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happened at the same time. The name of Yule still remained, and in some parts of our island has been preserved to the present day; but after the entry of the Normans, a foreign appellation was introduced,-Noel, derived from the Latin natalis (the dies natalis of our Lord), which soon became naturalised in our language and literature.*
Our carols illustrate the festive character, as well as the pious feelings, appropriate to the season. The Anglo-Norman song which stands first, is the earliest carol known to have been written in our island. It has been printed before, but it is now carefully edited from the original manuscript. The late Mr. Douce translated it into English verse; but as his version does not preserve a single characteristic of the original, it has been thought unnecessary to reprint it here. Another French carol has been inserted, as a specimen of similar compositions among our
* In our carols these names appear in different forms; as 3ol, yol, nowel, novels, &c. It may here be observed, that in the first line of the poem beginning on p. 18, a later hand has corrected Sonday to Monday.
neighbours. Several carols in our Collection illustrate the fine old ceremony of bringing in the boar's head, and other Christmas festivities. A few pieces have been introduced which are not strictly carols, but which are more or less connected with the subject. Three modern carols are added at the end, taken from the Collection of Sandys, to show how long the expressions and allusions of the older carols have been preserved by popular tradition. The only desire of the Editor is to contribute towards the merry Christmas of the members of the Percy Society.
[From MS. Reg. 16 E, viii. fol. 130, vo, written early in the thirteenth century.]
SEIGNORS, ore entendez à nus,
Pur quere Noel;
Car l'em nus dit que en cest hostel
Ahi, cest jur.
Deu doint à tuz icels joie d'amurs,
Seignors, jo vus dis por veir,
Si joie non;
E repleni sa maison
payn, de char, e de peison,
Por faire honor.
Deu doint à tuz ces joie d'amur!
Seignors, il est crié en l'ost,
Que cil qui despent bien, e tost,
E fet les granz honors sovent,
Seignors, escriez les malveis,
De bone part:
Botun, batun, ferun, groinard,
Si jo vus di trestoz, 'Wesseyl!' Dehaiz eit qui ne dirra, Drincheyl!'