The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Nay, Nay, Ivy !

For Christmas

Words: English Traditional

See: Nay, Nay, Ivy! ("Holly beareth berries") (Rickert, 1910)

E. K. Chambers and F. Sidgwick, eds., Early English Lyrics (London: A. H. Bullen, 1907), #CXLI, pp. 239-240.

See Notes Under The Holly And The Ivy.

Nay, nay, Ivy !
It may not be, iwis,
For Holly must have the mastry
As the maner is.

Holly bereth beris, 5
    Beris rede enough ;
The thristilcok, the popingay
    Daunce in every bough.
Welaway, sory Ivy !
    What fowles hast thou, 10
But the sory howlet
    That singeth ' How how ' ?

Ivy bereth beris
    As blak as any sloe.
There commeth the woode colver, 15
    And fedeth her of tho ;
She lifteth up her taill
    And she cakkes or she go ;
She wold not for an hundred pound
    Serve Holly so. 20

Holly with his mery men
    They can daunce in hall ;
Ivy and her jentell women
    Can not daunce at all,
But like a meine of bullokes 25
    In a water fall,
Or on a hot somers day
    Whan they be mad all.

Holly and his mery men
    Sitt in cheires of gold ; 30
Ivy and her jentell women
    Sitt without in fold,
With a paire of kibed
    Heles caught with cold.
So wold I that every man had 35
    That with Ivy will hold !


15. colver, pigeon.

16. tho, them.

18. cakkes = Lat. cacat.

25. meine, company.

33. kibed, covered with chilblains.

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