From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

N-Town Cycle, Play 32 - The Procession to Calvary and the Crucifixion of Christ

1 PRIM[A] MULlER Allas, Jesus! Allas, Jesus! Wo is me!
2 þat þu art þus dyspoylyd, allas!
3 And 3et nevyr defawth was fownd in the,
4 But evyr þu hast be fole of grace.

5 SECUND[A] MULlER A, here is a rewful syth of Jesu so good,
6 þat he xal þus dye a3ens þe ryth.
7 A, wykkyd men, 3e be more þan wood
8 To do þat good Lord so gret dyspyte!

Here Jesus turnyth a3en to þe women with his crosse, þus seyng:

9 JESUS Dowterys of Hierusalem, for me wepyth nowth,
10 But for 3oureself wepyth, and for 3oure chyldyr also.
11 For þe days xal come þat þei han aftyr sowth,
12 Here synne and here blyndnesse xal turne hem to wo.

13 þan xal be sayd, "Blyssyd be þe wombys þat bareyn be;"
14 And wo to be tetys tho days þat do 3evyn sokyng
15 And to here faderys þei xul seyn, "Wo to þe tyme þat þu begat me,"
16 And to here moderys, "Alias, wher xal be oure dwellyng?"

17 þan to be hyllys and mownteynes they xal crye and calle,
18 "Oppyn and hyde us from þe face of hym syttyng in trone;
19 Or ellys ovyrthrowyth and on us now come falle,
20 þat we may be hyd from oure sorweful mone."

Here Jesus turnyth fro þe women and goth forth; and þer þei metyn with Symonem in þe place, þe Jewys seyng to hym:

21 PRIMUS JUDE[US] Sere, to þe a word of good:
22 A man is here, þu mayst se,
23 Beryth hevy of a rode
24 Whereon he xal hangyd be.

25 Therfore we prey all the
26 þu take þe crosse of þe man;
27 Bere it with vs to Kalvarye,
28 And ryth gret thank þu xalt han.

29 SYMON Serys, I may not in no degré:
30 I haue gret errandys for to do.
31 þerfore I pray 3ow excuse me,
32 And on my herand lete me go.

33 SECUNDUS JUDEUS What! Harlot, hast þu skorne
34 To bere þe tre whan we þe preye?
35 þu xalt beryn't haddyst þu sworn,
36 And yt were ten tyme þe weye!

37 SYMON Serys, I prey 3ou, dysplese 3ou nowth.
38 I wole help to bere þe tre;
39 Into þe place it xal be browth
40 Where 3e wole comawnde me.

Here Symon takyth þe cros of Jesus and beryth it forth.

41 VERONICA A, 3e synful pepyl, why fare þus?
42 For swet and blood he may not se.
43 Allas, holy prophete, Cryst Jhesus,
44 Careful is myn hert for the.

And sche whypyth his face with here kerchy.

45 JESUS Veronyca, þi whipyng doth me ese.
46 My face is clene þat was blak to se.
47 I xal þem kepe from all mysese
48 þat lokyn on þi kerchy and remembyr me.

þan xul þei pulle Jesu out of his clothis and leyn them togedyr; and þer þei xul pullyn hym down and leyn hym along on þe cros, and aftyr þat naylyn hym þeron.

49 PRIMUS JUDEUS Come on, now here we xal asay
50 Yf þe cros for þe be mete.
51 Cast hym down here, in þe devyl way;
52 How long xal he standyn on his fete?

53 SECUNDUS JUDEUS Pul hym down, evyl mote he the!
54 And gyf me his arm in hast;
55 And anon we xal se
56 Hese good days, þei xul be past.

57 TERCIUS JUDEUS Gef hese other arm to me,
58 Another take hed to hese feet,
59 And anon we xal se
60 Yf þe borys be for hym meet.

61 QUARTUS JUDEUS þis is mete, take good hede,
62 Pulle out þat arm to þe sore.
63 PRIMUS JUDEUS þis is short--be deuyl hym sped!--
64 Be a large fote and more.

