A virgin unspotted, the prophet foretold,
Should bring forth a Savior, which now we behold,
To be our Redeemer from death, hell, and sin,
Which Adam’s transgression had wrappèd us in.
Aye and therefore be merry, set sorrow aside,
Christ Jesus our Savior was born on this tide.
At Bethlehem city in Jewry it was
That Joseph and Mary together did pass,
All for to be taxèd with many one moe [sic],
Great Caesar commanded the same should be so.
But when they had entered the city so fair,
A number of people so mighty was there,
That Joseph and Mary, whose substance was small,
Could find in the inn there no lodging at all.
Then were they constrained in a stable to lie,
Where horses and asses they used for to tie;
Their lodging so simple they took it no scorn,
But against the next morning our Savior was born.
The King of all kings to this world being brought,
Small store of fine linen to wrap Him was sought,
But when she had swaddled her young Son so sweet,
Within an ox manger she laid Him to sleep.
Then God sent an angel from Heaven so high,
To certain poor shepherds in fields where they lie,
And bade them no longer in sorrow to stay,
Because that our Savior was born on this day.
Then presently after the shepherds did spy
Vast numbers of angels to stand in the sky;
They joyfully talkèd and sweetly did sing,
To God be all glory, our heavenly King.
To teach us humility all this was done,
And learn we from thence haughty pride for to shun:
A manger His cradle who came from above,
The great God of mercy, of peace and of love.