DEMON I am your lord, Lucifer, that out of Hell came-- Prince of this world,and great duke of Hell-- Wherefore my name is called "Sir Satan," Who appears among you a matter to tell. I am nourisher of sin to the confusion of man, 5 To bring him to my dungeon, there in fire to dwell. Whosoever serves me, so reward him I can That he shall sing "Well-a-way" ever in pains cruel. Lo, how bounteous a lord, then, now am I So to reward sinners, as my nature is. 10 Whosoever will follow my lore, and serve me daily, Of sorrow and pain enough he shall never miss: For I began in Heaven sin for to sow Among all the angels that there were so bright. Therefore was I cast out, into Hell full low, 15 Notwithstanding I was the fairest, and bearer of light. Yet I dragged at my tail many angels bright With me into Hell -- take good heed what I say -- I left but two against one to remain there in light, For the third part came with me. This may no man deny. 20 Take heed to your prince, then, my people each one, And see what martial feats I in Heaven once did play To get a thousand souls in an hour I think on with scorn Since I won Adam and Eve on the first day. But now strange thoughts run in my remembrance 25 Of one Christ, who is called Joseph and Mary's son. Thrice I tempted him with right subtle instances (After he had fasted forty days against sensual might or reason) Of the stones to have made bread, but there I was thrown in confusion; Then upon a pinnacle, but angels to him were assistant - 30 (His answers were marvelous; I knew not his intention) And at the last to vainglory, but never had I my intent. And now he has twelve disciples as his attendants. To each town and city he sends them as heralds In diverse places to make for him provision. 35 The people at his works full greatly marvel: For the crooked, blind and dumb his works prevail. Lazarus, that for four days lay dead, his life recovered, And where I decide to tempt, anon he me assails. Magdalen full remission also he has assured. 40 God's son he pretends to be, and also born of a maid, And says he shall die for man's salvation. Then shall the truth be tried and no further be delayed When the soul from the body shall make separation. As for them, they are under my great domination; 45 He shall fail of his intent, and purpose also. Be this text remembered in support of my opinion: Quia in inferno nulla est redemptio. But when the time shall near for his persecution, I shall raise up new engines of malicious conspiracy; 50 All sorts of insults I shall provide to his confusion. I shall misrepresent the words his people to testify; Innumerable shall his wounds be, woeful, and grievous. A traitor shall contrive his death to provide; The rebukes that he gave me shall create his displeasure. 55 Some of his disciples shall be head of this ordinance Which shall reaffirm the saying, "In trust is treason." Thus shall I revenge by craft all my malicious grievance, For nothing may exceed my prudence and discretion. Give me your love, grant me affection, 60 And I will unclose the treasure of love's alliance, And give you your desires after your intention. No poverty shall reach those with plenteous abundance. Behold the diversity of my disguised variance, Each thing set with due, natural disposition, 65 And each part according to its resemblance, From the sole of the foot to the highest ascension. A goodly pair of long pointed shoes, of fine cordovan; Close-fitting the most costly cloth of crimson (Thus a knave may to a gentleman make comparison), 70 With two dozen laces of kidskin, the points of silver fine; A shirt of fine linen (but care not for the payment), A stomacher of fine cloth of France, the best to be bought, Though poverty be the result. Let pride there be present, And all those that reprove pride, set them at nought. 75 Cotton wool, or wool scraps, wherever they may be sought, Use them to stuff thy doublet and make thee proportioned With two small legs and a great body -- though it rhyme not, Yet look that thou desire to have the new fashion. A gown three yards long -- look that thou make comparison 80 To all degrees daily that surpass thy estate -- A purse without money, a dagger for devotion, And where there is reproof for sin, see thou make debate. With side locks over thine eyes, and thy hair -- I shrew thy hair -- to thy collar hanging down, 85 To harbour lively lice that tickle men at night; A high, small bonnet to cover the crown, And all beggars and poor people have in despite. Unto great oaths and lechery give thy delight. To maintain thy estate let Bribery be present, 90 And if the law reprove thee, say thou wilt fight; And gather thee a fellowship after thy intent. Look that thou care not for precept nor commandment; Both the laws civil and canon set thou at nought. Let the members of God with great oaths be rent. 95 Lo, thus this world now to my plan is brought. I, Satan, with my fellows, this world have sought, And now we have it at our pleasure. For sin is not shamefast, but Boldness hath bought That which shall cause them in Hell to have inheritance. 100 A beggar's daughter shall make a great bustle To counterfeit a gentlewoman, disguised as best she can, And if she money lack, this is the new hustle: With her privy pleasure to get it from some man. Her collar splayed, and furred with ermine, squirrel, or satin, 105 A sign to sell lechery to them that will buy. And they that will not buy it, yet enough shall they have, For she'll tell them it's for love -- she may it not deny. I have brought you new names. Will you see why? Because sin is so pleasant to each man's intent. 110 You shall call Pride, "Honesty," and "Natural Appetite," Lechery, And Greed "Wisdom" (where treasure is present). Wrath, "Manhood," and Envy called "Correction" (At assizes or sessions let Perjury be chief) Gluttony, "Rest" (send Abstinence on vacation), 115 And he that will exhort thee to virtue, bid him be brief. To name all my servants I have not now time, But all these shall inherit the separation eternal. Though Christ by His subtlety many remedies try, They shall still dwell with me in fires infernal. 120 Remember our servants, whose souls are mortal, For I must remove, for more matters to provide. I am with you at all times, whenever you call me to council, But for a short time myself I must hide. JOHN THE BAPTIST I, John the Baptist, to you thus prophecy: 125 That one shall come after me, and not tarry long, Many times stronger than I, Of whose shoes I am not worthy to loose the thong. Wherefore I counsel thee, reform all errors In your knowledge of the Mortal Sins seven; 130 Undertake to do penance to avoid Hell's terrors, For now shall come the kingdom of Heaven. Prepare ye the ways of the Lord, And therein to walk see ye are diligent. Make his paths as straight as ye may, 135 Keeping straight on, and be not disobedient. Neither too much on the right nor on the left hand, But in the middle way determine yourself to hold; For in every way that is most pleasant, As ye shall hear once I have told. 140 Of this way to make moral interpretation, By the right side ye shall understand "Mercy," While the left is likened to "Desperation." The path between both that will not betray Is "Hope and Dread," to walk in perfectly, 145 Deviating not too much, for no manner of need. Great causes I shall show you why Ye must follow the path of Hope and Dread. On the mercy of God do not too much depend As in this manner, see what I mean: 150 To do sin thy vigour do not expend Trusting that God merciful will be. If through sensuality (as it is often seen) Thou committest deadly sin, to not therefore despair, But rather do penance, and confess thyself clean, 155 And of heaven thou mayest trust to be an heir. The path that leads to this blessed inheritance Is Hope and Dread joined in combination: Betwixt these two there may be no severance, For Hope without Dread is a kind of presumption, 160 And Dread without Hope is a sort of desperation; Thus these two must be knit by one accord. How ye shall prepare the way I have made full declaration, As well as the right paths against the coming of the Lord.
