When the procession has entered the place and Herod has taken his scaffold, and Pilate and Annas and Caiaphas their scaffolds, also then let there come in an expositor in the costume of a doctor [of philosophy], thus saying,
CONTEMPLATION Sovereigns and friends, ye must all be greeted with good! Grace, love and charity ever be you among. The Maiden's Son preserve you that for man died on the Rood, He that is one God in persons three defend you from your foes. By leave and sufferance of Almighty God, 5 We intend to proceed with the matter that we left off last year. Wherefore we beseech you that your wills be good To keep the Passion in your mind that shall be shown here. Earlier we showed how our Lord, for love of man, Came to the city of Jerusalem meekly his death to take, 10 And how he made his Maundy, his body giving then To his apostles, ever with us to abide for mankind's sake In that Maundy he was betrayed by Judas who him sold To the Jews for thirty plates to deliver him that night. With swords and spears to take Jesus they came with the traitor bold 15 To take him amongst his apostles about midnight. Now would we proceed to show how He was brought then Before Annas and Caiaphas and then before Pilate, And then how meekly He suffered His Passion, Beseeching you, for the reward of your souls, to take good heed thereat. 20
Here Herod shall show himself and speak.
HEROD THE KING Now cease your talking and give lordly audience! Not one word, I charge you that are here present. No one so hardy to presume in my high presence To unloose his lips against my intent. I am Herod, of Jews' King most reverent, 25 The laws of Mahound my power shall fortify. Give reverence to that lord, of grace most excellent, For by his power all things must multiply. If any Christian be so hardy Mahound's faith to deny, Or once to err against his law, 30 On gibbets with chains I shall hang him high, And with wild horses those traitors I shall draw. To kill a thousand Christians I give not a straw: To see them hanged or burnt to me is true pleasance. Or to drive them into dungeons for serpents to gnaw 35 And to rend their flesh and bones past their endurance. John the Baptist Christened Christ, and so he did many a one. Therefore myself did bring him to trial. It is I that killed him, I tell you everyone, For if he had continued, our law he would have defiled. 40 There where Christians appear is to me great grievance. It paineth my heart of those traitors to hear, For the laws of Mahound I have in governance, The which I keep well. That lord hath no peer, For he is god most prudent! 45 Now, I charge you, lords that are here, If any Christian dogs here do appear, Bring those traitors to my high power, And they shall soon have judgment. FIRST HEROD'S KNIGHT My sovereign lord, highest of excellence, 50 In you all judgment is terminable! All Christian dogs that accord no reverence Ye put to pains that are unbearable. SECOND HEROD'S KNIGHT Nothing in you may be more commendable Than to destroy those traitors that err 55 Against our laws, that are most profitable. In righteousness that law ye must prefer. KING HEROD Now by glorious Mahound, my sovereign saviour, These promises I make, as I am a true knight! Those that exceed his laws by any error, 60 To the most shameful death I shall them invite. But one thing is sore in my great delight. There is one, Jesus of Nazareth, as men me tell; Of that man I desire to have a sight, For with great wonders our law he fells. 65 The Son of God himself he calleth And King of the Jews, he saith, is he. And many wonders of him befalleth: My heart desireth him for to see. Sirs, if he come in his country, 70 With our jurisdiction look you espy. Anon see that he be brought unto me, And the truth myself then shall try. FIRST HEROD'S KNIGHT Tomorrow my journey I shall begin To seek Jesus with my due diligence. 75 If he come your province within, He shall not escape your high presence. SECOND HEROD'S KNIGHT My sovereign, this is my counsel that ye shall take: Send a man that is both wise and strong Through all Galilee a search to make. 80 If Jesus be entered your people among, Correct his deeds that are done wrong; For his body falls under your decree, As men say themselves among, Since he was born in Galilee. 85 KING HEROD Then of these matters, sirs, take heed. For awhile I will myself rest. Appetite requires me so indeed And physic says it is the best.
Here shall a messenger [Arfex] come into the place, running and crying, "Tidings, tidings!" and so around the place, "Jesus of Nazareth is taken; Jesus of Nazareth is taken!", and forthwith hailing the princes thus, saying,
ARFEX All hail, my lords, princes of priests, 90 Sir Caiaphas and Sir Annas, lords of the law! Tidings I bring you! Receive them in your breasts; Jesus of Nazareth is taken! He now stands in awe, And shall be brought hither to you anon, I tell you truly, with great rout. 95 When he was taken, I was among them, And there I nearly caught a clout. Malchus bore a lantern in the midst of the crowd; Suddenly he felt a touch, and off went his ear! Jesus had his disciple put up his sword, 100 And set Malchus' ear again as whole as before. By my faith, methought it a strange sight, For as we approached, he in turn towards us came, And asked whom we sought that time of night. We said, "Jesus of Nazareth! We would have him fain." 105 And he said, "It is I, that am here in your sight." With that word we were thrown backward each one, Some on their backs facing up in the night. But standing manly on foot was there not one. Christ stood on his feet, as weak as a lamb, 110 And we lay like dead men till he bad us rise. When we were up, firm hands we laid him upon, But yet methought I was not pleased with this new guise. Therefore take counsel and advise yourselves well, And beware that he makes not your plans abort, 115 For by my faith, if my thoughts I can tell, Ye shall find him a very strange sort.
Here they bring Jesus in before Annas and Caiaphas, and one Torturer shall say thus,
TORTURER I Lo, lo lords, here is the man That he sent us for. ANNAS For that we can thank you then, 120 And reward ye shall have the more. Jesus, thou art welcome hither to our presence. Full many times we have busily thee sought. We paid to thy disciple for thee thirty pence, And as an ox or a horse we truly thee bought. 125 Thou art thus ours, as thou stand us before, Say why thou has troubled us and subverted our law. Thou hast often confuted us and grieved us sore, Wherefore it were most needful to bring thee to court. CAIAPHAS Who are thy disciples that follow thee about 130 And what is thy doctrine that thou often does preach? Tell me now somewhat and relieve us of doubt That we may other men thy preaching then teach. JESUS Whenever I preached, it was openly done, In the synagogue or the temple where all Jews come. 135 Ask them what I have said, and also what I have done. They can tell thee my words; ask them every one. TORTURER I What? Thou fellow! To whom speakest thou? Shalt thou so speak to a bishop? Thou shalt have on the cheek, I make a vow, 140 For that insult a knock.
Here he shall smite Jesus on the cheek.
JESUS If I have said amiss, Thereof witness thou mayst bear; And if I have said ought but well in this, Thou dost wrong to harm me. 145 ANNAS Sirs, take heed now to this man That he destroy not our law. Bring whatever witness against him ye can So that he may be tried in court. FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Sir, this I heard him with his own mouth say, 150 "Break down the temple without delay, And I shall set it up again As whole as it was by the third day!" SECOND ANNAS' DOCTOR Yea, sir, and I heard him say also That he was the Son of God, 155 And still many a fool thinks so, I dare lay thee, by my hood. FIRST CAIAPHAS' DOCTOR Yea, yea, and I heard him preach many a thing Against our law everydel, Of which it were too long to make reckoning 160 To recount all at this council. CAIAPHAS What sayest thou, Jesus? Why answerest not? Hear thou not what is said against thee? Speak, man, speak! Speak, thou fop! Dost thou disdain to speak to me? 165 Hear thou not in how many things they do thee accuse? Now, I charge thee and conjure thee by the sun and moon That thou tell us if thou be God's Son! JESUS God's Son I am, I deny it not to thee, And that thou shalt all see at Doomsday, 170 When the Son shall come in great power and majesty, And judge the quick and the dead, as I foresee. CAIAPHAS Ah! Out, out! Alas, what is this? Hear ye not how he blasphemeth God? Why do we need to have more witnesses? 175 Here we have all heard his own word! Think ye not he is worthy to die?
And they all cry out together,
CROWD Yes, yes, yes! We all say he is worthy to die! Yea, yea, yea! ANNAS Take him to you and beat him a bit For his blaspheming, and his ready wit. 180
Here they shall beat Jesus about the head and the body, and spit in His face, and pull Him down, and set Him on a stool, and cast a cloth over His face, and the first shall say,
TORTURER I Ah, fellows, beware what ye do to this man, For prophesy he well can! TORTURER II That shall be essayed by this whack!
And let him hit Jesus on the head.
What, Jesus, who gave thee that? TORTURER III Har, har! Now will I 185 See how well he can prophesy! Who was that? TORTURER IV Ah, and now will I a new game begin, That we may play at, all that are herein. Wheel and pill, wheel and pill, 190 Come to the hall who so will. Who was that?
Here shall a woman come to the Jews and say,
FIRST WOMAN What, sirs! How ye take on with this man! See ye not one of his disciples, how he beheld you then?
Here shall another woman say to Peter,
SECOND WOMAN Ah, good man, it seem to me 195 That one of his disciples thou should be. PETER Ah, woman, I saw never before this man Since the world first began.
And a cock shall crow.
FIRST WOMAN What? Thou mayst not deny that thou art one of his men! By thy face it may well be seen. 200 PETER Woman, thou sayest amiss of me; I know him not. I swear to thee. TORTURER I Ah, fellow mine, well met! For my cousin's ear thou off smote When we thy master in the garden took, 205 And all thy fellows him forsook. Now thou mayst him not forsake, For thou art of Galilee, I undertake. PETER Sir, I know him not, by him that made me; Ye must believe my solemn oath. 210 I take record of all this company That what I say is the truth.
