Choosing the Mistletoe.

Twas Christmas Eve, and all the land1
Had donned a robe of spotless white,2
When through the orchard, hand in hand,3
We went amid the waning light.4
For you had left the cheerful town,5
And walked a mile across the snow,6
To hold the apple branches down,7
And help me choose the mistletoe.8
Each tempting bough with frost was wreathed ;9
The creamy berries grew so high,10
They shone like pearls in silver sheathed11
Against the brightness of the sky.12
It must have been the sunset red13
Which lent my cheeks that crimson glow,14
As, softly o’er my drooping head,15
You—held a spray of mistletoe.16
The glory of the west grew pale17
And faded to a primrose bar ;18
Grave Twilight dropped her misty veil,19
And clasped it with a diamond star,20
The chimes rang out for Evensong21
Before we thought ’twas time to go :22
It always seems to take so long23
When two must choose the mistletoe.24
Since then, the years have rolled away,25
And other lips sweet stories tell ;26
And other lovers stroll to-day27
Adown the path we loved so well.28
Dear heart, old memories make me weep,29
But you—you only smile to know30
That with Love’s dearest gifts I keep31
A withered spray of mistletoe.32