From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The York Cycle, Play 37 - Harrowing of Hell
001 Jesus. Manne on molde, be meke to me,
002 And haue thy maker in thi mynde,
003 And thynke howe I haue tholid for the
004 With pereles paynes for to be pyned.
005 The forward of my fadir free
006 Haue I fulfillid, as folke may fynde,
007 þerfore aboute nowe woll I bee
008 þat I haue bought for to vnbynde.
009 þe feende thame wanne with trayne
010 Thurgh frewte of erthely foode;
011 I haue thame getyn agayne
012 Thurgh bying with my bloode.
013 And so I schall that steede restore
014 For whilke the feende fell for synne,
015 þare schalle mankynde wonne euermore
016 In blisse that schall neuere blynne.
017 All that in werke my werkemen were,
018 Owte of thare woo I wol thame wynne,
019 And some signe schall I sende before
020 Of grace, to garre ther gamys begynne.
021 A light I woll thei haue
022 To schewe thame I schall come sone.
023 My bodie bidis in graue
024 Tille alle thes dedis be done.
025 My fadir ordand on this wise
026 Aftir his will that I schulde wende,
027 For to fulfille the prophicyes,
028 And als I spake my solace to spende.
029 My frendis that in me faith affies,
030 Nowe fro ther fois I schall thame fende,
031 And on the thirde day ryght vprise,
032 And so tille heuen I schall assende.
033 Sithen schall I come agayne
034 To deme bothe goode and ill
035 Tille endles joie or peyne;
036 þus is my fadris will.
037 Adam. Mi bretheren, harkens to me here,
038 Swilke hope of heele neuere are we hadde;
039 Foure thowsande and sex hundereth yoere
040 Haue we bene heere in this stedde.
041 Nowe see I signe of solace seere,
042 A glorious gleme to make vs gladde,
043 Wherfore I hope oure helpe is nere
044 And sone schall sesse oure sorowes sadde.
045 Eue. Adame, my husband hende,
046 þis menys solas certayne.
047 Such light gune on vs lende
048 In paradise full playne.
049 Isaiah. Adame, we schall wele vndirstande-
050 I, Ysaias, as God me kende,
051 I prechid in Neptalym, that lande,
052 And Zabulon, even vntill ende.
053 I spake of folke in mirke walkand
054 And saide a light schulde on thame lende.
055 This lered I whils I was leuand,
056 Nowe se I God this same hath sende.
057 þis light comes all of Criste,
058 þat seede to saue vs nowe.
059 þus is my poynte puplisshid-
060 But Symeon, what sais thou?
061 Symeon. þhis, my tale of farleis feele,
062 For in the temple his frendis me fande.
063 I hadde delite with hym to dele
064 And halsed homely with my hande.
065 I saide, 'Lorde, late thy seruaunt lele
066 Passe nowe in pesse to liffe lastand,
067 For nowe myselfe has sene thy hele
068 Me liste no lengar to liffe in landé
069 þis light thou hast purueyed
070 To folkes that liffis in leede,
071 þe same that I thame saide
072 I see fulfillid in dede.
073 John the Baptist. Als voyce criand to folke I kende
074 þe weyes of Criste als I wele kanne.
