Reflections after Christmas

Isle of Wight Observer January 1, 1881

We never give one thought to pain
Until the pleasure’s ended;
Nor note the gross remorseful train
By which each joy’s attended;
But when the hand of Nemesis
Arrests forbidden pastime,
We vow, when paying for our bliss,
Each time shall be the last time.

The Christmas tables all are cleared,
The Christmas ghosts departed,
The Christmas smiles have disappeared,
Again we’re granite hearted,
A spiteful ghost exaggerates
Our dishes and our pottles,
But nought remains but dirty plates
And black and empty bottles.

The promise of a glorious frost
By morning thaw is broken,
The secret of our mirth is lost
Our laughter’s left no token;
Our faces all refuse to smile,
Take down the yule and holly,
Our bedfellows are aches and bile-
A curse on festive jolly!

Oh! come with pantomimic jest
Grimaldi or Boleno!
Come give our spirits vital zest,
Oh! Holloway and Eno!
Oh! Fancy, teach us how to fly –
But flying’s out of question,
When every nerve is tortured by
A fit of indigestion.

We dare not sleep, in dread of dreams
Too terrible in number,
A turkey-cock that pecks and screams
Disturbs our restless slumber.
Ten thousand demons dance around
To rise and run is risky,
For grinning imps the floor have drowned
In fiendish wine and whiskey.

Ah! Let us learn some wisdom, friends,
In days of our dejection,
A moral our good fairy sends,
With every sore correction.
In future, take up Christmas cheer,
In sober moderation;
Start fresh upon the bright New Year
And shun intoxication.

The Melancholy Jacques

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