From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The York Cycle, Play 17 - Coming of the Three Kings, The Adoration
001 Prisbeter. Almyghty God in heven so hy,
002 The maker of all heven and erth,
003 He ordenyd here all thynges evenly,
004 For man he ment to mend his myrth.
005 In nomber, weight, and mesure fyne
006 God creat here al thyng, I say,
007 His lawes he bad men shulde not tyne,
008 But kepe his commandmentes allway.
009 In the mount of Syney full fayre,
010 And in two tabyls to you to tell,
011 His lawes to Moyses tuke God there
012 To geve to the chylder of Israell,
013 That Moyses shuld theme gyde alway,
014 And lerne theme lely to knowe Goddes wyll,
015 And that he shulde not it denay,
016 But kepe his lawes stable and styll.
017 For payn that he hadd putt therefore,
018 To stone all theme that kepis it nott
019 Vtterly to death, both lesse and moore;
020 There shulde no marcy for them be soght.
021 Therefore kepe well Goddes commandement,
022 And leyd your lyf after his lawes,
023 Or ells surely ye mon be shent
024 Bothe lesse and moore, ylkone on rawes.
025 This is his wyll after Moyses lawe:
026 That ye shulde bryng your beistes good
027 And offer theme here your God to knawe,
028 And frome your synns to turne your moode.
029 Suche beestes as God hais marked here,
030 Vnto Moyses he spake as I yow tell,
031 And bad hyme boldly with good chere,
032 To say to the chylder of Israell
033 That after dyvers seknes seer
034 And after dyvers synes alsoo,
035 Go bryng your beestes to the preest even here
036 To offer theme vp in Goddes sight, loo.
037 The woman that hais borne her chylde,
038 She shall comme hether at the forty day
039 To be puryfied where she was fylde,
040 And bryng with her a lame, I say,
041 And two dove-byrdes for her offerand,
042 And take them to the preest of lay
043 To offer theme vp with his holy hand;
044 There shulde no man to this say nay.
045 The lame is offeryd for Goddes honour
046 In sacrefyes all onely dight,
047 And the preistes prayer purchace secure
048 For the woman that was fylyd in God sight.
049 And yf so be that she be power
050 And haue no lame to offer, than
051 Two tyrtle-doves to Godes honoure
052 To bryng with her for her offrand.
053 Loo, here am I preest present alway,
054 To resave all offerandes that hydder is broght,
055 And for the people to God to pray
056 That helth and lyfe to theme be wroght.
057 Anna. Here in this holy playce I say
058 Is my full purpose to abyde,
059 To serve my God bothe nyght and day
060 With prayer and fastyng in ever-ylk a tyde.
061 For I haue beyn a wyddo this threscore yere
062 And foure yere to, the truthe to tell,
063 And here I haue terryed with full good chere
064 For the redempcyon of Israell.
065 And so for my holy conversacion
066 Grete grace to me hais nowe God sent,
067 To tell by profecy for mans redempcion
068 What shall befall by Goddes intent.
069 I tell you all here in this place,
070 By Godes vertue in prophecy,
071 That one is borne to oure solace,
072 Here to be present securely
073 Within short space,
074 Of his owen mother, a madyn free,
075 Of all vyrgens moost chaist suthly,
076 The well of mekenes, blyssed myght she be,
077 Moost full of grace.
078 And Symeon, that senyour
079 That is so semely in Godes sight,
080 He shall hyme se and do honour
081 And in his armes he shall hym plight,
082 That worthy leyd.
083 Of the holy goost he shall suthly
084 Take strength, and answere when he shall hy
085 Furth to this temple and place holy
086 To do that deyd.
087 Symeon. A, blyssed God, thowe be my beylde
088 And beat my baill bothe nyght and day,
089 In hevynes my hart is hylde,
090 Vnto myself, loo thus I say.
091 For I ame wayke and all vnwelde,
092 My welth ay wayns and passeth away,
093 Whereso I fayre in fyrth or feylde
094 I fall ay downe for febyll, in fay.
095 In fay I fall whereso I fayre,
096 In hayre and hewe and hyde I say.
097 Owte of this worlde I wolde I were,
098 Thus wax I warr and warr alway
099 And my myscheyf growes in all that may.
100 Bot thowe myghty lorde my mornyng mar;
101 Mar ye, for it shulde me well pay,
102 So happy to se hyme yf I warr.
103 Nowe certys then shulde my gamme begynne
104 And I myght se hyme, of hyme to tell,
105 That one is borne withouten synne
106 And for mankynde mans myrth to mell.
107 Borne of a woman and madyn fre,
108 As wytnesse Davyt and Danyell,
109 Withouten synne or velanye,
110 As said also Isacheell.
