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Adoration of the Magi, from a Medieval manuscript in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, 15th c.

Sing we Yule

        Make we mirth
        For Christes birth,
        And sing we Yole till Candlemess.

The first day of Yole have we in mind
How God was man born of our kind,
For he the bondes wold unbind
Of all our sinnes and wickedness.

The second day we sing of Stephen,
That stoned was, and steyed up even1
To God that he saw stond in Heven,
And crowned was for his prowess.

The third day longeth to Sent John,
That was Christes darling, derer none,
Whom he betok, whan he shuld gon,
His moder der for his clenness.2

The fourth day of the children yong
That Herowd to death had do with wrong.3
And Christ they coud non tell with tong,
But with their blod bar him witness.

The fifth day longeth to Sent Thomas,
That as a strong piller of bras,
Held up the Chirch and slain he was,
For he stod with rightwesness.

The eighth day tok Jesu his name,
That saved mankind fro sin and shame,
And circumcised was for no blame
But for ensample4 of mekness.

The twelfth day offered to him kinges three
Gold, myrrh and cence, thes giftes free:5
For God and man and King was he,
Thus they worshipped his worthiness.

On the fortieth day cam Mary mild
Unto the temple with her child
To shew her clen that never was filed,6
And therwith endeth Christmes.


1. Ascended directly.
2. To whose care, when he had to go, he entrusted his dear mother, for his purity.
3. The Slaughter of the Innocents.
4. ensample, example.
5. cence, incense; free, generous.
6. filed, defiled.



Source:

Medieval English Lyrics. R. T. Davies, Ed.
Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1991. 167-8.





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