From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

N-Town Cycle, Play 2 - The Creation of the World and the Fall of Adam and Eve

1 DEUS. Now hevyn is made for aungell sake
2 þe fyrst day and þe fyrst nyth.
3 The secunde day watyr I make,
4 The walkyn also, ful fayr and [br]yth.
5 The iijde day I parte watyr from erthe;
6 Tre and every growyng thyng,
7 Bothe erbe and floure of suete smellyng,
8 The jijde day is made be my werkyng.
9 Now make I þe day þat xal be þe ferthe.

10 Sunne, and mone, and sterrys also
11 þe forthe day I make in-same.
12 þe vte day werm and fysch þat swymme and go,
13 Byrdys and bestys, bothe wylde and tame.
14 The sexte day my werk I do
15 And make þe, man, Adam be name.
16 In erthelech paradys withowtyn wo
17 I graunt þe bydyng, lasse þu do blame.

18 Flesch of þi flesch and bon of þi bon,
19 Adam, here is þi wyf and make.
20 Bothe fysche and foulys þat swymmyn and gon,
21 To everych of hem a name þu take;
22 Bothe tre, and frute, and bestys echon,
23 Red and qwyte, bothe blew and blake,
24 þu 3eve hem name be þiself alon,
25 Erbys and gresse, both beetys and brake;
26 þi wyff þu 3eve name also.
27 Loke þat 3e not ses
28 3owre frute to encres,
29 þat þer may be pres,
30 Me worchipe for to do.

31 Now come forth, Adam, to paradys;
32 Ther xalt þu haue all maner thynge:
33 Bothe flesch, and fysch, and frute of prys,
34 All xal be buxum at þi byddyng.
35 Here is pepyr, pyan, and swete lycorys;
36 Take hem all at þi lykyng,
37 Bothe appel, and pere, and gentyl rys--
38 But towche nowth þis tre þat is of cunnyng.
39 Allthynge saff þis for þe is wrought.
40 Here is allþinge þat þe xulde plese
41 All redy made onto þin ese.
42 Ete not þis frute ne me dysplese,
43 For than þu deyst, þu skapyst nowth!

44 Now haue I made all thynge of nowth,
45 Hevyn and erth, foull and best.
46 To allthynge þat myn hand hath wrowth
47 I graunt myn blyssyng þat evyr xal lest.
48 My wey to hefne is redy sowth,
49 Of werkyng I wole be vijte day rest.
50 And all my creaturys þat be abowth,
51 My blyssyng 3e haue both est and west.
52 Of werkyng þe vijte day 3e sees.
53 And all þo þat sees of laboryng here
54 þe vijte day, withowtyn dwere,
55 And wurchyp me in good manere,
56 þei xal in hefne haue endles pes.

57 Adam, go forth and be prynce in place,
58 For to hefne I sped my way.
59 þi wyttys wel loke þu chase,
60 And gostly gouerne þe as I say.

61 ADAM Holy Fadyr, blyssyd þu be,
62 For I may walke in welthe anow.
63 I fynde datys gret plenté
64 And many fele frutys ful every bow.
65 All þis wele is 3ovyn to me
66 And to my wyf þat on me lowh.
67 I haue no nede to towche 3on tre,
68 A3ens my Lordys wyl to werke now.
69 I am a good gardenere.
70 Euery frute of ryche name
71 I may gaderyn with gle and game.
72 To breke þat bond I were to blame
73 þat my Lord bad me kepyn here.

74 EUA We may both be blythe and glad
75 Oure Lordys comaundement to fulfyll.
76 With fele frutys be we fayr fad,
77 Woundyr dowcet and nevyr on ill.
78 Euery tre with frute is sprad,
79 Of them to take as plesyth us tyll.
80 Oure wytte were rakyl and ovyrdon bad
81 To forfete ageyns oure Lordys wyll
82 In ony wyse.
83 In þis gardeyn I wyl go se
84 All þe flourys of fayr bewté,
85 And tastyn þe frutys of gret plenté
86 þat be in paradyse.

