The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Christmas Carols Printed in the Sixteenth Century

Edward Bliss Reed, 1932

Retyped From The Original

This carol requires the installation of the "Old Blackletter" font for best display.
See notes in F A Q

The number or letter preceding the title indicates the plate number where the carol began.

No titles were given in the original text. The title given is that of the first line of the carol.

A notation such as (2) or (A) indicates a page number on which the carol begins. The notation "A.ii." also indicates a page number.


(2) The kiges baner on felde is playd

(5) If thou be Johan, I tell it the

(7) Dothe began bycau~e of ~un

(10) My hert is ~et to ~yng

(14) Whan that my ~wete ~one

(17) As I went this enders day

(18) It was a mayde of brente nars

(19) The nunne walked on her prayer

(20) My lady went to Cannterbury

(22) Ip~e mocat me

(23) Make we mery in hall and boure

(25) In Bethleem that noble place

(26) Lordes & ladys all by dene

(28) Welcome be this ble~~ed fe~te

(31) Mary moder come and ~e

(33) Of ~ayne Steuen goddes knyght

(35) O Ble~~d Johan z euangely~t

(36) Marke this ~onge for it is trewe

(41) This was the tenour of her talkynge

(42) I Shall you tell this ylke nyght

(43) Whan the aungell Aue began

(44) O Uery lyfe of ~wetness and hope

(45) All me dle erthe it ~hall fulfyll

(47) Moo~t ~ouerayn lorde Chry~t

(A) The bores heed in hande bring I

(H) A woman a mayde in thought & deede or Come to Bethleem and ye ~hal ~e

(I) To euery man that is vnkynde

(J) Synfuyll man thou art vnkynde

(L) Get the hence what doe~t thou here or Farewell aduent & haue good day

(M1) What alleluya is a lofte

(M2) In this tyme of Chry~tmas

(N) The hu~band of Mary




The kiges baner on felde is playd


Now ~ynge we we were wont

Uexilla regis prodeunt.


The kiges baner on felde is playd

The cross &? mi~try can not be nayd

To whom our ~auyour was betrayd

And for our ~ake

Thus ~ayth he I ~uffre for the

My deth I take

Now ~ynge we &c

Behold my ~hankes behold my knees

Beholde my hed armes and thees

Beholde of me nothyng thou ~ees

But ~oro we and pyne

Thus was I ~pyit, man for thy gylte

And not for myne.

Now ~ynge we &c

Behold my body how Jewes it donge

W knots of whipcord & ~courges ~trong

As ~tremes of a well y^ blode out ~prong

On euery ~yde

The knottes were knyt

Ryght well made with wyt

They made woundes wyde

Now ~ynge we &c

Man yu ~hait no d?o vnder~tand

Of my head, bothe fote and hand

Are four .C. and fyue thou~and

Woundes, and ~yrty

Fyfty and .vii. were tolde full euen

Upon my body

Now ~ynge we &c

Syth I for loue bought the ~o dere

As thou may ~e thy ~eif here

I pray the with a ryght good chere

Loue me agayne

That it lykes me

To ~uffre for the

Now all this payne

Now ~ynge we &c

Man vnder~tand now thou ~hall

In~ted of drynke they gaue me gall

And ey~ell mengled ther withall

The iewes fell

The~e paynes on me, I ~uffred for the

To bryng the fro hell

Now ~ynge we &c

Now for thy lyfe thou ha~t myseld

Mercy to a~ke be thou not adred

The left drop of blode that I for y^ bled

Myght clen~e the ~oone

Of all the ~yn

The worlde within

If thou hadde~st doone

Now ~ynge we &c

I was more wrother with Judas

For he wold no mercy a~ke

Than I was for his tre~pas

Whan he me ~olde

I was euer redy

To graunt hym mercy

But he none wolde

Now ~ynge we &c

Lo how I hold my armes abrode

The to receyue redy I ~prede

For the great loue that I to the had

Well may thou knowe

Some loue agayne

I wolde full ~ayne

Thou wolde~t to me ~hewe

Now ~ynge we &c

For loue I a~ke nothyng of the

But ~tand fa~t in faythe, & ~yn thou flee

And payne to lyue in hone~te

Bothe nyght and day

And thou ~halt haue blys

That neuer ~hall mys

Withouten nay.

Now &c

Now Je~u for thy great goodnes

That for man ~uffred great hardnes

Saue vs fro the denyls cruelnes

And to blys vs ~end

And graunt vs grace, to ~s thy face

Without en ende.

