From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama
The York Cycle, Play 41 - Purification of Mary: Simeon and Anna Prophesy
Hatmakers, Masons, and Laborers
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 althyng, I say,
007 His lawes he bad men shulde not tyne,
008 But kepe his commandmentes all way.
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 shull 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 iyf after his lawes,
023 Or ells surely ye mon be shent
024 Bothe iesse 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 full yell,
031 And bad hyme boldly with good chere,
032 To say to the chylder of Israell,
033 That after that dyvers seknes seer,
034 And after that 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
047 In sacrefyes all onely dight,
048 And the preistes prayer purchace secure,
049 For the woman that was fylyd in God sight.
050 And yf so be that she be power,
051 And have no lame to offer, than
052 Two tyrtle doves to Godes honoure
053 To bryng with her for her offrand.
054 Loo! here am I, preest present alway,
055 To resave all offerandes that hydder is broght,
056 And for the people to God to pray,
057 That helth and lyfe to theme be wroght.
058 Anna. Here in this holy playce I say,
059 Is my full purpose to abyde,
060 To serve my God bothe nyght and day,
061 With prayer and fastyng in ever ylk a tyde.
062 For I haue beyn a wyddo this threscore yere
063 And foure yere to, the truthe to tell,
064 And here I haue terryed with full good chere,
065 For the redempcyon of Israell.
066 And so for my holy conversacion,
067 Grete grace to me hais nowe God sent,
068 To tell by profecy for mans redempcion,
069 What shall befall by Goddes entent.
070 I tell you all here in this place,
071 By Goddes vertue in prophecy,
072 That one is borne to oure solace,
073 Here to be present securely
074 within short space;
075 Of his owen mother a madyn free,
076 Of all vyrgens moost chaist suthly,
077 The well of mekenes, blyssed myght she be
078 moost full of grace!
079 And Symeon, that senyour,
080 That is so semely in Godes sight,
081 He shall hyme se and do honour,
082 And in his armes he shall hym plight,
083 that worthy leyd.
084 Of the holy goost he shall suthly
085 Take strength, and answere when he shall hy
086 Furth to this temple and place holy to do þat 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 my self, loo thus I say.
091 For I ame wayke and all vnwelde,
092 My welth ay wayns and passeth away,
093 Where so I fayre in fyrth or feylde
094 I fall ay downe, for febyll, in fay;
095 In fay I fail where so 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 mans kynde 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 come with vs to dwell
114 In our temple as leme of llght.
115 And other proffettes prophesieth,
116 And of this blyssed babb dyd mell,
117 And of his mother, a inadyn 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 mailes 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 succour 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 evir it abaites my chere.
145 Yet yf kynde fale for aige in me,
146 God yett may length my lyfe, suthely,
147 Tyll I that babb and foode so free
148 haue seyn in sight.
149 For trewly, yf I wyst reverce
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 Aug. Olde Symeon, Godes seruaunt right,
166 Bolde worde to the I biyng, 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. Symeon.
174 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 see 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 hys 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 me thynke 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 hedgyd for theme right playn,
206 That they muste be puryfied agayne, For in mans pleasoure for certayn
207 before were they fylyd.
208 But Mary byrde, thowe neyd not soo,
209 For this cause to bee puryfiede, loo,
210 in Goddes temple.
211 For certys, thowe arte a clene vyrgyn,
212 For any thoght thy harte within,
213 Nor never wroght no flesly synne
214 nor never yll.
215 Mary. That I my madenheade hais kept styll
216 It is onely throgh Goddes wyll,
217 that be ye bold.
218 Yett to fulfyll the lawe, ewysse,
219 That God almyghty gon expresse,
220 And for a sample of mekenesse,
221 offer I wolde.
222 Joseph. A ! Mary, blyssed be thowe ay,
223 Thowe thynkes to do after Goddes wyll,
224 As thowe haist said Mary, I say,
225 I will hartely consent there-tyll
226 withouten dowte.
227 Wherefore we dresse vs fiirth oure way,
228 And make offerand to God this day,
229 Even lykwyse as thy self gon say
230 with hartes devowte.
231 Mary. Therto am I full redy dight,
232 But one thyng, Joseph I wolde you meyve.
233 Joseph. Mary, my spouse and madyn bright,
234 Tell on hartely, what is your greyf?
235 Mary. Both beest and fewll hus muste neydes haue,
236 As a lambe and ij dove byrdes also,
237 Lame haue we none nor none we crave,
238 Therefore Joseph what shall we do,
239 what is your read?
240 And we do not as custome is,
241 We are worth to be blamyd, i-wysse,
242 I wolde we dyd nothing amys
243 as God me speyd.