075 I baptiste hym with bothe my hende
076 Euen in the floode of flume Jordanne.
077 þe holy goste fro heuene discende
078 Als a white dowue doune on hym thanne;
079 The fadir voice, my mirthe to mende,
080 Was made to me euen als manne:
081 'This is my soné he saide,
082 'In whome me paies full welé
083 His light is on vs laide,
084 He comes oure cares to kele.
085 Moyses. Of that same light lernyng haue I:
086 To me, Moyses, he mustered his myght,
087 And also vnto anodir, Hely,
088 Wher we were on an hille on hight.
089 Whyte as snowe was his body,
090 And his face like to the sonne to sight;
091 No man on molde was so myghty
092 Grathely to loke agaynste that light.
093 þat same light se I nowe
094 Shynyng on vs sarteyne,
095 Wherfore trewly I trowe
096 We schalle sone passe fro payne.
097 Diabolus 1. Helpe, Belsabub, to bynde ther boyes-
098 Such harrowe was neuer are herde in helle.
099 Diabolus 2. Why rooris thou soo, Rebalde? þou royis-
100 What is betidde, canne thou ought telle?
101 Diabolus 1. What, heris thou noyot this vggely noyse?
102 þes lurdans that in Lymbo dwelle,
103 þei make menyng of many joies
104 And musteres grete mirthe thame emell.
105 Diabolus 2. Mirthe? Nay, nay, that poynte is paste,
106 More hele schall thei neuer haue.
107 Diabolus 1. þei crie on Criste full faste
108 And sais he schal thame saue.
109 Belsabub. 3a, if he saue thame noght, we schall,
110 For they are sperde in speciall space.
111 Whils I am prince and principall
112 Schall thei neuer passe oute of this place.
113 Calle vppe Astrotte and Anaball
114 To giffe ther counsaille in this case,
115 Bele-Berit and Belial,
116 To marre thame that swilke maistries mase.
117 Say to Satan oure sire,
118 And bidde thame bringe also
119 Lucifer, louely of lyre.
120 Diabolus 1. Al redy, lorde, I goo.
121 Jesus. Attollite portas, principes,
122 Oppen vppe, yoe princes of paynes sere,
123 Et eleuamini eternales,
124 Youre yendles yoatis that yoe haue here.
125 Satan. What And callis hym kyng of vs in fere?
126 David. I lered leuand, withouten lees,
127 He is a kyng of vertues clere,
128 A lorde mekill of myght
129 And stronge in ilke a stoure,
130 In batailes ferse to fight
131 And worthy to wynne honnoure.
132 Satan. Honnoure? In the deuel way! For what dede?
133 All erthely men to me are thrall.
134 þe lady that calles hym lorde in leede
135 Hadde neuer yoitt herberowe, house, ne halle.
136 Diabolus 1. Harke Belsabub, I haue grete drede,
137 For hydously I herde hym calle.
138 Belial. We, spere oure yoates, all ill mot thou spede,
139 And sette furthe watches on the wall-
140 And if he calle or crie
141 To make vs more debate,
142 Lay on hym than hardely
143 And garre hym gange his gate.
144 Satan. Telle me what boyes dare be so bolde
145 For drede to make so mekill draye.
146 Diabolus 1. Itt is the Jewe that Judas solde
147 For to be dede this othir daye.
148 Satan. Owe, this tale in tyme is tolde,
149 þis traytoure traueses vs alway.
150 He schall be here full harde in holde,
151 Loke that he passe noght, I the praye.
152 Diabolus 2. Nay, nay, he will noyot wende
153 Away or I be ware,
154 He shappis hym for to schende
155 Alle helle or he go ferre.
156 Satan. Nay faitour, therof schall he faile,
157 For alle his fare I hym deffie.
158 I knowe his trantis fro toppe to taile,
159 He leuys with gaudis and with gilery.
160 þerby he brought oute of oure bale
161 Nowe late Lazar of Betannye;
162 þerfore I gaffe to the Jewes counsaille
163 þat thei schulde alway garre hym dye.
164 I entered in Judas
165 þat forwarde to fulfille,
166 þerfore his hire he has
167 Allway to wonne here stille.
168 Belsabub. Sir Sattanne, sen we here the saie
169 þat thou and the Jewes wer same assente,
170 And wotte he wanne Lazar awaye
171 þat tille vs was tane for to tente,
172 Trowe thou that thou marre hym maye,
173 To mustir mightis what he has mente?
174 If he nowe depriue vs of oure praye,
175 We will yoe witte whanne thei are wente.
176 Satan. I bidde yoou be noyot abasshed,
177 But boldely make youe boune
178 With toles that yoe on traste,
179 And dynge that dastard doune.
180 Jesus. Principes, portas tollite,
181 Vndo youre yoatis, yoe princis of pryde,
182 Et introibit rex glorie,
183 þe kyng of blisse comes in this tyde.
184 Satan. Owte, harrowe! What harlot is hee
185 þat sais his kyngdome schall be cryed?
186 David. þat may thou in my Sawter see,
187 For that poynte I prophicied.
188 I saide that he schuld breke
189 Youre barres and bandis by name,
190 And on youre werkis take wreke-
191 Nowe schalle yoe see the same.
192 Jesus. þis steede schall stonde no lenger stoken:
193 Opynne vppe, and latte my pepul passe.
194 Diabolus 1. Owte! Beholdes, oure baill is brokynne,
195 And brosten are alle oure bandis of bras-
196 Telle Lucifer alle is vnlokynne.
197 Belsabub. What thanne, is Lymbus lorne? Allas,
198 Garre Satan helpe that we wer wroken;
199 þis werke is werse thanne euere it was.