Now ~ynge we &c



If thou be Johan, I tell it the

If thou be Johan, I tell it the

Ryght with a good aduyce

Thou may be glad Johan to be

It is a name of pryce

To nawe of Io. Wel prays I may

Is is full good y wys

The grace of god, it is to ~ay

It ~oundes nothyng amys

If thou be kyng in ryalte

And of wyt full wy~e

Thou may~t be glad Johan to be

It is the name of pryce

    If thou be Johan, &c


He is not worthy to hyght Johan

The ore that is not whyght

And thou art not worthy to hight iohan

But grace be in the pyght

If thou haue loue and charyte

And voyde~t away all vyce

Than art then worthy Johan to be

It is a name of pryce

    If thou be Johan, &c


Johan gaue bapty~st vnto Chry~t

Of grace was his prechyng

And ~aynt Johan euangely~t

Was Chry~tes owne derlyng

In penaunce and vyrgynyte

He had full great delyce

God graunt vs grace this Johan to be

It a name of pryce

    If thou be Johan, &c


If thou be cleped Nycolas,

Bothe in dede and fame

Yet art thou Johan yf thou haue grace

It may well be thy name

I tell the true the veryte

And ~o I haue done it y wys

Thou may ~t be glad Johan to be

It is a name of pryce.

    If thou be Johan, &c


Aconily whght is now pre~ent

His name y wys is Johan

Of his gret grace god hath ~ent

To make vs merye euery chone

Be glad and mery in charyte

I pray you all lyke wy~e

He is well worthy Johan to be

It is a name of price

    If thou be Johan, &c




Dethe began bycau~e of ~un

Be thou poore or be thou ryche

I redelyfte vp thyn eye

And ~e in this we be all lyche

For ~o the all we ~hall dye.

Dethe began bycau~e of ~yn

We ~yn bothe poore and ryche

Therefore deth wyll neuer blyn

To take vs all in lyche

For our ~yn I rede we ~eche

To heuen that we may hye

For be we neuer ~o fre~h nor ryche

For ~o the we all ~hall dye

    Be thou poore. &c


Chri~t that was bothe god and man

He dyed for our gylt

Nedes mu~t we dye than

With ~yn yf we be ~pylt

We ~hall rote bothe hert and mylt

Mercy lorde we crye

It ~hal be lorde, ryght us thou wylt

For ~o the all we ~hall dye.

    Be thou poore. &c


Now Chry~t dyed for all our mys

I red haue in thy thought

To ~et thy mynde on wordly blys

For ~o the I holde it nought

For worldes blys Chry~t hene rought

I rede the it defy

Unto thy graue thou ~halt be brought

For ~o the we ~hall all dye

    Be thou poore. &c


If thou be pore kepe the clene

And thank god of his ~onde

If thou be ryche, gyue and lende

Bothe to poore and bonde

Loke thou do thus with thy honde

Through Chry~t to heuen yu ~halt hye

Thou can not long lyue in this londe

For ~o the all we ~hall dye

    Be thou poore. &c


Though yu be ryche, I tell y^ before

Death wyll with the mete

Of all thy goodes thou gete~t no more

But a wyndyng ~hete

Therefore thy bales here thou bete

To god for mercy crye

Wepe for ~ynnes with teares wete

For ~o the all we ~hall dye.

    Be thou poore. &c


Thou ~halt by thou wote not whan

Nor thou wote~t where

To repent the tyme is now

This le~~on I red the lere

How ~oone yu ~halt be brought on bere

It is not for the to try

Lete this le~~on ~ound in thyn eare

For ~o the all we ~hall dye

    Be thou poore. &c


All we ~hall dye, and ry~e agayne

In one affynyte

If we euyll dye, we go to payne

This is the veryte

If that we ry~e in charyte

To blys than ~hall we ~tye

This is gods equyte

For ~o the all we ~hall dye.

    Be thou poore. &c




My hert is ~et to ~yng

Psallemus cantantes

Domino noua cantica dantes

Cum canore iubilo

Et tibi di~cipulo

Oui ex priuilegio

Preceteris a domino

Dilectus es

Amice chri~ti Johannes

My hert is ~et to ~yng

That all this worlde ~hall ryng

Reioyfull be and glad withall

Of the hygh memoryall

Whom it plea~ed Chry~t to call

Of his grace e~pecyall

To his hyghnes

    Amice. &c.


Syttyng at his berde

He ~hewed the a preuy touche

A touche of famylyaryte

On his bre~t he ~uffred the

In thy ~lepe ~ecretes to ~e

Of his gloryous deite

For heuynes

    Amice. &c.


In his tender aege

He cho~e the to his pay

His paramour of loue entyer

Not for y^ yu was of his blode ~o nere

But that next his moder dere

In cha~tyte thou had no pere

And ~tedfa~tnes

    Amice chri~ti Johannes.


Whan he ~holde departe

He bade the kepe the care

The carefulle~t creature

His mother, y^ ~he myght be ~ure

Whyle that her lyfe ~holde endure

One mayde to haue another in cure

For thy clennes

    Amice chri~ti. &c.