65 SECUNDUS JUDEUS Fest on a rop and pulle hym long,
66 And I xal drawe þe ageyn.
67 Spare we not þese ropys strong,
68 þow we brest both flesch and veyn.

69 TERCIUS JUDEUS Dryve in þe nayl anon, lete se,
70 And loke and þe flesch and senues well last.
71 QUARTUS JUDEUS þat I graunt, so mote I the!
72 Lo, þis nayl is dreve ryth wel and fast.

73 PRIMUS JUDEUS Fest a rop þan to his feet,
74 And drawe hym down long anow.
75 SECUNDUS JUDEUS Here is a nayl for both, good and greet;
76 I xal dryve it thorwe, I make avow.

Here xul þei leve of and dawncyn abowte þe cros shortly.

77 TERCIUS JUDEUS Lo, fela, here a lythe, takkyd on a tre!
78 QUARTUS JU[DEUS] 3a, and I trowe þu art a worthy kyng.
79 PRIMUS JUDEUS A, good sere, telle me now, what helpyth þi prophecy þe?
80 SECUNDUS JUDEUS 3a, or any of þi fals prechyng?

81 TERCIUS JUDEUS Serys, set up þe cros on þe hende
82 þat we may loke hym in þe face.
83 QUARTUS JUDEUS 3a, and we xal knelyn onto oure kyng so kend,
84 And preyn hym of his gret grace.

Here quan þei han set hym up, þei xuln gon before hym seyng eche affter other þus:

85 PRIMUS JUDEUS Heyl, Kyng of Jewys, yf þu be!
86 SECUNDUS JUDEUS 3a, 3a, sere, as þu hangyst þere flesche and bonys,
87 TERCIUS JUDEUS Com now down of þat tre,
88 QUARTUS JUDEUS And we wole worchepe þe all atonys!

Here xul poer comonys stand and loke upon þe jewys iiij or v; and þe Jewys xul come to them and do them hange þe þevys.

89 PRIMUS JUDEUS Come on, 3e knavys, and set up þise ij crosses ryth,
90 And hange up þese to thevys anon.
91 SECUNDUS JUD[EUS] 3a, and in þe worchep of his worthy knyth,
92 On eche syde of hym xal hangyn on.

Here þe sympyl men xul settyn up þese ij crossys and hangyn up þe thevys be þe armys. And þerwhylys xal þe Jewys cast dyce for his clothis, and fytyn and stryvyn. And in þe menetyme xal oure Lady come with iij Maryes with here and Sen Johan with hem, settyng hem down asyde afore þe cros, oure Lady swuonyng and mornyng, and [be] leysere seyng:

93 MARIA A, my good Lord, my sone so swete!
94 What hast þu don? Why hangyst now þus here?
95 Is þer non other deth to þe now mete
96 But þe most shamful deth among þese thevys fere?

97 A, out on my hert--whi brest þu nowth?
98 And þu art maydyn and modyr, and seyst þus þi childe spylle!
99 How mayst þu abyde þis sorwe and þis woful þowth?
100 A, deth, deth, deth! Why wylt þu not me kylle?

Here oure Lady xal swonge a3en, and ore Lord xal seyn þus:

101 JESUS O Fadyr Almythy, makere of man,
102 Forgyff þese Jewys þat don me wo.
103 Forgeve hem, fadyr, forgeve hem þan,
104 For thei wete notwh what þei do.

105 PRIMUS JUDEUS 3a! Vath! Vath! Now here is he
106 þat bad us dystroye oure tempyl on a day,
107 And withinne days thre
108 He xulde reysyn't a3en in good aray.

109 SECUNDUS JUDEUS Now and þu kan do swech a dede,
110 Help now þiself, yf þat þu kan;
111 And we xal belevyn on þe withoutyn drede,
112 And seyn þu art a mythty man..

113 TERCIUS JUDEUS 3a, yf þu be Goddys sone, as þu dedyst teche,
114 From þe cros come now down.
115 þan of mercy we xal þe beseche
116 And seyn þu art a lord of gret renown.

