William Dunbar

On the Nativity of Christ

RORATE coeli desuper!
    Hevins, distil your balmy schouris!
For now is risen the bricht day-ster,
    Fro the rose Mary, flour of flouris:
    The cleir Sone, quhom no cloud devouris,
Surmounting Phebus in the Est,
    Is cumin of his hevinly touris:
        Et nobis Puer natus est.

Archangellis, angellis, and dompnationis,
    Tronis, potestatis, and marteiris seir,
And all ye hevinly operationis,
    Ster, planeit, firmament, and spheir,
    Fire, erd, air, and water cleir,
To Him gife loving, most and lest,
    That come in to so meik maneir;
        Et nobis Puer natus est.

Synnaris be glad, and penance do,
    And thank your Maker hairtfully;
For he that ye micht nocht come to
    To you is cumin full humbly
    Your soulis with his blood to buy
And loose you of the fiendis arrest—
    And only of his own mercy;
        Pro nobis Puer natus est.

All clergy do to him inclyne,
    And bow unto that bairn benyng,
And do your observance divyne
    To him that is of kingis King:
    Encense his altar, read and sing
In holy kirk, with mind degest,
    Him honouring attour all thing
        Qui nobis Puer natus est.

Celestial foulis in the air,
    Sing with your nottis upon hicht,
In firthis and in forrestis fair
    Be myrthful now at all your mycht;
    For passit is your dully nicht,
Aurora has the cloudis perst,
    The Sone is risen with glaidsum licht,
        Et nobis Puer natus est.

Now spring up flouris fra the rute,
    Revert you upward naturaly,
In honour of the blissit frute
    That raiss up fro the rose Mary;
    Lay out your levis lustily,
Fro deid take life now at the lest
    In wirschip of that Prince worthy
        Qui nobis Puer natus est.

Sing, hevin imperial, most of hicht!
    Regions of air mak armony!
All fish in flud and fowl of flicht
    Be mirthful and mak melody!
    All Gloria in excelsis cry!
Heaven, erd, se, man, bird, and best,—
    He that is crownit abone the sky
        Pro nobis Puer natus est!

About the poet
William Dunbar
By the same poet
In Honour of the City of London
To a Lady
Lament for the Makers
Related books
William Dunbar at amazon.co.uk

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