Christmas Is Come
Source: Joseph Royle, ed., The Virginia Almanack, 1765
Christmas is come, hang on the pot,
Let spits turn round and ovens be hot;
Beef, pork, and poultry now provide,
To feast thy neighbours at this tide;
Then wash all down with good wine and beer,
And so with Mirth conclude the Year.
Now Christmas comes, 'tis fit that we
Should feast and sing, and merry be;
Keep open house, let fiddlers play;
A fig for cold, fling care away.
And may they who there at repine,
On brown bread and on the small beer dine.
When New Year's Day is past and gone;
Christmas is with some people done;
But further some will it extend
And at Twelfth Day their Christmas end.
Some people stretch it further yet,
At Candlemas they finish it.
Note: A musical setting can be found in Roy Ringwald's Book Of American Carols (2004), who gives possible attribution to "Theophilus Wreg."
Mr. Ringwald may be referring to Theophilus Grew, professor of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania (then the Academy of Philadelphia) in the mid-1700s. He was the author of the 1753 textbook "The Description and Use of the Globes, Celestial and Terrestial; with Variety of Examples for the Learner's Exercise." For the princely sum of £125 per year, Professor Grew was retained to teach "Writing, Arithmetick, Merchants Accounts, Algebra, Astronomy, Navigation, and all other branches of the Mathematicks." Grew died in 1759.
"Wreg" is "Grew" spelled backwards.
Artwork by John A. Hows from Christmas In Art And Song. New York: The Arundel Printing and Publishing Company, 1879.