From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The Towneley Cycle, Play 4 - Abraham (Incomplete)
001 Abraham. Adonay, thou god veray,
002 Thou here vs when we to the call,
003 As thou art he that best may,
004 Thou art most socoure and help of all;
005 Mightfull lord! to the I pray,
006 Let onys the oyle of mercy fall,
007 Shall I neuer abide that day,
008 Truly yit I hope I shall.
009 Mercy, lord omnipotent!
010 Long syn he this warld has wroght;
011 Wheder ar all oure elders went?
012 This musys mekill in my thoght.
013 Ffrom adam, vnto eue assent,
014 Ete of that appyll sparid he noght,
015 Ffor all the wisdom that he ment
016 Ffull dere that bargan has he boght,
017 Ffrom paradise thai bad hym gang;
018 He went mowrnyng with symple chere,
019 And after liffyd he here full lang,
020 More then thre hundreth yere,
021 In sorow and in trauell strang,
022 And euery day he was in were;
023 His childre angred, hym amang;
024 Caym slo abell, was hym full dere.
025 Sithen Noe, that was trew and good,
026 His and his chyldre thre,
027 Was saued when all was flood:
028 That was a wonder thyng to se.
029 And loth fro sodome when he yode,
030 Thre cytees brent, yit eschapyd, he;
031 Thus, for thai menged my lordis mode,
032 He vengid syn thrugh his pauste'.
033 When I thynk of oure elders all,
034 And of the mervels that has been,
035 No gladnes in my hart may fall,
036 M[y] comfort goys away full cleyn.
037 Lord, when shall dede make me his thrall?
038 An hundreth yeris, certis, haue I seyn;
039 Ma fa! sone I hope he shall,
040 Ffor it were right hie tyme I weyn.
041 Yit adam is to hell gone,
042 And ther has ligen many a day,
043 And all oure elders, euerychon,
044 Thay ar gone the same way,
045 Vnto god will here thare mone;
046 Now help, lord, adonay!
047 Ffor, certis, I can no better wone,
048 And ther is none that better may.
049 God. I will help adam and his kynde,
050 Might I luf and lewte fynd;
051 Wold thay to me be trew, and blyn
052 Of thare pride and of thare syn:
053 My seruand I will found & frast,
054 Abraham, if he be trast;
055 On certan wise I will hym proue,
056 If he to me be trew of louf.
057 Abraham! Abraham!
058 Abraham. Who is that? war! let me se!
059 I herd oone neven my name.
060 God. It is I, take tent to me,
061 That fourmed thi fader adam,
062 And euery thyng in it degre.
063 Abraham. To here thi will, redy I am,
064 And to fulfill, what euer it be.
065 God. Of mercy haue I herd thi cry,
066 Thi devoute prayers haue me bun;
067 If thou me luf, look that thou hy
068 Vnto the land of Visyon;
069 And the thryd day be ther, bid, I,
070 And take with the, Isaac, thi son,
071 As a beest to sacryfy,
072 To slo hym look thou not shon,
073 And bren hym ther to thyn offerand.
074 Abraham. A, lovyd be thou, lord in throne!
075 Hold ouer me, lord, thy holy hand,
076 Ffor certis thi bidyng shall be done.
077 Blissyd be that lord in euery land
078 Wold viset his seruand thus so soyn.
079 Ffayn wold I this thyng ordand,
080 Ffor it profettis noght to hoyne;
081 This commaundement must I nedis fulfill,
082 If that my hert wax hevy as leyde;
083 Shuld I offend my lordis will?
084 Nay, yit were I leyffer my child were dede.
085 What so he biddis me, good or ill,
086 That shall be done in euery steede;
087 Both wife and child, if he bid spill;
088 I wille not do agans his rede.
089 Wist Isaac, wher so he were,
090 He wold be abast now,
091 How that he is in dangere.
092 Isaac, son, wher art thou?
093 Isaac. All redy, fader, Lo me here;
094 Now was I commyng vnto you;
095 I luf you mekill, fader dere.
096 Abraham. And dos thou so? I wold wit how
097 Lufis thou me, son, as thou has saide.
098 Isaac. Yei, fader, with all myn hart,
099 More then all that euer was maide;
100 God hold, me long youre life in quart!
101 Abraham. Now, who would not be glad that had
102 A child so lufand as thou art?
103 Thi lufly chere makis my hert glad,
