Mark Well My Heavy Doleful Tale



Mark well my heavy doleful tale,

For Twelfth-day now is come,

And now I must no longer sing,

And say no words but mum;

For I perforce must take my leave

Of all my dainty cheer,

Plum-porridge, roast beef, and minced pies,

My strong ale and my beer.

Kind-hearted Christmas, now adieu,

For I with thee must part,

And for to take my leave of thee

Doth grieve me at the heart;

Thou wert an ancient housekeeper,

And mirth with meat didst keep,

But thou art going out of town,

Which makes me for to weep.

God knoweth whether I again

Thy merry face shall see,

Which to good-fellows and the poor

That was so frank and free.

Thou lovedst pastime with thy heart,

And eke good company;

Pray hold me up for fear I swoon,

For I am like to die.

Come, butler, fill a brimmer up

To cheer my fainting heart,

That to old Christmas I may drink

Before he doth depart;

And let each one that's in this room

With me likewise condole,

And for to cheer their spirits sad

Let each one drink a bowl.

And when the same it hath gone round

Then fall unto your cheer,

For you do know that Christmas time

It comes but once a year.

But this good draught which I have drunk

Hath comforted my heart,

For I was very fearful that

My stomach would depart.

Thanks to my master and my dame

That doth such cheer afford;

God bless them, that each Christmas they

May furnish thus their board.

My stomach having come to me,

I mean to have a bout,

Intending to eat most heartily;

Good friends, I do not flout.