The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

From Heaven Was Sent An Angel of Light-Weston

For Advent, Christmas

Words: The Richard Hill Common-Place Book, f. 219b.
Compare: From Heaven Was Sent An Angel Of Light (Rickert, 1914)

Music: Not Stated

Source: Jessie L. Weston, ed., Old English Carols from the Hill MS. [Balliol College MS. 354] Translated by Jessie L. Weston. (London: David Nutt, 1911), Carol #II, pp. 3-4.

Now should we sing, and say Nowell,
Quia missus est Angelus Gabriel !

1. From Heaven was sent an Angel of light
Unto a city that Nazareth hight,
And to a Maiden fair and bright
And full of bliss,
Nomen Maria Virginis.

2. The Angel sped, and made no rest,
Swift to the Maiden he bare his hest,
And quoth :
' All hail, thou Maiden blest,
And gracious,
Quia tecum est Dominus !'

3. When Mary heard, sore amazed was she,
And thought what that greeting well might be,
The Angel, he spake of grace so free,
And great solace,
Et dixit,' Maria, ne timeas !'

4. The Angel said :
' Thou Maiden mild,
Thou shalt conceive and bear a Child,
And thy Maidenhood be ne'er defiled :
Call Him Jesus,
Hie erit Altissimus Filius !'

5. When Mary, bright as a crystal stone,
These words must hear, she spake anon,
And asked how this marvel might be done
And saith : ' How so ?
Quia virum non cognosce.'

6. The Angel said :
' Thou Maiden still,
The Holy Ghost, He shall thee fulfil ;
The Maiden answered, soft and still,
And saith meekly :
 ' Ecce Ancilla Domini !'

7. Soon after this the Child was born
At Bethlehem, on a winter's morn ;
Now make we merry since Christ is born,
And sing Nowell,
Quia missus est Angelus Gabriel !

Editor's Note:

Weston's apparent source was Ewald Flügel, ed., “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts, Besonders Aus Der Zeit Heinrichs VIII. III. 6. Die lieder des Balliol Ms. 354,” in Eugen Einenkel, ed., Anglia - Zeitschrift für englische Philologie enthaltend Beitrage zur Geschlicht der englischen Sprache und Literatur. Band XXVI. (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1903), pp. 94-285: # LXI, 228-9. This work is available at both Internet Archive and Google Books.

See also Roman Dyboski, ed. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from the Balliol MS. 354, Richard Hill’s Commonplace Book. Early English Text Society Extra Series No. CI (London: Published for the Early English Text Society by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1907, issued in 1908)., #8, pp. 4-5 Over 103 songs of great variety, including 62 "sacred songs and carols." Available at Internet Archive and Google Books.

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