The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Mary Mother, Meek And Mild

For Christmas

Words: English Traditional, Fifteenth Century
The British Museum. MS. Sloan 2593, fol. 57, r0

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 13.

Rickert gives the title, which is also the burden:
Nowell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell,
Mary was greeted by Gabriel

Versions on this site:
Mary Modr, Meke & Mylde (Sandys, 1833)
Mary moder, meke and mylde - Thomas Wright
Mary Mother, Meek And Mild (Rickert)

Nowell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell, ell,
Mary was greeted by Gabriel

1. Mary mother, meek and mild,
Fro shame and sin that ye us shield,
For great on ground ye go with child,
    Gabriele nuncio.

2. Mary mother, be not adread,
Jesu is in your body bred,
And of your breast He will be fed,
    Cum pudoris lilio.

3. Mary mother, the fruit of thee
For us was nailed on a tree,
In heaven is now His majesty,
    Cum pudoris lilio.

4. Mary mother, the thirde day
Up He rose, as I you say,
To hell He took the righte way,
    Motu fertus proprio.

5. Mary mother, after thy Son,
Up thou styest1 with him to wone;2
The angels were glad when thou were come,
    In celi palacio.

Notes from Ms. Rickert:

1. Ascendest. Return

2. Dwell. Return

Editor's Note:

Rickert gives the following translations:

Another source gives this fifth verse:

5. Mary Mother, after this soon
Up to his Heaven he took thee home.
The Angels were glad when thou wert come.

In some versions, the burden is:

Nowell, el, el, el, el, el, el, el, el, el, el,
Mary was gret with Gabriel.

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