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Although the following poem contains no immediate reference to the Christmas season, still, the pictures which it presents of the hospitality of the period, and the character of the entertainment met with at the table of a country gentleman, of the reign of Charles I., render it peculiarly applicable to that particular season of the year, when open-handed liberality, such as it commemorates, is in the ascendant.
A PANEGYRIC TO SIR LEWIS PEMBERTON.
Till I shall come again, let this suffice,
I send my salt, my sacrifice
As to thy Genius and thy Larr ;*
The fat-fed smoking temple, which in
Invites to supper him who dines,
Not represent, but give relief
Where both may feed and come again ;
Beats with a buttoned-staff the poor ;
Take friendly morsels, and there stay
For thou no porter keep’st who strikes.
Or, staying there, is scourged with taunts
You ’ve dipt too long i’ th’ vinegar ;
You've fared well, pray make an end;
* An elfish spirit.
Two days you ’ve larded here ; a third, you know,
Makes guests and fish smell strong; pray go
Essay of other giblets ; make
Welcome as thunder to our beer;"
Would soon recoil, and not intrude
Thy house, well fed and taught, can show
With heart and hand to entertain ;
As the old race of mankind did,
To be the nearer relative;
Of ancient honesty, may boast
A course in thy fame's pledge, thy son.
Early sets ope to feast, and late;
With blasting eye, the appetite,
The trencher creature marketh what
Some private pinch tells danger's nigh,
Skin deep into the pork, or lights
When checked by the butler's look.
No, no, thy bread, thy wine, thy jocund beer
Is not reserved for Trebins here,
Find equal freedom, equal fare:
Jove, joy'st when guests make their abode
Wethers, and never grudged at
The cock, the curlew, and the quail :
Their taste unto the lower end
To thee, than unto any one ;
Makes the smirk face of each to shine,
Flows from the wine, and graces it ;
Honours my lady and my lord.
Here, for to make the face afraid ;
Ly, that it makes the meat more swert,
Dost rather pour forth, than allow
As the Canary Isles were thine ;
No one that's there his guilty glass
Repentance to his liberty.
Yet, ere twelve moons shall whirl about
Next, may your dairies prosper so,
Like to a solemn sober strcam,
Then may your plants be pressed with fruit,
Next, may your duck and teeming hen,
Last, may your harrows, shares, and ploughs,