The Twelve Days of Christmas

Translated by Timothy Adès

‘sung at King Pepin’s Ball’ 1780

On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
  A Partridge in a Pear Tree.
On the second day of Christmas…
  2 Turtle Doves
On the third day of Christmas…
  3 French Hens
On the fourth day of Christmas…
  4 Calling Birds
On the fifth day of Christmas…
  5 Gold Rings
On the sixth day of Christmas…
  6 Geese a Laying
On the seventh day of Christmas…
  7 Swans a Swimming
On the eighth day of Christmas…
  8 Maids a Milking
On the ninth day of Christmas…
  9 Ladies Dancing
On the tenth day of Christmas…
  10 Lords a Leaping
On the eleventh day of Christmas…
  11 Pipers Piping
On the twelfth day of Christmas…
  12 Drummers Drumming

prima dies aderat: donavit amatus amanti
   I in piro perdicem.
ecce secunda dies: donavit amatus amanti
   II teneros turtures.
tertia sancta dies: donavit amatus amanti
   III gallinas Gallicas.
quarta beata dies: donavit amatus amanti
   IV vocales volucres.
quinta dies aderat: donavit amatus amanti
   V annulos aureos.
sexta beata dies: donavit amatus amanti
   VI uberas anseres.
septima sancta dies: donavit amatus amanti
   VII ob lacus olores.
ecce octava dies: donavit amatus amanti
   VIII mugitu mulctrices.
nona beata dies: donavit amatus amanti
   IX mulieres mobiles.
bis quinta ecce dies: donavit amatus amanti
   X principes praesules.
undecima ecce dies: donavit amatus amanti
   XI calamis callidos.
ultima sancta dies: donavit amatus amanti
   XII tympanis tonantes!

Latin by Timothy Adès

From ‘Mirth Without Mischief’

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

This entry was posted in Poems. Bookmark the permalink.