Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/366

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


350 Collectanea.

one goes to speak to them, They then ask if anyone would like to see the "wassail box." If no one cares to look at it, they go quietly away. They never uncover the box without first asking, "Would you like to see the wassail box?" S. A.'s mother says that the dolls represent the Virgin and Child, and that the box should be made of " parch-board " and lined with moss and ivy. In the Mirfield district of the West Riding the children used to go wassailing with two dolls etc. in a clothes basket covered over with a white cloth. At Pontefract the dolls were carried in a box. The following version of the ballad sung was written down for me exactly as remembered by S. A. In some parts additional lines, beginning " Call up the butler of this house," were also sung.

" God rest you all Merry Gentlemen,

Let nothing your desire {sic) ; Remember Christ our Saviour

Was born on Christmas day, To save poor souls from Satan's power

Long time have gone astray. A star appeared in Bethlehem

That glorious Christmas morn, To spread the joyful tidings

That a Saviour had been born. And the shepherds tending to their flocks

Gazed on the heavenly sight, And guided by the star so bright

They found Him who is Christ the Lord, All meanly wrapped in swaddling bands

And in a manger laid. Glad tidings of great joy I bring

To you and all mankind.

"God bless the master of this house, Likewise the mistress too, And all your pretty children Around your table go. For it is the time of year When we travel far and near ; So God bless you and send you A Happy New Year. We have a little purse, It is made of leather skin,