From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The Towneley Cycle, Play 29 - The Lord's Ascension (Ascencio Domini)
001 Thomas. Brethere all, that now here bene,
002 Fforgett my lorde yit may I noght;
003 I wote not what it may mene,
004 Bot more I Weyn ther will be wroght.
005 John. My lord, ihesus will wyrk his will,
006 Pleatt we neuer agans his thoght,
007 Ffor vs ne wyrkes, as it is skyll,
008 His hand-warke that he has wroght.
009 Symon. Apon his wordes will I ryst
010 That he his self saide vs vntill,
011 As stedfastly on hym to tryst,
012 Mystrust we neuer for goode ne ill.
013 Peter. In heuen and erthe his myght may be,
014 His wytt and his will also;
015 The holy gost, brethere, ment he,
016 Thus will he neuer fro vs go.
017 Ffourty dayes now drawes nere
018 Sen his resurreccyon complete;
019 Afore that will he appere,
020 Thus sodanly not lefe vs yett.
021 In bethany here let vs abyde,
022 We knaw not yit what may befall;
023 Peraventur it may betyde,
024 He shall full well comforth vs all.
025 Jesus. Peasse now, my dere freyndys!
026 Peasse be with you euer and ay!
027 Ffor it all wrangys amendys;
028 Peasse brethere, sam I say!
029 Brethere, in hartes be nothyng heuy
030 What tyme that I from you am gone,
031 I must go from you sone, in hy,
032 Bot neuer the les make ye no mone;
033 Ffor I shall send to you anone
034 The holy gost, to comforth you,
035 You to wysh in euery wone
036 I shall you tell what-wyse and how.
037 It shalbe for youre prow
038 That I thus-gatys shall do;
039 It has been saide or now
040 My fader must I to.
041 With hym must I abide and dwell,
042 Ffor so it is his will;
043 Ffor youre comforth thus I you tell,
044 Be ye stedfast for good or ill.
045 Abide me here right on this hill
046 To that I com to you agane,
047 This forwarde must I nedys fulfill,
048 I will no longer fro you lane;
049 And therfor loke that ye be bayn,
050 And also trew and stedfast,
051 Ffor who soeuer you oght frayn
052 When that I am past.
053 Peter. Ffull heuy in hart now may we be
054 That we oure master sall forgo,
055 Bot neuer the les yit saide he
056 He wold not dwell full lang vs fro.
057 What wonder is if we be wo,
058 Thus sodanly shall oure master mys,
059 And masters on lyfe haue we no mo
060 That in this warld shuld vs wys.
061 He will pas furth to blys,
062 And leyfe vs here behynde,
063 No meruell now it is
064 If we mowrne now in oure mynde.
065 Jesus. In oure mynde mowrne we may,
066 As men that masyd ar and mad,
067 And yit also, it is no nay,
068 We may be blythe and glad,
069 Because of tythyngys that we had,
070 That his self can vs say;
071 He bad be blythe and noght adrad,
072 Ffor he wold not be long away.
073 Bot yit both nyght and day
074 Oure hartes may be full sore,
075 As me thynk, by my fay,
076 Ffor wordes he saide lang ore.
077 Thomas. Lang ore he saide, full openly,
078 That he must nedys fro vs twyn,
079 And to his fader go in hy,
080 To Ioy of heuen that neuer shall blyn;
081 Therfor we mowrne, both more and myn,
082 And mery also yit may we be;
083 He bad vs all, both outt and in,
084 Be glad and blythe in ich degre,
085 And saide that com shuld, he
086 To comforth vs kyndly;
087 Bot yit heuy ar we
088 To we hym se truly.
089 Jacobus. With ee wold we hym se / oure saveoure crist, goddys son,
090 That dyed apon a tre / yit trewe I that we mon:
091 Now god grauntt vs that boyn / that with his bloode vs boght,
092 To se hym in his throne / as he maide all of noght;
093 His will now has he wroght / and gone from vs away,
094 As he noght of vs roght / and therfor mowrne we may.
095 Philip. We may mowrne, no meruell why / for we oure master thus shall mys,
096 That shall go fro vs sodanly / and we ne wote what cause is,
097 Neuer the les the sothe is this / he saide that he shuld com agane
098 To bryng vs all to blys / therof may we be fane.
099 That commyng will vs mych gane / and oure saules all saue,
100 And put vs fro that payn / that we were lyke to haue.
101 Jesus. Herkyns to me now, euer ichon / and here what I will say,
102 Ffor I must nedys fro you gone / for thus my fader will allway,
