All hail to thee, thou good old boy, December!
Sick of that sullen, sulky Dan November,
The very sight of thy bald, reverend, jolly,
Irreverend head, bright crown'd with holly,
Makes one forswear, as fudge, all melancholy,—
Thou gladdening, glowing, glorious old December!
Grey Nestor of the Months! brethren eleven,
Joint heirs with thee of Eighteen Thirty-seven,
Knock'd up by Time, enjoy oblivious slumbers,—
Old Monthlies out of print—the scarce back numbers,
Sold out—not one a shop or shelf encumbers,
While thou art but just publish'd—"No. XII.—December!"
"Hail, Thane of" Time!—thou genial, warm old sire
Of Eighteen Thirty-eight!—Yule log and sea-coal fire
Be thine, as glad burnt-offerings in thy praise;
Long nights—(thou dost not look for length of days)—
Be thine, old Joy, wassail'd in various ways
Of warm, bright welcome, to hail thy stay, December!
Welcome once more, old Master of the Revels,—
Pickwick of all the Pleasures!—The blue devils,
Blue looks, blue noses, hide their uncomely faces;
Old Gout throws by his crutch—tries cinquepaces;
And Youth and Age, Love, Joy, and all the Graces
Are getting parties up, to honour thee, December!
Sir-Loins grow fatter; plums, like good St. Stephen,
Are suff'ring martyrdom; the spongy leaven
Is working puddingwards; old wines, choice cellars,
Old coats, new gowns, shawls, cloaks, clogs, logs, umbrellas,
Young girls, old girls, old boys, and old young fellars,
Are brushing up to welcome thee, December!
Game, poultry, turkeys, pigs, and country cousins
The Town's great maw will swallow down by dozens;
Aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, nieces, nevies,
Will all be book'd and brought up by "the heavies,"
With other birds of passage, in large levies,
On Christmas-day, to honour thee, December!
Bright hearths, bright hearts, bright faces, and bright holly
Will welcome thee, and make thy sojourn jolly!
The merry misletoe, in hall and kitchen,
Will make the ugliest of mugs bewitchin';
And who won't kiss them, may he die a ditch in,
For he's no friend of thine, warm-hearted old December!
Once more, all hail! with all thy sports and pastimes,
Though few old sports are left us in these last times!—
May one fair Virgin Girl—the loved at sight one—
Twelve days from Christmas-tide, her heart a light one,
As Queen, choose her a King, and choose the right one,
To our great joy, and hers, agreeable old December!