there is no rose
that has not thorns,
no bloom that does not sting.

there is no beauty
deep and red
that stays pure past the spring.

all beauty and all elegance
in turn will be displayed
in tones of blood and bite and steel.

for budding love and peace and truth
in time shows its true name. the red is blood,
not love, once thorns it does reveal.

it's said "nothing gold can stay".
nothing red can either. it fades and dies and leaves behind

and scars.

A Christmas motet, origin unattributed, but with the music it has been dated to the 15th Century.

Refrain : (whole choir)
Ther is no rose of swych vertu
As is the rose that bare Jhesu.

Verse : (two voices)
1. Ther is no rose of swych vertu
As is the rose that bare Jhesu.

2. For in this rose conteynyd was
Heven and erthe in lytyl space,
Res miranda.

3. Be that rose we may weel see
That He is God in personys thre,
Pares forma.

4. The aungelys sungyn the shepherdes to:
Gloria in excelsis Deo,

5.Leave we all this wearldly mirth,
And follow we this joyful birth,

John Joubert (1927-) also set these words to music in 1954, updating them in the process. Whilst his setting is more harmonically interesting and developed and complex, it lacks the simple beauty that you find in the 15th century version.

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