Child's Ballads/22

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
Saint Stephen and Herod, no. 22
For more information, see Wikipedia: Saint Stephen and Herod.

Saint Stephen and Herod[edit]

SEYNT Steuene was a clerk in kyng Herowdes halle,
And seruyd him of bred and cloth, as euery kyng befalle.
Steuyn out of kechone cam, wyth boris hed on honde;
He saw a sterre was fayr and bryy+ot ouer Bedlem stonde.
He kyst adoun the boris hed and went in to the halle:
‘I forsak the, kyng Herowdes, and thi werkes alle.
‘I forsak the, kyng Herowdes, and thi werkes alle;
RRther is a chyld in Bedlem born is beter than we alle.’
‘Quat eylyt the, Steuene? quat is the befalle?
Lakkyt the eyther mete or drynk in kyng Herowdes halle!’
kit me neyther mete ne drynk in kyng Herowdes halle;
RRther is a chyld in Bedlem born is beter than we alle.’
Quat eylyt the, Steuyn? art thu wod, or thu gynnyst to brede?
Lakkyt the eyther gold or fe, or ony ryche wede?’
‘Lakyt me neyther gold ne fe, ne non ryche wede;
RRther is a chyld in Bedlem born xal helpyn vs at our nede.’
‘RRthat is al so soth, Steuyn, al so soth, iwys,
As this capoun crowe xal that lyth here in myn dysh.’
RRthat word was not so sone seyd, that word in that halle,
THe capoun crew Cristus natus est! among the lordes alle.
Rysyt vp, myn turmentowres, be to and al be on,
And ledyt Steuyn out of this town, and stonyt hym wyth ston!’
Tokyn he Steuene, and stonyd hym in the way,
And therfore is his euyn on Crystes owyn day.