103 And therfor peasse be with you ay / where so ye dwell in wone,
104 And to saue you fro all fray / my peasse be with you blood and bone.
105 I lefe it you bi oon and oone / noght as the warld, here dos,
106 It shalbe true as any stone / to defende you fro youre foos.
107 Let not youre hartes be heuy / drede not for any kyns thyng,
108 Ye haue harde me say full playnly / I go, and to you am I commyng.
109 If ye luf me, for-thi / ye shuld, be glad, of this doyng,
110 Ffor I go full securly / to my fader, heuyns kyng;
111 The which, without lesyng / is mekill more then I,
112 Therfor be ye thus trowyng / when all is endid fully.
113 Ye haue bene of mysbilefe / hard of harte and also of will;
114 To theym that my rysyng can prefe / no credence wold, ye gif theym till;
115 Mary mawdlayn saide you till / that I was rysyn, bot ye ne wold
116 Hir trow for good or ill / the trouth all if she told.
117 Sich harmes in hartes ye hold / and vnstedfast ye ar,
118 Ye trowid no man of mold, / witnes of my rysyng that bare;
119 Therfor ye shall go tech / in all this warld, so wyde,
120 And to all the people preche / Who baptym will abyde,
121 And trowe truly
122 Mi dethe and rysyng,
123 And also myn vpstevynyng,
124 And also myn agane-commyng,
125 Thay shalbe saue suerly.
126 And Who trowys not this
127 That now rehersyd, is,
128 He shalbe dampned, Iwys,
129 Ffor veniance and for wreke.
130 Tokyns, for sothe, shall bene
131 Of those that trow, withoutten weyn;
132 Devyls shall thay kest out cleyn,
133 And with new tongys speke.
134 Serpentes shall thay put away,
135 And venymus drynk, bi nyght and day,
136 Shall not noy theym, as I say;
137 And where thay lay on handys
138 Of seke men far and nere,
139 Thay shalbe hole, withoutten dere,
140 Of all sekenes and sorowes sere,
141 Euer in alkyn landys.
142 And therfor now I byd that ye
143 Go not from ierosolyme,
144 Bot abide the behest of my fader fre
145 In land ay whore,
146 That ye haue hard here of me;
147 Ffor Iohn baptist, dere in degre,
148 In water forsoth baptysid me
149 Now here before;
150 And ye certan in euery coste
151 Shall baptise in the holy goost,
152 Thrug vertue of hym that is the moost
153 Lord god of myght,
154 Within few dayes now folowyng;
155 And herof meruell ye nothyng,
156 Ffor this shalbe his awne wyrkyng,
157 Shewyd in youre sight
160 Ffarlee may we fownde and fare
161 For myssyng of oure master ihesus;
162 Oure hartys may sygh and be full sare,
163 This Iues with wreke thay waten vs.
164 Vs to tray and teyn
165 Ar thay abowte bi nyght and day;
166 Ffor ihesu that is so seldom sene,
167 As masid men mowrne we may.
168 Andrew. Mowrnyng makys vs masid and mad,
169 As men that lyff in drede;
170 Ffull comforthles ar we stad,
171 For myssyng of hym that vs shuld, lede.
172 Jacobus. Thise Iues that folow thare faythles will,
173 And demed oure master to be ded,
174 With mayn and mode they wold hym spill,
175 If thay wist how, in towne or sted.
176 John. Let keep vs fro thare carpyng kene,
177 And com bot lytyll in thare sight;
178 Oure master will com when we leest weyn,
179 He will vs rewle and red, full right.
180 Thomas. Of this carpyng now no more,
181 It drawes nygh the tyme of day;
182 At oure mette I wold we wore,
183 He sende vs socowre that best may.
184 Mary. Socowre sone he will you sende,
185 If ye truly in hym will traw;
186 Youre mone mekely will he amende,
187 My brethere dere, this may ye knawe,
188 The hestys hyghly that he me hight
189 He has fulfillid in worde and dede;
190 He gabbyd neuer be day nor nyght,
191 Ffor-thi, dere brethere, haue no drede.
192 Matheus. Certys, lady, thou says full wele;
193 He will vs amende, for so he may;
194 We haue fon sothe euerilka dele
195 All that euer we hard hym say.
196 Jesus. Peter, and ye my derlyngys dere,
197 As masid men me thynk ye ar;
198 Holly to you I haue shewyd here
199 To bryng youre hartys from care;
200 In care youre hartys ar cast,
201 And in youre trowth not trew;
202 In hardnes youre hartys ar fast,
203 As men that no wytt knew.
204 Sende was I for youre sake / fro my fader dere,
205 Fflesh and blode to take / of a madyn so clere;
206 Sythen to me ye soght / and holly felowid me,