111 And Melachiell that proffett snell
112 Hais tolde vs of that babb so bright,
113 That he shulde comme with vs to dwell
114 In our temple as leme of light.
115 And other proffettes prophesieth
116 And of this blyssed babb dyd mell,
117 And of his mother, a madyn bright,
118 In prophecy the truth gan tell,
119 That he shulde comme and harro hell
120 As a gyant grathly to glyde,
121 And fersly the feyndes malles to fell
122 And putt there poors all on syde.
123 The worthyest wight in this worlde so wyde
124 His vertues seer no tong can tell,
125 He sendes all soccour in ylke tyde
126 As redemption of Israell.
127 Thus say they all,
128 There patryarkes and ther prophettes clere:
129 'A babb is borne to be oure fere,
130 Knytt in oure kynde for all our chere
131 To grete and small'.
132 Ay, well were me for ever and ay
133 If I myght se that babb so bright
134 Or I were buryed here in clay,
135 Then wolde my cors here mend in myght
136 Right faithfully.
137 Nowe lorde, thowe grant to me thy grace
138 To lyf here in this worlde a space,
139 That I myght se that babb in his face
140 Here or I dy.
141 A, lorde God, I thynke may I endure,
142 Trowe we that babb shall fynde me here;
143 Nowe certys with aige I ame so power
144 That ever it abaites my chere.
145 Yet yf kynde fale for aige in me,
146 God yett may length my lyfe suthly,
147 Tyll I that babb and foode so free
148 Haue seyn in sight.
149 For trewly, yf I wyst relesse
150 Thare shulde nothyng my hart dyseas;
151 Lorde, len me grace yf that thowe pleas
152 And make me light.
153 When wyll thowe comme babb? Let se, haue done;
154 Nay, comme on tyte and tarry nott,
155 For certys my lyf-days are nere done,
156 For aige to me grete wo hais wroght.
157 Great wo is wroght vnto mans harte
158 Whan he muste want that he wolde haue;
159 I kepe no longar to haue quarte
160 For I haue seen that I for crave.
161 A, trowes thowe these ij eyes shall see
162 That blyssed babb or they be owte?
163 Ye, I pray God so myght it be-
164 Then were I putt all owte of dowte.
165 Angel. Olde Symeon, Gods seruaunt right,
166 Bodworde to the I bryng I say,
167 For the holy goost moost of myght,
168 He says thowe shall not dye away
169 To thowe haue seen
170 Jesu the babb that Mary bare,
171 For all mankynde to slake there care.
172 He shall do comforth to lesse and mayr,
173 Both morne and even.
174 Symeon. A, lorde, gramarcy nowe I say
175 That thowe this grace hais to me hight,
176 Or I be buryed here in clay
177 To se that semely beam so bright.
178 No man of molde may haue more happ
179 To my solace and myrth allway,
180 Than for to se that Mary lapp
181 Jesu my joy and savyour ay,
182 Blyssyd be his name.
183 Loo, nowe mon I se, the truth to tell,
184 The redempcion of Israell,
185 Jesu my lorde Emanuell,
186 Withouten blame.
187 Mary. Joseph my husbonde and my feer,
188 Ye take to me grathely entent,
189 I wyll you showe in this manere
190 What I wyll do, thus haue I ment:
191 Full xl days is comme and went
192 Sens that my babb Jesu was borne,
193 Therefore I wolde he were present
194 As Moyses lawes sais hus beforne,
195 Here in this temple before Goddes sight
196 As other women doith in feer,
197 So methynke good skyll and right
198 The same to do nowe with good chere,
199 After Goddes sawe.
200 Joseph. Mary my spowse and madyn clene,
201 This matter that thowe moves to me
202 Is for all these women bedene
203 That hais conceyved with syn fleshely
204 To bere a chylde.
205 The lawe is ledgyd for theme right playn,
206 That they muste be puryfied agayne,
207 For in mans pleasoure for certayn
208 Before were they fylyd.
209 But Mary, byrde, thowe neyd not soo
210 For this cause to be puryfiede, loo,
211 In Goddes temple.
212 For certys thowe arte a clene vyrgyn
213 For any thoght thy harte within,
214 Nor never wroght no flesly synne
215 Nor never yll.
216 Mary. That I my madenheade hais kept styll
217 It is onely throgh Godds wyll,
218 That be ye bold.
219 Yett to fulfyll the lawe ewysse,
220 That God almyghty gon expresse,
221 And for a sample of mekenesse
222 Offer I wolde.
223 Joseph. A, Mary, blyssed be thowe ay,
224 Thowe thynkes to do after Goddes wyll,
225 As thowe haist said Mary, I say,
226 I will hartely consent theretyll
227 Withouten dowte.
228 Wherefore we dresse vs furth oure way
229 And make offerand to God this day,
230 Even lykwyse as thyself gon say
231 With hartes devowte.
232 Mary. Therto am I full redy dight,
