From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The York Cycle, Play 10 - Abraham's Sacrifice
Parchmyners and Bokebynders
001 Abraham. Grett God that alle this world has wrought,
002 And wisely wote both gud and ille,
003 I thanke hym thraly in my thoght
004 Of alle his laue he lens me tille,
005 That thus fro barenhede has me broghte
006 A hundereth wynter to fulfille,
007 Thou graunte me myght so that I mowght
008 Ordan my werkis aftir thi wille.
009 For in this erthely lyffe
010 Ar non to God more boune
011 Then is I and my wyffe,
012 For frenshippe we haue foune.
013 Vnto me tolde God on a tyde,
014 Wher I was telde vnder a tree,
015 He saide my seede shulde be multyplyed
016 Lyke to the gravell of the see,
017 And als the sternes wer strewed wyde,
018 So saide he that my seede schuld be;
019 And bad I shulde be circumcicyd
020 To fulfille the lawe-thus lernynde he me.
021 In worlde wherso we wonne
022 He sendes vs richeys ryve;
023 Als ferre as schynes the sonne,
024 He is stynter of stryve.
025 Abram first named was I,
026 And sythen he sette a sylypp ma;
027 And my wiffe hyght Sarae
028 And sythen was scho named Sara.
029 But Sara was vncertan thanne
030 That euere oure seede shulde sagates yoelde,
031 Because hirselfe sho was barrane
032 And we wer bothe gone in grete eelde.
033 But scho wroght as a wyse woman:
034 To haue a barne vs for to beelde,
035 Hir seruand prevely sho wan
036 Vnto my bede my wille to welde.
037 Sone aftir than befelle
038 When God oure dede wolde dight,
039 Sho broght forthe Esmaell,
040 A sone semely to sight.
041 Than aftirward when we waxed alde,
042 My wyffe scho felle in feere for same;
043 Oure God nedes tythynges tyll vs talde
044 Wher we wer in oure house at hame,
045 Tille haue a sone we shulde be balde,
046 And Isaak shulde be his name,
047 And his seede shulde springe manyfalde.
048 Gyff I were blythe, who wolde me blame?
049 And for I trowed this tythynge,
050 That God talde to me thanne,
051 The grounde and the begynnyng
052 Of trowthe that tyme beganne.
053 Nowe awe I gretely God to yeelde,
054 That so walde telle me his entente,
055 And noght gaynestandyng oure grete eelde
056 A semely sone he has vs sente.
057 Now he is wight hymselfe to welde
058 And fra me is all wightnes wente,
059 Therfore sall he be my beelde.
060 I lowe hym that this lane has lente,
061 For he may stynte oure stryve
062 And fende vs fro alle ill;
063 I love hym as my liff,
064 With all myn herte and will.
065 Angel. Abraham, Abraham.
066 Abraham. Loo, I am here.
067 Angel. Nowe bodeword vnto the I brynge:
068 God wille assaye thi wille and cheere,
069 Giffe thou wille bowe tylle his byddyng;
070 Isaak thi sone that is the dere,
071 Whom thou loues our alle thyng,
072 To the lande of vyssyon wende in feere
073 And there of hym thou make offering.
074 I sall the shewe full sone
075 The stede of sacrifice.
076 God wille this dede be done,
077 And therfore the avise.
078 Abraham. Lord God that lens ay-lastand light,
079 This is a ferly fare to feele.
080 Tille haue a sone semely to sight,
081 Isaak, that I loue full wele-
082 He is of eelde to reken right
083 Thyrty yoere and more sumdele-
084 And vnto dede hym buse be dight.
085 God has saide me so for my seele,
086 And biddis me wende on all wise
087 To the lande of vysioune,
088 Ther to make sacryfice
089 Of Isaak that is my sone.
090 And that is hythyn thre daies jornay
091 The ganeste gate that I cane goo;
092 And sertis, I sall noght say hym nay
093 If God commaunde myself to sloo.
094 Bot to my sone I will noght saye,
095 Bot take hym and my seruantis twoo,
096 And with our asse wende forthe our waye;
097 As God has saide, it sall be soo.