117 JESTES Yf þu be Goddys sone, as þu dedyst seye,
118 Helpe here now both þe and vs.
119 But I fynde it not al in my feye
120 þat þu xuldyst be Cryst, Goddys sone Jesus.

121 DYSMAS Do wey, fool! Why seyst þu so?
122 He is þe Sone of God, I beleve it wel!
123 And synne dede he nevyr, lo,
124 þat he xuld be put his deth tyl.

125 But we ful mech wrong han wrowth.
126 He dede nevyr þing amys!
127 Now mercy, good Lord, mercy, and forgete me nowth
128 Whan þu comyst to þi kyngham and to þi blysse!

129 JESUS Amen, amen, þu art ful wyse.
130 þat þu hast askyd I grawnt þe:
131 þis same day in paradyse
132 With me, þi God, þu xalt þer be.

133 MARIA O my sone, my sone, my derlyng dere!
134 What! Haue I defendyd be?
135 þu hast spoke to alle þo þat ben here,
136 And not o word þu spekyst to me.

137 To þe jewys þu art ful kende:
138 þu hast forgove al here mysdede.
139 And be thef þu hast in mende:
140 For onys haskyng mercy, hefne is his mede.

141 A, my sovereyn Lord, why whylt þu not speke
142 To me þat am þi modyr, in peyn for þi wrong?
143 A, hert, hert, why whylt þu not breke,
144 þat I wore out of his sorwe so stronge!

145 JESUS A, woman, woman, beheld her þi sone,
146 And þu, Jon, take her for þi modyr.
147 I charge þe to kepe here as besyly as þu kone;
148 þu, a clene mayde, xal kepe another.

149 And, woman, þu knowyst þat my fadyr of hefne me sent
150 To take his manhod of þe, Adamys rawnsom to pay.
151 For þis is be wyl and my faderys intent,
152 þat I xal þus deye to delyuere man fro þe develys pray.

153 Now syn it is þe wyl of my fadyr, it xuld þus be.
154 Why xuld it dysplese þe, modyr, now my deth so sore?
155 And for to suffre al þis for man I was born of the,
156 To þe blys þat man had lost, man a3en to restore.

Her oure Lady xal ryse, and renne, and halse þe crosse.

157 MARIA MAGDALENE A, good lady, why do 3e þus?
158 3oure dolfol cher now cheuyth us sore.
159 And for þe peyne of my swete Lord Jesus,
160 þat he seyth in 3ou, it peyneth hum more.

161 MARIA VIRGO. I pray 3ow alle, lete me ben here,
162 And hang me up here on þis tre
163 Be my frend and sone þat me is so dere,
164 For her he is, þer wold I be.

165 JOHANNES. Jentyl lady, now leve 3oure mornyng,
166 And go with us now, we 3ou pray;
167 And comfort oure Lord at hese departyng,
168 For he is almost redy to go his way.

Here þei xal take oure Lady from þe crosse. And here xal Pylat come down from his shaffald with Cayphas and Annas and all here mené and xul come and lokyn on Cryst. AndAnnas and Cayphas xul skornfully sey[n]:

169 CAYPHAS Lo, serys, lo, beheldyth and se,
170 Here hangyth he þat halpe many a man.
171 And now yf he Goddys sone be,
172 Helpe now hymself, yf þat he kan!

173 ANNAS 3a, and yf þu Kyng of Israel be,
174 Come down of þe cros among us alle.
175 And lete þi God now delyuere the,
176 And þan oure kyng we wole þe calle.

Here xal Pylat askyn penne and inke, and a tabyl xal be take hym wretyn afore "Hic est Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Judeorum." And he xal make hym to wtyte, and þan gon up on a leddere and settyn þe tabyl abovyn Crystys hed. And þan Cayphas xal makyn hym to redyn and seyn:

177 CAYPHAS Sere Pylat, we merveylyth of þis,
178 þat 3e wryte hym to be Kyng of Jewys.
179 þerfore we wolde þat 3e xuld wryte þus,
180 þat he namyd hymself Kyng of Jewus.

