The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Nettuls In Wynter  Bryng Forth Rosys Red

Words and Music: Traditional English

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (London: The Percy Society, 1847), Song #58, printed verbatim from a manuscript probably owned by a professional musician, and apparently written in the latter half of the fifteenth century, circa 1471-1485.

Whan thes thynges foloyng be done to owr intent,
Than put women in trust and confydent.

When nettuls in wynter bryng forth rosys red;
And al maner of thorn trys ber fygys naturally;
And ges ber perles in every med;
And laurell ber cherys abundantly;
And okes ber dates very plentuosly;
And kyskys gyfe of hony superfluens;
Than put women in trust and confydens.

Whan box ber papur in every lond and towne;
And thystuls ber berys in every place;
And pykes have naturally fethers in ther crowne;
And bulles of the see syng a good bace;
And men be the schypes fyschys do trace;
And in women be fownd no incypyens;
Than put hem in trust and confydens.

Whan whytynges do walke forestes to chase hertys;
And herynges ther hornnys in forestes boldly blow;
And marmasattes morn in mores and in lakys;
And gurnardes schot rokes owt of a crose bow;
And gosylnges hunt the wolfe to overthrow;
And sprates ber sperys in armys of defens;
Than put women in trust and confydens.

Whan swyn be conyng in al poyntes of musyke;
And asses be docturs of every scyens;
And kattes do hel men be practysyng of fysyke;
And boserds to scryptur gyfe ony credens;
And marchans by with horne in sted of grotes and pens;
And pyys be mad poets for their eloquens;
Than put women in trust and confydens.

Whan spawrus byld chyrchys on a hyth;
And wrenys cary sekkes onto the myll;
And curlews cary tymber howsys to dyth;
And fomaus ber butter to market to sell;
And wodkokes wer wodk[n]yfys cranis to kyll;
And gren gynchys to goslynges do obedyens;
Than put women in trust and confydens.

When crowves tak sarmon in wodes and parkes,
And be tak with swyftes and snayles;
And cammels in the eyer tak swalows and larkes;
And myse move mountans with wagyng of ther tayles;
And schypmen tak a ryd in sted of saylles;
And whan wyfvys to their husbondes do no offens;
Than put women in trust and confydens.

When hantlopes sermountes eglys in flyght;
And swans be swyfter than hawkes of the tower;
And wrennys get goshaukes be fors and myght;
And musketes mak vergese of crabbes sower;
And schyppes sely on dry lond, syll gyfe flower;
And apes in Westmynster gyf judgment and sentens;
Than put women in trust and confydens.

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window

If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.

Related Hymns and Carols