The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Virgin Pure, Of This Be Sure

For the Annunciation, Advent, Christmas

Words: English Traditional from the Hill Ms.
Compare: A Virgin Pure, This Is Full Sure (Rickert)

Music: Not Stated

Source: Jessie L. Weston, ed., Old English Carols from the Hill MS. [Balliol College MS. 354] Translated by Jessie L. Weston. (London: David Nutt, 1911), Carol #IV, p. 7

Both great and small now let us sing,
Deo Gracias, for Christ's coming !

1. A Virgin pure, of this be sure,
Gabriel bare her words of grace,
And in her care, of this be 'ware,
She spake this e'er,
Deo Gracias !

2. A Babe was born at early morn
And laid between the ox and ass ;
Their Lord they knew, thus born anew,
With soft breath blew,
Deo Gracias !

3. An Angel's song rang out ere long,
Gloria in Excelsis !
That Maid, tho' lone, she knew no moan
For love of One,
Deo Gracias!

4. This Babe us bought when we were brought
In sore despite, and doleful case ;
Therefore we sing, and carols bring
For Christ's coming,
Deo Gracias!

Editor's Note:

Weston's apparent source was Ewald Flügel, ed., “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts, Besonders Aus Der Zeit Heinrichs VIII. III. 6. Die lieder des Balliol Ms. 354,” in Eugen Einenkel, ed., Anglia - Zeitschrift für englische Philologie enthaltend Beitrage zur Geschlicht der englischen Sprache und Literatur. Band XXVI. (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1903), pp. 94-285; p. 55. This work is available at both Internet Archive and Google Books.

See also Roman Dyboski, ed. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from the Balliol MS. 354, Richard Hill’s Commonplace Book. Early English Text Society Extra Series No. CI (London: Published for the Early English Text Society by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1907, issued in 1908), "A virgyn pure, this is full sure," with burden "Now let vs syng, both more & lesse," #6, pp. 3-4.. Over 103 songs of great variety, including 62 "sacred songs and carols." Available at Internet Archive and Google Books.

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