And a cock shall crow.
And then Jesus shall look on Peter, and Peter shall weep; and then he shall go and say,
Ah, welaway, welaway! False heart, why wilt thou not burst? Since thy Master so falsely thou has forsaken? Alas, where shall I now on earth rest 215 Till he of his mercy to grace will me take? I have forsaken my Master and my Lord Jesus Three times, as he told me I should do the same, Wherefore I may not have sorrow enough. I, sinful creature, am so much to blame! 220 When I heard the cock crow, he cast towards me a look As if to say, "Remember what I have said before." Alas, the time that I ever him forsook, And thus will I think hence forevermore. CAIAPHAS Messenger, messenger! 225 ARFEX Here, Lord, here! CAIAPHAS Messenger, to Pilate in haste thou shalt go, And tell him we commend ourselves in word and deed, And pray him that he be at the moot hall anon, For we have a great matter that he must needs aid. 230 In haste, now, go thy way, And see thou tarry not. ARFEX It shall be done, Lord, by this day. I am as quick as thought.
Here Pilate sits in his scaffold, and the messenger [Arfex] kneels to him, thus saying,
ARFEX All hail, Sir Pilate, that seemly is to see, 235 Prince of all Jewry, and keeper of the law! My lord bishop, Caiaphas, commended himself to thee, And prayed thee to be at the moothall by the day's dawn. PILATE Go thy way, fair messenger, and commend me also. I shall be there in haste, and so thou mayst say. 240 By the hour of prime I shall come him to. I tarry no longer nor make no delay.
Here the messenger comes again and brings an answer to Caiaphas, thus saying,
ARFEX All hail, my lords and bishops and princes of the law! Sir Pilate commends himself to you and bade me to say He will be at the moothall in hast soon after the day dawns. 245 He would you should be there by prime without longer delay. CAIAPHAS Now, well may you fare, my good page! Take thou this for thy message.
Here enters Judas unto the Jews, thus saying,
JUDAS I, Judas, have sinned and treason have done, For I have betrayed this righteous blood. 250 Here is your money again, all and some! For sorrow and sad thoughts I have gone mad. ANNAS What is that to us? Advise thyself now, Thou didst with us a covenant make. Thou soldest him to us as a horse or a cow. 255 The effects of thy deeds thou must take.
Then Judas casts down the money, and goes and hangs himself.
CAIAPHAS Now sirs, the night is past, the day has come. It were time this man had his judgment, And Pilate abideth in the moothall alone, Till we should this man present. 260 Therefore go we now forth with him in haste. TORTURER I It shall be done, and that in short space. TORTURER II Yea, but see that he is bound right well and fast. TORTURER III He is safe enough! Let us to at a good pace.
Here they lead Jesus about the place till they come to the hall.
CAIAPHAS Sir Pilate, take heed to our cause! 265 Jesus we have before thee brought, Who doth undermine all our laws, And great shame he hath to us wrought. ANNAS From this city unto the land of Galilee He hath brought our laws near to confusion 270 With his crafts wrought by necromancy, Shown to the people with false simulation. FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Yea, yet sir, another, and worst of all! Against Caesar, our emperor, that is so free, King of the Jews he doth himself call, 275 As though our emperor's power should not be. SECOND ANNAS' DOCTOR Sir Pilate, we can not tell half the blame That Jesus in our country hath wrought. Therefore we charge thee, in the emperor's name, That in haste he to death be brought. 280 PILATE What sayest thou to these complaints, Jesus? These people have thee sore accused Because thou bringest up laws new That in our days were not used. JESUS Of their accusing I reckon not, 285 So that they hurt not their immortal souls. I have not yet found what I have sought; For the will of my Father forth must I go. PILATE Jesus, by this then I know thou art a king, And the Son of God thou art also. 290 Lord of earth and of everything, Tell me the truth if it be so. JESUS In Heaven is known my Father's intent, And in this world I was born. By my Father I was hither sent 295 To seek that which was lost. All that hear me and in me believe And keep their faith steadfastly, Though they were dead, I shall them receive And bring them to bliss endlessly. 300 PILATE Lo, sirs, now ye have heard this man, how think ye? Think ye not with your own reason That as he saith it may well be As it seems on this occasion. I find in him no particle 305 Of error nor treason nor manner of guilt. The law wills in not one article That without default he may be killed. FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Sir Pilate, the law rests in thee, And we know truly his great trespass. 310 To the emperor this matter told shall be If thou let Jesus from thee pass. PILATE Sirs, then, tell me just one thing, What shall be his accusing? ANNAS Sir, we tell thee all together, 315 For his evil works we brought him hither. If he had not an evil-doer been, We should not have brought him to thee. PILATE I give him to you, then as you foresaw: Judge him yourselves, after your law. 320 CAIAPHAS It is not lawful to do as ye say, For us any manner of man to slay. The reason that we bring him to thee Is because he must not our king be. Thou knowest well, king we have none 325 But only our emperor alone. PILATE Jesus, thou art King of Jewry? JESUS So thou sayest now to me. PILATE Tell me then, Where is thy kingdom? 330 JESUS My kingdom is not in this world, I tell thee in one word. If my kingdom here had been, I should not have been delivered to thee. PILATE Advise yourselves as best ye can; 335 I can find no fault in this man. ANNAS Sir, here is a great record. Take heed thereto And learn the mischief in this man, Not only in one day or two. It is many years since he began, 340 We can tell the time where and when That many a thousand turned hath he, As all this people record well can From hence to the land of Galilee.
And the crowd cries out, "Yea, yea, yea!"
PILATE Sirs, one thing, then; give me relation 345 If Jesus were born in the land of Galilee. For we have no power nor no jurisdiction Over anyone from that country. Therefore the truth ye tell me, And another way I shall provide. 350 If Jesus were born in that country, The judgment of Herod he must abide. CAIAPHAS Sir, as I am to the law truly sworn, To tell the truth I have no fear. In Galilee I know that he was born. 355 I can tell in what place, and where. Against this no man may answer, For he was born in Bed'lem Judea; And this ye all know, and have for years, That it stands in the land of Galilee. 360 PILATE Well, sirs, since I know that this is so, The truth of this is plain to see. I understand now what must be done: The judgment of Jesus lieth now with me. Herod is king of that country, 365 To judge that region in length and breadth. The jurisdiction of Jesus now have must he. Therefore Jesus to him ye lead With all the haste that ye may speed. Lead him to Herod presently 370 And say I commend me with word and deed, And Jesus to him that I have sent. FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR This errand in haste sped shall be With all the haste that we can do. We shall not tarry by no degree 375 Till Herod's presence we come unto.
Here they take Jesus and lead Him in great haste to Herod, and Herod's scaffold shall unclose, showing Herod in estate, all the Jews kneeling except Annas and Caiaphas; they shall stand, etc.
FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Hail Herod, most excellent king! We are commanded to thy presence. Pilate sendeth thee by us greeting, And chargeth us by our obedience... 380 SECOND ANNAS' DOCTOR That we should do our diligence To bring Jesus of Nazareth unto thee, And chargeth us to make no resistance Because he was born in this country. ANNAS We know he hath wrought great folly 385 Against the law, to be showed presently. Therefore Pilate sent him unto thee That thou shouldst give him judgment. KING HEROD Now, by Mahound, my god of grace, Of Pilate this is a deed most kind. 390 I forgive him now his great trespass, And shall be his friend without end. Jesus to me that he would send I desired full sore many a day. Great ease in this Pilate shall find 395 And Jesus, thou art welcome to me. TORTURER I My sovereign Lord, this is the case, The great falseness of Jhesu is openly known. There was never man did so great trespass, For he hath almost destroyed our law. 400 TORTURER II Yea, by false craft of sorcery Wrought openly to the people all, And by the subtle points of necromancy And thousands from our law did fall. CAIAPHAS Most excellent king, ye must take heed! 405 He will destroy all this country, both old and young If he for ten months more proceed. By his miracles and his false preaching He doth the people to folly bring. And sayeth daily among them all 410 That he is lord and of all Jews king, And the Son of God he doth himself call. KING HEROD Sirs, all these matters I have heard say, And much more than ye me tell. All together they shall be laid, 415 And I will take thereon counsel. Jesus, thou art welcome to me! I offer Pilate thanks for his sending. I have desired for long thee to see And of thy miracles to have knowing. 420 It is said thou dost many a wondrous thing, The crooked to go and the blind to see, And they that are dead thou givest living, And makest lepers fair and whole to be. These are wondrous works wrought by thee. 425 By what way? I would know the true sentence. Now Jesus, I pray thee, let me see One miracle wrought in my presence. In haste now, do thy diligence, And peradventure I will show favour to thee, 430 For now thou art in my presence, Thy life and death here lieth in me.
And here Jesus shall not speak one work to Herod.
