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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 6283
IMEV 3932
NIMEV 3932
When Christ was born of Mary free
A Christmas carol — four quatrains and burden: ‘Christo paremus cantica / In excelsis gloria
Subjects: carols, Nativity
Versification: — four-line — aaab



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Harley 5396, f. 273v
First Lines:
When cryst was born of mary fre
In bedlem in þat fayre cyte…
Last Lines:
…[Wh]ere we may syng to the solas
In excelsis gloria
Note: MS damaged at the margin.
Editions:
Sandys, William, ed. Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern. London: Richard Beckley, 1833: 2-3.
Wright, Thomas, ed. Specimens of Old Christmas Carols, etc. Percy Society 4. London: T. Richard, 1841: 32.
Hotten, John Camden, (alias Joshua Sylvester). A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern. London, 1861 [listed as “Sylvester” in IMEV]: 76.
Bullen, Arthur Henry. Carols and Poems from the fifteenth century to the present time. London, 1866, repr. as Songs and Carols. London: John C. Nimmo, 1885 London: John C. Nimmo, 1885: 6.
Husk, William Henry. Songs of the Nativity. London, 1867: 53.
Hotten, John Camden, (alias Joshua Sylvester). Christmas Carols and Ballads. London, 1874 [listed as “Sylvester” in IMEV]: 93.
Bramley, Henry Ramsden, and John Stainer, eds. Christmas Carols Old and New. London: Novello, 1884: no. 19.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. Early English Lyrics…. London: Buller, 1907, 1911 et seq: 130.
Cook, Albert Stanburrough. A Literary Middle English Reader. Boston and New York: Ginn, 1915: 464.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 51; 1977, 42.
Rickert, Edith, ed. Ancient English Christmas Carols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1910: 46-7.