From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The York Cycle, Play 8 - The Building of the Ark
001 Deus. Fyrst qwen I wrought this world so wyde,
002 Wode and wynde and watters wane,
003 Heuyn and helle was noght to hyde,
004 Wyth herbys and gyrse thus I begane.
005 In endles blysse to be and byde.
006 And to my liknes made I man,
007 Lorde and syre on ilke a side
008 Of all medillerthe I made hym than.
009 A woman also with hym wroght I,
010 Alle in lawe to lede ther lyffe,
011 I badde thame waxe and multiplye,
012 To fulfille this worlde, withowtyn striffe.
013 Sythn hays men wroght so wofully
014 And synne is nowe reynand so ryffe,
015 þat me repentys and rewys forthi
016 þat ever I made outhir man or wiffe.
017 Bot sen they make me to repente
018 My werke I wroght so wele and trewe,
019 Wythowtyn seys will noght assente,
020 Bot euer is bowne more bale to brewe.
021 Bot for ther synnes thai shall be shente
022 And fordone hoyly, hyde and hewe;
023 Of tham shal no more be mente,
024 Bot wirke this werke I wille al newe.
025 Al newe I will this worlde be wroght
026 And waste away that wonnys therin,
027 A flowyd above thame shall be broght
028 To stroye medilerthe, both more and myn.
029 Bot Noe alon, lefe shal it noght
030 To all be sownkyn for ther synne;
031 He and his sones, thus is my thoght,
032 And with ther wyffes away sall wynne.
033 Nooe, my seruand sad an cleyn,
034 For thou art stabill in stede and stalle,
035 I wyll thou wyrke withowten weyn
036 A warke to saffe thiselfe wythall.
037 Noe. O, mercy lorde, qwat may this meyne?
038 Deus. I am thi Gode of grete and small
039 Is comyn to telle the of thy teyn,
040 And qwat ferly sall eftir fall.
041 Noe. A, lorde, I lowe the lowde and still
042 þat vnto me-wretche vnworthye-
043 þus with thy worde, as is thi will,
044 Lykis to appere thus propyrly.
045 Deus. Nooe, as I byd the, doo fulfill:
046 A shippe I will haue wroght in hye;
047 All-yf thou can litill skyll,
048 Take it in hande, for helpe sall I.
049 Noe. A, worthy lorde, wolde thou take heede,
050 I am full olde and oute of qwarte,
051 þat me liste do no daies dede
052 Bot yf gret mystir me garte.
053 Deus. Begynne my werke behoves the nede
054 And thou wyll passe from peynes smerte,
055 I sall the sokoure and the spede
056 And giffe the hele in hede and hert.
057 I se such ire emonge mankynde
058 þat of thare werkis I will take wreke;
059 þay shall be sownkyn for thare synne,
060 þerfore a shippe I wille thou make.
061 þou and thi sonnes shall be therin,
062 They sall be sauyd for thy sake.
063 Therfore go bowdly and begynne
064 Thy mesures and thy markis to take.
065 Noe. A, lorde, thi wille sall euer be wroght
066 Os counsill gyfys of ilka clerk,
067 Bot first, of shippe-craft can I right noght;
068 Of ther makyng haue I no merke.
069 Deus. Noe, I byd the hartely haue no thought,
070 I sall the wysshe in all thi werke,
071 And even to itt till ende be wroght;
072 Therfore to me take hede and herke.
073 Take high trees and hewe thame cleyne,
074 All be sware and noght of skwyn,
075 Make of thame burdes and wandes betwene
076 þus thrivandly, and noght ouer-thyn.
077 Luke that thi semes be suttilly seyn
078 And naylid wele that thei noght twyne;
079 þus I deuyse ilk dele bedeyne,
080 þerfore do furthe, and leue thy dyne.
081 iij C cubyttis it sall be lang,
082 And fyfty brode, all for thy blys;
083 þe highte, of thyrty cubittis strang,
084 Lok lely that thou thynke on this.
085 þus gyffe I the grathly or I gang
086 þi mesures, that thou do not mysse.
087 Luk nowe that thou wirke noght wrang
088 þus wittely sen I the wyshe.
089 Noe. A, blistfull lord, that al may beylde,
090 I thanke the hartely both euer and ay;
091 Fyfe hundreth wyntres I am of elde-
092 Methynk ther yoeris as yestirday.
093 Ful wayke I was and all vnwelde,
094 My werynes is wente away,
095 To wyrk this werke here in this feylde
096 Al be myselfe I will assaye.
097 To hewe this burde I wyll begynne,
098 But firste I wille lygge on my lyne;
099 Now bud it be alle inlike thynne,
100 So that it nowthyr twynne nor twyne.
101 þus sall I june it with a gynn
102 And sadly sett it with symonde fyne:
103 þus schall I wyrke it both more and mynne
104 Thurgh techyng of God, maistir myne.
105 More suttelly kan no man sewe;
106 It sall be cleyngked euerilka dele
107 With nayles that are both noble and newe,
108 þus sall I feste it fast to feele.
109 Take here a revette, and there a rewe,
110 With ther the bowe nowe wyrke I wele;
111 þis werke I warand both gud and trewe.
112 [...A line seems to be missing here...]
113 Full trewe it is who will take tente,
114 Bot faste my force begynnes to fawlde.
115 A hundereth wyntres away is wente
116 Sen I began this werk, full grathely talde,
117 And in slyke trauayle for to be bente
118 Is harde to hym that is thus olde.
119 But he that to me this messages sent
120 He wille be my beylde, thus am I bowde.
121 Deus. Nooe, this werke is nere an ende
122 And wrought right as I warned the.
123 Bot yit in maner it must be mende,
124 þerfore this lessoun lerne at me:
125 For dyuerse beestis therin must lende,
126 And fewles also in there degree,
127 And for that thay sall not sam blende
128 Dyuerse stages must ther be.
129 And qwen that it is ordand soo
130 With dyuerse stawllys and stagis seere,
131 Of ilka kynde thou sall take twoo,
132 Bothe male and femalle fare in fere.
133 Thy wyffe, thy sonnes, with the sall goo
134 And thare thre wyffes, withowten were;
135 þere viij bodies withowten moo
136 Sall thus be saued on this manere.
137 Therfore to my biddyng be bayne,
138 Tille all be herberd haste the faste;
139 Eftir the vij day sall it rayne
140 Tille fowrty dayes be fully paste.
141 Take with the geere sclyk os may gayne
142 To man and beeste thare lyffes to laste.
143 I sall the socoure for certeyne
144 Tille alle thi care awey be kaste.
145 Noe. A, lorde, that ilka mys may mende,
146 I lowe thi lare both lowde and stille,
147 I thanke the both with herte and hende,
148 That me wille helpe fro angrys hill.
149 Abowte this werke now bus me wende
150 With beestys and fewlys my shippe to fill.
151 He that to me this Crafte has kende,
152 He wysshe vs with his worthy wille.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The York Cycle, Play 8 - The Building of the Ark. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http:www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.