Jesus, why speakest not to thy king? What is the cause thou standest so still? Thou knowest I may judge all things, 435 Thy life and death lie at my will. What? Speak Jesus, and tell me why These people do thee so here accuse! Spare not, but tell me, here on high, How thou canst thyself excuse. 440 CAIAPHAS Lo, sirs, this is of him a false subtlety, He will not speak but when he list. Thus he deceiveth the people in each degree; He is full false ye may truly trust. KING HEROD What, thou unhung harlot, why wilt thou not speak? 445 Hast thou scorn to speak unto thy king? Because thou dost our law break I trow thou art afraid of our talking! ANNAS Nay, he is not afraid, 'tis a trick also! Thus we may not him accuse. 450 If he answered you unto, He knows he cannot himself excuse. KING HEROD What? Speak, I say! Thou filth, evil may thee fare, Look up! May the devil thee choke! Sirs, beat his body with scourges bare, 455 His silence is not any longer a joke. TORTURER I It shall be done without tarrying. Come on, may the devil spit in thine eye! Wilt thou not speak unto our king? A new lesson we shall now teach thee. 460
Here they pull off Jesus' clothes and beat him with whips.
TORTURER II Jesus, thy bones we shall not break, But we shall make thee to skip. Thou hast lost thy tongue, thou mayst not speak; Thou shalt taste now of this whip. TORTURER III Sirs, take these whips into your hands, 465 And spare not while they last, And beat this traitor that here doth stand -- I trust that he will speak in haste.
And when they have beaten him until he is all bloody, then Herod says,
KING HEROD Cease, sirs, I command you by the devil of hell! Jesus, thinkest thou this is good game? 470 Thou art surely strong to suffer shame! Thou hadst rather be beaten lame Than all thy defaults here to tell. But I will not thy body all kill, Nor put it here into more pain. 475 Sirs, take Jesus at your own will And lead him home to Pilate again. Greet him well, and tell him certain All my good friendship he shall have. The power of Jesus, thus ye him say, 480 He has now, to damn him or save. FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Sir, at your request it shall be done. We shall lead Jesus off at your demand And hand him to Pilate very soon, And tell him all as ye command. 485
Here Satan enters into the place in the most horrible guise, and while he plays, they shall put on Jesus' clothes, and over the rest a white cloth, and then they shall lead Him about the place and then to Pilate by the time that his wife hath played.
SATAN Thus I reign as a wrecker with a ringing crowd, As a devil most doughty dread is my dint. Many thousand devils to me bow low, Burning in flames as fire out of flint. Whosoever serves me, Satan, to sorrow is he sent, 490 With dragons in dungeons and devils full dark. In molten brass and brimstone those bastards are burnt That dwell in this world my will for to work. With mischief on middle earth their members I mark That joke with Jesus that Judas sold. 495 Be he never so crafty nor cunning a clerk, I harry them in Hell as traitors bold. There is one thing, however, that grieveth me sore, Of a prophet that Jesus men call. Every day he paineth me, more and more, 500 With his holy miracles and works all. I had him once, in a temptation, With Gluttony, Greed, and Vainglory. I tested him in all the ways I could use, And utterly he refused them, and instead me defied. 505 That rebuke he gave me shall not be forgot! Somewhat I have begun, and more shall be done. For all his barefoot going from me shall he not hop, But my dark dungeon I shall bring him to. I have made ready his Cross on which he shall die, 510 And three nails to tack him up with so he shall not escape. Be he never so holy, he shall not from me go, But with a sharp spear I shall make his mouth gape. And then must he come to Hell, be he never so stout. Yet now I am afraid if he come. It might be a mistake. 515 Therefore I shall go warn Hell that they look about And make ready chains to bind him within the lake. Hell! Hell! Make ready! For here shall come a guest! Hither shall come Jesus, who is called "God's Son," And he shall be here by the hour of noon. 520 He shall dwell with us soon, And have wretched rest!
Here shall a devil speak in Hell.
DEVIL I Out upon thee! We conjure thee That never in Hell we may him see! He shall our power burst 525 If ever he once in Hell be. SATAN Ah, ah, then have I gone too far! Unless some trick help, I have had a shrewd reverse. My game is worse than I thought before. I may say, "My game is lost!" Lo! A trick yet have I cast! 530 If I might Jesus' life save, Hell's-gates shall be locked fast And keep still all those I have. To Pilate's wife I will now go For she is asleep in bed full fast 535 And bid her without any words more To Pilate that she send in haste. I shall it attempt. This is the way To bring Pilate round to my belief. Within a while ye shall see 540 How my craft I will put to proof.
Here shall the Devil go to Pilate's Wife, the curtain drawn as she lies in bed, and he shall make no noise, but she shall, soon after he has come in, make a pitiful noise, coming and running off the scaffold with her shirt and kirtel in her hand, and she shall come before Pilate like a mad woman, saying thus,
PILATE'S WIFE Pilate, I charge thee that thou take heed! Judge not Jesus but be his friend. If thou sentence him to be dead Thou art damned without end. 545 A fiend appeared me before As I lay in my bed sleeping fast. Since the time that I was born, Was I never so sore aghast. As wild fire and thunder blast 550 He came crying unto me. He said they that beat Jesus or bound him fast Without end damned shall be. Therefore, a way herein thou must see And let Jesus from thee freely pace. 555 And Jews they will all beguile thee And put on thee all their trespass. PILATE Gramercy, my wife, forever ye be true. Your counsel is good and ever hath been. Now to your chamber your way pursue 560 And all shall be well, dame, as ye shall see.
Here the Jews bring Jesus again to Pilate.
FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Sir Pilate, good tidings thou shalt hear from me. Of Herod, the King, thou hast the good will! And Jesus he sendeth again to thee And biddeth thee choose him to save or kill. 565 SECOND ANNAS' DOCTOR Yea, sir, all the power lieth now with thee, And thou knowest our laws he has broken and bent, The mischief of that you must surely foresee -- We charge thee to give him judgment! PILATE Sirs, truly ye are to blame 570 Thus Jesus to beat, despoil or bind, Or put him to so great shame For no fault in him I find. Nor Herod, neither, to whom I sent you, Fault in him could find right none, 575 But sent him again to me by you, As ye know well everyone. Therefore understand what I shall say; Ye know the custom in this land Of your Paschal day that is near at hand: 580 Whatever thief or traitor lies in bond To honour that day shall go free away Without any price. Now then, I think it were right To let Jesus now go freely away. 585 And do to him no more despite. Sirs, this is my advice. I would know what ye say.
Here they shall all cry, "Nay, nay, nay."
FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Deliver to us the thief Barabbas That for manslaughter in prison lies. 590 PILATE What shall I then with Jesus do? Shall he now abide to go? SECOND ANNAS' DOCTOR Jesus shall on the cross be put! "Crucify him" we all cry out. PILATE Sirs, what hath Jesus done amiss? 595
The people shall cry out,
CROWD "Crucify him", we say at once. PILATE Sirs, since no matter what, ye will so Put Jesus to woe and pain, Jesus a while with me shall go: I shall him examine betwixt us twain. 600
Here Pilate takes Jesus and leads him into the council house and says,
Jesus, what sayest thou? Let us see. This matter now thou must understand. In peace thou might live before me But for the people of thy land. Bishops and priests of the law 605 They love thee not as thou mayst see, And the common people against thee draw. In peace thou might have been for me. This I tell thee plain. What sayest, Jesus? Why speakest no word? 610 Knowest not I can send you to the Cross under guard? I can also free you as a just reward. What canst thou say to this? JESUS Power over me thou hast none But that which my Father hath granted before. 615 I came my Father's will to fulfill That Mankind should not spill He that hath betrayed me to thee at this time His trespass is more than is thine. FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Ye princes and masters, take heed and see 620 How Pilate in this matter is favourable, And thus our laws destroyed might be And to us all unrecoverable.
Here Pilate lets Jesus alone and goes to the Jews and says,
PILATE Sirs, what will ye now with Jesus do? I can find him nought but good. 625 It is my counsel ye let him go; It is a pity to spill his blood. CAIAPHAS Pilate, methinketh thou doth great wrong Against our law to resist steadfastly When the number of people is so strong, 630 Bringing thee lawful testimony. ANNAS Yea, if thou let Jesus from us pace, This we guarantee thee all; Thou shalt answer for his trespass, And traitor to the Emperor we shall thee call. 635 PILATE Now, then, since ye will no other way, But insist always that Jesus must die, Artise, bring me water, I thee pray.
Here let Artise bring water.
And what I will do, ye shall see. As I wash with water my hands clean, 640 So guiltless of his death I must be. FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR The blood of him must be on us And on our children after us.
And the crowd shall cry out, "Yea, Yea, Yea!" Then Pilate goes again to Jesus and brings him out, thus saying,
PILATE Lo, sirs, I bring him here to your presence That ye may know I find in him no offense. 645 SECOND ANNAS' DOCTOR Deliver him, deliver him, and let us go! On the cross let him be thrown! PILATE Sirs, would ye your King on the cross enthrone? FIRST CAIAPHAS' DOCTOR Sir, we say that we have no king but the emperor alone. PILATE Sirs, since it simply must be so, 650 We must sit and our office perform. Bring forth to the bar those I must sentence. To receive their judgment in my presence.
Here they shall bring Barabbas to the bar, and two thieves in their shirts, barelegged, and Jesus standing at the bar betwixt them; and Annas and Caiaphas shall go into the council house when Pilate sits.
PILATE Barabbas, hold up thy hand, For here at thy delivery dost thou stand. 655
And he holds up his hand.
Sirs, what say ye? Barabbas -- thief and traitor bold - Shall he go free, or shall he be kept in hold? FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Sir, for the solemnity of our Paschal day, By our law he shall go free away. PILATE Barabbas, then, I dismiss thee, 660 And give thee license to go free.
