on their wings the passing year.
And Mertoun's halls are fair e'en now,
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 :-
Gladly as he, we seek the dome,
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, And heard the chimes of midnight's tone. 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;"* But time and tide o'er all prevail — On Christmas eve a Christmas taleOf wonder and of war—« Profane ! What! leave the lofty Latian strain, Her stately prose, her verse's charms, ,.' To hear the clash of rusty arms; In Fairy Land or Limbo lost, To jostle conjuror and ghost, Goblin and witch !”—Nay, Heber dear, Before you 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.

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