From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

The Chester Cycle Play VII (7) - The Play of the Shepherds

THE PAYNTERS PLAYE
Incipit Pagina de Pastoribus

001 PRIMUS PASTOR. On wouldes have I walked wylde
002 under buskes my bowre to bylde,
003 from styffe stormes my sheepe to shilde,
004 my seemely wedders to save.
005 From comlye Conwaye unto Clyde
006 under tyldes them to hyde,
007 a better shepperd on no syde
008 noe yearthlye man maye have.

009 For with walkynge werye I have mee rought;
010 besydes the suche my sheepe I sought.
011 My taytfull tuppes are in my thought,
012 them to save and heale
013 from the shrewde scabbe yt sought,
014 or the rotte, yf yt were wrought.
015 If the cough had them caught
016 of hyt I could them heale.

017 Loe, here bee my herbes safe and sownde,
018 wysely wrought for everye wounde--
019 the woulde a whole man bringe to grownde
020 within a little whyle--
021 of henbane and horehounde,
022 tybbe, radishe, and egermonde,
023 which bee my herbes save and sounde,
024 medled on a rowe.

025 Here be more herbes, I tell yt you;
026 I shall recken them on a rowe:
027 fynter, fanter, and fetterfowe,
028 and alsoe penyewrytte.
029 This is all that I knowe.
030 For be yt wether or be yt yowe,
031 I shall heale then on a rowe
032 cleane from theyre hurte.

033 Here is tarre in a pott
034 to heale them from the rott;
035 well I can and well I wott
036 the talgh from them take.
037 And yf sworne yt had the thursse,
038 yett shall the taigh be in my purse,
039 and the sheepe never the worse
040 to renne on the rake.

041 But noe fellowshippe here have I
042 save myselfe alone, in good faye;
043 therfore after one faste wyll I crye.

044 But first will I drinke, if I maye.

Hic potat Primus Pastor.

045 Howe, Harvye, howe!

046 Drive thy sheepe to the lowe.
047 Thow maye not here excepte I blowe, as ever have I heale.

Hic flabit Primus Pastor.

048 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Yt is no shame for mee to shewe
049 how I was set for to sowe
050 with the fether of a crowe
051 a clowte upon my heele.

052 Sitt downe.

053 Fellowe, nowe be we well mett.
054 And though methinke us needes,
055 had wee Tudd heere by us sett,
056 thenn might wee sitte and feede us.

057 PRIMUS PASTOR. Yea, to feede us frendly in faye,
058 how might wee have our service?
059 Crye thow must lowd, by this daye;
060 Tudd is deafe and may not well here us.

061 Secundus Pastor vocat submissa voce:

062 How, Tudd; come, for thy fathers kyn.

063 PRIMUS PASTOR. Naye, faye; thy voyce is wonders dym.
064 Why, knowys thow not him?
065 Fye, man, for shame! Call him Tudd, Tybbys sonne,
066 and then wyll the shrewe come;
067 for in good fayth yt is his wonne
068 to love well his damys name.

069 SECUNDUS PASTOR. How, Tudd, Tybbys sonne!

070 TERTIUS PASTOR. Syr, in fayth nowe I come,
071 for yett have I not all donne
072 that I have to done:
073 to seeth salve for our sheepe
074 and--lest my wife should yt weete--
075 with great gravel and greete
076 I scowre [an] ould panne.

077 Hemlocke and hayriffe--take keepe--
078 with tarreboyste must bene all tamed,
079 penyegrasse and butter for fatt sheepe;
080 for thys salve am I not ashamed.

081 Ashamed am I not to shewe
082 no poynt that longeth to my crafte;
083 noe better--that I well knowe--
084 in land is nowhere lafte.

085 For, good men, this is not unknowen
086 to husbandes that benne here abowt:
087 that eych man muste bowe to his wife,
088 and commonly for feare of a clowte.

089 Thus for clowtes now care I;
090 all ys for feare of our dame-keynn.
091 Now wyll caste my ware hereby,
092 and hye faste that I were at Hankeynn.

093 Hankeyn, hold up thy hand and have mee,
094 that I were on height there by thee.
095 PRIMUS PASTOR. Gladly, syr, and thow would bee by me,
096 for loth me is to denye thee.

097 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Nowe sythen God bath gathered us together,
098 with good harte I thanke him of his grace.
099 Welcome be thow, well fayre wedder.
100 Tudd, will we shape us to some solace?

