Lord I have walked by dale and hill
And waited, as it was your will.
The three kings have stolen away full still
Through Bethlehem land.
They will never, so please thee,                                5
Come into the land of Galilee
To see your fair city
Nor the deeds of your hand.


I ride royally, rich in my reign.
Ribs full red with strokes shall I rend.                        10
Poppets and sucklings I shall put in pain
With my spear polished to pinch and to bend.
The goons with the gold crowns come not again!
To seek those sots soldiers shall I send.
I shall make hussies hoot, harlots loose women                  15
When their bairns bleed under the cradle band.
Sharply I shall them shend --
The knave children that be
In all Israel country
They shall bloody be                                            20
For one I call unkind.

It is told by a few
His name should be Jesu.
I have found
To have him gone                                                25
I must hew flesh to the bone
And give him a wound.
Now keen knights, good at your craft
That kill knave children and cast them in clay,
Throw on your shoulders shields and shafts                      30
Shaped among soldiers shrilling all day
Make horses run with rippling neighs
Till their ribs be all rent with red spray.
Let no bairn remain unbeaten behind
Till the beggars bleed in the beasts' way --                    35
Mahound that best may.
I warn you my knights
A bairn is born I will fight
He will claim to be king by right
And usurp my lordly lay.                                        40
My knights wise
Chosen with price,

Arise, arise
And take your toll.
And every page                                                  45
Of two year age
Where're you engage,
Slay like a fool.

One of them
Was born in a stall.                                            50
Fools him call
A king with crown.
With bitter gall
He shall down fall.
My might in this hall                                           55
Shall never go down!


I shall slay churls
And queens with earls.
Here knaves with curls
I shall stick.                                                  60
Forth will I speed
To make him bleed
With bloody greed
Vengeance to wreak.


For swords sharp                                                65
As a harp
Queens shall karp
And of sorrow sing.
Bairns young
Shall be stung!                                                 70
Through liver and lung
We shall them sting.


Awake Joseph and take thy wife,
The child also. Run for your lives!
For King Herod with sharp knives                                75
His knights he doth send.
The father of heaven hath to thee sent
Into Egypt that thou be bent.
For cruel knights thy child have meant
With swords to slay and shend.                                  80


Awake, good wife, out of your sleep
And of your child good care you keep,
While I your clothes lay on a heap
And tie them on the ass.
King Herod the child will slay                                  85
Therefore to Egypt must we go
An angel of God said me so
And therefore let us pass.

Then the soldiers come to the children to be slain and the first woman says


Lovely lulling have I lorn,
Alas why was my baby born?                                      90
With sweeping sword now has he shorn
The head right from the neck.
Shank and shoulder are all totorn!
Sorrow I see behind and before
At midnight, midday and morn                                    95
Would my life were finished quick.


Certainly I say the same!
Gone is all my goodly game.
My little child lieth all lame
That suckled on my breast.                                      100
My forty weeks groaning
Has sent me seven years sorrowing,
Much is my mourning
Now may I have no rest.


Lord on throne!                                                 105
Make now no moan,
Queens now groan
In the country side
Upon my spear
A babe I bear                                                   110
I dare well swear,
The mothers cried.


Lord we have sped
As you bade
Babes have bled                                                 115
And lie in the ditch!
Flesh and vein 
Have suffered pain
And you shall reign
Ever more rich.                                                 120


Ye shall have steeds
To your needs
Lands and glebes,
Woods in fee.
Well have you wrought!                                          125
My foe is sought --
To death he is brought
Now come up to me.

In seat now am I set as king of mights most.
All this world for their love to me shall bow                   130
Both in heaven and on earth and in hell's coast
For the worth of my dignity their reverence to show.
There is no lord now living to ask me to toast
Neither king nor kaiser in all this world about.
If any braggert do brag or blow against my boast,               135

I shall rap those ribalds and beat them on the snout
With my bright brand.
There shall be neither kaiser nor king 
But that I shall them down ding
Unless he, at my bidding,                                       140
Obey at my hand.

Now my gentle and courteous knights, hark to me anon.
In good time, soon, methinketh at dinner that we were.
Smartly therefore set a table anon here full soon
Covered with a curious cloth and with rich worthy fare,         145
Service for the loveliest lord that is living on ground!

Rare meats and worthiest wines, look that you not spare.
Though a little pint should cost a thousand pound
Bring always the best and for the cost take no care
Quickly get it done.                                            150


My lord, the table is ready dight.
Here is water, now wash forthright.
Now blow up, minstrell, with all your might
The service comes in soon.


