Tuesday 4 January 2011

In Mary mild his pennon pight

Another carol from the Selden MS, from c.1450. This carol is worth reading for verse 4 alone, and you don't have to know what any of it means to hear what a pleasant sound the rhyme-words make: lysse/gysse/blysse and alight/bright/pight. But a translation follows anyway ;)

"Both all and some" is an odd expression but it just means "all of us".

Refrain: Nowell syng we, both all and some,
Now Rex pacificus ys ycome.

1. Exortum est in love and lysse.
Now Cryst hys gree he gan us gysse,
And with hys body us bought to blysse,
Both all and some.

2. De Fructu ventris of Mary bryht,
Bothe God and man in her alyht,
Out of dysese he dyde us dyht,
Both all and some.

3. Puer natus to us was sent,
To blysse us bouht, fro bale us blent,
And ellys to wo we hadde ywent,
Both all and some.

4. Lux fulgebit with love and lyht,
In Mary milde hys pennon pyht,
In her toke kynde with manly myht,
Both all and some.

5. Gloria Tibi ay and blysse,
God unto hys grace he us wysse,
The rent of heven that we not mysse,
Both all and some.

Let us all sing 'Nowell', now that the King of Peace is come.

1. Love and joy have risen up for us, and now Christ has begun to clothe us with his favour. With his body he won heaven for us all.

2. He is the fruit of the womb of Mary bright: God and man together alighted on her, and brought us all out of misery.

3. A boy was born, sent to us; he won bliss for us, and brought us out of sorrow, otherwise we would all have been condemned to misery.

4. The light will shine out with love and brightness. He pitched his pennant [a knight's colours] in Mary mild, and in her body took on the strength of manhood.

5. Glory and blessing to God for ever. May God guide us with his grace, that we may not lose the right to live in heaven.

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