From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The Towneley Cycle, Play 2 - The Killing of Abel (Mactacio Abel)
001 Garcio. All hayll, all hayll, both blithe and glad,
002 Ffor here com I, a mery lad;
003 Be peasse youre dyn, my master bad,
004 Or els the dwill you spede.
005 Wote ye not I com before?
006 Bot who that Ianglis any more
007 He must blaw my blak hoill bore',
008 Both behynd, and before,
009 Till his tethe blede.
010 Ffelows, here I you forbede
011 To make nother nose ne cry;
012 Who so is so hardy to do that dede
013 The dwill hang hym vp to dry.
014 Gedlyngis, I am a fulle grete wat,
015 A good yoman my master hat,
016 Ffull well ye all hym ken;
017 Begyn he with you for to stryfe,
018 Certis, then mon ye neuer thryfe;
019 Bot I trow, bi god on life,
020 Som of you ar his men.
021 Bot let youre lippis couer youre ten,
022 Harlottis, euerichon!
023 Ffor if my master com, welcom hym then.
024 Ffarewell, for I am gone.
025 Cain. Io furth, greyn-horne! and war oute, gryme!
026 Drawes on! god gif you ill to tyme!
027 Ye stand as ye were fallen in swyme;
028 What! will ye no forther, mare?
029 War! let me se how down will draw;
030 Yit, shrew, yit, pull on a thraw!
031 What! it semys for me ye stand none aw!
032 I say, donnyng, go fare!
033 A, ha! god gif the soro & care!
034 Lo! now hard she what I saide;
035 Now yit art thou the warst mare
036 In plogh that euer I haide.
037 How! pike-harnes, how! com heder belife!
038 Garcio. I fend, godis forbot, that euer thou thrife!
039 Cain. What, boy, shal I both hold and drife?
040 Heris thou not how I cry?
041 Garcio. Say, mall and stott, will ye not go?
042 Lemyng, morell, white-horne, Io!
043 Now will ye not se how thay hy?
044 Cain. Gog gif the sorow, boy; want of mete it gars.
045 Garcio. Thare prouand, sir, for thi, I lay behynd thare ars,
046 And tyes them fast bi the nekis,
047 With many stanys in thare hekis.
048 Cain. That shall bi thi fals chekis.
049 Garcio. And haue agane as right.
050 Cain. I am thi master, wilt thou fight?
051 Garcio. Yai, with the same mesure and weght
052 That I boro will I qwite.
053 Cain. We! now, no thyng, bot call on tyte,
054 That we had ployde this land.
055 Harrer, morell, iofurth, hyte!
056 And let the plogh stand.
057 Abel. God, as he both may and can,
058 Spede the, brother, & thi man.
059 Cain. Com kis myne ars, me list not ban,
060 As welcom standis ther oute.
061 Thou shuld haue bide til thou were cald;
062 Com nar, & other drife or hald,
063 And kys the dwillis toute.
064 Go grese thi shepe vnder the toute,
065 Ffor that is the moste lefe.
066 Abel. Broder, ther is none here aboute
067 That wold the any grefe;
068 Bot, leif brother, here my sawe-
069 It is the custom of oure law,
070 All that wyrk as the wise
071 Shall worship god with sacrifice.
072 Oure fader vs bad, oure fader vs kend,
073 That oure tend shuld be brend.
074 Com furth, brothere, and let vs gang
075 To worship god; we dwell full lang;
076 Gif we hym parte of oure fee,
077 Corne or catall, wheder it be.
078 And therfor, brother, let vs weynd,
079 And first clens vs from the feynd
080 Or we make sacrifice;
081 Then blis withoutten end
082 Get we for oure seruyce,
083 Of hym that is oure saulis leche.
084 Cain. How! let furth youre geyse, the fox will preche;
085 How long wilt thou me appech
086 With thi sermonyng?
087 Hold thi tong, yit I say,
088 Euen ther the good wife strokid the hay;
089 Or sit downe in the dwill way,
090 With thi vayn carpyng.
091 Shuld I leife my plogh & all thyng
092 And go with the to make offeryng?
093 Nay! thou fyndys me not so mad!
094 Go to the dwill, and say I bad!
095 What gifys god the to rose hym so?
