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Editor's Selection of Poems
Ceremonies for Candlemas Eve

by Robert Herrick

       Down with the rosemary and bays,
           Down with the misletoe;
       Instead of holly, now up-raise
           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 honour Whitsuntide.

       Green rushes, then, and sweetest bents,
           With cooler oaken boughs,
       Come in for comely ornaments
           To re-adorn the house.

Thus times do shift; each thing his turn does hold;
New things succeed, as former things grow old.
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