233 But one thyng Joseph I wolde you meyve.
234 Joseph. Mary my spouse and madyn bright,
235 Tell on hartely, what is your greyf?
236 Mary. Both beest and fewll hus muste neydes haue,
237 As a lambe and ij dove-byrdes also.
238 Lame haue we none nor none we crave,
239 Therefore Joseph what shall we do,
240 What is your read?
241 And we do not as custome is,
242 We are worth to be blamyd iwysse,
243 I wolde we dyd nothyng amys
244 As God me speyd.
245 Joseph. A, good Mary, the lawe is this:
246 To riche to offer bothe the lame and the byrd,
247 And the poore ij tyrtles iwys.
248 Or two doyf-byrdes shall not be fyrd
249 For our offerand;
250 And Mary, we haue doyf-byrdes two
251 As falls for hus, therefore we goo-
252 They ar here in a panyer, loo,
253 Reddy at hand.
254 And yf we haue not both in feer,
255 The lame, the burd, as ryche men haue,
256 Thynke that vs muste present here
257 Oure babb Jesus, as we voutsaue
258 Before Godes sight.
259 He is our lame Mary, kare the not,
260 For riche and power none better soght;
261 Full well thowe hais hym hither broght,
262 This our offerand right.
263 He is the lame of God I say,
264 That all our syns shall take away
265 Of this worlde here.
266 He is the lame of God verray
267 That muste hus fend frome all our fray,
268 Borne of thy wombe, all for our pay
269 And for our chere.
270 Mary. Joseph my spowse, ye say full trewe,
271 Than lett vs dresse hus furth our way.
272 Joseph. Go we than Mary, and do oure dewe,
273 And make meekly offerand this day.
274 Lo, here is the tempyll on this hyll
275 And also preest ordand by skyll,
276 Power havand.
277 And Mary, go we thyther forthy,
278 And lett vs both knele devowtly,
279 And offre we vp to God meekly
280 Our dewe offrand.
281 Mary. Vnto my God highest in heven
282 And to this preest ordand by skyll,
283 Jesu my babb I offer hyme
284 Here with my harte and my good wyll
285 Right hartely.
286 Thowe pray for hus to God on hyght
287 Thowe preest, present here in his myght,
288 At this deyd may be in his sight
289 Accept goodly.
290 Joseph. Loo sir, and two doyf-byrddes ar here,
291 Receyve them with your holy handes,
292 We ar no better of power,
293 For we haue neyther rentes ne landes
295 Bott good sir, pray to God of myght
296 To accepte this at we haue dight,
297 That we haue offeryd as we arr hight
298 Here hartely.
299 Prisbeter. O God and graunter of all grace,
300 Blyst be thy name both nyght and day,
301 Accepte there offerand in this place
302 That be here present to the alway.
303 A, blyssed lorde, say never nay,
304 But lett thys offerand be boot and beylde
305 Tyll all such folke lyvand in clay,
306 That thus to the mekly wyll heyld;
307 That this babb lord, present in thy sight,
308 Borne of a madyns wombe vnfylde,
309 Accepte for there specyall gyft
310 Gevyn to mankynde, both man and chylde,
311 So specyally.
312 And this babb borne and here present
313 May beylde vs, that we be not shent,
314 But ever reddy his grace to hent
315 Here verely.
316 A, blyssyd babb, welcome thowe be,
317 Borne of a madyn in chaistety,
318 Thowe art our beylde, babb, our gamme and our glee
319 Ever sothly.
320 Welcome oure wytt and our wysdome,
321 Welcome, our joy all and somme,
322 Welcomme redemptour omnium
323 Tyll hus hartely.
324 Anna. Welcome blyssed Mary and madyn ay,
325 Welcome, mooste meke in thyne array;
326 Welcome bright starne that shyneth bright as day,
327 All for our blys.
328 Welcome, the blyssed beam so bryght,
329 Welcome the leym of all oure light,
330 Welcome that all pleasour hais plight
331 To man and wyfe.
332 Welcome thowe blyssed babb so free,
333 Welcome oure welfayre wyelly
334 And welcome all our seall, suthly,
335 To grete and small.
336 Babb, welcome to thy beyldly boure,
337 Babb, welcome nowe for our soccoure,
338 And babb, welcomme with all honour
339 Here in this hall.
340 Angel. Olde Symeon, I say to the
341 Dresse the furth in thyne array,
342 Come to the temple, there shall thu see
343 Jesus that babb that Mary barre,
344 That be thowe bolde.
345 Symeon. A, lorde, I thanke the ever and ay,
346 Nowe am I light as leyf on tree,
347 My age is went, I feyll no fray,
348 Methynke for this that is tolde me
349 I ame not olde.
350 Nowe wyll I to yon temple goo
351 To se the babb that Mary bare,
352 He is my helth in well and woo,
353 And helps me ever frome great care.
354 Haill blyssed babb that Mary bare,
355 And blyssed be thy mother, Mary mylde,
