all! welcome all! The feast is spread in the vaulted hall...The gen'rous wassail-bowl With kindness warms the soul. We quaff it to friends, we quaff it to foes, At Christmas no heart animosity knows. Nay, be cautious, gentle maid, As you pass that hanging bough, With the berries white array'd; For there's one has made a vow That those lips he will invade, And he'll keep it I'm afraid. Ne'er perish the law of the mistletoe, Tho' some fair cheeks it condemns to glow. Varied sports the evening close, Dancers form in busy rows; Hoodwink'd lovers roam about, Hope to find the right one out, And when they fall how merry is the shout! Round yon flickering flame of blue Urchins sit, an anxious crew; Dainties rich the bold invite, While from the fire the timid shrink with fright. Welcome all! welcome all! 'Tis merry now in the vaulted hall. The mistletoe is over head, The holly flaunts its berries red, The wassail-bowl goes gaily round, Our mirth awakes the echoes round; All eyes are bright, all hearts are gay; Thus ends our Christmas Day'. From "Illustrated London News", 1860.
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