So at his de~yre

Thou kept her fro the my~chefe

The my~cheuous retenu

Of them that ~lewe thy lorde Je~u

That no fyers nor cruell iewe

In one wy~e ~holde her per~ewe

Or her oppres

    Amice. &c.


But at his dy~ce~~e

She fell into the gre

The greate~t heuynes and we

That ony creature myght do

In ly we wy~e thy ~elf al~o

I knowe not the deadlyer of them two

In that dy~tres

    Amice chri~ti Johannes.


I meruayle not y wys

Though thou ha~t cau~e to cry

Pyteou~ly to mourne and playne

To ~e thy naturall co~yn ~layne

His mother hygh de~traught for payn

That made thy hert to ryue in twayn

For neuynes

    Amice chri~ti Johannes.


Who could be ~o harde herted

To ~s how ~he fared.

How ~he ~obbed whan ~he dyde wepe

With ~orowfull lokes & ~yghes depe

Thou coude thy ~elf no longer kepe

But ~odeynly fell in a deadly ~lepe

All confortles

    Amice chri~ti Johannes.


Now Chry~tes co~yndere

Helpe that I be fre

Be fre and true inherytour

To his cele~ty all tour

Where thou beholde~t in euery hour

The glory of thy fauyour

That neuer ~hall ceas

    Amice. &c.


Fynally I the be~eche

To teache me to make a brefe

A brefe and a redy way to amend

In that y^ I dyde my lorde offend

That to his grace he wyll me lende

After this pre~ent lyfe he me fend

Euerla~tyng peas

    Amice. &c.



Whan that my ~wete ~one

O My hert is wo

Mary dyde ~ay ~o

For to ~e my dere ~one dye

Seyng I haue no mo

Whan that my ~wete ~one

Was .xxx. wynter olde

Than the traytour Judas

He became wonders bolde

For .xxx. plates of money

His may~ter had he ~olde

But whan I wy~t of that

Lorde my herte was colde

    O my heart is wo


On ~here thur~day

Truely than thus it was

On my ~ones dethe

That Judas dyd compas

Many were the Jewes

That folowed hym by trace

And before them all

He ky~~ed my ~ones face

    O my heart is wo


My ~one before Pylate

Then brought was he

And Peter ~ayd .iii. tymes

He knewe hymn nat parde

Pylate ~ayd to the Jewes

Now what ~ay ye:

They cryed all with one voyce

Crucifige Crucifige.

    O my hert is wo.


On good fryday

At the mount of Caluary

My ~one was on the cro~~e

And nayled with nayles thre

Of all the frendes that he had

Neuer one coud he ~e

But gentyll Johan the euangely~t

That ~tyll dyde ~tand hym by

    O my hert is wo.


Though I ~orowfull were

No man haue no wonder

For how it was the erth quaked

And horryble was the thonder

I loked vpon my ~wete ~one

The cros that he ~tode vunder

Lungeus came with a long ~pere

And claue his hert a~onder

    O my hert is wo





As I went this enders day

(Damage) our Lady and her ~onne


Alone alone alone alone

Sore I ~ygh and all for one

As I went this enders day

Alone walkyng on my play

I harde a lady ~yng and ~ay

Woo is me and all alone

   Alone alone. &c.


To that place I drew me nere

Of her ~onge ~omwhat to here

There ~at a lady with ~ory chere

That ~ore dyd ~ygh and grone

    Alone alone. &c.


Beholde my ~onne crowned w thorne

And all his body rent and torne

Put to deth with ~hame and ~korne

For mannes ~ake alone.

    Alone alone. &c.


For ~o the it was a wonderous ~yght

To ~e her chylde how it was dyght


For to brynge mankynde ~o (damaged)

To ~aue vs from our fone

    Alone alone. &c.


Sythe it wyll no better be

Pray we to that chylde ~o free

That we may hym in heuyn ~e

What we ~hall hens gone

Alone alone alone alone

Sore I ~ygh and all for one




It was a mayde of brente nars

Synge Dyllum dyllum dyllum dyllum

I can tell you and I wyll

Of my ladyes water myll

It was a mayde of brente nars

She rode to myll vpon a hor~e

Yet was the mayden neuer the wor~e

    Synge dyllum. &c.


Layde ~he was vpon a ~acke

Stryke ~ofte ~he ~ayd hurt not my backe

And ~pare not let the myll clacke

    Synge dyllum. &c.


I wys the myller was full nyce

His myl~tones hanged both by a byce

And wolde be walkynge at a tryce

    Synge dyllum. &c.


This mayd to myll ofte dyd re~orte

And of her game made no reporte

But to her it was full great conforte

    Synge dyllum. &c.





The nunne walked on her prayer

Inducas inducas

In temptationibus

The nunne walked on her prayer

   Inducas. &c.

Ther cam a frere and met with her

In temptationbus. &c.

Inducas inducas

In temptationibus.

