Christmas is over, and Christmas cheer ;—1
What shall we wish you, oh reader dear ?2
What do you want for your Happy New Year ?3
People of every age and state4
Have somewhat they fain would ask of fate,5
If you had but a Slave of the Lamp or the Ring,6
And could rub him up instantly,—what should he bring ?7
Whatever it be, if we can but guess it,8
We’ll wish from our hearts that you each may possess it.9
We’ll wish for the Queen that her boys and her girls10
May be bright as diamonds and fair as pearls,11
That virtue and learning, hand in hand,12
May fill her councils and rule her land,13
That the sky of her life be bright above her,14
And her days be long with the lieges that love her.15
We’ll wish that the Lords may pass good laws,16
And the Commons be strong in each righteous cause,17
That Army and Navy alike may be18
The best of defences by land and sea,19
That every Bishop may rule in peace,20
Over a flourishing diocese,21
And every pastor heartily strive22
To save the souls of his flock alive ;23
That those who hunger in body or soul24
This year be fed with a Christian dole,25
That the little children be taught to read,26
And a harvest reaped from the sower’s seed.27
We’ll wish to the sickly the toughest of lives,28
To maidens husbands,—to bachelors wives,29
That babes may increase in strength and grace,30
And bloom like flowers in their parents’ face,31
That the fool may grow wise ere he yet be old,32
And the purse that lacks find a store of gold,33
And the hand that has it a will to spend,34
And the heart that loveth not, grace to mend.35
We’ll wish for workers of each degree,36
To earn and eat in prosperity ;37
Plenty of coals at the poor man’s door,38
Plenty of grain on the farmer’s floor,39
Plenty of fees to the learned professions,40
Plenty of railways through landed possessions,41
Plenty of cargoes brought home on the breeze42
By the quickest of ships on the calmest of seas,43
Unpacked at the docks to the merchant’s content,44
And sold in the market at fifty per cent.45
And we wish, oh dear reader, all jesting apart,46
That mercy and love may grow strong in your heart,47
That dearer than riches or what they can buy48
Be the creed which shall help you to live or to die.49
That whatever your portion of joy or of sorrow50
Meted out in the Year which is born with tomorrow,51
Its close shall behold you with common accord52
Gathered into one fold, in the love of the Lord.53