From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
N-Town Cycle, Play 19 - The Purification at the Temple
1 SYMEON JUSTUS I haue be prest in Jherusalem here
2 And tawth Goddys lawe many a 3ere,
3 Desyrynge in all my mende
4 þat þe tyme we[re] neyhand nere
5 In which Goddys son xul apere
6 In erthe to take mankende,
7 Or I deyd þat I myght fynde
8 My Savyour with myn ey to se.
9 But þat it is so longe behynde,
10 It is grett dyscomforte onto me.
11 For I wax olde and wante my myght
12 And begynne to fayle my syght,
13 þe more I sorwe þis tyde,
14 Save only, as I telle 3ow ryght,
15 God of his grace hath me hyght
16 þat blysful byrth to byde.
17 Wherfore now here besyde
18 To sancta sanctorum wyl I go,
19 To pray God to be my gyde,
20 To comfort me aftyr my wo.
Here Symeon knelyth and seyth:
21 A, gode God in Trinité,
22 Whow longe xal I abyde the
23 Tyl þat þu þi son doth sende,
24 þat I in erth myght hym se?
25 Good Lord, consydyr to me--
26 I drawe fast to an ende--
27 þat, or my strenthis fro me wende,
28 Gode Lorde, send dow[n] þi son,
29 þat I with my ful mende
30 Myght wurchepp hym if I con;
31 Bothe with my fete and hondys to
32 To go to hym and handele also,
33 My eyn to se hym, in certayn,
34 My tonge for to speke hym to,
35 And all my lemys to werke and do,
36 In his servyse to be bayn,
37 Send forth þi son, my Lord sovereyn,
38 Hastely, anon, withowte teryenge;
39 For fro þis world I wolde be fayn--
40 It is contrary to my levynge.
41 ANGELUS Symeon, leff þi careful stevene,
42 For þi prayer is herd in hevene.
43 To Jherusalem fast now wynne,
44 And þer xalt se ful evene
45 He þat is Goddys son for to nemene
46 In þe templ[e] þer þu dwellyst inne.
47 The dyrknes of orygynal synne
48 He xal make lyght and clarefye.
49 And now þe dede xal begynne
50 Whiche hath be spokyn be prophecye.
51 SYMEON A, I thank þe, Lord of Grace,
52 þat hath grauntyd me tyme and space
53 To lyve and hyde thys!
54 And I wyl walk now to þe place
55 Where I may se þi sonys face,
56 Which is my joye and blys.
57 I was nevyr lyghtere, iwys,
58 To walke nevyr herebeforn!
59 For a mery tyme now is
60 Whan God, my Lord, is born!
61 ANNA PROPHETESSA Al heyl, Symeon, what tydyngys with 3ow?
62 Why make 3e al þis myrth now?
63 Telle me whedyr 3e fare.
64 SYMEON Anne Prophetes, and 3e wyst whov,
65 So xulde 3e, I make avow,
66 And all maner men þat are.
67 For Goddys son, as I declare,
68 Is born to bye mankende!
69 Oure Savyour is come to sesyn oure care,
70 þerfore haue I grett merth to wende.
71 And þat is þe cawse I hast me
72 Onto þe temple hym to se.
73 And þerfore left me not, good frende.
74 ANNA Now blyssyd be God in Trinyté
75 Syn þat tyme is come to be!
76 And with 3ow wyl I wende
77 To se my Savyour ende,
78 And wurchepp hym also
79 With all my wytt and my ful mende.
80 As I am bound now wyl I do.
Et tunc ibunt ambo ad templum et prophetissa.
81 SYMEON In be temple of God, who vndyrstod,
82 þis day xal be offeryd with mylde mood
83 Which þat is kynge of alle,
84 þat xal be skorgyd and shedde his blood
85 And aftyr dyen on þe rood
86 Withowtyn cawse to calle;
87 For whos Passyon þer xal beffalle
88 Swych a sorwe bothe sharpe and smerte,
89 þat as a swerd perce it xalle
90 3evene thorwe his moderys herte.
91 ANNA PROP[HETISSA] 3a, þat xal be, as I wel fende,
92 For redempcyon of all mankende,
93 þat blysse for to restore
94 Whiche hath be lost fro oute of mende,
95 As be oure fadyr of oure owyn kende,
96 Adam, and Eue beffore.
97 MARIA Joseph, my husbond, withowtyn mys,
98 3e wote þat fourty days nere is
99 Sythe my sonys byrth ful ryght.
100 Wherfore we must to þe temple, iwys,
101 þer for to offre oure sone of blys
102 Up to his fadyr in hyght.
103 And I in Goddys syght
104 Puryfyed for to be,
105 In clene sowle with al my myght,
106 In presence of þe Trinyté.
107 JOSEPH To be purefyed haue 3e no nede,
108 Ne þi son to be offryd, so God me spede.
109 For fyrst þu art ful clene,
110 Vndefowlyd in thought and dede;
111 And anothyr, þi son, withowtyn drede,
112 Is God and man to mene.
113 Wherefore it nedyd not to bene,
114 But to kepe þe lawe on Moyses wyse.
115 Whereffore we xal take us betwene
116 Dowys and turtelys for sacrefyce.
Et ibunt ad templum.
