The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

After Mydnyght, When Dremes Dothe Fawll

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Ballads, With Other Short Poems, Chiefly of the Reign of Philip and Mary (London: J. B. Nichols, 1860), p. 32.

Poem XI

After mydnyght, when dremes dothe fawll,
Sume what before the mornynge gray,
Me thowght a voyce thus dyd me cawll,
" O lustye youthe, aryes, I say."

" O youthe," he sayd," lyfte upe thy heade;
Awake, awake, yt ys fayr daye ;
Howe canst thoue slepe, or kepe thy bede,
Thys fayr mornyng? aryes, I say.

" The sonne ys upe with hys bryght beames,
As thowghe he wold with the no fray,
But beat the upe owt of thy dremes,
And resse the upe ; aryes, I saye.

" Harke how the byrdes all with on voyce,
Wythe one concord ther cordes they lay,
Wythe joyfull tewnes the to rejoyce,
And styre the upe; aryes, I say.

" Behowld the felde nowe in lyke forme,
Furnyshyd with flowrs bothe freshe and gaye ;
Yt saythe to the, thowe slothefull worme,
Cume walke in me ; aryes, I say.

" The day, the sonne, the byrd, the feld,
Syns all thes cawll, thow lumpe of clay,
Unlesse shamlesse now be thy sheld,
For verye shame, aryes, I saye."

With thys me thowght the voyce reherst
Thes wordes, and sayd, " youthe, I the pray.
What means thys day and all the rest,
That sayd to the, aryes, I say ?

Truly thys day nowe to dyschos
Of Crystys faythe that longe hyd lay,
And now fule cleare and fayr yt shos,
To reasse the upe ; aryes, I' say.

What ys thys sonne that shynythe so bryght,
The verye sone of Gode, no nay;
Whos bemes of gracce be bent eavyn ryght,
To reasse the upe; aryes, I say.

What be thes byrdes that thus accord,
That ther swett cordes yche ear wold tay ;
Trulye true prechers of the lord,
At whos swet cordes, aryes, I say.

And se thoue walke amonst thes flowers,
Not for pastyme to feast and play,
But reverentlye suppres thy powrs,
Frome wanton pryd, arys, I say.

For better clarkes ther hathe byne non
Then in thys feld theme selves dyd slay;
Trustynge to moche theme selves uppon ;
Be ware ther fawll ; arys, I say.

Now syns thoue knowst bothe wher to walke,
And how to walke thou knowyst the way,
Lett age lye sty11 as drye as chalke,
And lustye youthe, arys, I say."

To thys me thowght dowtynge the truthe,
And lest thys voycce showld me betray,
He sayd, " a ! voycce ! whye more to youthe
Then unto age; aryes, I say."

" That thyng," sayd he, " I shall declare,
Thys youthe and age now to beware ;
The Jews and Gentyls suer they are,
Now gesse to whome; aryes, I say.

" The Jewe he ys so owld and worne,
That speake to hym in vayn I may ;
But thoue, Gentylle, art newlye borne,
Wherfor to the, arys, I say.

"Syns Cryst the lord hathe chosyn the stoke,
And lett hys owne floke go estray,
Now shewe thy self a lovynge floke
Unto the lord; arys, I say."

Thys sayd, I hade no more to tell,
But walke, and seynge fayr clere day,
Sayd to my selfe thes wordes myght well
Be sayd to me, "aryes, I say."


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.