I Heard A Mess Of Merry Shepherds
Traditional, About 1611
MS Egerton, 2009-12, Fol. 8
I heard a mess of merry shepherds sing
A joyful song full of sweet delight;
Their ditty was how that a King
In Bethlehem was born that night,
Whose mother was a virgin (fair and) bright,
And Mary hight her blessed name,
A queen of fame
Who for the fault of Adam's sin
Was brought abed even in an inn.
A joyful news let us rejoice,
With heart and voice;
Yet how can we but weep alas,
To see between an ox and ass,
In manger poor the Babe He lies
That made the world and rule the skies.
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