A Becket Carol, also known as Lestnytgh, Lordynges, or Nunc gaudet Ecclesia
Nunc gaudet ecclesia.
Lestnytgh, lordynges, bothe grete and smale,
I xal you telyn a wonder tale,
How Holy Cherche was browt in bale
Cum magna iniuria.
The greteste clerk of al this lond,
Of Cauntyrbury, ye understonde,
Slawyn he was with wykkyd hond,
Knytes kemyn fro Henry kyng,
Wykkyd men, withoute lesyng;
Ther they dedyn a wonder thing,
They sowntyn hym al abowtyn,
Withine the paleys and withoutyn;
Of Jhesu Cryst hadde they non dowte
In sua malicia.
They openyd here mowthis wonder wyde:
To Thomas they spokyn mekyl pryde,
'Here, tretour, thou xalt abide,
Ferens mortis tedia.'
Thomas answerid with mylde chere,
'If ye wil me slon in this manere,
Let hem pasyn, alle tho arn here,
Beforn his aunter he knelyd adoun;
Ther they gunne to paryn his crown;
He sterdyn the braynys up and doun,
Optans celi gaudia.
The turmentowres abowtyn sterte;
With dedly wondys thei gunne him hurte.
Thomas deyid in Moder Cherche
Pergens ad celestia.
Moder, clerk, wedue and wyf,
Worchepe ye Thomas in al your lyf;
For lii poyntes he les his lyf,
Contra regis consilia.
Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2021/1/15 - 21:35
Refrain: A, a, a, a,
Now the Church rejoices.
Listen, lords, both great and small,
I shall you tell a wonderous tale,
How Holy Church was brought in bale 
By a great wrong.
The greatest cleric in all this land,
Of Canterbury, you understand,
Slain he was with wicked hand,
By the power of the devil.
Knights came from Henry the king,
Wicked men, without lying;
There they did a terrible thing,
Raging in madness.
They sought for him all about,
Within the palace and without;
Of Jesu Christ had they no thought
In their wickedness.
They opened their mouths very wide:
To Thomas they spoke in their great pride,
'Here, traitor, thou shalt abide,
To suffer the pain of death.
Thomas answered with mild chere, 
'If ye will me slay in this manner,
Let them go, all those who are here,
Before his altar he kneeled down;
There they began to cut off his crown;
They stirred the brains up and down;
He hoped for the joys of heaven.
The tormentors began their work;
With deadly wounds they began to hurt.
Thomas died in Mother Church
Attaining to heaven.
Mothers, clerics, widows and wives,
Worship Thomas all your lives;
For 52 points he lost his life,
Against the king's counsels.
Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2021/1/16 - 08:09
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