The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

As I Up Ros In A Mornyng

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 #46, 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.

Compare: As I me ros in on morwenyng (Wright, 1856)
Mother, White As Lily Flower (Edith Rickert)

This carol requires the installation of the "Junicode" font for best display. You can obtain a copy of this font from Old English at the University of Virginia, or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer. See notes in F A Q.

Modyr whyt as lyly flowr,
ȝowr lullyng lessyth my langour.

As I up ros in a mornyng,
My thowth was on a mayd ȝyng,
That song aslep with hyr lullyng
    Her swet son, owr Savowr

As sche hym held in hyr lape,
He toke hyr lovely by the pape,
And thereof swetly he toke an appe,
    And sok hys fyll of the lycowr.

To hys modyr gen he seye,
For this mylke me must deye,
It ys my kynd therwith to playe,
    My swet modyr par amowr.

The maydyn frely gen to syng,
And in hyr song she made mornyng,
How he that is owr hevyn kyng
    Shuld shed hys blod with gret dolowr.

Modyr, thi wepying grevyth me sor,
But I wold dey, thu haddys be lor;
So awey, modyr, and wep no mor;
    Thy lullyng lessyth my langowr.

Swych mornyng as the maydyn made,
I can not tell it in this howr;
Therfor be mery and glade
    And make us mery for owr Savowr.


Note from Wright:

This song also is in the Sloane MS., fol. 16, v0.

Note from Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), page 152:

"This carol shows in about its simplest form the extension of the episode in which the Child replies. In some of the sixteenth-century carols it grows into a long prophetic narrative of Christ's life and death uttered by Himself in the cradle, usually combined with a lullaby refrain."

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