Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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With a new fashion, when Christmas is drawing on, On a new journey to London straight we all must begone, And leave none to keep house, but our new porter John, Who relieves the poor with a thump on the back with a stone ;
Like a young courtier of the King's,
And the King's young courtier.*
Another called " Time's Alteration; or, the Old Man's Rehearsal, what brave dayes he knew a great while agone, when his old cap was new," sings,
A man might then behold,
At Christmas, in each hall, Good fires to curb the cold,
And meat for great and small: The neighbours were friendly bidden,
And all had welcome true, The poor from the gates were not chidden,
When this old cap was new.
Blackjacks to every man
Were fill'd with wine and beer; No pewter pot nor can
In those days did appear: Good cheer in a nobleman's house
Was counted a seemly shew; We wanted no brawn nor souse,
When this old cap was new.f
Another of a somewhat similar, though of a less querulous nature, and rejoicing at the renewal of Christmas customs, after they had ceased for a time, is printed at length in the ensuing collection (p. 53). Poor Robin for 1695, mentions Christmas with equal zest, when he seems to feast in idea on the good things of the season, in the Christmas song or carol from which the following lines are taken.J
* Percy's Reliques, vol. ii. pp. 352—4.
f Evans's Ballads, vol. iii. 262.
X Brand's Popular Antiq. by Ellis, vol. i. pp. 380-1.

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