1790
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Winter; a Season for remembering the Poor.

Diary, or Woodfall's Register (25 December 1790).

N. Creswick


A pastoral ballad in nine anapestic quatrains signed "N. Creswick." The poem bids the reader to remember the poor during the Christmas season: "When the poor Robin red breast approaches the cot, | When the icicles hang at the door; | When the bowl smokes with something reviving and hot | That's the time to remember the Poor." The seasonal theme had been introduced into pastoral ballad by Dr. William Perfect.

In 1789 a "Mr. Creswick, Teacher of Elocution" had published The Female Reader; or Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose and Verse, selected from the best Writers.



Stern Winter is come with his cold chilling breath,
And the verdure has dropp'd from the trees,
All Nature seems touch'd with the finger of Death,
And the streams are beginning to freeze.

When wanton young lads o'er the river can slide,
And Flora attends us no more:
When in plenty you sit by a good fire side,
Sure you ought to remember the Poor.

When the cold feather'd snow does in fleeces descend,
And whiten the prospects around;
When the keen cutting winds from the North do attend,
Hard incrusting over the ground;

When the poor harmless Hare may be trac'd to the wood
By her footsteps indented in snow;
When the lips and the fingers are starting with blood,
When the marksmen a cock shooting go;

When the poor Robin red breast approaches the cot,
When the icicles hang at the door;
When the bowl smokes with something reviving and hot
That's the time to remember the Poor.

When a thaw shall ensue, and the waters increase,
And the winds shall all violent grow;
When the fishes from prison obtain a release,
When in danger the travellers go;

When the meadows are hid by the proud swelling flood,
When the bridges are useful no more,
When in health you enjoy every thing that is good
Can you grumble to think on the Poor?

Now the day is arriv'd when a Saviour was born,
All the world should agree as one voice;
All Nature unites to salute the blest morn;
All the ends of the earth should rejoice.

Grim Death is depriv'd of his all killing sting,
And the Grave is triumphant no more;
Saints, Angels, and Men, Hallelujahs should sing,
And "THE RICH SHOU'D REMEMBER THE POOR."

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