And let him run off.
Dismas and Jesmas, there you stand, The law commands you to hold up your hands. Sir, what say ye of these thieves twain? SECOND ANNAS' DOCTOR Sir, they are both guilty, we say. 665 PILATE And what say ye of Jesus of Nazareth? FIRST ANNAS' DOCTOR Sir, we say he shall be put to death. PILATE And still ye can set against him no trespass! SECOND ANNAS' DOCTOR Sir, we all desire he be put on the cross.
And the crowd shall all cry out, saying with a loud voice, "Yea, yea, yea!"
PILATE Jesus, thine own people have disapproved 670 Of all that I have for thee said or moved. I charge you all at the beginning, As ye will answer me before, Let there be no man shall touch your King Unless he be knight or gentlemen born. 675 First his clothes ye shall strip from this man, And make him naked for to be. Bind him to a pillar as sore as ye can, Then scourge him with whips for all to see. When he has been beaten, crown him for your King, 680 And then to the cross ye shall him bring. To that cross thou shalt be made fast, And on three nails thy body shall rest. One shall through thy right hand go, Another through thy left also. 685 The third shall be smitten through both thy feet, Which nail thereto has been made full meet. And yet thou shalt not hang alone But on either side of thee shall be one. Dismas, now I sentence thee 690 That on his right hand thou shalt be, And Jesmas on the left hand hanged shall be On the Mount of Calvary that men may see.
Here Pilate shall rise and go to his scaffold, and the bishops with him; and the Jews shall cry for joy with a great voice, and rebuke him and pull off his clothes and bind him to a pillar and scourge him, one thus saying,
TORTURER I Act gladly, our king, For this is your first beginning. 695
And when he has been scourged, they put on him a cloth of silk and set him on a stool and put a crown of thorns on his head with forks, and the Jews kneeling to Christ, offering to him a sceptre and scorning him; and then they shall pull off the purple cloth and put on again his own clothes and lay the cross on his neck to bear and draw him forth with ropes: and then shall come two women, weeping, wringing their hands, one thus saying,
FIRST WEEPING WOMAN Alas, Jesus! Alas, Jesus! Woe is me That thou art thus despoiled! Alas! And yet never fault was found in thee, But ever thou hast been full of grace. SECOND WEEPING WOMAN Ah, here is a rueful sight, of Jesus so good, 700 That he shall thus die against all right. Ah, wicked men, ye are more than mad To show that good Lord so great spite.
Here Jesus turns again to the women with his Cross, thus saying,
JESUS Daughters of Jerusalem, for me weep ye not, But for yourselves weep, and your children also. 705 For the days shall come that they have long sought When their sin and blindness shall bring them woe. Then shall be said, "Blessed are the wombs that barren be, And woe to the paps in those days that give suckling." And to their fathers they shall say, "Woe to the time that thou begat me," 710 And to their mothers, "Alas, where shall be our dwelling?" Then to the hills and mountains they shall cry and call, "Open and hide us from the face of Him sitting on the throne," Or else tumble down and on us now come fall, That we may be hid from the cause of our moan. 715
Here Jesus turns from the women and goes forth, and there they meet with Simon of Cyrene in the place, the Jews saying to him,
TORTURER I Sir, a word that shall be no loss! A man is here, thou mayst see, Who bears the weight of a heavy cross Whereon he shall hanged be. Therefore we all pray to thee 720 That thou take the cross of the man; Bear it with us to Calvary, And great thanks shalt thou have then. SIMON OF CYRENE Sirs, I may not, in no degree; I have great errands that I must do. 725 Therefore, I pray you, excuse me And on my errand let me go. TORTURER II What, harlot, hast thou scorn To bear the tree when we thee pray? Thou shalt bear it whatever thou hadst sworn, 730 Even if it were ten times the way! SIMON OF CYRENE Sirs, I pray you, displease yourselves not; I will help to bear the tree Into the place it must be brought, Wherever ye will command me. 735
Here Simon of Cyrene takes the Cross from Jesus and bears it forth.
VERONICA Ah, ye sinful people, why fare ye thus? For sweat and blood he may not see! Alas, holy Prophet, Christ Jesus, Heavy is my heart for thee!
And she wipes his face with her kerchief.
JESUS Veronica, thy wiping doth me ease. 740 My face is clean that was black to see. I shall them keep from all disease That look on the kerchief and remember me.
Then shall they pull Jesus out of his clothes and lay them together, and there they shall pull him down and lay him stretched out on the cross, and after that nail him thereon.
TORTURER I Come on, now! Here shall we essay If the Cross for thee be meet. 745 Cast him down here, in the devil's name! How long shall he stand on his feet? TORTURER II Pull him down, ill may he thrive. And give me his arm in haste. And anon we shall see 750 That his good days are now all past. TORTURER III Give his other arm to me; Another take heed to his feet, And anon we shall see If the boreholes be for him meet. 755 TORTURER IV This is meet. Take good heed! Pull out that arm till it is sore! TORTURER I This is short -- The Devil him speed -- By a large foot or more! TORTURER II Tie on a rope, and pull him along, 760 And I shall draw back again. Spare we not these ropes strong, Though we burst both flesh and vein. TORTURER III Drive in the nail. Now, look alive, And see if the flesh and sinews will last. 765 TORTURER IV That I grant, so may I thrive! Lo, this nail is driven right well and fast. TORTURER I Fasten a rope, then, to his feet And draw him down full length now. TORTURER II Here is a nail both good and great. 770 I shall drive it through, I make a vow!
Here shall they leave off and dance about the cross briefly.
TORTURER III Lo, fellow, there thou liest, tacked to a tree. TORTURER IV Yea, and I believe thou art a worthy king. TORTURER I Ah, good sir, tell me now, what helpeth thy prophecy? TORTURER II Yea, or any of thy false preaching? 775 TORTURER III Sirs, set up the cross on its end So that we may look him in the face. TORTURER IV Yea, and we shall kneel unto our king so kind, And pray him for his great grace.
Here when they have set him up, they shall go before him, saying each one after the others thus,
TORTURER I Hail, King of the Jews, if thou be! 780 TORTURER II Yea, yea, sir, as thou hangest there, flesh and bones, TORTURER III Come down now, from that tree, TORTURER IV And we will worship thee all at once.
Here shall some four or five poor commoners stand and look upon the Jews, and the Jews shall come to them and make them hang the thieves.
TORTURER I Come on, ye knaves, and set up these two crosses aright, And hang up these two thieves anon. 785 TORTURER II Yea and in the worship of this worthy knight, On each side of him shall hang one.
Here the simple men shall set up these two crosses and hang up the thieves by the arms, and at the same time the Jews shall cast dice for Christ's clothes and fight and struggle; in the meantime Our Lady shall come with three Maries with her and Saint John with them, setting themselves down to one side, before the cross, Our Lady swooning and mourning, and slowly saying,
MARY Ah, my good Lord, my son so sweet, What hast thou done? Why hangest thou thus here? Is there no other death to thee so meet 790 But the most shameful death among these thieves so near? Ah, out my heart! Why breakst thou not? As thou art maiden and mother and seest thy child thus die, How mayst thou abide this sorrow and this woeful thought? Oh, death, death, why comest thou not nigh? 795
Here shall Our Lady swoon, and Our Lord shall say thus,
JESUS Oh, Father almighty, maker of man, Forgive these Jews that work me woe! Forgive them, Father, do not them ban, For they know not what they do. TORTURER I Oh, blah, blah! Now here is he 800 That bade us destroy our temple in one day, And within days three We would raise it again in good array! TORTURER II Now, if thou can do such a deed, Help now thyself, if thou can, 805 And we shall believe in thee indeed And say thou art a mighty man. TORTURER III Yea, if thou be God's son, as thou didst teach, From the cross now come down. Then of mercy we shall thee beseech 810 And say thou art a lord of great reknown. JESMAS If thou be God's son, as thou didst say, Help here now both thyself and us! But I find it nowhere in my faith That thou shouldst be Christ, God's Son, Jesus. 815 DISMAS Go on, fool, why sayest thou so? He is the Son of God, I believe it well! And sin did he never do That he should be put through all this hell. While we full many a wrong have wrought, 820 He never did anything amiss. Now, mercy, good Lord, mercy: forget me not When thou comest to thy kingdom and to thy bliss. JESUS Amen, amen! Thou art full wise. What thou hast asked, I grant to thee. 825 This same day in Paradise With me thy God thou shalt see. MARY My son, my son, my darling dear! How have I offended thee? Thou hast spoken to all those that are here, 830 And not one word thou speakest to me! To the Jews thou hast been full kind, Thou hast forgiven all their misdeeds; And the thief thou also hast in mind, For once asking mercy, heaven is his reward. 835 Ah, my sovereign Lord, why wilt thou not speak To me that am thy mother, in pain for thy wrong? Ah, heart, heart! Why wilt thou not break So that I might be out of this sorrow so strong? JESUS Ah, woman, woman, behold there thy son! 840 And thou, John, take her for thy mother. I charge thee to keep her as tenderly as thou can. Thou, a clean virgin, shall keep another. And woman, thou knowest that my father of heaven me sent To take this manhood from thee, Adam's ransom to pay, 845 For this is my father's will and intent That I shall thus die to deliver man from the Devil's prey. Now since it is the will of my father that it must thus be, Why should it displease thee, mother, now, my death so sore? To suffer all this for mankind I was born of thee 850 To the bliss he once lost, mankind again to restore.
