From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

The Chester Cycle Play XVII (17) - The Crucifixion

THE IRENMONGERS PLAYE
Incipit Pagina de Crucifixione Christi
et de his qui fuerunt in eundo versus locum
Calvariae; et incipit Cayphas.

001 CAYPHAS. Nowe of this segger we binne seker.
002 Agaynst us boote he not to beker.

003 Though he flyre, flatter and flycker,
004 thys fiste shall he not flee.
005 Thou, Jesu, would be our kinge?
006 Goe forth! Evill joye thee wringe,
007 for wroken on thee at our likinge
008 full soone shall we bee.

009 Gurd on fast and make him goe,
010 this freake that ys our elders foe;
011 for all his wyles, from this woe
012 shall no man him warne.

013 ANNAS. Him seemes werye of his waye.
014 Some helpe to gett I wyll assaye,
015 for this crosse, in good faye,
016 soe farre he may not beare.

017 Come hither, Symon of Surrey,
018 and take this crosse anon in hye.
019 Unto the mount of Calverye,
020 helpe that yt were borne.

021 SYMON. The devil! speede this companye!
022 For death hee is not worthye.
023 For his sake, syckerlye,
024 I hould you all forlorne.

025 To beare no crosse am I entent,
026 for yt was never myne assent
027 to procure thys profettes judgment,
028 full of the Holy Ghoost.
029 CAYPAS. Symon, but thou will be shent
030 and suffer payne and imprisonment,
031 this crosse upon thy backe thou hent
032 and lett be all thy bost.

033 SYMON. Alas, that ever I hither come!
034 Would God I had bynne in Rome
035 when I the waye hither come,
036 thus to be anoyed!
037 But God I take to wytnes
038 that I do this by distresse.
039 All, iwys, through your falsnes
040 I hope will be destroyed.

041 ANNAS. Have donne! Bringe forth those theeves two!
042 On eyther halfe him they shall goe.
043 This freake shall be handled soe
044 with fellowshippe in fere.

045 PRIMUS JUDEUS. Take them here, bound fast,
046 while this whippecorde may last,
047 for the pryme of the daye is past.
048 How longe shall we be here?

049 PRIMA MARIA. Alas, alas, and woe is mee!
050 A deolfull sight this is to see.

051 So many sycke saved hath hee,
052 and nowe goeth this waye.

053 SECUNDA MARIA. Sorrowfull may his mother bee
054 to see thy flesh so fayre and free
055 nayled so fowle upon a tree,
056 as he mon be todaye.

057 JESUS. Yee weomen of Jerusalem,
058 weepe not for mee, ne make noe [swem];
059 but for your owne barme-[teame]
060 ye mon reame tenderlye.
061 For tyme shall come, withowten were,
062 ye shall blesse ballye that never child bere
063 and pappe that never milke came nere,
064 so nygh ys your anoye.

065 CAYPHAS. Have donne, you tormentours, tyte,
066 and spoyle him that hath donne us spyte.

067 PRIMUS JUDEUS. Yea, though hee both growne and stryke,
068 owt hee shalbe shaken.
069 Bee thou wroth or be thou fayne,
070 I will be thy chamberlayne.
071 This coate gettes thou never agayne
072 and I may be waken.

073 SECUNDUS JUDEUS. This coate shalbe myne,
074 for yt is good and fyne
075 and seame is none therin
076 that I can see.

077 TERTIUS JUDEUS. Yea, God give me pyne
078 and that shalbe thine,
079 for thou art ever inclind
080 to drawe towardes thee.

081 QUARTUS JUDEUS. Naye, fellowes, by this daye,
082 at the dyce we will playe,
083 and there we shall assaye
084 thys weede for to wyn.

085 PRIMUS JUDEUS A, fellowe, by this daye,
086 well can thou saye!
087 Laye forth those clothes; laye
088 on boord or we blyn!

