Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/101

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95
HOLLY AND MISTLETOE.

Above his shapely palm I bent,
And told him, "Truly he should know
Who loved him best, at Christmas-time,
Beneath the magic mistletoe;

"For just when nine o'clock should strike
A dark- eyed girl should surely stand
Beneath the Christmas bough, and bear
A spray of holly in her hand."

****


And then, as Madge's friend would do,
I dressed at Christmas-time her hair,
And told her that a holly-wreath
Would make her fairness look more fair.

I twined its coral skilfully
Amid her braided jetty crown,
And bid her hold a little spray
To foil her dress of golden brown.

Just when the hour of nine was nigh,
With earnest speech and movement slow,
I walked across the room with her,
And stopped beneath the mistletoe.

****


All right! I knew one earnest glance
Would knit the broken bond between.
Ah, Carl, my friend, you ll never know
What witches walk All-Hallow E'en.