As I passed by a river side, there as I did rein,
An argument I chanced to hear 'twixt a carnal and a crane.
"I pray thee," said the carnal, "Just as the world do turn,
Before we had the Father, but now we have the Son.
"Oh, tell me, where does the Son come from? Where and from what place?"
He said, "'Twas in a manger between an ox and ass."
"I pray thee," said the carnal, "Tell me before thou go,
Was not the mother of Jesus conceived by the Holy Ghost."
"Oh, she was the purest virgin, the cleanest from all sin,
She was the handmaid of our Lord, and the mother of our King."
"Oh, where is the golden cradle Christ was rocked in?
Where are the silken sheets that Christ was wrapped in?"
"A manger was the cradle Christ was rocked in,
The provender the asses left so sweetly he slept in."