096 Me gifys he noght bot soro and wo.
097 Abel. Caym, leife this vayn carpyng,
098 Ffor god giffys the all thi lifyng.
099 Cain. Yit boroed I neuer a farthyng
100 Of hym, here my hend.
101 Abel. Brother, as elders haue vs kend,
102 Ffirst shuld, we tend with oure hend,
103 And to his lofyng sithen be brend.
104 Cain. My farthyng is in the preest hand
105 Syn last tyme I offyrd.
106 Abel. Leif brother, let vs be walkand;
107 I wold oure tend were profyrd.
108 Cain. We! wherof shuld I tend, leif brothere?
109 Ffor I am ich yere wars then othere,
110 Here my trouth it is none othere;
111 My wynnyngis ar bot meyn,
112 No wonder if that I be leyn;
113 Ffull long till hym I may me meyn,
114 Ffor bi hym that me dere boght,
115 I traw that he will leyn me noght.
116 Abel. Yis, all the good thou has in wone
117 Of godis grace is bot a lone.
118 Cain. Lenys he me, as come thrift apon the so?
119 Ffor he has euer yit beyn my fo;
120 Ffor had he my freynd, beyn,
121 Other gatis it had beyn seyn.
122 When all mens corn was fayre in feld,
123 Then was myne not worth a neld;
124 When I shuld saw, & wantyd seyde,
125 And of corn had full grete neyde,
126 Then gaf he me none of his,
127 No more will I gif hym of this.
128 Hardely hold me to blame
129 Bot if I serue hym of the same.
130 Abel. Leif brother, say not so,
131 Bot let vs furth togeder go;
132 Good brother, let vs weynd sone,
133 No longer here I rede we hone.
134 Cain. Yei, yei, thou Iangyls waste;
135 The dwill me spede if I haue hast,
136 As long as I may lif,
137 To dele my good or gif
138 Ather to god or yit to man,
139 Of any good that euer I wan;
140 Ffor had I giffen away my goode,
141 Then myght I go with a ryffen hood,
142 And it is better hold that I haue
143 Then go from doore to doore & craue.
144 Abel. Brother, com furth, in godis name,
145 I am full ferd, that we get blame;
146 Hy we fast that we were thore.
147 Cain. We! ryn on, in the dwills nayme Before!
148 Wemay, man, I hold the mad!
149 Wenys thou now that I list gad
150 To gif away my warldis aght?
151 The dwill hym spede that me so taght!
152 What nede had I my trauell to lose,
153 To were my shoyn & ryfe my hose?
154 Abel. Dere brother, hit were grete wonder
155 That I & thou shuld go in sonder,
156 Then wold oure fader haue grete ferly;
157 Ar we not brether, thou & I?
158 Cain. No, bot cry on, cry, whyls the thynk good;
159 Here my trowth, I hold the woode;
160 Wheder that he be blithe or wroth
161 To dele my good is me full lothe.
162 I haue gone oft on softer wise
163 Ther I trowed som prow wold rise.
164 Bot well I se go must I nede;
165 Now weynd before, ill myght thou spede!
166 Syn that we shall algatis go.
167 Abel. Leif brother, whi sais thou so?
168 Bot go we furth both togeder;
169 Blissid, be god we haue fare weder.
170 Cain. Lay downe thi trussell apon this hill.
171 Abel. Fforsoth broder, so I will:
172 Gog of heuen, take it to good.
173 Cain. Thou shall tend first if thou were wood.
174 Abel. God that shope both erth and heuen,
175 I pray to the thou here my steven,
176 And take in thank, if thi will be,
177 The tend that I offre here to the;
178 Ffor I gif it in good entent
179 To the, my lord, that all has sent.
180 I bren it now, with stedfast thoght,
181 In worship of hym that all has wroght.
182 Cain. Ryse! let me now, syn thou has done;
183 Lord of heuen, thou here my boyne!
184 And ouer, godis forbot, be to the
185 Thank or thew to kun me;
186 Ffor, as browke I thise two shankys,
187 It is full sore, myne vnthankys,
188 The teynd that I here gif to the,
189 Of corn, or thyng, that newys me;
190 Bot now begyn will I then,
191 Syn I must nede my tend to bren.
