Words: Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
1. Down with the rosemary and bays,
Down with the mistletoe ;
Instead of holly, now up-raise
The greener box, for show.
Thus times and seasons oft do shift; each thing his turn doth hold ;
New thoughts and things now do succeed, as former things grow old.
2. The holly hitherto did sway ;
Let box now domineer
Until the dancing Easter day,
Or Easter's eve appear. Refrain
3. Then youthful box which now hath grace
Your houses to renew ;
Grown old, surrender must his place
Unto the crisped yew. Refrain
4. When yew is out, then birch comes in,
And many flowers beside ;
Both of a fresh and fragrant kin
To honour Whitsuntide. Refrain
5. Green rushes, then, and sweetest bents,
With cooler oaken boughs,
Come in for comely ornaments
To re-adorn the house. Refrain
This version omits the verse found above. Sorry.
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