The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Holly Berry

Words: Thomas Miller

Source: Henry Vizetelly, Christmas With The Poets (London: David Bogue, 1851).

    Gone are the summer hours,
    The birds have left their bowers;
While the holly true retains his hue,
    Nor changes like the flowers.
    On his armed leaf reposes
    The berries tinged like roses;
For he's ever seen in red or green,
    While grim old Winter dozes.

Then drink to the holly berry,
    With hey down, hey down derry;
    The mistletoe we'll pledge also,
And at Christmas all be merry.

    Above all cold affections,
    Like pleasant recollections
The ivy grows, and a deep veil throws
    O'er all Time's imperfections;
    The mould'ring column screening,
    The naked gateway greening,
While the falling shrine it doth entwine,
    Like a heart that's homeward leaning.

Then drink to the holly berry,
    With hey down, hey down derry;
    The mistletoe we'll pledge also,
And at Christmas all be merry.

    We read in ancient story,
    How the Druids in their glory
Marched forth of old, with gooks of gold,
    To forests dim and hoary;
    The giant oak ascended,
    Then from its branches rended
The mistletoe long long ago,
    By maidens fair attended.

Then drink to the holly berry,
    With hey down, hey down derry;
    The mistletoe we'll pledge also,
And at Christmas all be merry.

    Each thorpe and grange surrounding,
    The waits to music bounding,
Aroused the cook, that her fire might smoke
    Ere the early cock was sounding.
    For all the land was merry,
    And rang with "Hey down derry,"
While in castle hall, and cottage small,
    There glittered the holly berry.

Then drink to the holly berry,
    With hey down, hey down derry;
    The mistletoe we'll pledge also,
And at Christmas all be merry.

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