101 TERTIUS PASTOR. Solace would best be scene
102 that we shape us to our supper;
103 for meate and drinke, well I deeme,
104 to eych deede is most dere.

105 PRIMUS PASTOR. Laye forth, eych man ilych,
106 what hee hath lafte of his liverye.
107 And I wyll put forth my pyche
108 with my parte firste of us all three.

109 SECUNDUS PASTOR. And such store as my wife had
110 in your sight soone shall you see,
111 at our begininge us to glade;
112 for in good meate ther is mych glee.

113 Here is bredd this daye was bacon,
114 onyons, garlycke, and leekes,
115 butter that bought was in Blacon,
116 and greene cheese that will greese well your cheekes.

117 TERTIUS PASTOR. And here ale of Halton I have,
118 and whot meate I had to my hyer;
119 a puddinge may noe man deprave,
120 and a jannock of Lancastershyre.

121 Loe, here a sheepes head sowsed in ale,
122 and a grayne to laye on the greene,
123 and sowre milke. My wyffe had ordayned
124 a noble supper, as well is scene.

125 PRIMUS PASTOR. Nowe will I caste of my cloacke
126 and put ont parte of my liverye,
127 put owt that I have in my poacke,
128 and a pigges foote from puddinges purye.

129 TERTIUS PASTOR. Abyde, fellowes, and yee shall see here
130 this hott meate--wee serven yt here--
131 gambonns and other good meate in fere,
132 a puddinge with a pricke in the ende.

133 PRIMUS PASTOR. My sotchell to shake out
134 to sheppardes am I not ashamed.
135 And this tonge pared rownd aboute
136 with my teeth yt shalbe atamed.

Tunc commedent, et dieat Primus Pastor:

137 Byd me doe gladly, and I thee,
138 for by God here is good growsinge;
139 come eate with us, God of heavon hye,
140 but take noe heede though here be noe howsinge.

141 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Howsinge ennough have wee here
142 while that wee have heavon over our heddes.
143 Now to weete our mouthes tyme were;
144 this fiackett will I tame, if thow reade us.

145 TERTIUS PASTOR. And of this bottell nowe will I bibbe,
146 for here is bowles of the best.
147 Such lickour makes men to live;
148 this game may noewhere be leste.

149 PRIMUS PASTOR. Fellowes, nowe our bellyes be full,
150 thinke wee on him that keepes our flockes.
151 Blowe thy horne and call after Trowle,
152 and bydd him, sonne, of our bytlockes.

153 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Well sayd, Hankyn, by my soothe,
154 for that shrewe I suppose us seekes.

155 My borne to lille I wyll not lesse
156 tyll that lad have some of our leekes.

157 TERTIUS PASTOR. Leekes to his liverye is likinge;
158 such a lad nowhere in land is.
159 Blowe a note for that meetinge
160 whyle that home nowe in thy hand ys.

161 PRIMUS PASTOR. With this borne I shall make a 'Hooe'
162 that hee and all heaven shall here.
163 Yonder lad that sittes on a lowe
164 the lowd of this borne shall here.

Tunc cantabit, et dicat Garcius:

165 Good lord, looke on mee
166 and my flocke here as the fed have.
167 On this wold walke wee;
168 are no men here, that noe waye.

169 All is playne, perdee;
170 therefore, sheepe, we mon goe.
171 Noe better may bee
172 of beast that blood and bonne have.

173 Wotte I not, day or night,
174 necessaryes that to mee beelongen.
175 Tarboyste and tarboll
176 yee shall here;

177 nettle, hemlock, and butter abydinge,
178 and my good dogge Dottynolle
179 that is nothinge cheeffe of his chydinge.
180 Yf any man come mee bye

181 and would wytt which waye beste were,
182 my legge I lifte up wheras I lye
183 and wishe him the waye caste and west where.
184 And I rose where I laye,

185 me would thinke that travell lost.
186 For kinge ne duke, by this daye,
187 ryse I will not--but take my rest here.
188 Nowe wyll I sitt here adowne

189 and pippe at this pott like a pope.
190 Would God that I were downe
191 harmeles, as I hastelye hope.
192 Noe man drinke here shall

193 save myselfe, the devyll of the sope.
194 All this lottes I sect at little;
195 nay, yee lades, sett I not by yee.
196 For you have I manye a fowle fitt.
197 Thow fowle filth, though thow flytt, I defye thee.

