century as a New England holiday, though in certain localities, such as old Narragansett—an opulent community which was settled by Episcopalians—two weeks of Christmas visiting and feasting were entered into with zest by both planters and slaves for many years previous to the revolution.
Run, shepherds, run where Bethlehem blest appears.
We bring the best of news; be not dismayed:
A Saviour there is born more old than years.
Amidst heaven's rolling height this earth who stayed.
In a poor cottage inned, a virgin maid,
A weakling did him bear, who all upbears;
There is he poorly swaddled, in manger laid,
To whom too narrow swaddlings are our spheres:
Run, shepherds, run, and solemnize his birth.
This is that night—no, day, grown great with bliss,
In which the power of Satan broken is:
In heaven be glory, peace unto the earth!
Thus singing, through the air the angels swarm.
And cope of stars re-echoed the same.