The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ivy ys good and glad to se

Fifteenth Century
British Museum, MS. Egerton 3307, ff. 59 v., 60r
The burden is to be repeated as a chorus.

Source: Richard Greene, ed., A Selection of English Carols (Oxford: Clarendon, 1962), #36, pp. 94-5.

See Notes Under The Holly And The Ivy.

Ivy ys good and glad to se;
Ivy is fair in hys degree.

1. Ivy is both fair and gren,
    In wynter adn in somer also,
And it is medecinable, I wen,
    Who knew the vertus that long thereto;
    It is god and lusty
    And in hys kynd a wel god tre.

2. Ivy hathe vertues ful good,
    Namely spredying on the ground;
Wheder it  be in town or wod,
    It helpyth the sor and maykth sound;
    In bok is fond ful sekerly
    That gren is gladsom (for) to se.

3. When other treyss most del fail,
    Than berith Ivy hys berys ful bold
In gret stormys of snaw and hail;
    It apares for no wedyrs cold,
    To brynd furth fruit ful properly
    To best and byrd ful gret plente.

4. The farest byrd that flyth ful properly
    For gladnesse of that lusty tree
Myght make hys nest in gren Ivy,
    To norrysch hys byrdes fayr and free,
    Ther is ys covert wel privy,
    To comforth hym that ther wyll bee.

5. Wher it tayth hold it kepyth fast,
    And strenkyth it that is ym bye;
It kepyth wall from cost and wast,
    As men may se al day at hye;
    I kan tel no caus qwy
    Bot we must love that entyll tre.

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