192 Oone shefe, oone, and this makys two,
193 Bot nawder of thise may I forgo:
194 Two, two, now this is thre,
195 Yei, this also shall leif with me:
196 Ffor I will chose and best haue,
197 This hold I thrift of all this thrafe;
198 Wemo, wemo, foure, lo, here!
199 Better groved, me no this yere.
200 At yere tyme I sew fayre corn,
201 Yit was it sich when it was shorne,
202 Thystyls & brerys, yei grete plente,
203 And all kyn wedis that myght be.
204 Ffoure shefis, foure, lo, this makis fyfe-
205 Deyll I fast thus long or I thrife-
206 Ffyfe and sex, now this is sevyn,
207 Bot this gettis neuer god of heuen;
208 Nor none of thise foure, at my myght,
209 Shall neuer com in godis sight.
210 Sevyn, sevyn, now this is aght,
211 Abel. Cain, brother, thou art not god betaght.
212 Cain. We! therfor is it that I say,
213 Ffor I will not deyle my good away:
214 Bot had I gyffen hym this to teynd
215 Then wold thou say he were my Freynd;
216 Bot I thynk not, bi my hode,
217 To departe so lightly fro my goode.
218 We! aght, aght, & neyn, & ten is this,
219 We! this may we best mys.
220 Gif hym that that ligis thore?
221 It goyse agans myn hart full sore.
222 Abel. Cam! teynd right of all bedeyn.
223 Cain. We! lo twelve, fyfteyn, sexteyn
224 Abel. Caym, thou tendis wrang, and of the warst.
225 Cain. We! com nar, and hide myne een;
226 In the wenyand wist ye now at last,
227 Or els will thou that I wynk?
228 Then shall I doy no wrong, me thynk.
229 Let me se now how it is-
230 Lo, yit I hold me paide;
231 I teyndyd wonder well bi ges,
232 And so euen I laide.
233 Abel. Came, of god me thynke thou has no drede.
234 Cain. Now and he get more, the dwill me spede!
235 As mych as oone reepe,
236 Ffor that cam hym full light chepe;
237 Not as mekill, grete ne small,
238 As he myght wipe his ars with all.
239 Ffor that, and this that lyys here,
240 Haue cost me full dere;
241 Or it was shorne, and broght in stak,
242 Had I many a wery bak;
243 Therfor aske me no more of this,
244 Ffor I haue giffen that my will is.
245 Abel. Cam, I rede thou tend right
246 Ffor drede of hym that sittis on hight.
247 Cain. How that I tend, rek the neuer a deill,
248 Bot tend thi skabbid shepe wele;
249 Ffor if thou to my teynd tent take,
250 It bese the wars for thi sake.
251 Thou wold I gaf hym this shefe, or this sheyfe;
252 Na, nawder of thise [two] wil I leife;
253 Bot take this, now has he two,
254 And for my saull now mot it go,
255 Bot it gos sore agans my will,
256 And shal he like full ill.
257 Abel. Cam, I reyde thou so teynd
258 That god of heuen be thi freynd.
259 Cain. My freynd? na, not bot if he will!
260 I did hym neuer yit bot skill.
261 If he be neuer so my fo,
262 I am avisid, gif hym no mo;
263 Bot chaunge thi conscience, as I do myn,
264 Yit teynd thou not thi mesel swyne?
265 Abel. If thou teynd right thou mon it fynde.
266 Cain. Yei, kys the dwills ars behynde;
267 The dwill hang the bi the nek!
268 How that I teynd, neuer thou rek.
269 Will thou not yit hold thi peasse?
270 Of this Ianglyng I reyde thou seasse.
271 And teynd I well, or tend I ill,
272 Bere the euen & speke bot skill.
273 Bot now syn thou has teyndid thyne,
274 Now will I set fyr on myne.
275 We! out! haro! help to blaw!
276 It will not bren for me, I traw;
277 Puf! this smoke dos me mych shame-
278 Now bren, in the dwillys name!
279 A! what dwill of hell is it?
280 Almost had myne breth beyn dit.
281 Had I blawen oone blast more
282 I had beyn choked right thore;
283 It stank like the dwill in hell,
284 That longer ther myght I not dwell.
285 Abel. Cam, this is not worth oone leke;
286 Thy tend shuld bren withoutten smeke.
287 Cain. Com kys the dwill right in the ars,
