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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.
" 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