089 SECUNDUS JUDEUS. Fellowes, nowe let see!
090 Here are dyce three.
091 'Which of all wee
092 shall wynne this ware?

093 TERTIUS JUDEUS. Nay, parted they shalbe,
094 for that ys egallye.

095 Therfore, as mote I thee,
096 or we hethen fare-
097 QUARTUS JUDEUS. This coate bowt seame,
098 to breake yt were shame,
099 for in all Jerusalem
100 ys non such a garment.

101 PRIMUS JUDEUS. His dame nowe may dreame
102 for her owne barme-teame;
103 for nother aunte nor came
104 gettes this gaye garment.

105 SECUNDUS JUDEUS. His other clothes all
106 to us fowre can fall.
107 First parte them I shall,
108 and after playe for this.
109 This kyrtle myne I call.
110 Take thow this pawlle.
111 Iche man in this halle
112 wottes I doe not amysse.

Ad Tertium:

113 This kyrtle take to thee-

Ad Quartum:

114 and thou this to thy fee.
115 Iche man nowe maye see
116 that all wee be served.

117 TERTIUS JUDEUS. Yea, nowe I read that wee
118 sytt downe, as mote I thee,
119 and looke whose thys shalbe
120 that ys here reserved.

Tunc omnes seaent et clicat Primus Judeus Jactans decios

121 Nowe will I beginne
122 for to cast, or I blynne,
123 this coate for to wynne
124 that is both good and fyne.

125 SECUNDUS JUDEUS. By my fathers kynn,
126 noe parte hasse thou therin;
127 but, or I hethen wynne,
128 this coate shalbe myne.

129 Take! Here, I darre laye,
130 are dubletts in good araye.

131 TERTIUS JUDEUS. Thou fayles, fellowe, by my faye,
132 to have this to thy fee,
133 for here is cator-traye.
134 Therfore goe thou thy waye,
135 and as well thou maye,
136 and leave this with mee.

137 QUARTUS JUDEUS. Fellowes, verament,
138 I read we be at on assent.

139 This gaye garment
140 that is bowt seame,
141 you give by judgment
142 to mee this vestement,
143 for synnce God hath me sent,
144 thinke you never so sweene.

145 PRIMUS JUDEUS. As have I good grace,
146 well wonne yt thou hasse,
147 for synke ther was
148 that every man might see.

149 CAYPHAS. Men, for cockes face,
150 howe longe shall pewee-ars
151 stand naked in that place?
152 Goe nayle him on the tree!

153 SECUNDUS JUDEUS. Anon, mayster, anon.
154 A hommer have I wonne.
155 As farre as I have gonne
156 ys non such another.

157 TERTIUS JUDEUS. And here are, by my pon,
158 nayles good wonne
159 to nayle him upon
160 and he were my brother.
161 QUARTUS JUDEUS. Goe we too as fast.
162 This caytyffe have I cast.
163 Hee shall be wronge wrast
164 or I wynd awaye.

165 PRIMUS JUDEUS. Here is a rope wyll last
166 for to drawe at the mast.
167 This poplard never past
168 so perrelous a playe.

169 SECUNDUS JUDEUS. Layes him therupon,
170 this ilke mased man,
171 and I shall dryve one
172 this nayle to the end.

173 TERTIUS JUDEUS As broke I my ponn,
174 well cast him I con
175 and make him full wonne
176 or I from him wend.

177 QUARTUS JUDEUS. Fellowes, will yee see
178 howe sleight I shalbe
179 this fist, or I flee,
180 here to make fast?

181 PRIMUS JUDEUS. Yea, but, as mote I thee,
182 shorte-armed is hee.

183 To the booringe of this tree
184 hit will not well last.

185 SECUNDUS JUDEUS. A, therfore care thou nought.
186 A sleight I have sought.
187 Roopes must be bought
188 to strayne him with strenght.

189 TERTIUS JUDEUS A rope, as I beheight,
190 yee shall have in brought.
191 Take yt here well wrought,
192 and drawe him a lenght.

193 QUARTUS JUDEUS. Drawes, for your fathers kynne,
194 while that I dryve yn
195 this ilke iron pynne
196 that I dare laye will last.

197 PRIMUS JUDEUS. As ever have I wynne,
198 his arme is but a fynne.
199 Nowe drive on bowten dynne
200 and we shall drawe fast.

