blessed by Christ, have laid out banquets by it; that exiles and prisoners have lived on it; and the despised and forsaken and rejected in all countries have asked it. It is also true that when any great king ate well and throve on his dinner, it was by the same magic food. The young and the free and the glad, and all rich men in costly houses, even they have not been well fed without it.
And though we have called it a Bill of Fare for a Christmas Dinner, that is only that men’s eyes may be caught by its name, and that they, thinking it a specialty for festival, may learn and understand its secret, and henceforth, laying all their dinner according to its magic order, may "eat unto the Lord."
A BALLADE OF OLD LOVES
Who is it stands on the polished stair,
A merry, laughing, winsome maid,
From the Christmas rose in her garden hair
To the high-heeled slippers of spangled suède
A glance, half daring and half afraid,
Gleams from her roguish eyes downcast;
Already the vision begins to fade—
’Tis only a ghost of a Christmas Past.