104 And many a tyme so has it gart.
105 Go home, son; com sone agane,
106 And tell thi moder I com ful fast;
107 So now god the saif and sayne!
108 Now well is me that he is past!
109 Alone, right here in this playn,
110 Might I speke to myn hart brast,
111 I wold, that all were well ful fayn,
112 Bot it must nedis be done at last;
113 And it is good that I be war,
114 To be avised full good it were.
115 The land of vision is ful far,
116 The thrid day end must I be there;
117 Myn ase shall with vs, if it thar,
118 To bere oure harnes les & more,
119 Ffor my son may be slayn no nar;
120 A swerd must with vs yit therfore,
121 And I shall found, to make me yare;
122 This nyght will I begyn my way,
123 THof Isaac be neuer so fayre,
124 And myn awn son, the soth to say,
125 And, thof he be myn right haire,
126 And all shuld, weld, after my day,
127 Godis bydyng shall I not spare;
128 Shuld I that ganstand? we, nay, ma fay!
130 Isaac. Sir!
131 Abraham. Luke thou be bowne;
132 Ffor certan, son, thi self and I,
133 We two must now weynd, furth of towne,
134 In far country to sacrifie,
135 Ffor certan skyllys and encheson.
136 Take wod and fyere with the, in hy;
137 Bi hillys and, dayllys, both vp & downe,
138 Son, thou shal ride and, I will go bi.
139 Looke thou mys noght that thou shuld, nede;
140 Do make the redy, my darlyng!
141 Isaac. I am redy to do this dede,
142 And euer to fulfill youre bydyng.
143 Abraham. My dere son, look thou haue no drede,
144 We shal com home with grete lovyng;
145 Both to & fro I shal vs lede;
146 Com now, son, in my blyssyng.
147 Ye two here with this asse abide,
148 Ffor Isaac & I will to yond hill;
149 It is so hie we may not ride,
150 Therfor ye two shal abide here still.
151 Primus Puer. Sir, ye ow not to be denyed:
152 We ar redy youre bydyng to fulfill.
153 Secundus Puer. What so euer to vs betide
154 To do youre bidyng ay we will.
155 Abraham. Godis blyssyng haue ye both in fere;
156 I shall not tary long you fro.
157 Primus Puer. Sir, we shal abide you here,
158 Oute of this stede shall we not go.
159 Abraham. Childre, ye ar ay to me full dere,
160 I pray god kepe [you] euer fro wo.
161 Secundus Puer. We will do, sir, as ye vs lere.
162 Abraham. Isaac, now ar we bot we two,
163 We must go a full good paase,
164 Ffor it is farther than I wend;
165 We shall make myrth & grete solace,
166 Bi this thyng be broght to end.
167 Lo, my son, here is the place.
168 Isaac. Wod and fyere ar in my hend;
169 Tell me now, if ye haue space,
170 Where is the beest that shuld, be brend?
171 Abraham. Now, son, I may no longer layn.
172 Sich will is into myne hart went;
173 Thou was euer to me full bayn
174 Euer to fulfill myn entent.
175 Bot certanly thou must be slayn,
176 And it may be as I haue ment.
177 Isaac. I am hevy and nothyng fayn,
178 Thus hastely that shall be shent.
179 Abraham. Isaac!
180 Isaac. Sir?
181 Abraham. Com heder, bid I;
182 Thou shal be dede what so euer betide.
183 Isaac. A, fader, mercy! mercy!
184 Abraham. That I say may not be denyde;
185 Take thi dede therfor mekely.
186 Isaac. A, good sir, abide;
188 Abraham. What son?
189 Isaac. To do youre will I am redy,
190 Where so euer ye go or ride,
191 If I may oght ouertake youre will,
192 Syn I haue trepa[s]t I wold be bet.
193 Abraham. Isaac!
194 Isaac. What, sir?
195 Abraham. Good son, be still.
196 Isaac. Ffader!
197 Abraham. What, son!
198 Isaac. Think on thi get!
199 What haue I done?
200 Abraham. Truly, none ill.
201 Isaac. And shall be slayn?
202 Abraham. So haue I het.
203 Isaac. Sir, what may help?
204 Abraham. Certis, no skill.
205 Isaac. I ask mercy.
206 Abraham. That may not let.
207 Isaac. When I am dede, and closed, in clay,
208 Who shall then be youre son?
210 A, lord, that I shuld abide this day!
211 Isaac. Sir, who shall do that I was won?
212 Abraham. Speke no sich wordis, son, I the pray.
