Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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185
O he did whistle, and she did sing, And all the bells on earth did ring, Tor joy that our Saviour he was bora On Christmas-day in the morning.
P. 123. " Joseph was an old man,** or Cherry Tree Carol, as it is sometimes called, is founded on a very old legend, of which I know not the origin. The incident re­ferred to is a prominent one in the fifteenth pageant of the Coventry Mysteries, and it may be amusing to compare the manner in which it is there told with the present carol.
Mary says,
" A my swete husbond, wolde ye telle to me What tre is yon standynge upon yon hylle ?
Joseph. Forsothe, Mary, it is clepyd a chery tre,
In tyme of yer ye myght fede vow y ou yo fylle.
Maria. Turne ageyn husbond & beholde yon tre, How y* it blomyght now so swetly.
Joseph. Cum on, Mary, y* we worn at yon cyte,
Or elljs we may be blamyd I telle yow lythly.
Maria. Now my spowse, I pray yow to be hold How ye cheryes growyn upon yon tre, For to have y of ryght fayn I wold, & it plesyd yow to labor so mech for me.
Joseph. Yor desyr to fulfylle I shal assay sekyrly,
Ow to plucke yow of these cheries it is a werk
wylde, For y« tre is so hyg it wol not be lyghtly, Y~ for lete hy pluk yow cheryes be gatt yow wl childe.
Maria. Now good Lord I pray the, graunt me yis boun, To have of yese cheries, & it be yor wylle, Now 1 thank it God, yis tre bowyth to me down, I may now gadery anowe & etyn my fylle.
Joseph. Ow, I know weyl I have ofFendyd my God I trinyte, Spekyng to ray spowse these unkynde wurdys, For now I beleve wel it may non other be But y* my spowse beryght ye kyngys son of blys,&c.
P. 139. " King Herod's son." It is an old tradition that Herod's own son was among the innocent sufferers on

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