From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The York Cycle, Play 9 - Noah and his Wife, the Flood and its Waning
The Fysshers and Marynars.
001 Noye. That lord that leves ay-lastand lyff,
002 I loue the euer with hart and hande,
003 That me wolde rewle be reasoune ryffe,
004 Sex hundereth yere to lyffe in lande.
005 Thre semely sonnes and a worthy wiffe
006 I haue euer at my steven to stande;
007 Bot nowe my cares aren keene as knyffe,
008 Bycause I kenne what is commannde.
009 Thare comes to ilke contré
010 3a, cares bothe kene and calde.
011 For God has warned me
012 þis worlde wastyd shalle be,
013 And certis the sothe I see,
014 As forme-fadres has tald.
015 My fadir Lamech who, likes to neven,
016 Heere in this worlde thus lange gon lende,
017 Seuene hundereth yere seuenty and seuene,
018 In swilke a space his tyme he spende.
019 He prayed to god with stabill steuene
020 þat he to hym a sone shuld sende,
021 And at the laste ther come from heuen
022 Slyke hettyng that hym mekill amende,
023 And made hym grubbe and graue
024 As ordand faste beforne,
025 For he a sone shulde haue,
026 As he gon aftir crave;
027 And as God vouchydsaue
028 In worlde than was I borne.
029 When I was borne Noye named he me,
030 And saide thees wordes with mekill wynne:
031 'Loo', he saide, 'this ilke is he
032 That shalle be comforte to mankynné
033 Syrs, by this wele witte may ye,
034 My fadir knewe both more and mynne
035 By sarteyne signes he couthe wele see,
036 That al this worlde shuld synke for synne;
037 Howe God shulde vengeaunce take,
038 As nowe is sene sertayne,
039 And hende of mankynde make
040 That synne wold nouyot forsake;
041 And howe that it shuld slake,
042 And a worlde waxe agayne.
043 I wolde God itt wasted were,
044 Sa that I shuld nott tente thertille.
045 My semely sonnes and doughteres dere,
046 Takis yoe entent vnto my skylle.
047 1 Filius. Fader we are all redy heere,
048 Youre biddyng baynly to fulfille.
049 Noe. Goos calle youre modir, and comes nere,
050 And spede vs faste that we nouyot spille.
051 1 Filius. Fadir, we shal nouyot fyne
052 To youre biddyng be done.
053 Noe. Alle that leues vndir lyne
054 Sall, sone, soner passe to pyne.
[Another location, Noah's home.]
055 1 Filius. Where are ye, modir myne?
056 Come to my fadir sone.
057 Uxor. What sais thou sone?
058 1 Filius. Moder, certeyne
059 My fadir thynkis to flitte full ferre.
060 He biddis you haste with al youre mayne
061 Vnto hym, that no thyng you marre.
062 Uxor. 3a, goode sone, hy the faste agayne
063 And telle hym I wol come no narre.
064 1 Filius. Dame, I wolde do youre biddyng fayne,
065 But yow bus wende, els bese it warre.
066 Uxor. Werre? þat wolde I witte.
067 We bowrde al wrange, I wene.
068 1 Filius. Modir, I saie you yitte,
069 My fadir is bowne to flitte.
070 Uxor. Now certis, I sall nouyot sitte
071 Or I se what he mene.
072 1 Filius. Fadir, I haue done nowe as ye comaunde,
073 My modir comes to you this daye.
074 Noe. Scho is welcome, I wele warrande;
075 This worlde sall sone be waste awaye.
076 Uxor. Wher arte thou Noye?
077 Noe. Loo, here at hande,
078 Come hedir faste dame, I the praye.
079 Uxor. Trowes thou that I wol leue the harde lande
080 And tourne vp here on toure deraye?
081 Nay Noye, I am nouyot bowne
082 To fonde nowe ouer there fellis.
083 Doo barnes, goo we and trusse to towne.
084 Noe. Nay, certis, sothly than mon ye drowne.
085 Uxor. In faythe thou were als goode come downe
086 And go do somwhat ellis.
087 Noe. Dame, fowrty dayes are nerhand past
088 And gone sen it began to rayne,
089 On lyffe sall no man lenger laste
090 Bot we allane, is nought to layne.
091 Uxor. Now Noye, in faythe the fonnes full faste,
092 This fare wille I no lenger frayne;
093 þou arte nere woode, I am agaste,
094 Farewele, I wille go home agayne.
095 Noe. O woman, arte thou woode?
096 Of my werkis thou not wotte;
097 All that has ban or bloode
098 Sall be ouere flowed with the floode.
099 Uxor. In faithe, the were als goode
100 To late me go my gatte.
101 We! Owte! Herrowe!
102 Noe. What now, what cheere?
103 Uxor. I will no nare for no-kynnes nede.
104 Noe. Helpe, my sonnes, to holde her here,
105 For tille hir harmes she takes no heede.
106 2 Filius. Beis mery modir, and mende youre chere;
107 This worlde beis drowned, withouten drede.
108 Uxor. Allas, that I this lare shuld lere.
109 Noe. þou spilles vs alle, ill myght thou speede.
110 3 Filius. Dere modir, wonne with vs,
111 þer shal no thyng you greve.