Here Annas shall show himself in his stage, costumed as a bishop of the Old Law, in a scarlet gown, over that a blue tabard furred with white, and a mitre on his head in the style of the Old Law, two doctors standing by him in furred hoods and one before him with his staff of state, each of them wearing on their heads a furred cap with a great tassle in the crown, and one standing before dressed as a Saracen, the which shall be Annas' messenger. Annas saying,
ANNAS As a prelate I am appointed to provide peace, 165 And of Jews, judge, the law to enforce. I, Annas, shall command fearless. The laws of Moses no man shall deny. Whoever exceeds my commandment soon you should certify; If any heretic here speak out, to me ye complain, 170 For in me lies the power all truths to try, Especially our laws -- those must I sustain. If I spy out the contrary, for no time shall they reign, But quickly to me be brought, to stand presently Before their judge, who shall not feign, 175 But according to their trespass to give them judgment. Now, sirs, for a plain tale, hear my intent; There is one, Jesus of Nazareth, that our laws does exceed. If he keep on, he shall cause us all repent, For our laws he destroys daily with his deeds. 180 Therefore, with your counsel, we must take heed What is best to provide or do in this case. For note, if we let him keep on, and further proceed, Against both Caesar's and our law we are guilty of trespass FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Sir, this is my advice as to what to do. 185 Send to Caiaphas for counsel; know his intention, For if Jesus proceeds, and thus keeps on, Our laws shall be destroyed nothing else need I mention. SECOND ANNAS' DOCTOR Sir, remember the great charge that on you is laid, To maintain the law, which must not fail. 190 If any fault, proven in you, is alleged, The people of the Jews with the truth will you assail. Take heed, then, which counsel may best prevail. After Rufin and Leon I advise that you send. They are temporal judges who understand which preparations 195 (Along with your cousin Caiaphas) this affair will amend. ANNAS Now, surely, this counsel revives my heart! Your advise is best, that I can see. Arfex! With haste see that you start, And pray to Caiaphas, my cousin, that he come speak with me. 200 To Rufin and Leon you must also go, And pray to them that they speak with me in haste Of an important thing that I must do Which must be settled ere this day is past. ARFEX My sovereign, at your request I shall be gone 205 With all haste I shall fly Unto Caiaphas, Rufin and Leon, To charge them that with your will they comply.
Here the messenger leaves, and in the meantime Caiaphas shows himself in his scaffold, dressed as Annas except that his tabard shall be red, furred with white; two doctors with him dressed in fur-trimmed cloaks according to the old style, with furred caps on their heads. Caiaphas saying,
CAIAPHAS As a primate most prudent I present here, sensible Bishops of the law, with all circumstance. 210 I, Caiaphas, am judge, with powers potential To destroy all errors that in our laws create variance. Everything I direct with reason and temperance, And all possible matters are to me palpable. Of the law of Moses I have the chief governance, 215 To separate right from wrong in me is terminable. But there is one, Christ, that from our laws is variable. He perverts the people with his preaching so ill. We must seek a means to make him reprovable. For if he further proceeds, our laws he will spill. 220 We must take good counsel in this case With the wisest who can the law discern -- With the judges of the Pharisees, and my cousin Annas -- For if Christ proceeds, our laws he will overturn. FIRST CAIAPHAS' DOCTOR My lord, may it please you to pardon me to say, 225 That the blame lies in you, as we find, To let Christ continue thus day by With his false witchcraft, the people to blind. He works false miracles, against Nature's Kind, And makes our people to believe in him. 230 It is your job to take him, and have him bound, Ant to give him judgment for his great sin. SECOND CAIAPHAS' DOCTOR Forsooth, sir, in truth this is the case; To our law you become an oppression When you leave Christ free to pace 235 Without giving him correction. Let Annas know your intention, Together with priests, and judges of the law; Make Christ forsake his false opinion, Or throw him in the prison's maw. 240 CAIAPHAS Well, sirs, ye shall see within a short while That I shall correct him for his trespass. He shall no longer our people beguile; Out of my power he shall not pass.
Here the messenger comes to Caiaphas, and in the meantime Rufin and Leon appear in the place in striped tabards, furred, with striped hoods about their necks, furred. the Messenger [Arfex] saying,
ARFEX My reverend sovereign, if you please, 245 Sir Annas, my lord, has to you sent. He prays that you shall not cease Till you come to his presence. CAIAPHAS Sir, tell my cousin I shall not fail; It was already my purpose him to see 250 For certain matters that him entail, Even though he had not sent for me. ARFEX I commend myself to your high degree. One more message I must sent. CAIAPHAS Farewell, sir, well may ye be; 255 Greet well my cousin and friend.
Here the messenger meets the judges, Rufin and Leon, saying,
ARFEX Hail, judges of Jewry, of reason most prudent! My message to you I must relay. My lord, Sir Annas, hath for you sent To come to his presence without delay. 260 RUFIN Sir, we are ready at his commandment To see Sir Annas in his place. It was our purpose and our intent To have been with him within a short space. LEON We are most glad his presence to see. 265 Sir, tell him we shall come in haste. No delay therein shall be, But to his presence we will hie ourselves fast. ARFEX I shall tell my lord, sirs, as you say, That you will to his will to the full measure. 270 RUFIN Sir, tell him we will make no delay But come in haste to give him pleasure.
Here the messenger comes to Annas, thus saying,
ARFEX My lord, if it please you to receive my intelligence, Sir Caiaphas is coming to you in haste: Rufin and Leon will likewise come to your presence, 275 And see you here ere this day be past. ANNAS Sir, I thank thee for all thy diligence. Let me now go meet my cousin. Sirs, follow me into his presence, For of these matters we must have a discussion. 280
Here Annas descends to meet Caiaphas, and Caiaphas in the meantime saying,
CAIAPHAS Now our way to Annas let us find, For each to learn the other's intent; Many matters are in my mind Which to him I must present. FIRST CAIAPHAS' DOCTOR Sir, above everything else, remember this one case; 285 Be sure that Jesus is put to shame. SECOND CAIAPHAS' DOCTOR When we presently come before Annas, We shall rehearse his great blame.