This nunne began to fall a~lepe



The frere knelyd down at her fete

    In temptationibus.



Inducas inducas

In temptationibus.


This fryet began the nunne to grope



It was a mor~ell for the pope

    In temptationibus.

    Inducas inducas

In temptationibus


The frere & the nunne whan they had done



Eche to theyr cloy~ter dyd they gone

    Sine temptationibus

Inducas inducas

In temptationibus.




My lady went to Caunterbury

My harte of golde as true as ~tele.

As I me lened to a bough

In fayth but yf ye loue my well

Lorde ~o Robyn lough

My lady went to Caunterbury

The ~aynt to be her bothe

She met with cate of Malme~bery

Why ~hepy~t thou in an apple rote

    My hart. &c.


Nyne myle to Mychelmas

Our dame began to brew

Mychell ~et his mare to gras

Lord ~o fa~t it ~new

    My hart. &c.


For you loue I brake my gla~~e

Pour gowne is furred with blew

The deuyll is dede: for there I was

I wys it is full trew

    My hart. &c.


And yf ye ~lepe, the cocke wyll crow

True hart thynke what I ~ay

Jack napes wyll make a mow

Loke who dare ~ay hym hay

    My hart. &c.


I pray you haue me now in mynde

I tell you of the mater

He blew his horne agayn~t the wynde

The crow gothe to the water


    My hart. &c.


Yet I tell you mekyll more

The cat lyeth in the cradell

I pray you kepe true hart in ~tore

A peny for a ladell

    My hart. &c.


I ~were by faynt Katheryn of kent

The go~e gothe to the grene

All our dogges tayle is brent

It is not as I wene

My hart. &c.

Tyrlery lorpyn the lauerocke ~onge

So meryly pypes the ~parow

The cow brake lo~e, the rope ran home

Syr god gyue yow good morow

My hart. &c.




Ip~e mocat me

Gebit. gebit. gebit. gebit.

Lux fulgebit hodie.

Ip~e mocat me

An aple is no pere tree

In ciuitate David

    Gebit. &c.


Notum fecit dominus

Sy the byll one knoweth a go~e

In ciuitate David.

    Gebit. &c.


A paruit C~au

A red gowne is not blew

In ciuitate David

Gebit. &c.

Uerbum caro factum e~t

A ~hepe is a peryllous be~te

In ciuitate David

Gebit. gebit. &c.




Make we mery in hall and boure

De Circumci~ione domini

To encrea~e our ioy and bly~~e,

Chri~tus natus e~t nobis

Make we mery in hall and boure

And this gloryous lady honor we

That to vs hath borne our ~auyour

Home ~ine femine

To encrea~e. &c.

For as the ~onne that ~hyneth bryght

Perceth no glas that we may ~e

So co(n)ceyued ~he Je~u full of myght

Cum virginitatis honore

To encrea~e. &c.

I~ay prophecyed longe beforne

How this Emanuel borne ~holde be

To ~aue his people that were forlorne

Dur exurget regere

We were all in great dy~tre~~e

Tyll this lorde dyd make vs free

Whereof this fe~te beryth wytnes

Uenit nos redimere

To encrea~e. &c.

A token of loue he fyr~t now ~he wed

That he on vs wolde haue pytye

Whan he for vs was crucyfed

Ut declaratur hodie.

To encrea~e. &c.

Mo~t gloryous lady we the pray

That bereth the crowne of cha~tyte

Brynge vs to the bly~~e that la~teth aye

Feliciter congaudere

To encrea~e. &c.




In Betheleem that noble place

Be we mery in this fe~te

In quo ~aluator natus e~t

In Betheleem that noble place

As by prophe~y ~ayd it was

Of the vyrgyn mary full of grace

Saluator mundi natus e~t

    Be we mery. &c.


On chry~tmas nyght an angel it tolde

To the ~hephardes kepying theyr folde

That into Betheleem with be~tes wolde

Saluator mundi natus e~t

Be we mery. &c.

The ~hephardes were co(n)pa~~ed ryght

About them was great lyght

Drede ye nought ~ayd the au(n)gell bryght

Saluator mundi natus e~t

Be we mery. &c.

Beholde to you we brynge great ioy

For why Je~us is borne this day

To vs of mary that mylde may

Saluator mundi natus e~t

Be mery. &c.

And thus in fayth fynde it ye ~hall

Lyenge porely in an oxe ~tall

The ~hephardes than lauded god all

Quia ~aluator mundi natus e~t.

Be mery. &c.




Lordes & ladyes all by dene

A new caroll of our lady

Nowell Nowell Nowell Nowell

This ~ayd the aungell Gabryell.

Lordes & ladyes all by dene

For your goodnes & honour

I wyll you ~ynge all of a quene

Of all women ~he is the floure

    Nowell. &c.


