The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Christmas Customs

Poems from “Hesperides” of Robert Herrick

Source: William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868)

Husk's Note:

The following series of short poems illustrative of old Christmas customs and superstitions is selected from the “Hesperides” of Robert Herrick (1591-1674), first published in 1648. Few writers have been so thoroughly conversant with the popular superstitions of their time, or have so pleasantly interwoven them into their poetry, as Herrick; hence his verses have a life-like character and charm which leads captive every reader.

  1. On Christmas Eve (Come Bring The Noise)

  2. On Christmas Eve (Come, Guard This Night)

  3. Twelfth Night, or King and Queen (Now, Now, The Mirth Comes)

  4. Saint Distaff's Day (Partly Work and Partly Play)

  5. Candlemas Eve (Down With The Rosemary, And So)

  6. Candlemas Eve (Down With The Rosemary and Bays); see also: Candlemas Eve Carol

  7. Candlemas Day (Kindle The Christmas Brand)

Editor's Notes:

Other Herrick poetry relating to the Christmas-tide:

And, from Project Gutenberg, The Lyrical Poems Of Robert Herrick, which contain most of the above among the 261 entries.

There is also this two-line entry titled Christ's Birth:

One birth our Saviour had; the like none yet
Was, or will be a second like to it.

See, generally:

See, also, Candlemas and The Lyrical Poems Of Robert Herrick.

For more poetry by Robert Herrick, please see The Works of Robert Herrick by Anniina Jokinen. This site also has a short biography of Herrick.


“Now, Now Comes The Mirth” - Christmas Poetry by Robert Herrick

Now, Now The Mirth Comes

Christmas Poetry by Robert Herrick

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