098 Isaak, sone, I vndirstande
099 To wildirnesse now wende will we,
100 Thare fore to make oure offerand,
101 For so has God comaunded me.
102 Isaac. Fadir, I am euere at youre wille,
103 As worthy is withowten trayne;
104 Goddis comaundement to fulfille
105 Awe all folke for to be fayne.
106 Abraham. Sone, thou sais me full gode skille,
107 Bott alle the soth is noyot to sayne.
108 Go we sen we sall thertille-
109 I praye God sand vs wele agayne.
110 Isaac. Childir, lede forthe oure asse
111 With wode that we sall bryne.
112 Euen as God ordand has,
113 To wyrke we will begynne.
114 Famulus 1. Att youre biddyng we wille be bowne
115 What way in worlde that yoe wille wende.
116 Famulus 2. Why, sall we trusse ought forthe a towne
117 In any vncouthe lande to lende?
118 Famulus 1. I hope tha haue in this sessoune
119 Fro God of heuyn sum solayce sende.
120 Famulus 2. To fulfille yt is goode reasoune,
121 And kyndely kepe that he has kende.
122 Famulus 1. Bott what thei mene certayne
123 Haue I na knowlage clere.
124 Famulus 2. It may noght gretely gayne
125 To move of swilke matere.
126 Abraham. No, noye you noght in no degré
127 So for to deme here of oure dede,
128 For als God comaunded so wirke will we,
129 Vntill his tales vs bus take hede.
130 Famulus 1. All thos that wille his seruandis be
131 Ful specially he wille thaym spede.
132 Isaac. Childir, with all the myght in me
133 I lowe that lorde of ilke a lede,
134 And wirshippe hym certayne
135 My will is euere vnto.
136 Famulus 2. God giffe you myght and mayne
137 Right here so for to doo.
138 Abraham. Sone, yf oure lord God almyghty
139 Of myselfe walde haue his offerande,
140 I wolde be glade for hym to dye,
141 For all oure heele hyngis in his hande.
142 Isaac. Fadir, forsuth, ryght so walde I,
143 Leuer than lange to leue in lande.
144 Abraham. A, sone, thu sais full wele, forthy
145 God geue the grace gratthely to stande.
146 Childir, bide yoe here still,
147 No ferther sall yoe goo,
148 For yoondir I se the hill
149 That we sall wende vntoo.
150 Isaac. Kepe wele oure asse and all oure gere
151 To tyme we come agayne you till.
152 Abraham. My sone, this wode behoues the bere
153 Till thou come high vppon yone hill.
154 Isaac. Fadir, that may do no dere,
155 Goddis comaundement to fullfyll,
156 For fra all wathes he will vs were
157 Wharso we wende to wirke his wille.
158 Abraham. A, sone, that was wele saide.
159 Lay doune that woode euen here
160 Tille oure auter be grathide-
161 And, my sone, make goode cheere.
162 Isaac. Fadir, I see here woode and fyre,
163 Bot wherof sall oure offerand be?
164 Abraham. Sertis son, gude God oure suffraynd syre
165 Sall ordayne it in goode degré
166 For sone, and we do his dessyre,
167 Full gud rewarde tharfore gette wee.
168 In heuyn ther mon we haue oure hyre,
169 For vnto vs so hight has hee.
170 Therfore sone, lete vs praye
171 To God, bothe thou and I,
172 That we may make this daye
173 Oure offerand here dewly.
174 Grete God that all this worlde has wrought
175 And grathely gouernes goode and ill,
176 Thu graunte me myght so that I mowght
177 Thy comaundementis to fullfill.
178 And gyffe my flessche groche or greue oght,
179 Or sertis my saule assentte thertill,
180 To byrne all that I hydir broght
181 I sall noght spare yf I shulde spille.
182 Isaac. Lorde God of grete pousté
183 To wham all pepull prayes,
184 Graunte bothe my fadir and me
185 To wirke thi wille allweyes.
186 But fadir, nowe wolde I frayne full fayne
187 Wharof oure offerand shulde be grathid?
188 Abraham. Sertis sone, I may no lengar layne:
189 Thyselfe shulde bide that bittir brayde.
190 Isaac. Why fadir, will God that I be slayne?
191 Abraham. 3a, suthly sone, so has he saide.
