Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Mistletoe



When winter nights grow long,
And winds without blow cold,
We sit in a ring round the warm wood-fire,
And listen to stories old!
And we try to look grave, as maids should be,
When the men bring in boughs of the Laurel-tree.
O the Laurel, the evergreen tree!
The poets have laurels, and why not we?

How pleasant, when night falls down
And hides the wintry sun,
To see them come in to the blazing fire,
And know that their work is done;
Whilst many bring in, with a laugh or rhyme,
Green branches of Holly for Christmas time!
O the Holly, the bright green Holly,
It tells like a tongue that the times are jolly!

Sometimes in our grave house,
Observe, this happeneth not;
But, at times, the evergreen laurel boughs
And the holly are all forgot!
And then! what then? why, the men laugh low
And hang up a branch of the Mistletoe!
O brave is the Laurel! and brave is the Holly!
But the Mistletoe banisheth melancholy!
Ah, nobody knows, nor ever shall know,
What is done under the Mistletoe.

By Barry Cornwall

Merry Christmas!