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When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw, And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw;
Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes,
Next came the chill December :
Yet he, through merry feasting which he made And great bonfires, did not the cold remember ;
His Saviour's birth his mind so much did glad :
Upon a shaggy bearded goat he rode,
They say, was nourished by th’ Iæan maid ;
Lastly, came Winter clothed all in frieze,
Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill; Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freeze,
And the dull drops, that from his purpled bill,
As from a limbeck, did adown distil: In his right hand a tipped staff he held,
With which his feeble steps he stayed still; For he was faint with cold, and weak with eld, That scarce his loosèd limbs he able was to wield.
Thou, in the winter, hunt'st the flying hare,
More for thy exercise, than fare ; While all that follow, their glad ears apply
To the full greatness of the cry ;
Or hawking at the river, or the bush,
Or shooting at the greedy thrush,
Although the coldest of the year!
Of flow'ry fields, of copses green,
And feasts that either shearers keep;
And furrows laden with their weight; The apple-harvest, that doth longer last ;
The hogs returned home fat from mast ;* The trees cut out in log, and those boughs made
A fire now, that lent a shade!
Comus puts in for new delights,
As if in Saturn's reign it were ;
Nor are the Muscs strangers found : The rout of rural folk come thronging in,
(Their rudeness then is thought no sin,) Thy noblest spouse affords them welcome grace ;
And the great heroes of her race Sit mixt with loss of state, or reverence.
Freedom doth with degree dispense. The jolly wassail walks the often round,
And in their cups their cares are drowned.
• The fruit of the oak or beech.
BOAR'S HEAD CAROL.
The annexed is the only Carol on bringing in the Boar’s Head that belongs to the era of Elizabeth and her successor James I. It was used before the Christmas Prince at St. John the Baptist's College, Oxford, in 1607. The engraving below is from an ancient carving, which is supposed to have been the veritable sign of the famous Boar's Head tavern in Eastcheap.
BOAR’S HEAD CAROL.
HE Boar is dead,
What man could have done more
Than his head off to strike,
And bring it as I do before?
r He living spoiled
Which made kind Ceres sorry;
And we have brought it for ye.
Then set down the swineyard,
Let Bacchus crown his fall;
And so you are welcome all.