Christmas Poems » 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._

- Bryan Waller Proctor


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