From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

Occupation and Idleness

001 OCCUPACION. The my3ty Maker that made al thynge,
002 he medle his mercy euer in oure mende,
003 oure balis he abate and to blys vs brynge,
004 as he was oure founder and we come of his kende.
005 For al the welthe of the world is turned to wranglynge
006 and frendship is ful faynte now for to fynde;
007 a3en equyte and ri3t the peple be ianglynge
008 and ful fewe there be that here-of haue mynde.
009 The cause is this:
010 for now regneth tresoun
011 there that shold be resoun;
012 but 3e be-ware in sesoun
013 Ye laboure al a-mys.

014 For we may se a grete example euery day
015 of hunger and deth before oure ye;
016 fro the prikkyng of pestelence ascape we ne may,
017 fro wyndis and wederis that comyth fro the sky.
018 There-for let ri3t regne and forsake symony,
019 rewle 3ou be resoun, and laboure for 3oure mete,
020 jn trewe occupacioun selle þou and by,
021 deseyue no man with sotelte in colde ne in hete,
022 but sewe resoun and trewthe,
023 lete ese and fauour fro þe fle,
024 and take counseyle and equyte;
025 ellis lese 3e heuen so fre,
026 and me semyth þat were rewthe,
027 and eke grete shame.
028 Now if ther be eny here
029 þat my name wolde aspere,
030 y telle 3ou, sovereynes al in-fere,
031 Occupacioun, þat is my name.

032 Y besy ful besely in colde and in hete;
033 wyndis ne wederis we may nat spare;
034 with grete greuaunse y go my leuynge to gete,
035 ofte wery and wetshode y suffre mochel care
036 to sessioun or syses, if that y fare,
037 be-cause y haue a litel gadered to-hepe.
038 Jn suche ple no skyle y kan, thus am y in care;
039 there y stonde and studye as mad as eny shepe
040 for woo.
041 For y had lever ben at plough,
042 to God y make a vow,
043 thresshe in a berne, ripe and mow,
044 and there-fore y hote Occupacion where-so-euer y go
045 on grounde.
046 Here y thynke to abyde
047 to reste me a litel tyde
048 jn pees bothe saf and sounde.

049 JDELNES. A, reste 3ou mery, y make a vow,
050 whi sey 3e nat welcome now?
051 Be God, þer ben many of 3ow
052 þat y knowe wel and fyne.
053 This worthy man, though y it say,
054 he hath know me many a day,
055 for he and y spente, in fay,
056 oure bothis thryst at wyne.

057 A, syr, God 3eue 3ou good morowe!
058 Lo, siris, this good man wyl be my borowe
059 and y had nede.
060 Nay, good sir, laugh me nat to scorne!
061 Y trowe 3e haue 3oure knowlych for-lorne
062 for my symple wede.

063 3e, this wede wil serue me wel and fyne.
064 Ofte thou hast be wette sith þou were myne,
065 bothe at þe ale and atte the wyne
066 in the hye strete.
067 While y haue aught y wyl spende;
068 whan y haue non God wyl sende.
069 Thus euery company y wyl amende
070 and gadere felawship to-hepe.

071 For y haue good mete and drynke;
072 whan y am ful y wyl swynke.
073 Now, be me trouthe, as y thynke,
074 y am a sly clerke.
075 þer-for y tel 3ou expresse,
076 my name is called Ydelnesse.
077 Y kepe nat to arise to matynes ne messe
078 ne to non oþer werke.

079 For to no laboure y kaste me,
080 but euer to slowthe y fast me,
081 and if 3e wyl ataste me
082 3e shul fynde me queynte.
083 Queyntly go y, lo,
084 as prety as a py, lo.
085 What sey 3e þer-to:
086 who koude make me ateynte?

087 Beholde now this gracious face,
088 hou galantly y take my trace.
089 There is now non such in this place,
090 sholde y nat do thus.
091 Lo, how ioly gette y,
092 and non felaship let y:
093 and but few mette y,
094 but they wyth me tr[u]sse
095 and gone.
096 Ey, what is þat 3onder gadelynge
097 that stondith 3ondere al stradelynge?
098 Y wyl wite for al his babelynge
099 what he is anone.

100 Al haile, good man, and wel yfounde!
101 OCCUPACIOUN. A wel come, 3onge man, on this grounde.
102 YDELNESSE. Whi, sire, tel me this stounde:
103 know 3e nat me?
104 OCCUPACIOUN. Of the, sonne, what is thy name?
105 YDELNES. Lo, now ariseth game!
106 Y am like to take blame
107 but y þe better ware be.

108 Y must change my name, y-wis,
109 and telle hym Besynesse my name is;
110 3e, for God, thus it is.
111 This is a prety while!
112 And whan y am with hym at fese
113 Y wyl take myn owen ese.
114 To slepe ynough he shal nat chese;
115 y thynke hym to begile.

