Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Harrowing of Hell



~I've always loved the text of this medieval carol which is associated with Christmas. But here we see an evocation of the harrowing of hell...and a context for the phrase in the Exsultet that always brings tears to my eyes: "To redeem a slave, you gave a Son, how holy is this night..."

Adam lay ybounden,
Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter,
Thought he not too long.

And all was for an apple,
An apple that he took.
As clerkes finden,
Written in their book.

Ne had the apple taken been,
The apple taken been,
Ne had never our ladie,
Abeen heav'ne queen.

Blessed be the time
That apple taken was,
Therefore we moun singen.
Deo gracias!

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