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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 21
IMEV 30
NIMEV 30
A child is born I-wis / That all this world shall bless
A Christmas carol — six quatrains (aaab) including refrain, ‘for Ihesu ys hys name’, plus burden: ‘Lollay lay lay lay / my dere modyr lullay / Lullay my chyld’
Note: For an alternate version, see 4260.
Subjects: carols, Nativity; Virgin Mary, lullay songs of
Versification: — four-line, three-line — aaab, aab



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Cambridge UK, St John’s College S.54 (259), ff. 6v-7
First Lines:
A chyld ys born e wys
Þat all þis word xall blys…
Last Lines:
…for us he deyd on tre
for Ihesu ys hys name
Editions:
James, Montague Rhodes. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of St. John’s College, Cambridge. Cambridge: at the UP, 1913: 97.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 97; 1977, 85-6.
Greene, Richard Leighton, ed. A Selection of English Carols. Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series. Oxford: Clarendon, 1962: 97.
2.Source: London, Westminster Abbey 20, f. 20
First Lines:
A babe ys born I wys
þis word to joy and blys…
Last Lines:
…On þe holy thursday
to heven he toke hys way
Þer to a byde for euer and day
& Ihesus Christ [is hys name]
Note: Five stanzas = 1, 2, 6, 5 and one not in Cambridge UK, St John’s College S.54 (259); does not include burden but treats first stanza as burden, beginning first stanza ‘On Cristmasse day at morne…’.
Editions:
Robinson, J. A., and Montague Rhodes James. The Manuscripts of Westminster Abbey. Cambridge, 1909: 76.
Greene, Richard Leighton. “The Traditional Survival of Two Medieval Carols.” Journal of English Literary History 7 (1940): 223-38: 225-6.