Adam The Text of this half-carol, half-ballad is taken from the Sloane MS. 2593, whence we get Saint Stephen and King Herod and other charming pieces like the well-known carol, 'I syng of a mayden.' It is written in eight long lines in the MS.

The Story.--Wright, who printed the above MS. for the Warton Club in 1856, remarks that Adam was supposed to have remained bound in the limbus patrum from the time of his death until the Crucifixion. In the romance of Owain Miles (Cotton MS. Calig. A. ii.) the bishops told Owain that Adam was 'yn helle with Lucyfere' for four thousand six hundred and four years. On account of this tradition incorporated in the carol, I have ventured to include it as a ballad, although it does not find a place in Professor Child's collection.


Adam lay i-bowndyn,
bowndyn in a bond,
Fowre thowsand wynter
thowt he not to long;

And al was for an appil,
an appil that he tok,
As clerkes fyndyn wretyn
in here book.

Ne hadde the appil take ben,
the appil taken ben,
Ne hadde never our lady
a ben hevene qwen.

Blyssid be the tyme
that appil take was!
Therfore we mown syngyn
Deo gracias.

Adam by Frank Sidgwick