The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Clauis Dauid Inclita

For Advent

A hymn based on one of the seven Great Advent Antiphons.
See: Notes on the Great O Antiphons and Veni, Veni, Emmanuel

Source: Bernhard Fehr, "Die Lieder der MS. Add. 5665 (Ritson's Folio-Ms.)," f. 20v (c. 1460-1510), from Alois Brandl und Adolf Tobler, eds., Archiv Fur Das Studium Der Neueren Sprachen Und Litteraturen, LIV. Jahrgang. CVI. Band (Der Neuen Serie VI. Band) (Braunschweig, 1901), pp. 268-9.
This manuscript is in the British Library.

    Ņ clauis Dauid inclita
Dans viam in portis
Educ nos de carcere
Et de vmbra mortis

    O claus (ut supra)
O Dauid thow nobell key
cepter of the howse of Israel!
Thow opyn the gtate and geff vs way
and saue vs fro owre ffendys ffelle

    We be in prison, vn vs haue mynde
And lose va ffro the bonde of synne
ffor that žou losest no man may bynde (bis)
And žat žou losest may no man bynde.

    Lord bowe thyn yer to the we calle
Delyuer žou vs ffro wyckednesse
And bryng vs to thy ioyfull halle
Wher euer ya lyff with owte desstresse.

MS Addit 5665, folio 20v


A copy of this carol is also reproduced in Richard Leighton Greene, The Early English Carols (Oxford: at the Clarendon Press, 1935), #2, p. 3. Greene notes that after stanza 3 is :"Smert Ric" a reference to Richard Smert.

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