An Englishman’s Christmas

There are always so many things to say at this special time of year. I shall say none of them.

Instead, I wish to mark this Crístesmæsse with an ancient carol, detailing the most famous story in the world far more eloquently than I ever could. Translated from the famous Latin piece Angelus Ad Virginem, this is ‘Gabriel from Heaven-King’.

I wish you all a blessed, prosperous and happy festive season.

Gabriel, from Heaven-King
Sent to the Maide sweete,
Brout hir blisful tidings
And fiar he gan he greete:
‘Heil be thu, gull of grace aright!
For Godes Son, this Heven-Light
For mannes love
Will man bicome
And take Fles of thee,
Maide Bright,
Manken free for to make
Of sen and devles might.

Mildelich him gan andswere
The milde Maid thanne:
‘Wichewise sold ich bere
A child withute manne?’
Th’angel hir seid: ‘Ne dred tee nout;
Thurw th’Oligast sal bewen iwrout
This ilche thing
Warof tiding
Ich bringe;
Al manken wurth ibout
Thurw thing sweet childinge
And Ut of pine ibrout.’

Wan the Maiden understood
And th’angels wordes herde,
Mildelich, with milde mood,
To th’angel hie andswerde:”‘
‘Ure Lords thewe maid iwis
Ich am, that heer aboven is;
Anentis me
Fulfurthed be
Thi sawe
That ich, sith his wil is,
A maid, withute lawe,
Of moder have the blis.’

Th’angel went awei mid than
Al ut of hire sighte;
Hire womb arise gan
Thurw th’Oligastes mighte.
In hir wes Crist bilok anon,
Sooth God, sooth man in fles and bon,
And of hir fles
Ibore wes
At time,
Warthurw us kam good won;
He bout us ut of pine,
And let him for us slon.

Maiden-Moder makeles,
Of milce ful ibunde,
Bid for us him that tee ches,
At wam thu grace funde,
That he forgive us sen and wrake,
And clene of evri gelt us make,
And heven-blis,
Wan ur time is
To sterve,
Us give, for thine sake,
Him so here for to sere
That heus to him take.

“All business, be it public or private, is forbidden during the feast days, save such as tends to sport and solace and delight… All men shall be equal, slave and free, rich and poor, one with another… No discourage shall either be composed or delivered, except it be witty and lusty, according to mirth and jollity” (from The Englishman’s Christmas by J.A.R Pimlott)


About Byrnsweord

I am an Englishman. Constantly striving for the truth and to conserve what is good about England. You can find my on flickr at my blog over at and my Twitter account at Byrnsweord is min nama.
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3 Responses to An Englishman’s Christmas

  1. atticvs says:

    Waes hael my friend… Werian se angelcynn and have a good one.

  2. Wyrdtimes says:

    Merry Christmas folks and a happy new year.

  3. I’ve been blasting the merrie throng with medieval English carols. It’s an excuse to force this on the uncomprehending herd…

    IMHO one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever created.

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