116 Syr, y wonder 3e haue for3ete me, y-wy(s),
117 and y haue serued 3ou er this,
118 for Besynes my name is.
119 Sir, know 3e þat name?
120 OCCUPACIOUN. Besynesse, 3e, in good fay!
121 He hath serued me many a day.
122 YDELNES. Now, in good fay, leve me 3e may:
123 y am þe same.

124 OCCUPACIOUN. Art thou Besynesse? Y trow nay,
125 me semyth be thi symple aray.
126 YDELNES. Syr, sholde y were my best euery day?
127 Y haue ten or twelf
128 of good gownes in my presse,
129 and furres of grete richesse.
130 Of this man y take wytnesse;
131 3e may aske hym 3ourself.

132 OCCUPACIOUN. Than what labour kan 3e best now?
133 YDELNES. Thresshe in 3our berne or go to plow,
134 ripe, mowe, and eke sowe,
135 and oþer husbondrye;
136 go to market, bey and selle,
137 and kepe an household y kan welle;
138 with shepe and swyne y kan melle.
139 Whereto sholde y lye?

140 OCCUPACIOUN. Wilt þou be with me al this 3ere,
141 and þou shalt be my partenere?
142 YDELNES. 3e, be my trowthe, with good chere;
143 but y haue no money in store.
144 OCCUPACIOUN. 3eue me thi trowthe in this stounde
145 and haue here ten pounde;
146 and þou gouerne it wel on þis grounde,
147 and þou haue nede, com fech more.

148 YDELNES. 3is, hardely, syr, haue 3e no dowte!
149 Now haue y nede to loke abowte,
150 bothe with-in and with-owte,
151 þat no thynge be a-mys.
152 Y haue here in this purse
153 ten pounde of golde, it is no worse.
154 To þe kokis wil y me trusse
155 anon, so haue y blys.

156 it, good syr, tel me in same,
157 what shal y clepe 3oure name?
158 OCCUPACIOUN. Sir, y sey be Seynt Jame
159 my name is Occupacioun.
160 YDELNES. Occupacion, be my fay,
161 is a good name and a worthy,
162 to be commendid honestly
163 jn felde and eke in toun.

164 But, syr, go 3e home or ouer þe se,
165 3our household and 3our meyne,
166 and þan in haste come hider and se;
167 tary nat to longe!
168 OCCUPACIOUN. Fare wel, than, in Goddis name.
169 YDELNES. Now, in feithe, he were to blame
170 þat wold do þe eny wronge.

171 Walke on! God lete þe neuere the!
172 þou art ful madde to truste me,
173 for this gold shalt þou neuer se,
174 so God me amende;
175 for in Brodestrete, samfayle,
176 it shall be spent in good vytayle.
177 Of wyne and ale y wyl nat fayle!
178 þider now am y bent.

179 For and y wolde beset this gold here
180 on sheepe or lambe, þei be dere,
181 and al-so a badde 3eere
182 sone wolde hem stroye.
183 If y besette it in kow or veel
184 parauenture some theef my3t hem steel.
185 Nay, nay, there-with wyl y nat deel;
186 such marchauntise y defye.

187 Yf y wolde belde eny hous then
188 my3t come some fire and it bren;
189 þat makith many a-wey to ren
190 and take þe tounnes ende.
191 Nay, nay, y wyl nat so, in fay,
192 but to þe tauerne wyl y go my way,
193 and to þe cokes, p(a)rmafay,
194 þider wyl y wende!

195 But and Occupacioun come by þe way,
196 aske me, syr, y the pray,
197 for we two haue loued many a day
198 thes 3eeris foure or fyve.
199 Tyl this be spente euerydel,
200 fal happe, falle hel,
201 y wyl no lenger with hym mel.
202 Y go hennys wel blyve.

203 OCCUPACIOUN. The roy reuerent þat on þe rode was rente,
204 he saue 3ou, my souereynes semly in se,
205 þat was blyndfelled and bofettid and his blood spente
206 fro þe thretnynge of thraldom to make vs all fre;
207 and þe brennynge blossom þat bri3t is of ble
208 with hire feturis so fortunate voyde vs of oure foon,
209 excellent emperyse of high dygnete,
210 conclude here conclusiones, as 3e wel kan,
211 þurgh 3oure sonnes my3t;
212 for treuly y wyl euery day,
213 whither-so-euer y take my way,
214 in Holy Chirche if that y may
215 of þi sonne haue a si3t.

216 Than to my labour wyl y go,
217 tylle and trauayle in moche wo,
218 my lyflode to gete.
219 We may nat spare wynde ne rayne,
220 but go to plow in crofte and playne
221 and ofte we laboure a3en mayne
222 jn dry and in wete.

223 And, y pray 3ou, telle me and 3e kan,
224 sey eny 3ou Besynes, my man,
225 syn y was laste here?
226 For he is so lange oute
227 with my golde walked aboute;
228 be my trouthe, y am in doute
229 he is in some daungere.
230 Y note what is best;
231 tyl y some tydyngis of hym here,
232 here y thynke to rest.