Of Je~~e there ~prange a wyght

I~ay ~ayd by prophe~y

Of whome ~hall com a man of myght

From dethe to lyfe he wyll vs bye

    Nowell. &c.


There cam an aungell bryght of face

Flyenge from heuyn with full gret lyght

And ~ayd hayle mary full of grace

For thou ~halt bere a man of myght

    Nowell. &c.


A~tonyed was that lady free

And he meruayle of that gretynge

Aungell ~he ~ayd how man that be

For neuer of man I had knowynge

    Nowell. &c.


Drede the nothynge mary mylde

Thou art fulfylled with great vertew

Thou ~halt conceyue and bere a chylde

That ~hall be named ~wete Je~u

    Nowell. &c.


She knelyd downe upon her knee

Is thou ha~te ~ayd ~o may it be

With hert, thought, & mylde chere

Goddes handmayd I am here

    Nowell. &c.


Than began her wombe to ~prynge

She went with chylde without man

He that is lorde ouer all thynge

His fle~~he & blode of her had than

Nowell. &c.

Of her was borne our heuen kynge

And ~he a mayden neuer the le~~e

Therfore be mery & let us ~ynge

For this new lorde of Chry~tmas

    Nowell Nowell. &c.




Welcome be this ble~~ed fe~te

O ble~~ed & maruelous natyuyte

Of goddes ~onne in dyuynyte

Welcome be this ble~~ed fe~te

Of goddes ~onne in dyuynyte

That is refourmer of our re~t

Longe peace and charyty

    O ble~~ed. &c.


In tyme of peace this chylde was born

As was ~he wed in prophe~y

To ~aue mankynde that was forlorne

For kynge of peace he is truly

O ble~~ed. &c.

Borne maruelou~ly he was

Full of grace and dyuynyte

And ~he a mayden neuer the le~~e

And ~o was neuer non but ~he

O ble~~ed. &c.

Therfore pray to that lorde

And to his mother that mayden free

To make vs wy~e in worde & ded

To pray~e & plea~e his deyte

O maruelous. &c.





Mary moder come and ~e

Gaudeams ~unge we I? hoc ~acro tpe?

Peur nobis natus en ex Maria virgine

Mary moder come and ~e

Thy ~one is nayled on a tre

Hande and fote he may not go

His body is wrapped all in wo

Upon a tre nayled he is

To brynge vs all to neuen bly~~

For Adam that dyde ainy~~e

For an aple that was ~o fre

From his heed vnto his too

His ~kynne is torne and fle~~he al~o

His body is bothe wanne and blo

And nayled he is on a tre

Thy louely ~one that thou ha~t borne

Is crowned with a crowne of thorne

To ~aue mankynde that was but lorne

And brynge man but to his liberte

Whan Johan this tale began to tell

Mary wolde no lenger dwell

But went amonge the Jewes fell

Where ~he myght her ~one ~e


My ~wete ~one that arte me dere

Why hange~t thou on rode here

Thy hede is wrythen all in a brere

Louely ~one what may this be.

Moder to Johan I the betake

Johan kepe this woman for my ~ake

On rode I am emendes to make

For ~ynfull man as ye may ~e.

This game of loue I mu~t play

For mannes ~oule it is no nay

There is no man that goth by the way

But on my body he may haue pyte

This payne y^ men haue me wrought

For ~ynfull ~oules I haue it bought

Of all this ~merte yet rewe I nought

If man wolde be kynde to me.

My blode coleth my fle~he doth fall

I am athry~t after drynke I call

They gyue me ey~yll menged with gall

A wors drinke may there be none.

Fader my ~oule to the I betake.

My body dyeth for mannes ~ake

To hell I mu~t withouten make

Mankynde for to make fre

God that deyed for vs all

Borne of a mayde in an oxe ~tall

Graunt vs his realme cele~tyall

Amen, amen, for charyte.





Of ~ayne Steuen goddes knyght

Of ~aynt Steuen

To ~aynt Steuen wyll we pray

To pray for vs both nyght and day

Of ~ayne Steuen goddes knyght

That preched y^ fayth day & nyght

He tolde the Jewes as it was ryght

That Chry~t was borne of a may.

The Jewes ~ayd in grete ~corne

That Chri~t was not of a mayde borne

That ~ayd Steuen ye are but lorne

And all that beleue in your lay.

Now is ~pronge the wele of lyfe

Of Mary moder mayde and wyfe

Therfore the Jewes fell at ~tryfe

And with ~teuen than dy~puted they.


The wycked Jewes at the la~t

Stones at Steuen they gan ca~t

His hed and armes they all to bra~t

And made his body in foule aray.

Steuen that was full mylde of mode

Thought he were all reed in blode

In his prayers ~tyll he ~tode

And cryeng to good thus he dyde ~ay

Lorde god for thy myghtfull grace

Forgyue the Jewes theyr tre~pace

And gyue theym grace to ~e thy face

In the Joye that la~teth aye.