244 Joseph. A! good Mary, the lawe is this,
245 To riche to offer bothe the lame and the byrd,
246 And the ij tyrtles, i-wys,
247 Or two doyf-byrdes shall not be fyrd
248 for our offerand;
249 And Mary, we haue doyf byrdes two,
250 As falls for hus therefore we goo,
251 They ar here in a panyer, too,
252 Reddy at hand.
253 And yf we haue not both in feer,
254 The lame, the burd, as ryche men haue,
255 Thynke that vs muste present here
256 Oure babb Jesus, as we voutsaue
257 before Godes sight.
258 He is our lame, Mary, kare the not,
259 For riche and power none better soght;
260 Full well thowe have hym hither broght
261 this our offerand dight.
262 He is the lame of God, I say,
263 That all our syns shall take away
264 of this worlde here.
265 He is the lame of God verray,
266 That muste bus fend frome all our fray,
267 Borne of thy wombe, all for our pay,
268 and for our chere.
269 Mary. Joseph, my spouse, ye say full trewe,
270 Than lett vs dresse hus furth our way.
271 Joseph. Go we than Mary, and do oure dewe,
272 And make meekly offerand this day.
273 Lo, here is the tempyll on this hyll,
274 And also preest ordand by skyll,
275 power havand.
276 And Mary, go we thyther forthy,
277 And lett vs both knele devowtly,
278 And offre we vp to God meekly
279 our dewe offrand.
280 Mary. Vnto my God highest in heven,
281 And to this preest ordand by skyll,
282 Jesu my babb, I offer hyme,
283 Here with my harte and my good wyll
284 right hartely.
285 Thowe pray for bus to God on hyght,
286 Thowe preest, present here in his myght,
287 At this deyd may be in his sight
288 accept goodly.
289 Joseph. Loo sir? and two doyf-byrddes ar here,
290 Receyve them with your holy handes,
291 We ar no better of power,
292 For we haue neyther rentes ne landes
294 Bott good sir, pray to God of myght
295 To accepte this at we have dight,
296 That we haue offeryd as we arr bight
297 here hartely.
298 Prisbeter. O God, and graunter of all grace,
299 Blyst be thy name both nyght and day,
300 Accepte there offerand in this place
301 That be here present to the alway.
302 A! blyssed lorde, say never nay,
303 But lett thy offerand be boot and beylde
304 Tyll all such folke lyvand in clay,
305 That thus to the mekly wyll heyld,
306 That this babb, lord, present in thy sight,
307 Borne of a madyns wombe vnfylde;
308 Accepte, [lord,] for there specyall gyft
309 Gevyn to mankynde, both man and chylde,
310 so specyally.
311 And this babb borne and here present
312 May beylde vs, that we be not shent,
313 But ever reddy his grace to bent
314 here verely.
315 A blyssed babb! welcome thowe be,
316 Borne of a madyn in chaistety,
317 Thowe art our beylde, babb, our gamme and our glee
318 ever sothly.
319 Welcome! oure wytt and our wysdorne,
320 Welcome! our joy all and somme,
321 Welcome! redemptour omnium
322 tyll bus hartely.
323 Anna. Welcome! blyssed Mary and madyn ay,
324 Welcome ! mooste meke in thyne array,
325 Welcome! bright starne that shyneth bright as day,
326 all for our blys.
327 Welcome! the blyssed beam so bryght,
328 Welcome! the leym of all oure light,
329 Welcome! that all pleasour hais plight
330 to man and wyfe.
331 Welcome! thowe blyssed babb so free,
332 Welcome! oure welfayre wyelly,
333 And welcome all our seall, suthly,
334 to grete and small.
335 Babb, welcome to thy beyldly boure,
336 Babb, welcome nowe for our soccoure,
337 And babb, welcome with all honour
338 here in this hall,
339 Aug. Olde Symeon, I say to the,
340 Dresse the furth in thyne array,
341 Come to the temple, there shall þu see,
342 Jesus, that babb that Mary barre,
343 that be thowe bolde.
344 Symeon. A! lorde, I thanke þe ever and ay,
345 Nowe am I light as leyf on tree,
346 My age is went, I feyll no fray,
347 Me thynke for this that is tolde me
348 I ame not olde.
349 Nowe wyll I to yon temple goo
350 To se the babb that Mary bare,
351 He is my helth in well and woo,
352 And helps me ever frome great care.
353 *Haill! blyssed babb, that Mary bare,
354 And blyssed be thy mother, Mary mylde,
355 Whose wombe that yeildyd fresh and fayr,
356 And she a clean vyrgen ay vnfyld.
357 Haill babb, the Father of Heven own chylde,
358 Chosen to chere vs for our myschance;
359 No erthly tong can tell fylyd
360 What thy myght is in every chance.
361 Haill! the moost worthy to enhance,
362 Boldly thowe beylde [us] frome all yll,
363 Withoute thy beylde we gytt grevance,
364 And for our deydes here shulde we spyll.
365 Haill ! flos campy, and flower vyrgynall,
366 The odour of thy goodnes reflars to vs all.
367 Haill! moost happy to great and to small
368 for our weyll.
