The Pauper's Christmas Carol.

A poem by Thomas Hood

Full of drink and full of meat,
On our SAVIOUR'S natal day,
CHARITY'S perennial treat;
Thus I heard a Pauper say: -
"Ought not I to dance and sing
Thus supplied with famous cheer?
Heigho!
I hardly know -
Christmas comes but once a year.

"After labor's long turmoil,
Sorry fare and frequent fast,
Two-and-fifty weeks of toil,
Pudding-time is come at last!
But are raisins high or low,
Flour and suet cheap or dear?
Heigho!
I hardly know -
Christmas comes but once a year.

"Fed upon the coarsest fare
Three hundred days and sixty-four,
But for one on viands rare,
Just as if I wasn't poor!
Ought not I to bless my stars,
Warden, clerk, and overseer?
Heigho!
I hardly know -
Christmas comes but once a year.

"Treated like a welcome guest,
One of Nature's social chain,
Seated, tended on, and press'd -
But when shall I be press'd again,
Twice to pudding, thrice to beef,
A dozen times to ale and beer?
Heigho!
I hardly know -
Christmas comes but once a year.

"Come to-morrow how it will;
Diet scant and usage rough,
Hunger once has had its fill,
Thirst for once has had enough,
But shall I ever dine again?
Or see another feast appear?
Heigho!
I only know -
Christmas comes but once a year!

"Frozen cares begin to melt,
Hopes revive and spirits flow -
Feeling as I have not felt
Since a dozen months ago -
Glad enough to sing a song -
To-morrow shall I volunteer?
Heigho!
I hardly know -
Christmas comes but once a year.

"Bright and blessed is the time,
Sorrows end and joys begin,
While the bells with merry chime
Ring the Day of Plenty in!
But the happy tide to hail,
With a sigh or with or a tear,
Heigho!
I hardly know -
Christmas comes but once a year!"

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