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It peeps through the trees with its berries of red,

And its leaves of burnished green,
When the flowers and fruits have long been dead,

And not even the daisy is seen.
Then sing to the holly, the Christmas holly,

That hangs over peasant and king;
While we laugh and carouse 'neath its glittering boughs,

To the Christmas holly we'll sing.

The gale may whistle, the frost may come

To fetter the gurgling rill;
The woods may be bare, and warblers dumb,

But holly is beautiful still.
In the revel and light of princely halls

The bright holly branch is found;
And its shadow falls on the lowliest walls,

While the brimming horn goes round.

The ivy lives long, but its home must be

Where graves and ruins are spread;
There's beauty about the cypress tree,

But it flourishes near the dead;
The laurel the warrior's brow may wreathe,

But it tells of tears and blood ;
I sing the holly, and who can breathe

Aught of that that is not good ?
Then sing to the holly, the Christmas holly,

That hangs over peasant and king;
While we laugh and carouse 'neath its glittering boughs,

To the Christmas holly we'll sing.


MARY Howitt.

Now he who knows old Christmas,

He knows a carle of worth; For he is as good a fellow

As any upon earth.

He comes warm cloaked and coated,

And buttoned up to the chin, And soon as he comes a-nigh the door

We open and let him in.

We know that he will not fail us,

So we sweep the hearth up clean; We set him in the old arm-chair,

And a cushion whereon to lean.

And with sprigs of holly and ivy

We make the house look gay, Just out of an old regard to him,

For it was his ancient way.

He must be a rich old fellow :

What money he gives away! There is not a lord in England

Could equal him any day. Good luck unto old Christmas,

And long life, let us sing, For he doth more good unto the poor

Than many a crowned king!



O FIR-TREE green! O Fir-tree green !

Your leaves are constant ever,
Not only in the summer time,
But through the winter's snow and rime

You're fresh and green forever. .
O Fir-tree green! O Fir-tree green!

I still shall love you dearly!
How oft to me on Christmas night
Your laden boughs have brought delight.
O Fir-tree green! 0 Fir-tree green!

I still shall love you dearly.



'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the

house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads ; And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter I

my bed to see what was the matter.

sprang from

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below;
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick!
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name.
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen !
On, Comet! on, Cupid ! on, Donder and Blitzen !-
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall,
Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky,
So, up to the housetop the coursers they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas, too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound :
He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot:
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.

eyes, how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.


The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump — a right jolly old elf:
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself ;
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings: then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere they drove out of sight,
“ Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”



LITTLE Gretchen, little Gretchen wanders up and down

the street; The snow is on her yellow hair, the frost is at her feet, The rows of long, dark houses without look cold and

damp, By the struggling of the moonbeam, by the flicker of

the lamp. The clouds ride fast as horses, the wind is from the


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