The year is well-nigh ended, the leaf is sere and brown;
The elm casts down its coronal, the oak its faded crown;
Bleak thro' the leafless copse-wood, bleak o'er naked hill,
The sharp December breezes blow desolate and shrill.
Like birds of varied plumage those leaves fly round and round,
Now whirl'd in dancing eddies, now settling to the ground;
The road is hard like iron, the frozen stream like steel,
And scarce doth show the impress of the gliding skater's heel.
It is the time of Christmas, the merry Christmas time!
Hark! how the bells are pealing the jocund Christmas chime;
The church-walls wave with the branches of the hemlock and the pine,
The Christmas-tree is burden'd with gifts that on it shine.
Merry it is in city, merry in village street,
Merry where lonely farm-house sleeps in its calm retreat,
For now is merry Christmas, and Christmas fires are lit,
And close around the fireside the Christmas revellers sit.
Long in the costly mansion, where wealth luxurious dwells
The singer's tuneful music, delighteth with its swells;
And many a blazing lustre and lamp of fretted gold,
Shines o'er the velvet couches, and drapery's damask fold;
While swift the dancer's footstep the graceful measure treads,
And pleasure crowns with garlands fair forms and lovely heads.