Here Our Lady shall rise and run and embrace the cross.
MARY MAGDALEN Ah, good lady, who do ye thus? Your doleful cries now pierce us sore, Also for the pain of my sweet Lord, Jesus, Because what he sees in you paineth him more. 855 MARY I pray you all, let me be here! Hang me up here on this tree By my friend and son that to me is so dear, For wherever he is, there would I be. JOHN Gentle lady, now leave your mourning, 860 And go with us now, we you pray, And comfort our Lord at his departing, For he is almost ready to go his way.
Here they shall take Our Lady from the cross; and here shall Pilate come down from his scaffold with Caiaphas and Annas and all their retinue, and shall come and look on Christ; and Annas and Caiaphas shall scornfully say,
CAIAPHAS Lo, sirs, lo! Behold and see! Here hangs he that helped many a man. 865 Now if he God's son be, Let him help himself now, if he can. ANNAS Yea, and if thou king of Israel be, Come down from the cross among us all And let thy God now deliver thee, 870 And then our king we will thee call.
Here shall Pilate ask for pen and ink, and a table shall be brought to him, written on beforehand "Hic est Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Judeorum." And he shall pretend to write and then go up on a ladder and set the tablet above Christ's head, and then Caiaphas shall appear to read, and say,
CAIAPHAS Sir Pilate, we marvel at this, That ye write that he is "King of the Jews." We prefer you to write it thus, That he named himself "King of the Jews." 875 PILATE What I have written, written it stands, And so it shall be just as it is.
They all shall go again to Pilate's scaffold, and Jesus shall cry out.
JESUS Eli, Eli, lama sabachthany! My Father in Heaven on high, Why dost Thou me forsake? 880 The fraility of my humankind With strong pain begins to bind. Oh, dear Father, have me in mind, And let death my sorrow slake! TORTURER I Methinketh he now doth call "Eli." 885 Let us go near and espy To see whether he come privily From the cross him to remove. JESUS So great a thirst did never man take As I have, mankind, for thy sake. 890 For thirst asunder my lips do crack; For dryness they together cleave. TORTURER III Your thirst, Sir Worthless, for to slake Vinegar and gall I shall here take. What? Methinketh a wry face ye make! 895 Is not this good drink? To cry for drink ye had great haste, And now it seemeth it is but waste. Is not this drink of good taste? Now tell me how ye think. 900 TORTURER IV Aloft, Sir Worthless, now ye be set! We will no longer at you shout. We greet you well in the new jet. And make on you a mow. TORTURER I We greet you well with all our scorn, 905 And pray you, both even and morn, To take good heed of all our corn And scare away the crow. JESUS In manus tuas, Domine ... Holy Father, in Heavenly see, 910 I commend my spirit to thee, For here now ends my fast. The devil shall soon learn his mistake, For now my heart begins to break, Words more shall I now speak. 915 Nunc consummatum est. MARY Alas, alas, I live too long! To see my sweet son with pains strong As a thief on a cross he doth hang, And never yet did he sin. 920 Alas, my dear child to death is dressed; Now is my care much more increased. All my heart with pain is pressed; For sorrow my heart doth twin. JOHN Ah, blessed maid, change your thought, 925 For though your son with sorrow be fraught, Yet by his own will his work is wrought. He wills his death to take. You to keep he charged me here; I am your servant, my lady dear 930 Wherefore I pray you, be of good cheer, And glad songs ye should make. MARY Though he had never of me been born, And I saw his flesh thus dreadfully torn: On his back, behind; on his breast, before -- 935 Rent with wounds wide, I would of necessity dwell in woe, To see my friend with many a foe Rent to bits from top to toe, His flesh without a hide. 940 JOHN Ah, blessed lady, as I you tell, Had he not died, we should go to Hell, Amongst fiends there ever to dwell, In pains forever smart. He suffers death for our trespass, 945 And through his death we shall all have grace, To dwell with him in a heavenly place. Therefore, be merry in heart! MARY Ah, dear friend, well know I this; He doth indeed buy for us his bliss, 950 But yet my mirth I wholly miss When I see this sight. JOHN Now, dear lady, I must you pray From this doleful dolour wend we our way, For when this sight ye no longer may see, 955 Your care may wax more light. MARY Since I must part from him now, Let me kiss, before I go, His blessed feet, that suffer so, Nailed on this tree, 960 So cruelly, with such despite. Never was there so shameful a sight! In pain my heart is griped; All joy departs from me.
Here, as if half-dead, let her fall down on the ground, and let John say,
JOHN Now, blessed maid, come forth with me; 965 No longer this sight need ye see. I shall you guide in this country Wherever you please to go. MARY Now, gentle John, my son's darling, To God's temple thou must me bring, 970 That I may pray to God with sore weeping, And mourning that springs from my woe. JOHN All your desire shall be wrought; With hearty will I shall work your thought. Now, blessed maid, tary not 975 Till in the temple ye are. For holy prayer may change your mood, And move your cheer from bad to good. When ye see not your child's blood, The less may be your care. 980
Here let the Maries cross to the temple with John, etc.
MARY Here in this temple my life I shall lead, And serve my Lord God with heartfelt dread. Now shall weeping me foster and feed Till God some other comfort send. Ah, my Lord God, I thee pray, 985 When my child riseth on the third day, Comfort me then, thine handmaid, My care for to amend. ANIMA CHRISTI Now, all mankind in heart be glad, With all the mirth that may be had, 990 For mankind's soul that once was held In the lodge of Hell. Now shall I rise to live again From pain to the place of Paradise plain; Therefore man in heart may be fain 995 For in mirth now shalt thou dwell. I am the soul of Christ Jesus, Who is King of all virtue. My body is dead -- the Jews it slew -- That hangeth yet on the rood. 1000 Rent and torn all bleeding red For mankind's sake my body is dead. For mankind's help my body is bread And soul-drink my body's blood. Though my body not be slain, 1005 The third day -- this is certain -- I shall raise my body again To live, as I you say. Now I will go straight to Hell And fetch from the fiends fell 1010 All my friends that therein dwell To bliss that lasteth for aye.
The soul [Anima Christi] goes to Hell Gates and says,
"Atollite portas, principes, vestras, et elevamini porte eternales et introibit rex glorie." Undo your gates of slavery! Mankind's soul lies in my memory. 1015 Here cometh now the King of Glory, These gates apart to break. Ye devils that are here within Hell Gates ye must unpin. I shall deliver mankind; 1020 From woe I will them take. BELIAL Alas, alas! Out and harrow! Unto thy bidding must we bow! That thou are God now do we know, Of thee had we great dread. 1025 Against thee may nothing stand, All things obey to thine hand; Both Heaven and Hell, water and land All must bow their heads. ANIMA CHRISTI Against me if were waste 1030 To hold or to stand fast: Hell's lodge may not last Against the King of Glory. Thy dark door down I throw, My fair friends now will I know. 1035 I shall them bring, counted by rows, Out of their purgatory. CENTURION In truth now I know with open sight That God's dear son is nailed on this tree. These wonderful tokens prove to me quite. 1040 Quod vere filius Dei erat iste. SECOND SOLDIER The true child of God I suppose him to be, And so it seemeth well by his mighty works. The earth sore quaketh, which frightens me: With mist and heavy weather it grows wondrous dark. 1045 THIRD SOLDIER Such marvels are shown by no earthly man. The air is all dark that first was all clear. The earthquake was great, the clouds grow wan; These tokens prove him a Lord without peer. CENTURION His father is the peerless king of all power. 1050 Both lord of this world and king of heaven high. Yet out of all sin, to bring us from danger, He allows His dear Son for us all to die. NICODEMUS Alas, alas! What a sight is this, To see the Lord and king of bliss 1055 That never sinned nor did amiss Thus nailed upon a rood? Alas, Jews, what have ye wrought? Ah, ye wicked men, what was your thought? Why have ye struck and thus beaten out 1060 All his blessed blood? CENTURION Ah! Now truly and properly tell I can That this was God's own son. I know that he is both God and man, By this work that here is done. 1065 There was never man but God that could do this work That ever of woman was born. Were he never so great a clerk, It would surpass a man's power, whatever he had sworn. This law was true, I dare well say, 1070 That he taught us here among. Therefore I urge ye, turn your faith And amend what ye have done wrong. JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEIA Oh, good Lord, Jesus, that diest here on the cross, Have mercy and forgive me what I have done amiss. 1075 I would make good thy loss So that I might come to thy bliss. To Pilate now will I go And ask the body of my Lord Jesus To bury. That must be done 1080 In my grave that is so new. Hail, Sir Pilate, that sitteth in state! Hail! Judge over the Jews men do thee call. Hail! With health I do thee greet. I pray of thee a boon, what so befall. 1085 To bury Jesus' body I will thee pray That he were out of men's sight. For tomorrow shall be our holy day; The will no man him bury, that is not right. And if we let him hang there still, 1090 Your action some might criticize. The people thereof might say much ill, From which more trouble could arise. PILATE Sir Joseph, I freely grant thee That with Jesus' body you fulfil your intent, 1095 But first I must know that he dead be, As that was part of his judgment. Sir knights, I command you that ye go In haste with Joseph of Aramitheia. See that ye take good heed thereto, 1100 And ensure that Jesus surely dead be. See that this commandment ye fulfill Without any words or more ado, And then let Joseph do his will Whatever he will with Jesus do. 1105
Here two knights come before Pilate at once, thus saying,
FIRST KNIGHT [Arfaxat] Sir, we shall use our diligence Accompanying Joseph to Calvary. Once we are out of thy presence The truth full quickly we shall see. JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEIA Gramercy, Pilate, of your gentleness, 1110 That ye have granted my request. Anything lying in my province Ye shall have just as ye list. PILATE Sir, all your desire ye shall have, With Jesus' body fulfill your intent. 1115 Whether ye bury Him in pit or grave, The power I grant you for the present.
