The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

There Sprang A Flower From Out A Thorn

For Christmas

Words: English Traditional from the Hill Ms.
Adapted from Ther ys a blossum sprong of A thorn

Music: Not Stated

Source: Jessie L. Weston, ed., Old English Carols from the Hill MS. [Balliol College MS. 354] Translated by Jessie L. Weston. (London: David Nutt, 1911), Carol #XII, pp. 21-22.

Alleluia, Alleluia !
Deo Patri sit Gloria !

1. There sprang a Flower from out a thorn
To save mankind that was forlorn,
As prophets spake before that morn
Deo Patri sit Gloria !

2. There sprang a well at Maid Mary's foot,
That turned all this world to good,
Of her took Jesu flesh and blood
Deo Patri sit Gloria !

3. From out that well there flowed a stream,
Out of Egypt to Bethlehem,
As the power of God did well beseem
Deo Patri sit Gloria !

4. From diverse lands three kings were brought,
For each one thought a wondrous thought,
A King to find and thank they sought,
Deo Patri sit Gloria !

5. Richly laden with gifts they fare,
Myrrh, frankincense, and gold they bear,
As clerks in sequence still declare
Deo Patri sit Gloria !

6. The eldest king amidst the three,
The foremost went, for he fain would see
What manner of doomsman this should be
Deo Patri sit Gloria !

7. The middlemost king his gifts he told ;
In her arms a Mother her Babe did fold,
For a man full-grown he that Babe did hold-
Deo Patri sit Gloria !

8. But the youngest king, upright he stood,
And he made his offering rich and good
To Christ, Who hath shed for us His Blood
Deo Patri sit Gloria !

9. There shone a Star in Heaven bright,
That the men of earth might read aright
That this Child was Jesu, King of Might
Deo Patri sit Gloria !

Editor's Note:

Weston's apparent source was Ewald Flügel, ed., “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts, Besonders Aus Der Zeit Heinrichs VIII. III. 6. Die lieder des Balliol Ms. 354,” in Eugen Einenkel, ed., Anglia - Zeitschrift für englische Philologie enthaltend Beitrage zur Geschlicht der englischen Sprache und Literatur. Band XXVI. (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1903), pp. 239-240. This work is available at both Internet Archive and Google Books.

See also Roman Dyboski, ed. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from the Balliol MS. 354, Richard Hill’s Commonplace Book. Early English Text Society Extra Series No. CI (London: Published for the Early English Text Society by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1907, issued in 1908), pp. 12-13. Over 103 songs of great variety, including 62 "sacred songs and carols." Available at Internet Archive and Google Books.

This is a very common theme among hymns and carols. A few examples among many include:

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