Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Maize in Milk: A Christmas Story of the South >> Page 330

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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 330MAIZE IN MILK
directly from the heart, as they heard the soft but melodious accents
of Bessy Clinton, singing, as if in preparation for the coming day,
a familiar old Christmas ballad.
"When in Bethl'em, fair citie, Chryst was born to die for me, Then the angels sang with glee,
In Excelsis gloria.

"Ah! with what a lovely bright, To the herdsmen shone the light, Where he lay in lowly plight,
l n Excelsis gloria.

"Heavenly king, to save his kind, Bear we still his birth in mind, Singing ever as we find,
In Excelsis gloria.

"Praying, as we sing, for grace, To behold, in bliss, his face, Whose dear coming saved his race,
In Excelsis gloria."
"And you think boys better than girls naturally good, husband
not so easily spoiled?" was the quiet but ironical inquiry of the
wife, as the last murmurs of the girl's song subsided away, and were
followed by a triumphant shout from below and a tremendous ex-
plosion from a huge blunderbuss, to discharge which they had not
waited for the father.
"The rogues ! " exclaimed Colonel Openheart. "But I did the very
same thing myself when I was a lad the very same thing—nay,
something worse. I made a mine of a whole canister of powder, and
nearly shook down the old house on Briar Hill with a single blast.
That's the nature of the animal. Don't let it worry you, my dear
Emily; they shoot and shout while Bessy Clinton smiles and sings,
and I am content that they should both enjoy themselves in their
different ways. But the rogues are impatient; hear how they clamor!