09. Festival

There is snow on the ground,
  And the valleys are cold,
And a midnight profound
 Blackly squats o'er the wold;
But a light on the hilltops half-seen hints of
  feastings unhallow’d and old.
There is death in the clouds,
  There is fear in the night,
For the dead in their shrouds
  Hail the sun's turning flight,
And chant wild in the woods as they dance
  round a Yule-altar fungous and white.

To no gale of earth's kind
  Sways the forest of oak,
Where the sick boughs entwin’d
  By mad mistletoes choke,
For these pow'rs are the pow'rs of the dark,
  from the graves of the lost Druid folk.
And mayst thou to such deeds
  Be an abbot and priest,
Singing cannibal greeds
  At each devil-wrought feast,
And to all the incredulous world
  shewing dimly the sign of the beast.

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