To the Readers.
Poor Pastor Fido, Exiled a while ago.
Grace, Mercy, Mirth, Peace, doth wish to all those that love the Babe Jesus in his swaddling cloths.
[NOTE: This poem has some particularly hard to discern sections in the facsimile. Its the hardest part of the whole document. I’ve left blanks where it’s beyond hope and made educated guesses where I thought it safe. Consult the pdf for certainty]
Come zealous Lovers, solemnize with me,
The despised day of Christs Nativity.
Wake lungs, wake heart, wake tongue, and let us sing,
The glorious praises of our now born King.
Sing aloud, fear not __________,
Let them serve hogs, themselves, while we serve God.
Let russet __________ pray,
Their squirrel pated fancies gainst the state,
And old ag’d honor of this reverend day,
They nothing know, being but of yesterday.
Their standing, and their understanding both, all one,
Inspired coxcombs, idle pates, _____.
The keeping of this day we justify,
By scripture, reason, and antiquity.
For sixteen hundred years, and more out-old(?),
Gainst them that love new Christs, but not the OLD.
If these persuade not, then our word’s like thunders,
Shall rattle in their ears, point proving wonders.
Let’s feast it therefore, Banquet on the Babe, O Men, ( then with lute, and harp, and tongue, let’s music make, and
To make the Scottish Michals big with scoffes to prance
Barren, and tongue-tied both, we’ll lead them to Davids dance.
Christ he shall lead, the Apostles, Fathers follow,
To waken sleepers, modern divines shall hallow
The lovely spouse shall foot it, angels they shall sing,
Poor pastor he shall pipe, the saints cast in a ring,
Shall cheer his rousing heart, so that come good or ill,
Though pastor have no pay, he will be fido still.
God send you a merry Christmas.
From the Valley Exile, in the Land of Nod, near the Cape of Good Hope – 1652