A Poem on Christmas Day

From the Gentleman’s Magazine, December 1766:

CHRISTMAS DAY.

Welcome, thrice welcome Christmas day ! Let’s eat, drink, dance, and sing away: Old England ne’er had stronger reason To welcome in this joyful season ! Mark high and low, and all around us And know the blessings that surround us. Let ‘em in all their pomp appear; Sure omens of a happy year ! First, turn your eyes upon the great ; When did such virtues rule the state ? The country has their whole attention, Without a thought of place or pension. Of parts, and pow’r, no prostitution, Of liberty, no diminution ; Sound as a roach our constitution Which florid grown, by over feeding, Is now quite cool with frequent bleeding : Great Lawyers, with our good at heart, Now every day new doctrines start. For freedom and for Magna Chart, Our clergy too, all int’rest scorning, Are teaching, preaching, night and morning ; T o keep their flocks secure at home, And guard them from the wolves of Rome: So by their zeal, which never ceases. The growth of popery decreases. Physicians now cure each disease, They take great pains, and little fees. Nothing but learning, parts, and knowledge, Can give a passport to the college : No poison’s sold for nerves or vapours, No quacking nostrums fill the papers— These are the gifts the great have sent ye, For all is concord, peace, and plenty. The poor, as fat as brawn, we meet , Eating minc’d pyes along the street No Harlots to be seen, not one, Not ev’n the Whore of Babylon ! These times are sung by great and small ‘Tis merry Christmas for us all; And certain ’tis, by what is past, That the new year will match the last.

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