With such compelling cause to grieve
      As daily vexes household peace,
      And chains regret to his decease,
How dare we keep our Christmas bells-eve;

Which brings no more a welcome guest
      To enrich the threshold of the night
      With shower'd largess of delight
In dance and song and game and jest?

Yet go, and while the holly boughs
      Entwine the cold baptismal font,
      Make one wreath more for Use and Wont,
That guard the portals of the house;

Old sisters of a day gone by,
      Gray nurses, loving nothing new;
      Why should they miss their yearly due
Before their time? They too will die.

Last modified 14 February 2010