233 YDELNES. A ha! God spede, y am come!
234 Y haue ri3t wel wette my throte.
235 A-ware! a litel stonde a-rome,
236 for y am verry kuppe-shote.

237 A, my brayne gynneth to rowte
238 and turneth as rounde as eny balle.
239 Be my trouthe, y am in grete doute;
240 me semyth þe sky wyl on me falle.
241 Y am ille agast!
242 Y come fro the cokis now,
243 and to God y make a vow,
244 þer haue y wel broke my fast.

245 Y haue ete and drunke of þe best
246 til me thou3t þe dry wey slither;
247 and my maistris golde, so haue y rest,
248 it is spent all to-gyder
249 on good mete and drynk.
250 For be God and Oure Lady bothe,
251 y bo3t þer-with neyther clowte ne clothe;
252 for be my partenere neuer so wrothe,
253 a whyle wyl y go wynke.

254 OCCUPACIOUN. A-byde, a worde with 3ou!
255 YDELNES. A, welcome, y make a vow!
256 Y haue sou3t 3ou wyde ynow
257 thes two dayes or thre.
258 OCCUPACIOUN. Soughtist þou me? Y pray the, where?
259 YDELNES. Be God, [on] foot, there 3e were.
260 OCCUPACIOUN. Such a messanger euel he fare
261 so to seek me.

262 Me semyth þou comyst late fro þe nale.
263 YDELNES. Be God, þat is a trewe tale.
264 þer haue y wel fare.
265 OCCUPACIOUN. Now be God, y stonde in doute
266 þat þou hast spendid my money oute;
267 þan am y in grete care.

268 YDELNES. Sir, þat money is a-go,
269 they there had be such two.
270 þer-fore myn herte is sore.
271 OCCUPACIOUN. A, sire, foule mote þe befalle
272 þat euer y mette þe in this halle!
273 My golde þou hast lore.

274 What, þou seidest Besynes þi name hight?
275 YDELNES. So y dede, be this lyght,
276 and 3it y dede lye.
277 But now y telle þe in game,
278 Ydelnes is my name.
279 OCCUPACIOUN. Y swere be Seynt Jame,
280 þou art a wyli pye!

281 Sonne, and þou wylt to me herke
282 y wyl teche þe some other werke.
283 YDELNES. What, woldist þou make me a clerke?
284 þat wyl y nat begynne,
285 for y wyl go pley me
286 and rialy aray me.
287 OCCUPACIOUN. Herk, sonne, þou say me,
288 wylt þou worship, wynne?

289 YDELNES. Worship? Hou sholde y come þer-to?
290 OCCUPACIOUN. With manere and manhod, sonne, lo,
291 and be neuer þyn owen fo.
292 To my wordis þou herk.
293 YDELNES. Who techith þat manere, y pray the?
294 OCCUPACION. Treuly, sonne, as y say the,
295 Doctrine, þat worthi clerk.

296 YDELNES. Doctryne, what man is he?
297 OCUPACION. A maister of dyuynete
298 of þe vnyuersyte,
299 to tech þe to wex wyse.
300 YDELNES. A, a, wylt þou so?
301 Nay, y wyl nat with þe go;
302 y haue aspied þe to wyse.

303 OCUPACION. Sonne, leue thi fantasy
304 and turne to grace, y say the.
305 YDELNES. Y nel, y make to God a vow.
306 Y wyl ete as good as thow.
307 Go sette to gras þi hors or þi kow,
308 or ellis, syr, go play the!

309 OCCUPACION. Wh[o] shal fynde þe mete and drynke al day?
310 YDELNES. Be my fay, Jonet and Gyll.
311 OCCUPACION. What wilt þou do, kan þou me say,
312 whan Jonet and Gill ys away?
313 YDELNES. Than be it as be may,
314 there-fore care y nell.

315 Y shrew hym þat there-fore cares.
316 Some for labour wexith wode,
317 and they haue nat an hole hode.

318 Y know non þat better fares. Tunc venit doctrina

319 DOCTRINA. What, siris, what pley is this
320 that 3e make in this place?
321 Y am come to mende al mys
322 bi the helpe of Goddis grace.

323 YDELNES. A, that man hath an angry face.
324 OCCUPACION. Pees than, fool, and stonde asyde!
325 YDELNES. Y pray God 3eue the euel grace,
326 begynnyst þou now for to chyde.

327 OCUPACION. Sir, welcome mote 3e be,
328 and of 3oure name y 3ou prayn.
329 DOCTRINE. Doctryne men clepen me;
330 to teche kunnynge y am fayn.

331 OCUPACION. Doctrine, syr, 3e be welcome!
332 Y haue besied me ful sadde
333 for to study and stire wysdom.
334 Now of 3oure company y am ful gladde.