201 SECUNDUS JUDEUS. Fellowe, be this light,
202 nowe were his feete dight,
203 this gamon went on right
204 and up he should be raysed.

205 TERTIUS JUDEUS. That shall be donne in hight
206 anon in your sight,
207 for, by my trouth I plight,
208 I sarve to be praysed.

209 QUARTUS JUDEUS. Fellowes, will you see
210 howe I have stretched his knee?
211 Why prayse ye not mee
212 that have so well donne?

213 PRIMUS JUDEUS. Yea, helpe nowe that hee
214 on height raysed bee,
215 for, as mote I thee,
216 almost hit ys noone.

Tunc Pilatus, habens tabulam in manu, dicit.

217 PILATUS. Come hither thou, I command thee;
218 goe nayle thys table unto the tree.
219 Sythen he wyll kynge of Jewes bee,
220 he must have a cognisens.
221 'Jesu of Nazareth,' mon may see;
222 'Kynge of Jewes'-howe lykys thee?-
223 is wrytten theron, for so sayd hee
224 withowten varyens.

225 SECUNDUS JUDEUS Naye, syr Pilate, to us beede.
226 Kinge ys he non, so God me speede.
227 Therfore thou doest a sorye deede;
228 this writinge many a mon rewes.
229 Thou should wryte that men might reede
230 howe hee lyes to eych leede

231 and tould over all theras he yeede
232 that he was kynge of Jewes.

233 PILATE. That that ys wrytten I have wrytten.

234 TERTIUS JUDEUS. And in good fayth that ys fowle wrytten,
235 for everye mon may well wytten
236 that wronge thou hasse wrought.
237 What the devyll kynge ys he, mon?
238 But falslye thereas hee hath gone
239 hee hasse tould leasinges manye one,
240 that deere they should be bought.

Tunc venit Maria lachrimans.

241 MARYE. Alas, my love, my life, my leere!
242 Alas, nowe mourninge, woe ys mee!
243 Alas, sonne, my boote thou bee,
244 thy mother that thee bare.
245 Thinke one, my fruyte, I fostred thee
246 and gave thee sucke upon my brest.
247 Upon my pyne thou have pittye;
248 thou feyles no power.

249 Alas, whye nyll my liefe forlorne
250 to fynd my sonne here me beforne,
251 tugget, lugget, and all totorne
252 with traytors nowe this tyde,
253 with nayles thrast and crowne of thorne?
254 Therfore I made, both evon and morne,
255 to see my byrth that I have borne
256 this bitter bale to byde.

257 Alas, my sorrowe when wyll thou slake
258 and to these traytors me betake
259 to suffer death, sonne, for thy sake
260 -and doe as I thee saye?
261 Alas, theeves, why doe ye soe?
262 Slayes ye mee and lett my sonne goe.
263 For him suffer I would this woe
264 and lett him wend awaye.

265 MARIA MAGDALENA. Alas, howe should my hart be light
266 to see my seemely lord in sight
267 deolfully drawne and so dight
268 that did never man greivans?
269 Marred I am mayne and might
270 and for him fayles me to fight;
271 but God, that rules aye the right,
272 give you mickell mischance.

273 MARIA JACOBI. Alas, sorrowe syttys me sore!
274 Myrth of thee I gett no more.
275 Why wouldest thou dye, Jesu, wherfore,
276 that to the dead gave life?
277 Helpe me, Jesu, with some thinge
278 and out of this bitter bale me bringe,
279 or elles siaye me for anythinge
280 and stynt me of this stryffe.

281 MARIA SALOMEE. Come downe, lord, and breake thy bandes.
282 Lose and heale thy lovely handes.
283 Or tell me, Jesu, for whom thou wondes,
284 syth thou art God and man.
285 Alas, that ever I borne was
286 to see thy bodye in such a case.
287 My sorrowe wyli never slake nor seace,
288 such sorrowe is me upon.

289 ANNAS. Nowe this shrewe ye hoven on height
290 I would see, for all his sleight,
291 for his crowne howe he can feight
292 and ferre from us to flee.
293 He that hasse healed so manye one
294 nowe save himselfe give that he can,
295 and then all we shall leeve him upon
296 that hit soothly so ys.