198 PRIMUS PASTOR. Trowle, take tent to my talkinge.
199 For thy tooth here is good tugginge.
200 While thy wedders benne walkinge,
201 on this loyne thow may have good lugginge.

202 GARCIUS. Fye on your loynes and your liverye,
203 your liverastes, livers, and longes,
204 your sose, your sowse, your saverraye,
205 your sittinge withowt any songes!

206 One this hill I hold mee here.
207 Noe hape to your hot meate have I.
208 But flyte with my fellowes in feare,
209 and your sheepe full sycerly save I.

210 SECUNDUS PASTOR. For thow saves our sheepe,
211 good knave, take keepe.
212 Sythen thow may not sleepe,
213 come eate of this sowse.

214 GARCIUS. Nay, the dyrte is soe deepe,
215 stopped therm for to steepe;
216 and the grubbes theron do creepe
217 at whom at thy howse.

218 Therfore meate, if I maye,
219 of your dightinge todaye
220 will I nought by noe waye
221 tyll I have my wages.
222 I wend to have binne gaye
223 but, see, soe ragged is myne araye;
224 aye pinches is your paye
225 to any poore page.

226 TERTIUS PASTOR. Trowle, boy, for Godes tree,
227 come eate a morsell with me;
228 and then wrastle will wee
229 here on this wold.

230 GARCIUS. That shall I never flee!
231 Though yt bee with all three
232 to laye my liverye,
233 that will I hold.

Tunc ibit ad magistros suos, et dicat

234 GARCIUS. Nowe comes Trowhe the Trewe;
235 a tome to take have I tight
236 with my masters. Or I rewe
237 put him forth that moste is of might.

238 PRIMUS PASTOR. Trowle, better thow never knewe.
239 Eate of this, meate for a knight.

240 GARCIUS. Naye, spare! Though I spewe,
241 all upon your heades shall yt light.

242 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Howe should wee suffer this shame,
243 of a shrewe thus to be shente?

244 TERTIUS PASTOR. This ladd lusts to be lame
245 and lose a lymme or hee went.

246 GARCIUS. Have donne! Beginne wee this game.
247 But warre lest your golyons glent.
248 That were little dole to our dame,
249 though in the myddest of the daye yee were drent.

250 PRIMUS PASTOR. False lad, fye on thy face!
251 One this grownd thow shall have a fall.
252 Hent one, and hould that thow hasse.
253 Yf thow happe have, all goe to all.

254 GARCIUS. And this, syrs, here to solace.
255 Hankyn, sheoparde, shame thee I shall.
256 Wroth thow art, worse then thow was.
257 Warre lest thow walter here by the wall.

Tunc projiciat Primum Pastorem, et dicat Secundus Pastor.

258 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Boye, lest I breake thy bones,
259 kneele downe and axe me a boone.
260 Lest I destroy thee here on these stones,
261 sease, lest I shend thee to soone.

262 GARCIUS. Gole thee to groyns and grownes!
263 Good were thee thy ould ragges to save soone.
264 Little dowbt of such drownes,
265 lyther tyke, for thy deedes donne.

266 TERTIUS PASTOR. Owt, alas, hee lyes on his loynes!
267 But lett mee goe now to that lad.
268 Sheppardes he shames and shendes,
269 for last now am I owt shad.

270 GARCIUS. Both your backes here to mee bendes;
271 for all your boastes I hould you to bad.
272 Hould your arses and your hinder loynes;
273 then hope I to have as I have hadd.

274 The better in the bore,
275 as I had before
276 of this bovearte,
277 yea, hope I more.
278 Keepe well thy score
279 for feare of a farte.

Tunc projiciat Tertium Pastorem, et dicat Garcius:

280 Lye ther, lither, in the lake.
281 My liverye nowe will I lach:
282 this curye, this clowt, and this cake.
283 For yee be cast, now will I catch.

284 To the devyll I you all betake,
285 as traytors attaynt of your tache!
286 On this would with this will I walke;
287 all the world wonder on the wache.

Et sic recedat Garcius, et dicat Primus Pastor:

288 Fellowes, this a fowle case ys,
289 that wee bine thus cast of a knave.
290 All agaynst our willes hee hase his;
291 but I must needes hould the harmes that I have.

