MEDIAEVAL ENGLISH CAROLS
But to others again, especially the lullabies, the hardness of the Nativity, the shadow of the coming Passion, give a deep note of sorrow and pathos ; there is the thought of the sword that shall pierce Mary's bosom :—
" This endris night I saw a sight, A maid a cradcll kepe, And ever she song and seid among 'Lullay, my child, and slepe.'
' I may not slepe, but I may wepe,
I am so wo begone ; Slepe I wold, but I am colde
And clothes have I none.
'Adam's gilt this man had spilt;
That sin greveth me sore. Man, for thee here shall I be
Thirty winter and more.
■ ■ • • •
' Here shall I be hanged on a tree,
And die as it is skill. That I have bought lesse will I nought;
It is my fader's will.' " 35
The lullabies are quite the most delightful, as they are the most human, of the carols. Here is an exquisitely musical verse from one of 1530 :—
" In a dream late as I lay, Methought I heard a maiden say
And speak these words so mild : ' My little son, with thee I play, And come,' she sang, 'by, lullaby.' Thus rocked she her child.
By-by, lullaby, by-by, lullaby,
Rocked I my child. By-by, by-by, by-by, lullaby,
Rocked J my child" &