369 Haill! ryall roose, moost ruddy of hewe.
370 Haill! flower vnfadyng, both freshe ay and newe,
371 Haill the kyndest in comforth that ever man knewe,
372 for grete heyll.
373 And mekly I beseke the here where I kneyll,
374 To suifre thy servant to take the in hand,
375 And in my narmes for to heue the here for my weyll,
376 And where I bound am in bayll to bait all my bandes.
377 Now come to me, lorde of all landes,
378 Come myghtyest by see and by sandes,
379 Come myrth by strete and by strandes
380 on moolde.
381 Come halse me, the babb that is best born,
382 Come halse me, the myrth of our morne,
383 Come halse me, for elles I ame lorne
384 for olde.
385 I thanke the lord God of thy greet grace,
386 That thus haith sparyd me a space,
387 This babb in my narmes for to inbrace
388 as the prophecy tell[es].
389 I thanke the that me my lyfe lent,
390 I thanke the that me thus seyll sent,
391 That this sweyt babb, that I in aries bent,
392 With myrth my myght alwais melles.
393 Mellyd are my myndes ay with myrth,
394 Full fresh nowe I feyll is my force,
395 Of thy grace thowe gave me this gyrth,
396 Thus comly to catch here thy corse
397 moost semely in sight.
398 Of helpe thus thy freynd never faills,
399 Thy marcy as every man avaylls,
400 Both by downes and by daylls,
401 Thus mervelous and muche is thy myght.
402 A! babb, be thowe blyssed for ay,
403 For thowe art my savyour, I say,
404 And thowe here rewles me in fay,
405 In all my lyfe.
406 Nowe blist be þi name!
407 For thowe saves bus fro shame,
408 And here thou beyld vs fro blame,
409 And frome all stryfe.
410 Nowe care I no moore for my lyfe,
411 Sen I have seen here this ryall so ryfe,
412 My strength and my stynter of stiyfe,
413 I you say,
414 In peace lorde, nowe leyf thy servand,
415 For rnyne eys haith seyn that is ordand,
416 The heith for all men that be levand,
417 here for ay.
418 That heith lorde hais thowe ordand, I say,
419 Here before the face of thy people,
420 And thy light hais thowe shynyd this day,
421 for evermore
422 To be knowe of thy folke that was febyll.
423 And thy glory for the chylder of Israell,
424 That with the in thy kyngdome shall dwell,
425 Whan the damnyd shall be drevyn to hell
426 than with great care.
427 Joseph. Mary, my spowse and madyn mylde,
428 In hart I marvell here greatly
429 Howe these folke spekes of our chylde;
430 They say and tells of great maistry,
431 that he shall doo.
432 Mary. Yea, certes, Joseph I marvel! also,
433 But I shall bere it full styll in mynde.
434 Joseph. God geve hyme grace here well to do,
435 For he is come of gentyll kynde.
436 Symeon. Harke! Mary, I shall tell the þe truth or I goo,
437 This was putt here to welde vs fro,
438 In redemption of many and recover also, I the say.
439 And the sworde of sorro thy hart shal thyril,
440 Whan thowe shall se sothly thy son soffer yll,
441 For the well of all wrytches Jat shall be his wyll
442 here in fay.
443 But to be comforth agayn right well thowe may,
444 And in harte to be fayne the suth, I the say,
445 For his myght is so muche thare can no tong say nay,
446 here to his wyll.
447 For this babb as a gyant , full graythly shall glyde,
448 And the myghtiest mayster shall meve on ylke syde,
449 To all the wightes that wons in this worlde wyde,
450 for good or for yll.
451 Tharefore babb, beylde vs, that we here not spyll.
452 And fayrwell, the former of all at thy wyll,
453 Fayrwell! starne stabylyst by lowde and be styll,
454 in suthfastnes.
455 Fayrwell! the ryolest roose that is renyng,
456 Fayrwell! the babb best in thy beryng,
457 Fayrwell! God son, thowe grant vs thy blyssyng
458 to fynd our dystresse.
459 Explicit Liber.
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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The York Cycle, Play 41 - Purification of Mary: Simeon and Anna Prophesy. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http:www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.