St. Nicholas

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 Make ye merry, as ye may

Medieval English carol extolling Saint Nicholas.
 

Make ye merry, as ye may,
And syng with me, I you pray.

In Patras ther born he was,
The holy buschop Seynt Nycholas,
He wyst mekyl of Godes gras,
Throw vertu of the Trinite.

He reysyd thre klerkes fro deth to lyfve
That wern in salt put full swythe,
Betwyxt a bochere and his wyfve,
And was hid in privyte.

He maryid thre maydenys of myld mod;
He yaf hem gold to here fod,
He turnyd hem from ille to good,
Throw vertu of the Trynyte.

Another he dede sykerly:
He savyd a thef that was full sly,
That stal a swyn out of his sty;
His lyf thann savyd he.

God grawnt vs grace here, eld and yyng,
Hym to serve at his plesyng;
To hevene blysse he us bryng,
Throw vertu of the Trinite.

Translation:

Make ye merry, as ye may,
And sing with me, I you pray.

In Patara there born he was,
The holy bishop Saint Nicholas;
He knew much of God's grace,
Through power of the Trinity.

He raised three clerks from death to life
Who had been put in salt full swythe, [very quickly]
By a butcher and his wife,
And hidden were in privite. [secrecy]

He married three maidens of mild mood; [disposition]
He gave them gold for their food, [sustenance]
He turned them from ill to good,
Through power of the Trinity.

Another deed he did, certainly:
He saved a thief who was very sly,
Who stole a pig out of its sty;
His life then saved he.

God grant us grace here, old and young,
Him to serve at his pleasing; [to his pleasure]
To heaven's bliss may he us bring,
Through power of the Trinity.


From Sloane Manuscript 2953, translated by Clerk of Oxford.

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