292 SECUNDUS PASTOR. That I have needes must I hold;
293 of these unhappie harmes ofte here I.
294 Therfore will I wayte on this would
295 upon the wedder, for I am werye.

296 TERTIUS PASTOR. Though wee bine werye noe wonder,
297 what betweene wrastlinge and wakinge.
298 Ofte wee may bee in thought wee be now under
299 God amend hit with his makinge.

Tunc sedebunt, et stella apparebit, et dicat Primus Pastor:

300 What is all this light here
301 that blasses soe bright here
302 on my black beard?
303 For to see this light here
304 a man may bee afright here,
305 for I am afeard.
306 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Feard for a fraye nowe
307 may wee bee all nowe;
308 and yett it is night,
309 yett seemes yt day nowe.
310 Never, soothly to saye nowe,
311 see I such a sight.

312 TERTIUS PASTOR. Such a sight seeminge
313 and a light leerninge
314 lettes mee to looke.
315 All to my deeminge,
316 from a starre streaminge
317 yt to mee stroacke.

318 GARCIUS. That starre if it stand
319 to seek will I fond,
320 though my sight fayle mee.
321 While I may live in lond
322 why should I not fond,
323 yf it will avayhe mee?

Tunc respiciens firmamentum dicat Garcius:

324 A, Godes mightis!
325 In yonder starre light is;
326 of the sonne this sight is,
327 as yt nowe seemes.

328 PRIMUS PASTOR. Hit seemes, as I nowe see,
329 a bright stare to bee,
330 there to abyde.
331 From yt wee may not flee
332 but aye gloc on the glee,
333 tyll yt downe glyde.

334 PRIMUS PASTOR. Fellowes, will wee
335 kneele downe on our knee
336 after comford
337 to the trewe Trinitee,
338 for to lead us for to see
339 our elders lord?

340 TERCIUS PASTOR. Our lord will us lere
341 in our prayer
342 wherto yt will apent;
343 and why on high here
344 the care is soe cleare,
345 nowe shall wee be kent.

346 GARCIUS. Lord, of this light
347 send us some sight
348 why that it is sent.
349 Before this night
350 was I never soe afright
351 of the firmament.

352 PRIMUS PASTOR. Ne, fye! By my faye,
353 nowe is it nigh daye;
354 so was it never.
355 Therfore I praye
356 the sooth us to saye,
357 or that we desever.

Tunc cantet Angelus: 'Gloria in excelsis Deo
et in terra pax bominibus bonae voluntatis.'

358 Fellowes in feare,
359 may yee not here
360 this mutinge on highe?

361 SECUNDUS PASTOR In 'glore' and in 'glere'?
362 Yett noe man was nere
363 within our sight.

364 TERTIUS PASTOR Naye, yt was a 'glorye.'
365 Nowe am I sorye
366 bowt more songe.

367 GARCIUS. Of this strange storye
368 such mirth is merye;
369 I would have amonge.

370 PRIMUS PASTOR As I then deemed,
371 'selsis' it seemed
372 that bee songe soe.

373 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Whyhe the light leemed,
374 a wreakinge mee weened;
375 I wyst never whoo.

376 TERTIUS PASTOR. What songe was this, saye yee,
377 that he sange to us all three?
378 Expounded shall yt bee
379 erre wee hethen passe;
380 for I am eldest of degree
381 and alsoe best, as seemes mee,
382 hit was 'grorus glorus' with a 'glee.'
383 Hit was neyther more nor lasse.

384 GARCIUS. Nay, yt was 'glorus glarus glorius';
385 methinke that note went over the howse.
386 A seemely man hee was, and curiouse;
387 but soone awaye hee was.

388 PRIMUS PASTOR Nay, yt was 'glorus glarus' with a 'glo,'
389 and mych of 'celsis' was therto.
390 As ever have I rest or woo,
391 much hee spake of 'glas.'

392 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Naye, yt was neyther 'glas' nor 'glye.'
393 Therfore, fellowe, nowe stand bye.

394 TERTIUS PASTOR. By my fayth, hee was some spye,
395 our sheepe for to steale.
396 Or elles hee was a man of our crafte,
397 for seemely hee was and [wounder] defte.
398 GARCIUS. Nay, hee came by night--all thinges lefte--
399 our tuppes with tarre to teale.

