From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

The Shrewsbury Fragments


PASTORES erant in regione eadem uigilantes et custodientes gregem suum. Et ecce angelus
Domini astitit iuxta illos et timuerunt timore magno.

jjjus Pastor

[II. PASTOR.] We, Tib!
III. PASTOR Telle on!
[II. PASTOR.] . . . þe nyght.

III. PASTOR Brether, what may þis be,
þus bright to man and best?

[II. PASTOR.] at hand.

III. PASTOR Whi say 3e so?

[II. PASTOR.] warand.

III. PASTOR Suche si3t was neuer sene
Before in oure Jewery;
Sum merueles wil hit mene
þat mun be here in hy.

[II. PASTOR.] a sang.

III. PASTOR 3e lye bothe, by þis li3t,
And raues as recheles royes!
Hit was an angel bri3t
þat made þis nobull noyes.

[II. PASTOR.] . . . . of prophecy.

III. PASTOR. He said a barn schuld be
In þe burgh of Bedlern born; -

And of þis, mynnes me,
Oure fadres fond beforn.

[II. PASTOR.] Jewus kyng.

III. PASTOR. Now may we see þe same
Euen in oure pase puruayed;
þe angel nemed his name-
'Crist, Saueour,' he saied.

[II. PASTOR.] not raue.

III. PASTOR. 3one brightnes wil vs bring
Vnto þat biisful boure;
For solace schal we syng
To seke oure Saueour.

Transeamus usque Bethelem et uideamus hoc verbum quod factum est, quod fecit Dominus et
ostendit nobis.

[II. PASTOR.] to knawe.

III. PASTOR. For noþing thar vs drede,
But thank God of all gode;
þis light euer wil vs lede
To fynde þat frely fode.

[II. PASTOR.] . I mene.

Saluatorem, Christum Dominum, infantem pannis inuolutum, secundum sermonem angelicum.

III. PASTOR. A, loke to me, my Lord dere,
All if 1 put me noght in prese!
To suche a prince withoutfen] pere
Haue I no presand þat may plese.
But lo! a horn-spone haue I here
þat may herbar an hundrith pese:
þis gift I gif þe with gode chere,
Suche dayntese wil do no disese.
Farewele now, swete swayn,
God graunt þe lifyng lang !


Hic incipit Officium Resurreccionis in die Pasche.

III. MARIA. Heu! Redemcio Israel,
Vt quid mortem

[II. MARIA.] payne.

III. MARIA. Alias! he þat men wend schuld by
All Israel, bothe knyght and knaue,
Why suffred he so forto dy,
Sithe he may all sekenes saue?
Heu! cur ligno fixus clauis
Fuit doctor tam suauis?
Heu! cur fuit ille natus
Qui perfodit eius latus?

[II. MARIA.] is oght.

III. MARIA. Alias, þat we suche bale schuld bide
þat sodayn sight so forto see,
þe best techer in world wide
With nayles be tacched to a tre!
Allas, þat euer so schuld betyde,
Or þat so bold mon born schuld be
For to assay oure Saueour side
And open hit withoute pité!

[ALL THREE.] Iam iam, ecce, iam properemus ad tumulum, Vnguentes Dilecti corpus

Et appropiantes sepulcro cantent:

O Deus, quis reuoluet nobis lapidem Ab hostio monumenti?

[II. MARIA.] him leid.

III. MARIA. He þat pus kyndely vs has kend
Vnto þe hole where he was hid,
Sum socoure sone he wil vs send,
At help to lift away þis lid.

III. MARIA. Alleluya schal be oure song,
Sithen Crist, oure Lord, by angellus steuen,
Schewus him as mon here vs among
And is Goddis Son, heghest in heuen.

[II. MARIA.] was gon.

III. MARIA. Surrexit Christus, spes nostra;
Precedet vos in Galileam.
Crist is rysen, wittenes we
By tokenes þat we haue sen þis morn!
Oure hope, oure help, oure hele, is he,
And hase bene best, sithe we were born!
If we wil seke him for to se,
Lettes noght þis lesson be forlorn;
But gose euen vnto Galilee-
þere schal 3e fynd him 3ow beforn!


