The Christmas Now Is Past
Words: Nicholas Breton, 1558-1626
Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 222-3.
1. The Christmas now is past, and I have kept my
With prayer every day;
And, like a country clown, with nodding up and down,
Have passed the time away.
2. As for old Christmas games, or dancing with fine
Or shows, or pretty plays;
A solemn oath I swear, I came not where they were,
Not all these holy days.
3. I did not sing one note, except it were by rote,
Still buzzing like a bee;
To ease my heavy heart of some though little smart,
For want of other glee.
4. And as for pleasant wine, there was no drink so
For to be tasted here;
Full simple was my fare, if that I should compare,
The same to Christmas cheer.
5. I saw no king of sight that might my mind
Believe me, noble dame;
But everything I saw did fret at woe my maw,
To think upon the same.
6. Upon some busy balk full fain I was to walk,
In woods, from tree to tree,
For want of better room; but since my fatal doom
Hath so appointed me;
7. I stood therewith content, the Christmas full was
In hope that God will send
A better yet next year, my heavy heart to cheer;
And so I make an end.