The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

This may I preve withouȝten lett

Words and Music: Traditional English

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (London: The Percy Society, 1847), Song #12, 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.

Compare: Now Be We Glad, And Not Too Sad (Rickert)

This carol requires the installation of the "Junicode" fond for best display. You can obtain a copy of this font from Old English at the University of Virginia, or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer. See notes in F A Q.

Now be we glad, and not to sad,
For verbum caro factum est.

This may I preve withouȝten lett
Whan Gabriell owre lady grett,
On hys kne he hym sett
        So myldly,
Thou shalt conseyve this sam day,
        Salvatorem mundi.

A sterre shoȝne thorow Godes grace,
As Godes owne wyll yt was;
The shepperdes saw in that place
        Angelles two,
And hem among thei song a song,
        Gloria in excelcis Deo.

The chyld was born upon ȝole day,
As prophettes to us gan say;
Hys moder sang lullay, lullay,
        Into the est;
Therfor mankynd withouȝten end
        Syng, Verbum caro factum est.

And than be tokenyng of a starre,
iij. kynges ther cam fro fare,
And offeryd frankyngeens and myrre
        To Cryst so fre;
Than thei seyd with mery chere
        Mane nobiscum, Domine.

Therfor pray we everychone
To that barne that tym was born,
He save us all fro shame and schorne,
        In pes and rest;
And all mankynd withouȝten end
        Syng, verbum caro factum est.

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