St. Stephen and Herod

Original Text: 
British Library Sloane MS. 2593; Thomas Wright, ed., Songs and Carols (London: T. Richards, 1856). PR 1120 W3 Victoria College Library
1  Seynt Stevene was a clerk in Kyng Herowd{.e}s halle,
2And servyd him of bred and cloth, as every kyng befalle.
3  Stevyn out of kechone cam, wyth boris hed on honde;
4He saw a sterre was fayr and bryght over Bedlem stonde.
5  He kyst adoun the boris hed and went in to the halle:
6"I forsak the, Kyng Herowd{.e}s, and thi werkes all{.e}."
7  "I forsak the, Kyng Herowd{.e}s, and thi werkes alle;
8Ther is a chyld in Bedlem born is beter than we alle."
9  "Quat eylyt the, Stevene? quat is the befall{.e}?
10Lakkyt the eyther mete or drynk in Kyng Herowdes halle?"
11  "Lakit me neyther mete ne drynk in Kyng Herowd{.e}s halle;
12Ther is a chyld in Bedlem born is beter than we alle."
13  "Quat eylyt the, Stevyn? Art thu wod, or thu gynnyst to brede?
14Lakkyt the eyther gold or fe, or ony ryche wed{.e}?"
15  "Lakyt me neyther gold ne fe, ne non rych{.e} wed{.e};
16Ther is a chyld in Bedlem born xal helpyn us at our nede."
17  "That is al so soth, Stevyn, al so soth, iwys.
18As this capoun crowe xal that lyth here in myn dysh."
19  That word was not so son{.e} seyd, that word in that halle,
20The capoun crew Cristus natus est! among the lord{.e}s all{.e}.
21  "Rysyt up, myn turmentowres, be to and al be on,
22And ledyt Stevyn out of this toun, and stonyt hym wyth ston!"
23  Tokyn he Stevene, and stonyd hym in the way,
24And therfore is his evyn on Cryst{.e}s owyn day.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.65; RPO 1996-2000.