400 PRIMUS PASTOR. Naye, on a 'glor' and on 'glay' and a 'gly'
401 gurd Gabryell when hee so gloryd.
402 When hee sange I might not be sorye;
403 through my brest-bonne bletinge hee bored.

404 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Nay, by God, yt was a 'gloria,'
405 sayde Gabryell when hee sayde soe.
406 He had a mych better voyce then I have,
407 as in heaven all other have soe.

408 TERTIUS PASTOR. Wyll hee here howe hee sange 'celsis'?
409 For on that sadly hee sett him;
410 nayther singes 'sar' nor soe well 'cis,'
411 ney 'pax meryc Mawd when shee had mett him.'

412 GARCIUS. On tyme hee touched on 'tarre,'
413 and therto I tooke good intent;
414 all heaven might not have gonne harre,
415 that note on high when hee up hent.

416 PRIMUS PASTOR. And after a 'pax' or of 'peace,'
417 up as a pye hee pyped;

418 such a loden--this is noe lesse--
419 never in my life me so lyked.

420 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Upon 'hominibus' hee muted;
421 that much mervayle to mee was.
422 And aye I quoked when hee so whewted;
423 I durst not bede wher that yt was.

424 TERTIUS PASTOR. Yett, yett, hee sange more then all this,
425 for some word is worthye a forder.
426 For hee sange 'bonae voluntatis';
427 that is a cropp that passeth all other.

428 GARCIUS. Yett and yett he sange more to;
429 from my mynde yt shall not starte.
430 Hee sange alsoe of a 'Deo';
431 me thought that heled my harte.

432 And that word 'terra' hee tamed--
433 therto I toke good intent.
434 And 'pax' alsoe may not be blamed;
435 for that to this songe I assent.

436 PRIMUS PASTOR. Nowe pray wee to him with good intent,
437 and singe I wyll and me [unbrace]:
438 that hee will hett us to bee kent,
439 and to send us of his grace.
440 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Nowe syth I have all my will,
441 never in this world soe well I was.
442 Singe wee nowe, I rede us, shryll
443 a mery songe us to solace.

444 GARCIUS. Singe we nowe; lett see,
445 some songe will I assaye.
446 All men nowe singes after mee,
447 for musicke of mec learne yee maye.

Tunc cantabunt et postea dicat Tertius Pastor
(Here singe 'troly, loly, loly, loo.'):

448 Nowe wend we forth to Bethem,
449 that is best our songe to bee,
450 for to see the starre-gleme,
451 the fruyt alsoe of that maydcn free.

452 PRIMUS PASTOR. Nowe folowe we the starre that shines,
453 tyll we come to that holy stable.
454 To Bethlem boyne the lymes;
455 followe we yt withowt any fable.

456 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Followe we hit and byes full fast;
457 such a frendc loth us were to fayle.

458 Launche on ! I will not be the last
459 upon Marye for to mervayle.

Hic vadunt versus Bethlem.

460 TERTIUS PASTOR. Stynt nowe; goe no moe steppes,
461 for now the starre beginneth to stand.
462 Harvye, that good bene our happes
463 we seene--by our Savyour fonde.

Hic apparet Angelus et dicat:

464 Sheppardes, of this sight
465 be ye not afright,
466 for this is Godes might;
467 takes this in mynde.
468 To Bethlem nowe right;
469 there yee shall see in sight
470 that Christ is borne tonight
471 to cover all mankynde.

472 GARCIUS. To Bethlem take wee the waye,
473 for with you I thinke to wend,
474 that prince of peace for to praye
475 heaven to have at our ende.

476 And singe we all, I read,
477 some myrth to his majestee,
478 for certayne now see wee it indeede:
479 the kinge Sone of heavon is hee.

480 PRIMUS PASTOR. Sym, sym, securlye
481 here I see Marye,
482 and Jesus Christ fast bye
483 lapped in haye.

484 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Kneele we downe in hye
485 and praye wee him of mercye,
486 and welcome him worthelye
487 that woe does awaye.

488 TERTIUS PASTOR. Awaye all our woe ys
489 and many mans moe ys.
490 Christ, lord, lett us kys
491 the cratch or the clothes.

492 GARCIUS. Solace nowe to see this
493 byldes in my brest blys:
494 never after to do amys,
495 thinge that him loth ys.

