From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

The Chester Cycle Play XXI (21) - The Ascension of Christ

THE TAYLORS PLAYE
Incipit Pagina Vicesima de Assentione Dommi Et primo dicat
Jesus 'Pax vobis, ego sum, nolite timere'

001 JESUS. My brethren that sytten in companye,
002 with peace I greate you hartfullye.
003 I am hee that standes you bye;
004 ne dread you nothinge.
005 Well I knowe and wytterlye
006 that yee be in greate extacye
007 whether I be rysen verelye--
008 that makes you sore in longinge.

009 [You] ys no neede to be anoyed soo
010 neyther through thought to be in woo.
011 Your handes puttes nowe you froo
012 and feele my woundes wyde.
013 And leeves this, both all and one,
014 that ghoost hath neyther fleshe ne bonne
015 as yee may feele mee upon
016 on handes and on feete.

Spiritus quidem carnem et ossa non habet sic me videtis habere'

017 PETRUS. A, what ys this that standeth us bye?
018 A ghoost meethinke he seemeth, wytterlye.
019 Meethinke lightned mych am I.
020 this spryte for to see.

021 ANDREAS. Peeter, I tell thee prevelye
022 I dread me yett full greatlye
023 that Jesu should doe such maystrye,
024 and whether that this be hee.

025 JOHANNES. Brethren, good yt is to thinke evermore
026 what wordes he sayd the daye before
027 he dyed on roode--gonne ys not youre--
028 and bee we steadfast aye.

029 JACOBUS MAJOR. A, John, that makes us in weare
030 that alwaye when he will appere--
031 and when us lyst beste to have him here,
032 anonne hee ys awaye.

033 JESUS. I see well, brethren, sooth to saye,
034 for any signe that I shewe maye
035 yee be not steadfast in the faye,
036 but ifittinge I you fynd.
037 Moe signes therfore yee shall see.
038 Have you ought may eaten bee?

039 SIMON. Yea, lord, here--meate innough for thee,
040 and elles we were unkynd.

041 JESUS. Nowe eate we then for charitie,
042 my leeve brethren fayre and free,
043 for all thinges shall fulfilled bee
044 wrytten in Moyses lawe.
045 Prophetes in psalmes sayden of mee
046 that death I behoved on the roode-tree,
047 and ryse within dayes three
048 to joye mankind to drawe

049 and preach to folke this world within
050 pennance, remyssion of there synne;
051 in Jerusalem I should begynne,
052 as I have donne for love.
053 Therfore, beleeve steadfastlye
054 and come ye with mee to Bethanye.
055 In Jerusalem yee shall all lye
056 to abyde the grace above.

Tunc commedet Jesus cum discipulis suis, et postea dicat

057 PHILIPPUS. Lord, from us thou nought conseyle!
058 What tyme that thou art in thy weale,
059 shalt thou restore Israell
060 agayne her realme that daye?

061 JESUS. Brother, that ys not to thee
062 to knowe my Fathers privetie
063 that towcheth to his owne postie--
064 wytt that yee ne maye.

065 But take ye shall, through my beheste,
066 vertue of they Holye Ghoste
067 that send shaibe to helpe you moste
068 in world where ye [shall] wend.
069 My wytnesse all yee shalbee
070 In Jerusalem and Judee,
071 Samarye also, and eych countree
072 to the worldes end.

073 Goe yee all the worlde, and through my grace
074 preach my word in eych place.
075 All that steadfast beleeffe hasse,
076 and fullye, save shall [be].
077 And whoeso beleeveth not in your lore,
078 the wordes ye preach them before,
079 dampned shalbe evermore;
080 that payne may them not flee.

081 By this thinge ye shall well knowe
082 whoso leeveth steadfastlye in you;
083 such signes, soothlye, the shall shewe
084 whersoever the tyde to goe.
085 In my name well shall they
086 devylles powers to putt awaye;
087 newe tonges yee shall have to preach the faye,
088 and edders to mayster also;

089 and though the poyson eate or drynke,
090 yt shall nye them nothinge;
091 sycke men with ther handlinge
092 shall healed redelye bee,
093 such grace shall be in there doinge.
094 Nowe to my Father I am goinge.
095 Yee shall have, brethren, my blessinge,
096 for to heaven I must stee.

Tunc adducet discipulos in Bethaniam; et cum pervenerit ad locum,
ascendens dicat Jesus, stans in loco ubi assendit. Dicat Jesus, '
Data est mihi omnis potestas in caelo et in terra.'

097 JESUS. My sweete brethren leeffe and deare,
098 to mee ys granted full powere
099 in heaven and yearth, farre and neare,
100 for my godhead is moste.
101 To teach all men nowe goe yee
102 that in world will fulfilled bee
103 in the name of my Father and mee
104 and of the Holy Ghooste.

Tunc Jesus ascendet, et in ascendendo cantet (God singeth alonne).

