The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The fyrst day of yole have we in mynd

Alternate Title: Make we myrth For Crystes byrth

For Christmas

Anonymous English, 15th Century
Bodleian Library, MS Eng. poet. e. I, f. 22 r, XV Century
Source: William Sandys, Christmas-tide, Its History, Festivities and Carols, With Their Music (London: John Russell Smith, 1852), pp. 227-8.

Make we myrth
For Crystes byrth,
And sing we yole tyl Candelmes.

1. The fyrst day of yole have we in mynd,
How God was man born of owre kynd;
For he the bondes wold onbynd
    Of all owre synnes and wykednes.

2. The secund day we syng of Stevene,
That stoned [was] and steyyd up even
To God that he saw stond in hevyn,
    And cronned was for hys prouesse.

3. The iij day longest to sent Johan,
That was Cristys darlyng, derer non,
Whom he betok, whan he shuld gone,
    Hys moder der for hyr clennesse.

4. The iiij day of the chyldren зong,
That Herowd to deth had do with wrong,
And Crist thei coud non tell with tong,
    But with ther blod bar hym wytnesse.

5. The v day longeth to sent Thomas,
That, as a strong pyllar of bras,
Held up the chyrch, and sclayn he was,
    For he sted with ryytwesnesse.

6. The viij Day tok Jhesu hys name,
That saved mankynd fro syn and shame,
And circumsaysed was for no blame,
    But for ensample of meknesse.

7. The xij day offered to hym kinges iij.
Gold, myr, and cense, these gyftes free,
For God, and man, and kyng was he,
    Thus worschyppyd thei his worthynes.

8. On the xl Day cam Mary myld,
Unto the temple with hyr chyld,
To shew hyr clen that never was fylyd,
    And therwith endyth Crystmes.

Substantially similar is Richard Greene, ed., A Selection of Carols (Oxford: Clarendon, 1962), Carol #3, pp. 56-57.

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