A Christmas Carol Sung To The King In The Presence At Whitehall by Robert Herrick

Chor. What sweeter music can we bring,
Than a carol for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?
Awake the voice! awake the string!
Heart, ear, and eye, and everything
Awake! the while the active finger
Runs division with the singer.


1. Dark and dull night, fly hence away
And give the honour to this day
That sees December turn’d to May.

2. If we may ask the reason, say
The why and wherefore all things here
Seem like the spring-time of the year.

3. Why does the chilling winter’s morn
Smile like a field beset with corn?
Or smell like to a mead new shorn,
Thus, on the sudden?

4. Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
‘Tis He is born, whose quick’ning birth
Gives life and lustre, public mirth,
To heaven and the under-earth.

Chor. We see Him come, and know Him ours,
Who, with His sunshine and His showers,
Turns all the patient ground to flowers.

1. The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is we find a room
To welcome Him.
2. The nobler part
Of all the house here is the heart,

Chor. Which we will give Him; and bequeath
This holly and this ivy wreath,
To do Him honour; who’s our King,
And Lord of all this revelling.

The musical part was composed by M. Henry Lawes.

Division, a rapid passage of music sung in one breath or a single

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