Feria secunda in ebdomada Pasche discipuli insimul cantent:

[CHORUS.] Infidelis incursum populi
Fugiamus, Ihesu discipuli!
Suspenderunt Ihesum patibulo;
Nulli parcent eius discipulo.

[LUKE.] fast to fle.

[CLEOPHAS.] But if we fle þai wil vs fang,
And ful felly þai wil vs flay;
Agayn to Emause wil we gang,
And fonde to get þe gaynest way.
And make in mynd euer vs amang
Of oure gode Maister, as we may,
How he was put to paynes strang-
On þat he tristed con him betray!

[LUKE.] but agayn.

[CLEOPHAS.] By wymmen wordis wele wit may we Crist is risen vp in gode aray;
For to oureself þe sothe say[d] he,
Where we went in þis world away
þat he schuld dye and doluen be,
And rise fro þe dethe þe thrid day.
And þat we my3t þat si3t now se,
He wisse vs, Lord, as he wele may!

[(?) LUKE.] resoun ri3t.

[CLEOPHAS.] Et quomodo tradiderunt eum summi sacerdotes et principes nostri in
dampnacionem mortis et crucifixerunt eum.
Right is þat we reherce by raw
Je materes þat we may on mene,
How prestis and princes of oure lawe
Ful tenely toke him horn betwen,
And dampned him, withouten awe,
For to be dede with dele bedene;
þai crucified him, wele we knaw,
At Caluary, with cans kene.

[LUKE.] wraist.

[(?) CLEOPHAS.] Dixerunt eciam se visionem angelorum vidisse, qui dicunt eum viuere.
þe wymmen gret, for he was gon;
But 3et þai told of meruales mo:
þai saw angellus stondyng on þe ston,
And sayn how he was fame horn fro.
Sithen of oures went ful gode wone
To se þat sight, and said right so.
Herfore we murne and makis þis mon;
Now wot pou wele of all oure wo.

[(?)JESUS.] in pese.4

[CLEOPHAS AND LUKE.] Mane nobiscum, quoniam advesperascit et inclinata est iam dies.
Alleluya !

[JESUS] wight.

[CLEOPHAS.] Amend oure mournyng, Maister dere,
And fonde oure freylnes for to fell!
Herk, broþer! help to hold him here,
Ful nobel tails wil he vs tell.

[LUKE.] lent.

[CLEOPHAS.] And gode wyne schal vs wont non,
For þerto schal I take entent.

[LUKE.] he went.

[CLEOPHAS.] Went he is, and we ne wot how,
For here is noght left in his sted.
Alias! where were oure wittis now?
With wo now walk we, wil of red.

[LUKE.] oure bred.

[CLEOPHAS.] Oure bred he brak and blessed hit; On mold were neuer so mased men
When þat we saw him by vs sit,
þat we couthe noght consayue him þen.

[LUKE.] ay.

[CLEOPHAS AND LUKE.] Quid agamus uel dicamus,
Ignorantes quo eamus,
Qui doctorem sciencie
Et patrem consolacionis
Amisimus ?

[LUKE.] gode state.

[CLEOPHAS.] We schal horn tell, withouten trayn,
Bothe word and werk, how hit was,
I se horn sitt samyn in a playn.
Forthe in apert dar I not pas.

[LUKE.] and wife.

[CLEOPHAS.] We saw him hoil, hide and hewe;
þerfore be still, and stint 3oure strife.
þat hit was Crist ful wele we knewe,
He cutt oure bred withouten knyfe.

[CHORUS.] Gloria tibi, Domine, Qui surrexisti a mortuis,
Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu, In sempiterna secula. Amen.

[CHORUS.] Frater Thoma, causa tristicie, Nobis tulit summa leticie !

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Proper Citation: The Shrewsbury Fragments. At From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. NeCastro, Gerard, ed. Date Visited.