The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Dives and Lazarus

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional

Source: A Good Christmas Box (Walters, 1847), pp. 24-25.

See: Bramley and Stainer, Dives and Lazarus, with Notes.

1. As it fell out upon a day,
Rich Dives made a feast,
And he invited all his friends,
And gentry of the best.

2. Then Lazarus laid him down and down,
E'en down at Dives' door;
Some meat, some drink, brother Dives,
Bestow upon the poor.

3. Thou art none of my brother Lazarus,
That lies begging at my door;
No meat, nor drink, will I give to thee, 
Nor bestow upon the poor.

4. Then Lazarus laid him down and down
E'en down at Dives' wall;
Some meat, some drink, brother Dives,
Or with hunger starve I shall.

5. Thou art none of my brother Lazarus,
That lies begging at my wall;
Neither meat, nor drink, will I give to thee,  
But with hunger starve you shall.

6. Then Lazarus laid him down and down,
E'en down at Dives' gate;
Some meat, some drink, brother Dives,
For Jesus Christ his sake.

7. Then Dives sent out his savage men,
To whip poor Lazarus away;
They had not power to strike one stroke.
But flung their whips away.

8. Then Dives sent out his hungry dogs,
To bite him as he lay;
They had no power to bite at all,
But licked his sores away.

9. As it fell out upon a day,
Poor Lazarus sickened and died,
There came two angels out of heaven,
His soul therein to guide.

10. Rise up, rise up, brother Lazarus,
And go along with me,
For you've a place reserved in heaven,
In angels' company.

11. As it fell out upon a day,
Rich Dives sickened and died,
There came two serpents out of hell,
His soul therein to guide.

12. Rise up, rise up, brother Dives,
And go with me to see,
A dismal place prepared in hell,
From whence thou ne'er canst flee.

13. Then Dives looked up with streaming eyes,
And saw poor Lazarus blest,
Give me one drop of water brother Lazarus,
To quench my flaming thirst.

14. Oh! had I as many years to abide
As there are blades of grass,
Then there would be an end, but now
Hell's pains will ne'er be past.

15. Oh! Was I now but alive again,
The space of half an hour,
O that I had made my peace secure,
Then the Devil should have no power.

Note:

Verse 7 that occurs in Bramley and Stainer was omitted in A Good Christmas Box:

7. Thou art none of my brother, Lazarus,
That lies begging at my gate;
Nor meat nor drink will I give to thee,
For Jesus Christ His sake.

Copies of this carol on this web site:

Contrast this carol with a similar name and theme:

See also: Broadsides with Dives and Lazarus

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