The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The End Of Christmas Nears

Source: William Hone, The Year Book of Daily Recreation and Information. London: Thomas Tegg, 1832. January 31.

Although in strictness, and according to ancient usage, the Christmas holidays, end with Twelfth-day, they are seldom over until the close of the month.

In “A Fireside Book,” there is a lively description of “Christmas at old Court,” the seat of a country gentleman, with specimens of old stories, and story telling. It is a handsome little volume, full of amenity and kind feeling, with snatches of gentle poetry, of which the following is a specimen, which may well conclude this merry-making month.


Come, help use to raise
Loud songs to the praise
Of good old English pleasures
To the Christmas cheer,
And the foaming beer,
And the buttery’s solid treasures ;—

To the stout sirloin,
And the rich spiced wine,
And the boar’s head grimly staring;
To the frumenty,
And the hot mince pie,
Which all folks were for sharing ;—

To the holly and bay,
In their green array,
Spread over the walls and dishes;
To the swinging sup
Of the wassail cup,
With its toasted healths and wishes ;—~

To the honest bliss
Of the hearty kiss,
Where the mistletoe was swinging
When the berry white
Was claimed by right,
On the pale green branches clinging ;—

When the warm blush came
From a guiltless shame,
And the lips, so bold in stealing, had never broke
The vows they spoke,
Of truth and manly feeling ;—

To the story told’
By the gossip old,
O’er the embers dimly glowing,
While the pattering sleet
On the casement beat,
And the blast was hoarsely blowing ;—

To to the tuneful wait
At the mansion gate,
Or the glad, sweet voices blending,
When the carol rose,
At the midnight’s close,
To the sleeper’s ear ascending;—

To all pleasant ways,
In those ancient days,
When the good folks knew their station
When God was fear’d,
And the king revered,
By the hearts of a grateful nation ; —

When a father’s will
Was sacred still,
As a law, by his children heeded;
And none could brook
The mild sweet look,
When a mother gently pleaded ;—

When the jest profane
Of the light and vain
With a smile was never greeted
And each smooth pretence,
By plain good sense,
With its true desert was treated.

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