The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Now ye Crystemas y-cum

Words and Music: Traditional English
(From MS. Harl, 541, fol. 214. r0, written in the reign of Henry VII.)

Source: Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols Selected from Manuscripts and Printed Books (London: The Percy Society, 1841)

See: The Three Kings / I Would Now Sing For

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See notes in F A Q

Now ye Crystemas y-cum
Fadyr and son togedyr in oon,
Holy Goste, as ye be oon,
                    in fere-a,
God sende us a good n[e]w yere-a.

I wolde yow synge for and I mygȝhgt,
Off a chylde ys fayre in syghgȝt,
Hys modyr hym bare thys yndyrs hyghȝt
                    so stylle-a,
And as yt was hys wylle-a.

There cam .iij. kynges fro Galylee
Into Bethleem that fayre cytee,
To seke hym that ever shulde be
                    a ryghȝt-a
Lorde and kynge and knyghȝt-a

As they cam forth with there offrynge,
They met with Herode that mody kynge,
                    Thys tyde-a,
And thys to them he sayde-a.

"Off wens be ye, yow kynges .iij.?"
"Off the Este, as ye may see,
To seke hym that ever shulde be
                    by ryghgȝt-a
Lorde and kynge and knyghȝt-a."

"Wen yow at thys chylde have be,
Cum home aȝeyne by me,
Telle me the syghȝtes that yow have see,
                    I praye yow;
Go yow no nodyr way-a."

They toke her leve both olde and yonge
Off Herode that mody kynge;
They went forth with there offrynge
                    by lyghȝth-a,
By the sterre that shoone so bryghȝt-a.

Tyll they came in to the place
There Jhesu and yhs modyr was,
Offryd they up with grete solace
                    in fere-a
Golde and sense and hyrre-a.

The fadyr of hevyn an awngylle down sent,
To thyke .kkj. kynges that made presente
                    thys tyde-a,
And thys to them he sayd-a.

"My lorde have warnyd yow everychone,
By Herode kynge yow go not home;
For and yo do, he wylle you slone
                    and strye-a,
And hurte yow wondyrly-a."

Forth them wente thys kynges .iij.,
Tylle they came home to there cuntré.
Glade and blyth they were alle .iij.
Off the syghȝtes that they had to see,
                    by-dene-a,
The cumpany was clene-a.

Knele we now here a-down,
Pray we in good devocioun
To the kynge of grete renow,
                    of grace-a,
In hevyn to have a place-a.

Note:

Versions of this song on this web site:

See note: Now Is Christmas Ycome

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