The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Thou Dearest Disciple Of Jesu Christ

Words: English Traditional, Before 1536

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 126-7.

    Pray for us to the Trinity,
    Johanes, Christi care!

1. Thou dearest disciple of Jesu Christ,
Most best beloved and best betrust,1
Which at his Last Supper did lie on his breast,
    Sacra fluenta potare.
        Pray for us to the Trinity,
        Johannes, Christi care!

2. As (He) in His Passion to His dear mother,
Took thee for her keeper, her son and His brother,
Pray that our hearts may most of all other
    Jesum semper amare.
        Pray for us to the Trinity,
        Johannes, Christi care!

3. And as thou the strong venom which two men had slain,
Drank (thou) without hurt, and raised them again,
Pray that the venom of sin may us not pain,
    Non poterit alligare.
        Pray for us to the Trinity,
        Johannes, Christi care!

4. As thou the two men their treasure did restore,
That had forsaken and mournėd therefore,
Pray that we may false riches forsake for evermore,
    Celis tesaurizare.
        Pray for us to the Trinity,
        Johannes, Christi care!

5. And pray that we may have such grace,
Here so to mourn for our trespass,
That we may stand sicker2 before Christ's face,
    Cum venerit judicare.
        Pray for us to the Trinity,
        Johannes, Christi care!

Notes from Rickert:

1. Trusted. Return

2. Secure. Scotch, sicker. Return

Rickert gives the following translations:

Editor's Note: The feast day of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, occurs on December 27, within the traditional 12 days of Christmas. For more information, see Hymns To St. John The Evangelist.

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