The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

'Tis Our Right And Bounden Duty

Words: 'Tis naer reden en behoorre, from Liederbok van Groot Nederland, ca. 17th Century
Translation by Rev. George R. Woodward

Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed, Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), #425

1. Tis our right and bounden duty,
Gentles all, to sing for mirth
O’er a Babe, the King of beauty,
And recount his triple birth.

2. First we hail the birth eternal
Of the Word of God, the Son;
Gotten of the Sire supernal,
Ere the world or time begun.

3. Secondly, good sirs, remember
Mary’s childing in a stall;
Jesu’s birth-day in December,
To repair our shameful fall.

4.. Thirdly, ye, with high endeavour,
Whoso choose the better part,
Yesterday, to-day, for ever,
Christ is born within your heart.

5. Once the Lord, of his compassion,
Veil’d his majesty of awe;
And was found in human fashion,
As a Babe, in hay and straw.

6. O the love, surpassing wonder!
Still the Eternal and Divine,
Hides his Body daily under
Homely forms of bread and wine.

7. Christ-Child, low we bow before thee,
Lord and God Omnipotent;
Truly present, we adore Thee
In the Holy Sacrament.

8. Thee we praise, O Christ, together
With the Sire and Spirit blest,
By the upper world, and nether,
Triune Deity confest.

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