To heuen he loketh ~oone on hye

To the father and ~one truly

And to the holy goo~t he gan cry

    Receyue my ~oule I the pray.


God receyued his boone anone

Downe came aungeles many one

They toke his ~oule & to heuen dyd gone

To bly~~edne~~e that la~teth ay.

To that bly~~e that is ~o goode

Jheiu that dyed vpon the roode

Graunt vs for his precyous bloode

Our ~aluacyon at domes day.




O Ble~~yd Johan the euangely~t

Of ~aynt Johan

Pray for vs to god on hye

Bly~~ed ~aynt Johan and our lady.

O Ble~~yd Johan the euangely~t

Ryght dere beloued of Je~u cry~t

The preuyte of heuen in erthe thou wy~t

As touchynge to the trynyte.

That prynce that is withouten pere

To Johan he toke his mode dere

All whyle ~he? lyued in erthe here

That vyrgyns were bothe he and ~he.


This noble Johan that we of rede

Informed vs of Chry~tes dede

The whyle that he on erthe yede

In his go~pell ~o fynde we.

Whan Chry~t on cro~~e hanged ~o hy

He ~ayd vnto his moder Mary

Lo there thy ~one ~tandynge the by

And ~e thy moder Johan ~ayd he

Nowe pray we to this ~aynt echone

For vs to pray to god introne

Out of this ~yfe whan we ~hall gone

To ~e hym in his maye~te





Marke this ~onge for it is trewe

A caroll of the Innocentes.

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

In Israell.

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

In Israell.

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 left dyd tell

A chylde ~holde come wonderous newys

[^ ~hold be borne trewe kyng of Jewys

In Israell.

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

Wherefore 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

In Israell.

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

In Israell.

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

In Israell.

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

In Israell.

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

In Israell.

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

In Israell.

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 was the tenour of her talkynge

(Initial stanzas missing from source)

This was the tenour of her talkynge

Timor mortis conturbat me.

I a~ked that byrde what ~he ment

I am a mu~ket fayre & gent

For fere of dethe I am all ~hent

Timor mortis conturbat me

Whan I ~hall dye I know no day

Contrey nor place I can not ~ay

Wherfore this ~onge ~ynge I may.

Timor mortis conturbat me.

Je~u chry~te whan he ~holde dye

To his father gan he crye

Father he ~ayd in trynyte

Timor mortis conturbat me.

All chry~ten people beholde & ~e

This worlde is but a vanyte

For therin is but nece~~yte

Timor mortis conturbat me.

Wake or ~lepe, eat or drynke

Whan I on my la~t ende do thynke

For great fere my ~oule doth ~ynke

Timor mortis conturbat me.





I Shall you tell this ylke nyght

(Initial stanzas missing from source)

Ble~~yd Stephan we the praye

Pro nobis preres funde

I Shall you tell this ylke nyght

Of ~aynt Stephan goddes knyght

He tolde the Jewes that it was ryght

That Cry~t was borne of a mayde

    Ble~~yd Stephan. &c.


Then ~ayd the Jewes w grete ~corne

That goddes ~one myght not be borne

Stephan ~ayd ye be forlorne

And all that byleueth on that lay

    Ble~~yd Stephan. &c.


This Stephen whan he was mo~t pfyte

In Cry~tes lawe illumynate

The Jewes hym toke with grete dy~pyte

Without the towne to lapidate

    Ble~~yd Stephan. &c.


The cur~yd Jewes at the la~t

Stones at Stephan they gan ca~t

They bette hym and bounde hym fa~t

And made his body in foule aray

    Ble~~yd Stephan. &c.

(Concluding stanzas missing from source)


Whan the aungell Aue began

Whan the aungell Aue began

Fle~~he and blode togyder ran

Mary bare bothe god and man

Through the vertue of benygnyte.

So fayth the go~pell of ~aynt Johan

God and man is made bothe one

In fle~~he and breed, blode and bone

One god in per~ones thre.

And the prophete Jeremy

Tolde in his prophecy

That the ~one of Mary

For us ~holde dye on tree.

He hath Joye to you graunted

And in erth peace hath plaunted

Whan yborne was that faynted

In the londe of Galilee

Mary graunt vs the bly~~e

Where thy ~one dwellynge is

And of that we haue done amy~~e

Thou pray for vs for charyte.





O Uery lyfe of ~wetnes and hope

Salue regina mater miseridordie

Uita dulce do et ~pes no~tra ~alue.

O Uery lyfe of ~wetnes and hope

Of thy mercy ~ende vs a drope

As thou bare Je~u y^ our kynd dyd grop

Salue regina mater mie .vita. &c.

Unto our helth thou bare that chyld

With ~pot of ~yn thou were neuer defyld

Mary mother bothe meke and myld

Salue regina mater mie .vita. &c.

