The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Of the Purification

For the Feast of the Purification and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, Feb. 2

Anonymous English
Bodleian Library, MS Eng. poet. e. I, f. 38 f

Revertere, revertere
The queen of blysse and of beaute.

1. Behold what lyfe that we ryne ine,
Frayl to fale and ever lyke to syne
Thorow owr enmys entysyng;
    Therefor we syng and cry to the:

2. Come hyder, Lady, fayryst floure,
And kepe us, Lady, from doloure;
Defend us, Lady, and be owr socoure,
    For we cease not to cal to the:

3. Torne owr lyfe, Lady, to Goddys luste,
Syne to fle and fleschly luste,
For aftur hym in the we trust
    To kep us frome adversyte.

4. Thys holy day of Puryfycacyon
To the temple thou bare owr salvacyon
Jhesu Cryst, thin own swet Sone,
    To whome thefor now syng we:

5. Farwell, Crystmas gayer and fre!
Farwell, Newers Day with the!
Farwell, the holy Epyphane!
    And to Mary now syng we:

Found as carol 37 in Richard Greene's A Selection of Carols (Oxford: Clarendon, 1962).

Excerpt from Greene's notes:

This is a farewell to the Christmas season which emphasizes, not the festal aspect of Candlemas like No. 38 [Farewell To Christmas], but its religious meaning, in which the Virgin is, of course, the central figure.

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