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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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A babe is born our bliss to bring
A dialogue between the Virgin Mary and her Child — eleven quatrains (aaab) plus burden (cc): ‘Now synge we with angelis / Gloria in excelsis
Note: Ringler Jr. (1992), TM 1.
Subjects: dialogues, Virgin and Christ; Virgin Mary
Versification: — four-line — aaab
Macaronic: Latin



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Laud misc. 683 (SC 798), f. 105v
First Lines:
A babe is born our blysse to brynge
a maide ther was dyd lully and synge…
Last Lines:
…[ ]handys or feet that I sholde lappe
be battled so sore that neuer dyd I mys…
Note: First six quatrains only.
Attributed Title: Here begynneth a cristemasse song (f. 105v)
Editions:
MacCracken, Henry Noble. “New Stanzas by Dunbar.” “Modern Language Notes” 24 (1909): 110-11: 225.
2.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, p. 472
First Lines:
A babe is born to blys vs brynge
I hard a mayd lulley & synge…
Last Lines:
…& syng by by lulley lulley
To put a way all hevynes
Explicit
Note: First six quatrains only.
Facsimiles:
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=balliol&manuscript=ms354).
Editions:
Flügel, Ewald. “Englische Weihnachtslieder aus einter Handschrift des Balliol College zu Oxford.” Forschungen zur deutschen Philologie. Festgabe für Rudolf Hildebrands. Leipzig: Deit, 1894: 52-84: 73.
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts….” Anglia 26 (1903): 94-285: 247-8.
Dyboski, R., ed. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from Balliol MS. 354, Richard Hill’s Commonplace Book. EETS e.s. 101 (1908); repr. 1984: 21-3.
Pollard, Alfred William. Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse. A Volume of Arber’s ‘English Garner’…. Westminster and New York: Dutton, 1903: 90-1.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 112-13; 1977, 100.
Greene, Richard Leighton. “The Traditional Survival of Two Medieval Carols.” Journal of English Literary History 7 (1940): 223-38: 232-3.
Husk, William Henry. Songs of the Nativity. London, 1867: 52.
Rickert, Edith, ed. Ancient English Christmas Carols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1910: 72-4.
Segar, Mary Gertrude, ed. A Mediaeval Anthology. London, NY: Longmans, Green, 1915: 76-7 (7 st. only).
Greene, Richard Leighton, ed. A Selection of English Carols. Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series. Oxford: Clarendon, 1962: 101-3.
3.Source: Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales Porkington 10, ff. 201-202
Note: Stanzas 1, 3-8, 11 only, with Latin text interspersed: Christe qui lux es et dies.
Editions:
Brown, Carleton Fairchild, ed. Religious Lyrics of the XVth Century. Oxford: Clarendon, 1939: 1-2.
Hotten, John Camden, (alias Joshua Sylvester). A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern. London, 1861 [listed as “Sylvester” in IMEV]: 41.
Davies, Reginald Thorne. Medieval English Lyrics: a critical anthology. London, 1963; Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1964: 197-8.
4.Source: Cambridge MA, Harvard University H.C.L. 25258.27.5, p. 8
First Lines:
There is a child born to our blessing shall bring:
I heard a maid ‘lullo by lollo’ to sing…
Last Lines:
… Now sing we both more or less,
And welcome be this Merry Christmas
Now sing we, and now sing we,
‘To the gloria O tibi, Domini.’
Note: ‘Carol Book A’, 1767, ‘Carol Book B’, 1777, 58-59.
Editions:
Greene, Richard Leighton. “The Traditional Survival of Two Medieval Carols.” Journal of English Literary History 7 (1940): 223-38: 235-6.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977 (see also Greene (1935)): 101-2.
Sandys, William, ed. Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern. London: Richard Beckley, 1833: 122-3.