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Out of your sleep

Richard Rodney Bennett (b.1936)

Out of your sleep

Out of your sleep arise and wake,
For God mankind now hath ytake.
All of a maid without any make;
Of all women she beareth the bell.

And through a maidè fair and wise,
Now man is made of full great price;
Now angels knelen to man’s service,
And at this time all this befell.

Now man is brighter than the sun;
Now man in heav’n on high shall won;
Blessèd be God this game is begun
And his mother the Empress of hell.

That ever was thrall now is he free;
That ever was small now great is she;
Now shall God deem both thee and me
Unto his bliss if we do well.

Now man he may to heaven wend;
Now heav’n and earth to him they bend.
He that was foe now is our friend.
This is no nay that I you tell.

Now blessèd Brother grant us grace
At doomès day to see thy face,
And in thy court to have a place,
That we may there sing thee nowell.

Words: 15th century, anon.
© Universal Edition, London 1967

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