105 JESUS.

Ascendo ad Patrem meum et Patrem vestrum,
Deum meum et Deum vestrum. Alieluya.

Cum autem impieverit Jesus canticum, stet in medio quasi supra es,
et dicat major angelus minori angelo.

Primus Angelus cantat:est iste qui venit de Edom,
tinctis vestibus de Bosra?

Minor Angelus respondens cantatIste formosus in stola sua,
gradiens in multitudine fortitudinis suae?

Jesus cantat solus:Ego qui loquor justitiam
et propinquator sum ad salvandum.

Chorus cantat: Et vestimenta tua sicut calcantium in torculari.

Jesus cantat solus:Torcular calcavi solus,
et de gentibus non est vir mecum

Primus Angelus dicat in materna lingua:

Who ys this that cometh within
106 the blysse of heaven that never shall blynne,
107 bloodye, owt of the world of synne--
108 and harrowed hell hath hee?

109 SECUNDUS ANGELUS. Comely hee ys in his clothinge,
110 and with full power goinge,
111 a nomber of sayntes with him leadinge.

112 Hee seemeth great of postee.

Jesus autem pausans eodem loco dicat.

113 JESUS. I that spake rightwisenesse
114 and have brought man out of distres,
115 forbyer called l am and was
116 of all mankynd through grace.
117 My people, that were from me rafte
118 through synne and through the dyvelles crafte,
119 to heaven I bringe--good never one lafte--
120 all that in hell were.

121 TERTIUS ANGELUS. Whye ys thy cloathinge nowe so reedd,
122 thy bodye bloodye and also head,
123 thy clothes also, all that binne ledd,
124 like to pressars of wyne?

125 JESUS. For the devill and his powere
126 that mankynd brought in great dangere
127 Through death one crosse and blood so clere
128 I have made them all myne.

129 These bloodye droppes that yee nowe see
130 all the freshe shall reserved bee
131 tyll I come in my majestie
132 to deame the laste daye.
133 This blood I shedd, wytnes bere to mee,
134 and dyed for man on roode-tree,
135 and rose agayne within dayes three--
136 such love I loved thee aaye.

137 Theise droppes nowe with good intent
138 to my Father I will present
139 that good men that on yearth be lent
140 shall knowe appertlye
141 howe gratiouslye that I them bought;
142 and for good workes that I have wrought
143 everlastinge blysse that they sought,
144 to preeve the good worthye;

145 and that the wycked may eychone
146 knowe and see all one
147 howe worthelye they [forgone]
148 that blysse that lasteth aye.
149 For theise causes, leeve yee mee,
150 the droppes I shedd on roode-tree.
151 All fleshe shall reserved bee
152 ever, tyll the laste daye.

Tunc ascendet, et in ascendendo cantent angeli cantleum subseriptum
Cantent 'Exaltaremus, dormne, in virtute tua,
cantabimus et psallemus virtutes tuas'

Tunc descendent angeli, et cantent 'Viri Gallilei, quid aspicitis eaelum?'

153 QUARTUS ANGELUS. Yee men that binne of Galilee,
154 whereupon nowe wonder yee,
155 waytinge him that through postye
156 ys nowe gonne you froo?

157 PRIMUS ANGELUS. Jesu Christe, leeve yee mee,
158 that steede to heaven, as ye see,
159 right so come agayne shall hee
160 as yee seene him goo.

161 PETRUS. Loo, brethren, what these angelles sayen,
162 that Jesu, that through his great mayne
163 to heaven ys gonne, will come agayne
164 right as he forth went.

165 ANDREAS. Manye sethen so height hee
166 to send his Ghooste, with hart free,
167 and in Jerusalem we shalbee
168 tyll yt were to us sent.

169 SIMON. Brethren, I read us, in good faye,
170 that we thether take the waye
171 and with devotion night and daye
172 lenge in our prayer.

173 PHILIPPUS. For knowe we mone by sygne vereye
174 that hee ys Godes Sonne, sooth to saye.
175 Therfore yt ys good we goe to praye
176 as he commanded here.

177 JOHANNES. Nowe mon we leeve yt no leasinge,
178 for both by syght and handlinge,
179 speakinge, eatinge and drinkinge
180 hee prooves his deitee.

181 JACOBUS MAJOR. Yea, also by his uppsteyinge
182 bee seemes fully heaven-kinge.
183 Whoe hasse therin full leevinge,
184 saved life and soule ys hee.

185 PETRUS. Goe we, brethren, with one assent
186 and fuilfill his commandement;
187 but looke that none through dread be blent,
188 but leeves all steadfastlye.
189 Praye we all with full intent
190 that hee to us his Ghoost will sent.
191 Jesu, that from us nowe ys went,
192 save all this companye! Amen.

193 Finis

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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. The Chester Cycle Play XXI (21) - The Ascension of Christ. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http://www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.