From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The York Cycle, Play 21 - Baptism of Jesus
001 John the Baptist. Almyghty God and lord verray,
002 Full woundyrfull is mannys lesyng,
003 For yf I preche tham day be day
004 And telle tham, lorde, of thy comyng,
005 þat all has wrought,
006 Men are so dull that my preching
007 Serues of noght.
008 When I haue, lord, in the name of the
009 Baptiste the folke in watir clere,
010 þan haue I saide that aftir me
011 Shall he come that has more powere
012 þan I to taste;
013 He schall giffe baptyme more entire
014 In fire and gaste.
015 þus am I comen in message right
016 And be fore-reyner in certayne,
017 In wittnesse-bering of that light,
018 þe wiche schall light in ilka man
019 þat is comand
020 Into this worlde; nowe whoso can
021 May vndirstande.
022 Thez folke had farly of my fare
023 And what I was full faste thei spied;
024 They askid yf I a prophette ware
025 And I saide nay, but sone I wreyede-
026 High aperte
027 I saide I was a voyce that cryede
028 Here in deserte.
029 Loke thou make the redy-ay saide I-
030 Vnto oure lord God most of myght,
031 þat is that thou be clene haly
032 In worde, in werke ay redy dight
033 Agayns oure lord,
034 With parfite liffe that ilke a wight
035 Be well restored.
036 For if we be clene in levyng,
037 Oure bodis are Goddis tempyll than,
038 In the whilke he will make his dwellyng.
039 Therfore be clene, bothe wiffe and man,
040 þis is my reed;
041 God will make in yowe haly than
042 His wonnyng-steed.
043 And if yoe sette all youre delyte
044 In luste and lykyng of this liff,
045 Than will he turne fro yow als tyte
046 Bycause of synne, boyth of man and wiffe,
047 And fro yoou flee,
048 For with whome that synne is riffe
049 Will God noght be.
050 Angel 1. þou John, take tente what I schall saye,
051 I brynge the tythandis wondir gode:
052 My lorde Jesus schall come thys day
053 Fro Galylee vnto this flode
054 3e Jourdane call,
055 Baptyme to take myldely with mode
056 þis day he schall.
057 John, of his sande therfore be gladde
058 And thanke hym hartely, both lowde and still.
059 John the Baptist. I thanke hym euere, but I am radde
060 I am noyot abill to fullfill
061 þis dede certayne.
062 Angel 2. John, the aught with harte and will
063 To be full bayne
064 To do his bidding, all bydene.
065 Bot in his baptyme John, take tente,
066 þe heuenes schalle be oppen sene,
067 The holy gost schalle doune be sente
068 To se in sight,
069 The fadirs voyce with grete talent
070 Be herde full riyot,
071 þat schall saie thus to hym forthy
072 John the Baptist. [...] with wordes fewne
073 I will be subgett nyght and day
074 As me well awe,
075 To serue my lord Jesus to paye
076 In dede and sawe.
077 Bot wele I wote, baptyme is tane
078 To wasshe and clense man of synne,
079 And wele I wotte that synne is none
080 In hym, withoute ne withinne.
081 What nedis hym than
082 For to be baptiste more or myne
083 Als synfull man?
084 Jesus. John, kynde of man is freele
085 To the whilke that I haue me knytte,
086 But I shall shewe the skyllis twa
087 þat thou schallt knawe by kyndly witte
088 þe cause why I haue ordand swa,
089 And ane is this:
090 Mankynde may noyot vnbaptymde go
091 Te endles blys.
092 And sithen myselffe haue taken mankynde,
093 For men schall me ther myrroure make
094 And haue my doyng in ther mynde,
095 Also I do the baptyme take.
096 I will forthy
097 Myselfe be baptiste for ther sake
098 Full oppynly.
099 Anodir skill I schall the tell:
100 My will is this, that fro this day
101 þe vertue of my baptyme dwelle
102 In baptyme-watir euere and ay,
103 Mankynde to taste,
104 Thurgh my grace therto to take alway
105 þe haly gaste.
106 John the Baptist. All-myghtfull lorde, grete is thi grace,
107 I thanke the of thi grete fordede.
108 Jesus. Cum, baptise me John, in this place.
109 John the Baptist. Lorde, saue thy grace that I forbede
110 þat itt soo be,
111 For lorde, methynketh it wer more nede
112 þou baptised me.
113 þat place that I yarne moste of all,
114 Fro thens come thou lorde, as I gesse.
115 How schulde I than, that is a thrall,
116 Giffe the baptyme, that rightwis is
117 And has ben euere?
118 For thow arte roote of rightwissenesse,
119 þat forfette neuere.
120 What riche man gose from dore to dore
121 To begge at hym that has right noght?
122 Lorde, thou arte riche and I am full poure,
123 þou may blisse all, sen thou all wrought.
124 Fro heuen come all
125 þat helpes in erthe, yf soth be sought,
126 Fro erthe but small.
127 Jesus. Thou sais full wele John, certaynly,
128 But suffre nowe for heuenly mede
129 þat rightwisnesse be noyot oonlye
130 Fullfillid in worde but also in dede,
131 Thrughe baptyme clere.
132 Cum, baptise me in my manhed
133 Appertly here.
134 Fyrst schall I take, sen schall I preche,
135 For so behovis mankynde fulfille
136 All rightwissenesse, als werray leche.
137 John the Baptist. Lord, I am redy at thi will,
138 And will be ay
139 Thy subgett lord, both lowde and still,
140 In that I may.
141 A, lorde, I trymble ther I stande,
142 So am I arow to do that dede.
143 But saue me, lord that all ordand,
144 For the to touche haue I grete drede
145 For doyngs dark.
146 Now helpe me lorde, thurgh thi Godhede,
147 To do this werk.
148 Jesus, my lord of myghtis most,
149 I baptise the here in the name
150 Of the fadir and of the sone and holy gost;
151 But in this dede lorde, right no blame
152 þis day by me,
153 And bryngis all thase to thy home
154 þat trowes in the.
155 Jesus. John, for mannys prophyte-wit thou wele-
156 Take I this baptyme certaynely.
157 The dragons poure ilk a dele
158 Thurgh my baptyme distroyed haue I,
159 þis is certayne,
160 And saued mankynde, saule and body,
161 Fro endles payne.
162 What man that trowis and baptised bes
163 Schall saued be and come to blisse.
164 Whoso trowes noyot, to payne endles
165 He schal be dampned sone, trowe wele this.
166 But wende we nowe
167 Wher most is nede the folke to wisse,
168 Both I and thou.
169 John the Baptist. I loue the, lorde, as souereyne leche
170 That come to salue men of thare sore,
171 As thou comaundis I schall gar preche
172 And lere to euery man that lare,
173 That are was thrall.
174 Now sirs, that barne that Marie bare
175 Be with yoou all.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The York Cycle, Play 21 - Baptism of Jesus. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http:www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.