The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Carol Of The Birth of Christ

Words: English Traditional, 1521
According to Rickert, "Two leaves of Christmas Carolles, printed by Wynkyn de Worde."

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 54-5.
Compare: Get the hence what doest thou here

Come to Bethlehem1 and ye shall see
Puer natus est hodie.

A woman, a maid, &c.
Sinful man, &c.
On the Cross, &c.

Farewell, Advent, and have a good day;
Christmas is come, now go thy way.
Get thee hence! What dost thou here?
Thou hast no love of no beggar.
Thou makest us fast with evil cheer
With farewell, Advent.

Thou takest on thee more than doth the Lent,
The(n) dwellest so long that thou art shent.1
When alleluia is aloft,
I go gay and sit soft,
And then I am merry oft,
    As any bird on briar.

When laus Tibi2 cometh to town,
Then me behoveth to kneel adown,
And ever to be in orison,
    As it were friar.

Soon at Easter cometh alleluia,
With butter, cheese, and a tansy;3
It is nothing to my pay4
That he tarryeth so long away.
Might I bide Shere-Thursday
Laus Tibi shall go away;
And I have wept that I may,
Though he never came us among.

Notes from Rickert

1. Blamed. Return

2. Lent.  Return

3. Concerning tansy, Rickert writes at page 151: "This was a herb-dish intended as a corrective for the fish-diet of Lent. Various recipes are given for its preparation. The following is taken from a book of cookery with the sub-title The Good Housewive's Handmaid, 1597. 'Take all manner of herbs and the spawn of a pike or any other fish and blanched almonds and a few crumbs of bread and a little fair water and a pint of rosewater, and mingle all together, and make it not too thin, and fry it in oil, and so serve it in.' The fish ingredient was often lacking."

Editor's Note: The only reference to "fair water" that I could find is contained in the second verse of Lacking Samite And Sable. Return

4. Pleasure.  Return

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