The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Christmas Play of St. George and the Dragon

As Presented In The West of England

William Sandys, F. S. A.
Christmas-tide - its History, Festivities and Carols
London: John Russell Smith, 1852

Enter Father Christmas.

HERE come I, old Father Christmas,
Welcome, or welcome not,
I hope old Father Christmas
Will never be forgot.

I am not come here for to laugh or to jeer,
But for a pocketfull of money, and a skinfull of beer;
To show some sport and pastime,
Gentlemen and lathes in the Christmas time.
If you will not believe what I do say,
Come in the Turkish Knight—clear the way.

Enter the Turkish Knight.

Open your doors, and let me in,
I hope your favors I shall win;
Whether I rise, or whether I fall,
I’ll do my best to please you all.
St. George is here, and swears he will come iii,
And if he does, I know he’ll pierce my skin.
If you will not believe what I do say,
Come in the King of Egypt — clear the way.

Enter the King of Egypt,

Here I, the King of Egypt, boldly do appear,
St. George, St. George, walk in, my son and heir.
Walk in, my son St. George, and boldly act thy part,
That all the people here may see thy wondrous art.

Enter Saint George.

Here come I, St. George, from Britain did I spring,
I’ll fight the Dragon bold, my wonders to begin.
I’ll clip his wings, he shall not fly;
I’ll cut him down, or else I die.

Enter the Dragon.

Who’s he that seeks the Dragon’s blood,
And calls so angry, and so loud?
That English dog, will he before me stand?
I’ll cut him down with my courageous hand.
With my long teeth, and scurvy jaw,
Of such I’d break up half a score,
And stay my stomach, till I’d more.

[St. George and the Dragon fight: the latter is killed.]

Father Christmas.

Is there a doctor to be found
  All ready, near at hand,
To cure a deep and deadly wound,
  And make the champion stand?

Enter Doctor.

Oh! yes, there is a doctor to be found
  All ready, near at hand,
To cure a deep and deadly wound,
  And make the champion stand.

Fa. Chr. What can you cure?

Doct. All sorts of diseases,
Whatever you pleases,
The phthisic, the palsy, and the gout
Whatever disorder, I’ll soon pull him out.

Fa. Chr. What is your fee?

Doct. Fifteen pounds, it is my fee,
  The money to lay down;
But as ‘tis such a rogue as he,
  I’ll cure him for ten pound.
I have a little bottle of Elicumpane,
  Here, Jack, take a little of niy flip-flop,
  Pour it down thy tip-top:
Rise up, and fight again.

[The Doctor gives his medicine: St. George and the Dragon again fight, and the latter is again killed.]

St. George.

Here am I, St. George, that worthy champion bold,
And with my sword and spear I’ve won three crowns of gold:
I fought the fiery dragon, and brought him to the slaughter;
By that I’ve won fair Sabra, the King of Egypt’s daughter.

The Turkish Knight advances.

Here come I, the Turkish Knight,
Come from the Turkish land to fight.
I’ll fight St. George, who is my foe,
I’ll make him yield before I go
He brags to such a high degree,
He thinks there’s none can do the like of lie.

St. George.

Where is the Turk that will before me stand?
I’ll cut him down with my courageous hand.

[They fight: the Knight is overcome, and falls on one knee, saying —

Oh! pardon me, St. George, pardon of thee I crave,
Oh! pardon me this night, and I will be thy slave.

St. George.

I’ll never pardon a Turkish Knight;

So rise thee up again, and try thy might.

[They fight again, when the Knight is killed, and a scene with Father Christmas and the Doctor occurs as before, and the Knight is cured. The Doctor then, according to the stage direction, has a basin of girdy grout given him, and a kick, and is driven out. Sometimes the Giant Turpin is introduced, but his part is little more than a repetition of the Turkish Knight. If there is a fair Sabra, she is generally a mute, and now conies forward to Saint George.]

Father Christmas.

Now ladies and gentlemen, your sport is just ended,
So prepare for the box, which is highly commended.
The box it would speak, if it had but a tongue:
Come, throw in your money, and think it no wrong.

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