213 Isaac. Shall ye me slo?
214 Abraham. I trow I mon;
215 Lyg still! I smyte!
216 Isaac. Sir, let me say.
217 Abraham. Now, my dere child, thou may not shon.
218 Isaac. The shynyng of youre bright blayde
219 It gars me quake for ferde to dee.
220 Abraham. Therfor groflyngis thou shall be layde,
221 Then when I stryke thou shal not se.
222 Isaac. What haue I done, fader, what haue I saide?
223 Abraham. Truly, no kyns ill to me.
224 Isaac. And thus gyltles shall be arayde.
225 Abraham. Now, good son, let sich wordis be.
226 Isaac. I luf you ay.
227 Abraham. So do I the.
228 Isaac. Ffader!
229 Abraham. What, son?
230 Isaac. Let now be seyn.
231 Ffor my moder luf.
232 Abraham. Let be, let be!
233 It will not help that thou wold, meyn;
234 Bot ly styll till I com to the,
235 I mys a lytyll thyng, I weyn.
236 He spekis so rufully to me
237 That water shotis in both myn eeyn,
238 I were leuer than all wardly wyn,
239 That I had fon hym onys vnkynde,
240 Bot no defawt I faund, hym in:
241 I wold be dede for hym, or pynde;
242 To slo hym thus, I thynk grete syn,
243 So rufull wordis I with hym fynd;
244 I am full wo that we shuld, twyn,
245 Ffor he will neuer oute of my mynd.
246 What shal I to his moder say?
247 Ffor "[where is he,"] tyte will she spyr;
248 If I tell hir, "[ron away,"]
249 Hir answere bese belife-"[nay, sir!"]
250 And I am ferd, hir for to slay;
251 I ne wote what I shal say till hir.
252 He lyys full still ther as he lay,
253 Ffor to I com, dar he not styr.
254 God. Angell, hy with all thi mayn!
255 To abraham thou shall be sent;
256 Say, Isaac shall not be slayn;
257 He shall lif, and not be brent.
258 My bydyng standis he not agane,
259 Go, put hym out of his intent;
260 Byd, hym go home agane,
261 I know well how he ment.
262 Angel. Gladly, Lord, I am redy:
263 Thi bidyng shall be magnyfyed;
264 I shall me spede ful hastely,
265 The to obeye at euery tyde;
266 Thi will, Thi name, to glorifye,
267 Ouer all this warld so wide;
268 And to thi seruand now in hy,
269 Good, trew, abraham, will I glyde.
270 Abraham. Bot myght I yit of wepyng sese,
271 Till I had done this sacrifice;
272 It must nedis be, withoutten lesse,
273 Thof all I carpe on this kyn wise,
274 The more my sorow it will incres;
275 When I look to hym, I gryse;
276 I will ryn on a res,
277 And slo hym here, right as he lyse.
278 Angel. Abraham! Abraham!
279 Abraham. Who is ther now?
280 War! let the go.
281 Angel. Stand vp, now, stand;
282 Thi good will com I to alow,
283 Therfor I byd the hold thi hand.
284 Abraham. Say, who bad, so? any bot thou?
285 Angel. Yei, god; & sendis this beest to thyn offerand.
286 Abraham. I speke with god latter, I trow,
287 And doyng he me commaund.
288 Angel. He has persauyd thy mekenes
289 And thi good will also, Iwis;
290 He will thou do thi son no distres,
291 Ffor he has graunt to the his blys.
292 Abraham. Bot wote thou well that it is
293 As thou has sayd?
294 Angel. I say the yis.
295 Abraham. I thank the, lord, well of goodnes,
296 That all thus has relest me this;
297 To speke with the haue I no space,
298 With my dere son till I haue spokyn.
299 My good son, thou shal haue grace,
300 On the now will I not be wrokyn;
301 Ryse vp now, with thi frely face.
302 Isaac. Sir, shall I lif?
303 Abraham. Yei, this to tokyn.
304 Son thou has skapid a full hard, grace,
305 Thou shuld, haue beyn both brent & brokyn.
306 Isaac. Bot, fader, shall I not be slayn?
307 Abraham. No, certis, son.
308 Isaac. Then am I glad;
309 Good sir, put vp youre sword agayn.
310 Abraham. Nay hardely, son, be thou not adrad.
311 Isaac. Is all for geyn?
312 Abraham. Yei, son, certan.
313 Isaac. Ffor ferd, sir, was I nere-hand, mad.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The Towneley Cycle, Play 4 - Abraham (Incomplete). From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http:www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.