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Despite the change of scene or clime,
Despite thy envious touch, old Time.
Ye fairy elves, with gladsome brow,
Who trip it ’neath the sacred bough ;
Ye amorous youths, with graceful mien,
Who mingle in that sylph-like scene;
May thus your hours, ye fair, ye brave,
Flow changeless as the ocean wave,
Nor catch one shadow from the grave !
But should you mark the vacant chair,

And memory, battling with decay,

Triumphing over death's stern sway, Bring back some once-loved image there,Let not your bliss be dash'd with fear, Nor dim your bright eyes with a tear; The dead beneath the crumbling mould, Are stored like unforgotten gold ; They wear, 'tis hoped, their heavenly gem, And Christmas fondly speaks of them. Whene'er my towering soul, at last, From this frail tenement hath pass’d, From time into eternity, Say, Christmas, wilt thou speak of me?


W.F. Pratt, Stokesley, Yorkshire.

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