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COME, guard this night the Christmas pie,
To catch it,
In Herrick's time, the Watchman and Bellman were one and the
The latter appellation arose, we expect, from its being the practice of these ancient guardians of the night to carry with them a large bell, either for the purpose of summoning assistance when required, or else to enable them the more effectually to disturb the slumbers of those who, snug asleep, cared very little to know how the hours happened to be progressing. Now-a-days the Bellman is quite a Christmas character. The office is generally usurped by the beadle or parish constable, who constitutes himself Bellman for one day in the year, viz., Boxing Day, in the hope that, by the presentation of some miserable doggerel rhymes to his “worthy masters,” the inhabitants of the parish, of which he is so important an officer, he may reap a rich and unmerițed reward.
AN ODE ON THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOUR.
In numbers, and but these few,
Hadst for Thy place
Of Birth, a base
Instead of neat inclosures
As Gospel tells,
Was nothing else
But we with silks, not cruells,*
Sweet Babe, for Thee,
The Jews they did disdain Thee,
Dark and dull night, fly hence away, And give the honour to this day, That sees December turned to Mav.
* Charles I.