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An old tonsured man wearing a monk’s robe and a gown is supping lustily from a giant bowl of liquid. He rides a goat, representing the lasciviousness of the pagan festivals at December, as well as the then contemporary custom of Wassail.
Compare The Wassail Bowl in Peter Parley’s Annual of 1856, where the green-man elements of foliage and the giant bowl are preserved.
A poem under the image reads as follows:
And after him came next the chill December;
Yet he, through merry feasting which he made
And great bonfires, did not the cold remember;
His Saviour’s birth so much his mind did glad.
Upon a shaggy bearded goat he rode,
The same wherewith Dan Jove in tender years,
They say was nourisht by the Idæan mayd;
And in his hand a broad deepe bowle he beares,
Of which he freely drinks an health to all his peers. Spenser.