The two knights go with Joseph to Jesus and stand and look him in the face.
SECOND KNIGHT [Ameraunt] Methinks Jesus is sure enough. There is no need his bones to break. He is dead. How thinketh you? 1120 I doubt he shall ever move or speak. FIRST KNIGHT [Arfaxat] We must be sure before we go. A solution comes to my thought. Yonder is a blind knight I shall approach, And soon a trick here shall be wrought. 1125
Here the knight goes to blind Longeus and says,
Hail, Sir Longeus, thou gentle knight, Thee I pray now right heartily That thou wilt come with me full quick: It shall be for thy good truly. LONGEUS Sir, at your commandment with you will I wend, 1130 In whatever place ye will me have, For I trust that ye be my friend. Lead me forth, sir, our Sabbath you save. FIRST KNIGHT [Arfaxat] Lo, Sir Longeus, here is a spear, Both long and broad and sharp enough. 1135 Heave it up fast! Place it there, For here is game. Shove, man, shove!
Here Longeus shoves the spear fiercely, and the blood comes running to his hand, and he accidentally shall wipe his eyes,
LONGEUS Oh, good lord, how may this be That I may see so clearly now? These thirty winters I might not see, 1140 And now I can, I wot never how. But who is this that hangeth here now? I trow it be the maiden's son! And that is he! I know well how The Jews to him this villainy have done. 1145
Here he falls down to his knees.
Now good Lord, forgive me that Which I to thee have done, I did I knew not what. The Jews for my ignorance made me do wrong. Mercy, mercy, mercy I cry! 1150
Then Joseph sets up the ladders, and Nicodemus comes to help him.
NICODEMUS Joseph of Arimatheia, blessed thou be, For thou dost here a full good deed. I pray thee, let me now help thee That I may be partner in thy reward. JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEIA Nicodemus, welcome indeed. 1155 I pray you ye will help thereto. He will acquit us right well our reward, And I have license this to do.
Here Joseph and Nicodemus take Christ off the cross, one on one ladder and the other on another ladder, and when Christ has been taken down, Joseph lays Him in Our Lady's lap, and Joseph says,
JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEIA Lo, Mary mother, good and true, Here is thy son, bloody and blue. 1160 For him my heart full sore doth rue! Kiss him, once, ere He go. MARY Ah, mercy, mercy, my own son so dear, Thy bloody face now I must kiss. Thy face is pale without any cheer; 1165 Much joy now shall I miss. There never was mother that ever saw this, Her son despoiled with so great woe, And my dear child never did amiss. Ah, mercy, Father of Heaven, that it should be so. 1170 JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEIA Mary, your son return to me. Into his grave he shall be brought. MARY Joseph, blessed ever may thou be For the good deed that ye have wrought.
Here they shall lay Christ in his grave.
JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEIA I give thee this linen that I have bought 1175 To wind thee in while it is new. NICODEMUS Here is an ointment that I have brought With which to anoint my Lord Jesus. JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEIA Now Jesus is within his grave, Which I had ordained some time for me. 1180 To thee, Lord, I it vouchsafe; I know my reward full great shall be. NICODEMUS Now let us lay on this stone again, And Jesus in this tomb still shall be, And we will walk back among other men. 1185 The day passeth fast I see. Farewell Joseph, and well ye be. No longer tarrying here we make. MARY Farewell, ye gentle princes kind, In joy ever may ye be. 1190 The bliss of Heaven without end I know verily that ye shall see.
Here the princes shall do reverence to Our Lady and go their way, and leave the Maries at the sepulchre. Caiaphas goes to Pilate, saying thus,
CAIAPHAS Hark, Sir Pilate, listen to me. I shall thee tell tidings new. Of one thing we must aware be, 1195 Or else hereafter we might it rue. Thou knowest well that the man Jesus Said to us with words few and plain That once he died we should find it true, The third day he would rise again. 1200 If his disciples show such disdain As from his grave to steal him away, They will go preach and openly say That he is risen the third day. This is the counsel that I give here; 1205 Take men and give them charge thereto To watch the grave with great power Till the third day be gone. PILATE Sir Caiaphas, it shall be done, For as ye say, there is peril here. 1210 If it happened to be so, It might with our government interfere. Ye shall see, sir, before ye go How I shall this matter save, And what I shall say thereto 1215 And what charge my men shall have. Come forth here, Sir Ameraunt, And Sir Arfaxat also come! Sir Cosdram and Sir Affraunt Come hear the charge ye must perform. 1220 Sirs, to Jesus' grave ye shall go; Stay till the third day be past and gone, And let neither friend nor foe In any way to touch the stone. If any of his disciples should come there 1225 To fetch the body from you away, Beat them down! Have ye no fear, With shameful death make them die. In pain of your goods and your lives, Let them not escape from you. 1230 Think of your children and your wives, For all ye will lose if ye do so. ARFAXAT Sir Pilate, we shall not cease. We shall keep it strong enough. AMERAUNT Even if a hundred upon us press, 1235 They shall die, I make a vow. COSDRAM Only a hundred! Fie on a hundred, and a hundred thereto! There is not one of them shall us withstand. AFFRAUNT Yea, and if there came a hundred thousand and more, I would them kill with my hand. 1240 PILATE Well, sirs, then your part ye do; As to your charge, see ye take heed Without any speeches more. Wisely now see you proceed.
Here the knights go out of the place.
Lo, Sir Caiaphas, how thinketh you? 1245 Is not this well brought about? CAIAPHAS In faith, sir, it is sure enough. Ye need now have no doubt. ARFAXAT Let us see, Sir Ameraunt, where will ye be? Will ye keep the feet or the head? 1250 AMERAUNT At the head, if it is pleasing to thee. Whoever comes here, he is but dead. ARFAXAT And I will keep the feet this tide Though there come both Jack and Jill. COSDRAM And I shall keep the right side: 1255 Whoever comes I shall him kill. AFFRAUNT And I will on the left hand be. Whoever comes here must reckon with me. Full surely his bane I shall be, With many a clout. 1260 Sir Pilate have good day We shall keep the body in clay And we shall watch well on the way And look all about. PILATE Now, gentle sirs, will ye vouchsafe 1265 To go with me and seal the grave, That he rise not out of the grave That now is dead? CAIAPHAS We grant well. Let us now go. When it is sealed and kept also, 1270 Then be we sure without more woe And have of him no dread.
Then Pilate, Caiaphas, and Annas and all the knights cross to the sepulchre, and Annas says,
ANNAS Lo, here is wax, ready dight! Set on your seal. Do it right! Then are we sure, by day nor night 1275 He shall not rise again. PILATE On this corner my seal I set, And with this wax I seal this pit; Now dare I pledge he shall not flit, Out of this grave, certain. 1280 ANNAS Here is more wax all ready. Lo, All the corners seal also, And with a lock, lock it too, Then let us go our way. Let these knights abide nearby. 1285 If his disciples come privily To steal away this dead body, To us they must bring them without delay. PILATE On every corner now is set my seal. Now is my heart peaceful and well. 1290 Through stealth nor bribery none may steal This body from under this stone. Now, Sir Bishop, I pray to thee, And Annas, also, come on with me. Even together all we three 1295 Homeward let us be gone. As the wind roars, Knights now go, Keep on your toes, And watch him well! 1300 If ye be bold Your promise to hold, Ye shall have gold And helmets of steel.
Pilate, Annas and Caiaphas go to their scaffolds, and the knights say,
AFFRAUNT Now in this ground 1305 He lieth bound That suffered wounds Till he was dead. This left corner I will keep here, 1310 Armed most clear, Both neck and head. COSDRAM I will have this side, Whatsoe'er betide. If any men ride 1315 To steal the corpse I will them chide With wounds wide, And among them glide With main force. 1320 AMERAUNT The head I take Hereby to wake; A steel stake I hold in hand. Fierce deeds to make, 1325 Crowns I crack, Shafts to shake, And slay free and bond. ARFAXAT I shall not omit To keep the feet 1330 Which once aloft Weltered in blood. He that will stalk By brook or balk Hither to walk 1335 Those wretches be mad. My head dulleth; My heart falleth Asleep. Saint Mahound 1340 This burying ground Thou keep. AMERAUNT I say the same. No matter the blame, I fall. 1345 Mahound's whelp After thy help I call. COSDRAM I am heavy as lead. Despite any dread 1350 I sleep Mahound of might This stone tonight Thou keep. AFFRAUNT I have no foot 1355 To stand on root By brink. Here I ask To leave my task For a wink. 1360
Then let the knights sleep, and let Anima Christi come from Hellmouth with Adam and Eve, Abraham, John the Baptist, and others.
