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Candlemas Eve

Lyrics by R. Herrick, music by unknown; P.D. A carol for February 1st
found in the Oxford Book of Carols. The lyrics are attributed to
R. Herrick (1591-1674). The tune is from an old church-gallery book
discovered by the Rev. L.J.T. Darwall. – CM

Down with the rosemary and bays
Down with the mistletoe
Instead of holly now upraise
The greener box for show
The holly hitherto did sway
Let box now domineer
Until the dancing Easter day
Or Easter’s eve appear

Then youthful box which now hath grace
Your houses to renew
Grown old, surrender must his place
Unto the crisped yew
When yew is out then birch comes in
And many flowers beside
Both of a fresh and fragrant kin
To honor Whitsuntide

Green rushes then and sweetest bents
With cooler oaken boughs
Come in for comely ornaments
To readorn the house
Thus times do shift, thus times do shift
Each thing his turn does hold
New things succeed, new things succeed
As former things grow old

If Candlemas be fair and bright
Come, winter, have another flight
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go, winter, and come not again.