200 Satan. I badde yoe schulde be boune
201 If he made maistries more.
202 Do dynge that dastard doune
203 And sette hym sadde and sore.
204 Belsabub. 3a, sette hym sore-that is sone saide,
205 But come thiselffe and serue hym soo.
206 We may not bide his bittir braide,
207 He wille vs marre and we wer moo.
208 Satan. What, faitours, wherfore are yoe flayd?
209 Haue yoe no force to flitte hym froo?
210 Belyue loke that my gere be grathed,
211 Miselffe schall to that gedlyng goo.
212 Howe, belamy, abide,
213 With al thy booste and bere,
214 And telle to me this tyde
215 What maistries makes thou here?
216 Jesus. I make no maistries but for myne,
217 þame wolle I saue I telle the nowe.
218 þou hadde no poure thame to pyne,
219 But as my prisounes for ther prowe
220 Here haue thei soiorned, noght as thyne,
221 But in thy warde-thou wote wele howe.
222 Satan. And what deuel haste thou done ay syne
223 þat neuer wolde negh thame nere or nowe?
224 Jesus. Nowe is the tyme certayne
225 Mi fadir ordand before,
226 þat they schulde passe fro payne
227 And wonne in mirthe euer more.
228 Satan. Thy fadir knewe I wele be sight,
229 He was a write his mette to wynne,
230 And Marie me menys thi modir hight-
231 þe vttiremeste ende of all thi kynne.
232 Who made the be so mekill of myght?
233 Jesus. þou wikid feende, latte be thy dynne.
234 Mi fadir wonnys in heuen on hight,
235 With blisse that schall neuere blynne.
236 I am his awne sone,
237 His forward to fulfille,
238 And same ay schall we wonne
239 And sundir whan we wolle.
240 Satan. God sonne? þanne schulde thou be ful gladde,
241 Aftir no catel neyd thowe crave!
242 But thou has leued ay like a ladde,
243 And in sorowe as a symple knave.
244 Jesus. þat was for hartely loue I hadde
245 Vnto mannis soule, it for to saue;
246 And for to make the mased and madde,
247 And by that resoune thus dewly to haue
248 Mi Godhede here, I hidde
249 In Marie modir myne,
250 For it schulde noyot be kidde
251 To the nor to none of thyne.
252 Satan. A, this wolde I were tolde in ilke a toune.
253 So, sen thou sais God is thy sire,
254 I schall the proue be right resoune
255 þou motes his men into the myre.
256 To breke his bidding were thei boune,
257 And, for they did at my desire,
258 Fro paradise he putte thame doune
259 In helle here to haue ther hyre.
260 And thyselfe, day and nyght,
261 Has taught al men emang
262 To do resoune and right,
263 And here werkis thou all wrang.
264 Jesus. I wirke noght wrang, that schal thow witte,
265 If I my men fro woo will wynne.
266 Mi prophetis playnly prechid it,
267 All this note that nowe begynne.
268 þai saide that I schulde be obitte,
269 To helle that I schulde entre in,
270 And saue my seruauntis fro that pitte
271 Wher dampned saulis schall sitte for synne.
272 And ilke trewe prophettis tale
273 Muste be fulfillid in mee;
274 I haue thame boughte with bale,
275 And in blisse schal thei be.
276 Satan. Nowe sen the liste allegge the lawes,
277 þou schalte be atteynted or we twynne,
278 For tho that thou to wittenesse drawes
279 Full even agaynste the will begynne.
280 Salamon saide in his sawes
281 þat whoso enteres helle withynne
282 Shall neuer come oute, thus clerkis knawes-
283 And therfore felowe, leue thi dynne.
284 Job, thi seruaunte, also
285 þus in his tyme gune telle
286 þat nowthir frende nor foo
287 Shulde fynde reles in helle.
288 Jesus. He saide full soth, that schall thou see,
289 þat in helle may be no reles,
290 But of that place than preched he
291 Where synffull care schall euere encrees.
292 And in that bale ay schall thou be
293 Whare sorowes sere schall neuer sesse,
294 And for my folke therfro wer free,
295 Nowe schall thei passe to the place of pees.
296 þai were here with my wille,
297 And so schall thei fourthe wende,
298 And thiselue schall fulfille
299 þer wooe withouten ende.
300 Satan. Owe, thanne se I howe thou menys emang
301 Some mesure with malice to melle,
302 Sen thou sais all schall noyot gang,
303 But some schalle alway with vs dwelle.
304 Jesus. 3aa, witte thou wele, ellis were it wrang,
305 Als cursed Cayme that slewe Abell,
306 And all that hastis hemselue to hange,
307 Als Judas and Archedefell,
308 Datan and Abiron,
309 And alle of thare assente,
310 Als tyrantis euerilkone
311 þat me and myne turmente.
