Annie Charlotte Dalton
Songs and Carols


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1 9 2 5


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    When Mary’s Babe was born

           And crowed upon her knee,

    Then did all angels dance

          In their fair pleasaunce,

Dancing so sweetly, all singing with glee,

         “O Jesu parvule!

          O Puer optime!”

    When good St. Francis burned

        With love and carolry,

    Then did all girls and boys

        Make a joyful noise,

All dancing so sweetly and singing with glee,

        “O Jesu parvule!

         O Puer optime!”

    Then carol lovely songs,

      Our carol-king is He,

    Oh, come and let us dance,

      No fear nor askance,

But dancing so sweetly and singing with glee,

      “O Jesu parvule!

       O Puer optime!” [page 1]


Jesus hath no shoes,

   Very poor is He,

On the sharp pebbles,

    Walketh painfully.

Hush Thee now, Jesu!

   Make Thee no noise,

Smooth shall be Thy pathway

   With fair turquoise.

Gems from the mine

   And gay bazaar,

Gems from ladies’ hands

   Near and far,

On the sharp flints

   They do lay them down,

“Over us now, Child,

   Walk Thee to town.”

Soft, lovely blue –

   No more pain He hath,

Blithely He skips

   Up the turquoise path.


  On the King’s Highway

     Patter Jesus’ feet,

  Over His young head

     Quickened tree-tops meet. [page 2]

  To them one brings tidings,

     Now she who first sees

  And knows Him, a bright King

     Crowneth Queen of Trees.

  To them one brings tidings

     And prideful are they,

  “Holly, with thy sharp thorns,

     Drive this child away!”

  “Ah! no!” bespeaks the holly,

     “Ah! no! how blind are ye!

  When the bright King cometh

     He shall no fairer be.

  Who but the holly loves

     This bright laughing One?

  Who but the holly knows

     King and King’s Son?

  Crown me, King Jesus!”

     “Nay, now it may not be,

  But when I come to yonder town

     Where blackly grows a Tree.”

  He runs through the wood,

     The fair young Child,

  And dismal grows the wood,

     The sky is wild.

  He runs through the wood,

     Great darkness falls now,

  Upgrown is the Child,

     And scarlet His brow. [page 3]

  Blackly looms a Tree,

     The King’s come to town!

  Over the weeping holly falls

     Scarlet robe and crown.

  He hath crowned thee well –

     Brighter than cherries,

  Holly, holly, holly!

     Are thy scarlet berries.


Lullaby, baby!

    Jesus is born,

He come to play with you

    This fair morn.

Happy is Mary’s heart,

    Happy is mine,

Jesus brings joy to

    His mother and thine.


Winds in the treetops sighing,

A lonely sea-mew crying

      His name,

And with the dawn He came. [page 4]

Mary with wan lips moaning,

Joseph with sad eyes groaning

      His name,

And with the dawn He came,

      —With the sun,

     Our little One!


Welcome, Holy Child!

    Joy and cheer befall

Thee and Mary mild

    In the asses’ stall.

Joy and cheer be ours

     At Thy festival,

In our merriest hours

    God be with us all!


I saw Christ,

He was white,

White and shining in the light;

Ea! ea! ea! ea!

White and shining in the light.

Mary cried, “O Baby dear!”

And the angels sang “Gloria!” [page 5]

I saw Christ,

He was black,

Cooing, crowing on His back,

Ea! ea! ea! ea!

Cooing, crowing on His back.

Mary cried, “O Baby dear!”

And the angels sang “Gloria!”

I saw Christ,

He was yellow,

Yellow, and a merry fellow,

Ea! ea! ea! ea!

Yellow, and a merry fellow.

Mary cried, “O Baby dear!”

And the angels sang “Gloria!”

I saw Christ,

He was brown,

Smiling, warm in thistle-down,

Ea! ea! ea! ea!

Smiling warm in thistle-down.

Mary cried, “O Baby dear!”

And the angels sang “Gloria!”

I saw Christ,

He was red,

Dreaming on His pillion bed,

Ea! ea! ea! ea!

Dreaming on His pillion bed.

Mary cried, “O Baby dear!”

And the angels sang “Gloria!” [page 6]

Black and white,

Red and brown,

Yellow Christs from heaven let down,

Ea! ea! ea! ea!

Five little ones from heaven let down.

Five Maries cried, “O Children dear!”

And the angels sang “Gloria!”



Good Joseph! kind angels have taught thee,

Have taught thee . . . have taught thee . . .

Their mercy and wisdom have taught thee,

.  .  . Sage of my heart!

Meek Mary! all angels have sought thee,

Have sought thee . . . have sought thee . . .

In wonder and pity have sought thee,

.  .  . Maid of my heart!

Sweet Jesus! bright angels have brought Thee,

Have brought Thee . . . have brought Thee . . .

In triumph and rapture have brought Thee,

.  .  . Babe of my heart!



O golden Star—O purple East—

O Holy Babe—O humble Beast—

Hail! all who keep this natal feast,

     All hail! [page 7]

What time the wintry tempest roars,

Love, hope and courage keep your doors,

Health be to you, health be to yours—

     All hail!

What time no Star—no purple East—

A silent Babe—a sullen Beast—

Cry, cry to Him who made the feast,

     All hail!

All hail to Thee, most holy One!

All hail to Thee, maid Mary’s Son!

Peace, peace to us with joy begun,

     All hail!



. . . A mother’s joy . . . a thing of dread!

  Then saw we stooping angels seven . . .

And cried, “What doest thou?” . . . each said,

  “We bear the little Christ to heaven.”