335 DOCTRINE. What is 3oure name, gentil brother?
336 OCCUPACION. Treuly, my name is Occupacion.
337 DOCTRINE. Welcome be 3e aboue all other
338 with 3ou to haue communycacyoun,

339 for al þat to good occupacion long
340 God is plesed {a}nd so am y;
341 but occupacion þat tuchith to wronge
342 doth men no good, but vylany;

343 for and þou wilt þe occupy
344 in bodely workis or almasdede,
345 in penaunce or prayeris wilfully,
346 Y, Doctrine, to the wyll take hede;

347 for Doctrine techith openly and clere
348 vertuous lyf amonge vs to sette.
349 YDELNES. Herke, siris, 3e shull here,
350 for now two shrewis ben mette.

351 Be my trouthe, y wil me hide
352 like a mows in 3onder 3erde,
353 for of hym þat gapith wide
354 yn feithe y am euel a-ferde.
355 Y wyl be go.
356 DOCTRINE. Be my feith, þou shalt a-bide,
357 and ere þou passe fro me this tyde
358 Y wil þe teche a worde or two.

359 YDELNES. Whom? Me, syr? Y know þe nat,
360 ne neuer, y kepe, be heuen kynge.
361 DOCTRINE. Sonne, y wyl teche the somwhat
362 for to gete thy leuynge.

363 OCCUPACION. Sir, in þe name of heuen kyng,
364 3eue hym som informacion
365 hou he may gete his leuyng
366 in þe way of his saluacion;
367 þat is al my desire.
368 DOCTRINE. Treuly, brother Occupacion,
369 þat wil y do without eny hire,

370 for euery good man is bounde
371 to occupie hym in clennes;
372 for and he in good occupacion be founde
373 þe Feend temptith hym moche þe les.

374 Euery man hath enmyes thre,
375 þe Deuel, þe World, and his owen Flessh.
376 Which thei ben y wyl telle the,
377 and hou thon they enbateyl hem fressh.

378 In pride and wreth þe Feend temptith man,
379 and in envye þat is so badde.
380 Thes thre synnes in heuen began
381 sone after Lucifer was made.

382 þe World temptith man to slouthe and couetyse,
383 þat Adam and Eve first vp bro3t
384 whan þei wolde be as wyse
385 as was Oure Lorde þat hem wro3t;

386 þe Flessh of glotonye fayled no3t;
387 lechery was in Sodom and Gomor and other mo;
388 for þese wyte wel in oure tho3t
389 ful moche harme there hath be do.

390 For and þou þe in temptacion fele,
391 occupie þe in clennes,
392 for þe Feend on no man may stele,
393 saue in þo þat he fynte in ydelnes;
394 in hem wil he hide.
395 For al the vices þat ther be
396 ydelnes is þe worste, y telle the.
397 YDELNES. Out! Whider may y fle?
398 þis angry man wyl bete me
399 and y lenger abyde.

400 DOCTRINE. Of ydelnes comyth this:
401 thefis and strumpettis, so haue y rest.
402 A3en this defaute, y-wys,
403 occupacion y holde the best.

404 But þe moste defaute now-adayes
405 on þe peple þat y fynde,
406 men techen hire children wanton playes,
407 and nat as they sholde in kynde.

408 Some shal beshrewe fader and moder
409 and be ful wantoun, as 3e may se.
410 Such poyntis and many other
411 makith many children neuer to the.

412 Sette 3oure children vn-to scole,
413 3e þat ben good men of fame;
414 mayntene hem nat to pley þe fole,
415 but lete hem lerne some good, for shame.

416 For he þat hath neither londe ne rente,
417 koyne ne catel hym to fynde,
418 of large spense but he repente
419 sone shal he begge be kynde,
420 that were reprefe.
421 For-whi and þi good be lore
422 and wylt nat laboure for no more,
423 but in ydelnes sett hym sore,
424 þan must he wexe a thefe.
425 Y lye nat expresse.
426 Be ware, draw 3ou to good,
427 and laboure for 3oure lyfis food,
428 and pray to hym þat deyde on rood,
429 and beware of ydelnesse.

430 OCCUPACION. Ydelnes is nat ferre, as thynkith me,
431 and so y tolde one ry3t now.
432 DOCTRINE. Ydelnes, where is he?
433 OCCUPACIOUN. 3onder, syr, as 3e may se,
434 and scorneth both me and 3ow.

435 DOCTRINE. Ydelnes, come nere
436 and lerne of me som curtesie.
437 YDELNES. Y shrew me and y come þer
438 while þou art so angry.

439 DOCTRINE. þou shalt come hider mawgry thyn hed
440 and lerne some good in thi 3outhe.
441 þou wylt be like to begge þi brede
442 but þou drawe þe fro slouthe.
443 Y sey, boy, a-ryse!
444 YDELNES. Y pray þe, syr, go þi way;
445 me lyst nat with þe to play.
446 DOCTRINE. Y wyl the teche, in good fay,
447 now for to wexe wyse.

448 þer-for, boy, y sey stonde stille
449 and some vertu þat þou lere.
450 YDELNES. Go forth and do me non ylle.
451 Y wolde 3e were in þe diche both in-fere!

