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Wassail Chorus At The Mermaid Tavern

CHRISTMAS knows a merry, merry place,
Where he goes with fondest face,
Brightest eye, brightest hair:
Tell the Mermaid where is that one place,

'Tis by Devon's glorious halls,
Whence, dear Ben, I come again:
Bright of golden roofs and walls-
El Dorado's rare domain-

Seem those halls when sunlight launches
Shafts of gold thro' leafless branches,
Where the winter's feathery mantle blanches
Field and farm and lane. [Chorus]

'Tis where Avon's wood-sprites weave
Through the boughs a lace of rime,
While the bells of Christmas Eve
Fling for Will the Stratford-chime

O'er the river-flags emboss'd
Rich with flowery runes of frost-
O'er the meads where snowy tufts are toss'd-
Strains of olden time. [Chorus]

Shakespeare's Friend.
'Tis, methinks, on any ground
Where our Shakespeare's feet are set.
There smiles Christmas, holly-crown'd
With his blithest coronet:

Friendship's face he loveth well:
'Tis a countenance whose spell
Sheds a balm o'er every mead and dell
Where we used to fret. [Chorus]

More than all the pictures, Ben,
Winter weaves by wood or stream,
Christmas loves our London, when
Rise thy clouds of wassail-steam-

Clouds like these, that, curling, take
Forms of faces gone, and wake
Many a lay from lips we loved, and make
London like a dream. [Chorus]

Ben Jonson.
Love's old songs shall never die,
Yet the new shall suffer proof:
Love's old drink of Yule brew I
Wassail for new love's behoof.
Drink the drink I brew, and sing
Till the berried branches swing,
Till our song make all the Mermaid ring-
Yea, from rush to roof.

Christmas loves this merry, merry place;
Christmas saith with fondest face,
Brightest eye, brightest hair:
'Ben, the drink tastes rare of sack and mace:

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