From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

N-Town Cycle, Play 16 - The Annunciation to and Visitation of the Shepherds

Angelus ad pastores dicit "Gloria in excelsis Deo."

1 ANGELUS Joye to God þat sytt in hevyn,
2 And pes to man on erthe grownde.
3 A chylde is born benethe þe levyn,
4 Thurwe hym many folke xul be vnbownde!
5 Sacramentys þer xul be vij
6 Wonnyn þo[r]we þat childys wounde.
7 Therfore I synge a joyful stevene.
8 þe flowre of frenchep now is founde,
9 God þat wonyght on hy3!
10 He is gloryed mannys gost to wynne,
11 He hath sent salue to mannys synne;
12 Pes is comyn to mannys kynne
13 Thorwe Goddys sleytys sly3.

14 PRIMUS PASTOR Maunfras, Maunfras, felawe myne,
15 I saw a gret lyght with shene shyne!
16 3it saw I nevyr so selkowth syne
17 Shapyn vpon þe skyes.
18 It is bryghtere þan be sunnebem,
19 It comyth ryght ouyr all þis rem,
20 Evyn above Bedleem.
21 I saw it brenne thryes.

22 SECUNDUS PASTOR Thu art my brother, Boosras.
23 I haue beholdyn þe same pas!
24 I trowe it is tokenynge of gras
25 þat shynynge shewyght beforn.
26 Balaam spak in prophesye
27 A lyght xuld shyne vpon þe skye
28 Whan a sone of a mayd Marye
29 In Bedleem were iborn.

30 TERCIUS PASTOR Thow I make lyty[l] noyse,
31 I am an herde þat hattyht Moyse.
32 I herde carpynge of a croyse
33 Of Moyses in his lawe.
34 Of a mayd a barne born,
35 On a tre he xulde be torn;
36 Delyver folkys þat arn forlorn,
37 The chylde xulde be slawe.

38 PRIMUS PASTOR Balaam spak in prophecie
39 Out of Jacob xuld shyne a skye.
40 Many folke he xulde bye
41 With his bryght blood.
42 Be þat bryght blod þat he xulde blede
43 He xal us brynge fro þe develys drede,
44 As a duke most dowty in dede,
45 Thorwe his deth on rode.

46 SECUNDUS PASTOR Amos spak with mylde meth,
47 A frute swettere than bawmys breth,
48 His deth xulde slen oure sowlys deth
49 And drawe us all from helle.
50 Therfore such lyght goth beforn
51 In tokyn þat þe childe is born
52 Whiche xal saue þat is forlorn,
53 As prophetys gonne spelle.

54 TERCIUS PASTOR Danyel þe prophete þus gan speke:
55 "Wyse God, from woo us wreke,
56 þi bryght hevyn þu to-breke
57 And medele þe with a mayde."
58 This prophecye is now spad:
59 Cryst in oure kende is clad.
60 þerfore mankend may be glad,
61 As prophetys beforn han seyd.

"Gloria in Excelsis Deo" cantent.

62 PRIMUS PASTOR Ey! Ey! þis was a wondyr note
63 þat was now songyn above þe sky.
64 I haue þat voys ful wele I wote,
65 þei songe "Gle, glo glory."

66 SECUNDUS PASTOR Nay, so moty the, so was it nowth.
67 I haue þat songe ful wele invm.
68 In my wyt weyl it is wrought,
69 It was "Gle, glo, glas, glum."

70 TERCIUS PASTOR The songe methought it was "Glory."
71 And aftyrwarde he seyd us to,
72 þer is a chybde born xal be a prynce myghty.
73 For to seke þat chylde I rede we go.

74 PRIMUS PASTOR The prophecye of Boosdras is spedly sped,
75 Now leyke we hens as þat lyght us lede.
76 Myght we se onys þat bryght on bed,
77 Oure bale it wolde vnbynde.
78 We xulde shodyr for no shoure.
79 Buske we us hens to Bedleem boure
80 To se þat fayr fresch flowre,
81 The mayde mylde in mynde.

82 SECUNDUS PASTOR Lete us folwe with all oure myght.
83 With songe and myrth we xul us dyght,
84 And wurchep with joye þat wurthy wyght
85 þat Lord is of mankynne.
86 Lete us go forthe fast on hye
87 And honowre þat babe wurthylye,
88 With merthe, songe, and melodye.
89 Haue do! þis songe begynne.

Tunc pastores cantabunt "Stella celi extirpauit," quo facto ibunt ad querendum Christum.

90 PRIMUS PASTOR Heyle, floure of flourys, fayrest ifownde!
91 Heyle, perle peerles, prime rose of prise!
92 Heyl, blorne on bedde, we xul be vnbownde
93 With þi blody woundys and werkys full wyse!
94 Heyl, God grettest, I grete þe on grownde!
95 þe gredy devyl xal grone grysly as a gryse
96 Whan þu wynnyst þis worlde with þi wyde wounde
97 And puttyst man to paradys with plenty of prys.
98 To loue þe is my delyte.
99 Heyl, floure fayr and fre,
100 Lyght from þe Trynyté!
101 Heyl, blyssyd mote þu be!
102 Heyl, mayde fayrest in syght!

103 [SECUNDUS] PASTOR Heyl, floure ovyr flourys fowndyn in fryght!
104 Heyl, Cryst, kynde in oure kyth!
105 Heyl, werker of wele to wonyn us wyth!
106 Heyl, wynnere, iwys!
107 Heyl, formere and frende!
108 Heyl, fellere of þe fende!
109 Heyl, clad in oure kende!
110 Heyl, Prince of Paradys!

111 TERCIUS PASTOR Heyl, lord ouyr lomdys, þat lyggyst ful lowe!
112 Heyl, kynge ovyr kyngys, þi kynrede to knowe!
113 Heyl, comely knyth, þe deuyl to ouyrthrowe!
114 Heyl, flowre of alle!
115 Heyl, werkere to wynne
116 Bodyes bowndyn in synne!
117 Heyl, in a bestys bynne,
118 Bestad in a stable!

119 JOSEPH Herdys on hylle,
120 Beth not stylle,
121 But seyth 3oure wylle
122 To many a man:
123 How God is born
124 þis mery morn;
125 þat is forlorn
126 Fyndyn he can.

127 PRIMUS PASTOR We xull telle
128 Be dale and hylle
129 How Harwere of Helle
130 Was born þis nyght,
131 Myrthis to melle
132 And fendys to quelle
133 þat were so felle
134 A3ens his ryght.

135 SECUNDUS PASTOR Farewel, babe and barne of blys!
136 Farewel, Lord þat lovely is!
137 þe to wurchep þi feet I kys,
138 On knes to þe I falle.
139 þe to wurchepe I falle on kne.
140 All þis werd may joye of þe,
141 Now farewel, Lorde of grett pousté!
142 3a, farewel, kynge of alle!

143 TERCIUS PASTOR Thow I be þe last þat take my leve,
144 3it, fayre mullynge, take it nat at no greve.
145 Now, fayre babe, wele mut þu cheve;
146 Fayr chylde, now haue good day!
147 Fareweyl, myn owyn dere derlyng!
148 Iwys, þu art a ryght fayr thyng.
149 Farewel, my Lorde and my swetyng!
150 Farewel, born in pore aray!

151 MARIA Now, 3e herdmen, wel mote 3e be.
152 For 3oure omage and 3ourd syngynge,
153 My sone xal aqwyte 3ow in hefne se
154 And 3eue 3ow all ryght good hendynge.

155 Amen

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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. N-Town Cycle, Play 16 - The Annunciation to and Visitation of the Shepherds. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. Date Visited.