297 JESUS. Father of heaven, yf thy will be,
298 forgive them this they donne to mee;
299 for they be blynd and may not see
300 howe fowle they donne amys.

301 CAYPHAS. If thou be of such postee,
302 and Godes Sonne in majestie,
303 come downe and we will leeve on thee
304 that yt soothly so ys.

305 PRIMUS LATRO (The First Theefe). If thou be Christ verrey
306 and Godes Sonne, nowe as I saye
307 save us from this death todaye
308 and thyselfe also.

309 SECUNDUS LATRO (The Second Theefe). A, man, be still, I thee praye!
310 Dreede God, I read thee aye,
311 for folylye thou speakest in faye.
312 Make not thy freind thy foe.

313 Mon, thou wottest well, iwys,
314 that rightwisely we suffer this,
315 for he hath not donne so mych amys
316 to suffer so great anoye.
317 But, lord, I beseech thee,
318 when thou art in thy majestie,
319 then that thou wilt thinke on mee
320 and on mee have mercye.

321 JESUS. Mon, I tell thee, in good faye,
322 for thy beleeffe is so verey,
323 in paradyce thou shalt be todaye
324 with me there in my blys.
325 And, woman, to thee also I saye
326 by the thy sonne there thou se maye
327 that cleane virgine hasse binne aye
328 right as thyselvon ys.

329 And, John, there thy mother thou may see.

330 JOHN. Yea, lord, her keper I shalbe.
331 Welcome, Marye, mother free;
332 together we must goe.

333 MARY THE FIRST. Alas, my hart will brast in three!
334 Alas, death, I conjure thee!
335 The life, sonne, thou take from mee
336 and twyn me from this woe.
337 JOHN. Comforte thee nowe, sweete Marye,
338 for though we suffer this anoye,
339 suster, I tell thee sekerlye,
340 on lyve thou shalt him see
341 and ryse with full victorye
342 when he hasse fullfulled the prophecye.
343 Thy sonne thou shalt se, sekerlye,
344 within these dayes three.

345 JESUS. Eloye, Eloy! My God, I speake to thee!
346 Eloy lamazabathany!

347 Why hasse thou thys forsaken mee?

348 PRIMUS JUDEUS. A, herke, herke howe hee cryeth upon Elye
349 to delyver him of his anoye.

350 SECUNDUS JUDEUS. Abyde, and we shall see in hye
351 whether Elye dare come here or floe.

352 JESUS. My thyrst ys sore, my thyrst ys sore.

353 TERTIUS JUDEUS. Yea, thou shalt have drynke therfore
354 that thow shalt lyst to drynke no more
355 of all thys seaven yeare.

356 JESUS. Mightie God in majestie,
357 to worke thy wyll I would never wend.
358 My [spiritte] I betake to thee;
359 receyve yt, lord, into thy handes.

'Consummatum est.'

360 CENTURIO. Lordinges, I say you sickerlye,
361 this was Godes Sonne almightie.
362 No other, forsooth, leeve will I,
363 for needes so yt must be.
364 I knowe by manner of his crye
365 hee hasse fuffilled the prophecye
366 and godhead shewed apertlye
367 in him, all men may knowe.

368 CAYPHAS. Centurio, as God me speede,
369 thou must be smutted; thou canst not read.
370 But 'when thou seest his hart bleede,
371 lettes se what thou can saye.
372 Longys, take this speare in hand
373 and put from thee-looke thou ne wond.

374 LONGYUS. A, lord, I see ne sea ne lond
375 this seaven yeare, in good fay.

376 QUARTUS JUDEUS. Have this speare and take good heede.
377 Tho must doe, as the bushoppe thee bade,
378 a thinge that ys of full great neede.
379 To warne I hould thee wood.
380 LONGYUS. I will do as ye byd mee,
381 but on your perill hitt shalbe.
382 What I doe I may not see,
383 whether yt be evell or good.

