The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Christ Our Lord Drew Nigh

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional

Printed for W. Thackeray, and T. Passinger.
Date Published circa 1686-1688.

Location: The Samuel Pepys Collection, Magdalen College

Source: The Pepys Collection, The English Broadside Ballad Archive
University of California, Santa Barbara
EBBA ID: 21664; Pepys 2.6

Also found in The Roxburghe Ballads, Vol. VII, p. 787.


Christ's Tears over Jerusalem;
Caveat for England to call to God for mercy, lest we be plagued for our
Contempt and Wickedness.

To the Tune of, The Merchant Man, or, The Rich Merchant Man.

When Christ our Lord drew nigh
unto Jerusalem,
Fore-seeing all the miseries,
the which should fall on them:
And casting of his looks
upon that beautious town,
Fer very grief the bitter tears
from his fair eyes fell down.
Repent fair England, now repent,
repent while you have space;
And do not like Jerusalem,
despise Gods proffered Grace.

Alas Jerusalem,
Jerusalem (said he)
Which kill'd the Prophets of the lord
when they were sent to thee:
How oftentimes would I,
have kept thee from all ill?

Even as the Hen her Chickens keep,
but thou art stubborn still.

O that thou hadst but known,
at least in that thy day,
The things which did concern thy peace,
but now 'tis hid away:
Yea from thy eyes 'tis hid,
thou shalt not see the same,
And for thy sorrows coming on,
thy self do only blame.

Therefore the days shall come,
thy enemies shall rise,
And trench thee on every side,
regarding not thy crys,
Thy strong and stately Towers,
in wrath they shall confound,
And make thy sumptuous buildings all
lie equal with the ground.

ANd such shall be their rage,
they shall not leave in thee,
One stone upon another stone,
which shall not spoiled be:
Because thou knewest not,
the seasonable day,
Wherein the Lord did visit thee,
to wash thy sins away.
Thus Christ without the Town,
did weep for their distress:
While they within, triumph in sin,
and use all wickedness.
No whit they would believe,
the words which he did say,
But enviously did practice still,
to take his life away.
He mourned and he wept full sore,
to think upon the smart,
While they full stout did go about,
to pierce his tender heart,
And for his pains they stript him,
and whipt him through the town,
And with a wreath of prickling thorns,
his holy head did crown.
They scofft and laught at him,
they dasht him in the face,
They call'd him gracious Lord and King,
in flouting and disgrace,
And throw his hands and feet,
they nail him to the cross,
Between two lewd and wicked thieves,
but few lament his loss.
They gave him for to drink,
sharp Vinegar and gall,
And with a Spear they pierc'd his side,
till his heart blood did fall:
Yet patiently and mild,
he suffered every thing,
And prayed his father not to charge
them with that grevious sin.
When they had dispatch,
the living Lord of might,
Full safely then they thought themselves
from sorrow, care and strife:

But within few years space,
as Christ before had told,
The mighty Emperor of Rome,
came thither with courage bold,
And with a mighty Host,
he did besiege them round,
By Sword and Famine e're he went,
he did them quite confound,
Yea, Dogs and Cats they eat,
Mice, Rats, and every thing,
For want of food, their infants young,
unto the Pot they bring.
No pitty could they find,
at this their enemies hand,
But fire, Sword, and cruel death,
before them still did stand.
Their famous City fair,
he set upon a flame,
He burnt their Temple unto dust,
that stood within the same.
And those that scap'd the sword,
and fury of his hand,
He made them slaves and bond-slaves all,
within a forreign Land:
Thus fair Jerusalem,
was cast unto the ground,
For their great sin and wickedness,
the Lord did it confound.
Awake England I say,
rise from the sleep of sin,
Cast off thy great security,
which thou hast lived in:
Thy God hath often call'd,
and offered thee his grace,
His Messengers have shown his will,
to thee in every place,
Great wonders he hath shown,
to thee by Sea and Land,
And sent strange tokens in the air,
to make thee understand:
He is offended sore,
at thy great wickedness,
And that except thou dost repent,
thy plagues shall be exprest.

Remember how of late,
the Spaniard he assail'd,
And how by Gods especial power
they ne're a whit prevail'd:
And all was for to try,
if thou wouldst sin forsake,
And to an upright holy life,
thy self at last betake,
But soon thou didst forget
his favour in the same,
Which afterwards most grievously,
his wrath did so inflame:
That then he plagued thee,
with Pestilence and death,
Whereby in Countrey and in town,
a number lost their breath.
Yet wilt thou not forsake,
thy wickedness and ill,
But in thy pride and Covetousness,
thou hast continued still:
Provoke not God to wrath,
with thy most loathsome sin,
But speedily to amend thy life,
with Prayers now begin,
And therefore now O England,
at last for mercy cry,
And grieve the Lord thy God no more
through thy iniquity,
Lest he forsake thee quite,
and turn away his face,
Because like to Jerusalem,
thou didst dispise his Grace:


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