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To him the season , though it may recall Solemn and touching thoughts , has yet a ray Of brightness o'er itj throvm . % " which sheds on all His fellow-pilgrims in life ' s rugged way , Far more than sunshine ; and his neart is gay ! Were all like his , how beautiful were mirth ! Then human feelings might keep holiday In blameless joy , beside the social hearth , And honour Heaven ' s first law by happiness on earth . " Mr . Barton dwells more like a poet than a Quaker on the antique social rites of the season :
* ' And these axe they who , on this social eve , Its old observances with joy fulfil ; Their simple hearts the loss of such would grieve , For childhood ' s early memory keeps them still , Like lovely wild-flowers by a crystal rill , Fresh and unfading ; they tnay be antique , In towns disused ; but rural vale and hill , And those who live and die there , love to seek The blameless bliss they yield , for unto them they speak A language dear as the remembered tone
Of murmuring streamlet in big native land , Is to the wanderer ' s ear , who treads alone O ' er India ' s or Arabia ' s wastes of sand : Their memory too is mixed with pleasures plann'd In the bright happy hours of blooming youth ; When Fancy scattered fiowers , with open hand , Across Hope ' s path , whose visions passed for sooth , Yet linger in such hearta their ancient worth and truth .
And therefore do they deck their walls with green ; There shines the holly-bough with berries red ; There too the yule-log ' s cheerful blaze is seen Around its genial warmth and light to shed ; Round it are happy faces , smiles that spread A feeling of enjoyment , calm and pure , A sense of happiness , home-born , home-bred , Whose influence shall unchangingly endure , While home for English hearts has pleasures to allure .
And though the world more worldly may have grown , And modes and manners to our fathers dear Be now by most unpractised and unknown , Not less their spirit , we may still revere ; Honoured the smfle , and hallowed be the tear # Given to these reliques of the olden time , For those there be that prize them ; as the ear May love the ancient poet ' s simple rhyme , Or feel the secret charm of minster ' s distant chime .
Thus it should be ! Their memory is entwined With things long buried in Time ' s whelming wave ; Objects the heart has ever fondly shrined , And fain from dull forgetfulness would save , The wise , the good , the gentle , and the brave , Whose names o ' er history ' s page have glory shed ; The patriot's birth-place , and the poet ' s grave , Old manners and old customs , long since fled , Yet to the living dear , linked with the honoured dead !"
New- Year ' s Eve . £
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1829, page 3, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2568/page/3/