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CEREMONY FOR CHRISTMAS EVE.
OME bring with a noise,
The Christmas log to the firing;
And drink to your heart's desiring.
COME, guard this night the Christmas pie,
From him, who all alone sits there,
To watch it.
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.
FROM noise of scare-fires* rest ye free,
From murders Benedicite!
From all mischances that may fright
Alarms of fire.
AN ODE ON THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOUR.
IN numbers, and but these few,
Out-stable for thy court here.
Instead of neat inclosures
Was nothing else
But we with silks, not cruells,*
And plastered round with amber.
The Jews they did disdain Thee,
With glories to await here
If we may ask the reason, say;
The why, and wherefore all things here Seem like the spring time of the year?
Why does the chilling winter's morn
Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
We see Him come, and know him ours, Who with his sunshine and his showers, Turns all the patient ground to flowers.
The darling of the world is come,
The nobler part
Of all the house here, is the heart.
Which we will give Him; and bequeath
To do Him honour who's our King,