Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOW CAME THE HOLLY BERRIES RED?, by CHARLES W. E. CHAPIN JR.

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First Line: Twas long ago, the legends say
Last Line: The holly grew.
Subject(s): Holly; Parties

'TWAS long ago, the legends say,
Sir Roderick gave a party gay
On Christmas night at Lynden Hall;
And ladies fair and gallants tall,
And lord and matron old and gray,
Came, one and all,
To Roderick's Hall.

The Yule log blazed and burned and roared,
And flames and sparks up chimney soared;
In festoons gay the holly swung,
The misletoe demurely hung
From arches o'er the festal board,
And shyly clung
Where bright lights hung.

The holly's berries, pale and white, --
And not, as now, so red and bright, --
Were woven with the mistletoe,
And hung just where -- now you must know
What surely haps on Christmas night
If maiden go
'Neath mistletoe.

And when beneath this magic spray
Fair Gladys happ'd perchance to stray,
Up quickly stepped a gallant knight,
And kissed her there, as was his right;
And all the legends truly say
That ne'er did knight
Give kiss so light.

The holly berries overhead
Grew rosy, and turned crimson red;
For when they saw the rosy hue
On Gladys' cheek, what could they do
But drop and blush? So rosy red,
In blushing too,
The holly grew.

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