Here the bishops, with their clerks, and the Pharisees meet, in the middle of the place, and there must be a small chapel there with stools and cushions, splendidly furnished, as though it were a council house. Annas thus saying,
ANNAS Welcome, Sir Caiaphas, and ye judges all! Now let me tell you all my intent. 290 A wondrous case, sirs, here has befallen On which we must give judgment Lest after the case is dismissed we should repent. It concerns one, Christ, "God's Son", as some him call, Many miracles he does present, 295 And says he is prince of all. The people so fast to him do fall By secret means, that wretched boy, That if he continues, soon see you shall That our laws he will destroy. 300 It is our part this to resist What is your counsel in this case? CAIAPHAS By reason the truth here must we test. I cannot judge him without some trespass. But because he says in every place 305 That he is King of the Jews in every degree, He is therefore false, here is the case: Caesar is king, and none is but he. RUFIN He is an heretic, and a traitor bold Both to Caesar's and our law, for certain, 310 Both in word and deed; look ye, behold, He is worthy to die with dreadful pain. LEON The reason we are now in this place Is to strengthen the law and the truth to say; Jesus has nearly our laws disgraced, 315 Therefore he is worthy to die. FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Sirs, ye that are rulers of the law, Give him the judgment he has earned; Let him first be hung and then drawn, And then let his body in fire be burned. 320 SECOND ANNAS' DOCTOR Now let me say what seems best to me; Take Jesus, who puts us all to shame, And put him to death. Let him not flee, Otherwise the commons will you blame. FIRST CAIAPHAS' DOCTOR He works with witchcraft in every place 325 And draws the people to his intent. Beware, ye judges, let him not pass, Or, by my truth, ye shall repent. SECOND CAIAPHAS' DOCTOR Sirs, attend well in this case, And in your judgment be not slow. 330 There never was a man did such great trespass As Jesus has done against our law. ANNAS Now, brethren, hearken to my intent. For the next nine days let us abide. We may not give such a hasty judgment. 335 Let each one inquire on his side; Send spies about the country wide To see, record and find testimony, For then his works he cannot hide, Nor have the power them to deny. 340 CAIAPHAS This counsel accords with my decision. ANNAS And we all agree to the same. JESUS Friends, behold the time of mercy, Which is come now without doubt. I shall exalt mankind's soul on high, 345 And the prince of the world is cast out. Go to yon castle that is not far from you, Some of my disciples. Go forth, ye two! There shall ye find beasts two -- An ass tied, and her foal also. 350 Unloose that ass and bring it hereto. If any man ask why that ye do so, Say that I need this beast without more ado, And he shall not stop you, to come or to go. That beast bring now to me. 355 PHILIP Holy prophet, we go our way: We will not your word delay. And, as soon as we may We shall bring it to thee.
Here they fetch the ass with the foal, and the burgess says,
BURGESS Hark, ye men! Who gave you leave 360 Thus this beast to take away? Only to offer poor men relief Is this ass ordained here to stay. PHILIP Good sir, do not let this cause grief. Our master sent us hither today: 365 He hath great need, please give us leave, And do not stop us, I pray, This beast away for to lead. BURGESS Since it is so, that he has you sent, Work well his will, and his intent: 370 Take the beast as he you meant, And forever may you speed. JAMES THE YOUNGER This beast is brought for thee right now, Holy prophet, at thy own will. And with this cloth, anon, also, 375 This beast's back cover we shall. PHILIP Now mayst thou ride wherever thou wilt go, Thy holy purpose to fulfill. Thy beast is ready and set to go, Meek and tame she stands there still. 380 And we are ready, also, If it be pleasing in thy sight, To help in starting your journey right, Thee on this beast to settle light, Thy journey for to do. 385
Here Christ rides out of the place, if he wishes, and Peter and John remain behind. At the end, when they have finished with their preaching, they meet up with Jesus.
PETER Oh ye people, despairing, be glad! Great cause ye have if ye only could see! The Lord that all things from nothing made Has come your comfort to be. All your misery heal shall he, 390 Your health is greater than ye may believe! He shall heal the blind that they shall see, The deaf to hear, the dumb to speak. Those that are crooked he shall cause to go In the same way that John Baptist prophesied. 395 Such a healer never came to you! Therefore, what he commands, the lesson apply; Some are blind, ye may not deny, Your Maker is not to your spiritual eye known. Of his commandments in you neglect does reside, 400 Thus deaf to spiritual hearing I do you pronounce. Some of you may not walk, you are so lame, For of good works in you is small abundance. Two feet everyone should have, I firmly maintain, Which should bear the spiritual body, which has the most substance: 405 The first is to believe in God above all other pleasance, The second is to love thy neighbour as thy own person. If these twain be kept in perserverance, Ye are sure to go to the heavenly habitation. Many of you are dumb. Why? Because ye will not redress 410 By mouth your mortal sins, but therein endure. Because of those, unless ye have contrition, and yourselves confess, Ye may not inherit Heaven; of this I am sure. Of all these maladies ye may have spiritual cure, For the heavenly healer is coming, you to visit. 415 And as for payment, he will show you this favour: With the love of your hearts he will fully be quit. JOHN THE APOSTLE Unto my brother's aforesaid rehearsal So that ye should give the more true confidence, I come with him as testimonial. 420 To confirm and fortify his sentence This Lord shall come without resistance; Toward the city is he now coming. Wherefore array yourselves with due diligence To honour him as your maker and king. 425 And to fulfill the prophet's prophecy, Upon an ass he will hither ride, Showing you an example of humility, Expelling the abominable sin of Pride, Which has almost conquered all the world wide -- 430 Greatest cause of your tribulation, Use it whoso will, it is the best guide That ye may have to the place of damnation. Now, brother-in-God, since we have intelligence That our Lord has nearly reached this city, 435 To attend upon his precious presence It befits us, as it seems to me, Wherefore to meet with him now go we: I would for nothing we were too late. Towards the city fast draws he; 440 I think he is nearly at the gate.
Here speak the four citizens, the First thus saying,
FIRST CITIZEN OF JERUSALEM Neighbours, great joy in our hearts we now make That this heavenly king will visit this city. SECOND CITIZEN If our earthly king such a journey should take To give him honour and worship busy should we be. 445 THIRD CITIZEN Much more, then, to the heavenly king bound are we To do that which should be to his person reverence. FOURTH CITIZEN Let us, then, welcome him with flowers and branches from the tree, For he will accept that as pleasant, because of the redolence.
Here the four citizens make themselves ready to meet with our Lord, going barefoot and barelegged and in their shirts, saving that they shall have their gowns cast about them; and when they see our Lord, they spread their clothes before him, and he shall light down and go thereupon, and they shall fall down upon their knees all at once, the first thus saying,
FIRST CITIZEN Now blessed be he that in our Lord's name 450 To us in any way will resort; And we believe, truly, that thou dost the same. For by thy mercy shall spring mankind's comfort.
