From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

The Newcastle Play

A. BOURNE'S TEXT

NOAH'S ARK; or, The SHIPWRIGHTS ANCIENT PLAY, or DIRGE.

Deus incipitur.
Ere was this World that I have wrought,
No Marvel it is if I do show;
Their Folk in Earth I made of Nought,
Now are they fully my Foe.
Vengeance now will I do
Of them that have grieved me ill,
Great Floods shall over them go,
And run over Hoope and Hill.
All Mankind dead shall be,
With Storms both stiff and fleer;
All but Noah my Darling free,
His Children and their Wives,
Ever more yet they trowed in me,
Save therefore I will their Lives.
Henceforth my Angel free,
Into Earth look what thou would,
Greet well Noah in this Degree,
Sleeping thou shalt him find:
Bid him go make a Ship
Of stiff Board and great,
Although he be not a Wright.
Therefore bid him not lett,
He Shall have Wit at Will,
Be that he come thereto;
All Things I him fulfill,
Pitch, Tar, Seam and Rowe.
Bid him in any Manner of Thing,
To Ship when he shall walk,
Of all kine Kind of Beast and Fowl,
The Male and Female with him he take.
Bid him go provey, say so,
In Ship that they not die,
Take with him Hay, Corn and Straw,
For his Fowl and his Fee.
Henceforth my Angel free
Tell him this for certain;
My Blessing with thee be,
While that thou come again.

Angelus dicat.
Waken Noah, to me take tent.
Noah bid, if thou hear this Thing,
Ever whilst thou live thou shall repent.

Noah respondit.
What art thou for Heaven's King,
That wakens Noah off his Sleeping,
Away I would thou went.

Angelus dicat.
It is an Angel to thee fent,
Noah, to tell thee hard Tiding;
For every ilk a Wight for Warks wild,
And many fowled in Sins fair,
And in Felony fowly filled;
Therefore a Shzp thou dight to fleer,
Of true Timber highly railed,
With thirty Cubits in Defence.
Look that she draw when she is drest,
And in her Side a Door thou shear,
With Fenesters full fitly fest,
And make Chambers both more and less,
For a Flood that up shall burst;
Such a Flood in Earth shall be,
That every like Life that hath Life-ward,
Beast and Body with Bone and Blood,
They shall beflormed through Strefs of Storm;
Albeit thou Noah and thy Brood,
And their three Wives in your Hand,
For you are full righteous and good,
You shall be faved by Sea and Land,
In the Ship ere you enter out,
You take with you both Ox and Cow;
Of ilk a Thing that Life has lent,
The Male and Female you take with you.
You fetch in Fother for your Freight,
And make good Purvelance for you prove,
That they perish not in your Sight;
Do Noah as I have bidden thee now.

Noah respondit.
Lord be then in this Stead,
That me and mine will save and shield;
I am a Man no worth at Need,
For I am fiv hundred Winters old,
Unlufly I am to do fuch a Deed,
Worklooms for to work and weeld
For I was never since I was born,
Of Kind of Craft to builden a Boat,
For I have neither Ryff nor Ruff,
Spyer, Sprund, Sprout, no Sprot.
Christ be the Shaper of this Ship,
For a Ship need make I must.
Even wo worth thou fouled Sin,
For all too dear thou must be bought,
God for Thanks he made Mankind,
Or with his Hands that he them wrought;
Therefore or ever you blind,
You mind your Wife, and turn your Thought,
For of my Work I will begin,
So well were me were all forth brought.

Deabolus intrat.
Put off Harro, and wele away,
That ever I uprofe this Day;
So may I smile and say,
I went, there has been none alive,

Man, Beast, Child nor Wife,
But my Servants were they;
All this I have heard say,
A Ship that made should be,
For to save with owten Nay,
Noah and his Meenye;
Yet trow I they Shall be,
Thereto I make a Vow,
If they be never so slee,
To taynt them yet I trow.
To Noah's Wqe will I wynd,
Gare her believe in me;
In Faith she is my Friend,
She is both whunt and flee,
Rest well, rest well, my own Dereday.

Uxor Noah dicat.
Welcome, fewsthere, what is thy Name, Tyte that thou tell me.

Deabolus dicat.
To tell my Name I were full loath,
I come to warn thee of thy Skaith,
I tell thee secretly,
And thou do after thy Husband read,
Thou and thy Children will all be dead,
And that right haflily.

Uxor dicat.
Go Devil, how say, for Shame.

Deabolus dicat.
Yes, hold thee stille Dame,
And I shall tell how;
I swear thee by my crooked Snout,
All that thy Husband goes about
Is little for thy Profit;
Yet shall I tell thee how,
Thou shall weet all his Will;
Do as I shall bid thee now,
Thou shalt weet every Deal.
Have here a Drink full good,
That is made of a mightful Main,
Be he hath drunken a Drink of this,
No longer shall he learn.
Believe, believe, my own dear Dame,
I may no longer bide,
To Ship when thou shall sayre,
I shall be thy Side.

