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The sterre scon as bryst as fer,
Over al the wold, bothe fer and ner,
In tokene he was with-outyn per,

And pereles he xal lastyn ay.

The .viij. day he was circumsise,
For to fulfylle the profecye,
The profetes with wordes wyse

Hym present with ryche a-ray.

The .xij. day come kynges thre
Out of the Est, with herte fre,
To worchepyn hym thei knelyd on kne,

With gold and myrre and francincens.

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Nowel el el el el el el el el el el el el el el el.

Nowel el ! bothe eld and zyng,
Nowel el! now now we syng,
In worchepe of our hevene kyng,

Al-myty God in Trinité.

Lestenyzt, lordynges, bothe leve and dere,
Lestenyt, ladyis, with glad chere,
A song of merthe now now ze here,

How Cryst our brother he wolde be.

An aungyl fro hefne was sent ful snel,
His name is clepyd Gabriel,
His ardene he dede ful snel,

He sat on kne and seyde, Ave!

And he seyde, “ Mary, ful of grace,
Hevene and erthe in every place,
With-ine the tyme of lytyl space,

Reconsiled it xuld be.”

Mary stod stylle as ony ston,
And to the aungyl che seyde a-non,
“ Than herd I nevere of manys mon,

Me thinkit wonder thou seyst to me.”

The aungyl answerd a-non ful wel,
Mary, dryd the never a del,
Thou xalt conseyve a chyld ful wel,

The holy gost xal schadue the.”

Mary on bryst here hand che leyd,
Style xe otod, and thus xe seyd,
“ Lo me here Godes owyn hand mayd,

With herte and wil and body fre!"

Mary moder, mayde myld,
For the love al of thi chyld,
Fro helle pet thou us schyld,

Amen! amen! now synge we.


[From MS. Sloane, No. 2593, fol. 80, vo.] Mak we merthe for Crystes berthe, and syng we zol

til Candilmes.

The ferste day of 30l we han in mynde
How man was born al of our kende,
For he wold the bondes on-bynde

Of alle our synne and wykkydnes.
The secunde day we syng of Stevene,
That stonyd was, and sid up evene
With Cryst ther he wold stonde in hevene,

And crownyd was for his provys.
The threde day longes to Saynt Jon,
That was Crystes derlyng, derest on,
To hem he tok, quan he xuld gon,

His dere moder, for his clennes.

The forte day of the chylderyn zyng,
With Herowdes wrethe to deth were throng,
Of Cryst thei cowde not speke with tong,

But with here blod bare wytnesse.
The fyfte day halwyt Seynt Thomas,
Ryth as strong as peler of bras,
Hyld up his kyrke and slayin was,

For he stod faste in rythwynes.
The eytende day tok Jhesu his nam,
That savyd mankynde fro synne and schame.

And circumsysid was for non blame,

But for insaun[ce] and mekenesse.

The .xij. day offeryd to hym kynges .iij.
Gold, myrre, incens, this ziftes fre,
For God and man and kyng is he,

And thus thei worchepyd his worthinesse.

The forty day cam Mary myld
On to the temple with here schyld,
To schewyn here clene that never was fyld;

And here-with endis Crystemesse.

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[From MS. Harl. No. 2252, fol. 153, vo. of the fifteenth century. This and the following ought not strictly to have a place among a collection of carols, but they are curious illustrations of one part of the old popular belief relating to Christmas Day.]

YF Crystmas day on the Sonday be,
A trobolus wynter ye shall see,

Medlyd with waters stronge;
Were shalbe good wyth-owte fabylle,
The somer it shabe resonabylle,

And stormys odyr whylys amonge.
Wynus that yere shalbe goode,

The herveste shalbe wete wyth floddes,
Pestylens falle in many a contré,
And many younge pepylle dede shall be,

Or that sekenes lynne,
And grete tempestes ther-ynne.

Prynces that yere with iren shall dye,
And chaungyng of many lordes eye,

Among knyghttes grete debate ;
Many tydynges shall com to men ;
Wyffes shalle wepen then,

Bothe pore and grete estates.

The faythe then shalbe hurte truly,
For dyvers poyntes of heresy

That then shall apere,
Throwe temptyng of the fende ;
For diverse maters unkynde

Shalle cawse grete daunger.

Catelle shall threve one and odyr,
Save beeve, they shall kyll eche odyr,

And som bestes shalle dyen ;
Lytell frute and corne good,
No plenté of appylles to your fode;

Shyppys on the see have payne.

That yere on the Monday, wyth-owte fyne, Althynges welle thou mayste begynne,

Hyt shalbe prophytabylle ; Chyldren that be borne that day, Shalbe myghtye and stronge par fay,

Of wytte full reasonnabylle.

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