A Christmas Song When The Rump Was First Dissolved

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Melody - "I tell thee, Dick"
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Cavalier Ballad

This Christmas time 'tis fit that we
Should feast, and sing, and merry be.
It is a time of mirth;
For never since the world began
More joyful news was brought to man
Than at our Saviour's birth.

2. But such have been these times of late,
That holidays are out of date,
And holiness to boot;
For they that do despise and scorn
To keep the day that Christ was born,
Want holiness no doubt.

3. That Parliament that took away
The observation of that day,
We know it was not free;
For if it had, such acts as those
Had ne'er been seen in verse or prose,
You may conclude with me.

4. 'Twas that Assembly did maintain
'Twas law to kill their sovereign,
Who by that law must die;
Though God's anointed ones are such,
Which subjects should not dare to touch,
Much less to crucify.

5. 'Twas that which turn'd our bishops out
Of house and home, both branch and root,
And gave no reason why;
And all our clergy did expel,
That would not do like that rebel -
This no man can deny.

6. It was that Parliament that took
Out of our churches our Service Book,
A book without compare;
And made God's house (to all our griefs),
That house of prayer, a den of thiefs'
Both here and everywhere.

7. They had no head for many years,
Nor heart (I mean the House of Peers),
And yet it did not die;
Of these long since it was bereft,
And nothing but the tail was left,
You know as well as I.

8. And in this tail was a tongue,
Lenthal (1) I mean, whose fame hath rung
In country and in city;
Not for his worth or eloquence,
But for a rebel to his prince,
And neither wise nor witty.

9. This Speaker's words must needs be wind,
Since they proceeded from behind;
Besides, you way remember,
From thence no act could be discreet,
Nor could the sense o' the House be sweet
Where Atkins was a member.

10. This tale's now done, the Speaker's dumb,
Thanks to the trumpet and the drum;
And now I hope to see
A Parliament that will restore
All things that were undone before,
That we may Christians be.


(1) Speaker of the Long Parliament.
From the King's Pamphlets, British Museum. The Rump Parliament, in an excess of Puritanic acerbity, had abolished the observance of Christmas, and forbidden the eating of puddings and pies, as savouring of Popery.

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