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Middle English Lyrics: Exortum Est in Love and Lysse
Virgin and Child from 'The Dunois Hours', c1450
Virgin and Child from 'The Dunois Hours', c1450.

Exortum Est in Love and Lysse


Nowell sing we, both all and some
Now Rex pacificus is come.

Exortum est in love and lysse.
Now Christ His grace He gan us gysse,
And with His body us bought to bliss,
Both all and some.
          Nowell sing we, &c.

De Fructu ventris of Mary bright,
Both God and man in her alight,
Out of disease He did us dight,
Both all and some.
          Nowell sing we, &c.

Puer natus to us was sent,
To bliss us bought, fro bale us blent,
Both all and some.
          Nowell sing we, &c.

Lux fulgebit with love and light,
In Mary mild His pennon pight,
In her took kind with manly might,
Both all and some.
          Nowell sing we, &c.

Gloria Tibi ay and bliss,
God unto His grace He us wysse,
The rent of heaven that we not miss,
Both all and some.
          Nowell sing we, &c.

Audio Excerpt from the CD
Christmas with the Tallis Scholars

For the direct .MP3 file, click here.

[AJ Notes:]

Rex pacificus, the King of Peace (Christ).
Exortum est, he is arisen.
lysse, joy; happiness.
gysse, guide.
us bought to bliss, bought our way to bliss (i.e. Heaven).
De fructu ventris, of the fruit of the womb.
dight, deliver.
Puer natus, a child is born.
fro bale us blent, from evil us hid ("blent" is lit. "blinded",
                            i.e. made it so the devil could not see us).
Lux fulgebit, the light will shine.
His pennon pight, his pennant pitched.
Gloria Tibi, Thine is the glory.
ay, always; ever.
wysse, guides; instructs.
rent, revenue; riches.

Thumnail of the Selden Manuscript
Image of Bodleian Library, MS. Arch. Selden B. 26., fol. 7r.

Text Source:

Rickert, Edith, ed. Ancient English Christmas Carols, 1400-1700.
New York: Duffield & Company, 1915. 166-7.

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