The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Gabriel To Mary Came

Words: Angelus Ad Virginem, Anonymous 13th or 14th Century Latin
Translation by W. A.  Pickard-Cambridge

Compare: Gabriel To Mary Went (RR Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols, with sheet music)

Source: William Adair Pickard-Cambridge, ed., A Collection of Dorset Carols (London: A. W. Ridley & Co., 1926)

Tune: Irish Medieval Carol
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Meter: 77 77 88 11 6 7 6

1. Gabriel to Mary came,1
    And entered at her dwelling,
With his salutation glad,
    Her maiden fears dispelling
'All hail, thou queen of virgins bright!2
God, Lord of earth and heaven's height,3
    Thy very Son
    Shall soon be born
    in pureness,
The Saviour of mankind.
Thou art the gate of heaven bright,
The sinners' healer kind.'

2. 'How could I a mother be
    That am to man a stranger?
How should I my strong resolve,
    My solemn vows endanger?'
'Pow'r from the Holy Ghost on high4
Shall bring to pass this mystery.
    Then have no fear:
    Be of good cheer,
    Believing
That still thy chastity
In God's Almighty keeping
Shall all unsullied be.'

3. Then to him the maid replied,
    With noble mien supernatural
'Lo! the humble handmaid I5
    Of God the Lord eternal
With thee, bright messenger of heav'n,
By whom this wondrous news is giv'n,
    I well agree
    And long to see
    Fulfilled
Thy gracious prophecy.
As God my Lord doth will it,
So be it unto me!"

4. Hail! thou Mother of the Lord,
    Who bring'st of gifts the rarest,6
Peace to angels and to men
    When Christ the Lord thou barest!
Do thou, we pray, entreat thy Son
For us our long'd redemption
    Himself to win
    And from our sin
    Release us;
His succor for to give7
That, when we hence are taken
We too in heav'n may live.

1. Or: Gabriel to the Virgin came. Return

2. Or: All hail, thou queen of maidens bright! Return

3. Or: The Lord of earth and heaven's height. Return

4. Or: "The Spirit's power from on high. Return

5. Or: "Lo! the lowly handmaid I. Return

6. Or: Giver of gifts the rarest. Return

7. Or: His succour too to give. Return

Also found in Erik Routley, University Carol Book (Brighton: H. Freeman & Co., 1961), #8, under the title of Angelus Ad Virginem, with the first line of: "Gabriel to the Virgin came." It is not reproduced here because it is under copyright.

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