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JOSEPH BEING AN AGED MAN Joseph being an aged man truly, He married a Virgin fair and free, A purer Virgin could no man see Then he chose for his wife and dearest dear. The Virgin was pure there was no nay, The Angel Gabriel to her did say, Thou shalt conceive a Child this day, The which shall be our dearest dear. The Angel no sooner this message said But all in his heart she was afraid; How may this be, and I a pure maid? Say then to me, my dearest dear. The Holy Ghost, Mary, shall come unto thee, The power of it shall overshadow thee, And thou shalt bear a Son truly, The which shall be our dearest dear. Joseph being a perfect mild man, Perceiving that Mary with child was gone, Said, Tell to me, Mary, and do not frown, Who hath done this, my dearest dear? Then answered Mary meek and mild: I know no Father unto my Child But the Holy Ghost, and I undefiled, That hath done this, my dearest dear. But Joseph thinking her most unjust, Yielding her body to unlawful lust, Out of his house he thought for to thrust His own true love, his dearest dear. But whilst in heart he thought the same, The Angel Gabriel to him came, As he lay sleeping on a frame, Still dreaming on his dearest dear. Who said, Fear not to take to thee Thy true and faithful wife Mary; Most true and faithful is she to thee, Then turn not away thy dearest dear. When Joseph arose from his sleep so sound, His love to Mary did more abound, He would not for ten thousand pound Forsake his love and dearest dear. They lived both in joy and bliss, But now a strict commandment is, In Jury land no man should miss To go along with his dearest dear, Unto the place where he was born, Unto the Emperor to be sworn, To pay a tribute that is duly known, Both for himself and his dearest dear. And when they were to Bethlehem come, The inns were filled both all and some, For Joseph entreated them every one, But could get no bed for his dearest dear. Then were they constrained presently Within a stable all night to lie, Where they did oxen and asses tie With his true love and his dearest dear. The Virgin pure thought it no scorn To lie in such a place forlorn, But against the next morning our Saviour was born, Even Jesus Christ, our dearest dear. The King of all power in Bethlehem born, Who wore for our sakes a crown of thorn; Then God preserve us both even and morn, For Jesus' sake, our dearest dear. (Contributed by Frank DiSalle - December 2003)

    


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