126 THE BOOK OF CHRISTMAS.
" A my dere son, sayd mary, a, my dere, Kys thi moder Jhesu with a lawghyng chere:"—
" This endnes nyght I saw a syght
all in my slepe, Mary that may she sang lullay
and sore did wepe. To kepe she sawght full fast a bowte
her son fro cold; Joseph seyd, wiff, my joy, my leff,
say what ye wolde; No thyng my spouse is In this howse
unto my pay: My son a kyng that made all thyng
lyth in hay.
A my dere son."
Some of these ancient carols run over the principal incidents in the scheme of man's fall and redemption; and we are sorry that our limits will not permit us to give such lengthened specimens as we should desire. We will, however, copy a few verses from one of a different kind—in which, beneath its ancient dress, our readers will see that there is much rude beauty. It begins:—
" I come from heuin to tell The best nowellis that ever be fell.—
But we must take it up further on:—
" My saull and lyfe, stand up and see Quha lyes in ane cribe of tree; Quhat babe is that so gude and faire ? It is Christ, God's Sonne and Aire.
0 God that made all creature, How art thou becum so pure, That on the hay and straw will lye, Amang the asses, oxin, and kye ?
And were the world ten tymes so wide, Cled ouer with gold and stanes of pride, Unworthy zit it were to thee, Under thy feet ane stule to bee.