The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ivy, Chief Of Trees

For Christmas

Words and Music: Traditional English
Bodleian Library. MS. Eng. Poet. e. 1. XV Century

Source: William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868); from a manuscript in the 15th Century.

See Notes Under The Holly And The Ivy.

Ivy, chief of trees it is,
Veni coronaberis.

1. The most worthy she is in town,
He that saith other doth amiss;
And worthy to bear the crown;
    Veni coronaberis.

2. Ivy is soft and meek of speech,
Against all bale she is bliss;
Well is he that may her reach,
    Veni coronaberis.

3. Ivy is green with colour bright,
Of all trees best she is;
And that I prove well now be right,
    Veni coronaberis.

4. Ivy beareth berries black;
God grant us all His bliss,
For there shall we nothing lack:
    Veni coronaberis.

Also found in Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 263.

Versions of this carol on this web site include:

 

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