Tunc Longyus lancia perforat latus Christi, dicens

384 High kinge of heavon, I thee here.
385 What I have donne well wott I neere,
386 but on my hand and on my speare
387 owt water runneth throwe;
388 and on my eyes some can fall
389 that I may see both one and all.
390 A, lord, wherever be this wall
391 that this water came froe.

392 Alas, alas, and wellawaye!
393 What deede have I donne todaye?
394 A mon I see, sooth to saye,
395 I have slayne in this stead.
396 But this I hope be Christ verey
397 that sycke and blynd hasse healed aye.
398 Of mercye, lord, I thee nowe praye,
399 for I wyste not what I did.

400 Jesu, mych have I hard speake of thee,
401 that sycke and blynd through thy pittie
402 hasse healed before in this cittie
403 as thou hasse me todaye.
404 Thee will I serve and with thee bee,
405 for well I leeve in dayes three
406 thou will ryse full in postee
407 from enemyes. Lord, I thee praye.

408 JOSEPHE. A, lord God, what hartes have yee
409 to slea this mon that I here see
410 dead, hanginge upon roode-tree,
411 that never yett did amys?
412 For, sekerly, Goddes Sonne ys hee.
413 Therfore a tombe is made for mee
414 them his bodye buryed shalbe,
415 for hee is kinge of blys.

416 NYCODEMUS. Syr Joseph, I saye sekerly,
417 this ys Godes Sonne almightie.
418 Goe aske at Pilate his bodye,
419 and buryed shall hee bee.
420 I shall helpe thee, witterlye,
421 to take him downe devowtlye,
422 though Cayphas goe home-wood thereby
423 and all his meanye.

Tunc veniet Joseph ab Aramathia ad Pilatum et dicat

424 JOSEPH. Syr Pilate, speciall I thee praye
425 a boone thou grant me as thou maye.
426 This prophett that ys dead todaye,
427 thou grant me his bodye.

428 PILATUS. Joseph, all ready, in good faye!
429 If that Centurio he will saye
430 that hee ys dead withowten naye,
431 him will I not denye.

432 Centurio, is Jesus dead?
433 CENTURIO. Yea, syr, as broke I my head,
434 in him ther is no life lead,
435 for I stood therby.

436 PILATUS. Joseph, take him then to thee
437 and burye him where thy will be.

438 JOSEPH. Grantmercy, syr, perdee.

439 I thanke you hartfullye.

Tunc ibit Joseph super montem, et dicat Joseph

440 A, sweete Jesu, sweete Jesu,
441 as thou art God, faythfull and true,
442 in a tombe ys made full newe
443 thy bodye shall in be layd.
444 Shouldest thou never have such vertue
445 as thou hast shewed synce I thee knewe
446 but yf godhead thy deede should shewe
447 as thou before hasse sayde.

448 Therewith, Jesu, come hyther to mee.
449 Thy blessed bodye buryed shalbe
450 with all worshipp and honestie
451 and menske all that I may.
452 Yett hope I within these dayes three
453 in flesh and blood alyve to see
454 thou that art nayled on a tree
455 unworthely todaye.

456 NICODEMUS. Joseph, brother, as I well see,
457 this holy prophet is given to thee.

458 Some worshipp hee shall have of mee
459 that ys of myghtiest most.
460 For as I leve by my lewtye,
461 verey Goddes Sonne ys hee,
462 for wonders sightes men might see
463 when that he yeeld the goost.

464 For the sonne lost all his light;
465 yearthquake made men afright;
466 the rocke that never before had clyft
467 clayve, that men might knowe;
468 graves opened in mens sight;
469 dead men did ryse. Therfore, by right
470 I may saye this was Goddes Sonne almight
471 that so great sygnes can shewe.

472 Therefore here brought have I
473 a hundreth poundes of spicerye.
474 Myr, alloes, and many more therbye
475 to honour him with I bringe,
476 for to balme his sweete bodye
477 in sepulcher for to lye,
478 that hee maye have on me mercye
479 in heaven where hee ys kinge.

480 Finis

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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The Chester Cycle Play XVII (17) - The Crucifixion. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http://www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.