ANIMA CHRISTI Come forth, Adam, and Eve with thee, All my friends that herein be. To Paradise come forth with me In bliss for to live. The Fiend of Hell, that is your foe, 1365 He shall be wrapped and wound in woe; From woe to wealth now shall ye go With mirth evermore to thrive. ADAM I thank thee, Lord, of thy great grace, Who now is forgiven my great trespass. 1370 Now shall we dwell in a blissful place, In joy and endless mirth. Through my sin mankind was forlorn, And mankind to save thou were all torn, And of a maid in Bed'lem born. 1375 Ever blessed by Thy birth! EVE Blessed be thou, lord of life! I am Eve, Adam's wife. Thou has suffered stroke and strife For the works that we have wrought. 1380 Thy mild mercy hath all forgiven. Death's blows on thee were driven. Now with thee, Lord, we shall live; Thy bright blood hath us bought. JOHN THE BAPTIST I am thy cousin; my name is John. 1385 Thy wounds have beaten thee to the bone. I baptized thee in the flood of Jordan, And gave thy body baptism With thy grace now shall we go From our enemies every one 1390 And find mirths many a one, At play in Paradise. ABRAHAM I am Abraham, father good, That reigned after Noah's flood. A sorry sin Adam performed 1395 That clad us all in care. A son that maiden's milk hath sucked, And with his blood our bond hath broken, Hell lodge hath made unlocked, From filth with our friend we fare. 1400 ANIMA CHRISTI Fair friends, now be ye won! On you shineth the steadfast sun. The spirit that all wrong hath begun Full fast I shall him bind. As a wicked worm thou doth appear, 1405 To betray my children that were so dear, Therefore, traitor, evermore here New pains thou shalt ever find. Through the blood I took of mankind, False devil, I here thee bind. 1410 In endless sorrow I thee wind, Therein ever more to dwell. Now thou art bound! Thou mayest not flee. For thine envious cruelty In endless damnation shalt thou be 1415 And never come out of Hell. BELIAL Alas! Harrow! Now am I bound! In Hell's pit to lie on the ground. In endless sorrow now am I wound, In care evermore to dwell. 1420 In Hell lodge I lie alone; Now is my joy all away gone, For all other fiends shall be my foes. I shall never come forth from Hell! ANIMA CHRISTI Now is your foe bound in Hell 1425 That ever was busy you for to quell. Now will I raise, flesh and fell, That rent was for your sake, My own body that hung on the Rood. Though all the Jews be never so mad, 1430 It shall arise, both flesh and blood, My body now will I take.
Then let Anima Christi cross for the raising of the Body, which having arisen, let Jesus say,
JESUS Hard roads have I gone And pains suffered many a one, Stumbling at stake and stone, 1435 For three and thirty years. I lighted from my Father's throne To remedy mankind's pitiful moan. My flesh was beaten to the bone, My blood I bled clear. 1440 For mankind's love I suffered death; For mankind's love I have risen again; For mankind I have made my body into bread, All souls hereafter to feed. Mankind, if thou let me depart alone, 1445 And wilt not follow me anon, Such a friend findest thou never none, To help thee at thy need. Salve, sancte parens, my Mother dear! All hail, Mother, with glad cheer, 1450 For now is arisen with body clear Thy son that was buried deep. This is the third day, as I foretold, That I should arise from the clay so cold; Now am I here with heart full bold, 1455 Therefore no longer weep. MARY Welcome, my lord! Welcome, my grace! Welcome, my son and my solace. I shall thee worship in every place. Welcome Lord God of might! 1460 Much sorrow in heart I suffered When thou were laid in death's bed, But now my bliss is newly bred, All men may joy at this sight. JESUS All this world that was forlorn 1465 Shall worship thee both even and morn, For had I not of you been born, Man had been lost in Hell. I was dead, and life I have, And through my death mankind do I save, 1470 For now I am risen from my grave, In Heaven mankind shall now dwell. MARY Ah, dear son, these words are good; Thou hast well comforted my mourning mood. Blessed be Thy precious blood 1475 That mankind thus doth save. JESUS Now, dear Mother, my leave I take; Joy in heart and mirth ye make, For death is dead, and life doth wake, Now I am risen from my grave. 1480 MARY Farewell, my son; farewell, my child; Farewell, my lord, my God so mild. My heart is well that was first wild. Farewell, my own dear love. Now all mankind be glad with glee, 1485 For death is dead as ye may see, And life is raised, endless to be, In Heaven dwelling above. When my son was nailed on the tree, All women might have pity on me, 1490 For greater sorrow might never be, Than I did suffer for this. But this joy now changes our sorrowing That my child suffered on that hard morning, For now he will us to Heaven bring, 1495 To live in endless bliss.
Then let the soldiers of the sepulchre awake, and the first shall say,
ARFAXAT Awake, awake! Hills do quake! Trees also shake To and fro. 1500 Stone are cleaved, Wits bereaved, Ears deafened, I am served so. AMERAUNT That he is arisen we cannot deny, 1505 Who was dead and cold in clay; Now is he risen alive this day Great wonder it is to me. He is risen by his own might, And forth he has gone on his way full right. 1510 How shall we now ourselves quit When Pilate doth us see? COSDRAM Let us now go Pilate unto, As we have seen 1515 The truth we say: That out of clay He is risen this day Whom the Jews have slain. AFFRAUNT I hold it best 1520 Let us never rest. But go full prest Till it be done. All hail, Pilate, In thine estate, 1525 He is risen up late That thou hast fordone. PILATE What! what! what! what! Out upon thee! Why sayest thou that? Fie, upon thee, harlot, 1530 How darest thou so say? Thou causest my heart right great grief. Thou must be lying! False thief, How should he arise again to life, Whom I saw dead in clay? 1535 ARFAXAT Indeed, though thou be never so wroth, And of these tidings never so loath, Yet lightly upright alive he goes, A quick and living man! If thou hadst been there where we were, 1540 In heart thou shouldest have had great care, And of bliss to have been right bare, Of colour both pale and wan. PILATE Before ye came there Ye did all swear 1545 To fight together, To beat and bind. I am betrayed - Your words were vain! This is certain: 1550 You false I find. AMERAUNT By the death the devil died, We were of him so terrified That for fear we down us laid, Right flat upon our side. 1555 When we were laid upon the ground, Still we lay as though we'd been bound; We durst not rise for a thousand pound, Nor for all this world so wide. PILATE Now, fie upon your great boast! 1560 All your worship now is lost; In field, in town and in every coast Your dishonour will be graven. Now all your worship is forlorn, And every man will now you scorn 1565 And bid you go sit among the corn And scare away the raven. COSDRAM Yea, it was high time to abandon our boast, For when the body took again the ghost, He would have frightened many a host -- 1570 King, knight and knave. Yea, when he rose from out his lake, Then was there such an earthquake That all the world began to shake -- That made us for to rave. 1575 AFFRAUNT Yea, yea! Hark, fellows, what I shall say! Let us not cease by night or day But tell the truth right as it lay In countries wherever we go. And then I dare lay my head 1580 That they that Christ's laws lead, They will not cease till those be dead Who brought his death him to. ARFAXAT By Belial, this is now well meant; To this counsel let us consent. 1585 Let us go tell with one assent That he is risen up this day! AMERAUNT I grant thereto, and that forthright, That he is risen by his own might, For there came none by day nor night 1590 To help him out of clay. PILATE Now, gentle sirs, I pray you all, Abide still and wait a moment small While I my council call, And hear of their counsel. 1595 ARFAXAT Sir, at your prayer we will abide Here in this place a little tide. But tarry not long, for we must ride; We may not too long dwell. PILATE Now, gentle sirs, I pray you each 1600 Some good counsel me to teach, For certes, sirs, without more speech, We stand in perilous plight. CAIAPHAS Now truly, sir, I you tell This matter can lead to dreadful evil; 1605 Cumbrous it is therewith to meddle, And hard to bring about. ANNAS Sir Pilate, thou great justice, Though thou be exceedingly wise, Yet hearken to learn what I devise 1610 And hear what you must do. I counsel thee, in our need, This wonderful tale pray the knights to heed, And upon this give them good reward, Both gold and silver also. 1615 And sir, I shall you tell why In your ear, privily, Between us three, certainly. Now hark, sirs, in your ears.
Here let Pilate, Caiaphas and Annas make a private council among themselves, which having finished, let Annas say,
For money doth most in every quest, 1620 And money is master, both east and west. Now truly, sirs, I hold this best; With money man may bind bears. CAIAPHAS Certainly, sir, this counsel is good! Pray these knights to change their mood. 1625 Give them gold, feast and food, And that may change their wit. PILATE Sirs, your good counsel I shall fulfill. Now, gentle knights, come hither me till. I pray you, sirs, of your good will, 1630 Not farther that ye flit. Gentle knights, I you pray, A better saying that ye say. Say that he was caught away By his disciples, by night. 1635 Say he was by his disciples fetched. I would ye were in your saddles set Holding to you this purse of net, And riding to Rome aright. AFFRAUNT Now, Sir Pilate, 1640 We go our way. We will not prate, No longer now. Now we have gold, No tales shall be told 1645 To men on mold: We make thee a vow. PILATE Now, ye men of might, As ye have promised, Even so, forthright 1650 Let your words not fall. And ye shall go With me anon All, everyone, Into my hall. 1655 ARFAXAT Now hence we go As light as a roe, And even so, As we have said. We shall keep counsel 1660 Wherever we dwell; We shall no tales tell. Be not dismayed.
