John Speller's Web Pages Saynt Steven, the first martere

John Speller's Web Pages - Christmas

Saynt Steven, the first martere
A fifteenth-century English carol, known only from Bodleian Library MS Douce 302. It is believed to have been written by John the Blind Audelay (fl. 1426), an Augustinian monk at Haughmond Abbey in Shropshire. The tune has not survived.

In die Sancti Stephani

In reverens of oure Lord in heven,
Worchip this marter, swete Sent Steven.


Saynt Steven, the first martere,
He ched his blod in herth here;
Fore the love of his Lord so dere,
He sofird payn and passion.

He was stonyd with stons ful cruellé,
And sofird his payn ful pasiently:
“Lord, of myn enmes thou have mercé,
That wot not what thai done.”

He beheld into heven on he,
And se Jhesu stonde in his majesté,
And sayd: “My soule, Lord, take to thee,
And foregif myn enmys everechon.”

Then when that word he had sayd,
God therof was wel apayd;
His hede mekelé to slep he layd;
His sowle was takyn to heven anon.

Swete Saynt Steven, fore us thou pray
To that Lord that best may;
When our soule schal wynd away,
He grawnt us al remyssion.

The martyrdom of Saint Stephen
Haughmond Abbey, Salop, as it was in 1787
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