82 CHRISTMAS DAY
and made the responses; and I must do him the justice to say that he acquitted himself with great gravity and decorum.
The service was followed by a Christmas carol, which Mr. Bracebridge himself had constructed from a poem of his favourite author, Herrick; and it had been adapted to an old church melody by Master Simon. As there were several good voices among the household, the effect was extremely pleasing; but I was particularly gratified by the exaltation of heart, and sudden sally of grateful feeling, with which the worthy Squire delivered one stanza: his eyes glistening, and his voice rambling out of all the bounds of time and tune :
" 'Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering hearth
With guiltlesse mirth, And giv'st me wassaile bowles to drink,
Spiced to the brink : Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand
That soiles my land ; And giv'st me for my bushell sowne,
Twice ten for one."