Now am I set at meat                                            155
And worthily served at my degree
Come forth knights, sit down and eat 
And be as merry as you can be.


Lord, at your bidding we take our seat.
With hearty will, obey we thee.                                 160
There is no lord of might so great
Through all this world, in no country
In worship to abide.


I was never merrier here before
Since that I was first born                                     165
Than I am right now in this morn
In joy I begin to glide!


Oh I heard a page make praisings of pride.
All princes he passes, he thinks great to be.
He thinks he is the worthiest of all this world wide,           170
King over all kings, that page thinks to be.
He sent into Bethlehem, to seek on every side
Christ for to quell if they might him see.
But of his wicked will, sluggard yet he lied.
God's son doth live. There is no lord but he,                   175
Over all lords he is king.   
I am Death, God's messenger,
Almighty God hath sent me here
Yon sluggard to slay without fear
For all his wicked working.                                     180

I am sent from God. Death is my name
All things now alive I bend to my will.
Both man and beast and birds wild and tame.
When I come to them, with death I do them kill.
Herbs, grass and trees strong, take them all the same.          185
Yea, the great and mighty oaks with my dart I spill.
What man that I wrestle with, he shall right soon have shame.
I trip him up so featly he shall ever more lie still.

For Death knows no sport.
Where I smite, there is no grace.                               190
For after my stroke, man hath no space
To make amends for his trespass,
But God him grant comfort.

Oh see how proudly yon caitiff sits at meat.
Of death hath he no thought; he thinks to live evermore.        195
To him will I go and give him such a heat
That all the leeches of the land his life shall never restore.
Against my dreadful dents, it availeth never to fight.
Before I part from him, I shall him make full poor.
All the blood from his body I shall him out sweat.              200
For now I go to slay him with strokes sad and sore.
Both him and his knights all
This tide.
I shall them make to me but thrall
With my spear slay them I shall,                                205
And so cast down his pride.                     

Now kind knights be merry and glad
With all good spirit show now some mirth!
By gracious Mahound more mirth never I had
Nor never more joy from the time of my birth.                   210

For now is my foe dead and taken as a toad.
Above me is no king alive here on earth.
Mirth, therefore, make ye and be ye not sad,
Spare neither meat nor drink and be there no dearth
Of wine nor of bread!                                           215
For now I am king alone!
As worthy as I, may there be none.
Therefore, knights, be merry each one.
For now is my foe dead!


When the boys sprawled at my spears' end,                       220
By Satan our sire, it was a good sight!
A good game it was, that boy for to shend
That would be our king and put you from your right.


Now, truly, my lord king, we wicked had been
And never none of us able to be knight,                         225
If to them any of us had been friend
And saved any lives against thy great might
From death them to keep.


Amongst all that great rout,
He is dead, I have no doubt,                                    230
Therefore minstrells round about
Blow up, a merry fit!

Here while they are drinking, Death slays Herod and the two soldiers as well and the Devil receives them


All ours! All ours! This castle is mine!
I shall bring them into my cell.
I shall teach them a place fine                                 235
And show them such mirth as is in hell.
It were much better amongst swine
That are ever more stinking, there to dwell
For in our lodge is such great pain
That no earthly tongue may tell.                                240
With you I go my way.
I shall you bear forth with me
And show you the sports of our glee
Of our mirths you now shall see
And ever sing, well-a-way.                                      245


Of King Herod all men beware
That hath rejoiced in pomp and pride.
For all his boasts of bliss, full bare
He lies now dead, on his side.
For when I come, I do not spare                                 250
From me no person may him hide.
Now is he dead and cast in care,
In hell pit ever to abide.
His lordship is all lorn.
Now is he as poor as I                                          255
Worms meat is his body
His soul in hell full painfully
Of devils is all to-torn.

All men living upon the ground,
Beware of me, by my counsel,                                    260
For faint fellowship in me is found,
I know no courtesy as I you tell.
For be a man never so sound
Of health, in heart never so well,
I come suddenly and that anon.                                  265
Me withstand may no castle.
My journey will I speed.
Of my coming no man is aware,
For when men make most merry fare
Then suddenly I cast them in care,                              270
And slay them even in deed.

Though I be naked and in poor array
And worms gnaw me all about
Yet look you dread me night and day.
For when death comes, you stand in doubt.                       275
Even like to me as I you say
Shall all you be, here in this rout.
When I you challenge at my day,
I shall make you right low to bow
And naked for to be.                                            280
Amongst worms, as I you tell
Under the earth shall you dwell
And they shall you eat both flesh and fell
As they have done to me.

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