Anonymous. XV-XVI Century

15th Cent.

25   May in the Green-Wood

IN somer when the shawes be sheyne,1
     And leves be large and long,
Hit is full merry in feyre foreste
     To here the foulys song.

To se the dere draw to the dale
     And leve the hilles hee,
And shadow him in the leves grene
     Under the green-wode tree.

Hit befell on Whitsontide
     Early in a May mornyng,
The Sonne up faire can shyne,
     And the briddis mery can syng.

‘This is a mery mornyng,’ said Litulle Johne,
     ‘Be Hym that dyed on tre;
A more mery man than I am one
     Lyves not in Christiantàe.

‘Pluk up thi hert, my dere mayster,’
     Litulle Johne can say,
‘And thynk hit is a fulle fayre tyme
     In a mornynge of May.’

26   Carol

15th Cent.

I SING of a maiden
    That is makeles;1
King of all kings
    To her son she ches.2

He came al so still
    There his mother was,
As dew in April
    That falleth on the grass.

He came al so still
    To his mother’s bour,
As dew in April
    That falleth on the flour.

He came al so still
    There his mother lay,
As dew in April
    That falleth on the spray.

Mother and maiden
    Was never none but she;
Well may such a lady
    Goddes mother be.

27   Towneley Plays. The Shepherds’ Play, II.

Primus Pastor

Haylle, comly and clene! Haylle, yong child!
Haylle, maker, as I meyne, of a madn so mylde!
Thou has waryd,1 I weyne the warlo2 so wylde;
The fals gyler of teyn, now goys he begylde.
      Lo, he merys;
Lo, he laghys, my swetyng,
A wel fare metyng,
I have holden my hetyng;3
      Have a bob of cherys.

Secundus Pastor

Haylle, sufferan savyoure! for thou has us soght;
Haylle, frely foyde4 and floure that all thyng has wroght!
Haylle, full of favoure that made all of noght!
Haylle! I kneyll and I cowre. A byrd haue I broght
      To my barne.
Haylle, lytylle tyné mop!5
Of oure crede thou art crop;
I wold drynk on thy cop,
      Lytyll day starne.

Tertius Pastor

Haylle, derlyng dere, full of godhede!
I pray the be nere when that I have nede.
Haylle! swete is thy chere! my hert wold blede
To se the sytt here in so poore wede,
      With no pennys.
Haylle! put furth thy dalle!6
I bryng the bot a balle:
Have and play the with-alle,
      And go to the tenys.

28   The Knight of the Grail

Early 16th Cent.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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