The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ave Maria Stella

For Christmas

Words: English Traditional from the Slone Ms. 2593

Compare: Ave Maris Stella (Rickert)

Music: Not Stated

Source: E. K. Chambers and F. Sidgwick, eds., Early English Lyrics (London: A. H. Bullen, 1907), #LVI, p. 110.

Ave maris stella ,
    The sterre on the see,
Dei mater alma,
    Blessed mot sche be !
At que semper virgo
    Pray thy sone for me,
Felix celi porta,
    That I may come to thee.
Gabriel, that archangel,
    He was massanger ; 
So faire he gret our Lady,
    With an Ave so clere.
Heil be thou, Mary,
    Be thou, Mary,
Full of Godes grace, 
    And quene of mercy !
Alle that arn to grete
    Withouten dedly sinne,
Forty dayes of pardoun
    God graunteth him.

Also found in 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 LV, pp. 77-78.

Note to LVI, pp. 349-350.

Sloane 2593. Printed Archive, cix. 66 ; Wright, W.C., 77.

The four Latin lines are the first stanza of a well-known Annunciation hymn of unknown authorship, but sometimes assigned to Vernantius Fortunabus (Daniel, i. 204).

The second stanza is:

'Sumens illiid Ave
Gabrielis ore
Funda nos in pace
Mutans nomen Evae.’

The rest of the hymn is less closely resembled by the English poem. Dutch and German versions of it also exist (Mone, ii. 216; Kehrein, Kirchenlieder, 49).

The expanded citations are:

Archive, cix. 66:
Archiv für das Studium der neucren Sprachen und Litteraturen. Vol. cix. (Begründet von Ludwig Herrig, Braunschweig), p. 66.

Archiv, cix. 66;
Bernhard Fehr, "Die Lieder der Hs. Sloane 2593," in Alois Brandl and Adolf Tobler, eds., Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Litteraturen. CIX Band / Vol. 109. (Braunschweig: George Westermann, 1902), p. 66.

Wright, W.C., 77:
Thomas Wright, ed., Songs and Carols from a Manuscript in the British Museum of the Fifteenth Century (Warton Club, 1842), p. 77, (Texts from Sloane 2593);

Daniel, i. 204
Hermann Adalbert Daniel, ed., Thesaurus hymnologicus.  Volume 1 of 5 Volumes. (J.T. Loeschke, 1855), p. 204.

Mone, ii. 216:
Franc Jos. Mone, ed., Hymni Latini Medii Aevi. Vol 2 of 3. (Friurgi Brisgoviae: Sumptibus Herder, 1854), pp. 216-218.

Kehrein, Kirchenlieder, 49
Joseph Kehrein, ed., Katholische Kirchenlieder: Hymnen, Psalmen, aus den ältesten deutschen gedruckten Gesang- und Gebetbüchern. Volume One of Four Volumes. (Wurzburg: Berlag der Stahel'schen Buch und Kunsthandlung, 1859, 1860, 1863, 1865), p. 49.

Sloane 2593.
Sloane 2593. Paper, 5 3/4 x 4 1/2. Songs and carols, seventy-four in number, of which three are in Latin, and the rest in English. Mainly religious or moral, but some trivial and satirical. Wright considered it to be the song-book of a minstrel (cf. Eng. Poet. e. 1) ; the last folio bears the name ‘Johannes Bardel' or ‘Bradel,' written in the same hand as the rest of the MS. Wright traces one poem to 1362-9, but probably this and others were traditional when written down ; he dates the handwriting temp. Henry VI. According to Bradley-Stratmann, the MS. was written in Warwickshire at the beginning of the XV cent. Variants of some poems appear in Eng. Poet. e. i. Extracts in Ritson (1790), Wright, Carols (1836), and S.L.P., Rel. Ant., and Fehr in Archiv, cvii. 48; Edited complete by Wright for the Warton Club in 1856 ; and by B. Fehr in Archiv, cix. 33 ; who does not print poems extracted as above, but is ignorant of the Warton Club print. Source: Notes, pp. 303-304.

Extended Citations:

Extracts in:

Edited complete by:

The version printed in Archiv, vol. 109.

Source: Bernhard Fehr, "Die Lieder der Hs. Sloane 2593," in Alois Brandl and Adolf Tobler, eds.,  Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Litteraturen. Band CIX. (Braunschweig: George Westermann, 1902), Carol #LVI, p. 66. In Middle English; 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.

Fol. 27 a

Aue maris stella, þe sterre on þe see,
dei mater alma, blyssid mot xe be,

atque semper virgo, prey þi sone for me,
felix celi porta, þat I may to þe.

Gabriel þat archangyl, he was massanger,
so fayre he gret our lady with an aue so clere:

heyl be þu mary! be þu mary!
ful of godis grace and qwyn of mercy.

alle þat arn to grete with outyn dedly synne,
forty dayis of pardon god grauntyt hym.

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