Then Be You Glad, Good People


“Be merry all, be merry all, / With holly dress the festive hall; / Prepare the song, the feast, the ball, / To welcome merry Christmas!” William Robert Spencer

“Now thrice welcome, Christmas, Which brings us good cheer, Minc’d pies and plumb porridge, Good ale and strong beer; With pig, goose, and capon, The best that may be, So well doth the weather and our stomachs agree. // Observe how the chimneys Do Smoak all about, The cooks are providing for dinner, no doubt; But those on whose tables No victuals appear, O may they keep Lent All the rest of the year! // With holly and ivy so green and so gay, We deck up our houses As fresh as the day, With bays and rosemary, and laurel compleat, and every one now Is a king in conceit…” Song from Poor Robin’s Almanack, 1695

“Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes, Wherein our Savior’s birth is celebrated, The bird of dawning singeth all night long: And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad; The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike, No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm.” Shakespeare, Hamlet

“A handsome hostess, merry host, A pot of ale now and a toast, Tobacco and a good coal fire, are things this season doth require.” Poor Robin’s Almanack, 1684

“So now is come our joyful feast, / Let every man be jolly; / Each room with ivy leaves is dressed, / And every post with holly. / Though some churls at our mirth repine, / ‘Round your forehead garlands twine, / Drown sorrows in a cup of wine, / And let us all be merry.” George Wither

“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.” Alexander Smith

Image credit: Source. The illustration is by Albertine Randall Wheelan (1863-1954). There’s a decent retrospective of her here.


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