The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The golden tyme ys nowe at hande

A Carroll of the Birthe of Christ.

Words and Music: Traditional English
(From MS. Cott. Vesp. A. xxv. fol. 160, v0)

Source: Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols Selected from Manuscripts and Printed Books (London: The Percy Society, 1841)

Compare: The Golden Time Is Now At Hand

The golden tyme ys nowe at hande,
    The daye of joye from heaven doth springe,
Salvacyone over-flowes the lande,
    Wherefore all faithfull thus may singe,
        Glorye to God most hie!
        And peace on the earth continuallye!
    And unto men rejoysinge!

The birthe of Christ who lyst to here,
To this oure songe lett them gyve eare,
    Which showes the same most playnlye:
The angell Gabriell from above
Was sent by God to breake his love
    Unto the virgin Marye;
Who saide, "haile! Marye, full of graicce,
Blessed art thow of womans rayce!
The lorde ys with the sertainly,
As he haith sent the worde by me."
When she harde this, she was affrayed,
And cast in her mynde what he hadde saide;
The angell saide, "feare not, Marye,
The Sonne of God dothe dwell with the.

Lo! in thie wombe thou shalt conceyve,
And beare a sonne whosse name shall have
    The gloryous name of Jesus;
He shalbe greate in majestie,
And calde the sonne of God most hee,
    Who still shall dwell emongst hus.
The Lorde for hym shall well provide
The seate of his father Davyde;
And he shall reigne for evermore,
A safegarde styll unto the poore,
Whosse kingdome sure shall have no ende,
But styll in joyes the tyme to spende."
The virgin saide to thangell than,
"Howe shall this be? I knowe no man."

The angell annswered and saide,
"The holye gost, be not affraide,
    From heaven shall come upon the;
And by the graicce of God most hie,
Powre shall over-shadowe the,
    I tell the truthe, beleve me.
And also thie cosen Elizabethe
So in lykewisse concyved haithe,
Thus God canne make the barren tre
To budde with frute most pleasauntlye."
Then Mary said, with one accorde,
"Behould the hande-mayde of the Lorde!
The will of God be done in me,
As yt shall pleasse his majestie!"

When fortye wekes were commed and gonne,
In Bethleem this our Lorde was borne,
    As Esaye he did prophesye;
The shepherdes keping sheepe by night,
The Lorde did compasse them with light,
    His angell walking harde bye.
The shepherdes then were soore dismaide,
The angell saide, "be not affraide,
I bring you tidings of such joye
As Sathans force canne not destroye.
For whye? to you ys borne this day
The savioure of the world, I saye:
This ys the signe where you shall see
A swodled child in maunger lye."

The shepherdes stright to Bethleem wente,
As they by thangell than were sent,
Where Josephe was with Marye;
And as the angell to them saide,
They founde the child in maunger layde,
    Whom they dyd worshipp trulye;
And sprede abrode what they did see,
As thangell tould them certainlye,
Rejoysing greatly at the same,
And praisinge Godes most holye name,
For sending downe his only sonne
For our salvacyone to be bourne;
Which was as now this Christenmas,
Rejoyce therefor, bothe more and lesse.

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