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CEREMONY FOR CHRISTMAS EVE.

OME bring with a noise,
My merry merry boys,

The Christmas log to the firing;
While my good dame, she
Bids ye all be free,

And drink to your heart's desiring.

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CHRISTMAS EVE.

COME, guard this night the Christmas pie,
That the thief, though ne'er so sly,
With his flesh-hooks, don't come nigh
To catch it,

From him, who all alone sits there,
Having his eyes still in his ear,
And a deal of nightly fear,

To watch it.

same.

In Herrick's time, the Watchman and Bellman were one and the The latter appellation arose, we expect, from its being the practice of these ancient guardians of the night to carry with them a large bell, either for the purpose of summoning assistance when required, or else to enable them the more effectually to disturb the slumbers of those who, snug asleep, cared very little to know how the hours happened to be progressing. Now-a-days the Bellman is quite a Christmas character. The office is generally usurped by the beadle or parish constable, who constitutes himself Bellman for one day in the year, viz., Boxing Day, in the hope that, by the presentation of some miserable doggerel rhymes to his "worthy masters," the inhabitants of the parish, of which he is so important an officer, he may reap a rich and unmerited reward.

THE BELL-MAN.

FROM noise of scare-fires* rest ye free,

From murders Benedicite!

From all mischances that may fright
Your pleasing slumbers in the night;
Mercy secure ye all, and keep
The goblin from ye, while ye sleep.
Past one o'clock, and almost two,
My masters all," Good day to you."

Alarms of fire.

AN ODE ON THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOUR.

IN numbers, and but these few,
I sing thy Birth, Oh Jesu!
Thou pretty Baby, born here,
With sup'rabundant scorn here :
Who for Thy princely port here,
Hadst for Thy place
Of Birth, a base

Out-stable for thy court here.

Instead of neat inclosures
Of interwoven osiers :
Instead of fragrant posies
Of daffodils, and roses;
Thy cradle, Kingly Stranger,
As Gospel tells,

Was nothing else
But, here, a homely manger.

But we with silks, not cruells,*
With sundry precious jewels,
And lily-work will dress Thee;
And as we dispossess Thee
Of clouds, we'll make a chamber,
Sweet Babe, for Thee,
Of ivory,

And plastered round with amber.

The Jews they did disdain Thee,
But we will entertain Thee

With glories to await here
Upon thy princely state here,

• Worsteds.

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL,

SUNG TO THE KING* IN THE PRESENCE AT WHITEHALL.

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II.

If we may ask the reason, say;

The why, and wherefore all things here Seem like the spring time of the year?

III.

Why does the chilling winter's morn
Smile, like a field beset with corn?
Or smell, like to a mead new shorn,
Thus, on the sudden?

IV.

Come and see

The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
"Tis He is born, whose quickening birth
Gives life and lustre, public mirth,
To Heaven and the under Earth.

CHORUS.

We see Him come, and know him ours, Who with his sunshine and his showers, Turns all the patient ground to flowers.

1.

The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome him.

II.

The nobler part

Of all the house here, is the heart.

CHORUS.

Which we will give Him; and bequeath
This holly and this ivy wreath,

To do Him honour who's our King,
And Lord of all this revelling.

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