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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 149
IMEV 88
NIMEV 88
A principle point of charity
Be merry in the Nativity, a carol — four quatrains including refrain (aabb): ‘Be mery, be mery, I pray þu euerychon’
Subjects: carols; carols, Nativity
Versification: — four-line — aabb



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Cambridge UK, Corpus Christi College 233, f. 95v
First Lines:
A pryncypal poynth of charyte
it is so mery for to be…
Last Lines:
…& gladnesses & in very goode chere
to blys þan mot þei gon
Be merye be merye I pray þu euerychon
Editions:
Patterson, Frank A. “Shakspeare and the Medieval Lyric.” Shakesperian Studies by Members of the Department of English And Comparative Literature in Columbia University. B. Matthews, and A. H. Thorndike, eds. New York: Columbia University Press, 1916. 431-52: 444-5.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 12; 1977, 8.
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.3.58 (1230), roll, no. 5
First Lines:
A princypal poynt of charyte
It is mere to be
In hym þat is but oon
Be mery be mery I prey ȝov euerychon…
Last Lines:
…Saue hem alle þat merthe make
And lengest hold y on
Be mery be mery I prey ȝov euerychon
Editions:
Fuller-Maitland, John Alexander, and William Smyth Rockstro. English Carols of the Fifteenth Century. London: Leadenhall Press; New York: Scribner’s, 1891: 11.
Rickert, Edith, ed. Ancient English Christmas Carols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1910: 203-4.
Stevens, John, ed. Mediaeval Carols. Musica Britannica 4. London: Stainer and Bell, 1952, 2nd ed. 1958: 4.
Robbins, Rossell Hope. Early English Christmas Carols. New York and London: Columbia UP, 1961: 30.
3.Source: London, British Library Harley 3300, f. 2rb
First Lines:
A principal poynt of charitee
Hyt ys now merye for to be…
Last Lines:
…Saue alle hem þat myrthys make
And kepe hem fro hire foon
Be mery be mery I pray yow euerychoon
Note: Five stanzas.
Editions:
Camargo, Martin. “Two Middle English Carols from an Exeter Manuscript.” Medium Ævum 67 (1998): 104-111: 109-10.