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For if I schuld, no Christmas pye
Would fall, I doubt, unto my share;
Wherefore I will my manhood try,
To fight a battle if I dare.

For pastry-crust, like castle walls,
Stands braving me unto my face;
I am not well until it falls,
And I made captain of the place.

The prunes so lovely look on me,
I cannot chuse but venture on:
The pye-meat spiced brave I see,
The which I must not let alone.

Then, butler, fill me forth some beer,
My song hath made me somewhat dry.

And so again to this good cheer,

I'le quickly fall couragiously.

And for my master I will

pray, With all that of his household are, Both old and young, that long we may Of God's good blessings have a share.


[A Christmas Song, from "Poor Robin's Almanac," 1695. It is taken from Brand's "Popular Antiquities," as we have not been able to meet with a copy of the Almanac of that year. Brand appears to have omitted a part of a stanza.]

"Now thrice welcome Christmas,
Which brings us good cheer,
Minc'd-pies and plum-porridge,
Good ale and strong beer;
With pig, goose, and capon,
The best that can be,
So well doth the weather
And our stomachs agree.

Observe how the chimneys
Do smoak all about,
The cooks are providing

For dinner, no doubt;
But those on whose tables

No victuals appear,
O may they keep Lent
All the rest of the year!

With holly and ivy

So green and so gay;
We deck up our houses
As fresh as the day,

With bays and rosemary,
And lawrel compleat,

And every one now

Is a king in conceit.

But as for all curmudgeons,
Who will not be free,

I wish they may die

On the three-legged tree.


[A Christmas Carol, from "Poor Robin's Almanac," Dec. 1700.]

Now that the time is come wherein,

our Saviour Christ was born,
The larders full of beef and pork,
the garners fill'd with corn;
As God hath plenty to thee sent,
take comfort of thy labours,
And let it never thee repent
to feast thy needy neighbours.

Let fires in every chimney be,

that people they may warm them ; Tables with dishes covered,

good victuals will not harm them.

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With mutton, veals, beef, pig, and pork, well furnish every board, Plum-pudding, furmity and what thy stock will then afford.

No niggard of the liquor be,

let it go round thy table, People may freely drink, but not

so long as they are able; Good customs they may be abus'd,

which makes rich men so slack us, This feast is to relieve the poor, and not to drunken Bacchus.

Thus if thou doest,

'twill credit raise thee,

God will the bless,

and neighbours praise thee.


[From Sandys, p. 63.]

A CHILD this day is born,

A child of high renown,
Most worthy of a sceptre,
A sceptre and a crown.
Novels, Novels, Novels,

Novels, sing all we may,
Because the King of all kings
Was born this blessed day.

This child both God and man

From heaven down to us came,

He is the King of all kings,

And Jesus is his name.
Novels, &c.

These tidings shepherds heard
In field watching their fold,
Was by an angel unto them
That night reveal'd and told.
Novels, &c.

Who standing near by them
To them shined so bright,
That they amazed were

At that most glorious sight.
Novels, &c.

To whom the angel spoke,
Saying, be not afraid,

Be glad, poor silly shepherds;
Why are you so dismayed?
Novels, &c.

For lo, I bring you tidings
Of gladness and of mirth,
Which cometh to all people by
This holy Infant's birth.
Novels, &c.

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