Here Christ passes forth. There meet with him a certain number of children with flowers which they cast before him. And they sing Gloria laus, etc., and before one of them says,
FIRST CHILD Thou Son of David, be our support At our last day when we shall die. 455 Therefore we all togther Thee exhort, Crying "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." JESUS Friends, behold the time of mercy Which has now come without doubt. Man's soul in bliss now shall be raised on high, 460 And the prince of the world is cast out As I have preached in places about And showed by examples to man and wife; Into this world God's son has sought For very love mankind to revive. 465 The truth of truths shall now be tried And a perfect accord betwixt God and man. That truth shall never be divided -- Confusion on the fiend, Satan! FIRST BLIND BEGGAR Thou Son of David, on us have mercy, 470 As we have firmly believed in thee. Thy goodness, Lord, let us be nigh, Who lie here blind, and may not see. SECOND BLIND BEGGAR Lord, let thy mercy to us be sure, And restore to us our bodily sight: 475 We know thou may us fully cure With the smallest point of thy great might. JESUS Your belief hath made you for to see And delivered you from pain's great fright. Blessed be all those that believe in me 480 Yet see me not with their bodily sight.
Here Christ blesses their eyes and they can see, the first saying,
FIRST BLIND BEGGAR Gramercy, Lord, for thy great grace. I that was blind now may see. SECOND BLIND BEGGAR Here I forsake all my trespass, And steadfastly will believe on thee 485
Here Christ proceeds on foot, with his disciples after Him, Christ weeping for the city, saying thus,
JESUS O Jerusalem, woeful is the ordinance Of the day of thy great persecution. Thou shalt be destroyed with woeful grievance And thy royalty brought to true confusion. Those in the city that have habitation, 490 They shall curse the time that they were born, So great adversity and tribulation Shall fall on them both even and morn. Those that have the most children, soonest shall wail, And say, "Alas, what may this mean?" 495 Both meat and drink suddenly shall fail; The vengeance of God shall there be seen. The time is coming; its woe shall be A day of trouble and great debate, Both temples and towers shall tumble down clean. O city! Full woeful is thy fate! 500 PETER Lord, where will thou keep thy Maundy? Please let us know now, we pray, That we may make ready for thee, To serve thee without delay. JOHN To provide, Lord, for thy coming, 505 With all due obedience we will attend, And make ready for thee in every thing, In whatever place thou wilt us send JESUS Sirs, go to Sion, and ye shall meet A poor man, in simple array, 510 Bearing water in the street: Tell him I shall come that way. Unto him meekly see that ye say, To his house now come I will. He will not once to you say nay, 515 But allow you to have your will. PETER At thy will, Lord, it shall be done; To seek that place we shall us hie. JOHN In all the haste that we may go Thy commandment never to deny. 520
Here Peter and John go forth, meeting with Simon the Leper, bearing a can with water, Peter thus saying,
PETER Good man, the prophet, our Lord, Jesus, This night will rest within thy hall; As messengers to thee he hath sent us So that for his supper you may call. JOHN Yes, and for his disciples all 525 Prepare thou for his Maundy A paschal lamb whatsoever befall, For he will keep his pasch with thee. SIMON What? Will my Lord visit my place? Blessed be the time of his coming! 530 I shall ordain within a little space For my good Lord's welcoming. Sirs, please enter into my house And see what victuals I shall take. I am so joyful at this news, 535 I can scarcely the dinner make.
Here the disciples go in with Simon to see to the arrangements, and Christ approaches towards Simon's house, thus saying,
JESUS This path is Calcedon, by spiritual ordinance, Which shall convey us where we must be. I know that all ready is the providence Of my friends that love me. 540 Proceeding in peace continue we. For mankind's love this way I take. With spiritual eye I truly see That man for mankind an end must make.
Here the disciples come again to Christ, Peter thus saying,
PETER All accomplished now is our task, 545 As I hope to you pleasing will be. Simon has done just as you asked; He is glad your presence to see. JOHN Everything, Lord, should be most pleasing That belongs to your Maundy with joyful cheer. 550 When Simon heard tell of your coming, Great joy in him did appear.
Here Simon comes out of his house to welcome Christ, saying,
SIMON Gracious Lord, welcome thou be. Reverence be to thee, both God and man, In my poor house, which thou wilt see, 555 Where I will be thy servant if I can. JESUS It is joy of all joys to follow thee there. Simon, I know of thy true intent; The bliss of Heaven thou shalt share. This reward is for thy goodness meant. 560
Here Christ enters into the house with his disciples where they eat the paschal lamb; and in the meantime the council house before mentioned shall suddenly unclose, showing the bishops, priests, and judges sitting in their formal pomp as though it were a convocation. Annas thus saying,
ANNAS Behold, all is worthless that we do! In all our matters we profit not Will ye see what a power of people flock him to For the marvels that he hath wrought? Some other subtlety must be sought; 565 There is no way we may let him go! If we do, to a bad end we'll be brought, For the Romans then will us undo. They will take back our power and give us reproof, And control the people at their own behest: 570 Thus all the people in Christ shall believe. I pray, you, cousin, say what is best! CAIAPHAS Attend now, sirs, to what I shall say! Unto us all it is most necessary That one man for the people should die 575 Than that all the people should perish or miscarry. Therefore, let us work wisely so we do not repent. We must needs put on him some false deed. As for me, I had rather he were burnt Than that he should us so far astray lead. 580 Every man for his part must help in this need And invent all the subtleties that he can. Let us see who can give the best lead To ordain some destruction for this man. GAMALIEL Let us no longer delay our conclusion, 585 But have Jesus taken with hands at last. Bring all his followers to their confusion, And into a prison let them be cast. Lay on them iron that will last, For he hath worked against the right. 590 Then afterwards we shall all with haste Judge him to death to his despite. RUFIN Since he has trespassed against our law, I feel this would be the best judgment; With wild horses let him be drawn, 595 And after in fire he shall be burnt. LEON Sirs, one thing I personally heard him say, That he was king of all the Jews. This is enough cause for him to die For treason to Caesar if we choose. 