The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

There Is A Flower Sprung From A Tree

For Christmas

Words: By John Audelay from Balliol MS. 354 / The Commonplace book of Richard Hill

Music: None Stated

Compare: There Is A Floure Sprung Of A Tre (Chambers and Sidgwick from Douce MS 302)
Ther Ys A Flowr Sprong Of A Tre (Dyboski from Balliol 254-Richard Hill Commonplace Book)
The Flower Of Jesse (Rickert from Douce MS 302)

Source: Jessie L. Weston, Old English Carols From the Hill MS. (London: David Nutt, 1911), pp. 23-24. Translation by Jessie L. Weston.


There is a Flower sprung from a tree,
The root of It is called Jesse,
A Flower of price,
There is none such in Paradise !

That Flower is fresh and fair in hue,
It fadeth not, but is ever new,
The blessed stock whereon It grew
Was Mary maid, who bare Jesu
A flower of grace,
O'er all other flowers It brings solace.

Twas God Who made that Flower to grow,
'Twas God's own hand the seed did sow
In Nazareth, on earth below,
And thro* a Maid that Flower did blow,
A blessed Flower,
That bloometh only in Mary's bower !

The Angel knelt before her low,
The Holy Ghost did o'er her flow,
The twain have set this Flower below
In payment of what man did owe
And Kings led
To Bethlehem where Its leaves were spread.

Then when that Flower began to blow,
And blossoms fair began to show,
Then rich and poor, and high and low,
Of all lands did much marvel know,
Till presentlie
Shepherds, they came that Flower to see !

Angels, they came from Heaven's tower
To look upon that goodly Flower,
Of perfume sweet It was that hour,
Perfect in hue It bloomed in bower,
Fair to behold
How might such Flower spring forth from mold ?

Fair be the rose and lily white,
Primrose and fleur-de-lis to sight,
But my heart it taketh more delight
In the Flower of Jesse by day and night,
For most of all
Doth It help our souls, both great and small !

So I praise the Flower of Jesse free,
Above all flowers that shall ever be ;
Praise ye the Branch from Jesse's Tree,
And worship Him for His fair beautie,
For best is He
Of all that was, or shall ever be !

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