This Endris Night

Anonymous, 15th century. This endris night: “The other night” or “A few nights ago”

This endris night I saw a sight,
A star as bright as day,
And ev’r among, a maiden sung,
“Lully, bye bye, lullay.”

This lovely lady sat and sang,
And to her child did say,
“My son, my brother, father dear,
Why liest thou thus in hay?”

“My sweetest bird, ’tis thus required,
Though I be king veray,
But nevertheless I will not cease
To sing ‘Bye bye, lullay.'”

The child then spake in his talking,
And to his mother did say,
“Yea, I am known as heaven-king
In crib though I be laid.

“For angels bright down on me light;
Thou knowest ’tis no nay.
And for that sight thou may delight
To sing, ‘Bye bye, lullay.'”

“Now, sweet son, since thou art a king,
Why art thou laid in stall?
Why dost not order thy bedding
In some great kinges hall?

“Methinks ’tis right that king or knight
Should lie in good array.
And then among, it were no wrong
To sing ‘Bye bye, lullay.'”

“Mary mother, I am thy Child,
Though I be laid in stall;
For lords and dukes shall worship Me,
And so shall kingès all.

“Ye shall well see that kingès three
Shall come on this twelfth day.
For this behest give Me thy breast
And sing, By by, lullay.”

“Now tell, sweet Son, I Thee do pray,
Thou art my Love and Dear—
How should I keep Thee to Thy pay,
And make Thee glad of cheer?

“For all Thy will I would fulfill—
Thou knowest well, in fay;
And for all this I will Thee kiss,
And sing, By by, lullay.”

“My dear mother, when time it be,
Take thou Me up on loft,
And set Me then upon thy knee,
And handle me full soft.

“And in thy arm thou hold Me warm,
And keep Me night and day,
And if I weep, and may not sleep,
Thou sing, By by, lullay.”

“Now sweet Son, since it is come so,
That all is at Thy will,
I pray Thee grant to me a boon,
If it be right and skill,—

“That child or man, who will or can
Be merry on my day,
To bliss Thou bring—and I shall sing,
Lullay, by by, lullay.”

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