496 PRIMUS PASTOR. Whatever this ould man that here ys?
497 Take heede how his head ys whore.
498 His beard is like a buske of bryers
499 with a pound of heare about his mouth and more.

500 SECUNDUS PASTOR. More ys this marveyle to mee nowe,
501 for to nappe greatly him needes.
502 Hartles is hee nowe
503 for aye to his heeles hee heedes.

504 TERTIUS PASTOR. Why, with his berde though hit be rough,
505 right well to her hee hydes.
506 Worthye wight, witt would wee nowe;
507 wyll ye worne us, worthye in weedes?

508 MARIA. Sheppardes, sothlye I see
509 that my sonne you hyther sent,
510 through Godes might in majestye
511 that in mee light and here is lent.
512 This man maryed was to mee
513 for noe sinne in such assent;
514 but to keepe my virginitee,
515 and truly in non other intent.

516 JOSEPH. Good men, Moyses take in mynde:
517 as he was made through God allmight,
518 ordayned lawes us to bynde
519 which that wee should keepe of right;
520 man and woman for to bynde
521 lawefully them both to light;
522 to fructifye, as men may fynde,
523 that tyme was wedded every wight.

524 Therfore wedded to her I was
525 as lawe would: her for to lere
526 for noyse nor slander nor trespasse,
527 and through that deede the devill to dere,
528 as tould mee Gabriell, full of grace.
529 When I had trussed all my gere
530 to have fled and to have never seene her face,
531 by him was I arested there.

532 For hee sayde to mee sleepinge
533 that shee lackles was of sinne.
534 And when I hard that tokeninge,
535 from her durst I noe waye twynne.
536 Therfore goes forth and preach this thinge,
537 all together and not in twynne:
538 that you have seene your heavonly kinge
539 common all mankynde to mynne.


540 PRIMUS PASTOR. Great God, syttynge in thy troone,
541 that made all thinge of nought,
542 nowe wee may thanke thee eychone:
543 this is hee that wee have sought.

544 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Goe wee neere anone
545 with such as we have brought.
546 Ringe, brooche, or pretiouse stone--
547 left see whether we have ought to proffer.

548 TERTIUS PASTOR. Lett us doe him homage.

549 PRIMUS PASTOR. Whoe shall goe first? The page?

550 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Naye, yee be father in age.
551 Therfore ye must first offer.

552 PRIMUS PASTOR. Hayle, kinge of heavon soe hye,
553 borne in a crybbe;
554 mankynd unto thee
555 thow hast made full sybbe.

556 Hayle, kynge, borne in a maydens bowre.
557 Profettes did tell thow should be our succour;
558 this clarkes do saye.
559 Loe, I bringe thee a bell;
560 I praye thee save me from hell,
561 soe that I maye with thee dwell
562 and serve thee for aye.

563 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Hayle, the emperour of hell
564 and of heaven alsoe;
565 the feynd shalt thow fell,
566 that ever hath binne fals.

567 Hayle, the maker of the stare
568 that stoode us beforne;
569 hayle, the blessedesfull baronne
570 that ever was borne.
571 Loe, sonne, I bringe thee a flackett.
572 Therby hanges a spoone
573 for to eat thy pottage with at noone,
574 as I myselfe full oftetymes have donne.
575 With hart I praye thee to take yt.

576 TERTIUS PASTOR. Hayle, prince withowten any pere,
577 that mankynde shall releeve.
578 Hayle, the fooe unto Lucyfere,
579 the which beguyled Eve.

580 Hayle, the graunter of hope,
581 for one yearth now thow dwelles.
582 Loe, sonne, I bringe thee a cappe,
583 for I have nothinge elles.

584 This gifte, sonne, that I give thee ys but smalle;
585 and though I come the hyndmost of all,
586 when thow shalt men to thy blys call,
587 good lord, yett thinke one mee.

588 GARCIUS. My deare, with dryrie unto thee I mee dresse,
589 my state on felloweshippe that I doe not lose;
590 and for to save mee from all yll sicknesse,
591 I offer unto thee a payre of my wyves ould hose.

592 For other jewells, my sonne,
593 have I none thee for to give
594 that is worthe anythinge at all,
595 but my good harte whyle I lyve
596 and my prayers tyll death doth mee call.

597 THE FIRST BOYE. Nowe to you, my fellowes, this doe I saye,
598 for in this place, or that I wynde awaye:
599 unto yonder chyld lett us goe praye,
600 as our masters have donne us beforne.

