The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

The Pauper’s Christmas Carol.

Full of drink and full of meat,

On our SAVIOUR’S natal day,

CHARITY’S perennial treat;

Thus I heard a Pauper say:—

“Ought not I to dance and sing

Thus supplied with famous cheer?

Heigho!

I hardly know —

Christmas comes but once a year.

“After labor’s long turmoil,

Sorry fare and frequent fast,

Two-and-fifty weeks of toil,

Pudding-time is come at last!

But are raisins high or low,

Flour and suet cheap or dear?

Heigho!

I hardly know —

Christmas comes but once a year.

“Fed upon the coarsest fare

Three hundred days and sixty-four,

But for one on viands rare,

Just as if I wasn’t poor!

Ought not I to bless my stars,

Warden, clerk, and overseer?

Heigho!

I hardly know —

Christmas comes but once a year.

“Treated like a welcome guest,

One of Nature’s social chain,

Seated, tended on, and press’d —

But when shall I be press’d again,

Twice to pudding, thrice to beef,

A dozen times to ale and beer?

Heigho!

I hardly know —

Christmas comes but once a year.

“Come to-morrow how it will;

Diet scant and usage rough,

Hunger once has had its fill,

Thirst for once has had enough,

But shall I ever dine again?

Or see another feast appear?

Heigho!

I only know —

Christmas comes but once a year!

“Frozen cares begin to melt,

Hopes revive and spirits flow —

Feeling as I have not felt

Since a dozen months ago —

Glad enough to sing a song —

To-morrow shall I volunteer?

Heigho!

I hardly know —

Christmas comes but once a year.

“Bright and blessed is the time,

Sorrows end and joys begin,

While the bells with merry chime

Ring the Day of Plenty in!

But the happy tide to hail,

With a sigh or with or a tear,

Heigho!

I hardly know —

Christmas comes but once a year!”

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hood/thomas/poetical-works/poem74.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:51