192 Isaac. And I sall noght grouche theragayne,
193 To wirke his wille I am wele payed;
194 Sen it is his desire,
195 I sall be bayne to be
196 Brittynd and brent in fyre,
197 And therfore morne noght for me.
198 Abraham. Nay sone, this gatis most nedis be gone,
199 My lord God will I noght gaynesaye,
200 Nor neuer make mornys nor mone
201 To make offerand of the this day.
202 Isaac. Fadir, sen God oure lorde allane
203 Vowchesaffe to sende when yoe gon praye
204 A sone to you, whan ye had nane,
205 And nowe will that he wende his waye,
206 Therfore faynde me to fell
207 Tille offerand in this place;
208 *But firste I sall you telle
209 My counsaille in this case.
210 I knaw myselfe be course of kynde,
211 My flessche for dede will be dredande.
212 I am ferde that yoe sall fynde
213 My force youre forward to withstande.
214 Therfore is beste that ye me bynde
215 In bandis faste, boothe fute and hande.
216 Nowe whillis I am in myght and mynde
217 So sall yoe saffely make offerrande,
218 For fadir, when I am boune
219 My myght may noght avayle.
220 Here sall no fawte be foune
221 To make youre forward faylle.
222 For yoe are alde and alle vnwelde,
223 And I am wighte and wilde of thoght.
224 Abraham. To bynde hym that shuld be my beelde!
225 Outtane Goddis will, that wolde I noght.
226 Bot loo, her sall no force be felde,
227 So sall God haue that he has soght.
228 Farewele my sone, I sall the yoelde
229 Tylle hym that all this world has wroght.
230 Nowe kysse me hartely I the pray.
231 Isaak, I take my leue for ay-
232 Me bus the mys.
233 My blissyng haue thou enterly,
234 And I beseke God allmyghty
235 He giffe the his.
236 Thus aren we samyn assent
237 Eftir thy wordis wise.
238 Lorde God, to this take tente,
239 Ressayue thy sacrifice.
240 This is to me a perles pyne,
241 To se myn nawe dere childe thus boune.
242 Me had wele leuer my lyf to tyne
243 Than see this sight thus of my sone.
244 It is Goddis will, it sall be myne,
245 Agaynste his saande sall I neuer schone,
246 To Goddis cummaundement I sall enclyne,
247 That in me fawte non be foune.
248 Therfore my sone so dere,
249 If thou will anythyng saye,
250 Thy dede it drawes nere,
251 Farewele, for anes and ay.
252 Isaac. Now my dere fadir, I wolde you praye,
253 Here me thre wordes, graunte me my bone
254 Sen I fro this sall passe for ay;
255 I see myn houre is comen full sone.
256 In worde, in werke, or any waye
257 That I haue trespassed or oght mysdone,
258 Forgiffe me fadir or I dye this daye,
259 For his luffe that made bothe sonne and mone.
260 Here sen we two sall twynne
261 Firste God I aske mercy,
262 And you in more and myne,
263 This day or euere I dy.
264 Abraham. Now my grete God Adonay
265 That all this worlde has worthely wroght,
266 Forgyffe the sone for his mercye,
267 In worde, in worke, in dede and thoght.
268 Nowe sone, as we ar leryd
269 Our tyme may noyot myscarie.
270 Isaac. Nowe farewele all medilerth,
271 My flesshe waxis faynte for ferde;
272 Nowe fadir, take youre swerde,
273 Methynke full lange yoe tarie.
274 Abraham. Nay, nay sone, nay, I the behete,
275 That do I noght, withouten were.
276 Thy wordis makis me my wangges to wete
277 And chaunges, childe, ful often my cheere.
278 Therfore lye downe, hande and feete,
279 Nowe may thou witte thyn oure is nere.
280 Isaac. A, dere fadir, lyff is full swete,
281 The drede of dede dose all my dere.
282 As I am here youre sone
283 To God I take me till,
284 Nowe am I laide here bone,
285 Do with me what yoe will.
286 For fadir, I aske no more respete,
287 Bot here a worde what I wolde mene:
288 I beseke yoou or that yoe smyte
289 Lay doune this kyrcheffe on myn eghne,
290 Than may yooure offerand be parfite
