Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Easter Carol

Cheer up, friends and neighbors,
Now it's Eastertide.
Stop from endless labours,
Worries put aside:
Men should rise from sadness,
Evil, folly, strife,
When God's mighty gladness
Brings the earth to life.

Out from snow drifts chilly,
Roused from drowsy hours,
Bluebell wakes, and lily:
God calls up the flowers!
Into life he raises
All the sleeping buds;
Meadows weave his praises,
And the spangled woods.

All his truth and beauty,
All his righteousness,
Are our joy and duty,
Bearing his impress:
Look! the earth waits breathless
After winter's strife:
Easter shows man deathless,
Spring leads death to life.

Ours the more and less is;
But changeless all the days,
God revives and blesses,
Like the sunlight rays.
'All mankind is risen,'
The Easter bells do ring,
While from out their prison
Creep the flowers of spring!

--#147 from the Oxford Book of Carols

This particular song took the children's fancy when they were quite small. They dug it out of the Oxford Book of Carols and, being unable to read music, sang it to the tune of a Christmas carol. In the last line of the second verse, in order to preserve the rhyme, they used to pronounce "splangled wood" as "spangl├ęd wud," a usage which passed into family vocabulary. Fillius gave me a rousing rendition of it as we drove home from Mass this morning, bringing a nostalgic tear to his mother's eye.