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Saint Stephen, the Clerk.

27

“ Lacketh me neither meat ne drink

In King Herod's hall;
There is a child in Bethlehem born

Is better than we all.”

“What aileth thee, Stephen ?

Art thou wode,* or thou ginnest to breed ?Lacketh thee either gold or fee,

Or any rich weed ?"I

“ Lacketh me neither gold nor fee,

Ne none rich weed;
There is a child in Bethlehem born

Shall helpen us at our need."

“That is also sooth, Stephen,

Also sooth i-wis
As this capon crowé shall
That lieth here in

my

dish.”

That word was not so soon said,

That word in that hall,
The capon crew Christus natus est

Among the lordés all.

"Riseth up, my tormentors,

By two and all by one,

* Mad.

† Scold.

* Dress.

% As true.

And leadeth Stephen out of this town,

And stoneth him with stone.”

Tooken they Stephen

And stoned him in the way, And therefore is his even

On Christés own day.

The Carnal and the Crane.

29

THE CARNAL AND THE CRANE.

As I pass'd by a riverside,

And there as I did reign,*
In argument I chanced to bear

A Carnalt and a Crane.

The Carnal said unto the Crane,

If all the world should turn, Before we had the Father,

But now we have the Son!

From whence does the Son come ?

From where and from what place? He said, In a manger,

Between an ox and ass !

I pray thee, said the Carnal,

Tell me before thou go, Was not the mother of Jesus

Conceived by the Holy Ghost ?

She was the purest Virgin,

And the cleanest from sin;
She was the handmaid of our Lord,

And mother of our King.

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Where is the golden cradle

That Christ was rocked in ? Where are the silken sheets

That Jesus was wrapt in ?

A manger was the cradle

That Christ was rocked in ; The provender the asses left

So sweetly He slept on.

There was a star in the West-land,

So bright did it appear Into King Herod's chamber,

And where King Herod were.

The Wise Men soon espied it,

And told the king on high, A princely babe was born that night

No king could e'er destroy.

If this be true, King Herod said,

As thou tellest unto me, This roasted cock that lies in the dish

Shall crow full fences* three.

The cock soon freshly feathered was

By the work of God's own hand,

* Rounds.

The Carnal and the Crane.

31

And then three fences crowed he

In the dish where he did stand.

Rise up, rise up, you merry men all,

See that you ready be,
All children under two years old

Now slain they all shall be.

Then Jesus, ah! and Joseph,

And Mary that was so pure, They travelled into Egypt,

you shall find it sure.

As

And when they came to Egypt's land,

Amongst those fierce wild beasts, Mary, she being weary,

Must needs sit down to rest.

Come sit thee down, says Jesus,

Come sit thee down by me, And thou shalt see how these wild beasts

Do come and worship me.

First came the lovely lion,

Which Jesu's grace did spring, And of the wild beasts in the field,

The lion shall be the king.

We'll choose our virtuous princes,

Of birth and high degree,

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