600 He said also to people I know That he would soon with all his might The great temple powerfully overthrow And the third day raise it again upright. Such matters the people now believe, 605 Which give credence to his works all. In Heaven, he says, shall be his reign; Both God and man he doth himself call RUFIN All this day we must contrive Which shameful death Jesus should have. 610 We cannot do him too much mischief If respect for our law we mean to save. LEON Upon a gibbet let him hung be -- This judgment seems to have reason -- So that all the country may him see 615 And beware by his awful treason. RUFIN Yet one thing, sirs, ye must provide, To make a subtle ordinance: Arrange by what means ye may come him nigh. He hath many followers under his influence. 620 ANNAS Sirs, thereof we must reach agreement And be accorded before we go. How shall we work on him our intent? Some way we must find thereto. MARY MAGDALEN I am a cursed creature closed all in care 625 And a wicked wretch all wrapped in woe; Of bliss was never no woman so bare As I myself that here now go. Alas, alas, I am in despair For those great sins that I have done, 630 Unless my Lord God shall me spare And his great mercy receive me to. Mary Magdalen is my name. Now will I go to Christ Jesus, For he is Lord of all virtue, 635 And for some grace I intend to sue, For of myself I have great shame. Ah, mercy, Lord! Salve my sin! As a maiden flower wash me free. There was never woman in all mankind 640 So full of sin in any country! I have been fouled in fields and fens, And sought sin in many a city. Unless thou release me, Lord, I shall burn, With black fiends ever bound to be. 645 Therefore, King of grace, With this ointment so sweet Let me anoint thy holy feet, And for my sins thus win some boot And mercy, Lord, for my trespass. 650 JESUS Woman, for thy weeping still Some succour God shall thee send. To save thee I have great skill, For a sorrowful heart may sin amend. All thy prayer I shall fulfill 655 To thy good heart I will attend. And save thee from thy sin so ill: From seven devils I shall thee defend. Fiends, flee your way! Wicked spirits, I you conjure! 660 Fly out of her bodily bower; In my grace she shall ever flower Till death brings her to die. MARY MAGDALEN I thank thee, Lord, for thy great grace! Now that these seven fiends have taken flight, 665 I shall never forfeit nor to trepass In word nor deed nor will nor wit. Now I am brought from the fiends' embrace, In thy great mercy closed and shut, I shall never return to my sinful trace 670 That must damn me to Hell's pit. I worship thee on knees bare, Blessed be the time that I hither sought, And this ointment that I hither brought, For my heart is cleansed from heavy thought 675 That first was encombered with care. JUDAS Lord, methinketh thou dost right ill To let this ointment thus spill. It were far better it to sell And buy meat for poor men. 680 The box was worth good money Three hundred pence, fair and free, This might have bought meat in plenty To feed our crowd so keen. JESUS The poor men shall always remain. 685 Against the woman thou speakest wrong, For I shall depart soon. Of mercy is her mourning song.
Here Christ rests and eats a little, and says, sitting, to his disciples and Mary Magdalen,
JESUS My heart is sorry, and no wonder it is; To death I must go who did never trespass. 690 But yet what most grieveth my heart, in this -- One of my brethen shall work this menace. One of you my betrayal will encompass: One of you will my death warrant write, And yet I was never in a sinful case. 695 Why should my death so shamefully be set? PETER My dear Lord, I pray thee the truth to tell; Which of us is he that the treason shall do? What traitor is he that his Lord would sell? Express his name, Lord, who shall work this woe! 700 JOHN If there is one that would sell you so, Good Master, tell us now openly his name. What traitor is he that from thee would go And with false treason fulfill his great shame? ANDREW It is quite dreadful such treason think, 705 And much more dreadful to work that bad deed. For that false treason to Hell he shall sink, In endless pains a dread course to lead. JAMES THE ELDER It is not I, Lord; for fear I have dread. This sin to fulfill came never in my mind. 710 If I sold thee to make thy blood bleed, In doing that treason my soul should be defiled! MATTHEW Alas, my dear Lord, what man is so mad For gold or for silver himself so to spill? He that doth thee sell for gold or other good, 715 With his great Greed himself he shall kill. BARTHOLOMEW Whoever that man is, of so wicked will, Dear Lord, among us, bring his name out! He that intendeth this deed to fulfill For his great treason his soul stands in doubt. 720 PHILIP Gold, silver and treasure soon pass away, But without end ever doth last thy grace. Ah, Lord, who is it will exchange thee for money? For he that sells his Lord, too great is the trespass. JAMES THE YOUNGER That traitor that plots this horrible menace 725 Both body and soul I hold he has lost, Damned to Hell's pit, far from thy face, Among all foul fiends to be rent and tossed. SIMON Too awful a merchant that traitor is; For that money he may mourning make. 730 Alas! What causeth him to sell the King of Bliss? For his false winning the Devil him shall take! THOMAS For his false treason the fiends so black Shall bear his soul deep down into Hell's pit! Rest shall he not have, but ever more wake 735 Burning in hot fire in prison shall he sit. THADEUS I wonder right sore who that he should be Amongst us all, brethren, who would do this sin? Alas, he is lost! There may no grace be! In deep Hell's dungeon his soul he does pin. 740 JESUS In my dish he ate who this treason shall begin. Woe shall betide him for his work of dread! He will be right sorry such riches to win, And wish himself unborn for that sinful deed. JUDAS The truth would know as dearly as would ye, 745 And therefore, good Sir, the truth thou me tell. Which of us all here that traitor may be: Am I that person that thee now shall sell? JESUS Attend to thy words; thou sayest so thyself. Thou askest me if thou shalt perform that treason. 750 Remember thyself, advise thee right well. Thou art of mature age and know what is reason.
Here Judas rises privily and goes into the place, and says,
JUDAS Now counterfeited I have a secret treason, My Master's power for to fell. I, Judas, shall assay by some occasion 755 Unto the Jews him to sell. Some money for him would please me well. By secret means I shall assay: My intent I shall fulfill, And no longer make delay. 760 The princes of priests now are present. Unto them now my way I take. I will go tell them my intent; I trust full merry I shall them make. Money I will not forsake 765 If they proffer to my pleasing. For Greed I will with them wake, And unto my Master I shall them bring.
Judas crosses to the Council House and addresses the priests.