452 DOCTRINE. Y sey, boy, scorne þou me now?
453 OCCUPACION. He dothe as euel as he kan.
454 YDELNES. He lieth, y make God a vow
455 in recorde of this worthy man.

456 Syr, saw me mokke hym to scorne?
457 Nay, he lieth in his face.
458 DOCTRINE. Y trow, boy, thi thryft be lorne.
459 To goodnes þou hast no grace.

460 OCCUPACION. Syr, euer to sleuthe and ydelnes
461 he drawith hym morow and eve,
462 and y bidde hym efte expres
463 al þat foly for to leve.

464 DOCTRINE. Sonne, to what levynge were þou borne?
465 YDELNES. With mylke and floure y be-gan, y wene.
466 DOCTRINE. What! This boy dryveth me to scorne.
467 YDELNES. Nay, God forbede, lete that bene.

468 DOCTRINE. Haue, sette honde on this book,
469 and to þi lore þat þou lowte.
470 YDELNES. A, se, syr, how y look.
471 Nere-hande y kan it thurgh-owte.
472 A, se here sitt a pye.
473 DOCTRINE. But þou þe better to þi book lowte,
474 be my fay, þou shalt a-bye.

475 OCCUPACION. In good fey, 3e sey wel:
476 euery man to labour in his kunnynge.
477 This matere y trow wel, y fele:
478 ellis ca{n} we haue but hard levynge.

479 And ydelnes in household wende
480 me semyth it moche the worse.
481 YDELNES. 3e be euer my bak frende;
482 þer-for haue 3e Goddis kurse.

483 DOCTRINE. Sonne, haue this book in þi hande
484 and lerne in þe name of God,
485 ellys y do the to vnderstonde
486 þou shalt be chastised with a rod
487 bothe even and morowe.
488 YDELNES. A, syr, he þat þe hider bro3t,
489 y pray God 3eue hym sorowe.
490 DOCTRINE. Sey on, crosse Christe me spede,
491 and in þi mynde þat it kepe.
492 YDELNES. Be my trouthe, y stonde in drede
493 hou y shal brynge it to-hepe.

494 First lete me reste a litel while:
495 myn eyen be hevy as eny lede.
496 OCCUPACION. Sir, this boy wyl 3ou begyle;
497 jn þe name of God take hede
498 and lerne hym som lore.
499 YDELNES. A, sir, the Deuel be thi spede!
500 þou art a3en me euer-more.

501 DOCTRINE. Sonne, lerned þou neuer thi beleve,
502 thi Pater noster, Aue, and Crede?
503 YDELNES. Nay, syr, so mote y cheve,
504 ther-to toke y neuer hede.
505 Y not what it is.
506 DOCTRINE. Now, be swete Seynt Jame,
507 thi fader is the more to blame,
508 and thi frendis al in same
509 þat shold haue tau3t þe er this.

510 OCCUPACION. Me semyth it were an almasdede
511 to make hym leve þis lewde rote.
512 YDELNES. Y wyl nat do be thi rede.
513 Olde fole, thou begynnest to dote.
514 Thi berde begynnyth to hore;
515 some for wery fallith doun,
516 bothe in cyte, burgh, and toun,
517 and rise parauenture no more.

518 DOCTRINE. Treuly, þer leuyth no man in ground
519 --be he neuer so hye of state--
520 but he be strongly bound
521 to occupye erly or late:

522 prestis to pray and preche al-so
523 jn penaunse and masse to shewe;
524 dukis, erlis, baronnes, and kny3tis þer-to
525 to mayntene þe lond in vertu,

526 and to fi3t þer-fore if nede be
527 and stonde be euery trew cause y-wis,
528 and take no mede of me ne the,
529 but to maynten hem there ri3t is.

530 But now trewthe is dryve a-bakke
531 and symony is set vp as a sire.
532 þer mede is maister ther is no lakke
533 of frendship noþer in session ne shire.

534 But wolde God resoun regned a3e!
535 þan wolde 3e gadre al vertues to-hepe.
536 To þe wordis þat 3e shew me
537 euery man is bounde to take kepe.

538 Lo, sonne, þou mayst se
539 to occupacion þou art bounde.
540 YDELNES. A, sir, God lete þe neuer the!
541 þou woldist make me were
542 as is eny hounde,
543 and that y hate.
544 For au3t þat þou kan telle me
545 shal noon of 3ow felle me,
546 nother be strengthe compel me,
547 erly ne late.

548 OCCUPACION. Doctrine, syr, y pray 3ou,
549 tel vs some of Goddis werkis,
550 þat þe comoun peple may knowe
551 as don þes worthi clerkis.

552 DOCTRINE. Summe Trinitati, y wyl begynne,
553 þat with his my3t wro3t al thyng,
554 nouem ordines with-out synne
555 angelorum to hym obeyng,

556 ad Dei iudicia for to abide
557 misteria complenda ful of ly3t.
558 it fille many one þat tide
559 fro þe place þat mankende shal restore ful ry3t.