87 SERPENS Heyl, fayr wyff and comely dame,
88 þis frute to ete I þe cownselle.
89 Take þis appyl and ete þis same;
90 þis frute is best, as I þe telle.
91 EUA That appyl to ete I were to blame!
92 From joy oure Lorde wolde us expelle.
93 We xuld dye and be put out with schame,
94 In joye of paradyse nevyrmore to duelle.
95 God hymself þus sayde.
96 What day of þat frute we ete,
97 With þese wurdys God dyd us threte,
98 þat we xuld dye, oure lyff to lete.
99 þerffore I am affrayde.

100 SERPENS Of þis appyl yf 3e wyl byte,
101 Evyn as God is, so xal 3e be:
102 Wys of connyng, as I 3ow plyte,
103 Lyke onto God in al degré.
104 Sunne, and mone, and sterrys bryth,
105 Fysch and foule, boþe sond and se,
106 At 3oure byddyng bothe day and nyth,
107 Allthynge xal be in 3owre powsté:
108 3e xal be Goddys pere!
109 Take þis appyl in þin hond
110 And to byte þerof þu fond.
111 Take another to þin husbond;
112 þerof haue þu no dwere.

113 EUA So wys as God is in his gret mayn
114 And felaw in kunnyng, fayn wold I be.
115 SERPENS Ete þis appyl and in certeyn,
116 þat I am trewe sone xalt þu se.
117 EVA To myn husbond with herte ful fayn
118 þis appyl I bere, as þu byddyst me.
119 þis frute to ete I xal asayn
120 So wys as God is yf we may be,
121 And Goddys pere of myth.
122 To myn husbond I walke my way,
123 And of þis appyl I xal asay
124 To make hym to ete, yf þat I may,
125 And of þis frewte to byth.

Hic Eua reueniet Ade viro suo a dicet ei:

126 My semely spowse and good husbond,
127 Lystenyth to me, sere, I 3ow pray:
128 Take þis fayr appyl all in 3oure hond,
129 þerof a mursel byte and asay.
130 To ete þis appyl loke þat 3e fonde,
131 Goddys felaw to be alway,
132 All his wysdam to vndyrstonde,
133 And Goddys pere to be for ay,
134 Allthyng for to make:
135 Both fysch and foule, se and sond,
136 Byrd and best, watyr and lond.
137 þis appyl þu take out of myn bond;
138 A bete þerof þu take.

139 ADAM I dare not towch þin hand for dred
140 Of oure Lord God omnypotent!
141 If I xuld werke aftyr þi reed,
142 Of God oure Makere I xuld be shent.
143 If þat we do þis synful dede,
144 We xal be ded by Goddys jugement!
145 Out of þin hand with hasty spede
146 Cast out þat appyl anon present
147 For fer of Goddys threte!
148 EVA Of þis appyl yfþu wylt byte,
149 Goddys pere þu xalt be pyht,
150 So wys of kunnyng, I þe plyht,
151 þis frute yf þu wylt ete.

152 ADAM If we it ete ouresclf we kylle.
153 As God us tolde, we xuld be ded.
154 To ete þat frute and my lyf to spylle,
155 I dar not do aftyr þi reed.
156 EUA A fayr aungell þus seyd me tylle:
157 'To ete þat appyl take nevyr no dred.
158 So kunnyng as God in hevyn hille
159 þu xalt sone be withinne a sted'.
160 þerfore þis frute þu ete.
161 ADAM Off Goddys wysdam for to lere,
162 And in kunnyng to be his pere,
163 Of thyn hand I take it here,
164 And xal sone tast þis mete.

