The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

From Heaven Was Sent An Angel Of Light

For Advent, Christmas

Words: English Traditional, Before 1536
Compare: From Heaven Was Sent An Angel of Light (Weston, 1911)

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 32-3.

Now we should sing and say nowell,
Quia missus est angelus Gabriel

1. From heaven was sent an angel of light,
Unto a city that Nazareth hight,
Unto a maid, a bride so bright,
    And full of bliss;
    Nomen Maria virginis.

2.The angel went forth and naught he ceased,
Before that maiden he him soon dressed,
He said: "All hail, thou art full blessed,
    And gracious,
    Quia tecum est Dominus!"

3. When Mary this heard, astonied was she,
And thought what this greeting might be.
The angel her showed of grace plenty
    And great solace,
    Et dixit: "Maria, ne timeas."

4. The angel said: "Thou maiden mild,
Thou shalt conceive and bear a child;
Thy maidenhood shall be never defiled;
    Call Him Jesus,
    Hic (erit) Altissimi Filius."

5. When Mary, as bright as crystal stone,
These wordės heard, (she) answered anon,
And asked how all this might be done,
    And said: "How so?
    Quia virum non cognosco."

6. The angel said: "Thou maiden still,
The Holy Ghost shall thee fulfill."
The maid answered with voice so shrill,
    And said meekly:
    "Ecce ancilla Domini."

7. Soon after this, this Child was born,
In Bethlehem, in a winter's morn.
Now make we merry Him beforn,
    And sing nowell,
    Quia missus est angelus Gabriel!


Rickert gives the following translations:

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