Christmas Wishes From The 16th Century
With tomorrow being Christmas I thought you would enjoy this 16th-century poem describing what it meant at least to Thomas Musser – the poet of early Elizabethan farm life. Musser wrote about it in his book Fiue Hundreth Pints O Good Husbandry chapter 23.
Feast from the British Library’s 16th-c
digitized Golf Book Add MS 24098 f. 19
Of Christ cōmeth Christmas, the name wt ye feast, a time full of ioy, to the greatest & least.
At Christmas was Christ (our sauiour) borne the world thorough sinne, al together forlorne.
At Christmas the day, doth begin to take length,of Christ our faith, do begin to take strength.
As Christmas is onely, a figure or trope: so onely in Christ, is the strength of our hope.
At Christmas we banket, the riche with the poore,who▪ then (but the miser) but opeith his doore.
At Christmas of Christ, many Carols we sing: and geue many gifts, in the ioy of that king.
At Christmas in Christ, we reioice and be glad,as onely of whom, our comfort is had.
At Christmas we ioy, altogether with mirth: for his sake that ioyed vs al, with his birth.
Whether you are rich or poor may you feast tomorrow and be filled with joy, mirth and the people you love. As Musser also wrote “At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year.” Page xxxvii