Monday, 30 May 2011

An Eastertide Carol: God's mighty gladness

It's still Eastertide for a little while longer, so here's an Easter carol. This is the kind of Easter carol which is more appropriate when Easter falls in March than when it comes at the very end of April, because we certainly don't have snowdrifts and sleeping buds around here any more (although we did have large quantities of spring rain today). However, this is still beautiful. I found it in the Oxford Book of Carols and due to that volume's remarkable reticence about naming people, I can't actually tell you who wrote it - someone with the initials N. S. T., is all I know (although the internet suggests it may be Neville Talbot).  I can't tell if this ignorance is a massive research fail on my part or a genuine mystery, but perhaps someone will stumble over this who is able to explain who NST could be. Whoever he/she is, they also translated this lovely Christmas carol, so they deserve some credit...

Easter Carol

Cheer up, friends and neighbors,
Now it's Easter tide;
Stop from endless labours,
Worries put aside:
Men should rise from sadness,
Evil, folly, strife,
When God's mighty gladness
Brings the earth to life.

Out from snowdrifts chilly,
Roused from drowsy hours,
Bluebell wakes, and lily;
God calls up the flowers!
Into life he raises
All the sleeping buds;
Meadows weave his praises,
And the spangled woods.

All his truth and beauty,
All his righteousness,
Are our joy and duty,
Bearing his impress:
Look! The earth waits breathless
After Winter's strife:
Easter shows man deathless,
Spring leads death to life.

Ours the more and less is;
But, changeless all the days,
God revives and blesses,
Like the sunlight rays.
'All mankind is risen,'
The Easter bells do ring,
While from out their prison
Creep the flowers of Spring.

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