The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Holy Marter Steven We Pray

For Saint Stephen

See: Hymns to St Stephen

Words and Music: English Traditional
British Museum. MS. Egerton 3307. XV Century.

See also:
I shall you tell this ylke nyght

I Shall you tell this ylke nyght (Retyped in Old Blackletter)

Source: Richard Greene, ed., A Selection of English Carols (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1962), #20, p. 78

The holy marter Stephen we pray
To be our socour both nyght and day.

I schal yow tell this ilk nyght
Of Seynt Steven, Godes knyght:
He told the Jewis that it was ryght
     That Crist was born of a may.

Than sayd the Jewis with grett scorn
That God Son myght not be born;
Steven than sayd, 'Ye be forlorn,
     And all that leven in that lay.'

Now ys sprong the wel of lyff
Of Mary, moder, madyn, and wyff;
Therfor the Jewis fell in stryff,
     Dysputyng with Steven aganys hys fay.

The cursyd Jewys at the last
Stonys to Steven thei gan cast;
Thei betyn hymn and band hym fast
     And made hys body in fowle aray.

Into the feld thei led hym tho,
And than hym folowyd many a fo;
Thei greivyd on hym and dyd hym wo;
     Hem thoght thei had a nowbyll play.

The Jewys that wer both styff and strong,
Thei stonyd hymn and dyd [hym] wrong --
Gret stonys abowte hym sprong --
     And sayd, 'Wee thi meyd schall pay.'

The holy marter Stephen we pray
To be our socour both nyght and day.

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