The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Blessed be that lady bright

Words: English Traditional, Fifteenth Century
Compare: Blessed Be That Lady Bright (Chambers and Sidgwick)
and
Goddys Sonne Is Borne (Thomas Wright)

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 41

Blessed be that lady bright,
That bare a child of great might,
Withouten pain, as it was right,
Maid mother Mary

1. God's Son is born, His mother is a maid
Both after and beforn, as the prophecy said,
        With ay;
    A wonder-thing it is to see,
    How maiden and mother one may be;
    Was there never none but she,
        Maid mother Mary.

2. This great Lord of heaven our servant is become,
Through Gabriel's steven,1 our kind hath taken on,
        With ay;
    A wonder-thing it is to see,
    How lord and servant none but He,
    Was there never none but He,
        Born of maid Mary.

3. Two suns together they ought to shinė bright;
So did that fair lady when Jesu in her light,2
        With ay;
    A wonder-thing doth befall:
    The Lord that broughtė free and thrall,
    Is found in an ass's stall,
        By His mother Mary.

4. The shepherds in their region they lookėd into heaven,
They see an angel coming down, that said with mildė steven,1
        With ay:
    "Joy be to God Almight,
    And peace in earth to man is dight,3
    For God was born on Christmas night,
        Of His mother Mary."

5. Three kings of great noblay,4 when that Child was born,
To Him they took the ready way, and kneelėd Him beforn,
        With ay;
    These three kings came fro far,
    Through leading of a star,
    And offered Him gold, incense and myrrh,
        And to His mother Mary.


Notes from Rickert:

1. Voice. Return

2. Alighted. Return

3. Prepared. Return

4. Rank. Return

Illustration from Rickert:

 In Die Nativitatis

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