The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The kiges baner on felde is playd

Source: Edward Bliss Reed, ed., Christmas Carols Printed in the 16th Century Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932).

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In a Middle English font: The kiges baner on felde is playd

Now ~ynge we we were wont

Uexilla regis prodeunt.


The kiges baner on felde is playd

The cross &? mi~try can not be nayd

To whom our ~auyour was betrayd

And for our ~ake

Thus ~ayth he, I ~uffre for the

My deth I take

Now ~ynge we &c


Behold my ~hankes behold my knees

Beholde my hed, armes and thees

Beholde of me nothyng thou ~ees

But ~oro we and pyne

Thus was I ~pyit, man for thy gylte

And not for myne.

Now ~ynge we &c


Behold my body how Jewes it donge

W knots of whipcord & ~courges ~trong

As ~tremes of a well y^ blode out ~prong

On euery ~yde

The knottes were knyt

Ryght well made with wyt

They made woundes wyde

Now ~ynge we &c


Man yu ~halt now vnder~tand

Of my head, bothe fote and hand

Are four .C. and fyue thou~and

Woundes, and ~yxty

Fyfty and .vii. were tolde full euen

Upon my body

Now ~yng we &c


Syth I for loue bought the ~o dere

As thou may ~e thy ~eif here

I pray the with a ryght good chere

Loue me agayne

That it lykes me

To ~uffre for the

Now all this payne

    Now ~yng we &c


Man vnder~tand now thou ~hall

In~ted of drynke they gaue me gall

And ey~ell mengled ther withall

The iewes fell

The~e paynes on me, I ~uffred for the

To bryng the fro hell

    Now ~yng we &c


Now for thy lyfe thou ha~t mysled

Mercy to a~ke be thou not adred

The left drop of blode that I for ye bled

Myght clen~e the ~oone

Of all the ~yn

The worlde within

If thou hadde~t doone

    Now ~yng we &c


I was more wrother with Judas

For he wold no mercy a~ke

Than I was for his tre~pas

Whan he me ~olde

I was euer redy

To graunt hym mercy

But he none wolde

    Now ~yng we &c


Lo how I hold my armes abrode

The to receyue redy I ~prede

For the great loue that I to the had

Well may thou knowe

Some loue agayne

I wolde full ~ayne

Thou wolde~t to me ~hewe

    Now ~yng we &c


For loue I a~ke nothyng of the

But ~tand fa~t in faythe, & ~yn thou fle

And payne to lyue in hone~te

Bothe nyght and day

And thou ~halt haue blys

That neuer ~hall mys

Withouten nay.

    Now ~yng we &c


Now Je~u for thy great goodnes

That for man ~uffred great hardnes

Saue vs fro the denyls cruelnes

And to blys vs ~end

And graunt vs grace, to ~e thy face

Without en ende.

Now &c


Editor's Note:

This is one of the carols that were first printed by Richard Kele, Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted (circa 1550), reprinted in Philip Bliss, Biographical Miscellanies (1813), and included in Edward Bliss Reed, Christmas Carols of the 16th Century, Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932).

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