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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 4
IMEV 21
NIMEV 21
A babe is born of high nature / The Prince of peace
A New Year carol — four 7-line stanzas (ababccd) including 3-line refrain, plus 2-line burden (cd): ‘Qwat tydynges bryngyst þu massager / Of cristys berthe þis ȝolys day’
Note: Cf. Copley (1959), 387-89.
Author(s): John Audelay (?)
Subjects: carols; dialogues; New Year, carols
Versification: — seven-line — ababccd



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Douce 302 (SC 21876), ff. 21ra-29rb
First Lines:
A babe is borne of hye natewre
A prynce of pese þat euer schal be…
Last Lines:
…To twel in heuen þat we may
Seche wonder tyþyngis vt supra
Note: Five stanzas.
Attributed Title: In die circumcicionis domini (f. 29ra)
Editions:
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. “Fifteenth Century Carols by John Audelay.” Modern Language Review 5 (1910): 473-91: 487-8.
Whiting, Ella Keats, ed. John Audelay: The Poems. EETS o.s. 184 (1931); repr. 1988: 191-3.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 74-5; 1977, 62.
Greene, Richard Leighton, ed. A Selection of English Carols. Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series. Oxford: Clarendon, 1962: 83.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 386-7.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Arch. Selden. B. 26 (SC 3340), ff. 15v-16
First Lines:
A babe ys born of hye nature
is prinis of pes & euer shal be…
Last Lines:
…a saunt þat is not of o ȝere
Euer hath y be & shal be ay
Facsimiles:
Stainer, Sir John, John Stainer, C. Stainer, and Edward Williams Byron Nicholson. Early Bodleian music; sacred & secular songs, together with other MS. compositions in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, ranging from about A.D. 1185 to about A.D. 1505. London, 1901; repr. Farnborough, Hants, England: Gregg, 1967.
Editions:
Padelford, Frederick Morgan. “English songs in manuscript Selden B.26.” Anglia 36 (1912): 79-115: 99-101.
Stainer, Sir John, John Stainer, C. Stainer, and Edward Williams Byron Nicholson. Early Bodleian music; sacred & secular songs, together with other MS. compositions in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, ranging from about A.D. 1185 to about A.D. 1505. London, 1901; repr. Farnborough, Hants, England: Gregg, 1967: 2.125-6.
Stevens, John, ed. Mediaeval Carols. Musica Britannica 4. London: Stainer and Bell, 1952, 2nd ed. 1958: 20.
Robbins, Rossell Hope. Early English Christmas Carols. New York and London: Columbia UP, 1961: 78.
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.3.58 (1230), roll, no. 10 15v-16
First Lines:
A babe is born of hey nature
þe prince of pees þat euere xal be…
Last Lines:
…That heylyng was of so good chere
þat mannys synne peyne is turnyd to play
Swich wunder tydynges ȝe may here
That man is mad now goddes pere
qwom synne had mad but fendys pray
Editions:
Fuller-Maitland, John Alexander, and William Smyth Rockstro. English Carols of the Fifteenth Century. London: Leadenhall Press; New York: Scribner’s, 1891: 21.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. “Fifteenth Century Carols by John Audelay.” Modern Language Review 5 (1910): 473-91: 491.
Rickert, Edith, ed. Ancient English Christmas Carols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1910: 167-8.
Padelford, Frederick Morgan. “English songs in manuscript Selden B.26.” Anglia 36 (1912): 79-115: 99-101.
Stevens, John, ed. Mediaeval Carols. Musica Britannica 4. London: Stainer and Bell, 1952, 2nd ed. 1958: 8.