The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Sweet Jhesus Is Cum To Us

Words and Music: Traditional English
Bodleian Library. MS. Eng. Poet. e. 1. XV Century.

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (London: The Percy Society, 1847), Song #60, printed verbatim from a manuscript probably owned by a professional musician, and apparently written in the latter half of the fifteenth century, circa 1471-1485.

A song in the tune of, And I were a mayd, etc.

 Hey, now, now, now.

Sweet Jhesus is cum to us
    This good gym of Crystmas;
Wherfor with prays syng we always,
    Welcum owr Messyas.
            Hey, now, now, now.

The God almyghy and kyng of lyght,
    Whose powr is over all,
Gyve us of grace forto purchas
    Hys realme celestyal.
            Hey, now, now, now.

Whe hys aungells and archangels
    Do syng incessantly,
Hys princypates and potestates
    Maketh gret armony.
            Hey, now, now, now.

The cherubyns and seraphyns,
    With ther tunykes mery,
The trones al most musycall,
    Syng the hevenly kery.
            Hey, now, now, now.

The vertues clere ther tunes bere,
    Ther quere for to repayre;
Whose song to hold was manyfold
    Of Domynacyons fayer.
            Hey, now, now, now.

With on acord serve we that Lord
    With laudes and orayson,
The wych hayth sent, by good assent,
    To us hys onely sone.
            Hey, now, now, now.

Borne ful porly, redy to dey,
    For to redeme us all,
In the jury, of mayd Mary,
    In a poore oxes stall.
            Hey, now, now, now.

He taught the sawes of crysten lawes
    To hys apostels twelve;
In flome Jordan, of good saynt Johan,
    He was crystned hym selve.
            Hey, now, now, now.

Hym selfe ded preche, and the folke tech
    The commaundments tene.
He went barfote, that swete herte rote,
    Example to all mene.
            Hey, now, now, now.

The lame and blynd, men owt of mynd,
    And the demonyacle,
The deef and dombe, men layd in tombe,
    Wher hol by hys myracle.
            Hey, now, now, now.

The Jewes truly had grete envy
    To se hys myght expresse;
Thei ded conspyre by grete desyre
    To deth hym for to dresse.
            Hey, now, now, now.

But by hys myght, thei had no syght
    To know hys corpolence;
Tyll unwysse bold Judas hym sold
    For thyrty golden pence.
            Hey, now, now, now.

Than thei hym tost, and at a post
    Thei bownd hym lyk a thefe;
Thei ded hym bete with scorges grete,
    To put hym to reprefe
            Hey, now, now, now.

Nakyd and bare, hys flesch thei tare,
    And with a crowne of thorne
Thei ded hym crowne, the blod rane downe,
    And gane hym arede in scorn.
            Hey, now, now, now.

With mokkes and mowes, buffetes and blowes,
    And other cursed thewes,
Thei gan to cry dyspytously,
    Al hayle the kyng of Jewes!
            Hey, now, now, now.

With dredfull othes, the wych hym lothes,
    Thei cryd, Crucifige!
To Calvary thei gane hym hy,
    The crosse hym self bar he.
            Hey, now, now, now.

They hym naylyd, and yl flaylyd,
    Alas, that innocent!
Lunges, blynd knyght, with al hys myght,
    With a spere hys hart rent.
            Hey, now, now, now.

Watur and blod fro hys hart yode,
    And yet that blyssyd sone
Prayd for thosse that ware hys fosse,
    To get for them pardone.
            Hey, now, now, now.

Lo, what kyndnesse in owr dystresse
    That Lord ded schow us than,
The deth to take, al for owr sake,
    And bryng us fro Sathan.
            Hey, now, now, now.

Owr savyour, our creatur,
    On the crosse deyed ther;
Of newe tournment we do hym rent,
    Whan we hys membres swer.
            Hey, now, now, now.

Then let us pray, both night and day,
    To hym per omnia,
That we may cume to hys kyndome
    In finis secula.
            Hey, now, now, now.

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