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The sputtering lamps burn low and die;
The wabbling blazes staggering chase Across the scattered brands, that char
Within the ample fireplace; Deserted seems the ancient hall;
Uncanny in the fallen gloom; And in the chill and dark that come
Is lost the heavy wassail fume. The soughing winds sweep down the night;
A sorry cur, in doleful howl, Lends to the grewsome time his wail,
Responsive to a hooting owl.
But see! Another light is there;
Unearthly, pallid, is its glow, And shadowy forms, in shimmering mail
Renew the song and wassail flow. The song is hollow, soft and faint;
The wine is thin, the toasts are old; And yet they prate of sires' deeds,
And clash the goblets that they hold. Within the chimney-place a brand
Spurts out a long and ruddy glare, And then these ghosts of men agone
Flee from the sight thus shown them there.