From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The Towneley Cycle, Play 10 - The Annunciation (Annunciacio)
001 God. Sythen I haue mayde all thyng of noght,
002 And Adam with my handis hath wroght,
003 Lyke to myn ymage, att my devyse,
004 And gyffen hym Ioy in paradyse,
005 To won therin, as that I wend,
006 To that he dyd that I defend;
007 Then I hym put out of that place,
008 Bot yit, I myn, I hight hym grace
009 Oyll of mercy I can hym heyt,
010 And tyme also his bayll to beytt.
011 Ffor he has boght his syn full sore,
012 Thise fyfe thowsand yeris and more,
013 Ffyrst in erthe and sythen in hell;
014 Bot long therin shall he not dwell.
015 Outt of payn he shall be boght,
016 I wyll not tyne that I haue wroght.
017 I wyll make redempcyon,
018 As I hyght for my person,
019 All wyth reson and with right,
020 Both thrugh mercy and thrugh myght.
021 He shall not, therfor, ay be spylt,
022 Ffor he was wrangwysly begylt;
023 He shall out of preson pas,
024 Ffor that he begyled was
025 Thrugh the edder, and his wyfe;
026 Thay gart hym towch the tree of lyfe,
027 And ete the frute that I forbed,
028 And he was dampned for that dede.
029 Ryghtwysnes wyll we make;
030 I wyll that my son manhede take,
031 Ffor reson wyll that ther be thre,
032 A man, a madyn, and a tre:
033 Man for man, tre for tre,
034 Madyn for madyn; thus shal it be.
035 My son shall in a madyn light,
036 Agans the feynd of hell to fight;
037 Wythouten wem, os son thrugh glas,
038 And she madyn as she was.
039 Both god and man shall he be,
040 And she moder and madyn fre.
041 To abraham I am in dett
042 To safe hym and his gett;
043 And I wyll that all prophecye
044 Be fulfyllyd here by me;
045 Ffor I am lord and lech of heyle,
046 My prophetys shall be funden leyle;
047 As moyses sayd, and Isay,
048 Kyng dauid, and Ieromy,
049 Abacuk, and daniell,
050 Sybyll sage, that sayde ay well,
051 And myne othere prophetis all,
052 As thay haue [said] it shall befall.
053 Ryse vp, gabriell, and weynd
054 Vnto a madyn that is heynd,
055 To nazareth in galilee,
056 Ther she dwellys in that cytee.
057 To that vyrgyn and to that spouse,
058 To a man of dauid house,
059 Ioseph also he is namyd by,
060 And the madyn name mary.
061 Angell must to mary go,
062 Ffor the feynd was eue fo;
063 He was foule and layth to syght,
064 And thou art angell fayr and bright;
065 And hayls that madyn, my lemman,
066 As heyndly as thou can.
067 Of my behalf thou shall hyr grete,
068 I haue hyr chosen, that madyn swete,
069 She shall conceyf my derlyng,
070 Thrugh thy word and hyr heryng.
071 In hyr body wyll I lyght,
072 That is to me clenly dyght;
073 She shall of hyr body bere
074 God and man wythouten dere.
075 She shall be blyssyd wythouten ende;
076 Grayth the gabriell, and weynd.
077 Gabriel. Hayll, mary, gracyouse!
078 Hayll, madyn and godis spouse!
079 Vnto the I lowte;
080 Of all vyrgyns thou art qwene,
081 That euer was, or shall be seyn,
082 Wythouten dowte.
083 Hayll, mary, and well thou be!
084 My lord of heuen is wyth the,
085 Wythouten end;
086 Hayll, woman most of mede!
087 Goodly lady, haue thou no drede,
088 That I commend;
089 Ffor thou has fonden all thyn oone,
090 The grace of god, that was out gone,
091 Ffor adam plyght.
092 This is the grace that the betydys,
093 Thou shall conceyue within thi sydys
094 A chyld of myght.
095 When he is comen, that thi son,
096 He shall take cyrcumsycyon,
097 Call hym ihesum.
098 Mightfull man shall be he that,
099 And godys son shall he hat,
100 By his day com.
101 My lord also shall gyf hym tyll
102 Hys fader sete, dauid, at wyll,
103 Therin to sytt:
104 He shall be kyng in Iacob kyn,
105 Hys kyngdom shall neuer blyn,
106 Lady, well thou wytt.
107 Mary. What is thi name?
108 Gabriel. Gabriell;
109 Godys strengthe and his angell,
110 That comys to the.
111 Mary. Fferly gretyng thou me gretys;
112 A child to bere thou me hetys,
113 How shuld, it be?
114 I cam neuer by man's syde,
115 Bot has avowed my madynhede,
116 Ffrom fleshly gett.
117 Therfor I wote not how
118 That this be brokyn, as a vow
119 That I haue hett;
120 Neuer the les, well I wote,
121 To wyrk thi word and hold, thi hote
122 Mightfull god is;
123 Bot I ne wote of what manere,
124 Therfor I pray the, messyngere,
125 That thou me wysh.
126 Gabriel. Lady, this is the preuate;
127 The holy gost shall light in the,
128 And his vertue,
129 He shall vmshade and fulfyll