288 For the it brens bot the wars;
289 I wold that it were in thi throte,
290 Ffyr, & shefe, and ich a sprote.
291 God. Cam, whi art thou so rebell
292 Agans thi brother abell?
293 Thar thou nowther flyte ne chyde,
294 If thou tend right thou gettis thi mede;
295 And be thou sekir, if thou teynd fals,
296 Thou bese alowed ther after als.
297 Cain. Whi, who is that hob-ouer-the-wall?
298 We! who was that that piped so small?
299 Com go we hens, for perels all;
300 God is out of hys wit.
301 Com furth, abell, & let vs weynd;
302 Me thynk that god is not my freynd,
303 On land then will I flyt.
304 Abel. A, Caym, brother, that is ill done.
305 Cain. No, bot go we hens sone;
306 And if I may, I shall be
307 Ther as god shall not me see.
308 Abel. Dere brother, I will fayre
309 On feld ther oure bestis ar,
310 To looke if thay be holgh or full.
311 Cain. Na, na, abide, we haue a craw to pull;
312 Hark, speke with me or thou go;
313 What! wenys thou to skape so?
314 We! na! I aght the a fowll dispyte,
315 And now is tyme that I hit qwite.
316 Abel. Brother, whi art thou so to me in Ire?
317 Cain. We! theyf, whi brend thi tend so shyre?
318 Ther myne did bot smoked
319 Right as it wold vs both haue choked.
320 Abel. Godis will I trow it were
321 That myn brened so clere;
322 If thyne smoked am I to wite?
323 Cain. We! yei! that shal thou sore abite;
324 With cheke bon, or that I blyn,
325 Shal I the & thi life twyn;
326 So lig down ther and take thi rest,
327 Thus shall shrewes be chastysed best.
328 Abel. Veniance, veniance, lord, I cry!
329 For I am slayn, & not gilty.
330 Cain. Yei, ly ther old shrew, ly ther, ly!
331 And if any of you thynk I did amys
332 I shal it amend wars then it is,
333 That all men may it se:
334 Well wars then it is
335 Right so shall it be.
336 Bot now, syn he is Broght on Slepe,
337 Into Som hole fayn wold I crepe;
338 Ffor ferd I qwake and can no rede,
339 Ffor be I taken, I be bot dede;
340 Here will I lig thise fourty dayes,
341 And I shrew hym that me fyrst rayse.
342 God. Caym, Caym!
343 Cain. Who is that that callis me?
344 I am yonder, may thou not se?
345 God. Caym, where is thi brother abell?
346 Cain. What askis thou me? I trow at hell:
347 At hell I trow he be-
348 Who so were ther then myght he se-
349 Or somwhere fallen on slepyng;
350 When was he in my kepyng?
351 God. Caym, Caym, thou was wode;
352 The voyce of thi brotheris blode
353 That thou has slayn, on fals wise,
354 From erth to heuen venyance cryse.
355 And, for thou has broght thi brother downe,
356 Here I gif the my malison.
357 Cain. Yei, dele aboute the, for I will none,
358 Or take it the when I am gone.
359 Syn I haue done so mekill syn,
360 That I may not thi mercy wyn,
361 And thou thus dos me from thi grace,
362 I shall hyde me fro thi face;
363 And where so any man may fynd me,
364 Let hym slo me hardely;
365 And where so any man may me meyte,
366 Ayther bi sty, or yit bi strete;
367 And hardely, when I am dede,
368 Bery me in gudeboure at the quarell hede,
369 Ffor, may I pas this place in quarte,
370 Bi all men set I not a fart.
371 God. Nay, caym, it bese not so;
372 I will that no man other slo,
373 Ffor he that sloys yong or old
374 It shall be punyshid sevenfold.
375 Cain. No force, I wote wheder I shall;
376 In hell I wote mon be my stall.
377 It is no boyte mercy to craue,
378 Ffor if I do I mon none haue;
379 Bot this cors I wold were hid,
380 Ffor som man myght com at vngayn,
381 'ffle fals shrew,' wold he bid,
382 And weyn I had my brother slayn.
383 Bot were pike-harnes, my knafe, here,
384 We shuld bery hym both in fere.
385 How, pyke-harnes, scape-thryft! how, pike-harnes, how!
