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.