John Speller's Web Pages All this night shrill chanticleer

John Speller's Web Pages - Christmas

All this night shrill chanticleer (The Sun of Righteousness)
This text was written by poet William Austin (1587-1634), and was published by Ralph Crane in his A Handfull of Celestiall Flowers, 1632. Crane was a professional scrivener who is sometimes described as "Shakespeare's First Editor," from the part he played in producing the folios. Shakespeare himself wrote in Hamlet, Act I, Scene i:

"Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome then -- no planets strike --
No fairy tales -- nor witch hath power to harm --
So gracious and so hallowed is the time."

Austin's poem was reprinted in Edith Rickert's Ancient English Christmas Carols, 1400-1700, London, 1915. In the absence of an original tune I have rearranged one written in the nineteenth-century by the Prince Consort, Prince Albert, to fit the meter.

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