The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

As I went throw a gardyn grene

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional

Compare: As I Went Through A Garden Green (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.

Note: Because Middle English contains letters not found in modern English, I've used a special font, "Junicode" created by Professor Peter S. Baker, Professor of English, University of Virginia on some pages.  I will note on the individual carol's page which ones need this font. You can obtain a copy of this font from his website Old English at the University of Virginia (select "Windows TrueType," or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer).  This font must be downloaded and installed before these pages will display accurately.

Note: Because Middle English contains letters not found in modern English, I've used a special font, "Junicode" created by Professor Peter S. Baker, Professor of English, University of Virginia on some pages.  I will note on the individual carol's page which ones need this font. You can obtain a copy of this font from his website Old English at the University of Virginia (select "Windows TrueType," or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer).  This font must be downloaded and installed before these pages will display accurately.

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols from a Manuscript in the British Museum of the Fifteenth Century (London: Printed by Richards for The Warton Club, 1856), Hymn XL, pp. 53-55.

As I went throw a gardyn grene,
    I fond an erber makyd ful newe ;
A fayrere syte had I non sene,
    On every tre song a turtil trewe.

Therin a womman bryȝt of hewe,
    Che seyde in here song not lest,
This was he[re] carpyng, as I knewe,
    Verbum caro factum est.

I askyd that mayde quat che ment,
    Che bad me abydyn and I myȝt lere
To here song than tok I intent,
    Che seyde a song woys clere.

" The pryns that is without pere
    Is born and leyd betwyn tweyn best;
Therfore I synge, as thou my3t here,
    Verbum caro factum est."

In that wone for3t gan I wynde,
    A semely song than herd I tho,
Of thre schepperdes that wern ful hynde,
    Gloria in excelsis Deo.

I wold not the hadde ferryd me froo,
    "Wol faste after hem than gan I prest;
Thei told me that they sungyn soo,
    For verbum caro factum est.

3yt ferthere more in that fryth,
    I saw thre kynges comyn corown ;
I sped me faste to speke hem wyt,
    And to tho lordes I knelid adown.

Tho kynges curteys to me gun rown,
    And seydyn thei woldyn fare prest,
" To Becllem bour now arn we bown,
    For verbum caro factum est."

This is as meche for to say,
    As Godes sone becum is fleych,
He was born this ilke day,
    A blysful weye us for to wych.

That may now withoutyn mys,
    Here I wyte bothe most and lest,
For che was the cause i-wys.
    Of verbum caro factum est.

Godis sone becomyn is fleych,
    That bote ha3t of al our bale,
A blysful weye us for to wych,
    That mayde hym herberwyd in here hale.

Che curid that lovely in here sale,
    Che hyld that hyndin in here rest,
With trewe tunge che teld the tale,
    For verbum caro factum est.

Verbum caro is to say
    That Godes sone becomyn is man ;
He was born this ilke day,
    To savyn us fro the fend Sathan.

That may that is qwyt as swan,
    Che fed that Lord upon here bryst ;
Therfore I synge ȝou as I can,
    Verbum caro factum est.

 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.