JOSEPH How dame, how! undo your door, undo! Are you at home? Why speak ye not! SUSANNA Who is there? why cry ye so? Tell us your errand, will you not? JOSEPH Undo your door, I say you to! 5 For to come in is all my thought! MARIA It is my spouse that speaketh us to. Undo the door! His will should be wrought. Welcome home my husband dear! How have ye fared in a far country? 10 JOSEPH To get our living, without fear, I have sore laboured for thee and me. MARIA Husband, right graciously now come be ye! It solaces me sore, truly, to see you in sight. JOSEPH I marvel wife, surely, your face I cannot see 15 But as the sun with his beams, when he is most bright. MARIA Husband it is as it pleases our lord, that grace of him grew. Whoever beholds me verily They shall be greatly stirred to virtue. For this gift and many more, good lord gramercy. 20 JOSEPH How hast thou fared, gentle maid, While I have been out of the land? MARIA Surely, sir, be not dismayed, Right after the will of God's ordinance. JOSEPH That seems evil, I am afraid! 25 Thy womb too high doth stand! I dread me sore I am betrayed-- Some other man had thee in hand Hence since I went. Thy womb is great, it begins to rise! 30 Then thou hast begun a sinful game. Tell me now in what ways Thou hast thyself thus shent? Oh, dame, what meaneth this? With child thou begin right great to go! 35 Say, Mary, this child's father who is? I pray thee tell me and that anon. MARIA The father of heaven and you, it is. Other father hath he none. I did never forfeit with man iwis. 40 Wherefore, I pray you, amend your moan. This child is God's and yours. JOSEPH God's child! Thou lyest in faith! God did never jape so with a maid And I came never there, I dare well say 45 Yet so near thy bower! But yet I say, Mary, whose child is this? MARIA God's and yours, I say iwis. JOSEPH Ya! ya! all old men to me take tent And wed no wife, in nothing wise 50 That is a young wench, by my assent. For doubt and dread and such service, Alas, alas, my name is shent. All men may me now despise And call old cuckold! Thy bow is bent 55 Newly now after the French guise. Alas and wellaway! Alas, dame, why didest thou so For this sin that thou hast done. I thee forsake and from thee go 60 For once ever and aye. MARIA Alas, good spouse, why say ye thus? Alas, dear husband, amend your mood! It is no man, but sweet Jesus! He will be clad in flesh and blood 65 And of your wife be born. SEPHOR For sooth the angel thus said he That God's son in Trinity For man's sake a man would be To save that is forlorn. 70 JOSEPH An angel! alas, alas, fie, for shame! Ye sin now in what ye say To put an angel in so great blame! Alas! alas! let be! do way! It was some boy began this game 75 That clothed was, clean and gay, And ye give him now an angel's name! Alas! alas! and welaway That ever this game betide. Ah, dame, what thought had you? 80 Here may all men know this proverb true That many a man doth beat the bow Another man has the bird! MARIA Ah gracious God, in heaven's throne Comfort my spouse in this hard case! 85 Merciful God, amend his moan Since I did never so great trespass. JOSEPH Lo! Lo, sirrahs! What told I you? That it was not for my profit A wife to take me to 90 And that is well seen now! For Mary, I make God a vow, is great with child, lo! Alas why is it so? To the bishop I will it tell 95 That he the law may her do With stones her to kill! Nay! nay! yet God forbid That I should do that vengeful deed! But if I just knew why. 100 I lay never with her. So God me speed, Took anything in word or deed That touched villainy. Nevertheless, tell me why? Though she be meek and mild 105 Without man's company She might not be with child. But I am sure, mine was it never! Though she has not done as she swore Rather than I should complain openly 110 Certainly, yet, had I rather Forsake the country forever And never come into her company. For if men knew this villainy In reproof they would me hold. 115 And yet better than I, Yea, have been made cuckold. Now, alas, whither shall I go? I know neither whither nor to what place. For often time sorrow cometh soon 120 And long it is before it pace. No comfort may I have here. Iwis, wife, thou did me wrong. Alas! I tarried from thee too long All men have pity on me among 125 For to my sorrow is no cheer. MARIA God that in my body art seized Thou knowest my husband is displeased To see me in this plight. For lack of knowledge he is diseased, 130 And therefore, help, that he were eased That he might know thee full perfect For I had rather abide in respite To keep thy son in privacy Granted by the Holy Spirit 135 Than that it should be opened by me. DEUS Descend I say, my angel, Unto Joseph for to tell Such as my will is. Bid him with Mary abide and dwell 140 For it is my son, know full well That she is with, iwis. ANGELUS Almighty God of bliss, I am ready for to wend Whither as thy will is 145 To go both far and wide. Joseph, Joseph, thou weepest shrill! From thy wife why comest thou out? JOSEPH Good sir let me weep my fill Go forth thy way and plague me not. 150 ANGELUS In thy weeping thout dost right ill! Against God's will thou hast mis-wrought. Go cheer thy wife, with hearty will And change thy cheer, amend thy thought! She is a full clean may 155 I tell thee, God will of her be born And she clean maid as she was before To save mankind that is forlorn! Go cheer her, therefore, I say. JOSEPH Ah Lord God, benedicite! 160 Of thy great comfort I thank thee That thou hast sent me this space. I might well have known, pardee, So good a creature as she Would never have done trespass, 165 For she is full of grace. I know well I have mis-wrought. I walk to my poor place And ask forgiveness, I have mis-thought. Now the time is at hand 170 That the child is now to verify Which shall save mankind As is was spoken by prophecy. I thank thee, God, that sits on high With heart and will and mind 175 That ever thou wouldst me bind To wed Mary my wife, Thy blissful son so near to find And in his presence to lead my life. Alas, for joy, I quiver and quake! 180 Alas, what hap now was this? Ah mercy, mercy, my gentle mate! Mercy! I have said all amiss. What I have said here, I forsake. Your sweet feet now let me kiss. 185 MARIA Nay, let be my feet, not those ye take! My mouth ye may kiss, iwis, And welcome unto me. JOSEPH Gramercy, my own sweet wife! Gramercy my heart, my love, my life! 190 I shall never more make such strife Betwixt me and thee. Ah, Mary, Mary, well thou be And blessed be the fruit in thee, God's son of might. 195 Now good wife, full of pity, Be not evil paid with me Though that thou have good right As for my wrong in sight To blame you with any sin. 200 Had thou not been a virtuous wight God would not have been thee within. I acknowledge I have done amiss. I was never worthy, iwis, For to be thy husband. 205 I shall amend after this Right as thine own will is To serve thee at foot and hand And thy child, both to understand, To worship him with good affection 210 And therefore, tell me with halting none The holy matter of your conception. MARIA At your own will as ye bid me There came and angel called Gabriel And greeted me fair and said ave. 215 And furthermore to me gan tell God should be born in my body The fiend's power for to fell. Through the Holy Ghost, as I well see, Thus God in me will bide and dwell. 220 JOSEPH Now I thank God with speech and spell That ever, Mary, I was wedded to thee! MARIA It was the will of God, as I you tell, Now blessed be that lord who has so provided for me.
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