We ~ynners lady to the we crye

In this world to haue mercy

We ~ynge to the yet or we dye

Salue regina mater mie .vita. &c.

To the we call euer at our nede

A frende ~prcyall all for all mannes nede

Thou floure on felde of Adams ~ede

Salue regina mater mie .vita. &c.

Thy eyen of pyte from vs not hyde

Whyle we here in this world abyde

Thou gouerne vs and be our guyde

(Concluding stanzas missing from source)



All medle erthe it ~hall fulfyll

This voyce both ~harp & al~o (damage)

Shall be herd from heuen to (damage)

All me dle erthe it ~hall fulfyll

Uenite ad iudicium.

    A voyce. &c.

Uenite is a bly~~ed ~ong

For them that for ioye dooth longe

And ~hall for~ake paynes ~trong

Uenite ad iudicium

A voyce. &c.

Glad in hert may they be

Whan Chry~t ~ayeth Uenite

Ye bly~~ed chyldren come to me

Into vitam eternam

A voyce. &c.

Whan I hongred ne gaue me meat

Ye clothed me agayn~t the weat

In trouble ye dyde me not forgeat

Uenite ad iudicium

A voyce. &c.

Ye ~ocoured me at your doore

And for my ~ake gaue to the poore

Therfore wyll I you ~ocoorg

Uenite ad iudicium.

A voyce. &c.

Sory in hert may they be

That hereth this heuy worde, Jte

Ye cur~ed chyldren go fro me

In to ignem eternum

A voyce. &c.

Whan for nede that I dyde crye

Confortle~~e ye lete me dye

Therfore now I you deny

Uenite ad iudicium

A voyce. &c.

For by me ye ~et no ~tore

Ye ~hall abye ryght dere therfore

In hell with deuyls for euermore

Uenite ad iudicium

A voyce. &c.




Moo~t ~ouerayn lorde Chry~t

Je~u Chri~te fili dei viui mi~e (damaged)

bis. Alleluya.

Moo~t ~ouerayn lorde Chry~te

Born of a mayd y^ euer was true

With grace and goodne~~e yu vs endue

That now ~ingeth this. Mi~ere nobis.

Je~u chri~te fili dei viui.

Lorde of mercy by propre condycion

That of mankynd made the redemption

Graunt vs now this petycion

That now ~yngeth this. Mi~ere nobis.

Je~u chri~te fili dei viui.

Je~u pre~erue vs, and be our ~pede

With grace to ~ocour vs at our nede

To do thy plea~ure in worde an dede

That now ~ingeth this. Mi~ere nobis.

Je~u chri~te &c.

Puny~h not ~ynners by thy myght

But with mercy medled with ryght

So that we may lyue in thy ~yght

That now ~yngeth this. Mi~ere nobis.

Je~u chri~te fili dei viui. &c.

(damage) od graunt vs repentaunce

(damage) d ~pace for to do penaunce

And good lyfe to haue contynuaunce

That now ~yng this. Mi~ere nobis.


A voyce from heuen to erth ~hall com

Uenite ad iudicium.


Additional Carols Printed in the 16th Century


The bores heed in hande bring I

A caroll bringyng in the bores heed.

Caput apri differo

Reddens laudens domino.

The bores heed in hande bring I

With garlans gay and ro~emary

I pray you all ~ynge merely

Diu e~tis in conuiuio

The bores heed I vnder~tande

Is the thefe ~eruyce in this lande

Loke where euer it be fande

Seruite cum cantico.

Be gladde lordes bothe more & la~~e

For this hath ordeyned our ~tewarde

To chere you all this christma~~e

The bores heed with mustarde.


The word "thefe" in verse 2 is considered to by a typographical error. The correct word should be "chefe."


Come to Bethleem and ye ~hall ~e

A caroll of the byrth of Chry~t

Come to Bethleem and ye ~hall ~e

Puer natus e~t hodie.

A woman a mayd in thought & deede

A fayrer with eyen myght no man ~ee

With her vgin paps her babe did fede

Puer natus e~t hodie.

The chyldes name is called Je~us

Gabryel ~ayde it ~hulde ~o be

Joye we togyther and ~yng we thus

Puer natus e~t hodie.

To make vs rych, pore was he than

With mekenes and humylytie

Doutles he is bothe god and man

Puer natus e~t hodie.

Kynges & prynces of this dyd here

Togyther they came a mayden to ~ee

Lullyng her babe her ble~~ed ~on dere

Puer natus e~t hodie.

Now (damage) oly~ful mayde y^ bare y^ byrthe

Pray to thy ~on that we may hym ~e

(Concluding stanzas missing from source)



To euery man that is vnkynde

(Initial stanzas missing from source)

To euery man that is vnkynde

What ~hulde I man do for the more

Than my lyfe to be vntwynde

Thou arte the fayre~t creature to fynde

For I the made lyke vnto me

And gaue the rea~on, wyt and mynde

Quit vltra. &c.

