The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Christmas Sports

Words: Romaine Joseph Thorn
London: T. N. Longman, 1795

Source: Henry Vizetelly, Christmas With The Poets (London: David Bogue, 1851).

                            Young men and maidens now
At Feed the Dove (with laurel leaf in mouth),
Or Blindman's Buff, or Hunt the Slipper, play,
Replete with glee. Some, haply, cards adopt:
Or if to Forfeits they the sport confine,
The happy folk adjacent to the fire
Their stations take; excepting one alone
(Sometimes the social mistress of the house)
Who sits within the centre of the room,
To cry the pawns; much is the laughter now,
At such as can't the Christmas catch repeat,
And who, perchance, are sentenced to salute
The jetty beauties of the chimney back,
Or lady's shoe; others more lucky far,
By hap or favour meet a sweeter doom,
And on each fir one's lovely lips imprint
The ardent kiss.

Note from Vizetelly:

The annexed descriptions of the various features of the Christmas season are extracted from a poem of considerable length, entitled "Christmas," written by Romaine Joseph Thorn, and published towards the close of the eighteenth century. We have been unable to meet with a copy of this poem; our extracts have therefore been made from Brand's "Popular Antiquities," vol. i., and comprise, of course, only such passages as have been selected for that work.

Editor's Note:

An electronic copy is available at the University of Arizona Library, but subject to licensing agreements and therefore not publicly available. No copies appeared in WorldCat as of September 28, 2006.

The six poem segments reproduced by Vizetelly are:

Excerpts from "Christmas," Romaine Joseph Thorne

Christmas Eve

The Christmas Carol

Christmas Sports

Evergreen-Decking At Christmas

The Christmas Box

The Christmas Feast

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