Hail, princes and priests that are present! New tidings to you I come to tell. 770 If ye will follow my intent, My master, Jesus, I shall you sell, His intent and purpose now to quell, For I will no longer follow his law. Let's see your money for what I will tell, 775 And let Jesus, my master, be hanged and drawn. GAMALIEL Now welcome, Judas, our very own friend. Take him in, sirs, by the hand. We shall to thee both give and lend, And in every quarrel by thee stand. 780 RUFIN Judas, what shall we for thy master pay? Thy silver is ready and we in accord: The payment shall have no delay, But be laid down here at a word. JUDAS Let the money here down be laid, 785 And I shall tell you as I can; In old proverbs I have heard said That money maketh the chapman. RUFIN There are thirty pieces of silver bright, Fast knit within this glove, 790 If we may have thy master this night, This shalt thou have, and all our love. JUDAS Ye are reasonable chapmen to buy and sell; This bargain with you now shall I make. Strike up! Ye shall have all your will, 795 For money I will never forsake. LEON Now this bargain is made full and fast, Neither side may it forsake. But Judas, thou must tell us in haste, By what means we shall him take. 800 RUFIN Yea, there be many that have never him followed, Whom we shall send to him together. By some token we must him know That will be agreed betwixt us here. LEON Yea, beware of that for anything, 805 For each disciple is like thy master in apparel, And ye all go alike in your clothing, Thus might we of our purpose fail. JUDAS As for that, sirs, have ye no doubt; I shall arrange it so ye shall not miss. 810 When ye have come and are round about, Take the man that I shall kiss. I must go to my master again, Fear not, sirs , this matter is set. GAMALIEL Farewell, Judas, our friend for certain, 815 We shall never thy labours forget. JUDAS Now will I subtly seek my Master again, And make a good face as if I nought knew. I have him sold to woe and pain, I trust full sore he shall it rue. 820
Here Judas goes in secretly where he first came from.
ANNAS Lo, sirs, a part we have of our intent! To take Jesus we must now provide A crafty crowd to be present Who dare fight and will abide. GAMALIEL Ordain each man for his own party 825 Cressets, lanterns and torches light, And this night we must be there ready With axes, spears and swords bright. CAIAPHAS No longer, then, make we tarrying, But each man for his part provide. 830 And ordain secretly for this thing That it be done this night.
Here the bishops part in the place, and each one of them take their leave courteously, resorting each man to his place with all their men to make ready to take Christ. Then shall the place where Christ is suddenly unclose round about, showing Christ sitting at the table and his disciples each in their degree, Christ thus saying,
JESUS Brethren, this lamb that was set us before, From which we have all eaten this night, Was commanded by my Pather to Moses and Aaron 835 When they were with the children of Israel in Egypt. And as we with sweet breads have it eaten, Together with the bitter clover, And as we take the head with the feet, So did they in their Passover. 840 As we stood, so did they stand Their loins they girded verily, With shoes on their feet, and staves in their hands, And as we ate it so did they, hastily. This figure shall cease; another shall follow thereby, 845 Which shall be of my body that am your head, Which shall be showed to you by a mystery Of my flesh and blood in form of bread. With fervent desire of heart's affection I have entirely desired to keep my Maundy 850 Among you before I suffer Passion, For of this no more together sup shall we. And as the paschal lamb which eaten have we Under the Old Law was used for sacrifice, So the new lamb that shall be blessed by me 855 Shall be used for a sacrifice of greatest price.
Here shall Jesus take a communion wafer in His hand, looking upward to Heaven, toward the Father, thus saying,
Wherefore to the Father of Heaven, who art eternal, Thanks and honour I yield unto thee -- To whom by the Godhead I am equal, But by my manhood I am of lesser degree -- 860 Wherefore I as man worship the Deity, Thanking thee, Father, that thou wilt show this mystery, And thus through thy might, Father, and blessing by me, Of this that was bread is made my body.
Here shall he speak again to his disciples, thus saying,
Brethren, by the virtue of these words that rehearsed be, 865 This, that seems to be bread in its appearance Is made the very flesh and blood of me To which those that will be saved must give credence. And as in the Old Law it was commanded and a precept To eat this lamb in memory of Pharaoh's destruction, 870 So to destroy your spiritual enemy this must be kept As your paschal lamb unto the world's end. For this is the very lamb without spot of sin Of which John the Baptist did prophesy When this prophecy he did begin, 875 Saying "Ecce, Agnus Dei." How ye shall eat this lamb I shall give information: In the same form as the Old Law did specify, As I show by spiritual interpretation, Therefore to what I say see that your wills you apply. 880 With no bitter bread this bread eaten shall be; That is to say, with no bitterness of hate and envy, But with the sweet bread of love and charity, Which fortifyeth the soul greatly. And it should be eaten with bitter clover; 885 That is to say, if a man be of sinful disposition, Whose life here is as bad as can be discovered, In his heart he must have bitter contrition. Also the head with the feet eat shall ye; By the head ye shall understand my Godhead, 890 And by the feet ye shall take my humanity. These twain ye shall receive together indeed. This immaculate lamb that I shall you give Is not only the Godhead alone, But both God and man; thus must ye believe. 900 Thus the head with the feet ye shall receive each one. Of this lamb uneaten if any be left, indeed, That should into the hot fire be tossed; Which is to say, if thou understand not all this, Put thy faith in God, and then thou shall not be lost. 905 The girdle that was commanded their loins to enfold Shall be the Girdle of Cleanness and Chastity, That is to say, to be continent in word, thought and deed, And all lecherous living choose you to flee. And the shoes that shall be your feet upon 910 Are nothing else but the example of virtuous living Of your forefathers who went before; With these shoes my steps ye shall be following. And the staff that in your hands ye shall hold Is nought else but examples with which you must teach, 915 Hold fast your staves in your hands and be bold My precepts to every creature to preach. Also, ye must eat this paschal lamb hastily; Of which saying this is the true intent: At every hour and time ye shall be ready 920 For to fulfill my commandment. For though ye live today, ye are not sure Whether ye shall live tomorow or not. Therefore hastily every hour take your best care To keep my precepts and then need ye not doubt. 925 Now have I taught you how ye shall eat Your paschal lamb that is my precious body. Now I will feed you all with angel's meat, Wherefore to receive it come forth severally. PETER Lord, to receive this spiritual sustenance 930 In due form exceeds my intelligence, For no man of himself may have the substance To receive it with too much reverance. For with more delicious meat, Lord, thou may us not feed Than with thine own precious body. 935 Therefore, if I have trespassed in word, thought or deed, With bitter contrition, Lord, I ask thee mercy.
When our Lord gives his body to his disciples, he shall say to each of them, except to Judas,
JESUS This is my body, flesh and blood, That for thee shall die upon the rood.
And when Judas comes last, our Lord shall say to him,
Judas, art thou aware what thou shalt take? 940 JUDAS Lord, thy body I will not forsake.
And then our Lord shall say to Judas,
JESUS My body to thee I will not deny, Since thou wilt presume thereupon. That shall be thy damnation, verily; I give thee warning now, before. 945
And after Judas has received, he shall sit where he was, Christ saying,
One of you hath betrayed me That at my board with me hath eaten. Better it had for him to have been Both unborn and unbegotten.
Then each disciple shall look on the others, and Peter shall say,
PETER Lord it is not I. 950
And so all shall say till they come to Judas, who shall say,
JUDAS Must it be I, Lord?