130 That thi madynhede shall neuer spyll,
131 Bot ay be new.
132 The child that thou shall bere, madame,
133 Shall godys son be callid by name;
134 And se, mary,
135 Elesabeth, thi Cosyn, that is cald, geld,
136 She has conceyffed a son in elde,
137 Of zacary;
138 And this is, who wyll late,
139 The sext moneth of hyr conceytate,
140 That geld, is cald.
141 No word, lady, that I the bryng,
142 Is vnmyghtfull to heuen kyng,
143 Bot all shall hald.
144 Mary. I lofe my lord all weldand,
145 I am his madyn at his hand,
146 And in his wold;
147 I trow bodword that thou me bryng,
148 Be done to me in all thyng,
149 As thou has told.
150 Gabriel. Mary, madyn heynd,
151 Me behovys to weynd,
152 My leyf at the I take.
153 Mary. Ffar to my freynd,
154 Who the can send,
155 Ffor mankynde sake.
156 Joseph. All-myghty god, what may this be!
157 Of mary my wyfe meruels me,
158 Alas, what has she wroght?
159 A, hyr body is grete and she with childe!
160 Ffor me was she neuer fylyd,
161 Therfor myin is it noght.
162 I irke full sore with my lyfe,
163 That euer I wed so yong a wyfe,
164 That bargan may I ban;
165 To me it was a carefull dede,
166 I myght well wyt that yowthede
167 Wold, haue lykyng of man
168 I am old, sothly to say,
169 Passed, I am all preuay play,
170 The gams fro me ar gane.
171 It is ill cowpled, of youth and elde;
172 I wote well, for I am vnwelde,
173 Som othere has she tane.
174 She is with chyld, I wote neuer how,
175 Now, who wold, any woman trow?
176 Certys, no man that can any goode;
177 I wote not in the warld, what I shuld, do,
178 Bot now then wyll I weynd hyr to,
179 And wytt who owe that foode.
180 Hayll, mary, and well ye be!
181 Why, bot woman, what chere with the?
182 Mary. The better, sir, for you.
183 Joseph. So wold, I, woman, that ye wore;
184 Bot certys, mary, I rew full sore
185 It standys so with the now.
186 Bot of a thyng frayn the I shall,
187 Who owe this child, thou gose with all?
188 Mary. Syr, ye, and god of heuen.
189 Joseph. Myne, mary? do way thi dyn;
190 That I shuld, oght haue parte therin
191 Thou nedys it not to neuen;
192 Wherto neuyns thou me therto?
193 I had neuer with the to do,
194 How shuld it then be myne?
195 Whos is that chyld, so god the spede?
196 Mary. Syr, godys and yowrs, with outen drede.
197 Joseph. That word, had, thou to tyne,
198 Ffor it is right full far me fro,
199 And I forthynkys thou has done so
200 Thise ill dedys bedene;
201 And if thou speke thi self to spyll,
202 It is full sore agans my wyll,
203 If better myght haue bene.
204 Mary. At godys wyll, Ioseph, must it be,
205 Ffor certanly bot god and ye
206 I know none othere man;
207 Ffor fleshly was I neuer fylyd.
208 Joseph. How shuld thou thus then be with chyld?
209 Excuse the well thou can;
210 I blame the not, so god me saue,
211 Woman maners if that thou haue,
212 Bot certys I say the this,
213 Well wote thou, and so do I,
214 Thi body fames the openly,
215 That thou has done amys.
216 Mary. Yee, god he knowys all my doyng.
217 Joseph. We! now, this is a wonder thyng,
218 I can noght say therto;
219 Bot in my hart I haue greatt care,
220 And ay the longer mare and mare;
221 Ffor doyll what shall I do?
222 Godys and myn she says it is;
223 I wyll not fader it, she says amys;
224 Ffor shame yit shuld, she let,
225 To excuse hir velany by me;
226 With hir I thynk no longer be,
227 I rew that euer we met.
228 And how we met ye shall wyt sone;
229 Men vse yong chyldren for to done
230 In temple for to lere;
231 Soo dyd thay hir, to she wex more
232 Then othere madyns wyse of lore;
233 Then byshopes sayd to hir,
234 "[Mary, the behowfys to take
235 Som yong man to be thi make,
236 As thou seys other haue,
237 In the temple which thou wyll neuen;"]
238 And she sayd, none, bot god of heuen,
239 To hym she had hir tane;
240 She wold none othere for any sagh;
241 Thay sayd she must, it was the lagh,
242 She was of age thertill.
243 To the temple thay somond old and ying,
244 All of Iuda ofspryng,
245 The law for to fulfill.
246 Thay gaf ich man a white wand,
247 And bad vs bere them in oure hande,
248 To offre with good intent;
249 Thay offerd thare yerdys vp in that tyde,
250 Ffor I was old, I stode be syde,
251 I wyst not what thay ment;
252 Thay lakyd, oone, thay sayde in hy,
253 All had offerd, thay sayd, bot I,
254 Ffor I ay withdrogh me.
255 Ffurth with my wande thay mayd, me com,
