Formerly Houston
Harpsichord Society

Song Texts

New York Ensemble for Early Music

"A Rose in Winter"

Texts and English translations

Notum fecit Dominus,                  The Lord has made known,
   alleluia                              hallelujah,
salutare suum,                        his salvation,
   alleluia                              hallelujah.
Hodie Christus natus est:             Today Christ is born:
hodie Salvator apparuit:              today the savior has appeared:
hodie in terra canunt Angeli,         today on earth angels sing and
laetantur Archangeli:                 archangels rejoice:
hodie exsultant justi,                today the just exult,
dicentes:                             saying:
Gloria in excelsis Deo,               "Glory to God in the highest,
alleluia.                             hallelujah."
Rex virginum amator,                  King, maidens' lover,
Deus, Mariae decus,                   God, Mary's glory:
   eleyson.                              have mercy upon us.
Qui de stirpe regia                   Who brought forth Mary
producis Mariam,                      from royal stock:
   eleyson.                              have mercy upon us.
Preces eius suscipe                   Receive her prayers, worthy
dignas pro mundo fusas,               offerings on behalf of the world:
   eleyson.                              have mercy upon us.
Christe Deus de patre,                Oh Christ, God from the father,
homo natus Maria matre,               born a man from thy mother, Mary:
   eleyson.                              have mercy upon us.
Quem ventro beato Maria               Whom Mary gave forth to the
edidit mundo,                         world from her holy womb:
   eleyson.                              have mercy upon us.
Sume laudes nostras, Mariae           Accept our praises, consecrated
almae dicatas,                        to thy beloved Mary:
   eleyson.                              have mercy upon us.
O paraclite obumbrans                 Oh comforter, protecting the
corpus Mariae,                        body of Mary:
   eleyson.                              have mercy upon us.
Qui dignum facis thalamum             Who made the body of Mary
pectus Mariae,                        a worthy chamber:
eleyson.                                 have mercy upon us.
Qui super celos                       Who raisest the spirit of
spiritum levas Mariae,                Mary above the skies,
fac nos post ipsam                    make us ascend after her
scandere tua virtute,                 through thy power,
Spiritus alme                         beloved spirit:
   eleyson.                              have mercy upon us.
Edi be thu, hevenqueene,              Blessed be thou, queen of heaven,
folkes froovre and engles blis,       people's comfort and angel's bliss,
maid unwemmed, moder cleene,          maid unblemished, mother pure,
swich in world non other nis.         such as no other is in the world.
On thee hit is wel ethseene           In thee it is very evident that, of all
of alle wimmen thu hast the pris.     the women, thou hast the highest place.
Mi sweete levdi, heer mi beene        My sweet lady, hear my prayer
and rew of me yif thi will is.        and show pity on me if it is thy will.
Thu astiye so dairewe                 Thou didst rise up as dawn
deleth from the derke night.          divides from the dark of night.
Of thee sprong a leeme newe;          From thee sprang a new sun-beam;
al this world hit hath ilight.        it has lit all this world.
Nis no maid of thine hewe,            There is no maid of thy complexion -
so fair, so scheene,                  so fair, so beautiful,
   so rudi, so bright;                    so ruddy, so bright;
mi levdi sweet, of me thu rewe        my lady sweet, on me show pity,
and have merci of thi knight.         and have mercy on thy knight.
Erth art tu to goode seede,           Thou art soil for good seed,
on thee lighte th'evendew;            on thee the heavenly dew alighted;
of thee sprong thet edi bleede,       from thee sprang that blessed fruit -
th'oli gost hit on thee sew.          the Holy Ghost sowed it in thee.
Bring us ut of kar, of dreede         Bring us out of the misery and fear
that Eve bitterlich us brew;          that Eve bitterly brewed for us;
thu schalt us into hevne leede;       thou shalt lead us into heaven -
wel sweet is us thet ilke dew.        very sweet to us is that same dew.
Moder ful of thewes heende,           Mother full of gracious virtues,
maide dreigh and wel itaught,         maiden patient and well-instructed,
ich am in thi luvebeende              I am in the bonds of thy love
and to thee is al mi draught.         and all my attraction is towards thee.
