The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Sung By The Shepherd

Anonymous, From New Christmas Carols

Source: Harrison S. Morris, ed., In The Yule-Log Glow--Book 3; Christmas Poems from 'round the World. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1900, pp. 155-157. Project Gutenberg eText # 20586.

The New Year is begun,
Good-morrow, my masters all!
The cheerful rising sun
Now shining in this hall,
Brings mirth and joy
To man and boy.
With all that here doth dwell;
Whom Jesus bless
With love's increase,
So all things shall prosper well.

A New-Year's gift I bring
Unto my master here,
Which is a welcome thing
Of mirth and merry cheer.
A New-Year's lamb
Come from thy dam
An hour before daybreak,
Your noted ewe
Doth this bestow,
Good master, for your sake.

And to my dame so kind
This New-Year's gift I bring;
I'll bear an honest mind
Unto her whilst I live.
Your white-woolled sheep
I'll safely keep
From harm of bush or brere,
That garments gay
For your array
May clothe you the next New Year.

And to your children all,
These New-Year's gifts I bring;
And though the price be small,
They're fit for queen or king:
Fair pippins red
Kept in my bed
A-mellowing since last year,
Whose beauty bright
So clear of sight
Their hearts will glad and cheer.

And to your maids and men
I bring both points and pins;
Come bid me welcome then,
The good New Year begins:
And for my love
Let me approve
The friendship of your Maid,
Whose nappy ale,
So good and stale,
Will make my wits afraid.

I dare not with it deal
But in a sober diet:
If I, poor shepherd, steal
A draught to be unquiet,
And lose my way
This New-Year's day
As I go to my fold,
You'll surely think
My love of drink
This following year will hold.

Here stands my bottle and hook,
Good kitchen-maid, draw near,
Thou art an honest cook,
And canst brew ale and beer;
Thy office show,
Before I go,
My bottle and bag come fill,
And for thy sake
I'll merry make
Upon the next green hill.

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