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2 Christmas Carol.

When Christ was born of Mary free,
In Bethlehem that fair city,
Angelis sang with mirth and glee,

In excelsis gloria!

Herdsmen beheld these Angels bright
To them appearing with great light,
And said, God's Son is born this night,

In excelsis gloria !

The King is come to save kindé (mankind),
As in Scripture as we findé,
Therefore this song have we in mindé,

In excelsis gloria!

Then, Lord, for Thy great grace,
Grant us the bliss to see Thy face,
Where we may sing to Thee, solace
In excelsis gloria!

MSS. in British Museum (1456).

The Merle and the Nightingale. In May, as that Aurora did up spring,

With crystal een chasing the cloudës sable, I heard a Merle with merry notës sing

A song of love, with voice right comfortable,

Against the orient beamis amiable, Upon a blissful branch of laurel

green; This was her sentence, sweet and delectable, “ A blessed life in Lovë's service been.”

Under this branch ran down a river bright,

Of balmy liquor, crystalline of hue, Against the heavenly azure skyis light, Where did

upon the other side pursue A Nightingale, with sugar'd notës new, Whose angel feathers as the peacock shone ;

This was her song, and of a sentence true, “ All love is lost but upon God alone.”

With notës glad, and glorious harmony,

This joyful merle saluted there the day, While

rang

the woodis of her melody, Saying, “ Awake, ye lovers of this May;

Ló, fresh Flora has flourished every spray, As nature has her taught, the noble queen,

The fields be clothed in a new array ; A blessed life in Love's service been.”'

Ne'er sweeter noise was heard by living man,

Than made this merry gentle nightingale ; Her sound went with the river as it ran,

Out through the fresh and flourish'd lusty vale;

“O merle !” quoth she, “O fool, stint of thy tale, For in thy song good sentence is there none,

For both is lost, the time and the travail, Of every love but

upon

God alone."

Then said the merle, “Mine error I confess ;

This fruitless love is all but vanity : Blind ignorance me gave such hardiness,

To argue so against the verity;

Wherefore I counsel every man, that he With love not in the fiendis net be tone,

But love the love that did for his love die : All love is lost but

God alone.”

upon

The merle sang,

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Then
sang they both with voices loud and clear :

Man, love God that has 'thee wrought." The nightingale sang, “Man, love the Lord most

dear, That thee and all this world made of nought.' The merle said, “ Love Him that thy love has

sought From heaven to earth, and here took flesh and

bone." The nightingale sang,

6 And with His death thee bought : All love is lost but

upon

Him alone.”

Then flew these birdis o'er the boughis sheen,

Singing of love among the leavës small; Whose eager plead yet made my thoughtis yearn,

Both sleeping, waking, in rest and in travail ;

Me to recomfort most it does avail, Again for love, when love I can find none,

To think how sung this merle and nightingale : “ All love is lost but upon God alone.”

DUNBAR.

Df the Nativity of Christ.

Now gladdeth every living creature,

With bliss and comfortable gladness,
The Heavenly King is clad in our nature,

Us from the death with ransom to redress;

The lamp of joy that chases all darkness,
Ascended is to be the world's light,

From every bale our boundis for to bless,
Born of the glorious Virgin Mary bright.

Above the radiant heaven ethereal,

The court of stars, the course of sun and moon, The potent Prince of Joy Imperial,

The high surmounting Emperor abone,

Is coming from His mighty Father's throne To earth, with an inestimable light,

And praised of angels with a sweet intone ;
Born of the glorious Virgin Mary bright.
Whoever in earth heard so blythe a story,

Or tidings of so great felicity,
As how the Source of all grace and glory

For love and mercy has taen humanitie

Maker of angels, man, earth, heaven, and sea, And to overcome our foes, and put to flight,

Is coming a babe, full of benignitie, Born of the glorious Virgin Mary bright.

;

The sovereign Senior of all celsitude,

That sits above the ordered cherubin,
Which all things made, and all things does include,

That never end shall, never did begin,
Without whom naught is, from whom no time

does rin, With whom all good is, with whom is every wight,

Is with His wounds come for to wash our sin; Born of the glorious Virgin Mary bright.

All welcome we the Prince of Paradise,
Born of the glorious Virgin Mary bright.

DUNBAR.

from a hymn on the Passion of Christ.

O Lord of bliss,
Remember this,
How manis mind is like the moon;
Is variable,
Frail and unstable,
At morning, night, and noon.
Though he unkind,
Have not in mind,
What ye for him have done ;
Yet have compassion,
For our salvation,
Forsake not man so soɔn.
A while him

spare,
He shall prepare
Himself to you anon;
With heart and mind,
Loving and kind,
To serve but

you alone.

ANON.

(Pub. 1515?-1537 ?)

2 Christmas Carol.

God rest you, noble gentlemen,

Let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ our Saviour

Was born upon this day,
To save us all from Satan's power,
When we were gone astray:

O tidings of comfort and joy,
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was
Born on Christmas day.

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