The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

This Babe To Us That Now Is Born

For Christmas

Words: English Traditional, Fifteenth Century
from a Manuscript in Trinity College Library, O. 3. 58. (James, no. 1230).
See:
Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.3.58 (1230).

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 169-70.

Now may we singen as it is
Quod puer natus est nobis.

1. This Babe to us that now is born,
Wonderful works He hath (y)wrought
He would not loss what was forlorn,
But boldly again it bought;
        And thus it is
        For sooth ywis,
  He asketh nought but that is His.

2. This bargain lovėd He right well,
The price was high and bought full dear.
Who would suffer and for us feel
As did that Prince withouten peer?
        And thus it is
        For sooth ywis,
  He asketh nought but that is His.

3. His ransom for us hath ypaid;
Good reason have we to be His.
Be mercy asked and He be prayed,
Who may deserve the heavenly bliss.
        And thus it is
        For sooth ywis,
  He asketh nought but that is His.

4. To some purpose God made man;
I trust well to salvation.
What was His blood that from Him ran
But fence against damnation?
        And thus it is
        For sooth ywis,
  He asketh nought but that is His.

5. Almighty God in Trinity,
Thy mercy we pray with whole heart,
Thy mercy may all woe make fell
And dangerous deread from us to start.
        And thus it is
        For sooth ywis,
  He asketh nought but that is His.

J. A. Fuller Maitland, English Carols of the Fifteenth Century. London: The Leadenhall Press, E.C., ca. 1891, VI.

Carol in Original Form From a 15th Century Manuscript

Carol in Modern Form

Editor's Note.

This carol is found in two manuscripts. Versions of this carol from these two manuscripts on this website include:

I. Balliol Ms. 354, the Richard Hill Commonplace Book

II. Trinity College O.3.58 (1230), Cambridge UK

And see also John Stevens, ed. Mediaeval Carols. Musica Britannica 4. (London: Stainer and Bell, 1952, 2nd ed. 1958), p. 4.

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.