Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve: Britten's Ceremony of Carols, Part I

Hodie Christus natus est;
Hodie salvator apparuit;
Hodie in terra canunt angeli, laetantur archangeli;
Hodie exultant justi dicentes:
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Today Christ is born;
Today the Savior has appeared;
Today Angels sing on earth, and Archangels rejoice;
Today the just exult, saying:
Glory to God in the highest!

Wolcum, Wolcum, Wolcum be thou hevenè king,
Wolcum Yole! Wolcum, born in one morning,
Wolcum for whom we sall sing!
Wolcum be ye, Stevene and Jon,
Wolcum, Innocentes every one,
Wolcum, Thomas marter one,
Wolcum be ye, good Newe Yere,
Wolcum, Twelfthe Day both in fere,
Wolcum, seintes lefe and dere,
Wolcum Yole, Wolcum Yole, Wolcum!
Candelmesse, Quene of bliss,
Wolcum bothe to more and lesse.
Wolcum, Wolcum, Wolcum be ye that are here,
Wolcum Yole, Wolcum alle and make good cheer,
Wolcum alle another yere, Wolcum Yole, Wolcum!


There is no rose of such vertu
as is the rose that bare Jesu.
Alleluia, alleluia.

For in this rose conteinèd was
heaven and earth in litel space,
Res miranda, res miranda.

By that rose we may well see
there be one God in persons three,
Pares forma, pares forma.

The aungels sungen the shepherds to:
Gloria in excelsis,
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gaudeamus, gaudeamus.

Leave we all this werldly mirth,
and follow we this joyful birth.
Transeamus, transeamus, transeamus.

res miranda
pares forma

That yongë Child when it gan weep
with song she lulled Him asleep:
That was so sweet a melody
it passèd alle minstrelsy.
The nightingalë sang also:
Her song is hoarse and nought thereto:
Whoso attendeth to her song
and leaveth the first
then doth he wrong.

O my deare hert, young Jesu sweit,
Prepare thy creddil in my spreit,
And I sall rock thee to my hert,
And never mair from thee depart.
But I sall praise thee evermoir
With sanges sweit unto thy gloir;
The knees of my hert sall I bow,
And sing that richt Balulalow.


I sing of a maiden that is makèles:
King of all kings to her son she ches
He came also stille there his moder was,
As dew in Aprille that falleth on the grass.
He came also stille to his moder's bour,
As dew in Aprille that falleth on the flour.
He came also stille there his moder lay,
As dew in Aprille that falleth on the spray.
Moder and mayden was never none but she:
Well may such a lady Goddes moder be.

This little Babe so few days old,
is come to rifle Satan's fold;
All hell doth at His presence quake,
though He himself for cold do shake;
For in this weak unarmed wise
the gates of hell He will surprise.

With tears He fights and wins the field,
His naked breast stands for a shield;
His battering shot are babish cries,
His arrows looks of weeping eyes,
His martial ensigns Cold and Need,
and feeble Flesh His warrior's steed.

His camp is pitched in a stall,
His bulwark but a broken wall;
The crib His trench, haystalks His stakes;
of shepherds He His muster makes;
And thus, as sure His foe to wound,
the angels' trumps alarum sound.

My soul, with Christ join thou in fight;
stick to the tents that He hath pight.
Within His crib is surest ward;
this little Babe will be thy guard.
If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy,
then flit not from this heavenly Boy.

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