The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Out Of The Blossom Sprang A Thorn

Words: English Traditional, Fifteenth Century

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 118-20.

1. Out of the blossom sprang a thorn,
When God himself would be born;
He let us never be forlorn,
    That born was of Marie.

2. There sprang a well all at her foot,
That all this world is burned to good,
When Jesu Christ took flesh and blood
    That born was of Marie.

3. Out of the well (there) sprang a stream
From patriarch to Jerusalem,
Till Christ Himself it took again,1
    That born was of Marie.

4. In winter when the frost Him froze,
A poor bedding our Lord Him chose;
Between an ox and an ass
Godės Son born He was
    That born was of Marie.

5. It was upon the Twelfth Day,
There come three kings in rich array
To seekė Christ where He lay
    That born was of Marie.

6. Three kings out of divers lands,
Swithe2 comen with hearts (full) strong,
The Child to seek (they) underfong,3
    That born was of Marie.

7. The star led them a rightė way
To the Child where He lay;
He helpeth us both night and day,
    That born was of Marie.

8. Balthazar was the first king,
He broughte gold to his offering,
For to present that richė King,
    That born was of Marie.

9. Melchior was the second king,
He brought incense to his offering,
For to present that richė King,
    That born was of Marie.

10. Jasper was the third king,
He brought myrrh to his offering,
For to present tht rich King,
    That born was of Marie.

11. There they offered their presents,
With gold and myrrh and frankincense,
As4 clerks read in their sequence
    In Epiphany.

12. Kneel we down Him beforn,
And pray we to Him that now is born,
He4 let us never be forlorn,
    That born was of Marie.

Notes:

1. Text: again it nem. Return

2. Quickly. Return

3. Undertook. Return

4. Text: and.  Return

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