Candlemas Eve was the moment for the last farewells to Christmas ; Herrick sings : —
"End now the White Loafe and the P And let all sports with Christmas dye,"
"Down with the Rosemary and Bayes, Down with the Misleto; Instead of Holly, now up-raise The greener Box for show.
The Holly hitherto did sway ;
Let Box now domineere Until the dancing Easter Day,
Or Easter's Eve appeare." 7*
An old Shropshire servant, Miss Burne tells us, was wont, when she took down the holly and ivy on Candlemas Eve, to put snowdrops in their place.75 We may see in this replacing of the winter evergreens by the delicate white flowers a hint that by Candlemas the worst of the winter is over and gone ; Earth has begun to deck herself with blossoms, and spring, however feebly, has begun. With Candlemas we, like the older English countryfolk, may take our leave of Christmas.