" Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, This bird of dawning singeth all night long : And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad ; The nights are wholesome—then no planets strike, No fairy takes, no witch hath power to charm, So hallow'd and so gracious is the time."
Amidst the general call to happiness, the bustle of the spirits, and stir of the affections, which prevail at this period, what bosom can remain insensible ? It is, indeed, the season of regenerated feeling—the season for kindling, not merely the fire of hospitality in the hall, but the genial flame of charity in the heart.
The scene of early love again rises green to memory beyond the sterile waste of years ; and the idea of home, fraught with the fragrance of home-dwelling joys, re-animates the drooping spirit,—as the Arabian breeze will sometimes waft the freshness of the distant fields to the weary pilgrim of the desert.
Stranger and sojourner as I am in the land —though for me no social hearth may blaze, no