The Cottar's Christmas

When icy winds blow frae the north,
And peats are stack-ed on the hearth.
The Cottar's weans are full o' mirth
As any in the land.
Excitedly they speculate,
Their hearts so eager scarce can wait,
For Santa and his loaded crate
When Christmas is at hand.

In childish innocence they pray,
For sweets and toys and dresses gay,
And luxuries far beyond the pay
O' ony workin' man.
But somehow these poor honest folk
Can make o' penury a joke
And hide their wants behind a cloak,
When Christmas is at hand.

Unharmed by vice that wealth can bring,
Or poverty's relentless sting,
Their tranquil lives' harmonious swing
Is free from strife.
Their home, their weans their simple needs,
On these their true contentment feeds,
Inspires the love devotion breeds
Twixt man and wife.

Ah, could those bred o' high estate,
Who boast o' birth and crested plate,
Sit roun' the Cottar's cheerfu' grate
They'd readily understand.
How pleasant folk wi' want oppressed,
Wi' some strange Providence are blest,
Can join in merry laugh and jest
When Christmas is at hand.

John Clifford (1952)

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John Clifford
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