207 Of wonders that I haue wroght / som haue I letten you se.
208 The dombe, the blynde as any stone,
209 I helyd ther I cam by,
210 The dede I rasid anone,
211 Thrugh my myght truly;
212 And othere warkys, that wonderfull wore,
213 I wroght wisely befor you all;
214 My payn, my passion, I told before,
215 Holly thrug outt as it shuld fall;
216 Mi rysyng on the thryd day,
217 As ye bi tokyns many oone haue sene;
218 Youre trouth truly had bene away
219 Had not my blissid moder bene.
220 In hir it restyd all this tyde,
221 Youre dedys ye ow greatly to shame;
222 Here may ye se my woundys wyde,
223 How that I boght you out of blame.
224 Bot, Iohn, thynk when I hang on rud
225 That I betoke the mary mylde;
226 Kepe hir yit with stabull mode,
227 She is thi moder and thou hir childe.
228 Loke thou hir luf, and be hir freynde,
229 And abide with hir in well and wo,
230 Ffor to my fader now will I weynde,
231 Thar none of you ask wheder I go.
232 Philip. Lord, if it be thi will,
233 Shew vs thi fader we the pray;
234 We have bene with the in good and ill,
235 And sagh hym neuer nyght ne day.
236 Jesus. Philipp, that man that may se me
237 He seys my fader full of myght;
238 Trowys thou not he dwellys in me
239 And I in hym if thou trow right?
240 In his howse ar dyuerse place,
241 I go to ordan for you now;
242 Ye shall all be fulfillyd with grace,
243 The holy goost I shall sende you.
244 He shall you in youre hartys wyse
245 In worde and dede, as I you say;
246 With all my hart I you blys-
247 My moder, my brethere, haue all good day!
248 Ffader of heuen, with good intent,
249 I pray the here me specyally;
250 Ffrom heuen till erth thou me sent
251 Thi name to preche and claryfy.
252 Thi will haue I done, all and som,
253 In erthe will I no longere be;
254 Opyn the clowdes, for now I com
255 In ioy and blys to dwell with the.
256 Primus Angelus. Ye men of galylee,
257 Wherfor meruell ye?
258 Hevyn behold, and se
259 How ihesus vp can weynde
260 Vnto his fader fre,
261 Where he syttys in maieste,
262 With hym ay for to be
263 In blys withoutten ende.
264 And as ye sagh hym sty
265 Into heuen on hy,
266 In flesh and fell in his body
267 Ffrom erthe now here,
268 Right so shall he, securly,
269 Come downe agane truly,
270 With his woundys blody,
271 To deme you all in fere.
272 Secundus Angelus. Meruell haue no wight,
273 No wonder of this sight,
274 Ffor it is thrugh his myght,
275 That all thyng may.
276 What so he will by day or nyght,
277 In hell, medyll-erth, and on hight,
278 Or yit in derknes or in light,
279 Withoutten any nay;
280 Ffor he is god all weldand,
281 Heuen and hell, both se and sand,
282 Wod and water, fowll, fysh and land,
283 All is at his will;
284 He haldys all thyng in his hand
285 That in this warld, is lyfand,
286 Then nedys ye noght be meruelland.
287 Primus Angelus. And for this skyll,
288 Ryght as he from you dyd weynde
289 So com agane he shall,
290 In the same manere at last ende,
291 To deme both greatt and small.
292 Secundus Angelus. Who so his byddyng will obey,
293 And thare mys amende,
294 With hym shall haue blys on hy,
295 And won ther withoutten ende.
296 And who that wyrk amys,
297 And theym amende will neuer,
298 Shall neuer com in heuen blys,
299 Bot to hell banyshed for euer.. Mary. A selcouth sight yonder now is,
300 Behold, now, I you pray!
301 A clowde has borne my chylde to blys,
302 Mi blyssyng bere he euer and ay!
303 Bot, son, thynk on thi moder dere,
304 That thou has laft emangys thi foes!
305 Swete son, lett me not dwell here,
306 Let me go with the where thou goes.
307 Bot Iohn, on the is all my trast,
308 I pray the forsake me noght.
309 John. Lefe marye, be noght abast,
310 Ffor thi will shall ay be wroght.
311 Here may we se and full well knaw
312 That he is god most of myght;
313 In hym is good, we trawe,
314 Holly to serue hym day and nyght.
315 Peter. A meruellous sight is yone,
316 That he thus sone is taken vs fro;
317 Fro his fomen is he gone
318 With outten help of othere mo.
319 Matheus. Where is ihesus, oure master dere,
320 That here with vs spake right now?
321 Jacobus. A wonderfull sight, men may se here,
