The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

There Is No Rose Of Swich Vertu

For Christmas

Words: English Traditional from Trinity College Library, Ms. O. 3, 58, Cambridge

Compare: There Is No Rose Of Such Virtue (Fuller Maitland and Rockstro, with notes and sheet music)

Music: Not Stated

Source: E. K. Chambers and F. Sidewick, eds., Early English Lyrics  (London: A. H. Bullen, 1907), #LII, p. 105.

There is no rose of swich vertu
As is the rose that bare Jhesu.

For in this rose conteined was
Hevene and erthe in litel space,
    Res miranda.

Be that rose we may weel see
There be o1 God in persones three,
    Pares forma.

The aungeles sungen the schepherdes to
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Leve we all this werdly2 merthe,
And folwe we this joyful berthe.


1. o, one

2. werdly, worldly.

Editor's Note:

The original form of the carol, from the 15th century manuscript, is also found in

Notes to #LII, p. 348.

T.C.C., O. 3. 58. Printed Fuller Maitland, 26-7 and 54-5.

The first three caudae are taken from St. Bernardís Nativity hymn, the Laetabundus exultet fidelis chorus (Daniel, ii. 61), but the poem is not a translation of the Laetabundus. Daniel quotes a drinking-song, in which all the caudae of the Laetabundus are similarly used. It begins :-

'Or hi patra
La cerveyse nos chauntera,
Alleluia !
Qui que aukes en heyt.
Si tel seyt com estre doit,
Res miranda.'

Expanded Citations

Fuller Maitland, 26-7 and 54-5.
J. A. Fuller Maitland, ed., English Carols of the Fifteenth Century, from a MS. Roll in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. With added vocal parts by W. S. Rockstro. (London: The Leadenhall Press, E.C., ca. 1891), pp. 26-7 and 54-5.

T.C.C., O. 3. 58
T.C.C., the Trinity College Library, O. 3. 58. (James, no. 1230). Parchment roll 7 inches wide, and 6 feet 7 inches long. One side bears a Latin ecclesiastical treatise; the other 13 carols and poems with music, perhaps by John Dunstable (see Bodl. Selden B. 26). Of the XV cent.; the forms of the words indicate northern origin. A variant of the Agincourt song is the only secular poem. The MS. was presented in 1838 to the College by H. O. Roe, Esq. Described in James, iii. 247. Edited with a facsimile and added vocal parts by J. A. Fuller Maitland and W. S. Rockstro in 1891, English Carols of the Fifteenth Century, from a MS. Roll in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. [Nos. LII, LIII, LXXIV.]

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