The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Set Steuene Was A Clerk

Carol For St. Stephen's Day
See: Hymns to St Stephen

Words and Music: English Traditional
From the Sloane MS. 2593 in the British Museum.

Compare: Saint Stephen Was A Clerk (Sylvester, with notes)
Seynt Stevene was a clerk (Wright, 1856)

William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833)

This carol requires the installation of the "Junicode" font for best display.
You can obtain a copy of this font from Old English at the University of Virginia, or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer. See notes in F A Q.

Note: Because Middle English contains letters not found in modern English, I've used a special font, "Junicode" created by Professor Peter S. Baker, Professor of English, University of Virginia on some pages.  I will note on the individual carol's page which ones need this font. You can obtain a copy of this font from his website Old English at the University of Virginia (select "Windows TrueType," or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer).  This font must be downloaded and installed before these pages will display accurately.

Note: Because Middle English contains letters not found in modern English, I've used a special font, "Junicode" created by Professor Peter S. Baker, Professor of English, University of Virginia on some pages.  I will note on the individual carol's page which ones need this font. You can obtain a copy of this font from his website Old English at the University of Virginia (select "Windows TrueType," or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer).  This font must be downloaded and installed before these pages will display accurately.

1. Set steuene was a clerk kg herowds halle,
and seruyd h of bred and clo, as eu kg be falle.

2. Steu out of kechon c wt boris hed honde,
He saw a sterr' was fayr and bryzt ou bedl stde;

3. He kyst a do e bors and went into e halle,
I for sak e kg herowds and i werks alle;

4. I forsak e kg herowds and i werks alle;
is a chyd in bedl born is bet an we alle.

5. Qut eyleyt e steuen, qut is e be falle?
Lakkyt e ey mete or drynk in kyng herowds halle?

6. Lakit me ney mete ne drynk kg herowds halle,
is a chyld in bedl born is bet we alle.

7. Qut eylyt e steu, art yu wod or yu gnyst to brede?
Lakkyt e ey gold or fe, or ony ryche wede?

8. Lakyt me ney gold or fe, ne n riche wede,
is a chyd in bedl born xal help vs at o nede.

9. t is al so so, steu, al so so, j wys,
Al is capon crowe xal t lyth her in m dych.

10. t word was not so sone seyd, t word t halle,
e capon crew xps nats est a mong e lords alle.

11. Rysyt vp m turmtowrs be to and al be on,
and ledt steu out of is town, and stont h wt ston.

12. Tok he steuene and stonyd h in e way,
and for is his eu on crysts ow day.

Sandys' Note:

This carol [is] from Sloane MS. 2593. (temp. Hen. VI); this ... carol [is] also printed in Ritson's Ancient Songs.

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