322 My brethere dere, how thynk you?
323 Thomas. We thynk it wonder all,
324 That oure master shuld thus go;
325 After his help I red we call,
326 That we may haue som tokyn hym fro.
327 Bartholomeus. A more meruell men neuer saw
328 Then now is sene vs here emang;
329 Ffrom erth till heuen a man be draw
330 With myrth of angell sang.
331 Ffrom vs, me thynk, he is full lang,
332 And yit longere I trow he will;
333 Alas! my hart it is so strang
334 That I ne may now wepe my till
336 A wonder sight it was to se
337 When he stevyd vp so sodanly
338 To his fader in maieste,
339 By his self alone.
340 Matheus. Alon, for sothe, vp he went / to heuen till his fader,
341 And noman wyst what he ment / nor how he dyd of no manere,
342 So sodanly he was vp hent / in flesh and fell fro erth vp here;
343 He saide his fader for hym sent / that maide vs all to be in dwere
344 This nyght;
345 Neuer the les full well wote we
346 As that he will so must it be,
347 Ffor all thyng is in his pauste,
348 And that is right.
349 Mary. All myghty god, how may this be?
350 A clowde has borne my childe to blys;
351 Now bot that I wote wheder is he,
352 My hart wold breke, well wote I this.
353 His stevynyng vp to blys in hy,
354 It is the sourc of all my Ioyes;
355 Mi blyssyng, barne, light on thi body!
356 Let neuer thi moder be spylt with Iues.
357 Take me to the, my son so heynd,
358 And let me neuer with Iues be lorne;
359 Help, for my son luf, Iohn, son kynde,
360 For ferde that I with Iues be torne.
361 Mi flesh it quakys as lefe on lynde,
362 To shontt the showres sharper then thorne;
363 Help me, Iohn, if thou be kynde,
364 My son myssyng makys me to mowrne.
365 John. Youre seruande, lady, he me maide,
366 And bad me kepe you ay to qweme;
367 Blythe were I, lady, myght I the glad,
368 And with my myght I shall the yeme.
369 Therfor be ferd for nokyn thyng
370 For oght that Iues wold do you to;
371 I shall be bayn at youre byddyng,
372 As my lorde bad, your seruande lo!
373 Mary. Glad am I, Iohn, Whils I haue the;
374 More comforth bot my son can I none craue;
375 So covers thou my care, and carpys vnto me,
376 Whils I the se, euer am I safe.
377 Was none, safe my son, more trusty to me,
378 Therfor his grace sall neuer fro the go;
379 He shall the qwyte, that died on a tre,
380 Well mendys thou my mode, when I am in wo.
381 Symon. Let hy vs from this hill, and to the towne weynde,
382 For fere of the Iues, that spitus ar & prowde;
383 With oure dere lady, I red that we weynd,
384 And pray till hir dere son, here apon lowde.
385 To hir buxumly I red, that we bende,
386 Syn hir dere son fro vs is gone in a clowde,
387 And hertely in hast haylse we that heynde,
388 To oure master is she moder, semely in shrowde.
389 A, marie, so mylde, the myssid we haue;
390 Was neuer madyn so menskfull here apon molde
391 As thou art, and moder cleyne, bot this wold we craue,
392 If this were ihesu, thi son, that Iudas has sold,
393 Shew vs the sothe, vs all may it saue;
394 We pray the, dere lady, layn that thou nold,
395 Bot spell vs oure spyryng, or els mon we rafe,
396 Bot thou witterly vs wysh, so fayn wyt we wold.
397 Mary. Peter, andrew, Iohn, and Iamys the gent,
398 Symon, Iude, and bartilmew the bold,
399 And all my brethere dere, that ar on this bent,
400 Take tent to my tayll, till that I haue told,
401 Of my dere son, what I haue mentt,
402 That hens is hevyd, to his awne hold;
403 He taght you the trouthe, or he to heuen went;
404 He was borne of my bosom as his self wold.
405 He is god and man that stevynd into heuen;
406 Preche thus to the pepyll that most ar in price.
407 Sekys to thare savyng, ye apostilles eleven,
408 To the Iues of Ierusalem as youre way lyse,
409 Say to the cyte as I can here neuen,
410 Tell the warkys of my son warly and wyse;
411 Byd theym be stedfast & lysten your steuen,
412 Or els be thay dampned as men full of vyce.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The Towneley Cycle, Play 29 - The Lord's Ascension (Ascencio Domini). From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http://www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.