560 OCCUPACION. What maner men, y wolde wyte,
561 shal restore þat place a3en?
562 DOCTRINE. Hire names ben in legende wryte
563 and are cleped al halowen certeyn.

564 OCCUPACION. Alle Halowes, what be they?
565 Y pray 3ou, declare hem openly.
566 DOCTRINE. Angelis, patriarkis, and prophetis to sey,
567 Martiris and confessoris trewly,

568 virgines and oþer of clene lyf
569 þat deide in pure chastite,
570 þat leved here without stryf
571 in clennes and humylite;

572 viri religiosi, þe patriarkis called,
573 atque gloriosi in hire leuynge;
574 þei tolde what wolde be-falle
575 of dyuerse prophetis, and Cristis comynge.

576 John þe Baptist seide in his steuen
577 to al þat veram penitenciam wold chesen,
578 penitenciam agite þat 3e nat lesen,
579 quia apropinquabit þe kyngdo[m] of heuen.

580 þe postelis were in erthe goynge
581 and Iesu Cristis lawes redde.
582 Estote fortes, seide Iesu oure kyng,
583 loke no tribulacion make 3ou ferde.

584 OCCUPACION. Y pray 3ou, telle me in this place
585 hou apostelis suffred tribulacion.
586 DOCTRINE. Some ferro perempti heded was,
587 some flammis exusti brant in toun,

588 flagellis verberati some forbeten,
589 hij sunt triumphatores, Goddis frendis an heth.
590 Here good dedis shal neuer be for3eten,
591 for hir blissid name in eternum manet.
592 YDELNES. Heere 3e, siris, al þis breth?
593 A dra3t of ale y had leuer.

594 OCCUPACION. This were a worthy company
595 þat þe apostel loued day and ny3t.
596 DOCTRINE. Vos estis lux mundi,
597 to al þe world þei shal 3eue ly3t.

598 OCCUPACION. þe martiris had a glorious lyf
599 þat for Goddis loue wold dey so.
600 DOCTRINE. A, sir, hij sunt sancti þat neuer dred knyf
601 but pro Dei amore þei suffred wo.

602 O quam gloriosa hire deth is,
603 and hire blod shedynge dede vs moche good.
604 þe blood shedyng wolde brynge vs to blys
605 if þat we ben mylde of mood.

606 Thes blissed confessouris leued clenly
607 and tau3t aboute þe worde of Crist.
608 þer-fore þei sitte in the grete glory
609 where þat al ioy and myrthe is most.

610 Virgines in hire clennes
611 mekely in erthe here leued.
612 Thes be kleped al halowes, y-wys,
613 þat we be-for meved.

614 And al Holi Chirchis pardoun
615 relevith men out of synne;
616 of þes seyntis þat is come,
617 þat is tresore þe Holy Chirche with-ynne.

618 At Cristis owen blode y wyl begynne:
619 his postelis, his marteris, and afterwarde
620 his officeris þat ben out of synne
621 ledde hire lyf here ful harde;

622 and þe clennes of þe maydenes alle
623 make vs good weies in-to heuen.
624 Al Halowen Day hire day men calle,
625 and worship hem with myld steuen.

626 OCCUPACION. A, syr, of men þat leuyth a-day now:
627 shul they in that number be?
628 DOCTRINE. 3e, syr, and wyl 3e se how?
629 Fulgebunt iusti and þus sey we.

630 Ri3twys men may nat fayle, y-wis,
631 to han heuen for hire trauayl.
632 Ri3tfulnes so hie a vertu is
633 þat iusticia manet may nat fayl.

634 OCCUPACION. And how do þey þat haue do synne,
635 and amende hem here ere þey dey?
636 DOCTRINE. Fro heuen blis þei may nat wynne.
637 To aske mercy þei were redy.

638 OCCUPACION. What is mercy? That wold y know;
639 Y prey 3ou, do me to vnderstonde.
640 DOCTRINE. Mercy is þe best seed sow,
641 for aboue al workis he shal stonde.

642 For as per lignum moriebatur mors certayn
643 þurgh a tree oure deth first aroos,
644 and per lignum quoque there agayn
645 by a tree oure lyf was chose,

646 and bro3t oure blys fro deth and stryf;
647 for even as Adam by a tre dede falle,
648 to turne oure deth to euerlastyng lyf
649 on a tre God deyde for vs alle.

650 þer was oleum promissionis shewde
651 þat fro Cristis body ran.
652 Take hede, þou man, and be nat lewde,
653 for al 0ur grace þer first began.

654 Goddis body þer-to was al to-rente
655 and made ful of holis þat euer shal renne
656 to þe blode of mercy þat neuer shal stente
657 jn þe saluacion of synful men.

658 F[ro] his passion til domys day
659 his body shal neuer leue rennyng,
660 and of his blode of mercy euery man gete may
661 if þei repente hire euel leuyng.

