NOAH God, of his goodness and of grace, the ground, By whose glorious power all thing are wrought, In whom all virtue plenteously is found, Without whose will theremay be nought, Thy servants save, lord, from sinful swoon. 5 In will, in work, in deed and in thought Our wealth in woe let never be found. Us help,lord, from sin that we be in brought, Lord God, full of might. Noah, sirs, my name is to know, 10 My wife and children here on row, To God we pray with heart full low To please him in his sight. In me, Noah, the second age In deed beginneth, as I you say. 15 After Adam without his lineage The second father am I in faith. But men of living do so outrage Both by night and also by day That unless sin the sooner aswage, 20 God will be revenged on us some way, In deed. There may no man go there out But sin reigneth in every rout, In every place round about 25 Cursedness doth spring and spread. UXOR NOAH Almighty God of his great grace, Inspire men with hearty will, For to cease of their trespass. For sinful living our soul shall spill. 30 Sin offendeth God in his face And aggrieveth our lord full ill. It causeth to man right great menace And scrapes him out of life's bill -- That blessed book. 35 What man in sin doth always sleep, He shall go to hell full deep. Then shall he never after creep Out of that burning brook. I am your wife, your children these be 40 Unto us two it doth belong Them to teach in all degree Sin to forsake and works wrong. Therefore, for love of me, Inform them well ever among 45 Sin for to forsake and vanity And virtue to follow with will strong Our lord God to please. NOAH I warn you children one and all Dread our lord God in heaven's hall, 50 And in no forfeit that ye not fall Our lord for to displease. SHEM Ah, dear father, God forbid That we should do in any wise Any work of sinful deed 55 Our lord God that should aggrieve My name is Shem, your son of price. I shall work after your need. And also, wife, thee well advise Wicked works that thou not breed 60 Never, in no degree. UXOR SHEM Forsooth, sir, by God's grace I shall me keep, from all trespass That should offend God's face By help of the Trinity. 65 HAM I am Ham your second son And purpose me by God's might Never such a deed to have done That should aggrieve God in sight. UXOR HAM I pray to God me grant this boon 70 That he me keep in such a plight Morning, evening, midday and noon I to offend him neither day nor night. Lord God I thee pray, Both waking and also in sleep, 75 Gracious God thou me keep That I never in danger creep On dreadful dooms day. JAPHET Japhet thy third son is my name. I pray to God where so we be 80 That he us borrow from sinful shame And in virtuous living ever more keep me. UXOR JAPHET I am your wife and pray the same That God us save on sand and sea. With no grievance he may us blame. 85 He grant us grace sin to flee Lord God now hear our boon. NOAH Gracious God that best may With hearty will to thee we pray Thou save us surely both night and day 90 For sin we have not done. GOD Oh what meaneth this mis-living man Which my hand made and placed in bliss? Sin so sore grieveth me, yea in certain, I will be avenged of this great miss. 95 My angel dear thou shalt be gone To Noah that my servant is. A ship to make to take in hand Thou bid him quickly for him and his From drowning them to save. 100 For as I am God of might I shall destroy this world down right Their sin so sore grieves me in sight. They shall no mercy have. Fecisse hominem nunc penitet me. 105 That I made man sore doth me rue. My handiwork to slay sore grieves me. But their sins their deaths do brew. Go say to Noah as I bid thee, Himself, his wife, his children true 110 Those eight souls in ship to be. They shall not dread the flood's flow The flood shall harm them nought. Of all fowls and beasts they take a pair In ship to save both foul and fair 115 From all doubts and great despair This vengeance ere it be wrought. ANGEL -- to Noah Noah, Noah, a ship look thou make And many a chamber thou shalt have therein Of every kind beast, a couple thou take 120 Within the shipboard their lives to win. For God is sore grieved with man for his sin That all this wide world shall be drowned with flood Save thou and thy wife shall be kept from this gin And also thy children with their virtues good. 125 NOAH How shall I have wit a ship for to make? I am of right great age, 500 years old! It is not for me this work to undertake, For faintness of age my legs begin to fold. ANGEL This deed for to do be both blithe and bold. 130 God shall inform thee and rule thee full right. Of bird and of beast take as I thee told A pair into the ship and God shall thee quite. NOAH I am full ready as God doth me bid A ship for to make by the might of his grace. 135 Alas that for sin it shall so betide That vengeance of flood shall work this menace. God is sore grieved with our great trespass That with wild water the world shall be drenched. A ship for to make now let us hence pass 140 That God against us of sin hath no complaint.
