1. When Herod in Jerusalem
Did reign in princely throne,
Strange tidings then were brought to him
Of a King lately born;
The which did much torment his mind,
So strange a thing should be,
That then amongst the Jews should reign
A greater King than he.
O cruel Herod, hard of heart,
Accursed mayst thou be,
Thou slewest so many Innocents,
That never harmed thee.
That he might the young King prevent,
Most wickedly he will'd,
The children small of two years old
Should certainly be kill'd.
Then did the Lord an Angel send
To Joseph where he lay,
And bad him into Egypt fly,
To bear the Child away. Chorus.
3. Then men appointed when abroad
Young Infants' blood to apill,
Supposing then assuredly
Christ Jesus were to kill.
But see the judgments of the Lord:
In the same wicked train
The King's own son, being out to nurse,
Amongst the rest was slain.1 Chorus.
4. Of Herod's bloody rage with sad
And grievous soul I speak,
By whom this day were slain ten thousand,
Ten thousand Children weak.
Juda's bounds with scarlet wounds
Of suckling babes lay dyed;
The death was spread with crimson red,
Commanded by his pride. Chorus.
5. For unto him was told that born
There was a greater King,
Whose matchless power it should him
Into subjection bring.
Wherefore he sent incontinent
His armed bands in rage,
For to destroy each mother's joy
Under two years of age. Chorus.
6. The Son of God was sought that he
With others might be slain,
And his destruction wrought, as cruel
Herod did ordain.
But soon from Heaven this warning came,
That Mary should not stay,
But with her Child, a Son exil'd,
To Egypt take her way. Chorus.
7. Let us give praise to God therefore,
In modest mirth and glee,
And still this day adorn, wherein
Our Saviour was set free.
For Mary mild, with her dear Child,
In Egypt found great friends,
Till Herod's pride the Lord destroy'd;
And so this Carol ends. Chorus.