Then Jesus shall say,
JESUS Judas, thou sayest that word. Me thou hast sold that was thy friend. What thou has begun, bring to an end.
Then Judas shall go again to the Jews. And, if men want it, there shall meet with him and say with speech -- or not if they don't want it. The demon thus saying,
DEMON Ah! ah! Judas, darling mine! 955 Thou art the best to me that ever was born! Thou shalt be crowned with Hell's pain, And thereof thou shalt be sure for evermore. Thou hast sold thy master and eaten him also. I would thou could him to Hell bring, 960 But yet I fear he should do there some woe So that all Hell will cry out on me that time. Hasten thy business which thou hast begun! I shall to Hell for thee to make ready. Anon thou shalt join me when thou have done, 965 In fire and stink thou shalt sit me by. JESUS Now the Son of God reveaed is, And God in him is revealed also, I am sorry that Judas has lost his bliss, Which shall turn him to sorrow and woe. 970 But now in memory of my Passion, To be partakers with me in my reign above Ye shall drink my blood with great devotion, Which shall be shed for mankind's love. Take this chalice of the New Testament, 975 And keep this ever in your minds; As often as you do this with true intent, It shall defend you from the fiend.
Then shall the disciples come and take the blood, Jesus saying,
This is my blood that for mankind's sin Out of my heart will run. 980
And the disciples shall set themselves again where they were and Jesus shall say,
Take heed now, brethren, what I have done; With my flesh and blood I have you fed. For mankind's love I may do no more Than for love of mankind to be dead. Wherefore, Peter, and ye all, everyone, 985 If ye love me, feed my sheep, That for lack of teaching they go not wrong, But ever to them take keep Give them my body as I have to you, Which shall be saved by my words, 990 And ever I shall thus abide with you, Unto the end of the world. Who so eats my body and drinks my blood Wholly God and Man he shall me take, It shall him defend from the devil's brood, 995 And at his death I shall not him forsake. Who ever does not eat my body nor drink my blood, Life in him exists not at all. Keep well this in mind for your good, And everyone save himself well. 1000
Here Jesus takes a basin with water and girds a towel about himself, and falls before Peter on His one knee,
Another example I shall you show How ye shall live in charity. Sit down here with words few, And what I do ye must allow me.
Here he takes the basin and the towel and does as the rubric says before.
PETER Lord, what wilt thou with me do? 1005 This service of thine I will forsake. Washing my feet I shall not undergo; I am not worthy that from thee to take. JESUS Peter, if thou forsake my service all, The which to you I intend to do, 1010 No part with me have thou shall, And never come my bliss unto. PETER That part, Lord, we will not forego: We shall obey thy commandment. Wash head and hands, we pray thee, also; 1015 We will act after thy intent.
Here Jesus washes His disciples' feet, one by one, and wipes them and kisses them meekly, and then sits down, thus saying,
JESUS Friends, this washing shall now prevail, Your Lord and Master ye must me call, And so I am without fail, Yet I have washed you all. 1020 A memory of this deed have ye shall, Which each of you shall do unto others. With humble hearts submit equally, As though each of you were the other's brother. Nothing, sirs, so well pleaseth me, 1025 Nor no life that man may lead, As they that live in charity; In Heaven I shall give their reward. But the day has come; I must proceed To fulfill the prophecy. 1030 This night for me shall ye have dread, When crowds of people shall on me cry. For this the prophets spoke of me, And said my death that I must take, From which death I will not flee, 1035 But for mankind's sin amends to make. Be taken from you this night I shall. And ye for fear from me shall flee, Nor once dare speak when I you call, And some of you will forsake me. 1040 For you shall I die and rise again; On the third day ye shall me see Before you all, walking plain, In the land of Galilee. PETER Lord, I will never thee forsake, 1045 Nor for no perils from thee flee! I will rather my death take Than once, Lord, forsake thee. JESUS Peter, it is farther than thou dost know: As for that promise, do not it make, 1050 For ere the cock hath twice crowed, Thrice thou shalt me forsake. But all my friends, that are to me dear, Let us go, the time draweth nigh. We may no longer abide here, 1055 For I must walk to Bethany. The time is come, the day draws near Unto my death I must in haste, Now, Peter, show all thy fellows good cheer; My flesh for fear is quaking fast. 1060
Here Jesus goes toward Bethany with His disciples following, with sad expressions, Jesus saying,
Now, my dear friends and brethren each one, Remember these words that I shall say: The time has come when I must be gone For to fulfill the prophecy That is said of me that I shall die 1065 The fiend's power from you to expel. That death I will not deny To redeem my spouse, mankind's soul. The oil of mercy is granted plain By this journey that I shall take. 1070 By my Father I am sent, certain, Betwixt God and mankind an end to make. Man as my brother may I not forsake, Nor show him unkindness in any way. In pains for him my body shall shake, 1075 And for love of man man shall die.
Here Jesus and his disciples go toward the Mount of Olivet; and when he comes a little there beside, in a place like a park, he bids his disciples to wait for him there, and says to Peter before he goes,
Peter, with thy fellows here shalt thou abide, And watch till I come again. I must make my prayer here you beside; My flesh quaketh sore for fear and pain. 1080 PETER Lord, thy request doth me constrain. In this place I shall abide still, Nor remove until thou comest again, In confirmation, Lord, of thy will.
Here Jesus goes to Olivet and sets himself down on his knees and prays to his Father, thus saying
JESUS Oh, Father, Father, for my sake, 1085 This great passion take thou from me, Which is ordained that I must take If mankind's soul saved may be! And if it behoove, Father, for me To save mankind's soul ere the devil it kill, 1090 I am ready in each degree The will of thee to fulfill.
Here Jesus goes to His disciples and finds them sleeping, Jesus thus saying to Peter
Peter, Peter, thou sleepest fast! Awake thy fellows and sleep no more! Of my death you are not aghast; 1095 Ye take your rest and I pain sore.
Here Christ goes again the second time to Olivet and says, kneeling
Father in Heaven, I beseech thee Remove my pains be thy great grace, And let me from this death flee, As I did never any trespass. 1100 The water and blood out of my face Distills for the pains I must undertake. My flesh quaketh in fearful case As though the joints asunder should shake.
Here Jesus goes again to his disciples and finds them asleep, Jesus thus saying, letting them lie.
Father, the third time I come again 1105 To ensure that my mission is fully sped, Deliver me, Father, from this pain Which is enhanced with full great dread. Unto thy son, Father, take heed! Thou knowest I did never deed but good. 1110 I suffer this pain not for my own need But for mankind I sweat both water and blood.
Here an angel descends to Jesus and brings to Him a chalice with an host therein.