Here Noah passes with his family to make the ark leaving the place. As interluders, Lameth led by a young man enters immediately and says:
LAMETH Great mourning I make and great cause I have, Alas now I see not. For age I am blind! Blindness doth make me of wit for to rave. Wanting of eye-sight in pain doth me bind. 145 While I had sight, there might never man find My peer in archery in all this world about. For yet shot I never neither at hart nor at hind But that he died. Of this no man have doubt. Lameth the good archer my name was overall 150 For the best archer my name did ever spread. Record of my boy here, witness this he shall What mark that were set me, to death it should bleed. YOUNG MAN It is true, master, what you say, indeed, For that time you had your bow bent in hand 155 If that your barb had been half a mile in breadth You would the barb have hit, if ye nigh did stand. LAMETH I would never have failed what mark were ever set While that I might look and had my clear sight. And yet, as I think, no man should better shoot 160 Than I should do now, if my hand were set aright. Aspy some mark, boy, my bow shall I bend tight And set my hand even to shoot at some beast. And I dare lay a wager, his death he shall bite. The mark shall I hit; I'll shoot it the best. 165 YOUNG MAN Under yon great bush, master, a beast do I see. Give me thy hand quickly and hold it full still. Now is thine hand even as ever it may be. Draw up thy tackle yon beast for to kill. LAMETH My bow shall I draw right with hearty will. 170 This broad arrow I shoot that beast to assail. Now have at that bush, yon beast for to spill! A sharp shot I shoot, thereof I shall not fail. CAIN Out! out! and alas, my heart is assunder! With a broad arrow I am dead and slain. 175 I die here on the ground; my heart lies under. With this broad arrow, it is cloven in twain. LAMETH Hark boy, come tell me the truth, for certain. What man is he that this cry doth thus make? YOUNG MAN Cain thou hast killed, I tell thee full plain. 180 With thy sharp shooting, his death doth he take. LAMETH Have I slain Cain? Alas, what have I done? Thou stinking lurdon! What hast thou wrought? Thou art the reason I slew him so soon. Therefore shall I kill thee here, thou canst escape nought.185
Here Lameth with his bow beats the Young Man to death, the Young Man saying
YOUNG MAN Out! out! I die here! My death now is sought! This thief with his bow has broken my brain. There may no help be, my death's to me brought! Dead here, I sink down as man that is slain. LAMETH Alas! What shall I do, wretch, wicked on wold? 190 God will be revenged full sadly on me. For the death of Cain, I have seven fold More pain than he had, that Abel did slay. These two men's deaths full sore bought shall be. Upon all my blood God will avenge this deed. 195 Wherefore, sore weeping, hence will I flee And look where I may best my head soon hide.
Here Lameth withdraws and immediately enters Noah with the ark. They are singing.
NOAH With doleful heart sighing sad and sore, Great mourning I make for this dreadful flood. Of man and beast is drowned many a score 200 All this world to spill, these floods be full mad. And all is for sin of man's wild mood That God hath ordained this dreadful vengeance In this flood, spilled is many a man's blood. For sinful living of man we have great grievance. 205 All this hundred years right here have I wrought This ship for to make, as God did bid me. Of all manner of beasts a couple is in brought Within my shipboard, living for to be. Right long God hath suffered amending to see 210 All these hundreds of years, God has shown grace. Alas, from great sin man will not flee. God does this vengeance for our great trespass. UXOR NOAH Alas for great pity of this great vengeance, Great dole it is to see, this water so wide. 215 But yet thanked be God for this ordinance That we be now saved, alive to abide. SHEM For the great sin of lechery, all this doth betide. Alas that ever such sin should be wrought. This flood is so great on every side, 220 That this wide world to care now is brought. UXOR SHEM Because the children of God that were good Did forfeit right sore, what time that they were Sinfully compelled to Cain's blood. Therefore be we now cast in right great care. 225 HAM For sinful living this world doth ill fare, Such grievous vengeance might never man see. Over all this world wide there is no plot bare! With water and with flood, God avenged will be. UXOR HAM Corruption of sin is the cause of these waves. 230 Alas, in this flood this world shall be lorn. For offence to God, breaking his laws, On rocks right sharp is many a man torn. JAPHET Such grievous floods were never yet before. Alas that lechery this vengeance did begin! 235 It were much better never to be born Than to suffer ever more through that sin. UXOR JAPHET Our lord God I thank of his great grace That he doth us save from this dreadful pain, Him for to worship in every home and place 240 We be gladly bound with might and with main. NOAH Forty days and nights hath lasted this rain, And at forty days this great flood begins to slake. This crow shall I send out to seek some plain. Good tidings to bring this message I make. 245
Here he lets go a crow and waiting a small interval says
This crow on some carrion has fallen for to eat. Therefore a new messenger I will forth now send. Fly forth thou fair dove over these waters wet And aspy after some dry land our mourning to amend.
Here he lets fly a dove which returns with a green olive branch
Joy now may we make of mirth all our friends, 250 A great olive bush this dove doth us bring. For joy of this token right heartily we tend Our lord God to worship. A song let us sing.
Here they sing these verses: Mare vidit et fugit; jordanis conversus et retrorsum. Non nobis domine non nobis; sed nomini tuo da gloriam. And thus they withdraw with the ark.
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