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England was merry England, when Old Christmas brought his sports again. 'Twas Christmas broach'd the mightiest
ale; 'Twas Christmas told the merriest tale ; A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
man's heart through half the year.
Still linger, in our northern clime, Some remnants of the good old time; And still, within our valleys here, We hold the kindred title dear, Even when, perchance, its far-fetch'd claim To Southern 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 airThe feast and holy-tide to share, And mix sobriety with wine, And honest mirth with thoughts divine :
Small thought was his, in after time
In these dear halls, where welcome kind Is with fair liberty combined ; Where cordial friendship gives the hand, And fies 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,
Were pretty fellows in their day ;'
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 ;
All nations have their omens drear, Their legends wild of woe and fear. To Cambria look—the peasant see, Bethink him of Glendowerdy, And shun “the spirit's Blasted Tree.” The Highlander, whose red claymore The battle turn’d on Maida's shore, Will, on a Friday morn, look pale, If ask'd to tell a fairy tale: He fears the vengeful Elfin King, Who leaves that day his grassy ring : Invisible to human ken, He walks among the sons of men.
Did'st e'er, dear Heber, pass along Beneath the towers of Franchémont, Which, like an eagle's nest in air, Hang o'er the stream and hamlet fair ? Deep in their vaults, the peasants say, A mighty treasure buried lay, Amass'd through rapine and through wrong By the last Lord of Franchémont. The iron chest is bolted hard, A huntsman sits, its constant guard ; Around his neck his horn is hung, His hanger in his belt is slung ; Before his feet his blood-hounds lie : An 'twere not for his gloomy eye, Whose withering glance no heart can brook, As true a huntsman doth he look, As bugle e'er in brake did sound, Or ever hollow'd to a hound. To chase the fiend, and win the prize, In that same dungeon ever tries An aged Necromantic Priest ; It is an hundred years at least, Since 'twixt them first the strife begun,