Of A Rose, A Lovely Rose
Words and Music:
Bodleian Library. MS. Eng. poet. e. 1. XV Century
Compare: Of A Rose, A Lovely Rose (Chambers & Sidgwick)
1. Hearken to me, both old and ying,
How a rose began to spring;
A fairer rose to my liking
Sprang there never in kinges land.
2. Six branches are on that rose beam,
They be both bright and sheen;
The rose is called Mary, heaven's queen,
Of her bosom a Blossom sprang.
3. The first branch was of great might,
That sprang on Christmas night.
The star3 shone over Bethlehem bright,
That men might see both broad and long.
4. The second branch was of great honour,
That was sent from heaven's tower;
Blessed be that fair flower,
Break it shall the fiendes bonds.
5. The third branch wide spread,
Where Mary lay in her bed;
The bright star three kinges led
To Bethlehem, where that branch they found.
6. The fourth branch sprang into hell,
The fiendes boast for to fell,
There might no soule therein dwell,
Blessed be that time that branch sprang.
7. The fifth branch was fair in foot,
It sprang to heaven, top and root,
There to dwell and be our bote4
And yet is seen in priestes hands.
8. The sixth branch by and by,
It is the five joys of mild Mary.
Now Christ save all this company,
And send us good life and long!
1. Rickert notes that there are
two versions, differing slightly. She does not give the second version. But see
2. Rickert writes that where I have used the MS. heading, sometimes as here a couplet, as a title, it it printed without capitals. Return
3. Rickert gives: "MS. streme = sterne?" Return
4. Per Rickert: Help. Return
Other versions of this carol on this website:
Lestenyt, Lordynges, Bothe Elde and 3ynge (Wright, 1836 & 1856, from Sloane 2593) (Burden: Of a rose, a lovely rose)
Of A Rose, A Lovely Rose (Chambers & Sidgwick, 1907 from
Lyth and lystyn, both old and young (Wright, 1847, from
Of A Rose, A Lovely Rose (Rickert, 1914 from
Off A Rose, A Louely Rose (Flügel, 1903 from Balliol Ms. 354) (First line: Herkyn to me both olde & yonge)
Hearken To Me Both Old And Young, (Pollard, 1903, from Balliol MS 354) (Burden: Of A Rose, A Lovely Rose)
Hearken To Me Both Old And Young (Weston, 1911, from the Balliol MS 354) (Burden: All of a Rose, a lovely Rose)
There are other carols on this web site with similar first lines or burdens, although they have very separate themes and lyrics, including:
"Listen, Lordings, Both Great and Small" (Burden: A, a, a, a, Nunc gaudet ecclesia):
Lestenyt3, lordynges, bothe grete and smale (Wright, 1856)
Listeneth, lordings, both great and small (Rickert, 1914)
"Listen, Lordings, both leve and dear" (Nowell, -ell, both Old and Young):
Nowel el bothe eld and õyng - Thomas Wright (Wright, 1841)
Nowell, Ell, Both Old and Ying (Rickert, 1914)
"Listen, Lordings, Both More and Less" (Burden: Puer nobis natus est de Virgine Maria)
Be glad, lordynges, be ye more and lesse (Thomas Wright, 1841)
Lystenyt, lordyngs, more and lees (Wright, 1845)
Puer Nobis Natus Est (First line: Be glad, lordinges, bethe more and lesse,) (Chambers & Sidgwick, 1907)
Be Glad, Lordings, Be Ye More and Less (Rickert, 1916)
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