Thu me schild, ye from the feende,    Shield thou me from the fiend,
as thu art free and wilt and maught,  as thou art generous, willing and able,
and help me to mi lives eende         and help me to my life's end
and make with thi sune saught.        and reconcile [me] with thy son.
Angelus ad virginem                   The angel,
subintrans in conclave,               stealing into the maidens's room,
virginis formidinem                   said,
demulcens, inquit "Ave!               assuaging her fear, " Hail!
Ave regina virginum!                  Hail, queen of maidens!
Celi terraeque dominum                Thou shalt conceive and bear,
concipies et paries                   undefiled, the lord of heaven
intacta salutem hominum,              and earth, the salvation of men;
porta caeli facta,                    thou hast been made the gate
medela criminum."                     of heaven, the remedy for sin.
"Quomodo conciperem                   "In what way should I conceive,
que virum non cognovi?                who have not known a man?
Qualiter infringerem                  How should I break what I
quod firma mente vovi?"               have vowed with constant mind?"
"Spiritus sancti gracia               "The grace of the Holy Spirit
perficiet hec omnia.                  will perform all these things.
Ne timeas sed gaudeas secura,         Fear not but rejoice untroubled,
quod castimonia                       for purity
manebit in te pura                    will remain in thee undefiled,
dei potencia."                        by the power of God."
Ad hec, virgo nobilis,                To these words the noble maiden,
respondens, inquit ei,                replying, said to him:
"Servula sum humilis                  "I am the humble handmaid
omnipotentis dei:                     of almighty God; I see that thou art
tibi caelesti nuncio                  the heavenly messenger
tanti secreti conscio,                of a very great secret;
consentiens et cupiens videre         I give my consent; and desire to see
factum quod audio,                    done the things of which I hear;
parata sum parere                     I am ready to give birth
dei consilio."                        according to the will of God."
Angelus disparuit                     The angel disappeared
et statim puellaris                   and at once
uterus intumuit                       the virgin womb swelled up
vi partus salutaris.                  by virtue of the savior-child.
Qui, circumdatus utero                And he, after nine months
novem mensium numero,                 inside the womb,
hinc exiit et iniit conflictum,       issued forth and entered the conflict,
affigens humero                       taking on his shoulder
crucem qua dedit ictum                the cross, with which he gave a blow
hosti mortifero.                      to the deadly enemy.
Eya, mater domini,                    O mother of the Lord,
que pacem reddidisti                  who gavest back peace
angelis et homini                     to the angels and mankind
cum Christum genuisti,                when thou didst bear Christ,
tuum exora filium                     pray thy son that he show himself
ut se nobis propicium                 gracious to us and that he
exhibeat et deleat peccata,           cancel our sins,
prestans auxilium,                    granting refuge,
vita frui beata,                      for the enjoyment of felicity,
post hoc exilium.                     after this exile.
Annus novus in gaudio,                Let the New Year now begin
Agatur in principio,                  with rejoicing; let there be
Magna fit exultatio                   great exultation in our cantor's
In cantoris tripudio.                 solemn processional song.
Ad hec sollemnia                      In these solemnities
Concurrent omnia                      we all now unite,
Voce sonantia                         raising our voices
Cantoris gratia                       to bless our cantor
Et vite spatia,                       and wish him long life,
Per quem letitia                      because of whom we have great
fit in ecclesia.                      joy in our church.
Anni novi principium                  May our singers' voices celebrate
Vox celebret psallentium,             the beginning of the New Year,
Et cantorem egregium                  and may the hymn of all extol
Ymnus extollat omnium.                our most distinguished cantor.
Ad hec sollemnia...                   In these solemnities...
Anno novo in cantica                  Let us sing songs with organa
Recite[n]tur organica,                to the New Year; let the entire
tota sonet ars musica                 art of music sound forth
In cantoris presentia.                in the presence of our cantor.
Ad hec sollemnia...                   In these solemnities...