662 þer shal noon be warned þat blode of blys;
663 euery man þer-of may gete.
664 þis is þe licoure of mercy þat euery day, y-wys,
665 in Holy Chirche þou may it fette.

666 OCCUPACION. Y thanke Iesu my sauyoure
667 with al my herte and my speche,
668 so fre of þat worthy lycoure
669 as wel to pore as to ryche.

670 DOCTRINE. Nay, sir, 3e fayle þer.
671 þer is no disseuerance but brother and broþer;
672 God bo3t alle like dere
673 and payde as moche for one as for other.

674 þer is no pore, God seith before,
675 but þo þat be in sinne and out of vertu.
676 þei þou haue markis in store
677 þer he shal be as ryche as þou.

678 The riches of heuen is non in gold,
679 it is in vertu and clene lyf,
680 as to þe be-fore is tolde,
681 þat shold be vsed in man and wyf.

682 At domys day God wote
683 who shal be riche, who shal be pore,
684 for þat day wyl be so hote
685 þat be gold men wyl sette no store.

686 OCCUPACION. Sir, þat is come to my mende:
687 whi clepe 3e þat þe grete day?
688 DOCTRINE. For many skile þat y fynde;
689 Y wil declare hem, if y may.

690 þan shal sitte þe grettest iustise [opon]
691 þat euer sate in eny place;
692 al oþer iustisis before hym shal stonde,
693 and al þe lordis þat euer was.

694 So many at ones as we þer shal se
695 neuer at ones in oo place come,
696 for all þat were and euer shal be
697 in heuen, erthe, and helle comyth to dome.

698 þat day wyl be þe grettest wepynge
699 þat euer was sey in eny place before.
700 Many thousandis hire hondis shal wrynge
701 and curse þe tyme þat þei were bore.

702 þer-fore þe grete day clepe y,
703 for þo þat shal be dampned in þat rowte
704 shul wepe more water with here ye
705 þan is in alle þe world rounde aboute.

706 þei shal neuer after sese wepyng,
707 þe water fro hire ey shal renne.
708 þerfor thynke on þis day of rekenyng,
709 and euer after hate þou synne,
710 and in haste þi lyf amende.
711 OCCUPACION. Wyl y neuer worke begynne
712 but y thynke on þe ende.

713 YDELNES. Be my trouthe, no more wil y,
714 for y haue no wil to be a clerke.
715 Of my book y am wery;
716 y was nat wonte to no suche werke.

717 þis book is nat worth a resshe;
718 ten suche are nat worthe a beene!
719 Be my fay, y wyl hym wesshe
720 and make him feyre and clene.
721 Good, 3eue me a litel water
722 þat y may wesshe my book,
723 for þey my maister chide and chater,
724 and þei3 Ocupacion here-of smatere,
725 y wyl no more here-on look.

726 OCCUPACION. What, sonne, what pley is this?
727 YDELNES. Be God, it is neuer þe worse.
728 OCUPACION. Y wyl telle þi maister, y-wis.
729 YDELNES. þer-fore haue þou Goddis curse.

730 OCUPACION. Doctrine, sir, take hede
731 hou 3our clerk shent his book.
732 YDELNES. A, syr, þe Deuel be þi spede.
733 Who badde þe hider look?

734 DOCTRINE. A, lewde losell, what iapes ben thes?
735 þou takest þe to fantasies.
736 Fast sit doun, þou shalt nat chese.
737 YDELNES. A, sire, here be many botter-flyes
738 bothe white and broun.
739 For cokkis blood,
740 take me þyn hode,
741 and y wyl smyte hem doun.

742 DOCTRYNE. A, a, þou dost wel and fyne!
743 Y wyl þe tame, be Seynte Austyne,
744 be þou neuer so wylde.
745 Ocupacion, ley hond on hym, haue do,
746 and myself wyl helpe þer-to.
747 Come forth, my feire childe!

748 YDELNES. Come no nere, y charge þe now,
749 for, and þou do, y make a vow,
750 y wyl stryke þe to þe hert.
751 Wolde God my dagger were grounde!
752 DOCTRINE. Sette honde on hym anon þis stounde;
753 lete him nat sterte.

754 OCUPACION. Come forthe þou shalt, magre thy teeth!
755 YDELNES. Out vpon þe, stronge theef!
756 Wylt þou me spille?
757 DOCTRINE. Haue here one two, and thre!
758 Ydelnes, now thynke on me
759 and holde þi tunge stille.

760 YDELNES. And y lyue y wil be a-wreke.
761 Some of 3our hedis wyl y breke,
762 for 3e haue made me wrothe.
763 DOCTRINE. How seist þou? þat lete me se.
764 YDELNES. Nay, for God, it is he,
765 in recorde of al þis compane,
766 he dede be-shrewe 3ou bothe.

767 DOCTRINE. Fy on þe, harlot, with thi glosynge!
768 þou shalt haue more, be heuen kynge,
769 to teche þe wexe trewe.
770 YDELNES. A, mercy, maister, y cry mercy!
771 For3eue me this and redely
772 our lore wyl y shewe.

