The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Lordings, All Of You I Warn

Words: English Traditional
From the Harleian MS at the British Museum
No. 2252, fol. 153, vo

Source: Henry Vizetelly, Christmas With The Poets (London: David Bogue, 1851).

Lordings, all of you I warn,
If the day that Christ was born
Fall upon a Sunday,
The winter shall be good I say,
But great winds aloft shall be;
The summer shall be fair and dry.
Be kind skill and without loss,
Through all lands there shall be peace,
Good time for all things to be done,
But he that stealeth shall be found soon;
What child that day born may be,
A great lord he shall live to be.

If Christmas day on Monday be,
A great winter that year you'll see,
And full of winds, both loud and shrill;
But in the summer, truth to tell,
Stern winds shall there be and strong,
Full of tempests lasting long;
While battles they shall multiply;
Ahd great plenty of beasts shall die.
They that be born that day I ween,
They shall be strong each one and keen;
He shall be found that stealeth ought;
Though thou be sick thou diest not.

If Christmas day on Tuesday be,
That year shall many women die,
And that winter grow great marvels;
Ships shall be in great perils;
That year shall kings and lords be slain,
And many other people near them.
A dry summer that year shall be,
As all that are born therein may see;
They shall be strong and covetous.
If thou steal aught, thou losest thy life,
For thou shalt die through sword or knife;
But if thou fall sick, 't is certain,
Thou shall turn to life again.

If Christmas day, the truth to say,
Fall upon a Wednesday,
There shall be a hard winter and strong,
With many hideous winds among.
The summer merry and good shall be,
And that year wheat in great plenty;
Young folk shall die that year also,
And ships at sea shall have great woe.
Whatever child that day born is,
He shall be doughty and gay, I wis,
And wise and crafty also of deed,
And find many in clothes and bread.

If Christmas day on Thursday be,
A windy winter you shall see;
Windy weather in each week,
And hard tempests strong and thick.
The summer shall be good and dry,
Corn and beasts shall multiply;
That year is good for lands for to till;
Kinds and princes shall die by skill.
If a child that day born should be,
It shall happen right well for thee
Of deeds he shall be good and stable,
Wise of speech and reasonable.
Whoso that day goes thieving about,
He shall be punished without doubt;
And if sickness that day betide,
It shall quickly from thee glide.

If Christmas day on a Friday be,
The first of winter hard shall be,
With frost and snow and with great flood,
But the end thereof it shall be good.
Again, the summer shall be good also;
Folk in their eyes shall have great woe;
Women with child, beasts, and corn
Shall multiply, and be lost none.
The child that is born on that day,
Shall live long, and lecherous be alway.
Who stealeth ought shall be found out,
If thou be sick it lasteth not.

If Christmas day on Saturday fall,
That winter's to be dreaded by all;
It shall be so full of great tempest,
That it shall slay both man and beast;
Great store shall fail of fruit and corn,
And old folk die many a one.
What woman that day of child doth travel,
She shall give birth in great peril;
And children born that day, by faith,
In half a year shall meet with death.
The summer shall be wet and ill;
Thou shalt suffer if thou aught steal;
Thou diest if sickness do thee take.

Introductory Note from Vizetelly:

"The following poems [this and If Christmas Day On The Sunday Be] are, perhaps, more curious than interesting. They afford, however, some idea of the superstitious dread with which the advent of Christmas Day must have been regarded in these early times, not merely by the vulgar, but by all classes of our forefathers, for the Francis Moores and Ralphaels of the fifteenth century, found even kings willing believers of their extravagant predictions. From the allusion in each verse of the first poem to the risks that those who steal subject themselves to, one would almost suppose thieving to have been the fashionable vice of the age, practised alike by both rich and poor, and that there was a great need of such injunctions against it.

"Both of these poems are from the same Harleian MS. in the British Museum [citing No. 2252, fols. 153-4, vo]."

Editor's Note

Christmas Day is not alone as a date of weather forecasting. See: Candlemas.

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