The angel says to the shepherds "Gloria in excelsis deo"
ANGEL Joy to God that sits in heaven, And peace to men on earthly ground. A child is born beneath the welkin Through whom the world shall be unbound. Sacraments there shall be seven 5 Hard won through the child's wounds. Therefore I sing of joy in heaven The flower of friendship now is found. The God that dwells on high, For his glory man's ghost shall win. 10 He has sent salve for man's sin. Peace is come to man's kin Through God's sleights sly! FIRST SHEPHERD Manfrace, Manfrace, fellow mine! I saw a great light with shimmering shine. 15 Yet saw I never such a sign Shaped upon the skies. It is brighter than the sun's beam It comes right over all this realm Even above Bethlehem. 20 I saw it burn thrice. SECOND SHEPHERD Thou art my brother Boras. I have beheld the same pass. I believe it is a token of grace, That shining showeth before. 25 Balaam spake in prophecy A light should shine upon the sky When a son of a maid, Mary, In Bethlehem were born. THIRD SHEPHERD Though I make but little noise, 30 I am a shepherd that is called Mose. I heard telling of a cross Of Moses in his law. Of a maid a bairn to be born That on a tree should be all torn. 35 To deliver folk that are forlorn That child should be slain. FIRST SHEPHERD Balaam spoke in prophecy Out of Jacob should come a boy Who many folk should buy 40 With his bright blood. By that bright blood that he should bleed, He shall us bring from the devil's dread As a duke most doughty in deed Through his death on the rood. 45 SECOND SHEPHERD Amos spoke with mild mouth Of a fruit sweeter than balmy breath. His death should slay our soul's death And draw us all from hell. Therefore such light goes before 50 Which shall save that which is forlorn As prophets here do tell. THIRD SHEPHERD Daniel the prophet thus did speak, The wise God, us from woe to take The bright heaven will all break 55 And meddle with a maid. This prophecy is now fulfilled! Christ in our form is clad. Therefore mankind may be glad As prophets before have said. 60
They (the angels) sing "Gloria in excelsis deo"
FIRST SHEPHERD Ah, ah, this was a wondrous note That was now sung above the sky I have that tune full well I wote They sang "gle glo glory" SECOND SHEPHERD Nay you're wrong! So was it not 65 I have the song full well in tune In my mind, well is it wrought, It was "gle glo glas glum" THIRD SHEPHERD I thought the song was glory And afterwards he said to us 70 There is a child born to be a prince mighty To seek that child, I believe we must. FIRST SHEPHERD The prophecy of Boodras doth us speed Now go we hence as the light us lead. Might we see once that bright on bed 75 Our bale it would unbind. We should delay for no shower Go we hence to Bethlehem's bower To see that fair fresh flower The maid mild in mind. 80 SECOND SHEPHERD Let us follow with all our might With song and mirth let us delight And worship with joy that worthy wight That lord is of mankind. Let us go forth fast let us hie 85 And honour that babe worthily With mirth, song and melody Let us this song begin
Then the shepherds sing "Stella celi extirpavit". When it is done they go seeking the Christ child.
FIRST SHEPHERD Hail, flower of flowers, fairest found! Hail pearl peerless, prime rose of price! 90 Hail bloom on bud! We shall be unbound With thy bloody wounds and works full wise. Hail greatest God! I greet thee on the ground. The greedy devil shall groan through his lies When thou winnest this world with thy wide wound, 95 And puttest man, rejoicing, again in Paradise. To love thee is my delight. Hail flower, fair and free, Light from the Trinity, Hail, blessed might thou be! 100 Hail maiden, fairest in sight! SECOND SHEPHERD Hail flower over all flowers we in woods find! Hail Christ who has taken our kind! Hail worker of well who with us we find! Hail winner, iwis! 105 Hail former and friend! Hail feller of the fiend! Hail, clad in our kind, Hail prince of Paradise! THIRD SHEPHERD Hail Lord over lords that lieth so low! 110 Hail king over kings, thy kindred to know! Hail comely knight, the devil to overthrow! Hail flower of all, Hail worker to win Bodies bounded in sin! 115 Hail in a beast's bin All laid in a stall! JOSEPH Shepherds, on your hill, Be not still, But say your will 120 To many a man. How God is born This merry morn He that is forlorn Be saved now he can. 125 FIRST SHEPHERD We shall tell By dale and hill How the harrower of hell Was born this night Mirths to mell 130 And fiends to quell That were so fell Against his right. SECOND SHEPHERD Farewell babe and bairn of bliss! Farewell, lord, that lovely is! 135 Thee to worship, thy feet I kiss. On knees I to thee fall. Thee to worship I fall on knee, All this world may joy of thee. Now farewell, lord great and mighty. 140 Yea, farewell king of all. THIRD SHEPHERD Though I be the last to take my leave, Yet, fair fledgling, let it not thee grieve. Now, fair babe, much must thou achieve. Fair child, now have good day. 145 Farewell my own dear darling, I know thou art a right fair thing Farewell my lord and my sweeting, Farewell, born in poor array! MARY Now you shepherds, well may you be! 150 For your homage and your singing My son shall reward you in heaven, you'll see, And give you all a right good ending. AMEN
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