291 If yoe wille wirke thus as I wene.
292 And here to God my saule I wite
293 And all my body to brenne bydene.
294 Now fadir be noght myssyng,
295 But smyte fast as yoe may.
296 Abraham. Farewele, in Goddis dere blissyng
297 And myn, for euer and ay.
298 That pereles prince I praye
299 Myn offerand heretill haue it,
300 My sacryfice this day
301 I praye the lorde ressayue it.
302 Angel. Abraham, Abraham.
303 Abraham. Loo, here iwys.
304 Angel. Abraham, abide, and halde the stille.
305 Sla noght thy sone, do hym no mysse,
306 Take here a schepe thy offerrand tyll,
307 Is sente the fro the kyng of blisse
308 That faythfull ay to the is fone;
309 He biddis the make offerrand of this
310 Here at this tyme, and saffe thy sone.
311 Abraham. I lowe that lord with herte entier
312 That of his luffe this lane me lente,
313 To saffe my sone, my darlyng dere,
314 And sente this schepe to this entente,
315 That we sall offir it to the here-
316 So sall it be as thou has mente.
317 My sone, be gladde and make goode cheere,
318 God has till vs goode comforte sente.
319 He will noght thou be dede,
320 But tille his lawes take kepe;
321 And se son, in thy stede
322 God has sente vs a schepe.
323 Isaac. To make oure offerand at his wille
324 All for oure sake he has it sente.
325 To lowe that lorde I halde grete skyll
326 That tylle his menyoe thus has mente.
327 This dede I wolde haue tane me till
328 Full gladly lorde, to thyn entent.
329 Abraham. A, sone, thy bloode wolde he noght spill,
330 Forthy this shepe thus has he sente;
331 And sone, I am full fayne
332 Of oure spede in this place-
333 Bot go we home agayne
334 And lowe God of his grace.
335 Angel. Abraham, Abraham.
336 Abraham. Loo, here indede.
337 Harke sone, sum saluyng of our sare.
338 Angel. God sais thou sall haue mekill mede
339 For thys goode will that thou in ware.
340 Sen thou for hym wolde do this dede-
341 To spille thy sone and noght to spare-
342 He menes to multiplie youre seede
343 On sides seere, as he saide are;
344 And yit he hight you this,
345 That of youre seede sall ryse,
346 Thurgh helpe of hym and his,
347 Ouere-hande of all enmys.
348 Luk yoe hym loue, this is his liste,
349 And lelly lyff eftir his laye,
350 For in youre seede all mon be bliste
351 That ther bese borne be nyght or day.
352 If yoe will in hym trowe or triste
353 He will be with yoou euere and aye.
354 Abraham. Full wele wer vs and we it wiste,
355 Howe we shulde wirke his will alwaye.
356 Isaac. Fadir, that sall we frayne
357 At wyser men than wee,
358 And fulfille it ful fayne
359 Indede eftir oure degree.
360 Abraham. Nowe sone, sen we thus wele hase spede,
361 That God has graunted me thy liffe,
362 It is my wille that thou be wedde
363 And welde a woman to thy wyffe;
364 So sall thy sede springe and be spredde
365 In the lawez of God be reasoune ryffe.
366 I wate in what steede sho is stede
367 That thou sall wedde, withowten stryffe:
368 Rabek that damysell,
369 Hir fayrer is none fone,
370 The doughter of Batwell
371 þat was my brothir sone.
372 Isaac. Fadir, as you likes my lyffe to spende
373 I sall assente vnto the same.
374 Abraham. One of my seruandis sone sall I sende
375 Vnto that birde to brynge hir hame.
376 The gaynest gates now will we wende.
377 My barnes, yee ar noght to blame
378 3eff yoe thynke lang that we her lende;
379 Gedir same oure gere, in Goddis name,
380 And go we hame agayne
381 Euyn vnto Barsabé
382 God that is most of mayne
383 Vs wisse and with yoou be.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The York Cycle, Play 10 - Abraham's Sacrifice. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http:www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.