Marke this ~onge for it is trewe
A caroll of the Innocentes.
For The Innocents
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).
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See notes in F A Q
Marke this ~onge for it is trewe
For it is trewe as clerkes tell.
In olde tyme ~traung thyngs cam to pas
Grete wonder & grete meruayll was
There was one Octauyan
Octauyan of Rome Emperour.
As bokes olde doth ~pecyfye
Of all the wyde worlde trulye.
He was lorde and gouernour.
The Jewes that tyme lackyd a kyng
They lackyd a kyng to gyde them well
The Emperour of power and myght
Cho~e one Herode agayn~t all ryght
This Herode than was kyng of Jewys
Was kynge of Jewys & he no Jewe
For ~o the he was a panym borne
Wherfore on fayth it may be ~worne
He reygned kynge vntrewe.
By prophe~ye one I~ay
One I~ay, at le~t dyd tell
A chylde ~holde come wonderous newys
[^ ~hold be borne trewe kyng of Jewys
This Herode knew one borne ~hold be
One borne ~holde be of trewe lenage
That ~holde be ryght herytour
For he but by the Emperour
Was made by v~urpage
Wherfore of throught this kynge Herode
This kynge Herode in grete fere fell
For all the days mo~t in his myrth
Euer he fered Chry~tes byrth
The tyme came it plea~ed god
It plea~ed god ~o come to pas
For mannes ~oule in dede
His bly~~ed ~one was borne wyth ~pede
As his wyll was
Tydynges came to kynke Herode
To kynge Herode, and dyd hym tell
That one borne for~oth is he
Which lorde and kynge of all ~hall be
Herode than raged as he were woode
As he were wode of this tydynge
And ~ent for all his ~crybes ~ure
Yet wolde he not tru~t the ~crypture
Nor of theyr councellynge.
Than this was the conclu~yon
The conclu~yon of his councell
To ~ende vnto his knyghtes anone
To ~le the chylderne euerychone
This cruell kynge this tyranny
This tyranny dyd put in vre
Bytwene a day and yeres too
All men chylderne he dyd ~loo
Of Cry~t for to be ~ure.
Yet Herode my~~ed his cruell pray
His cruell pray as was goddes wyll
Jo~eph with Mary than dyd fle
With Chry~t to Egypt gone was ~he
All this whyle this tyrantes
This tyrantes wolde not conuert
But innocentes yonge
That lay ~okynge
They thry~t to the herte.
This Herode ~ought the chyldren
This chyldren yonge, with corage fell
But in doynge thys vengeaunce
His owne ~one was ~layne by chaunce
Alas I thynke the moders were wo
The moders were wo it was grete ~kyl
What motherly payne
To ~e them ~layne
In cradels lyeng ~tyll:
But god hymn ~elfe hath theym electe
Hath theym electe, in heuyn to dwell.
For they were bathed in theyr blode
For theyr baptym for~oth it ~tode
Alas agayne what hartes had they
What hart~ had they tho~e babes kyll
With ~werdes whan they hym caught
In cradels they lay and laught
And neuer thought yll.
This is one of the carols that were first printed by Richard Kele, Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted (circa 1550), reprinted in Philip Bliss, Biographical Miscellanies (1813), and included in Edward Bliss Reed, Christmas Carols of the 16th Century, Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932).
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