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Holly and Ivy made a great party,
Who should have the mastery

In lands where they go.

Then spake Holly, “I am fierce and jolly,
I will have the mastery

In lands where we go.”?

Then spake Ivy, "I am loud and proud,
And I will have the mastery

In lands where we go."

Then spake Holly, and bent him down on his

“I pray thee, gentle Ivy,
Essay me no villany

In lands where we go.”

The next Carol has evidently some connection with the preceding one, and was most likely written and sung in the nature of a reply to it. It is conjectured, from the second stanza, that the Ivy was not used for the internal decoration of the houses of our forefathers, but we think this conclusion has been come to without sufficient reason. Probably the expression, “ Ivy stands without the door," is merely in allusion to the custom of the Ivy being used as a vintner's sign.



Nay, Ivy, nay, it shall not be, I wis,
Let Holly have the mastery as the manner is.

Holly standeth in the hall fair to behold,
Ivy stands without the door; she is full sore a cold

Nay, Ivy, nay, &c.

re 1

Holly and his merry men, they dance now and they sing ;
Ivy and her maidens, they weep, and their hands wring.

| Nay, Ivy, nay, &c.

Ivy hath a lybe,* she caught it with the cold,
So may they all have, that do with Ivy hold.

Nay, Ivy, nay, &c.

Holly he hath berries, as red as any rose,
The foresters, the hunters, keep them from the does.

| Nay, Ivy, nay, &c.

Ivy she hath berries as black as any sloe,
There come the owls and eat them as they go.

Nay, Ivy, nay, &c.

Holly he hath birds a full fair flock,
The nightingale, the poppinjay, the gentle laverock.

| Nay, Ivy, nay, c.

Good Ivy, say to us, what birds hast thou,
None but the owlet that cries How! Ilow!

Nay, Ivy, nay, &c.

* This word is not explained in any glossary.





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But Lord and Lady of this hall,
Whosoever against Holly call.


Whosoever against Holly doth cry,
In a lepet he shall hang full high.

Alleluia !

Whosoever against Holly doth sing,
He may weep and his hands wring.

Alleluia !


Ivy, chief of trees it is
Veni coronaberis.

The most worthy is she in town;

He who says other, says amiss ;
Worthy is she to bear the crown;

l'eni coronaberis.

La Ivy is soft, and meek of speech,

Against all woe she bringeth bliss ;
Happy is he that may her reach ;

l'eni coronaberis.

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The following poems are, perhaps, more curious than interesting. They afford, however, some idea of the superstitious dread with which the advent of Christmas Day must have been regarded in these early times, not merely by the vulgar, but by all classes of our forefathers, for the Francis Moores and Raphaels of the fifteenth century found even kings willing believers in their extravagant predictions. From the allusion in each verse of the first poem to the risks that those who steal subject themselves to, one would almost suppose thieving to have been the fashionable vice of the age, practised alike by both rich and poor, and that there was great need of such injunctions against it.

Both of these poems are from the same Harleian MS. in the British Museum.*

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