Our American Holidays - Christmas/Mark Well My Heavy, Doleful Tale

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MARK WELL MY HEAVY DOLEFUL TALE

ANONYMOUS

Mark well my heavy doleful tale,
   For Twelfth-day now is come,
And now I must no longer sing,
   And say no words but mum;
For I perforce must take my leave
   Of all my dainty cheer,
Plum-porridge, roast beef, and minced pies,
   My strong ale and my beer.

Kind-hearted Christmas, now adieu,
   For I with thee must part,
And for to take my leave of thee
   Doth grieve me at the heart;
Thou wert an ancient housekeeper,
   And mirth with meat didst keep,
But thou art going out of town.
   Which makes me for to weep.

God knoweth whether I again
   Thy merry face shall see,

Which to good-fellows and the poor
   That was so frank and free.
Thou lovedst pastime with thy heart,
   And eke good company;
Pray hold me up for fear I swoon,
   For I am like to die.

Come, butler, fill a brimmer up
   To cheer my fainting heart,
That to old Christmas I may drink
   Before he doth depart;
And let each one that's in this room
   With me likewise condole.
And for to cheer their spirits sad
   Let each one drink a bowl.

And when the same it hath gone round
   Then fall unto your cheer,
For you do know that Christmas time
   It comes but once a year.
But this good draught which I have drunk
   Hath comforted my heart,
For I was very fearful that
   My stomach would depart.

Thanks to my master and my dame
   That doth such cheer afford;
God bless them, that each Christmas they
   May furnish thus their board.
My stomach having come to me,
   I mean to have a bout,
Intending to eat most heartily;
   Good friends, I do not flout.