773 DOCTRINE. In good feith, þou shalt haue mo,
774 but þou leue þi ydelnes,
775 and but þou study and labour al-so
776 in al þe workis of clennes.

777 For God tau3t his disciplis all,
778 to þe and to oþer teche wyl y,
779 vigilate ergo, grete and small,
780 nescitis qua hora þat 3e shul dey.

781 We know non houre of oure deyinge.
782 þere-fore in prayeris euer shul we be;
783 for with oure Pater noster we shold worship heuen kynge
784 and his blissid moder with an Aue.

785 YDELNES. Y sey now mercy, with herte and speche,
786 for-euer to 3ou wyl y obedient be,
787 and y wyl do as 3e me teche
788 in al þe workis of honeste.
789 Pater noster y wyl begynne.

790 OCUPACION. Lo, how litel maistry it is
791 to brynge in a childe in 3owthe.
792 Frendis, take hede to this,
793 and euer draw 3ou fro slowthe.

794 And þus had he had no techynge
795 he wold haue cursed his frendis a{l},
796 and now he may in tyme comynge
797 be a good man, and so he shall.

798 DOCTRYNE. Art þou sory for þi mys,
799 þe which to þe y wyl reherce?
800 YDELNES. 3e, syr, þat y am, y-wys.
801 þer-of y cry God and 3ou merce.

802 DOCTRINE. þe ten comaundementis þou brake euer-more,
803 þi fyue wyttis þou kepte hem ille.
804 YDELNES. Treuly þat y repente sore.
805 Y wil amende with al my wille.

806 DOCTRINE. þe dedis of mercy dost þou nat fulfylle
807 to poor, seek, presoners al-so.
808 YDELNES. Y wyl amende it with good wylle
809 and y may haue lyf þer-to.

810 DOCTRINE. Now þou forsakest þyn ydelnes,
811 and here-after wilt drede shame,
812 here y caste on þe a clothe of clennes,
813 and Clennes shal be þi name.

814 YDELNES. Worthi mayster, y thanke the,
815 and 3ou, Ocupacion, also;
816 of þis man þat is so fre,
817 and to 3ou wil y euer drawe to.

818 OCUPACION. Now am y glad with al my hert
819 þat euer y mette with þe in þis place,
820 So feire þou art now conuert,
821 fro foly and fantasy turned to grace
822 with so mylde steuen.
823 YDELNES. Mayster, y pray 3ou for charite,
824 þat 3e wolde telle me
825 what powere hath Oure Lady in heuen.

826 DOCTRINE. Aboue al þe wommen þat euer were
827 God chese Mary vnto this,
828 jn hire body hym to bere,
829 et perelegit eam Deus.

830 Sicut lilium amonge thornes growyng
831 sic amica mea inter filias;
832 so is his moder most shynynge,
833 passinge al þe wommen þat euer was.

834 Witnes at hire assumpcion,
835 whan þe angel seide "Que est ista
836 que descendit fro deserte a-doun
837 tanquam fumi virgula?"

838 Et sicut aurora consurgens,
839 neuer sunne shynynge so bry3t,
840 with all delites of swetnes
841 þer þey saw þat glorious sy3t,

842 but at þe ascension of Crist aloon.
843 Whan she to heuen was come
844 God seide to his angel anoon,
845 "Hec est regina virginum,

846 que genuit regem in hire body so clene,
847 cui famulantur angely euery day;
848 þis same body þat 3e here sene,
849 with-in þe blissed sides y lay."

850 God seide to hire, "Amica veni,
851 veni de Libano in flessh and fell.
852 Veni coronaberis in heuen most hy
853 as quene of heuen and emperes of hell."

854 And lady of al þe world she is,
855 hire power is of grete astate.
856 Who-so honoure hire with aues
857 al his desese she wyl abate,

858 so he be clene and out of synne,
859 or in wille for to amende,
860 in euery worke þat he wyl begynne
861 Oure dere Lady wyl be his frende.

862 And but he stonde in that degre
863 y wolde nat 3eue for his prayeris a pere.
864 CLENNES. Y thanke my Lorde in Trynete
865 þat euer y mette with 3ou here.

866 OCUPACION. Thanke we hym of myghtis moste,
867 Fader and Sonne in Trynete,
868 abatere of the Feendis boste,
869 holy my hert y 3elde to the.

870 CLENNES. He vs brynge to good ende
871 þat deyde for vs on Good Fryday,
872 and Mary his moder be oure frende
873 vn-to thi Sonne as 3e best may.

874 DOCTRINE. He that is registred for the ry3t eyre,
875 þat doutful domys-man þat sittith in trone,
876 kepe 3ou euer oute of all dispeyre
877 and graunte 3ou his blissynge euerychone.

878 Amen

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Proper Citation: Occupation and Idleness. At From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. NeCastro, Gerard, ed. http://www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.