1779 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Mason

Anonymous, "An Invitation to Y—rk, to eat Minced-Pies this Christmas" General Evening Post (28 July 1779).



Whereas a meeting's propos'd of gen'ral utility,
To the Gentry and Clergy, and eke the Nobility,
To be held at the Fountain, the house of one Dean,
To talk over the days poor Old England has seen;
I think it incumbent to tell you what cheer,
My old Cocks, you will meet with, when once you come there:
There'll be catches and glees, and funning and joking,
And such stingo, my Boys, that you'll sleep without rocking,
Ham and chickens and pies, and punch, wine, and ale,
And a jolly Free-Mason will tell you a tale,
Of his Grand Master Caractacus, famous of old,
A great liberty-monger, a Cambrian bold.

Perhaps we may talk, and concert about measures,
Which in time will improve both our trade and our treasures:
We're hail fellows well met, all generous and hearty,
And disclaim the distinctions of this or that Party:
All friends will be welcome, except (pray believe us)
Any grumbling descendants of Old Peter Grievous.

Then assemble, my Boys, on this day of December,
And we'll make it as fam'd as the fifth of November.