BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

The Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling,
And Festivities Of The Christmas Season.

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SIGNS OF THE SEASON.
123
depositary than the memories of the humble classes of the young, —full of corruptions, which render some of them nearly unintelli­gible. The difficulty of restoring these old carols, in their original forms, is becoming yearly greater, in consequence of the modern carols, which are fast replacing them, by a sort of authority. In country places, many of the more polished carols, of modern composition, find their way into the church services of this season ; and amongst the singers who practise this manner of appealing to the charities of the season, with most success, are the children of the Sunday-schools and the choristers of the village church. These, with their often sweet voices, bring to our doors the more select hymns, and the musical training, which they have gathered for more sacred places;—some such beautiful anthem as that beginning " Hark ! the herald angels sing," rather than the strange, rambling, old Christmas songs, which we well remember, when we were boys. These latter, however, occasion­ally, are not without a wild beauty of their own. We quote a fragment of one of them from memory. We think it begins—
" The moon shines bright, and the stars give light, A little before the day ;'
and wanders on, somewhat after the following unconnected fashion :—
" Awake ! awake ! good people all! Awake, and you shall hear, How Christ, our Lord, died on the cross For those he loved so dear.
O fair ! 0 fair, Jerusalem !
When shall I come to thee ? When shall my griefs be at an end,
That I thy tents may see !
The fields were green as green could be,
When, from his glorious seat, The Lord our God he watered us
With his heavenly good and sweet
And for the saving of our souls,
Christ died upon the cross, We never shall do for Jesus Christ
What he has done for us !
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