Friday, December 23, 2011

Poetry Friday--Everything Old is New Again

I was surprised to find a poem called "The Newest Thing in Christmas Carols" in a book of poetry that was published more than 100 years ago. I guess I thought that the holidays were a little less stressful back then. I was wrong.

The poem is from Christmas: Its Origin, Celebration and Significance As Related in Prose and Verse edited by Robert Haven Schauffler (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1907), a book that was published for use with "children of all ages, in school and at home."
The Newest Thing In Christmas Carols
by Anonymous

God rest you, merry gentlemen!
    May nothing you dismay;
Not even the dyspeptic plats
    Through which you'll eat your way;
Nor yet the heavy Christmas bills
    The season bids you pay;
No, nor the ever tiresome need
    Of being to order gay;

Nor yet the shocking cold you'll catch
    If fog and slush hold sway;
Nor yet the tumbles you must bear
    If frost should win the day;
Nor sleepless nights—they're sure to come—
    When "waits" attune their lay;
Nor pantomimes, whose dreariness
    Might turn macassar gray;
Nor boisterous children, home in heaps,
    And ravenous of play;
Nor yet—in fact, the host of ills
    Which Christmases array.
God rest you, merry gentlemen,
    May none of these dismay!

Except for the clothes, the illustration from the December 17, 1913 issue of Puck magazine could have been recreated at any mall in America on "Black Friday" 2011!

Head over to Dori Reads for this next-to-the-last Poetry Friday Round-Up of 2011. Have a very merry weekend everyone!


Illustration courtesy Library of Congress.


Doraine said...

I'm laughing! What a great picture. It seems things never change, not really. Merry Christmas.

david elzey said...

truly though, if EVERYTHING old is new, then is it ever old? it seems i keep coming across things from the early 20th century that mirror our current times and i have to wonder: do we just endlessly repeat ourselves culturally?

then i think ahead to what the 22nd century is going to make of a collection like "it's beginning to look a lot like zombies" and wonder...

Linda B said...

I guess one could say it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas no matter where we look. Thanks for sharing your find, & may nothing you dismay!

Donna Smith said...


Mary Lee said...

Humans are such wacky critters!