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Our Saviour Christ and his ladye,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day?

Our Saviour Christ and his ladye,

On Christmas Day in the morning?

Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day?
Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas Day in the morning?

O they sailed into Bethlehem,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

O they sailed into Bethlehem,

On Christmas Day in the morning.

And all the bells on Earth shall ring,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

And all the bells on Earth shall ring,

On Christmas Day in the morning.

And all the angels in Heaven shall sing,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day; And all the angels in Heaven shall sing, On Christmas Day in the morning.

And all the souls on Earth shall sing,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

And all the souls on Earth shall sing,

On Christmas Day in the morning.

Then let us all rejoice amain,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;

Then let us all rejoice amain,

On Christmas Day in the morning.

"AT Christmas time, be careful of your fame,
See the old tenants' table be the same;

Then, if you would send up the brawner's head,
Sweet rosemary and bays around it spread:
His foaming tusks let some large pippin grace,
Or, 'midst those thundering spears an orange place;
Sauce like himself, offensive to its foes,

The roguish mustard, dangerous to the nose.
Sack, and the well spiced hippocras, the wine,
Wassail the bowl with ancient ribbands fine,
Porridge with plums, and turkeys with the chine."





EW poems bearing reference to the Christmas festival appear to have been produced during that era of the revival of English literature, which, from the brilliant circle of writers it gave birth to, has acquired the epithet of Augustan. Yet, nevertheless, much of the old Christmas hospitality, and many of the old Christmas observances, that have been dwelt upon in preceding pages of this work, still lingered behind, in many a quiet country place, as though loth to depart; and, perhaps, the picture which Addison sketched of Coverley Hall at Christmas time is as faithful a representation of the hospitality practised by the country gentlemen of the period as can be met with. Sir Roger de Coverley, we are told, " adopted the laudable custom of his ancestors, in keeping open house at ChristHe had killed eight fat hogs for that season, had dealt about his chines very liberally amongst his neighbours, and, in particular, he had sent a string of hogs' puddings, with a pack of cards, to every poor family in the parish. I have often thought,' said Sir Roger, it happens very well that Christmas should fall out in the middle of winter. It is the most dead, uncomfortable time of the year, when the poor people would suffer very much from their poverty, and cold, if they had not good cheer, warm fires, and Christmas gambols to support them. I love to rejoice their poor hearts at this season, and to see the whole village merry in my great hall. I allow a double quantity of malt to my small beer, and set it a running for twelve days to every one that calls for it.



Spectator, No. 269, 1711.


I have always a piece of cold beef, and a mince pie upon the table, and am wonderfully pleased to see my tenants pass away a whole evening in playing their tricks, and smutting one another.'" We learn from the same authority, that one of the favourite Christmas gambols on such an occasion as that above described, was yawning for a Cheshire cheese. The proceeding generally began about midnight, when the whole company were disposed to be drowsy, and he that yawned the widest, and, at the same time, so naturally as to produce the most yawns among the spectators, was proclaimed the victor, and carried home the cheese as his reward.

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WHEN rosemary, and bays, the poets' crown,

Are bawled, in frequent cries, through all the town;

Then judge the festival of Christmas near,

Christmas, the joyous period of the year.

Spectator, No. 179, 1711. +From "Trivia, or the Art of Walking the Streets of London."

Now with bright holly all your temples strew,
With laurel green, and sacred mistletoe.*
Now, heaven-born Charity! thy blessings shed;
Bid meagre Want uprear her sickly head;

Bid shivering limbs be warm; let Plenty's bowl
In humble roofs make glad the needy soul!
See, see! the heaven-born maid her blessings shed;
Lo! meagre Want uprears her sickly head;
Clothed are the naked, and the needy glad,

While selfish Avarice alone is sad.




WITH footstep slow, in furry pall yclad,
His brows enwreathed with holly never sere,
Old Christmas comes, to close the wanèd year,
And aye the shepherd's heart to make right glad;
Who, when his teeming flocks are homeward had,
To blazing hearth repairs, and nut-brown beer;
And views, well pleased, the ruddy prattlers dear
Hug the grey mongrel; meanwhile, maid and lad
Squabble for roasted crabs. Thee, sire, we hail,
Whether thine aged limbs thou dost enshroud
In vest of snowy white and hoary veil,

Or wrapp'st thy visage in a sable cloud;

Thee we proclaim with mirth and cheer, nor fail

To greet thee well with many a carol loud.

In the Spectator, No. 282, 1711, is a pretended letter from a young lady on this subject. "Our clerk, who was once a gardener, has this Christmas so overdone the church with greens that, as now equipped, it looks more like a greenhouse than a place of worship. The middle aisle is a very pretty shady walk, and the pews look like so many arbours on each side of it. The pulpit itself has such clusters of ivy, holly, and rosemary about it, that a light fellow in our pew took occasion to say that the congregation heard the word out of a bush, like Moses,”


The annexed descriptions of the various features of the Christmas season are extracted from a poem of considerable length, entitled "Christ- . mas," written by Romaine Joseph Thorn, and published towards the close of the eighteenth century. We have been unable to meet with a copy of this poem: our extracts have therefore been made from Brand's "Popular Antiquities,” vol. i., and comprise, of course, only such passages as have been selected for that work.


THY welcome eve, loved Christmas, now arrived,
The parish bells their tuneful peals resound,
And mirth and gladness every breast pervade.
The pond'rous ashen faggot, from the yard,
The jolly farmer to his crowded hall

Conveys, with speed; where, on the rising flames
(Already fed with store of massy brands)
It blazes soon; nine bandages it bears;
And as they each disjoin (so custom wills),
A mighty jug of sparkling cyder's brought,
With brandy mixed, to elevate the guests.


Now too is heard

The hapless cripple, tuning through the streets
His Carol new; and oft, amid the gloom.

Of midnight hours, prevailed th' accustomed sounds
Of wakeful Waits, whose melody (composed

Of hautboy, organ, violin and flute,

And various other instruments of mirth,)

Is meant to celebrate the coming time.

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