The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Flower Of Jesse

For Christmas

Words: John Awdelay, About 1426  from Douce MS 302

Music: Not Stated

Compare: There is a floure sprung of a tree (Chambers and Sidgwick from Douce MS 302)
Ther Ys A Flowr Sprong Of A Tre (Dyboski from Balliol 254-Richard Hill Commonplace Book)
There Is A Flower Sprung From A Tree (Weston from the Douce 302 Ms.)

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 160-1.

1. There is a Flower sprung of a tree,
The root thee of is called Jesse;
        A flower of price,
    There is none such in Paradise!

2. This Flower is fair and fresh of hue:
It fadeth never, but ever is new;
The blissful branch this Flower on grew
Was Mary mild that bare Jesu.
        A flower of grace,
    Against all sorrow it is solace!

3. The seed hereof was God's command,1
That God Himself sowed with His hand
In Bethlehem, in that holy land;
Amidst her harbour there he2 her found.
        This blissful Flower
    Sprang never but in Mary's bower.

4. When Gabriel this maiden met,
With "Ave Maria" he her gret;3
Between them two this Flower was set,
And kept (it) was, no man shall wit;
        But on a day
    In Bethlehem It gan spread and spray.

5. When that Flower began to spread,
And His blossom forth He led,4
Rich and poor in every stead,5
They marvelled how this Flower might spread,
        And kinges three
    That blissful Flower came to see.

6. Angels there came out of their tower
To look upon this freshly Flower,
How fair He was in His colour,
And how sweet in His savour,
        And to behold
    How such a Flower might spring in gold!

7. Of lily, of rose of ryse,6
Of primrose, and of fleur-de-lys,
Of all the flowers at my device,
That Flower of Jesse yet bears the price
        As most of heal,
    To slake our sorrows every deal.

8. I pray thee, flowers of this countree,
Wherever ye go, wherever ye be,
Hold up the Flower of good Jesse,
For your freshness and your beauty,
        As fairest of all,
    And ever was and ever shall.


1. Text: Godes sond. Return

2. The Angel. Return

3. Greeted. Return

4. Text: to brede, i.e., to flourish. Return

5. Text: of ... lede. Return

6. Branch. Return

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