The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

This Babe To Vs Now Is Born

For Christmas

Words: English Traditional from Balliol College MS. 354, The Richard Hill Common-place Book.

Music: Not Stated

Source: Ewald Flügel, ed., “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts, Besonders Aus Der Zeit Heinrichs VIII. III. 6. Die lieder des Balliol Ms. 354,” in Eugen Einenkel, ed., Anglia - Zeitschrift für englische Philologie enthaltend Beitrage zur Geschlicht der englischen Sprache und Literatur. Band XXVI. (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1903), #XCI, pp. 254-255.

Now syng we right as it is
quod puer natus est nobis!

1] This babe to vs now is born,
wonderfull1 Werkes he hath wrowght,
he wold not lesse that was forlorn,
But agayn he hath vs bowght
And thus it is | ffor soth ywys
He asketh no thyng | but yat is his!

2] A dulfull deth to hym was mente,
whan on ye rode his body was spred,
& as a theff he was ther hente,
and on a spere his liff was lede!
And thus it is, | ffor soth ywis,
He asketh no thynge, | but yat is his.

3] Man why art thow vnkynd to me,
What woldest thow I did for ye more?
Geve me thy trew harte, I pray the,
yff thow be dampned it Ruthe me sore.
And thus it is, | ffor sothe ywis,
He asketh no thyng, | but yat is his.

4] Man I love the! whom loveste thowe?2
I pray the torne to me agayn
& thow shalt be as welcom nowe
as he that never in syn was seyn
And thus it is | ffor soth ywys
He asketh no thynge, | but yat is his!

Flügel's Footnotes:

1. Verse 1, Line 2. Ms.: worderfull. Return

2. Verse 4, Line 1 Vgl. das liebeslied I love loved and whom love ye? Return

Editor's Note.

This carol is found in two manuscripts. Versions of this carol from these two manuscripts on this website include:

I. Balliol Ms. 354, the Richard Hill Commonplace Book

II. Trinity College O.3.58 (1230), Cambridge UK

And see also John Stevens, ed. Mediaeval Carols. Musica Britannica 4. (London: Stainer and Bell, 1952, 2nd ed. 1958), p. 4.

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