Christmas Poems » The Country Life

For sports, for pageantries, and plays,
Thou hast thy eves and holidays
On which the young men and maids meet
To exercise their dancing feet,
Tripping the comely country-round,
With daffodils and daisies crowned.
Thy wakes, thy quintals, here thou hast,
Thy May-poles, too, with garlands graced,
Thy morris-dance, thy Whitsun-ale,
Thy shearing-feast, which never fail,
Thy harvest home, thy wassail-bowl,
That's tossed up after fox-i'-th'-hole,
Thy mummeries, thy Twelfthtide kings
And queens, thy Christmas revellings,
Thy nut-brown mirth, thy russet wit,
And no man pays too dear for it.

O happy life! if that their good
The husbandmen but understood,
Who all the day themselves do please
And younglings with such sports as these,
And, lying down, have naught t' affright
Sweet sleep, that makes more short the night.

- Robert Herrick


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