Gabriel That Angel Bright

DESCRIPTION: "Gabriel, that angel bright, Brighter than the sun is light," comes to Mary in Nazareth and tells her to rejoice. Mary is afraid. She is told to rejoice ("Regina celi, letare"). The Holy Ghost will come upon her to save those who were lost
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1537 (Hill MS., Balliol Coll. Oxf. 354)
KEYWORDS: religious children mother MiddleEnglish
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Greene-TheEarlyEnglishCarols, #237, pp. 169-170, "(no title)" (2 texts)
Rickert-AncientEnglishChristmasCarols, pp. 35-36 "Regina celi, letare" (1 text)
Brown/Robbins-IndexOfMiddleEnglishVerse , #890
DigitalIndexOfMiddleEnglishVerse #1486
ADDITIONAL:Roman Dyboski, _Songs, Carols, and Other Miscellaneous Poems from the Balliol Ms. 354, Richard Hill's Commonplace Book_, Kegan Paul, 1907 (there are now multiple print-on-demand reprints), #17, p. 10, "[Now syng we, syng we: Regina celi, letare!]" (1 text)
MANUSCRIPT: {MSEngPoetE1}, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Eng. Poet. e.1 (Bodley 29734), folio 26
MANUSCRIPT: {MSRichardHill}, The Richard Hill Manuscript, Oxford, Balliol College MS. 354, page 464

NOTES [144 words]: Although not found in modern tradition, this piece is found in two of the most important medieval carol manuscripts Richard Hill's manuscript and Bodleian MS. Eng. Poet e. 1. And the forms in those two manuscripts are very different.
There are also a couple of rather folkish touches. In the Eng. Poet e. 1 text, Mary is said to be afraid -- as she surely would have been if an angel brighter than the sun had shown up, but that's not the way she tends to be treated in Mariolatric texts. That text also calls Nazareth a "great city," which it was not and which no one with any scriptural knowledge would have expected it to be.
Given the sources and the nature of the texts, I am very tentatively including it in the Index.
For more about the famous anthology Bodleian MS. Eng. Poet. e.1 (Bodleian 29734), see the notes to "The Golden Carol (The Three Kings)." - RBW
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File: MSGaTABr

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