Adam dicit sic:

165 Alas, alas for þis fals dede!
166 My flesly frend my fo I fynde.
167 Schameful synne doth us vnhede:
168 I se vs nakyd before and behynde.
169 Oure Lordys wurd wold we not drede,
170 þerfore we be now caytyvys vnkynde.
171 Oure pore pryuytés for to hede
172 Summe fygge levys fayn wolde I fynde,
173 For to hyde oure schame.
174 Womman, ley þis leff on þi pryvyté,
175 And with þis leff I xal hyde me.
176 Gret schame it is vs nakyd to se,
177 Oure Lord God þus to grame.

178 EVA Alas, þat evyr þat speche was spokyn
179 þat be fals aungel seyd onto me!
180 Alas, oure Makers byddyng is brokyn,
181 For I haue towchyd his owyn dere tre!
182 Oure flescly eyn byn al vnlokyn;
183 Nakyd for synne ouresylf we se.
184 þat sory appyl þat we han sokyn
185 To deth hath brouth my spouse and me.
186 Ryth grevous is oure synne.
187 Of mekyl shame now do we knowe,
188 Alas, þat evyr þis appyl was growe!
189 To dredful deth now be we throwe,
190 In peyne vs evyr to pynne.

191 DEUS. Adam, þat with myn handys I made,
192 Where art þu now? What hast þu wrought?
193 ADAM A, Lord, for synne oure flourys do fade.
194 I here þi voys but I se þe nought.

195 DEUS. Adam, why hast þu synnyd so sone,
196 þus hastyly to breke my bone?
197 And I made þe maystyr vndyr mone,
198 Trewly of euery tre.
199 O tre I kept for my owe,
200 Lyff and deth þerin I knowe.
201 þi synne fro lyf now þe hath throwe--
202 From deth þu mayst not fle.

203 ADAM Lord, I haue wrought a3ens þi wyll!
204 I sparyd nat mysylf to spylle.
205 þe woman þat þu toke me tylle,
206 Sche brougth me þerto!
207 It was here counsell and here reed;
208 Sche bad me do be same deed.
209 I walke as worm, withowtyn wede,
210 Awey is schrowde and sho.

211 DEUS. Womman þat arte þis mannys wyffe,
212 Why hast þu steryd 3oure bothers stryffe?
213 Now 3e be from 3oure fayr lyffe,
214 And are demyd for to deye.
215 Vnwys womman, sey me why
216 þat þu hast don þis fowle foly.
217 And I made þe a gret lady
218 In paradys for to pleye.

219 EVA Lord, whan þu wentyst from þis place,
220 A werm with an aungelys face,
221 He hyth vs to be ful of grace,
222 þe frute yf þat we ete.
223 I dyd his byddyng, alas, alas!
224 Now we be bowndyn in dethis las.
225 I suppose it was Sathanas;
226 To peyne he gan vs pete.

227 DEUS. Thou werm with þi wylys wyk,
228 þi fals fablis, þei be ful thyk!
229 Why hast þu put dethis pryk
230 In Adam and his wyff?
231 Thow þei bothyn my byddyng haue brokyn,
232 Out of whoo 3et art not wrokyn.
233 In helle logge þu xalt be loky[n],
234 And nevyrmo lacche lyff.

235 DIABOLUS I xal be sey whereffore and why
236 I dede hem all þis velony:
237 For I am ful of gret envy,
238 Of wreth and wyckyd hate
239 That man xulde leve above þe sky,
240 Whereas sumtyme dwellyd I;
241 And now I am cast to helle sty,
242 Streyte out at hevyn gate.

243 DEUS. Adam, for þu þat appyl boot
244 A3ens my byddyng, well I woot,
245 Go teyl þi mete with swynk and swoot
246 Into þi lyvys ende;
247 Goo nakyd, vngry, and barefoot,
248 Ete both erbys, gres, and root.
249 Thy bale hath non other boot.
250 As wrecch in werlde þu wende.

