The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Man, Move Thy Mind, And Joy This Feast,
Veritas de terra orta est

Words: English Traditional, Before 1536

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 102-3

1. As I came by the way,
    I saw a sight seemly to see,
The shepherds ranging in array,
    Upon the fold keeping their fee.1
A star they said they did espy
    Casting the beams out of the East,
And angels making melody:
    "Veritas de terra orta est."

2. Upon that sight they were aghast,
    Saying these words as I say thee:
"To Bethlehem shortly let us haste
    And there we shall the truth see."
The angel said unto them all three
    To their comfort, ere ever he ceased:
"Consolamini, and merry be;
    Veritas de terra orta est.

3. From heaven, out of the highest see,
    Righteousness hath taken the way,
With mercy meddled2 plenteously,
    And so conceived in a may;
Miranda res, this is, in fay,3
    So sayeth the prophet in his gest.4
Now is He born, Scripture doth say;
    Veritas de terra orta est.

4. Then passed the shepherds from that place
    And followed by the star's beam,
That was so bright afore their face,
    It brought them straight unto Bethlehem;
So bright it shone over all the realm
    Till they came there they would not rest,
To Jewry and Jerusalem;
    Veritas de terra orta est.


1. Beasts. Return

2. Mingled.  Return

3. Faith.  Return

4. Story.  Return

Rickert notes

Veritas de terra orta est is not translated by Rickert, but likely refers to Psalm 84:12 from Jerome's Latin Vulgate: "Faithfulness will spring up from the ground." This is Psalm 85:11 from the Revised Standard Version and the New International Version.

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window

If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.