The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Jesu Almyghty Kyng Of Blys

For Christmas and Epiphany

Words: English Traditional from Advocates' Library 19. 3. I., National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Music: Not Stated

Source: Karl Breul, "Zwei Mittelenglische Christmas Carols," in Eugen Kolbing, ed., Englische Studien-Organ fur englische philogie. Vol. 14. (Leipzig: O. R. Reisland, 1890), "Jesu almyghty kyng of blys," pp. 402-403.

II. Auf Weihnachten und Epiphanias.

Jesu almyghty kyng of blys
Assumpsit carnem virginis.

Os holy kyrke makys mynd
Intravit ventris thalamum,
Fro hevyn to erthe to save monkynd 5
Pater misit filium.

Of Mary mylde Cryste wolde be borne
Sine virili semine,
To save monkynd žat was forlorne
Prime parentis crimine. 10

To Mare come a messenger
Ferens salutem homini,
Sche annswerd hym with mylde chere:
» Ecce ancilla domini.

» Mekely on že žo holy goste 15
Palacium intrans uteri,
Of althyng meknes is moste
In conspectu altissimi. «

VI. When he was borne žat made all thyng
Pastor creator omnium, 20
Angellys žei began to syng:
» Veni redemptor gencium. «

VII. Thre kyngys come on gold XII day,
Stella mycante previa,
To sche žat chylde žei toke žo way 25
Portantes sibi munera.

A sterne forth ladde žeis kyngys all
Inquirentes dominum,
Lyyng in a nasse stall
Invenerunt puerum. 30

For he was kyng of kyngys heghe
Rex primus aurum optulit;
And allso lord and [kyng ful ryght]
Secundus rex thus pertulit.

For he was god, mon and kyng 35
Mirra mortem retulit.
He hus all to heven bryng
Qui mortem cruce voluit.


5 Os] Is; makys] makyd.

33. kyng ful ryght] is von einer spateren hand zugesetzt.

Editor's Note:

Regarding footnote 5, other sources translate "Os" as "As", e.g., "As holy kyrke makys mynd."

In other versions, the first verse above is treated as a Burden (Chorus) while the first verse begins "Os holy kyrke makys mynd." Other examples on this site include:

For more information, see the Digital Index of Middle English Verse.(DIMEV) #589, As Holy Kirk Makes Mind, This page lists four major variants from four different manuscripts.

See also Richard Leighton Greene, ed., The Early English Carols (Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1935), #23a, "Jhesus, almyghty Kyng of Blys," pp. 16-17, citing the MS Advocates 19.3.I., f. 59 r., National Library of Scotland, and Richard Leighton Greene, ed., A Selection of Carols (Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1962), #9, "Almighty Jhesu, Kyng of Blysse," pp. 62-63, citing Ms. Egerton 3307, British Museum (later the British Library), with some complicated instructions on the construction of the Burden, apparently "on the fly."

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