The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Dethe began bycau~e of ~yn

Source: Edward Bliss Reed, ed., Christmas Carols Printed in the 16th Century Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932).

This carol requires the installation of the "Old Blackletter" font for best display.
See notes in F A Q. Superscript letters are represented with the underscore.


Be thou poore or be thou ryche

I redelyfte vp thyn eye

And ~e in this we be all lyche

For ~o the all we ~hall dye.

Dethe began bycau~e of ~yn

We ~yn bothe poore and ryche

Therfore deth wyll neuer blyn

To take vs all in lyche

For our ~yn I rede we ~eche

To heuen that we may hye

For be we neuer ~o fre~h nor ryche

For ~o the we all ~hall dye

    Be thou poore. &c


Chri~t that was bothe god and man

He dyed for our gylt

Nedes mu~t we dye than

With ~yn yf we be ~pylt

We ~hall rote bothe hert and mylt

Mercy lorde we crye

It ~hal be lorde, ryght us thou wylt

For ~o the all we ~hall dye.

    Be thou poore. &c


Now Chry~t dyed for all our mys

I red haue in thy thought

To ~et thy mynde on wordly blys

For ~o the I holde it nought

For worldes blys Chry~t hene rought

I rede the it defy

Unto thy graue thou ~halt be brought

For ~o the we ~hall all dye

    Be thou poore. &c


If thou be pore kepe the clene

And thank god of his ~onde

If thou be ryche, gyue and lende

Bothe to poore and bonde

Loke thou do thus with thy honde

Through Chry~t to heuen yu ~halt hye

Thou can not long lyue in this londe

For ~o the all we ~hall dye

    Be thou poore. &c


Though yu be ryche, I tell ye before

Death wyll with the mete

Of all thy goodes thou gete~t no more

But a wyndyng ~hete

Therfore thy bales here thou bete

To god for mercy crye

Wepe for ~ynnes with teares wete

For ~o the all we ~hall dye.

    Be thou poore. &c


Thou ~halt by thou wote not whan

Nor thou wote~t where

To repent the tyme is now

This le~~on I red the lere

How ~oone yu ~halt be brought on bere

It is not for the to try

Lete this le~~on ~ound in thyn eare

For ~o the all we ~hall dye

    Be thou poore. &c


All we ~hall dye, and ry~e agayne

In one affynyte

If we euyll dye, we go to payne

This is the veryte

If that we ry~e in charyte

To blys than ~hall we ~tye

This is gods equyte

For ~o the all we ~hall dye.

    Be thou poore. &c


Print Page Return Home Page Close Window

If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.

Related Hymns and Carols