John Codrington Bampfylde

Sonnet on Christmas

WITH footstep slow, in furry pall clad,
His brows enwreath'd with holly never-sear,
Old Christmas comes, to close the waned year;
And ay the Shepherd's heart to make right glad;
Who, when his teeming flocks are homeward had,
To blazing hearth repairs, and nut-brown beer,
And views, well-pleas'd, the ruddy prattlers dear
Hug the grey mongrel; meanwhile maid and lad
Squabble for roasted crabs.—Thee, Sire, we hail,        
Whether thine aged limbs thou dost enshroud,
In vest of snowy white, and hoary veil,
Or wrap'st thy visage in a sable cloud;
Thee we proclaim with mirth and cheer, nor fail
To greet thee well with many a carol loud.

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