Here let Mary Magdalen, Mary Jacobi, and Mary Salome come to the sepulchre, and let Mary Magdalen say,
MARY MAGDALEN Sweet sisters, I you beseech, Hear now my special speech! 1665 Go we with salves to leech Christ's bitter wounds. He has won us from Satan's reach; The right way God will us teach To seek my lord, my leech, 1670 His blood has me unbound. Seven devils in me were shut; My love, my lord, my God almight He did those fiends put to flight With his wise words. 1675 He drove from me the fiend's blaze; In my sweet soul his chamber I chose. In me dwells the lord of peace. I go to his burying ground. MARY JACOBI My sister's son I know he was. 1680 He lies in here as sun in glass. The child was born betwixt ox and ass In a poor beast's stall. Though his body be dug below grass, His great godhead is none the less; 1685 The Lord shall rise without distress And comfort his friends all. MARY SALOME My name is Mary Salome. His mother and I sisters be; Anna's daughters we are all three, 1690 Jesus' own dear aunts. The nails through his limbs did poke, The spear gave a heavy stroke; On those wounds we would look. That grace now, God, grant us. 1695 MARY MAGDALEN Now go we still With good will Where he is laid. He died on the Cross; We would him touch, 1700 As we have said.
Then let Mary Magdalen look in the sepulchre, saying,
Where is my lord that was here, That for me bled, bound with briars? His body was buried right by this mark Who for me did die. 1705 The Jews fickle and false found, Where have they hidden those precious wounds? He lies not upon this ground; The body is taken away! MARY JACOBI For my lord, my love, my friend, 1710 Fain would I my salves have spent, If I might at all amend His wounds deep and wide. To my lord I owe loyalty, Both homage and fealty; 1715 I would with my duty Have softened hand and side. MARY SALOME To mighty God, omnipotent, I bear a box of rare ointment; I would have softened the bitter rent 1720 Where his dear side was torn out. Lamb of love, my dear heart's prize, I find thee not; my fears arise! In the sepulchre a cloth now lies, And gentle Jesus is out! 1725 ANGEL Go forth, ye women three, Into the streets of Galilee, Your saviour there shall ye see Walking in the way. Your fleshly lord now hath life 1730 That died on the tree with stroke and strife. Go forth, thou weeping wife, And seek him, I thee say. Now go forth fast all three, To his disciples fair and free, 1735 And to Peter the truth tell ye. Thereof have ye no dread. Spare ye not the truth to say; He that was dead and closed in clay Now is arisen this very day 1740 And lives, with wounds red. MARY MAGDALEN Ah! Mirth and joy in our hearts we have, For now is Christ risen from his grave. He lives now, our life to save That dead lay in the clay. 1745 MARY JACOBI In heart I was right sore dismayed When the angel to us then said That Christ was risen! I was afraid When I that angel saw! MARY SALOME Now let us all three fulfill 1750 The angel's words and God's own will. Let us say with voice full shrill, "Christ, that the Jews did slay, Our Lord, that nailed was on the Rood, And had beaten out his body's blood, 1755 Is arisen for all our good." Ah, Lord, this is Thy day!
Mary Magdalene shall speak to Peter and other apostles,
MARY MAGDALEN Brethren all, in heart be glad! Be happy and joyful in heart full fain, For right good tidings we have had 1760 That our lord is risen again. An angel bade us, both clear and plain, To thee, Peter, that we should tell How Christ is risen who once was slain, A living man evermore to dwell. 1765 MARY JACOBI To live is risen again that lord Whom Judas to the Jews had sold. Of this I bear full true record By words that the angel told. Now mirth and joy to men on mold. 1770 Every one now mirth may have. He that was closed in clay so cold This day is risen out of his grave. PETER Tell me, sisters, with words blithe, May I believe in what ye say? 1775 Is Christ risen again to live That was dead and cold in clay? MARY SALOME Yea, trust us truly, it is no nay. He is arisen we all confess, And so an angel told us this day 1780 With open voice and speech express. JOHN Yea, these be tidings of right great bliss That our master risen should be. I will run to learn more of this, And try my lord if I may see. 1785 PETER For joy also I run with thee, My brother John, as I thee say. In haste anon even forth go we, To his grave we will run our way.
Here let John and Peter run together to the sepulchre, and John shall come first to the monument but not enter.
JOHN The same sheet here I see 1790 With which Christ's body once was wound; But he is gone wheresoever he be. He lies not here upon this ground.
Then let Peter enter into the monument, and let Peter say,
PETER In this corner the sheet is found, And here we find the sudary. 1795 In which his head once was wound, When he was taken from Calvary.
Here let John enter the monument, saying,
JOHN The same sudary and the same sheet Here with my sight I see both twain. Now may I say and oft repeat 1800 That he is risen to live again. Unto our brethren let us go say The truth right even as it is. Our master lives, who once was slain -- Almighty lord and king of bliss! 1805 PETER No longer here will we dwell; To our brethren the way we take. The truth to them when we tell Great joy in heart then will they make.
Here let Peter speak to all the apostles together at once.
Be merry, brethren, for Christ's sake! 1810 That man that is our master so good From death to life is now awake, Who sorely was rent upon the rood. JOHN As the women said, so have we found; Removed away we saw the stone. 1815 He lies no longer under the ground; Out of his grave our master is gone. THOMAS We have great wonder, everyone, At these words that ye do speak. A stone so heavy lay him upon: 1820 From under that stone how should he break? PETER To explain the truth passes our wit; Whether he has risen through his own might, Or else was stolen out of his pit By some man privily during the night. 1825 That he is gone we saw with our sight, For in his grave he is certainly not. We cannot tell in what plight Out of his grave he was brought.
Mary Magdalen goes back to the grave, weeping, and says,
MARY MAGDALEN For heartfelt sorrow my heart does break. 1830 With weeping tears I wash my face. Alas, for sorrow I may not speak! My lord is gone who herein was. My own dear lord and king of grace, Who made seven devils their place forfeit: 1835 I cannot see him! Alas, alas! He is stolen away, out of this pit. ANGEL Woman, that standest here alone, Why dost thou weep and mourn so sore? What cause hast thou to make such a moan? 1840 Why makest thou such sorrow? Wherefore? MARY MAGDALEN I have great cause to weep evermore. My lord is taken out of his grave, Stolen away, leaving me forlorn. I know not where I might him have. 1845
Here let her walk a few steps away from the sepulchre saying,
Alas, alas, what shall I do? My lord away from me is taken! Ah woeful creature, where shall I go? My joy is gone: I am forsaken. JESUS Woman, such mourning why dost thou make? 1850 Why is thy cheer so heavy and bad? Why dost thou sigh so sore and quake? Why dost thou weep so sore and sad? MARY MAGDALEN A greater cause had never woman For to weep both night and day 1855 Than I myself have, for certain, To sorrow ever and a day. Alas, for sorrow my heart doth bleed, My lord is taken from me away. I must needs sore weep and grieve. 1860 Where he is put I cannot say. But, gentle gardener, I pray to thee, If thou him took out of his grave, Tell me where I may him see That I may go, my lord to have. 1865 JESUS M.A.R.I.A. MARY MAGDALEN Oh, master and lord, to thee I crave, As thou art lord and king of bliss, Grant me, lord, if thou vouchsafe Thy holy feet that I may kiss. 1870 JESUS Touch me not as yet, Mary, For to my father I have not ascended, But to my brethren in haste hurry With these good words their care is amended. Say to my brethren that I intend 1875 To climb to my father and to yours. To our lord, both God and friend I will ascend up Heaven's tower. In Heaven to ordain you a place To my father now will I go. 1880 To mirth and joy and great solace And endless bliss I will bring you. For mankind I suffered both shame and woe. More spiteful death never man did take. Yet will I ordain for all these, lo, 1885 In Heaven a hall for mankind's sake. MARY MAGDALEN Gracious lord, at your bidding, To all my brethren I shall go tell That ye are truly man living, Alive, speaking, with flesh and fell. 1890 Now all heaviness I may expell And mirth and joy now take to me. My lord that I have loved so well With open sight I truly did see. When I sought my lord in his grave, 1895 I was sorry and downright sad, For sight of him I might none have; For mourning sore I was nearly mad. Greater sorrow yet no one has had Than when my lord was gone. 1900 But now in my heart I am so glad; So great a joy had never woman. How might I a greater joy have Than to see that lord with open sight, Who to save my soul from sin so grave 1905 From devils seven made me quit? There can no tongue my joy express Now I have seen my lord alive! To my brethren I will myself now dress And say they need no longer grieve. 1910 With open speech I shall myself shrieve And tell them with words so plain How that Christ from death to life To endless bliss is risen again. Brethren, all blithe ye be, 1915 For joyful tidings tell I can! I saw our lord, Christ -- listen to me -- Of flesh and bone quick living man. Both glad and joyful be ye then, For trust me truly, this is certain, 1920 I spake right now with Christ Jesus. PETER A wonderful tale, forsooth, is this! Ever honoured our lord must be. We pray, thee, lord, and king of bliss, Once thy presence that we may see. 1925 Ere thou ascend to thy majesty, Gracious God, if that ye please, Let us have some sight of thee, Our careful hearts to set at ease. Amen, amen, and amen. 1930
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