ANGEL Hail, both God and man indeed, The Father hath sent thee this present. He bad that thou should not dread 1115 But fulfill his intent. By decree of Heaven's Parliament Mankind's soul redeemed must be; From Heaven to earth, Lord, thou were sent; That deed pertaineth to thee. 1120 This chalice, is thy blood this bread, is thy body -- For mankind's sin ever offered shall be. To the Father of Heaven, that is almighty, Thy disciples and all priesthood shall offer for thee.
Here the angel ascendeth again, suddenly.
JESUS Father, thy will fulfilled shall be. 1125 There is nought to say against the case. I shall fulfill the prophecy And suffer death for mankind's trespass.
Here Christ goes again to His disciples and finds them sleeping.
Awake, Peter, thy rest is full long; Of sleep thou wilt make no delay. 1130 Judas is ready with people strong, And does his part me to betray. Rise up, sirs, I you pray! Unclose your eyes for my sake. We shall walk into the way 1135 And see them come that shall me take. Peter, when thou seest I am forsaken, Amongst my friends standing alone, All the cheer that thou canst make Give to thy brethren every one. 1140
Here Jesus with His disciples goes into the place, and there shall come in ten people well-equipped in white harness and briganders, and some disguised in other garments, with swords, spears and other strange weapons such as cressets with fire and lanterns and torches alight, and Judas foremost of all, conveying them to Jesus with apparent composure, Jesus thus saying,
JESUS Sirs, in your way you have great haste To seek him that will not flee! Of you I am not at all aghast: Tell me, sirs, whom seek ye? LEON Whom we seek here I tell thee now -- 1145 A traitor worthy to suffer death! We know he is here among all of you; His name is Jesus of Nazareth. JESUS Sirs, I am here and will not flee: Do to me all that ye can! 1150 Forsooth, I tell you I am He, Jesus of Nazareth, that same man.
Here all the Jews fall suddenly to the earth when they hear Christ speak. When he bids them rise, they rise again, Christ thus saying,
Arise, sirs, whom seek ye? Fast have ye gone. Is your coming in any way for me? I stand before you here alone 1155 That ye may me both know and see. RUFIN Jesus of Nazareth we seek, If we might him here espy. JESUS I told you now in language meek Before you all that it was I. 1160 JUDAS Welcome, Jesus, my Master dear. I have thee sought in many a place. I am full glad I find thee here, For I knew never where thou wast.
Here Judas kisses Jesus, and anon all the Jews come about him and lay hands upon him, and pull at him as though they were mad, and make towards him a great outcry all at once, and after this Peter says,
PETER I draw my sword now in thy need. 1165 Shall I smite, Master? Give me the word!
And forthwith he smites off Malchus' ear, and Malchus cries,
MALCHUS Help, my ear, my ear!
Christ blesses his ear and it is whole again.
JESUS Peter, put up thy sword in thy sheath! He that lives by the sword shall die by the sword. Ah, Judas, this treason contrived hast thou, 1170 And that thou shalt full sore repent. Thou hadst better to have been unborn now To Hell thy body and soul thou hast sent. GAMALIEL Lo, Jesus, thou mayst not the charge refuse. Both treason and heresy in thee are found. 1175 Study now, quickly, on thine excuse Whilst thou goest with strong cords bound. You call yourself king of this world round, Now let me see thy great power. Save thyself here, whole and sound, 1180 And bring thyself out of this danger. LEON Bring forth this traitor; spare him not! Unto Caiaphas, the judge, we shall thee lead. In many a place we have thee sought, And to thy works taken good heed. 1185 RUFIN Come on, Jesus, and follow me! I am so glad that I thee have. Thou shalt be hanged upon a tree; A million of gold shall not thee save. LEON Let me grab him! Let me nigh! 1190 Unto his death I shall him bring! Show forth thy witchcraft and necromancy! What help to thee now is thy false working? JESUS Friends, take heed! Ye do no right, So unkindly with cords to bind me here 1195 And thus to fall on me by night As though this were a thief's affair. Many times before you I did appear, Within the temple seen me ye have, The laws of God to teach so clear 1200 To them that will their souls save. Why did ye not me disprove When ye heard me preach both high and low, But now as madmen ye start to rave And do a wrong ye do not know. 1205 GAMALIEL Sirs, I charge you not one word more this night But unto Caiaphas in haste look ye him lead! Have him forth with great despite And to his words take ye no heed.
Here the Jews lead Christ out of the place with great cry and noise, some drawing Christ forward and some backward, and so leading forth with their weapons aloft and lights burning; and in the meantime Mary Magdalen shall run to our Lady and tell her of our Lord's taking, thus saying,
MARY MAGDALEN O immaculate mother, of all women most meek, 1210 O devoutest in holy meditation ever abiding, The cause, Lady, that I to your person seek Is to know if ye have heard any tidings Of your sweet son and my reverend Lord, Jesus, That was your daily solace, your spiritual consolation? 1215 MARY I wish ye would tell me, Mawdelyn, if ye knew, For to hear of him is all my affection. MARY MAGDALEN I would fain tell, Lady, if I might for weeping. Forsooth, Lady, to the Jews he is sold! With cord they have bound him and have him in keeping. 1220 They beat him spitefully in their prison cold. MARY Ah, ah, ah! How my heart is cold! Oh, heart, hard as stone, how mayst thou last When these sorrowful tidings are to thee told? Would to God, heart, that thou could burst! 1225 Oh, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Why should ye suffer this tribulation and adversity? How may they find it in their hearts you to pursue, Who never trespassed in any degree. For nothing but good ever thought ye. 1230 Wherefore, then, shoult ye suffer this great pain? I suppose, verily, it is for the trespass of me, And I think my heart must thus cleave in twain! Now these sorrows must I sustain, The sword of sorrow hath so pierced my mind.1235 Alas, what may I do? Alas, what may I say? These prongs my heart asunder do rend. Oh, Father in Heaven, where are all thy behests, That thou promised me when a mother thou me made? Thy blessed Son I bore betwixt two beasts, 1240 And now the bright colour of his face doth fade. Ah, Good Father, why wouldest thou thine own dear Son should suffer all this? When He did nothing against Thy precept, but ever was obedient? To every creature most pitiful, most gentle, and benign he was, And now for all these kindnesses is most shamefully rent. 1245 Why wilt thou, gracious Father, that it must be so? May mankind not else be saved by no other friend? Yet, Lord Father, this thought shall comfort my woe, That mankind is saved by my child and brought to a good end. Now, dear Son, since thou hast ever been so full of mercy, 1250 Who will not spare thyself for the love thou hast to man, On all mankind now have thou pity, And also think on thy mother, this heavy woman.
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