La Matelotte

Dance: "Female Sailor"
Song: "Masters in this Hall", lyrics by William Morris, first published in Antient Christmas Carols (1868)

Masters in this hall, hear ye news today
Brought from over sea, and ever I you pray
      Nowell, nowell, nowell, Nowell sing we clear
      Holpen are all folk on earth, Born is Gods son so dear.
      Nowell, nowell, nowell, Nowell sing we loud
      God today hath poor folk raised up, And cast a-down the proud

Going oer the hills, through the milk white snow,
Heard I ewes bleat, while the wind did blow.

Shepherds many a one, sat among the sheep
No man spake more word than they had been asleep

Quoth I, "fellows mine, why this guise sit ye?
Making but dull cheers, shepherds though you be?"

"Shepherds should of right leap and dance and sing.
Thus to see ye sit is a right strange thing."

Quoth these fellows then, "To Bethlehem we go,
To see a mightly lord lie in a manger low."

"How name ye this lord, shepherds?" then said I,
"Very God" they said, "come from heaven high."

Then to Bethlehem town we went, two and two,
And in a sorry place heard the oxen low.

Therein did we see a sweet and goodly may.
And a fair old man, upon the straw she lay.

And a little child on her arm had she,
"Wot ye who this is?" said the hinds to me.

Ox and ass him know, kneeling on their knee.
Wondrous joy had I this little babe to see.

This is Christ the lord, masters be ye glad!
Christmas is come in, no folk should be sad.

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