112 Uxor. Nay, nedlyngis home me bus,
113 For I haue tolis to trusse.
114 Noe. Woman, why dois thou thus?
115 To make vs more myscheue?
116 Uxor. Noye, thou myght haue leteyn me wete;
117 Erly and late thou wente theroutte,
118 And ay at home thou lete me sytte
119 To loke that nowhere were wele aboutte.
120 Noe. Dame, thou holde me excused of itt,
121 It was Goddis wille withowten doutte.
122 Uxor. What, wenys thou so for to go qwitte?
123 Nay, be my trouthe, thou getis a clowte.
124 Noe. I pray the dame, be stille.
125 Thus God wolde haue it wrought.
126 Uxor. Thow shulde haue witte my wille,
127 Yf I wolde sente thertille,
128 And Noye, for that same skylle,
129 þis bargan sall be bought.
130 Nowe at firste I fynde and feele
131 Wher thou hast to the forest soght,
132 þou shuld haue tolde me for oure seele
133 Whan we were to slyke bargane broght.
134 Noe. Now dame, the thar noyot drede a dele,
135 For till accounte it cost the noght.
136 A hundereth wyntyr, I watte wele,
137 Is wente sen I this werke had wrought.
138 And when I made endyng,
139 God gaffe me mesore fayre
140 Of euery ilke a thyng;
141 He bad that I shuld bryng
142 Of beestis and foules yoynge,
143 Of ilke a kynde a peyre.
144 Uxor. Nowe certis, and we shulde skape fro skathe
145 And so be saffyd as ye saye here,
146 My commodrys and my cosynes bathe,
147 þam wolde I wente with vs in feere.
148 Noe. To wende in the watir it were wathe,
149 Loke in and loke withouten were.
150 Uxor. Allas, my lyff me is full lath,
151 I lyffe ouere-lange this lare to lere.
152 1 Filia. Dere modir, mende youre moode,
153 For we sall wende you with.
154 Uxor. My frendis that I fra yoode
155 Are ouere flowen with floode.
156 2 Filia. Nowe thanke we God al goode
157 That vs has grauntid grith.
158 3 Filia. Modir, of this werke nowe wolde ye noyot wene,
159 That alle shuld worthe to watres wan.
160 2 Filius. Fadir, what may this meruaylle mene?
161 Wherto made God medilerth and man?
162 1 Filia. So selcouthe sight was never non seene,
163 Sen firste that God this worlde began.
164 Noe. Wendes and spers youre dores bedene,
165 For bettyr counsell none I can.
166 þis sorowe is sente for synne,
167 Therfore to God we pray
168 þat he oure bale wolde blynne.
169 3 Filius. The kyng of al mankynne
170 Owte of this woo vs wynne,
171 Als thou arte lorde, that maye.
172 1 Filius. 3a, lorde, as thou late vs be borne
173 In this grete bale, som bote vs bede.
174 Noe. My sonnes, se yoe mydday and morne
175 To thes catelles takes goode heede;
176 Keppes tham wele with haye and corne;
177 And women, fanges thes foules and feede,
178 So that they be noyot lightly lorne
179 Als longe as we this liffe sall lede.
180 2 Filius. Fadir, we ar full fayne
181 Youre biddyng to fulfille.
182 ix monethes paste er playne
183 Sen we wer putte to peyne.
184 3 Filius.He that is most of mayne
185 May mende it qwen he wyll.
186 Noe. O barnes, itt waxes clere aboute,
187 þat may yoe see ther wher yoe sitte.
188 1 Filius. I, leffe fadir, ye loke thareowte,
189 Yf that the water wane ought yoitt.
190 Noe. That sall I do withowten dowte,
191 þorbe the wanyng may we witte.
192 A, lorde, to the I love and lowte.
193 The catteraks I trowe be knytte.
194 Beholde, my sonnes al three
195 þe clowdes are waxen clere.
196 2 Filius. A, lorde of mercy free,
197 Ay louyd myght thou be.
198 Noe. I sall assaye the see,
199 How depe that it is here.
200 Uxor. Loved be that lord that giffes all grace,
201 þat kyndly thus oure care wolde kele.