I loue the man aboue all thinge

I wyll be borne for the therfore

Bycau~e I wolde to blys the brynge

What ~hulde I man do for the more

By Adams ~yn thou was forlore

Euermore puny~~hed for to be

But for thy mys I bought the fore

Quit vltra. &c.

My handes (damage) cro~~e be ~pread

To yelde the merry yf thou wylt craue

Mercy to a~ke be natadred

For yf thou wylt I wyll the ~aue

Whan thou art dead and layd in graue

And all thy frendes from the flee

Yet thy ~soule wyll I haue

Quit vltra. &c.




Synfuyll man thou art vnkynde

Blow y^ wide ~tyl & blow nat ~o ~hyl

My blode man I ~hed for the al at wyl

Blowe y^ wide ~tyl & blowe nat ~o ~hyll

This paine to ~uffre is my fathers wil.

Synfuyll man thou art vnkynde

To thy maker y^ made y^ of nou

Thou ~huld kepe & haue in mide

Howe with my blode I the bought

To ~aue the from the paynes of hell

That w^ the fende yu ~hulde nat dwell

Neyther rather to go.

Blowe the wynde ~tyl

This payne to ~uffre

To a piller bo (damage) both fote & hand

(damage) ll al my fenetr (damage) prode dyd bra~t

The iues me bet (damage) they coude ~tand

And as they weryed they dyd them re~t

And aro~e agayne and fcorged ine ~o

Tyll blode & fle~he wente the bones fro

Blowe the wynde ~tyll.

This payne to ~uffre.

Whan they me ~corged ~harpe & ~ure

They crowned me with a thorne

A rede in my hande for a ~epture

And there they kneled me beforne

They ~ayde to me al hayle my kynge

For ~o was always theyr ~ayenge

And mocked me ~o

Blowe the wynde ~tyll.

This payne to ~uffre.

I bare y^ cro~~e that was ~o longe

To Caluery where my deth was dight

My mother folowed with rufull ~onge

Seyng my trauel ~he fel downe ryght

To ~e me in ~uch payne I brought

For the ~yn man y^ thou ha~t wrought

She was full wo

Blowe the wynde ~tyll.

This payne to ~uffre.

On the cro~~e they ~played me than

And all my body they drewe in brede

Tyl fle~he and blod thorow y^ ~kyn ran

My handes & fete with holes dyd blede

They went me fro with one a~~ent

And made a knyght my herte to rent

Thus payned they me tho

Blowe the wynde ~tyl

This payne to ~uffre.

They gaue me drynke ` was nat fvne

The which was ey~ell myxte with gall

They gaue it me in ~tede of wyne

And I ~ayd than made an ende was al

Than went away my ~pirite to hell

To fetche the ~oules y^ there dyd dwel

And in Limbo lay.

Blowe the wynde ~tyll.

This payne to ~uffre.




Get the hence what doe~t thou here


Farewell aduent & haue good day

Farewell aduent & haue good daye

Chry~tmas is come, nowe go thy way.

Get the hence what doe~t thou here

Thou ha~t no loue of no beggere

Thou make~t vs fa~t with euyll chere

With farewell aduent.

Thou take~t on y^ more than doth y^ lent

Theu dwelle~t ~o long that yu art ~hent




What alleluya is a lofte

What alleluya is a lofte

I go gay and ~yt ~ofte

And than I am mery ofte

As any byrde on brere

Whan laus tibi cometh to towne

Than me behoueth to knele downe

And euer to be in ori~owne

As it were a frere

Soone at Ca~ter cometh alleluya

With butter che~e and a tan~ay

It is nothynge to my pay

That he taryeth away ~o longe

Myght I byde ~here thur~day

Laus tibi ~hall go away

(damage) d I haue wepte that I may

Though he neuer come vs amonge




In this tyme of Chry~tmas

In the honour of Chri~ts byrth

Syng we al with ioye and myrthe.

In this tyme of Chry~tmas

Bytwyxte an oxe and an a~~e

A mayden delyuered was

Of Chri~t dere ~on dere.



The hu~band of Mary

(damage) the hu~bande of Mary

(damage) Jo~eph ~toode her by

And ~ayde he was ready

To ~erue her if nede were.

When ~he her deare ~onne ~e

She ~et him on her kne

And ~ong hydder to me.

Cum ba~~e thy mother deare

On her lap ~he him layde

And with her pappe he playde

And euer ~ang the mayde

Come ba~~e thy mother dere.

With lyppes collyng

His mouth ofte ~he dyd ki~~e

And ~ayd ~weete hert myne

I pray you make good chere.

To this chylde let vs pray

That borne was on this day

Of Mary the mylde may

To graunt vs all good chere.



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