The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Mary modyr, cum and se

For Christmas

Version 2

Words and Music: Middle English
Bodleian Library. MS. Eng. poet e. 1. XV Century

Source: Richard Greene, ed., A Selection of English Carols (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1962), #44, pp. 104-105

'Mary modyr, cum and se:
Thi Son is naylyd on a tre.

'His body is wrappyd all in wo,
Hand and fot; he may not go;
Thi Son, lady, that thou lovyst soo,
    Nakyd is naylyd upon a tre.1

'The blyssyd body that thou hast born
To save mankynd, that was forlorn,
His body, lady, is al to-torn,
    His hed with thornys, as ye may se.'

Wan Johan this tal began to tell,
Mary wyld not lenger dwell
Thyl sche came to that hyll
    Ther sche myth her owyn Son see.

'My swet Son, thou art me der;
Qwy have men hang the her?
Thi hed is closyd wyth a brer;
    Qwy have men soo doo to the?'

'Johan, this woman I the betake;
Kep this woman for my sake;
On the rod I hyng for mannys sake,
    For synful man, as thou2 may se.

'This game alone3 me must pley
For synfull sowlis that ar to dey;
Ther ys no man that gothe be the wey
    That on my peynis wyl lok and se.

'Fadyr, my sowle I the betake;
My body deth for mannys sake;
To hel I go withowtyn wake,
    Mannys sole to make fre.'

Prey we al to that blyssyd Son
That he us help wan we not mon,
And bryng us to blys that is abone.
    Amen, amen, amen, for charite.

Footnotes from Greene:

1. "tre:" MS. trer.

2. "thou:" MS the.

3. "alone:" MS & loue

Editor's Note:

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