The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ho! Merry Herdmen

Words: George Radcliffe Woodward

 

Music: Setting of Lieti Pastori by Charles Wood
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Source: Charles Wood and George Ratcliffe Woodward, eds., An Italian Carol Book (London: The Faith Press, Ltd., 1920), #9

1. "Ho! merry herdmen; go hear o'er yonder byre
Gloria, Gloria,
Sungen by our quire,

    Why weary ye; why dreary be?
    I pray you sing Nowell.

2. See o'er the manger, among the starry cluster,
Gloria, Gloria,
Shineth a planet of new and brighter lustre.

    Why weary ye; why dreary be?
    I pray you sing Nowell.

3. Go and discover, with straw and hay to pillow,
Gloria, Gloria,
Him who created the earth, the sky, the billow.

    Why weary ye; why dreary be?
    I pray you sing Nowell.

4. Blest are your crystals: for many would have eyed him,
Gloria, Gloria,
Prophets and monarchs, or now, but ne'er espied him.

    Why weary ye; why dreary be?
    I pray you sing Nowell.

5. Thee shall ye gaze on his Mother, Mary maiden,
Gloria, Gloria,
Fair as the lily, or rose in garth of Aden.

    Why weary ye; why dreary be?
    I pray you sing Nowell.

6. There standeth Joseph: in heart he maketh merry
Gloria, Gloria,
Blithe as the mavis in view of holly berry.

    Why weary ye; why dreary be?
    I pray you sing Nowell.

7. So, on the meadow forsaking ewe and wether,
Gloria, Gloria,
Get you to Bethlem, anon-right, all together."

    Why weary ye; why dreary be?
    I pray you sing Nowell.

8. Then was the mountain and valley set a-ringing
Gloria, Gloria,
Sweet with the musick of Angel-host a singing.

    Why weary ye; why dreary be?
    I pray you sing Nowell.

9. Come to the manger, full true the herdmen found it,
Gloria, Gloria,
E'en as the herald Arch-angel did propound it.

    Why weary ye; why dreary be?
    I pray you sing Nowell.

10. Thus they adore him, who fed their sites with Manna,
Gloria, Gloria,
Born of the Virgin, the daughter of Saint Anna.

    Why weary ye; why dreary be?
    I pray you sing Nowell.

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