Old Christmas Returned

nuss12All you that to feasting and mirth are inclined,
Come, here is good news for to pleasure your mind;
Old Christmas is come for to keep open house,
He scorns to be guilty of starving a mouse.
Then come, boys, and welcome for diet the chief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

A long time together he hath been forgot,
They scarce could afford to hang on the pot;
Such miserly sneaking in England hath been,
As by our forefathers ne’er us’d to be seen;
But now he’s returned, you shall have in brief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

The times were ne’er good since Old Christmas was fled,
And all hospitality hath been so dead;
No mirth at our festivals late did appear,
They scarcely would part with a cup of March beer;
But now you shall have for the ease of your grief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

The butler and baker, they now may be glad,
The times they are mended, though they have been bad;
The brewer, he likewise may be of good cheer,
He shall have good trading for ale and strong beer;
All trades shall be jolly, and have for relief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

The holly and ivy about the walls wind,
And show that we ought to our neighbors be kind,
Inviting each other for pastime and sport,
And where we best fare, there we most do resort;
We fail not of victuals, and that of the chief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

The cooks shall be busied by day and by night,
In roasting and boiling, for taste and delight;
Their senses in liquor that’s nappy they’ll steep,
Though they be afforded to have little sleep;
They still are employed for to dress us in brief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

Although the cold weather doth hunger provoke,
‘Tis a comfort to see how the chimneys do smoke;
Provision is making for beer, ale, and wine,
For all that are willing or ready to dine:
Then haste to the kitchen for diet the chief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

All travellers, as they do pass on their way,
At gentlemen’s halls are invited to stay,
Themselves to refresh, and their horses to rest,
Since that he must be Old Christmas’s guest;
Nay, the poor shall not want, but have for relief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

Now Mock-beggar-hall it no more shall stand empty,
But all shall be furnisht with freedom and plenty;
The hoarding old misers, who us’d to preserve
The gold in their coffers, and see the poor starve,
Must now spread their tables, and give them in brief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

The court, and the city, and country are glad,
Old Christmas is come to cheer up the sad;
Broad pieces and guineas about now shall fly,
And hundreds be losers by cogging a die,
Whilst others are feasting with diet the chief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

Those that have no coin at the cards for to play,
May sit by the fire and pass time away,
And drink of their moisture contented and free,
“My honest, good fellow, come, here is to thee!”
And when they are hungry, fall to their relief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

Young gallants and ladies shall foot it along,
Each room in the house to the music shall throng,
Whilst jolly carouses about they shall pass,
And each country swain trip about with his lass;
Meantime goes the caterer to fetch in the chief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

The cooks and the scullion, who toil in their frocks,
Their hopes do depend upon their Christmas-box;
There is very few that do live on the earth
But enjoy at this time either profit or mirth;
Yea, those that are charged to find all relief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

Then well may we welcome Old Christmas to town,
Who brings us good cheer and good liquor so brown;
To pass the cold winter away with delight,
We feast it all day, and we frolic all night;
Both hunger and cold we keep out with relief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

Then let all curmudgeons who dote on their wealth,
And value their treasure much more than their health,
Go hang themselves up, if they will be so kind;
Old Christmas with them but small welcome shall find;
They will not afford to themselves without grief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced-pies, and roast-beef.

from
Evans’ Old Ballads

DmdJ Neu3

We hope you enjoyed this dollop of poésies classiques de Noël from DM du Jour.
Like you, thousands of readers from around the world visit DM du Jour to savour our daily buffet of fanciful fictions and world poetry as well as our delectable degustations from beyond the grave. If you weren’t already a connoisseur of haute lettres, you would not be reading this. Help us continue bringing you the finest in epicurean reading with a modest donation today. Every centime will make a world of difference to help sustain DM du Jour through the coming new year.
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