The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Gabryell of Hyȝe Degree

Words and Music: Traditional English

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (London: The Percy Society, 1847), Song #31, printed verbatim from a manuscript probably owned by a professional musician, and apparently written in the latter half of the fifteenth century, circa 1471-1485.

This carol requires the installation of the "Junicode" font for best display. You can obtain a copy of this font from Old English at the University of Virginia, or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer. See notes in F A Q.

    Nova, nova, ave fit ex Eva.

Gabryell of hyȝe degree,
Cam down from the Trenyte,
To Nazareth in Galilee,
          With nova.

He fond the mayd al in hyr place,
He knelyd down befor hir face,
And seyd, Al heyl, full of grace,
          With nova.

Thou shalt conseyve and her a chyld,
Thouȝ thou with syn wer never defylyd;
Thou hast fond grace, thou Mary myld,
          With nova.

The byrd abasshyd of all ble,
Answerd and seyd, How may this be?
Man thorow kynd towchyd never me,
          With nova.

The angell seyd unto that free,
The holy gost shal lyȝt in the,
God and man in on shal be,
          With nova.

Syx monthys is ner gon,
Syn Elyȝabeth conseyvyd Johan;
She that was barren a babe have borrne,
          With nova.

The ree.....d unto the fere,
Now hys we....e don in me here,
And Godes maydyn now se me here,
          With nova.


Notes from Wright:

The manuscript was here a little torn; the letters in Italics are supplied by conjecture; the few lacunes marked by dots I have not ventured to supply in this manner.

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