117 SYMEON All heyl, my kyndely comfortour!
118 ANNA PROPHETISSA All heyl, mankyndys creatoure!
119 SYMEON All heyl, þu God of Myght!
120 ANNA PROPHETISSA All heyl, mankyndys Savyour!
121 SYMEON All heyl, bothe kynge and emperour!
122 ANNA PROPHETISSA All heyl, as it is ryght.
123 SYMEON All heyl also, Mary bryght!
124 ANNA PROPHETISSA All heyl, salver of seknes!
125 SYMEON All heyl, lanterne of lyght!
126 ANNA PROPHETISSA All heyl, þu modyr of mekenes!
127 MARIA Symeon, I vndyrstand and se
128 þat bothyn of my sone and me
129 3e haue knowynge clere.
130 And also in 3oure compané
131 My sone desyryth for to be,
132 And þerffore haue hym here.
Et accipiet Jhesum.
133 SYMEON Welcome, prynce withowte pere!
134 Welcome, Goddys owyn sone!
135 Welcome, my Lord so dere,
136 Welcome with me to wone.
Suscepimus Deus misericordiam tuam.
137 Lord God in magesté,
138 We haue receyvyd þis day of þe
139 In myddys of þi temple here
140 Thy grett mercy, as we may se.
141 Therfore þi name of grett degré
142 Be wurchepyd in all manere
143 Over all þis werde, bothe fer and nere,
144 3evyn onto þe [vterest] ende.
145 For now is man owt of daungere,
146 And rest and pes to all mankende.
Nunc dimittis seruum tuum, Domine, et cetera.
The psalme songyn every vers, and þerqwyl Symeon pleyth with þe child; and qwhan þe psalme is endyd he seyth:
147 Now lete me dye, Lorde, and hens pace,
148 For I, þi servaunt in þis place
149 Haue sen my Sauyour dere,
150 Whiche þu hast ordeyned beforn þe face
151 Of al mankynde þis tyme of grace
152 Opynly to appere.
153 þi lyth is shynand clere
154 To all mankyndys savacyon.
155 Mary, take 3oure childe now here,
156 And kepe wel þis, manis savacyon.
157 ANNA PROPHETISSA Ne I rowth nere to dye also,
158 For more than fowre skore 3ere and to
159 þis tyme hath bede to se.
160 And sythe þat it is come þerto,
161 What Goddys wyl is with me to do,
162 Ryght evyn so mot it be.
163 JOSEPH Take here these candelys thre,
164 Mary, Symeon, and Anne.
165 And I xal take þe fowrte to me
166 To offre oure childe up thanne.
167 MARIA Hyest fadyr, God of powere,
168 3oure owyn dere son I offre 3ow here.
169 As I to 3oure lawe am sworn,
170 Receyve þi childe in glad manere.
171 For he is þe fyrst, þis childe so dere,
172 þat of his modyr is born.
173 But þow I offre hym 3ow beforn,
174 Good Lord, 3it 3yf me hyrn a3en,
175 For my comforte were fully lorn
176 If we xuld longe asondyr ben.
Mari leyth þe childe on þe autere.
177 JOSEPH Sere prest of þe temple, now
178 Haue he[re] fyff pens vnto 3ow,
179 Oure childe a3en to take.
180 It is þe lawe, as 3e woot how.
181 CAPELLANUS Joseph, 3e an do ryght anow
182 As for 3oure childys sake.
183 But othere offerynge 3ett must 3e make.
184 And þerfore take 3oure sone, Mary.
185 In meche joye 3e may awake
186 Whylys he is in 3oure company.
187 MARIA Therto I am ful glad and fayn
188 For to receyve my childe agayn,
189 Ellys were I to blame;
190 And afterewarde for to be bayn
191 To offre to God, in ful certayn,
192 As in my sonys name
193 With fowlys bothe wylde and tame.
194 For in Goddys servyse I xal nevyr irke.
195 JOSEPH Lo, Mary, haue here tho same
196 To do þi dewtys of Holy Kyrke.
And þer Mary offeryth fowlys onto þe autere and seyth:
197 MARIA Allmyghtyfful Fadyr, mercyful Kynge,
198 Receyvyth now þis lytyl offrynge,
199 For it is be fyrst in degré
200 þat 3oure lytyl childe so 3ynge
201 Presentyth today be my shewyng
202 To 3oure hy3 magesté.
203 Of his sympyl poverté,
204 Be his devocyon and my good wylle,
205 Vpon 3oure awtere receyve of me
206 3oure sonys offrynge, as it is skylle.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. N-Town Cycle, Play 19 - The Purification at the Temple. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http://www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.