Latin Text: In vernali tempore
Translator: John Mason Neale who notes "A spring carol, probably of the beginning of the 13th century."
Rev. Thomas Helmore,
Piae Cantiones, 1582.
Other Melodies: F. J. Dugard, and a tune "In vernali tempore."
Source: Collected Hymns, Sequences and Carols (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), from John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore, Carols for Christmas-tide (London: Novello, 1853).
1. O'er the hill and o'er the vale,
Come three kings together,
Caring nought for snow and hail,
Cold and wind and weather;
Now on Persia's sandy plains,
Now where Tigris swells with rains,
They their camels tether;
Now through Syrian lands they go,
Now through Moab, faint and slow,
Now o'er Edom's heather.
2. O'er the hill and o'er the vale,
Each king bears a present;
Wise men go a Child to hail,
Monarchs seek a peasant:
And a star in front proceeds,
Over rocks and rivers leads,
Shines with beams incessant:
Therefore onward, onward still!
Ford the stream and climb the hill:
Love makes all things pleasant.
3. He is God ye go to meet:
Therefore incense proffer:
He is King ye go to greet;
Gold is in your coffer.
Also Man, He comes to share
Ev'ry woe that man can bear;
Tempter, railer, scoffer:
Therefore now, against the day
In the grave when Him they lay,
Myrrh ye also offer.
Sheet Music from John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore, Carols for Christmas-tide: The Condensed Vocal Parts (London: Novello, 1854), pp. 34-36.
Sheet Music from Edgar Pettman, ed., Modern Christmas Carols (London: Weekes & Co., 1892), #n:
Sheet Music from Rev. Edgar Pettman, ed., The Westminster Carol Book (London: Houghton & Co., 1899), No. 33, p. 44.
Sheet Music from George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cowley
Carol Book, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1902, Revised And
Enlarged Edition, 1929), Carol #16
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Source: George Ratcliffe Woodward, Piae Cantiones: A Collection of Church & School Song, chiefly Ancient Swedish, originally published in A.D. 1582 by Theodoric Petri of Hyland. (London: Chiswick Press for the Plainsong & Medieval Music Society, 1910).
Note From Rev. Neale.
In the notes to the first carol, "Here Is Joy For Every Age," Rev. Neale noted: "A translation, or free imitation, as are most (in this collection.)" In the Preface to the First Edition, Rev. Neale wrote that only Good King Wenceslas and Toll! Toll! are original.
If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.