T. W. H. Crosland ~ To Next Christmas

My dear Next Christmas,—
It is an excellent journalistic thing,
Not to say a poetical thing,
To be first in the field.
Behold me, therefore, advancing
At the head of that motley army
Which will inevitably hail you
When your time comes.
For your predecessor,
My dear Next Christmas,
I cannot say much.
He came in with several thousand inches of rain;
He went out on a watery moon.
There was turkey as usual,
Pudding as usual,
Mistletoe as usual,
Peace on earth as usual.
There were also the waits,
The young folks,
The postman,
The dustman
(No connection with the scavengers),
And the turncock.
We had a merry day.
Half the world pretended to be happy,
The other half pretended to be bored.
The festivities, I understand,
Are still being kept up.
There is a ping-pong tournament at the Queen’s Hall
And a children’s banquet
At the Guildhall on Tuesday evening.
It is all very cheerful
And very inspiriting.
All the same,
Let us not repine:
Christmas comes but once a year,
And it will come again, I fear.
This couplet, of course.
My dear Next Christmas,
Is not intended to be
Disrespectful to you;
It is inserted simply
For the sake of effect.
For I never miss an opportunity
Of bursting into rhyme.
When the way is plain before me.
My dear Next Christmas,
Do not be discouraged,
Come next year by all means;
If I said “Don’t come”
You would come just the same.
Therefore, I say “Come,”
And I trust, my dear Next Christmas,
That when you do come
You will bring us a little luck.
Ring out the old, as it were,
And ring in the new;
Let candied peel
Be a trifle cheaper;
Let the war be settled
To the satisfaction of both parties;
Let the book trade flourish;
Let the Income-tax be reduced:
Let there be a fine Christmas Eve
And dry waits,
And a little skating next morning;
Let there be peace and plenty,
A pocket full of money,
And a barrel full of beer,
And all other good things,
Including a free and enlightened Press,
And a strong demand
For seasonable poetry.
My dear Next Christmas,
Here is my hand,
With my heart in it.
Till we meet again—

circa 1885: A Christmas greetings card showing a boy playing with building bricks, and a cat looking on. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


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