The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

With Merry Glee and Solace

Words: From New Carolls for the Mery Time of Christmas, 1661

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 236-7.

1. With merry glee and solace
This second day of Christmas
    Now comes in bravely to my master's house,
        Whee plenty of good cheer I see,
        With that which most contenteth me,
    As brawn and bacon, powdered beef and sauce.

2. For the love of Stephen,
That blessed saint of heaven,
    Which stoned was for Jesus Christ his sake,
        Let us all both more and less
        Cast away all heaviness,
    And in a sober manner merry make.

3. He was a man beloved,
And his faith approved
    By suffering death (up)on this holy day.
        Where he with gentle patience,
        And a constant sufferance,
    Hath taught us all to heaven the ready way.

4. So let our mirth be civil,
That not one thought of evil
    May take possession of our hearts at all,
        So shall we love and favour get
        Of them that kindly thus do set
    Their bounties here so freely in this hall.

5. Of delicates so dainty,
I see here is plenty
    Upon this table ready here prepared;
        Then let us now give thanks to those
        That all things friendly thus bestows,
    Esteeming not this world that is so hard.

6. For of the same my master
Hath made me here a taster;
    The Lord above requite him for the same!
        And so to all within this house
        I will drink a full carouse,
    With leave of my good master and my dame.

7. And, the Lord be praised,
My stomach is well eased,
    My bones at quiet may go take their rest;
        Good fortune surely followed me
        To bring me thus so luckily
    To eat and drink so freely of the best.

Note: The feast day of St. Stephen is December 26th, the second day of Christmas. For other hymns dedicated to the saint, see Hymns to St Stephen.

Also found in A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885), pp. 199-201, to the tune of "Henry's going to Bullen;" from New Christmas Carols, 1661. Bullen also notes that this carol is for St. Stephen's Day.

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