The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 5459.4
IMEV 3460
The shepherd upon a hill he sat
The song of Wat the Shepherd — ten 8-line stanzas (aaaabbbb; except 1st stanza which has 9 lines, aaaaabbbb) with refrain, ‘For in hys pype he made so mych joy’ and burden: ‘Can I not syng but hoy / Whan the joly sheperd made so mych joy’
Subjects: carols, Nativity
Versification: — eight-line, nine-line — aaaabbbb, aaaaabbbb

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, pp. 469-470
First Lines:
The sheperd vpon a hill he satt
He had on hym his tabard & his hat…
Last Lines:
…Cryst of hevyn to his blis vs bryng
Vt hoy
For in his pipe he mad so myche ioy
Can I not sing but hoy
Whan the joly sheperd made so mych joy
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (
Flügel, Ewald. “Englische Weihnachtslieder aus einter Handschrift des Balliol College zu Oxford.” Forschungen zur deutschen Philologie. Festgabe für Rudolf Hildebrands. Leipzig: Deit, 1894: 52-84: 76.
Flügel, Ewald, ed. Neuenglisches Lesebuch. 1 Bd. Halle: Niemayer, 1895: 117-19.
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts….” Anglia 26 (1903): 94-285: 243-5.
Pollard, Alfred William. Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse. A Volume of Arber’s ‘English Garner’…. Westminster and New York: Dutton, 1903: 87-9.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. Early English Lyrics…. London: Buller, 1907, 1911 et seq: 127-9.
Dyboski, R., ed. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from Balliol MS. 354, Richard Hill’s Commonplace Book. EETS e.s. 101 (1908); repr. 1984: 16.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 49; 1977, 40-1.
Rickert, Edith, ed. Ancient English Christmas Carols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1910: 99-102.
Cecil, Lord David. The Oxford Book of Christian Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1940: 2-4.
Williams, Charles. The New Book of English Verse. New York: Macmillan, 1936: 109-12.
Greene, Richard Leighton, ed. A Selection of English Carols. Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series. Oxford: Clarendon, 1962: 69.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 528-30.
Silverstein, Theodore, ed. Medieval English Lyrics. York Medieval Texts. London: Edw. Arnold, 1971: 115.
Gray, Douglas, ed. A Selection of Religious Lyrics. Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series. Oxford: Clarendon, 1975: 9.