Ben Jonson

Christmas, His Masque (extract)

Ben Jonson was a playwright, poet, and literary critic of the seventeenth century, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy.

Why Gentlemen, doe you know what you doe? ha!
Would you ha'kept me out? Christmas, old Christmas?
Christmas of London, and Captaine Christmas?
Pray you let me be brought before my Lord Chamberlaine, i'le not be answer'd else:
'Tis merrie in hall when beards wag all:
I ha'seene the time you ha'wish'd for me, for a merry Christmas,
And now you ha'me; they would not let me in:
I must come another time!
A good jest, as if I could come more than once a year;
Why, I am no dangerous person, and so I told my friends, o'the Guard.
I am old Gregorie Christmas still