<c>Joseph Almighty God in Trinity, I pray thee lord, for thy great might, Unto thy simple servant see, Here in this place where we are put, And all alone. Lord, grant us good harbouring this night Within this town. For we have sought both up and down Through diverse streets in this city. So mickle people is comen to town That we can nowhere harboured be, The crowds so press; Forsooth I can no succour see, But to build here with the beasts. And if we here all night abide We shall be stormèd in this stead, The walls are down on every side, The roof is wrecked above our head, As have I rue; Say Mary, daughter, what is thy word, How shall we do? For in great need now are we stood As thou thyself the sooth may see, For here is neither cloth nor bed, And we are weak and all weary And fain would rest. Now gracious God, for thy mercy, Show us the best.
<c>Mary God will us ward, full well wit you, Therefore Joseph, be of good cheer, For in this place born will he be That shall us save from sorrows sere, Both even and morn. Sir, wit you well the time is near He will be born.
<c>Joseph Then behoves us bide here still, Here in this same place all this night.
<c>Mary Yea sir, forsooth, it is God's will.
<c>Joseph Then would I fain we had some light, What so befall. It waxes right murk unto my sight, And cold withal. I will go get us light forthwith, And fuel find, with me to bring. <d>[He goes out to find firewood
<c>Mary Almighty God you govern and guide, As he is sovereign of all thing For his great might, And lend me grace to praise him For this holy night. Now in my soul great joy have I, I am all clad in comfort clear, Now will be borne of my body Both God and man together as one, Blest most he be.
<d>[Music. Angels appear and screen Mary from view while the baby is born
<c>Jesu my son that is so dear, Now born is he. Hail my Lord God, Hail Prince of Peace, Hail my Father, and Hail my Son; Hail sovereign seat, all sins to cease, Hail God and man in earthly home. Hail, through whose might All this world was first begun, Darkness and light. Son, as I am simple subject of thine, Vouchsafe, sweet son I pray thee, That I might thee take in these arms of mine And in these poor weeds array thee. Grant me thy bliss, As I am thy mother chosen to be In steadfastness.
<c>Joseph Ah, lord God what the weather is cold, The foulest freeze that ever I felt. I pray God help them that is old And namely them that is unwell, So may I say. Now good God thou be my shield As thou best may. Ah, lord God, what light is this <d>[Seeing the light from the Star That comes shining thus suddenly? I cannot say as have I bliss. Till I come home unto Mary - Her shall I seek. <d>[Returns to the stable
<c>Mary You are welcome sir.
<c>Joseph Say Mary, daughter, what cheer with thee?
<c>Mary Right good Joseph, as has been aye.
<c>Joseph O Mary, what sweet thing is that on thy knee?
<c>Mary It is my son, the sooth to say, That is so good.
<c>Joseph ‘Tis well I lived to see this day And greet this child. Me marvels mickle of this light That thus-gates shines in this place, Forsooth it is a seemly sight.
<c>Mary This has he ordained of his grace, My son so young: A star to be shining a space At his birthing. For Balaam told full long before How that a star should rise full high, And of a maiden should be born A son that shall our saviour be, And shield us from cares keen. Forsooth, it is my son so free That yon Balam did mean.
<c>Joseph Now welcome, flower fairest of hue, I shall thee serve with main and might. Hail my maker, Hail Christ Jesu, Hail royal King, root of all right, Hail Saviour. Hail my Lord, source of all light, Hail blessed flower.
<c>Mary Now Lord that all this world shall win, To thee, my son, is that I say, Here is no bed to lay the in, Therefore my dear son I thee pray, Since it is so, Here in this crib I might thee lay Between these beasts two. And I shall wrap thee, mine own dear child, With such clothes as we have here.
<c>Joseph Honour and worship both day and night, Aye-lasting lord, be done to the Alway, as is worthy; And lord, to thy service I bless me With all my heart, wholly.
<c>Mary Thou merciful maker, most mighty, My God, my lord, my son so free, Thy handmaiden forsooth am I, And to thy service I submit me, With all my heart entire. Thy blessing, beseech I thee, Thou grant to all men here.