356 Whose wombe that yeildyd fresh and fayr
357 And she a clean vyrgen ay vnfyld.
358 Haill babb, the father of heven own chylde
359 Chosen to chere vs for our myschance;
360 No erthly tong can tell vnfylyd
361 What thy myght is in every chance.
362 Haill, the moost worthy to enhance,
363 Boldly thowe beylde frome all yll,
364 Withoute thy beylde we gytt grevance
365 And for our deydes here shulde we spyll.
366 Haill floscampy and flower vyrgynall,
367 The odour of thy goodnes reflars to vs all.
368 Haill, moost happy to great and to small
369 For our weyll.
370 Haill ryall roose, moost ruddy of hewe,
371 Haill flour vnfadyng, both freshe ay and newe,
372 Haill the kyndest in comforth that ever man knewe
373 For grete heyll.
374 And mekly I beseke the here where I kneyll
375 To suffre thy servant to take the in hand,
376 And in my narmes for to heue the here for my weyll,
377 And where I bound am in bayll to bait all my bandes.
378 Nowe come to me, lorde of all landes,
379 Comme myghtyest by see and by sandes,
380 Come myrth by strete and by strandes
381 On moolde.
382 Come halse me, the babb that is best born,
383 Come halse me, the myrth of our morne,
384 Come halse me, for ells I ame lorne
385 For olde.
386 I thanke the lord God of thy greet grace
387 That thus haith sparyd me a space,
388 This babb in my narmes for to inbrace
389 As the prophecy telles.
390 I thanke the that me my lyfe lent,
391 I thanke the that me thus seyll sent,
392 That this sweyt babb, that I in armes hent
393 With myrth my myndes alwais melles.
394 Mellyd are my myndes ay with myrth,
395 Full fresh nowe I feyll is my force,
396 Of thy grace thowe gave me this gyrth
397 Thus comly to catch here thy corse
398 Moost semely in sight.
399 Of helpe thus thy freynd never faills,
400 Thy marcy as every man avaylls,
401 Both by downes and by daylls,
402 Thus mervelous and muche is thy myght.
403 A, babb, be thowe blyssed for ay,
404 For thowe art my savyour I say
405 And thowe here rewles me in fay,
406 In all my lyfe.
407 Nowe blist be thi name,
408 For thowe saves hus fro shame,
409 And here thou beyld vs fro blame
410 And frome all stryfe.
411 Nowe care I no moore for my lyfe
412 Sen I haue seen here this ryall so ryfe,
413 My strength and my stynter of stryfe
414 I you say.
415 In peace lorde nowe leyf thy servand
416 For myne eys haith seyn that is ordand,
417 The helth for all men that be levand
418 Here for ay.
419 That helth lorde hais thowe ordand I say
420 Here before the face of thy people,
421 And thy light hais thowe shynyd this day
422 To be knowe of thy folke that was febyll
423 For evermore.
424 And thy glory for the chylder of Israell,
425 That with the in thy kyngdome shall dwell
426 Whan the damnyd shall be drevyn to hell
427 Than with great care.
428 Joseph. Mary, my spowse and madyn mylde,
429 In hart I marvell here greatly
430 Howe these folke spekes of our chylde.
431 They say and tells of great maistry
432 That he shall doo.
433 Mary. Yea certes, Joseph, I marvell also,
434 But I shall bere it full styll in mynde.
435 Joseph. God geve hyme grace here well to do,
436 For he is comme of gentyll kynde.
437 Symeon. Harke Mary, I shall tell the the truth or I goo.
438 This was putt here to welde vs fro wo,
439 In redemption of many and recover also,
440 I the say.
441 And the sworde of sorro thy hart shal thyrll
442 Whan thowe shall se sothly thy son soffer yll
443 For the well of all wrytches, that shall be his wyll
444 Here in fay.
445 But to be comforth agayn right well thowe may,
446 And in harte to be fayne, the suth I the say,
447 For his myght is so muche thare can no tong say nay
448 Here to his wyll.
449 For this babb as a gyant full graythly shall glyde
450 And the myghtiest mayster shall meve on ylke syde,
451 To all the wightes that wons in this worlde wyde,
452 For good or for yll.
453 Tharefore babb, beylde vs that we here not spyll,
454 And fayrwell the former of all at thy wyll,
455 Fayrwell starne stabylyst by lowde and be styll,
456 In suthfastnes.
457 Fayrwell the ryolest roose that is renyng,
458 Fayrwell the babb best in thy beryng,
459 Fayrwell God son, thowe grant vs thy blyssyng
460 To fyne our dystresse.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The York Cycle, Play 17 - Coming of the Three Kings, The Adoration. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http:www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.