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A Christmas Piece

By Fred S. Cozzens

Of garnered rhyme,
from hidden stores of olden time
that since the language did begin,
have welcomed merry Christmas in,
and made the winter nights so long,
fleet by on wings of wine and song;
for when the snow is on the roof,
the house within is sorrow proof,
if yule clog blazes on the hearth,
and cups and hearts o'er-brim with mirth
Then bring the wassail to the board,
with nuts and fruit -- the winter's hoard;
and bid the children take off shoe,
to hang their stockings by the flue;
and let the clear and frosty sky,
set out its brightest jewelry,
to show old Santa Claus the road,
so he may ease his gimcrack load.
And with the coming of these times,
we'll add some old and lusty rhymes,
that suit the festive season well,
and sound as sweet as Christmas bell.

Now just bethink of castle gate,
where humble midnight murmurs wait,
to try if voices, one and all,
can rouse the tipsy seneschal,
to give them bread and beer and brawn,
for tidings of the Christmas morn;
or bid each yelper clear his throat,
with water of the castle moat,
for thus they used, by snow and torch,
to rear their voices at the porch.

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