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.