202 Noe. I sall caste leede and loke the space,
203 Howe depe the watir is ilke a dele.
204 Fyftene cobittis of highte itt hase
205 Ouere ilke a hille fully to feylle;
206 Butte beese wel comforte in this casse,
207 It is wanand, this wate I wele.
208 Therfore a fowle of flight
209 Full sone sall I forthe sende
210 To seke if he haue sight,
211 Som lande vppon to light;
212 þanne may we witte full right
213 When oure mornyng sall mende.
214 Of al the fowles that men may fynde
215 The raven is wighte, and wyse is hee.
216 þou arte full crabbed and al thy kynde,
217 Wende forthe thi course I comaunde the,
218 And werly watte, and yther the wynd
219 Yf thou fynde awdir lande or tree.
220 ix monethes here haue we bene pyned,
221 But when God wyll, better mon bee.
222 Filia 1. þat lorde that lennes vs lyffe
223 To lere his lawes in lande,
224 He mayd bothe man and wyffe,
225 He helpe to stynte oure striffe.
226 Filia 3. Oure cares are kene as knyffe,
227 God graunte vs goode tydand.
228 Filius 1. Fadir, this foule is forthe full lange;
229 Vppon sum lande I trowe he lende,
230 His foode ther fore to fynde and fange-
231 That makis hym be a fayland frende.
232 Noe. Nowe sonne, and yf he so forthe gange,
233 Sen he for all oure welthe gon wende,
234 Then be he for his werkis wrange
235 Euermore weried withowten ende.
236 And sertis for to see
237 Whan oure sorowe sall sesse,
238 Anodyr foule full free
239 Owre messenger sall be;
240 þou doufe, I comaunde the,
241 Owre comforte to encresse.
242 A faithfull fewle to sende art thow
243 Of alle within there wanys wyde;
244 Wende forthe I pray the, for owre prowe,
245 And sadly seke on ilke a side
246 Yf the floodes be falland nowe,
247 þat thou on the erthe may belde and byde;
248 Bryng vs som tokenyng that we may trowe
249 What tydandes sall of vs betyde.
250 Filia 2. Goode lorde, on vs thou luke,
251 And sesse oure sorow seere,
252 Sen we al synne forsoke
253 And to thy lare vs toke.
254 Filia 3. A twelmothe bott xij weke
255 Have we be houerand here.
256 Noe. Now barnes, we may be blithe and gladde
257 And lowe oure lord of heuenes kyng;
258 My birde has done as I hym badde,
259 An olyue braunche I se hym brynge.
260 Blyste be thou fewle that neuere was fayd,
261 That in thy force makis no faylyng;
262 Mare joie in herte never are I hadde,
263 We mone be saued, now may we synge.
264 Come hedir my sonnes in hye,
265 Oure woo away is wente,
266 I se here certaynely
267 þe hillis of Hermonye.
268 Filius 1. Lovyd be that lord forthy
269 That vs oure lyffes hase lente.
270 Uxor. For wrekis nowe that we may wynne
271 Oute of this woo that we in wore;
272 But Noye, wher are nowe all oure kynne
273 And companye we knwe before?
274 Noe. Dame, all ar drowned, late be thy dyne,
275 And sone thei boughte ther synnes sore.
276 Gud lewyn latte vs begynne,
277 So that we greue oure God no more;
278 He was greved in degré
279 And gretely moved in mynde
280 For synne, as men may see:
281 Dum dixit 'Penitet me'.
282 Full sore forthynkyng was he
283 That euere he made mankynde.
284 That makis vs nowe to tole and trusse;
285 But sonnes, he saide-I watte wele when-
286 'Arcum ponam in nubibus',
287 He sette his bowe clerly to kenne
288 As a tokenyng bytwene hym and vs,
289 In knawlage tille all cristen men
290 That fro this worlde were fynyd thus,
291 With wattir wolde he neuere wast yt then.
292 þus has God most of myght
293 Sette his senge full clere
294 Vppe in the ayre of heght;
295 The raynebowe it is right,
296 As men may se in sight
297 In seasons of the yere.
298 Sir, nowe sen God oure souerand syre
299 Has sette his syne thus in certayne,
300 Than may we wytte this worldis empire
301 Shall euermore laste, is noyot to layne.
302 Noe. Nay sonne, that sall we nouyot desire,
303 For and we do we wirke in wane;
304 For it sall ones be waste with fyre,
305 And never worthe to worlde agayne.
306 Uxor. A, syre, owre hertis are soore
307 For thes sawes that yoe saye here,
308 That myscheffe mon be more.
309 Noe. Beis noyot aferde therfore,
310 3e sall noght lyffe than yore
311 Be many hundereth yhere.
312 Filius 1. Fadir, howe sall this lyffe be ledde
313 Sen non are in this worlde but we?
314 Noe. Sones, with youre wiffes yoe sall be stedde,
315 And multyplye youre seede sall yoe.
316 3oure barnes sall ilkon othir wedde
317 And worshippe God in gud degré
318 Beestes and foules sall forthe be bredde,
319 And so a worlde begynne to bee.
320 Nowe travaylle sall yoe taste
321 To wynne you brede and wyne,
322 For alle this worlde is waste;
323 Thez beestes muste be vnbraste,
324 And wende we hense in haste,
325 In Goddis blissyng and myne.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The York Cycle, Play 9 - Noah and his Wife, the Flood and its Waning. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http:www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.