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with far more favour than is awarded to more beautiful plants which leaf and blossom only in the summer. The variegated holly is merely a variety of Jlex aquifolium (our common holly); and, as that has been already described, no further notice of it is required in this sketch of the Christmas wreath.

'Tis Christmas ! holy season, hail !
What though the sun is dim and pale,
What though through leafless trees the gale

Makes sullen moan,
And not a flower is left to tell

Of summer gone?

Yet, for the memories thou dost bring
The blessed hopes thou bid'st upspring,
I'll greet with gladlier welcoming

Thy gloomy hours,
Than those bright months which round them fling

Sunshine and flowers.

Nor wakest thou solemn thoughts alone,
Thy spell the social virtues own:
Who has not felt how sweet the tone,

The smile how bland, When thou dost knit again in one

The household band?

Now stir the fire, and let its glow
Shame the inhospitable snow;
With all that nature yet can show

From winter's wreck, Laurel, and box, and holly bough,

The casement deck.

'Tis joy to hear the sullen north Summon the rushing tempest forth, For then around the social hearth

Friend meeteth friend, And kindly words and looks of mirth

Sweet influence lend.

But is’t in mirth they always meet?
Alas! sometimes a vacant seat
Bespeaks the circle incomplete;

Some voice is mute, Whose welcome was aforetime sweet

As evening lute.

Then, then indeed a tear will stray,
As they the lessened group survey,
That
group
with other smiles once gay:

And who would blame The tear affection well may pay

To Memory's claim ?

But whilst from Friendship's silken string
Each year some pearl is scattering,
We're taught by each lost gem to cling

More firm and true
To those yet spared by Time's rude wing,—

The cherish'd few.

The cherish'd few! ah! who may tell
What pathos in those words doth dwell:
A voice of meeting and farewell

Blends in the sound,
Weaving a monitory spell

The heart around.

But hush, my harp, — such plaintive lay
Unseemly greets this blessed day.
How often, when I would be gay,

Thought backward steers Her course, then joy to grief gives way,

And hopes to fears.

Yet, whilst I muse on change and death,
Till earth seems cleft

my

feet beneath, Oh! may this storm-surviving wreath

A thought supply, That they who live the life of faith *

“ Shall never die!”

* John, xi. 26.

POSTSCRIPT.

It is with a feeling bordering on regret that the author finds herself at the close of her pleasant task; in the composition of which, and in making the drawings which illustrate it, many an hour has been most agreeably beguiled. Highly gratified would she be if her readers could make the same avowal in reference to the perusal, and encourage her by the assurance that they have accompanied her in her sylvan wanderings with unwearied steps.

Yet, “in the spirit of meekness," she would confess, that to amuse has not been her sole, or even her chief, aim. Throughout the work, she has endeavoured to bear in mind herself, and to impress on others, that 66 a Christian should be a Christian in the field as well as in the temple;” and that Nature should ever be the handmaid of Devotion : when she is made to take a higher position, she occupies His place, who made the “ heavens and the earth, and all the host of them.”

In pursuance of her prevailing intention, she would leave one parting caution with her readers, borrowed from that delightful author, whose name has so often appeared in the foregoing pages. Evelyn, after describing with more than his wonted enthusiasm the sylvan

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