The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Mary, The Flower Of Flowers All

For Christmas

Words: English Traditional from the Hill Ms.
Compare: Mary, Flower of Flowers All (Rickert)

Music: Not Stated

Source: Jessie L. Weston, ed., Old English Carols from the Hill MS. [Balliol College MS. 354] Translated by Jessie L. Weston. (London: David Nutt, 1911), Carol #VI, pp. 9-10.

Now sing we all with joy and bliss,
Puer natus est nobis !

1. Mary, the flower of flowers all,
Hath borne a Babe in an ox's stall,
Who Lord and Prince is over us all
Puer natus est nobis !

2. Christ was born of our sweet Ladie,
Yet ever that Mother a maid was she,
And the Son of God was He verily
Puer natus est nobis !

3. By plucking an apple from off a tree,
One and all must we bondsmen be,
That Child was born to set us free
Puer natus est nobis !

4. That Child to death was done on rood,
He suffered in body and in blood
For the help of men, and for their good
Puer natus est nobis !

5. The third day He rose, and to Heaven went,
The Holy Ghost He to us hath sent,
That we may keep His commandment
Puer natus est nobis !

6. He cometh again on Judgment Day,
With the self-same wounds that He bare alway,
When He died for us all upon Good Friday
Puer natus est nobis !

7. Now pray we all to this Heavenly King
That He send to us all His dear blessing,
Housel and shrift at our last ending
Puer natus est nobis !

Editor's Note:

Weston's apparent source was Ewald Flügel, ed., “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts, Besonders Aus Der Zeit Heinrichs VIII. III. 6. Die lieder des Balliol Ms. 354,” in Eugen Einenkel, ed., Anglia - Zeitschrift für englische Philologie enthaltend Beitrage zur Geschlicht der englischen Sprache und Literatur. Band XXVI. (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1903), pp. 94-285. This work is available at both Internet Archive and Google Books.

See also Roman Dyboski, ed. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from the Balliol MS. 354, Richard Hill’s Commonplace Book. Early English Text Society Extra Series No. CI (London: Published for the Early English Text Society by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1907, issued in 1908). Over 103 songs of great variety, including 62 "sacred songs and carols." Available at Internet Archive and Google Books.

The Digital Index of Middle English Verse (DIMEV) reports the only source of Mary, Flower of Flowers All is the Hill Ms., Balliol 354.

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