Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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determined to hazard the ensuing selection from a very large number of all descriptions.
The Introduction is merely intended to supply any readers who are desirous of having a little in­sight into our old Christmas customs, with a slight account of them, without the trouble of referring to those numerous books to which I am myself in­debted for the information. It is, what it professes to be, a compilation; and if I have not in all cases stated my authority (i. e. where it seemed imma­terial to do so), it was to avoid the appearance of citing too many. I will now conclude with the fol­lowing pleasing description of Christmas, by that great ornament of our age, whose loss we have had so recently to lament.
On Christmas-eve the bells were rung; The damsel donned her kirtle sheen ; The hall was dressed with holly green ; Forth to the wood did merry-men go, To gather in the misletoe. Then opened wide the baron's ball To vassal, tenant, serf and all; Power laid his rod of rule aside, And Ceremony doffed his pride. The heir, with roses in his shoes, That night might village partner chuse; The lord, underogating, share The vulgar game of " post and pair." All hailed, with uncontrolled delight, And general voice, the happy night, That to the cottage, as the crown, Brought tidings of salvation down.
The fire with well-dried logs supplied, Went roaring up the chimney wide ; The huge hall-table's oaken face, Scrubbed till it shone, the day to grace, Bore then upon its massive board No mark to part the squire and lord. Then was brought in the lusty brawn, By old blue-coated serving-man ;

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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III