Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss: A Short Story

Jane Austen's World

This story was commissioned to appear in the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper on December 27th 2004 as part of a tradition of short stories during Christmas week. – Jo Beverly. Click here to read it.

Under the Kissing Bough

Sweet emblem of returning peace, the heart’s full gush and love’s release,
Spirits in human fondness flow and greet the pearly mistletoe.
Oh! Happy tricksome time of mirth, giv’n to the stars of sky and earth!
May all the best of feeling know, the custom of the mistletoe.
Married and single, proud and free, yield to the season, trim with glee:
Time will not stay … he cheats us so … A kiss? … ’tis gone … the mistletoe.

The poem above was written in December, 1826, and last line refers to the custom of plucking a berry every time a kiss was stolen beneath the kissing bough. Once the berries…

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