Trois Poésies Classiques de Noël

sch%20intro2Ben Jonson
A Plea for a Present

Father John Burges,
Necessity urges
My woeful cry
To Sir Robert Pie:
And that he will venture
To send my debenture.
Tell him his Ben
Knew the time when
He loved the Muses;
Though now he refuses
To take apprehension
Of a year’s pension,
And more is behind;
Put him in mind
Christmas is near,
And neither good cheer,
Mirth, fooling, nor wit,
Nor any least fit
Of gambol or sport
Will come to the court
If there be no money,
No plover or cony
Will come to the table,
Or wine to enable
The muse, or the poet,
The parish will know it
Nor any quick warming-pan help him to bed;
If the ‘Chequer be empty, so will be his head.

 

Philip Massinger
It Brings Good Cheer

“You may talk of Country Christmasses,
Their thirty pound butter’d eggs, their pies of carps’ tongues;
Their pheasants drench’d with ambergris;
the carcasses of three fat wethers bruised for gravy
to make sauce for a single peacock!”

 

William Shakespeare
The Hallowed Time

Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is the time.

 

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