Annum novum celebrantes               Celebrating the New Year,
Exultantes et letantes                rejoicing, being glad, and giving
Et cantorem venerantes                to our cantor the honor he is due,
Gaudeamus congaudentes.               let us all rejoice together.
Ad hec sollemnia...                   In these solemnities...
Anne nove fit titulis                 In this New Year, may his renown
Hodie ineffabilis,                    surpass all description,
Tui cantor mirabilis,                 O wonderful cantor of Our Lord,
Esto per secula stabilis.             may you remain forever steadfast.
Ad hec sollemnia...                   In these solemnities...
Beata viscera Marie virginis,         O blessed womb of virgin Mary, whose
cuius ad ubera rex magni nominis;     breasts suckled the king of great name.
veste sub altera vim celans numinis,  Concealing this divine strength under
dictavit federa Dei et hominis.       the cloth of flesh, he spelled out the
                                      pact between God and man.
O mira novitas et novum gaudium,      What a marvelous thing and what a great
matris itegritas post puerperium.     new joy: the wholeness of the mother
                                         after childbirth!
Solem, quem libera, dum purus oritur  We cannot bear to gaze upon the sun   
in aura cernere visus non patitur,    as it rises pure in the open air;      
cernat a latere dum repercutitur,     may we then behold its reflection
alvus puerpere, qua totus clauditur.  from the side [i.e., in your             
                                      offspring], O birth-giving womb          
                                      in which all things were contained.
O mira novitas...                     What a marvelous thing...
Diex soit en cheste maison            May God dwell in this house and
Et biens et joie a fuison.            may there be wealth and joy a-plenty
No sires noveus                       Our Lord's birth
Nous envoie a ses amis;               sends us to his friends
Ch'est as amoureus                    that is to lovers,
Et as courtois bien apris,            to the well-bred, courtly ones,
Pour avoir des pareisis               to get alms
A nohelison.                          at Noel.
Diex soit...                          May God dwell in this house...
No sires est teus                     Our Lord is such
Qu'il prieroit a envis,               that he himself would beg untiringly
Mais as frans honteus                 but in his stead to the wicked
Nous a en son lieu tramis,            he has sent us
Qui sommes de ses nouris              whom he has nourished
Et si enfancon.                       and who are his children.
Diex soit...                          May God dwell in this house...

"De Innocentibus"
Rex noster promptus est               Our king is eagerly ready to welcome
suscipere sanguinem Innocentum.       the blood-witness of the Innocents.
Unde angeli concinunt                 Angels gather in chorus singing
et in laudibus sonant,                highest praise,
Sed nubes super eundem                yet the clouds weep down upon
sanguinem plangunt.                   the Innocents' blood.
Tyrannus autem in gravi somno         Because of his malice,
mortis propter malitiam suam          the Tyrant (Herod) has suffocated    
suffocatus est.                       in the heavy sleep of death.
Sed nubes super eundem...             Yet the clouds cry out in pain....
Gloria Patri et Filio                 Glory be to the Father, the Son,
et Spiritui sancto.                   and the Holy Spirit.
Sed nubes super eundem...             And the clouds cry out in pain...
Nicholai presulis                     Of the presul Nicholas
Festum celebremus,                    let us celebrate the feast,
Concrepando modulis                   in resounding songs
Letitie sonemus,                      of joy let us sing,
Versibus almisonis                    with sweet-toned verses
Diem decoremus,                       let us adorn the day,
Vocibus altisonis                     with high-pitched voices
Intenti festinemus.                   eagerly let us hasten.
In tanto natalitio                    On such a birthday
Patrum docet traditio,                our fathers' tradition teaches
Ut consonet in gaudio                 that in joy the devotion of the 
Fidelium devotio,                     faithful should sound in chorus;
Est ergo superstitio                  therefore it is but superstition
Vacare a tripudio.                    to be away from the ceremonies.
Nunc igitur iustorum                  Now, therefore, let the just
Suavitas cantorum                     singers' sweetness
Per tympanum et chorum                through tympani and chorus
Et omne musicorum                     and all manner and kinds
Genus instrumentorum                  of musical instruments
Psallat Deo deorum.                   resound to the God of gods.
