The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

On hire is al mi lif i-long

For Christmas

Words: English Traditional
Compare: On Hire Is Al Mi Lif Ylong (Chambers and Sidgwick)

Music: Not Stated

Source: Thomas Wright, The Owl and the Nightingale, which was printed in Early English Poetry, Ballads and Popular Literature of the Middle Ages. Vol. XI. (London: Printed for the Percy Society by T. Richards, 1844), p. 65-66.


On hire is al mi lif i-long,
Of hwam ich wule singe,
And herien hire, that among
Heo gon us bote bringe.
Of helle pine that is strong
Heo brobte us blisse that is long,
Al thurh hire childeringe.
Ich bidde hire one mi song,
Heo ζeove us god endinge,
Thah we don wrong.

Thu art hele and lif and light.
And helpest al mon-kunne ;
Thu us havest ful wel i-diζt,
Thu ζeve us weole and wunne ;
Thu brohtest dai, and Eve niζt;
Heo broζte woht, thu broζtest riζt,
Thu almesse, and heo sunne.
Bi-sih to me, lavedi briζt,
Hwenne ich schal wende heonne,
So wel thu miht.

Al this world schad ago,
Widh seorhe and widh sore ;
And al this lif we schule for-go,
Ne of-thinche hit us so sore.
This world nis butent ure i-fo ;
Thar-fore ich thenche hirne at-go,
And do bi Godes lore.
This lives blisse nis wurdh a slo:
Ich bidde, God, thin ore,
Nu and evere mo.

To longe ich habbe sot i-beo:
Wei sore ich me adrede;
I-luved ich habbe gomen and gleo,
And prude and feire wede.
Al that is dweole wel i-seo,
Thar-fore ich thenche sunne fleo
And alle mine sot dede.
Ich bidde hire to me bi-seo,
And helpe me and rede,
That is so freo.

Agult ich habbe, weilawei !
Sunful ich am an wrecche.
Awrec the nu on me, levedi,
Er deth me honne fecche.
Do nim the wreche, ich am redi.
Other let me liven and amendi,
That no feond me ne drecche.
For mine sunnes ich am sori,
Of this world ich ne recche;
Levedi, merci. Amen.

Editor's Note:

In a slightly different order than in Chambers and Sidgwick, but otherwise substantially the same.

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