The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 5691
IMEV 3603
NIMEV 3603
This flower is fair and fresh of hue
John Audelay, The Flower of Jesse, a song in praise of the Virgin Mary — seven six-line stanzas (aaaabb) and burden: ‘There is a floure spr[u]ng of a tre / The rote þerof is callid jesse / A floure of pryce / Þer is non seche in paradise’
Author(s): John Audelay
Title(s): The Flower of Jesse
Subjects: carols, to Virgin Mary; Virgin Mary, carols to
Versification: — six-line — aaaabb
Macaronic: Latin

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Douce 302 (SC 21876), f. 31va-31vb
First Lines:
There is afloure sprng of atre
þe rote þer of is callid iesse…
Last Lines:
…As fayrist of al
& euer was & euer schal
þer is a floure
Attributed Title: Alia cantalena de sancta maria (f. 31v)
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. Early English Lyrics…. London: Buller, 1907, 1911 et seq: 110-11.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. “Fifteenth Century Carols by John Audelay, II.” Modern Language Review 6 (1911): 68-84: 73-4.
Rickert, Edith, ed. Ancient English Christmas Carols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1910: 160-1.
Segar, Mary Gertrude, ed. A Mediaeval Anthology. London, NY: Longmans, Green, 1915: 44 (5 stanzas only).
Haberly, Loyd. Alia Cantalena de Sancta Maria. Long Crendon, Bucks.: Seven Acres Press, 1926.
Whiting, Ella Keats, ed. John Audelay: The Poems. EETS o.s. 184 (1931); repr. 1988: 202-3.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 129-30; 1977, 115.
Speirs, John. Medieval English Poetry: the non-Chaucerian Tradition. London: Faber, 1957: 72-3 (omits stanzas 3, 4).
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 388-9.
2.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, p. 4611
First Lines:
The flowr is fresshe & fayer be hewe
Ytt fadis never but euer ys neve…
Last Lines:
…ffor best of all
Þat euer was or euer be shall
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: 60.
Flügel, Ewald, ed. Neuenglisches Lesebuch. 1 Bd. Halle: Niemayer, 1895: 115.
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts….” Anglia 26 (1903): 94-285: 230-1.
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: 6.