Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
A Carol II
What though 't be cold, and freeze,
Let no good Christian leese
So much of heat and zeal
As not for to remember
That blest day of December,
And what to shepherds angels did reveal,
Which doth of right claim lay
To all that ever man can write or say.
A savior's born for us:
What news more precious?
Were 't but some neighbor's son,
The bells would straightways ring--
In cakes for gossiping,
So soon the tidings o'er the town would run,
And many a light brain tossed
Among the goodwives, where to place their cost.
And shall my frozen heart
Not thaw and bear its part
In jollity for this,
Whereby not I alone
But each believing one
May promise to himself eternal bliss?
For such can ne'er be cold,
Who have this birthday in their hearts enrolled.
But may be said to burn,
Till some thanks they return,
Which though far short they reach,
The comfort is most sure,
'T hath healing wings to cure
Not for reward, but to make up the breach,
Which so repaired 'tis we
Must make it good 'gainst Satan's battery:
Whereto belongs this care
In chief and singular,
That stricter guards we keep,
Because both night and day
Th' artillery doth play,
Nor doth our adversary ever sleep:
Then we shall show hereby
Christ's favor hath not slipped our memory.
[By Mildmay Fane, Second Earl of Westmoreland (1600-65)]