601 THE SECOND BOYE. And of such goodes as wee have here,
602 lett us offer to this prince so dere,
603 and to his mother, that mayden clere,
604 that of her body hasse [him] borne.

605 THE FIRST BOY. Abyde, syrres, I will goe firste to yonder kinge.

606 THE SECOND BOYE. And I will goe nexte to that lordinge.

607 THE THYRD BOYE. Then will I be last of this offeringe;
608 this can I saye, noe more.

609 THE FIRST BOYE. Nowe, lord, for to give thee have I nothinge,
610 neyther gold, silver, brooch, ne ringe,
611 nor noe rich robes meete for a kinge
612 that I have here in store.

613 But thoe hit lacke a stopple,
614 take thee here my well fayre bottle,
615 for yt will hold a good pottle;
616 in fayth, I can give thee noe more.

617 THE SECOND BOYE. Lord, I know that thow art of this virgine borne,
618 in full poore araye sittinge one her arme.
619 For to offer to thee have I noe skorne,
620 althoo thou be but a child.
621 For jewell have I none to give thee
622 to mayntayne thy royall dignitye;
623 but my hood, take yt thee,
624 as thow art God and man.

625 THE THYRD BOYE. O noble chyld of thy Father on hye,
626 alas, what have I for to give thee?
627 Save only my pype that soundeth so royallye,
628 elles truely have I nothinge at all.
629 Were I in the rocke or in the valey alowe,
630 I could make this pipe sound, I trowe,
631 that all the world should ringe
632 and quaver as yt would fall.
633 THE BOYE. Nowe, chyld, although thou be commen from God
634 and bee thyselfe God in thy manhoode,
635 yet I knowe that in thy chyldhood
636 thow will for sweetemeat looke.
637 To pull downe apples, payres, and ploomes,
638 ould Joseph shall not neede to hurte his handes;
639 because thow haste not plentye of cromes,
640 I give thee here my nuthooke.

641 PRIMUS PASTOR. Nowe farewell, mother and maye,
642 for of synne nought thow wottest.
643 Thow hast brought forth this daye
644 Godes Sonne of mightis most.

645 Wherfore men shall saye:
646 'Blessed in every coast and place
647 be hee, memoriall for us all.'
648 And that wee may from synne fall
649 and stand ever in his grace,
650 our lord God bee with thee.

651 SECUNDUS PASTOR. Brethren, lett us all three
652 singinge walke homwardlye.
653 Unkynd will I never in noe case bee,
654 but preach all that I can and knowe,
655 as Gabryell taught by his grace mee.
656 Singinge awaye hethen will I.

657 TERTIUS PASTOR. Over the sea, and I may have grace,
658 I will gange and goe abowt nowe
659 to preach this thinge in every place;
660 and sheepe will I keepe no more nowe.

661 GARCIUS. I read wee us agree
662 for our mysdeedes amendes to make,
663 for soe nowe will I;
664 and to the chyld I wholey mee betake
665 for aye securlye.
666 Sheppardes craft I forsake;
667 and to an anker herby
668 I will in my prayers wach and wake.
669 PRIMUS PASTOR. And I an hermitte
670 to prayse God, to praye,
671 to walke by stye and by streytt,
672 in wildernes to walke for aye.
673 And I shall noe man meete
674 but for my livinge I shall him praye,
675 barefoote one my feete.
676 And thus will I live ever and aye.

677 For aye, ever, and alwayse,
678 this world I fully refuse,
679 my mysse to amend with monys.
680 Turne to thy fellowes and kys.

681 I yelde, for in youth
682 we have bine fellowes, iwys.
683 Therfore lend me your mouth,
684 and frendly let us kysse.

685 SECUNDUS PASTOR. From London to Lowth
686 such another shepperd I wott not where is.
687 Both frend and cowth,
688 God grant you all his blys.

689 TERTIUS PASTOR. To that blys bringe you
690 great God, if that thy will bee.

691 Amen, all singe you;
692 good men, farewell yee.

693 GARCIUS. Well for to fare, eych frend,
694 God of his might graunt you;
695 for here now we make an ende.
696 Farewell, for wee from you goe nowe.

697 Finis

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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The Chester Cycle Play VII (7) - The Play of the Shepherds. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http://www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.