The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Meruele Nozt, Iosep, On Mary Mylde

For Christmas

In Die Natiuitatis

Words and Music: English Traditional, 16th Century

Source: William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833)

Compare: Mervele noõt, Josep, on Mary mylde (Thomas Wright,)
Marvel Not, Joseph, On Mary Mild (Edith Rickert)

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Meruele nozt, iosep, on Mary mylde;
forsake hyr not they she be wt chylde.

1. I iosep wonder how this may be,
That mary wex gret when y and she
euer haue leuyd in chastite;
If she be wt chylde, hit ys not by me.
                            Meruell not, Joseph

2. The holy gost wt mercifull disstens
In here hathe entryd wt owte offens,
God and man conceyued by hys psens,
An the virgyn pure wt owte violens.
                            Meruell no, ioseph.

3. What the angell of god to me dothe say,
I ioseph muste and will vmble obay,
Ellys põuely y wolde have stole a way,
But now will y srue her tille yt y day.
                            Müell not, iosep.

4. Joseph, thou shalt here mayde and moder fynde,
here sone redemptor of all man kynde,
Thy fore faders of paynes to unbynde;
There for muse not this mater in thy mynde.
                            Müell not.

Sandys' Note:

This [is] from Addit. MSS. 5665. (formerly in Ritson's possession,) being a collection of church services, hymns, carols and songs in score, made (as it supposed) in the time of Henry VIII [1491-1547, reign 1509-1547].

Editor's Note:

In the version given by Richard Greene, the first and last lines in each verse are repeated, thus:

1. I iosep wonder how this may be,
I iosep wonder how this may be,
That mary wex gret when y and she
euer haue leuyd in chastite;
If she be wt chylde, hit ys not by me.
                            Meruell not, Joseph
                            Meruell not, Joseph

Greene also cites British Museum, MS Addit. 5665, XVI Century.

See: Richard Greene, ed., A Selection of English Carols (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1962), #55, pp. 115-116.

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