386 Garcio. Master, master!
387 Cain. Harstow, boy? ther is a podyng in the pot;
388 Take the that, boy, tak the that!
389 Garcio. I shrew thi ball vnder thi hode,
390 If thou were my syre of flesh & blode;
391 All the day to ryn and trott,
392 And euer amang thou strykeand,
393 Thus am I comen bofettis to fott.
394 Cain. Peas, man, I did it bot to vse my hand;
395 Bot Harke, boy, I haue a counsell to the to Say-
396 I slogh my brother this same day;
397 I pray the, good boy, and thou may,
398 To ryn away with the bayn.
399 Garcio. We! out apon the, thefe!
400 Has thou thi brother slayn?
401 Cain. Peasse, man, for godis payn!
402 I saide it for a skaunce.
403 Garcio. Yey, bot for ferde of grevance
404 Here I the forsake;
405 We mon haue a mekill myschaunce
406 And the bayles vs take.
407 Cain. A, sir, I cry you mercy; seasse!
408 And I shall make you a releasse.
409 Garcio. What, wilt thou cry my peasse
410 Thrughout this land?
411 Cain. Yey, that I gif god a vow, belife.
412 Garcio. How will thou do long or thou thrife?
413 Cain. Stand vp, my good boy, belife,
414 And thaym peasse both man & [w]ife;
415 And who so will do after me
416 Ffull slape of thrift then shal he be.
417 Bot thou must be my good boy,
418 And cry oyes, oyes, oy!
419 Garcio. Browes, browes, to thi boy.
420 Cain. I commaund, you in the kyngis nayme,
421 Garcio. And in my masteres, fals Cayme,
422 Cain. That no man at thame fynd fawt ne blame.
423 Garcio. Yey, cold rost is at my masteres hame.
424 Cain. Nowther with hym nor with his knafe,
425 Garcio. What, I hope my master rafe.
426 Cain. Ffor thay ar trew, full many fold;
427 Garcio. My master suppys no coyle bot cold.
428 Cain. The kyng wrytis you vntill.
429 Garcio. Yit ete I neuer half my fill.
430 Cain. The kyng will that thay be safe,
431 Garcio. Yey, a draght of drynke fayne wold I hayfe.
432 Cain. At thare awne will let tham wafe;
433 Garcio. My stomak is redy to receyfe.
434 Cain. Loke no man say to theym, on nor other;
435 Garcio. This same is he that slo his brother.
436 Cain. Byd euery man thaym luf and lowt,
437 Garcio. Yey, ill spon weft ay comes foule out.
438 Cain. Long or thou get thi hoyse and thou go thus aboute.
439 Byd euery man theym pleasse to pay.
440 Garcio. Yey, gif don, thyne hors, a wisp of hay.
441 Cain. We! com downe in twenty dwill way,
442 The dwill I the betake;
443 Ffor bot it were abell, my brothere,
444 Yit knew I neuer thi make.
445 Garcio. Now old and yong, or that ye weynd,
446 The same blissyng withoutten end,
447 All sam then' shall ye haue,
448 That god of heuen my master has giffen;
449 Browke it well, whils that ye liffen,
450 He vowche it full well safe.
451 Cain. Com downe yit in the dwillis way,
452 And angre me no more;
453 And take yond plogh, I say,
454 And weynd the furth fast before;
455 And I shall, if I may,
456 Tech the another lore;
457 I warn the lad, for ay,
458 Ffro now furth, euermore,
459 That thou greue me noght;
460 Ffor, bi Godis sydis, if thou do,
461 I shall hang the apon this plo,
462 With this rope, lo, lad, lo!
463 By hym that me dere boght.
464 Now fayre well, felows all,
465 Ffor I must nedis weynd,
466 And to the dwill be thrall,
467 Warld, withoutten end.
468 Ordand ther is my stall,
469 With sathanas the feynd,
470 Euer ill myght hym befall
471 That theder me commend,
472 This tyde.
473 Ffare well les, & fare well more,
474 Ffor now and euer more,
475 I will go me to hyde.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The Towneley Cycle, Play 2 - The Killing of Abel (Mactacio Abel). From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http:www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.