Noah dicat.
This Labour is full great
For like an old Man as me,
Lo, lo, [how] I sweat,
It trickles at our myn ee;
Now Home will I wende,
My weary Bones for to rest,
For such Good as God hath sent,
There I get of the best.
Ref well Day, what Chear with thee.

Uxor dicat.
Welcome, Noah, as might I thee
Welcome to thine own Wayns.
Sit down here beside me,
Thou hast full weary Baynes:
Have eaten, Noah, as might I thee,
And soon a Drink I shall give thee,
Such Drink thou never none afore.

Noah dicat.
What the Devil what Drink is it,
By my Father's Soul I have nere lof my Wit.

Uxor dicat.
Noah, bode you tell me whereabout you wends,
I give God a Vow, we two shall nere be Friends.

Noah dicat.
O Yes Dame could thou layne I would thee tell my Wit,

How Good of Heaven an Angel sent,
And bad me make a Ship,
This World he will fore doe
With Storms both stiff and fleer fell,
All but thee and me, our Children and Wifes.

Uxor dicat.
Who Devil made thee a Wright,
God give him Evil tofayre
Of Hand to have such flight,
To make Ship less or more perfect,
Men should have heard wide where
When you began to smite.

Noah dicat.
Yes Dame it is God's will,
Let be so thou not say,
Go make an End I will,
And come again full throng.

Uxor dicat.
By my Faith I no rake
Whether thou be Friend or Foe,
The Devil of Hell thee speed,
To ship when thou shalt go.

Noah dicat.
God send me Help in high,
To clink you Nail too
God send me help in high,
Your Hand to hold again,
That all may well be done,
My Strokes be not in Vain.

Angelus dicat.
God hath thee Help hither send,
Thereof be thou right bold,
Thy Strokes shall fair be kend,
For thou thy Wife has cowld.
Noah dicat.
Now is this Ship well made
within and without thinks me,
Now home then will I wend
To fetch in my Money,
Have good day both old and young,
My Blefstng with you be.

Deabolus dicat.

All that is gathered in this Stead,
That will not believe in me,
I pray to Dolphin Prince of dead,
Scald you all in his Lead
That never a one of you thrive, nor thee.

FINIS. Amen.


B. EDITED TEXT

NOAH'S ARK; OR THE SHIPWRIGHTS' ANCIENT PLAY OR DIRGE

DEUS INCIPITUR. Me rewes this world that
I have wrought; No marvel if I do sae.
Their folk in earth I made of nought;
Now are they fully my fae.
Vengeance now will I tae
Of them that have grieved me ill.
Great floods shall over them gae,
And run over hoope and hill.

All mankind dead shall be
With storms both steer and stiff,
All but Noah, my darling free,
His children and their wifes;
Evermore yet they trowed in me,
Save therefore I will their life.

Hence forth, my angel free,
Into earth look that thou wind.
Greet well Noah in his degree-
Sleeping thou shalt him find.

Bid him go make a ship
Of stiff board and great;
Although he be not a wright,
Therefore bid him not lett.

He shall have wit at will
Be that he come thereto;
All things I him fulfill-
Pitch, tar, seam, and rowe.

Bid him in any manner of thing,
To ship when he shall walk,
Of alkin beast and fowl with wing
The male and female with him he take.

Bid him go provey, say sae,
In ship that they not dee;
Take with him hay, corn, and strae
For his fowl and his fee.
Hence forth, my angel free,
Tell him this for certain.
My blessing with thee be
While that thou come again.

ANGELUS DICAT. Waken, Noah, to me take tent!
Noah, but if thou hear this thing
Ever whilst thou live thou shall repent.
NOAH RESPONDIT. What art thou, for Heaven's King,
-Away, [away] I would thou went-
That wakens Noah off his sleeping?
ANGELUS DICAT. It is an angel to thee sent,
Noah, to tell thee hard tiding.

For every ilk a wight does warks wild,
And many sowled in sins seir
And in felony fowly filled.
Therefore a ship thou clight to steer,
Of true timber highly railed,
With thirty cubits in defence

Look that she draw when she is drest.
And in her side a door thou shear,
With fenesters full fitly fest;
And make chambers both less and mair
For a flood that up shall brest.

In earth shall be such a flood
That every ilke thing that hath life form,
Beast and body with bone and blood,
They shall be stroied through stress of storm;
Albeit thou, Noah, and thy brood,
And their three wives in your hand,
For you are full righteous and good
You shall be saved by sea and land.

