The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Now That The Time Is Come

Words and Music: Unknown

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

1. Now that the time is come wherein
Our Saviour Christ was born,
The larders full of beef and pork,
The garners filled with corn;
As God hath plenty to thee sent,
Take comfort of thy labours,
And let it never thee repent
To feast thy needy neighbours.

2. Let fires in every chimney be,
That people they may warm them;
Tables with dishes covered,
Good victuals will not harm them.
With mutton, veal, beef, pig, and pork,
Well furnish every board,
Plum-pudding, furmity, and what
Thy stock will then afford.

3. No niggard of the liquor be,
Let it go round thy table;
People may freely drink, but not
As long as they are able.
Good customs they may be abused,
Which makes rich men so slack us,
This feast is to relieve the poor,
And not to drunken Bacchus.

Thus if thou doest,
T'will credit raise thee;
Good will thee bless,
And neighbours praise thee.

Husk's Note: "This is from "Poor Robin's Almanack" for the year 1700."

Also found in Joshua Sylvester, A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern (London: John Camden Hotten, 1861)

"POOR ROBIN'S Almanack" again contributes a Carol to our collection. The date is 1700. The lines breathe that delightful union of simple piety and honest mirth that marks an unsophisticated age.

Note that Hugh Keyte, an editor of The New Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) believes that "Joshua Sylvester" is a pseudonym for a collaboration between William Sandys (1792-1874) and William Henry Husk (1814-1887). See Appendix 4.

Also found in Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols Selected from Manuscripts and Printed Books (London: The Percy Society, 1841), who notes "A Christmas Carol, from "Poor Robin's Almanac," Dec. 1700."

Also found in A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885), p. 217-8, noting "From Poor Robin's Almanac, 1700."

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