Exultemus et laetemur,                Rejoice, rejoice!
Nicholaum veneremur,                  Let us now honor Nicholas
Eius laudes decantemus,               and sing his praises.
   Et suef aleis.                        Soft, soft.
Decantando predicemus,                And by singing do them justice.
   Et si m'entendeiz.                    Do you hear me?
   Gaudens in Domino,                    Rejoicing in the Lord,
   In hoc sollempnio                     in this solemn feast
   Letetur omnium                        let the concourse of all the
   Turba fidelium.                       faithful be exceedingly glad,
   Hymnis et organis                     in the hymns and organa
   Ad laudem presulis,                   for the praise of this bishop,
   Cuius miracula                        whose miracles
   Canit ecclesia.                       the Church sings.
Quidquid adest homo gaude             All who are here, be glad:
Presul adest dignus laude             a priest most praiseworthy is here.
Omnis ordo, gratulare,                Welcome him all orders.
   Et suef aleis,                        Soft, soft.
Non est dignum exultare?              Is this not the time to be joyful?
   Et si m'entendeiz.                    Do you hear me?
   Qui ab infantia                       Who from infancy,
   Divina gratia                         by divine grace,
   Servavit Domino                       served the Lord
   Devoto animo.                         in devoted spirit.
   Et tu, progredere,                    And thou, too, o reader,
   O lector, incipe,                     step forward and begin
   In primo carmine                      in the first song
   Dic: "Iube, Domine!"                  to intone: "I pray you, Lord!"
Vates tuus sit hic clamor             Prophet, yours be all this outcry,
Nicolae noster amor                   our beloved Nicholas,
Hec et noster quid sit rector         and yours be all we have, o guardian.
   Et suef aleis,                        Soft, Soft.
Iube domne dicat lector               Let the reader say, "I pray you Lord."
   Et si m'entendeiz.                    Do you hear me?
Tan beeyta foi a saudazon             So blessed was the greeting
perque nos veemos a salvazon          through which we gained salvation.
Esta trox' o angeo Gabriel            The salutation was brought by Gabriel
a Santa Maria, come fidel             as a faithful messenger to Saint Mary,
mandadeiro; porque Emanuel            for through her the Emanuel
foi logo Deus e pres encarnazon.      became God incarnate.
Tan beeyta...                         So blessed...
Polorum regina omnium nostra,         Queen of all our country,
Stella matutina, dele scelera.        morning star, conquer all wickedness.
Ante partum virgo Deo gravida,        Before the birth, virgin filled with
Semper permansisti inviolata.         God, you remained forever inviolate.
Polorum regina...                     Queen of all our country...
Et in partu virgo Deo fecunda,        And in the birth, virgin filled with
Semper permansisti inviolata.         God, you remained forever inviolate.
Polorum regina...                     Queen of all our country...
Et post partum virgo mater enixa,     And after the birth, Virgin, happy
Semper permansisti inviolata.         mother, you remained forever inviolate.  
Orientis partibus                     From Orient lands
Adventavit asinus,                    an ass came,
Pulcher et fortissimus,               handsome and strong,
Sarcinis aptissimus,                  an excellent beast of burden.
   Hez va, hez, sire asne hez!           Hey, ho, hey, Sir Ass, and hey!
Saltu vincit hynnulos,                He leaped higher than a stag,
Dammas et capreolos,                  an antelope or chamois,
Super dromedarios                     faster than the dromedaries
Velox Madyaneos.                      from distant Media,
   Hez va, hez, sire asne hez!           Hey ho, hey, Sir Ass, and hey!
Aurum de Arabia,                      Gold from Arabia,
Thus et myrrham de Saba               incense and myrrh from Saba
Tulit in ecclesia                     this gallant ass
Virtus asinaria.                      bore to the church.
   Hez va, hez, sire asne hez!           Hey ho, hey Sir Ass, and hey!
"Amen," dicas, asine                  Say your "Amen," O ass,
Iam satur ex gramine,                 now stuffed with grass,
"Amen, amen," itera                   and again "amen, amen," and hold
Aspernare vetera.                     ancient sins in disdain.