In the ship ere you entent
You take with you both ox and cow;
Of ilk a thing that life has lent
The male and female you take with you.
You fetch in fother for your freight
And make good purveiance for your prow,
That they perish not in your sight.
Do, Noah, as I have bidden thee now.

NOAH RESPONDIT. Lord, be then in this stead,
That me and mine will save and shield.
I am a man no worth at need,
For I am six hundred winters of eld.
Unlusty I am to do such a deed,
Worklooms for to work and weeld.

For I was never in my life
Of kind or craft to burthen a boat;
For I have neither ruff nor ryff,
Spyer, sprund, sprout, nor sprot.
Christ be the shaper of this ship,
For a ship need make I mot.

Even wo worth the, fouled sin,
For all too dear thou must be bought.
God forthinks he made mankin
Or with his hands that he them wrought.
Therefore, [men], or ever you blin,
You mend your life and turn your thought,
For of my work I will begin.
So well were me were all forth brought.

DEABOLUS INTRAT. Out, out, harro, and welaway

That ever I uprose this day!
So may I smile and say,
I wene there has been none alive,
Man, beast, child, nor wife,
But my servants were they.

All this I have heard say,
A ship that made should be
For to save, withowten nay,
Noah and his meenye.

Yet trow I they shall dee-
Thereto I make a vow:
If they be never so slee,
To taynt them yet I trow.

To Noah's wife will I wynd,
Gare her believe in me;
In faith she is my friend,
She is both whunt and slee.

Rest well, rest well, my own dere dame!
UXOR NOAH DICAT. Welcome, bewschere; what is thy name?

Tyte that thou tell me.
DEABOLUS DICAT. To tell my name I were full laith.
I come to warn thee of thy skaith:
I tell thee secretly,
And thou do after thy husband read
Thou and thy children will all be dead,
And that right hastily.

UXOR DICAT. Go, devil, how say, for shame!

DEABOLUS DICAT. Yes, hold the still, lo dame,

And I shall tell [thee] how.
I swear thee by my crooked snout,
All that thy husband goes about
Is little for thy prow.

Yet shall I tell thee how
Thou shall weet all his will.
Do as I bid thee now,
Thou shalt weet every deal.

Have here a drink full good, [iwis],
That is made of a mightful main.
Be he hath drunken a drink of this
No longer shall he lain.

Believe, believe, my own dame dere,
I may no longer bide.
To ship when thow shall fayre,
I shall be [by] thy side.

NOAH DICAT. This labour is full great
For swike an old man as me.
Lo, lo, fast I sweat,
It trickles atour myn ee.

Now home will I wende
My weary bones for to rest,
For such good as God hath sent
There I get of the best.

Rest well, dame, what chear with thee?
UXOR DICAT. Welcome, Noah, as might I thee,
Welcome to thine own wayns!
Sit down here beside me,

Thou hast full weary baynes.
Have eaten, Noah, as might I thee,
And soon a drink I shall give thee,
Such drank thou never ayns.

NOAH DICAT. What the devil!
What drink is it?
By my father's soul,
I have nere lost my wit!

UXOR DICAT. Noah, bot thou tell me [now]
Whereabout thou wends,
I give God [in Heaven] a vow
We two shall nere be friends.

NOAH DICAT. 0 yes, dame, could thou a laint,
I would thee tell my wit-
How God of Heaven
an angel sent
And bad me make a ship.

This world foredoe will he
With storms both steer and stzff,
All but thee and me,
Our children and [their] wifes.

UXOR DICAT. Who devil made thee a wright?
God give him evil to fayre-
Of hand to have such slight
To make ship less or mair.
When thou began to smite
Men should have heard wide-where.

NOAH DICAT. Yes, dame, it is God's will;
Let be, so thou not say.
Go make an end I will,
And come again full thrae.

UXOR DICAT. By my faith, I no rake
Whether thou be friend or foe.
The devil of hell thee take
To ship when thou shalt go.

NOAH DICAT. God send me help in hy
To clink you nails twain;
God send me help in hy
Your hand to hold again.
That all well done may be
My strokes be not in vain.

ANGELUS DICAT. God hath thee help hither send,
Thereof be thou right bold.
Thy strokes shall fair be kend,
For thou thy wife has told.

NOAH DICAT. Now is this ship well yare,
Within and without, thinks me.
Now home then will I fare
To fetch in my meenye.3
Have good day, both less and mair;
My blessing with you be.

DEABOLUS DICAT. All that is gathered in this stead
That will not believe in me,
I pray to Dolphin, prince of dead,
Scald you all in his lead,
That never a one of you thrive nor thee. Finis. AMEN.

© Copyright, 2007. From Stage to Page and Gerard NeCastro. All Rights Reserved.

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