Child's Ballads/54

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For other versions of this work, see The Cherry-Tree Carol.


A[edit]

JOSEPH was an old man,
and an old man was he,
When he wedded Mary,
in the land of Galilee.
Joseph and Mary walked
through an orchard good,
Where was cherries and berries,
so red as any blood.
Joseph and Mary walked
through an orchard green,
Where was berries and cherries,
as thick as might be seen.
O then bespoke Mary,
so meek and so mild:
'Pluck me one cherry, Joseph,
for I am with child.'
O then bespoke Joseph,
with words most unkind:
'Let him pluck thee a cherry
that brought thee with child.'
O then bespoke the babe,
within his mother's womb:
'Bow down then the tallest tree,
for my mother to have some.'
Then bowed down the highest tree
unto his mother's hand;
Then she cried, See, Joseph,
I have cherries at command.
O then bespake Joseph:
'I have done Mary wrong;
But cheer up, my dearest,
and be not cast down.'
Then Mary plucked a cherry,
as red as the blood,
Then Mary went home
with her heavy load.
Then Mary took her babe,
and sat him on her knee,
Saying, My dear son, tell me
what this world will be.
'O I shall be as dead, mother,
as the stones in the wall;
O the stones in the streets, mother,
shall mourn for me all.
'Upon Easter-day, mother,
my uprising shall be;
O the sun and the moon, mother,
shall both rise with me.'

B[edit]

JOSEPH was an old man,
and an old man was he,
And he married Mary,
the Queen of Galilee.
When Joseph was married,
and Mary home had brought,
Mary proved with child,
and Joseph knew it not.
Joseph and Mary walked
through a garden gay,
Where the cherries they grew
upon every tree.
O then bespoke Mary,
with words both meek and mild:
'O gather me cherries, Joseph,
they run so in my mind.'
And then replied Joseph,
with words so unkind:
'Let him gather thee cherries
that got thee with child.'
O then bespoke our Saviour,
all in his mother's womb:
'Bow down, good cherry-tree,
to my mother's hand.'
The uppermost sprig
bowed down to Mary's knee:
'Thus you may see, Joseph,
these cherries are for me.'
'O eat your cherries, Mary,
O eat your cherries now;
O eat your cherries, Mary,
that grow upon the bough.'
As Joseph was a walking,
he heard an angel sing:
'This night shall be born
our heavenly king.
'He neither shall be born
in housen nor in hall,
Nor in the place of Paradise,
but in an ox's stall.
'He neither shall be clothed
in purple nor in pall,
But all in fair linen,
as were babies all.
'He neither shall be rocked
in silver nor in gold,
But in a wooden cradle,
that rocks on the mould.
'He neither shall be christened
in white wine nor red,
But with fair spring water,
with which we were christened.'
Then Mary took her young son,
and set him on her knee:
'I pray thee now, dear child,
tell how this world shall be.'
'O I shall be as dead, mother,
as the stones in the wall;
O the stones in the street, mother,
shall mourn for me all.
'And upon a Wednesday
my vow I will make,
And upon Good Friday
my death I will take.
'Upon Easter-day, mother,
my rising shall be;
O the sun and the moon
shall uprise with me.
' The people shall rejoice,
and the birds they shall sing,
To see the uprising
of the heavenly king.'

C[edit]

JOSEPH was an old man,
an old man was he,
He married sweet Mary,
the Queen of Galilee.
As they went a walking
in the garden so gay,
Maid Mary spied cherries,
hanging over yon tree.
Mary said to Joseph,
with her sweet lips so mild,
'Pluck those cherries, Joseph,
for to give to my child.'
O then replied Joseph,
with words so unkind,
'I will pluck no cherries
for to give to thy child.'
Mary said to cherry-tree,
'Bow down to my knee,
That I may pluck cherries,
by one, two, and three.'
The uppermost sprig then
bowed down to her knee:
'Thus you may see, Joseph,
these cherries are for me.'
'O eat your cherries, Mary,
O eat your cherries now,
O eat your cherries, Mary,
that grow upon the bough.'
As Joseph was a walking
he heard angels sing,
'This night there shall be born
our heavenly king.
'He neither shall be born
in house nor in hall,
Nor in the place of Paradise,
but in an ox-stall.
'He shall not be clothed
in purple nor pall,
But all in fair linen,
as wear babies all.
'He shall not be rocked
in silver nor gold,
But in a wooden cradle,
that rocks on the mould.
'He neither shall be christened
in milk nor in wine,
But in pure spring-well water,
fresh sprung from Bethine.'
Mary took her baby,
she dressed him so sweet;
She laid him in a manger,
all there for to sleep.
As she stood over him
she heard angels sing,
'Oh bless our dear Saviour,
our heavenly king.'

D[edit]

O JOSEPH was an old man,
and an old man was he,
And he married Mary,
from the land of Galilee.
Oft after he married her,
how warm he were abroad,
. . . .
. . . .
Then Mary and Joseph
walkd down to the gardens cool;
Then Mary spied a cherry,
as red as any blood.
'Brother Joseph, pluck the cherry,
for I am with child:'
'Let him pluck the cherry, Mary,
as is father to the child.'
Then our blessed Saviour spoke,
from his mother's womb:
'Mary shall have cherries,
and Joseph shall have none.'
From the high bough the cherry-tree
bowd down to Mary's knee;
Then Mary pluckt the cherry,
by one, two, and three.
They went a little further,
and heard a great din:
'God bless our sweet Saviour,
our heaven's love in.'
Our Saviour was not rocked
in silver or in gold,
But in a wooden cradle,
like other babes all.
Our Saviour was not christend
in white wine or red,
But in some spring water,
like other babes all.