Rutter, John: There is a flower

There is a flower (1986)

There is a flower sprung of a tree,
The root thereof is callèd Jesse,
A flower of price; there is none such in paradise.
This flower is fair and fresh of hue,
It fadeth never, but ever is new;
The blessed branch this flower on grew
Was Mary mild that bare Jesu,
A flower of grace; against all sorrow it is solace.
The seed hereof was Goddes sand, [gift]
That God himself sowed with his hand,
In Nazareth that holy land,
Amidst her arbour a maiden found;
This blessed flower sprang never but in Mary’s bower.
When Gabriel this maid did meet,
With ‘Ave Maria’ he did her greet;
Between them two this flower was set
And safe was kept, no man should wit,
Till on a day in Bethlem it could spread and spray.
When that fair flower began to spread,
And his sweet blossom began to bed, [bud]
Then rich and poor of every land
They marvelled how this flower might spread,
Till kinges three that blessed flower came to see.
Angels there came from heaven’s tower
To look upon this freshele flower,
How fair he was in his colour,
And how sweet in his savour,
And to behold how such a flower might spring in gold.

Words: John Audelay (d. c. 1426)
Music: John Rutter (b. 1945)