   Hez va, hez, sire asne, hez!          Hey ho, hey, Sir Ass, and hey!
Verbum patris humanatur, O, O        The word of the father is made man,
dum puella salutatur, O, O           while a maiden is greeted;
   salutata fecundatur                  the greeted one is fruitful
      viri nescia.                         without knowledge of man.
   Ey, ey, eya, nova gaudia!            Behold, new joys!
Novus modus geniture, O, O            A new manner of birth,
sed excedens vim nature, O, O         but exceeding in power of nature,
   dum unitur creature                   when the creator of all things
      creans omnia.                         is made creature.
   Ey, ey, eya, nova gaudia!             Behold, new joys!
Audi partem preter morem, O, O        Hear of a birth beyond precedent:
virgo parit salvatorem, O, O          a virgin hath given birth to the         
   creatura creatorem,                   the creature bears the Creator,
      patrem filia.                         the daughter, the Father.
   Ey, ey, eya, nova gaudia!             Behold, new joys!
In parente salvatoris, O, O           In the savior's birth
non est parens nostri moris, O, O     there is no parent of our kind:
   virgo parit, nec pudoris              a maiden gives birth, nor do the
      marcent lilia.                        lilies of her chastity whither.
   Ey, ey, eya, nova gaudia!             Behold, new joys!
Homo Deus nobis datur, O, O           The God-Man is given us,
datus nobis demonstratur, O, O        the given one is shown to us,
   dum pax terris nuntiatur,             while peace is announced to the       
      celis gloria.                         and glory to the heavens.
   Ey, ey, eya, nova gaudia!             Behold, new joys!
In natali summi regis,                On the birthday of the highest king,
Quisquis cantas sive legis,           each one, whether you sing or recite,
Omni gaude gaudio!                    rejoice with all joy!
Castitatis nam de domo,               For from the house of chastity
Prodit Deus factus homo,              God made man proceeds
Mundi pro remedio.                    for the world's salvation.
Casta natum de puella                 From a chaste maid a new star,
Novum regem nova stella               from a new ray shows forth
Novo monstrat radio;                  a son, a new king;
Tribus donis tres Chaldei             bearing gifts, the three wise men
Cunas querunt nati Dei                seek the cradle of God's son
Magno desiderio.                      in fervent love.
Prophetia Danielis                    Daniel's prophecies
Promissumque Gabrielis                and Gabriel's promise
Complentur in virgine:                are fulfilled in the virgin:
Lapis ille preelectus,                that stone preelected,
monte sine manu sectus,               is cut without hands from the mountain,
Mons crevit in homine.                and the mountain in man is born.
Ad hunc ergo montem magnum            Therefore, by coming to this great 
Detritando mundi stagnum              mountain, by treading down the
Mortisque periculum,                  stagnation of the world and
                                         the danger of death,
Velum mentis trasportemus,            let us set the mind's sail in motion,
Et securi navigemus                   and securely, let us sail
Lenitum naviculum.                    our gentle craft.
Sed lecturus de hoc monte,            But you who will read of this mountain,
Leto corde, leta fronte               with light heart and cheerful brow,
Librum, lector, accipe;               take, o lector, the book;
Mentis cum devotione                  with devotion of mind,
Data benedictione                     and a benediction,
Lectionem incipe!                     begin the lesson!
Laude novella sia cantata             Let a new song of praise be sung
a l'alta donna encoronata.            to the noble crowned lady.
Fresca vergene donzella               Fresh virgin maid,
Primo fior, rosa novella,             first flower, new rose,
Tutto'l mondo a te s'appela;          the whole world appeals to thee,
Nella bonor fosti nata.               thou wert born in happiness.
Laude novella...                      Let a new song...
Tu se' verga, tu se' fiore,           Thou art the branch, the flower,
Tu se' luna de splendore;             thou art the moon of splendor;
Volunta avemo e core                  we have the will and the heart
De venir a te, ornata.                to come to thee, adorned one.
Laude novella...                      Let a new song...
