The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Zacharias Being An Aged Man

For St. John the Baptist's Day (June 24)

Words: English Traditional

Music: None Known
Meter: 86 86 86 86 (CMD) With Refrain

Source: Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols. London: John Nichols And Son, Second Edition, 1823, Carol #14, pp. 46-48.

1. Zacharias being an aged man,
    Well stricken on in years,
The Angel Gabriel to him came,
    And unto him appears,
And told him what the Lord had said:
    In those his latter days
His barren wife should bear a son,
    Which should his glory raise.

Nowel, Nowel, Nowel, Nowel,
    Nowel, Nowel, Nowel,
We may rejoice to hear the voice
    Of the Angel Gabriel.

2. What sign, said he, wilt thou shew me,
    That I should have a son?
The Angel said, till he be born,
    Thou shalt be stricken dumb.
And presently his speech was gone,
    A word he could not say;
Because of his great unbelief,
    The same was taken away. Chorus.

3. But when his wife was big with child,
    Her cousin Mary came,
To visit her in friendly sort,
    When she did hear the same:
And when she came before her sight,
    Bearing our Heavenly King,
The tender Infant in her womb,
    For very joy did spring. Chorus.

4. But when the time of birth was come,
    She was deliver'd then,
And, as the Angel did command,
    His name was called John;
He did baptise both old and young,
    That did before him stand;
And still he cried, Repent, Repent,
    God's judgments are at hand. Chorus.

5. His cloathing was of camels' hair;
    Wild honey was his meat;
His dwelling was in wilderness,
    As Scripture doth repeat;
Till that in prison at the last
    He ended his mortal life,
Because he did reprove the King,
    That took his brother's wife. Chorus.

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