Ah, gentle Jesu (Sheryngham)

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  • (Posted 2010-08-19)  CPDL #22143:        (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Byrt Janssen (submitted 2010-08-19).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 39 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2010-07-01)  CPDL #21892:     
Editor: Richard Mix (submitted 2010-07-01).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 210 kB   
Edition notes: Still at proofreading stage; comments welcome!

General Information

Title: Ah, gentle Jesu
Composer: Sheryngham
Lyricist: John Lydgate (d.1451)

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredCarolPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

    Manuscript 1500 in Fayrfax Manuscript, no. 34
First published: 1975 in Musica Britannica vol. 36

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

‘A, gentill Jhesu!’
Who is that, that dothe me call?
‘I, a synner, that offt doth fall.’
What woldist thou have?
‘Mercy, Lord, of the I crave.’
Why, lovyst thou me?
‘Ye, my Maker I call the.’
Then leve thi syn, or I nyll the,
And thynk on this lesson that now I teche the.
‘A, I will, I will, gentyll Jhesu.’

Uppon the cross nailid I was for the,
Suffyrd deth to pay thi rawnsum;
Forsake thi syn, man, for the love of me;
Be repentant, make playne confession.
To contryte hartes I do remission;
Be not despayrid, for I am not vengeable;
Gayne gostly enmys thynk on my passion;
Whi art thou froward, syth I am mercyable?
Ah, gentyll Jhesu!

My blody wowndes downe railyng by this tre,
Loke on them well, and have compassion;
The crown of thorne, the spere, the nailis thre,
Percide hand and fote of indignacion,
My hert ryven for thi redempcion.
Lett now us twayne in this thyng be tretable:
Love for love be just convencion.
Why art thou froward, sith I am merciable?
Ah, gentyll Jhesu!

I hade on Petur and Mawdlen pyte
Forthi contrite of thy contricion;
Saynt Thomas of Indes in crudelite
He put his handes depe in my syde adowne.
Role up this mater; grave it in thi reson!
Syth I am kynd, why art thou unstable?
My blode best triacle for thi transgression;
Be thou not froward, syth I am merciable.
Ah, gentyll Jhesu!

Thynk agayne, pride, on my humilite;
Cum to scole; record well this lesson;
‘Gayne fals envy thynk on my charyte,
My blode all spent by distillacion.
Whi did I this? To save the from prison;
Afore thine heart hang this litell table,
Swetter than bawme gayne gostly poyson:
Be thou not affraide sith I am merciable.
Ah, gentyll Jhesu!

Lord, on all synful here knelyng on kne,
Thy deth remembryng of humble affeccion,
O Jhesu, graunt of thi benignite
That thi fyve wellis plentuus of fusion,
Called thy fyve wondes by computacion,
May washe us all from surfettes reprovable.
Now for thi moders meke mediacion,
At hir request be to us merciable.
Ah, gentyll Jhesu!

John Lydgate (spellings as given in J. Stevens: Music & Poetry in the Early Tudor Court)