256 In my hand, it floryshed with blome;
257 Then sayde thay all to me,
258 "[If thou be old, meruell not the,
259 Ffor god of heuen thus ordans he,
260 Thi wand shewys openly;
261 It florishes so, withouten nay,
262 That the behovys wed mary the may;"]
263 A sory man then was I;
264 I was full sory in my thoght,
265 I sayde for old I myght noght
266 Hir haue neuer the wheder;
267 I was vnlykely to hir so yong,
268 Thay sayde ther helpyd, none excusyng,
269 And wed vs thus togeder.
270 When I all thus had wed hir thare,
271 We and my madyns home can fare,
272 That kyngys doghters were;
273 All wroght thay sylk to fynd them on,
274 Marie wroght purpyll, the oder none
275 Bot othere colers sere.
276 I left thaym in good peasse wenyd I,
277 Into the contre I went on hy,
278 My craft to vse with mayn;
279 To gett oure lyfyng I must nede,
280 On marie I prayd them take good hede,
281 To that I cam agane.
282 Neyn monethes was I fro that myld;
283 When I cam home she was with chyld;
284 Alas, I sayd, for shame!
285 I askyd ther women who that had done,
286 And thay me sayde an angell sone,
287 Syn that I went from hame;
288 An angell spake with that wyght,
289 And no man els, bi day nor nyght,
290 "[sir, therof be ye bold."]
291 Thay excusyd hir thus sothly,
292 To make hir clene of hir foly,
293 And babyshed, me that was old.
294 Shuld, an angell this dede haue wroght?
295 Sich excusyng helpys noght,
296 Ffor no craft that thay can;
297 A heuenly thyng, for sothe, is he,
298 And she is erthly; this may not be,
299 It is som othere man.
300 Certys, I forthynk sore of hir dede,
301 Bot it is long of yowth-hede,
302 All sich wanton playes;
303 Ffor yong women wyll nedys play them
304 With yong men, if old, forsake them,
305 Thus it is sene always.
306 Bot marie and I playd neuer so sam,
307 Neuer togeder we vsid, that gam,
308 I cam hir neuer so nere;
309 She is as clene as cristall clyfe
310 Ffor me, and shalbe whyls I lyf,
311 The law wyll it be so.
312 And then am I cause of hir dede,
313 Ffor thi then can I now no rede,
314 Alas, what I am wo!
315 And sothly, if it so befall,
316 Godys son that she be with all,
317 If sich grace myght betyde,
318 I wote well that I am not he,
319 Which that is worthi to be
320 That blyssed, body besyde,
321 Nor yit to be in company;
322 To wyldernes I will for thi
323 Enfors me for to fare;
324 And neuer longer with hir dele,
325 Bot stylly shall I from hir stele,
326 That mete shall we no mare.
327 Angel. Do wa, Ioseph, and mend thy thoght,
328 I warne the well, and weynd thou noght,
329 To wyldernes so wylde;
330 Turne home to thi spouse agane,
331 Look thou deme in hir no trane,
332 Ffor she was neuer ffylde.
333 Wyte thou no wyrkyng of Werkys wast,
334 She hase consauyd the holy gast,
335 And she shall bere godys son;
336 Ffor thy with hir, in thi degre,
337 Meke and buxom looke thou be,
338 And with hir dwell and won.
339 Joseph. A, lord, I lofe the all alon,
340 That vowches safe that I be oone
341 To tent that chyld so ying;
342 I that thus haue vngrathly gone,
343 And vntruly taken apon
344 Mary, that dere darlyng.
345 I rewe full sore that I haue sayde,
346 And of hir byrdyng hir vpbrade,
347 And she not gylty is;
348 Ffor thy to hir now Wyll I weynde,
349 And pray hir for to be my freynde,
350 And aske hir forgyfnes.
351 A, mary, wyfe, what chere?
352 Mary. The better, sir, that ye ar here;
353 Thus long where haue ye lent?
354 Joseph. Certys, walkyd aboute, lyke a fon,
355 That wrangwysly hase taken apon;
356 I wyst neuer What I ment;
357 Bot I wote well, my lemman fre,
358 I haue trespast to god and the;
359 Fforgyf me, I the pray.
360 Mary. Now all that euer ye sayde me to,
361 God forgyf you, and I do,
362 With all the myght I may.
363 Joseph. Gramercy, mary, thi good wyll
364 So kyndly forgyfys that I sayde yll,
365 When I can the vpbrade;
366 Bot well is hym hase sich a fode,
367 A, meke wyf, withouten goode,
368 He may well hold, hym payde.
369 A, what I am light as lynde!
370 He that may both lowse and bynde,
371 And euery mys amend,
372 Leyn me grace, powere, and myght,
373 My wyfe and hir swete yong wight
374 To kepe, to my lyfys ende.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The Towneley Cycle, Play 10 - The Aunnunciation (Annunciacio). From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http:www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.