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For course of blood, our proverbs deem, Is warmer than the mountain stream.* And thus, my Christmas still I hold Where my great-grandsire came of old, With amber beard and flaxen hair, And reverend apostolic air, 1 The feast and holy-tide to share, And mix sobriety with wine, And honest mirth with thoughts divine : Small thought was his, in after time, E’er to be hitch'd into a rhyme. The simple sire could only boast, That he was loyal to his cost; The banish'd race of kings revered, And lost his land,--but kept his beard.
In these dear halls, where welcome kind Is with fair liberty combined ;
Blood is warmer than water,”-a proverb meant to vindicate
Where cordial friendship gives the hand,
How just, that, at this time of glee, My thoughts should, Heber, turn to thee! For many a merry hour we've known, And heard the chimes of midnight's tone. Cease, then, my friend! a moment cease, And leave these classic tomes in peace !
Of Roman and of Grecian lore,
*“Hannibal was a pretty fellow, sir-a very pretty fellow in his day."-Old Bachelor.
Æneas, upon Thracia’s shore,
All nations have their omens drear, Their legends wild of woe and fear. To Cambria look the peasant see Bethink him of Glendowerdy, And shun the “ Spirit's Blasted Tree.” The Highlander, whose red claymore The battle turn’d on Maida's shore, Will, on a Friday morn, look pale, If ask'd to tell a fairy tale : He fears the vengeful Elfin King, Who leaves that day his grassy ring ;
Invisible to human ken, .
Didst e'er, dear Heber, pass along, Beneath the towers of Franchémont, Which, like an eagle's nest in air, Hang o'er the stream and hamlet fair ?Deep in their vaults, the peasants say, A mighty treasure buried lay, Amass'd through rapine and through wrong By the last Lord of Franchémont. The iron chest is bolted hard, A huntsman sits, its constant guard ; Around his neck his horn is hung, His hanger in his belt is slung ; Before his feet his bloodhounds lie : An 'twere not for his gloomy eye, Whose withering glance no heart can brook, As true a huntsman doth he look, As bugle e'er in brake did sound, Or ever hollow'd to a hound.