251 Womman, þu sowtyst þis synnyng
252 And bad hym breke myn byddyng.
253 þerfore þu xalt ben vndyrlyng;
254 To mannys byddyng bend.
255 What he byddyth þe, do þu þat thynge,
256 And bere þi chyldere with gret gronynge,
257 In daungere and in deth-dredynge
258 Into þi lyvys ende.

259 Thou wyckyd worm, ful of pryde,
260 Fowle envye syt be þi syde!
261 Vpon þi gutt þu xalt glyde,
262 As werm wyckyd in kende,
263 Tyl a maydon in medyl-erth be born.
264 þu fende, I warn þe beforn,
265 Thorwe here þi bed xal be to-torn.
266 On wombe awey þu wende.

267 DIABOLUS At þi byddyng fowle I falle,
268 I krepe hom to my stynkyng stalle.
269 Helle pyt and hevyn halle
270 Xul do þi byddyng bone.
271 I falle down here a fowle freke;
272 For þis falle I gynne to qweke.
273 With a fart my brech I breke!
274 My sorwe comyth ful sone.

275 DEUS. For 3oure synne þat 3e haue do,
276 Out of þis blysse sone xal 3e go,
277 In erthly labour to levyn in wo,
278 And sorwe ye xal atast.
279 For 3oure synne and mysdoyng
280 An angell with a swerd brennyng,
281 Out of þis joye he xal 3ow dyng.
282 3oure welth awey is past.

Hic recedit Deus, a angelus seraphicus cum gladio flamme[o] verberat Adam et Euam extra paradisum

283 SERAPHIM 3e wrecchis vnkend and ryht vnwyse,
284 Out of þis joye hy3 3ow in hast!
285 With flammyng swerd from paradyse
286 To peyn I bete 3ow, of care to tast.
287 3oure myrth is turnyd to carfull syse,
288 3oure welth with synne awey is wast.
289 For 3oure false dede of synful gyse
290 þis blysse I spere from 3ow ryth fast.
291 Herein come 3e no more
292 Tyl a chylde of a mayd be born
293 And vpon þe rode rent and torn
294 To saue all þat 3e haue forlorn,
295 3oure welth for to restore.

296 EVA Alas, alas, and weleaway,
297 þat evyr towchyd I þe tre!
298 I wende as wrecch in welsom way;
299 In blake busshys my boure xal be.
300 In paradys is plenté of pleye,
301 Fayr frutys ryth gret plenté;
302 þe 3atys be schet with Godys keye.
303 My husbond is lost because of me.
304 Leve spowse, now þu fonde.
305 Now stomble we on stalk and ston.
306 My wyt awey is fro me gon!
307 Wrythe onto my neckebon
308 With hardnesse of þin honde.

309 ADAM Wyff, þi wytt is not wurth a rosch.
310 Leve woman, turne þi thought.
311 I wyl not sle flesc[h] of my flesch,
312 For of my flesch þi flesch was wrought.
313 Oure hap was hard, oure wytt was nesch
314 To paradys whan we were brought.
315 My wepyng xal be longe fresch,
316 Schort lykyng xal be longe bought.
317 No more telle þu þat tale.
318 For yf I xulde sle my wyff,
319 I sclow myself withowtyn knyff,
320 In helle logge to lede my lyff,
321 With woo in wepyng dale.

322 But lete vs walke forth into þe londe,
323 With ryth gret labour oure fode to fynde,
324 With delvyng and dyggyng with myn hond,
325 Oure blysse to bale and care to-pynde.
326 And, wyff, to spynne now must þu fonde,
327 Oure nakyd bodyes in cloth to wynde
328 Tyll sum comforth of Godys sonde
329 With grace releve oure careful mynde.
330 Now come, go we hens, wyff.

331 EVA Alas þat ever we wrought þis synne!
332 Oure bodely sustenauns for to wynne,
333 3e must delve and I xal spynne,
334 In care to ledyn oure lyff.

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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. N-Town Cycle, Play 2 - The Creation of the World and the Fall of Adam and Eve. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http://www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.