312 And all that liste noght to lere my lawe
313 þat I haue lefte in lande nowe newe-
314 þat is my comyng for to knawe,
315 And to my sacramente pursewe,
316 Mi dede, my rysing, rede be rawe-
317 Who will noght trowe, thei are noght trewe.
318 Vnto my dome I schall thame drawe,
319 And juge thame worse thanne any Jewe.
320 And all that likis to leere
321 My lawe and leue therbye,
322 Shall neuere haue harmes heere,
323 But welthe, as is worthy.
324 Satan. Nowe here my hande, I halde me paied,
325 þis poynte is playnly for oure prowe.
326 If this be soth that thou hast saide
327 We schall haue moo thanne we haue nowe.
328 þis lawe that thou nowe late has laide
329 I schall lere men noyot to allowe;
330 Iff thei it take thei be betraied,
331 For I schall turne thame tyte, I trowe.
332 I schall walke este and weste,
333 And garre thame werke wele werre.
334 Jesus. Naye, feende, thou schall be feste,
335 þat thou schalte flitte not ferre.
336 Satan. Feste? þat were a foule reasoune-
337 Nay bellamy, thou bus be smytte.
338 Jesus. Mighill myne aungell, make the boune
339 And feste yone fende that he noght flitte.
340 And, Deuyll, I comaunde the go doune
341 Into thy selle where thou schalte sitte.
342 Satan. Owt! Ay herrowe! Helpe, Mahounde!
343 Nowe wex I woode oute of my witte.
344 Belsabub. Sattan, this saide we are,
345 Nowe schall thou fele thi fitte.
346 Satan. Allas for dole and care,
347 I synke into helle pitte.
348 Adam. A, Jesu, lorde, mekill is thi myght,
349 That mekis thiselffe in this manere,
350 Vs for to helpe as thou has hight,
351 Whanne both forfette, I and my feere.
352 Here haue we leuyd withouten light
353 Four thousand and vi c yoere;
354 Now se I be this solempne sight
355 Howe thy mercy hath made vs clere.
356 Eue. A, lorde, we were worthy
357 Mo turmentis for to taste,
358 But mende vs with mercye
359 Als thou of myght is moste.
360 John the Baptist. A, lorde, I loue the inwardly,
361 That me wolde make thi messengere
362 Thy comyng in erth for to crye,
363 And teche thi faith to folke in feere;
364 And sithen before the for to dye
365 And bringe boodworde to thame here,
366 How thai schulde haue thyne helpe in hye.
367 Nowe se I all thi poyntis appere
368 Als Dauid, prophete trewe,
369 Ofte tymes tolde vntill vs;
370 Of this comyng he knewe,
371 And saide it schulde be thus.
372 David. Als I haue saide, yoitt saie I soo,
373 Ne derelinquas, domine,
374 Animam meam in inferno,
375 Leffe noght my saule, lorde, aftir the
376 In depe helle where dampned schall goo;
377 Ne suffre neuere saules fro the be,
378 The sorowe of thame that wonnes in woo
379 Ay full of filthe, that may repleye.
380 Adam. We thanke his grete goodnesse
381 He fette vs fro this place.
382 Makes joie nowe, more and lesse.
383 Omnis. We laude God of his grace.
384 Jesus. Adame, and my frendis in feere,
385 Fro all youre fooes come fourth with me.
386 3e schalle be sette in solas seere
387 Wher yoe schall neuere of sorowes see.
388 And Mighill, myn aungell clere,
389 Ressayue thes saules all vnto the
390 And lede thame als I schall the lere,
391 To paradise with playe and plenté
392 Mi graue I woll go till,
393 Redy to rise vpperight,
394 And so I schall fulfille
395 That I before haue highte.
396 Michill. Lorde, wende we schall aftir thi sawe,
397 To solace sere thai schall be sende.
398 But that ther deuelis no draught vs drawe
399 Lorde, blisse vs with thi holy hende.
400 Jesus. Mi blissing haue yoe all on rawe,
401 I schall be with youe wher yoe wende,
402 And all that lelly luffes my lawe,
403 þai schall be blissid withowten ende.
404 Adam. To the, lorde, be louyng,
405 þat vs has wonne fro waa.
406 For solas will we syng
407 Laus tibi cum gloria etc.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The York Cycle, Play 37 - Harrowing of Hell. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http:www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.