Above the guns, beyond the shells,

  We watched Him go. ‘Twas Christmas morn

For, Heaven opening, all her bells

  Rang, “Noel! Noel! Christ is born!”

And we . . . and we . . . from Heaven so far,

  What know we here of joy, of birth?

Here in his monstrous womb of war . . .

  What throes of death . . . what gaping earth! [page 8]

Here, in this red, unspeakable strife,

  Folding their pinions come Gabriel’s seven;

Gently they gather . . . the mangled life . . .

  Another piteous Christ to Heaven.

Oh, Gabriel! veil your grieving eyes,

  Once more the joys of Bethlehem bring,

For, older, colder, earthly-wise,

  Men crucify the new-born King.


“A King—a King—a tired child!

  (Give to him honour, all glory give),

Far from his home, in danger wild,

  Suffering and dying that Love might live.

Still, as of old, and glory-filled,

  Angels and wondering shepherds meet,

And reverent are the hands which build

  His little shrines along the street.

O little Christ! O quiet boy!

  Sleeping so well in fields forlorn,

Out of your lowly grave the joy,

  The wonder of a world is born.

O little Christ! O sailor-boy!

  Resting so well in seas forlorn,

Out of your ocean bed what joy,

  What rapture for a world is born!

Fair little Christ! O world of woe,

  Terror and dearth and requiem!

All through the night my angels go,

  Bearing the Babes of Bethlehem!” [page 9]


Little Jesus lulled lies

   Smiling in His stable,

And His radiance glorifies

   Ox and stall and gable.

Lion-Lord and Lamb of Love!

   We with Heaven adore Thee,

Very love of love above,

   Very love before Thee.

Mary, bid the earth be still—

   Is the Child not sleeping?

“Nay, ’tis not my Baby’s will,

   Other babes are weeping.”

Joseph, hush those moaning bells,

   And the whining cattle!

“Nay, it is the whine of shells,

   And the moans of battle.”

Hearken, herald-angels! go

   To each smoking city,

There the harsh and cruel foe

   Knows not love nor pity,

Mary, Joseph, Gabriel, say

   By the rood He gave us,

From the perils of today

   Shall an Infant save us? [page 10]

Little Jesus lulled lies

   Smiling in His stable,

And His radiance glorifies

   Ox and stall and gable.

“Nowell! Nowell! Christ is born!”

   Ring from every steeple,

Very weary, over-worn

   King and Queen and People!



On a Christmas morning

   Did great Gabriel say,

“Jesu, Son of Mary,

   Bide with us today.

Is it not unseemly

   That this bitter morn,

‘Mid the hosts of Herod,

   Mary’s Babe be born?

Scattered are Thy shepherds,

   Scattered are Thy sheep,

Armies on the hillside

   Ceaseless vigil keep.

Burning is the manger,

   Maddened is the beast,

Bearing arms, the Wise Man

   Cometh from the East. [page 11]

See! Thy mother Mary,

   Bleeding on the ground,

And the meet Saint Joseph

   Dies without a sound.

With the weeping angels

   Shuddering from afar,

Tremulous and fainting.

   Pales the Bethlehem Star.

Murderer of Mary!

   World of hate and scorn,

Not for you shall Mary’s

   Holy Child be born!”


“Scattered be My shepherds,

   Stricken be My sheep,

Though My mother Mary,

   And good Joseph sleep.

I, the Babe of Bethlehem,

   To the earth will go,

Never holier Noel,

   God nor man may know.

Burning be the manger,

   Maddened be the kine,

Shepherds, Kings or Wie men,

   Shall not lack a sign. [page 12]

Hover, herald angels!

   Sparkle, Wonder-Star!

Where My weary sailors

   And my soldiers are.

Shine upon the billow,

   Meadow, stream and fen,

There a thousand thousand

   Men have died for men.

Carol, holy angels!

   Sing your sweetest song

For a world of heroes,

   Sing the whole day long.

Holy herald angels!

   Hail this happy morn,

’Mid the beasts of Bethlehem

   Many Christs be born!”


Who is this that cometh, borne on beauty’s pinions,

   Radiant is splendour of eternal youth,

Flashing like a meteor on the hushed dominions,

   “Soul, ’tis thy mighty Prince, the Prince of Truth.” [page 13]

Who is this that cometh, in His hand the lightning?

  Suns lap His feet, the royal planets cower,

Lo! at His look, the whirling worlds are whitening—

  “Soul, ’tis thy dreadful Lord, the Lord of Power!”

Who is this that cometh, a defenceless Stranger?

   One star His crown and in His hand a dove,

Born midst the beasts, and cradled in a manger?

  “Soul, ’tis thy King of Kings, thy Prince of Love!”


Sing a song, a merry song,

  Of the Christmas Child,

Who, like any one of us,

  Laughed and crowed and smiled.

Sweetly, sweetly let us sing

  Care and tears away,

And with loving offering

Set sad heart a-carolling

   On this happy day.

See them in the dreary wild,

Dreaming of the Christmas Child! [page 14]

Sing a song, a joyous song,

  On this joyous day,

Of the gentle Child who brings

  Christmas joy alway.

Sing the carols, sweet and high,

  Of the Babe who came

Sin and sorrow to destroy—

Ours the gifts, the love, the joy,

  His the cross, the shame.

Carol, carol, song-beguiled,

Glory to the Christmas Child!


When there were none to sing,

The rosy-breasted came,

Their little hymns of joy,

    Put a world to shame.

They sang, “Oh, here is He!

    And where are hey

    Who sing of Thee,

Dear Child, this holy day?


Bye-bye! dear Child, lullay!” [page 15]

Printed by C. B. at



Sign of the Raven

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