The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

In Bethlehem, That Fair City

Words: English Traditional in MS Eng. Poet. e. 1., Fifteenth Century

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 50.

To bliss God bring us all and some,
Christe, Redemptor omnium

1. In Bethlehem, that fair city,
Was born a Child that was so free,
Lord and prince of high degree,
    Iam lucis orto sidere.

2. Jesu, for the love of Thee,
Children were slain great plenty
In Bethlehem, that fair city,
    A solis ortus cardine.

3. As the sun shineth in the glass,
So Jesus of His mother born was
Him to serve God give us grace,
    O lux beata Trinitas.

4. Now is He our Lord Jesus,
Thus hath He verily visited us;
Now to make merry among us,
    Exultet celem laudibus.

Translations from Rickert:

Editor's Note:

The popularity of this carol can be seen by its appearance in an unusually large number of 15th century manuscripts including

Trinity College Library, O. 3. 58. (James, No. 1230)

Balliol 354, Richard Hill's Common-place Book, Balliol College, Oxford

Eng. Poet. e. 1., Bodleian Library, Oxford

MS. Ee. 1. 12., f. 1.r., Cambridge University Library

Selden B. 26, Bodleian Library, Oxford

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