Tu se' rosa, tu se'gillio,            Thou art the rose, the lily,
Tu portasti el dolce fillio;          thou borest the sweet son;
Pero, donna, si m'enpillio            therefore, I thus set to work
De laudar te, honorata.               to praise thee, distinguished lady.
Laude novella...                      Let a new song...
Pregot', avocata mia                  I pray thee, my advocate,
Ke ne metti en bona via;              to put us on the good way;
Questa nostra compania                may this our company
Siate sempre commendata.              always be commended to thee.
Laude novella...                      Leta new song...
Verbum caro factum est                The word is made flesh
   de virgine Maria                      from the virgin Mary.
In hoc anni circulo,                  In this circle of years
Vita datur seculo.                    life is given to the world.
Nato nobis parvulo                    Born to us is a little child
   de virgine Maria.                     from the virgin Mary.
Verbum caro...                        The word is made flesh...
De semine Abrahe                      From the seed of Abraham
Ex regali genere                      of royal family
Oritur de sidere                      he arises from the star
   de virgine Maria.                     of the virgin Mary.
Verbum  caro...                       The word is made flesh...
In presepe ponitur                    He is laid in a manger
Et a brutis noscitur                  and welcomed by the animals,
Matris velo regitur                   guided under his mother's care
   a virgine Maria.                      by the virgin Mary.
Verbum caro...                        The word is made flesh...
Ab angelis psallitur,                 He is sung by angels,
Gloria, pax dicitur                   glory and peace are proclaimed,
Pastoribus queritur                   and he is sought by the shepherds
   cum virgine Maria.                    with the virgin Mary.
Verbum caro...                        The word is made flesh...
Joseph nato fruitur,                  Joseph enjoys the newborn,
Natus lacte pascitur                  who is fed with milk,
Plaudit, plorat, regitur              he is applauded, wept for, guided
   a virgine Maria.                      by the virgin Mary.
Verbum caro...                        The word is made flesh...
Illi laus et gloria,                  To him be praise and glory,
Decus et victoria,                    distinction and victory,
Honor, virtus, gratia                 honor, virtue and grace
   cum virgine Maria.                    with the virgin Mary.
Verbum caro...                        The word is made flesh...
Verbum patris hodie                   The word of the father today
Processit ex virgine,                 proceeds from the virgin,
virtutes angelice,                    with angelic virtues
cum canore iubilo:                    and jubilant song:
   Benedicamus Domino.                   let us bless the Lord.
Nato nobis hodie                      Born to us today
De Maria virgine                      from the virgin Mary,
Eterno regi glorie,                   with glories of the eternal kingdom,
Cum suavi iubilo:                     with sweet rejoicing:
  Deo dicamus gratias.                  let us give thaks to God.

Cristo e nato                         Christ is born
et humanato                           and become man
per salvar la gente                   in order to save the people
k'era perduta                         who were lost
e descaduta                           since their first parents
nel primer parente.                   were fallen.
Nato e Cristo                         Christ is born
per fare aquisto                      to ransom
de noi peccatori                      us sinners
k'eram partiti                        who were departed
e dispartiti                          and separated
dai suoi servidori;                   from his servants;
perke fallenti                        because we failed you
e non serventi                        and did not serve you,
ma desservidori                       but had become
eramo facti                           deserters,
da cului tracti                       drawn by him
k'e tutor fallente.                   who still transgresses.
Cristo e nato...                      Christ is born...
In Bellem nat'                        In Bethlehem
e'l signor beato                      the blessed Lord
de virgine pura:                      was born of the pure virgin:
annuntiato                            he was announced
prefigurato                           and prophesied
fo de la scriptura;                   in the scriptures:
mediatore                             the mediator
e redemptore                          and redeemer,
diric't e verace,                     upright and true,
re de gran pace                       the king of peace
k'a ciascun piace                     who pleases everyone
ki a vera mente.                      of true understanding.
Cristo e nato...                      Christ is born...
Stella nuova 'n fra la gente          Like a new star among the people
k'aparuisti novamente.                he appeared.

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