181 PYLAT þat I haue wretyn, wretyn it is.
182 And so it xal be for me, iwys.

And so forth all þei xal gon a3en to þe skaffald and Jesus xal cryen:

183 [JESUS] Heloy, Heloy, lamazabathany?
184 My fadyr in hevyn on hy,

185 Why dost þu me forsake?
186 The frelté of my mankende,
187 With stronge peyn yt gynnyth to peynde!
188 Ha, dere fadyr, haue me in mende,
189 And lete deth my sorwe slake.

190 SECUNDUS JUDEUS Methynkyth he this doth calle Hely.
191 Lete us go nere and aspy,
192 And loke yf he come preuely,
193 From cros hym down to reve.
194 JESUS So grett a thrust dede nevym man take
195 As I haue, man, now for þi sake;
196 For thrust asundyr my lyppys gyn crake,
197 For drynes þei do cleve.

198 TERCIUS JUDEUS 3oure thrust, Sere Hoberd, for to slake,
199 Eyzil and galle here I þe take.
200 What! Methynkyth a mowe 3e make.
201 Is not þis good drynk?
202 To crye for drynke 3e had gret hast,
203 And now it semyth it is but wast;
204 Is not þis drynk of good tast?
205 Now telle me how 3e thynk.

206 QUARTUS JUDEUS On lofte, Sere Hoberd, now 3e be sett,
207 We wyl no lenger with 3ou lett.
208 We grete 3ou wel on þe newe gett,
209 And make on 3ou a mowe.
210 PRIMUS JUDEUS We grete 3ou wel with a scorn
211 And pray 3ou bothe evyn and morn,
212 Take good eyd to oure corn,
213 And chare awey þe crowe.

214 JESUS In manus tuas, Domine,
215 Holy Fadym in hefly se,
216 I comende my spyryte to þe,
217 For here now hendyth my fest.
218 I xal go sle þe fende, þat freke,
219 For now myn herte begynnyth to breke.
220 Wurdys mo xal I non speke.
221 Nunc consummatum est.

222 MARIA Alas! Alas! I leve to longe,
223 To se my swete sone with peynes stronge
224 As a theff on cros doth honge,
225 And nevyr 3et dede he synne!
226 Alas, my dere chyld to deth is dressyd!
227 Now is my care wel more incressyd!
228 A, myn herte with peyn is pressyd--
229 For sorwe myn hert doth twynne!

230 JOHANNES. A, blyssyd mayde, chaunge 3oure thought,
231 For þow 3oure sone with sorwe be sought,
232 3itt by his owyn wyl his werk is wrought,
233 And wylfully his deth to take.
234 3ow to kepe he chargyd me here,
235 I am 3oure servaunt, my lady dere;
236 Wherfore I pray 3ow, be of good chere,
237 And merthis þat 3e make.

238 MARIA Thow he had nevyr of me be born,
239 And I sey his flesch þus al xxxto torn,
240 On bak behyndyn, on brest beforn,
241 Rent with woundys wyde,
242 Nedys I must wonyn in woo,
243 To se my frende with many a fo
244 All torent from top to too,
245 His flesch withowtyn hyde.

246 JOHANNES. A, blyssyd lady, as I 3ow telle,
247 Had he not deyd, we xuld to helle,
248 Amongys fendys þer evyr to dwelle,
249 In peynes þat ben smert.
250 He sufferyth deth for oure trespace,
251 And thorwe his deth we xal haue grace
252 To dwelle with hym in hevyn place.
253 þerfore beth mery in hert!

254 MARIA A, dere frende, weel woot I this,
255 þat he doth bye us to his blys.
256 But 3itt of myrth evyrmor I mys
257 Whan I se his syght.
258 JOHANNES. Now, dere lady, þerfore I 3ow pray,
259 Fro þis dolful dolour wende we oure way;
260 For whan þis syght 3e se nought may,
261 3oure care may waxe more lyght.

262 MARIA Now sythe I must parte hym fro,
263 3it lete me kysse, or þat I go,
264 His blyssyd feyt þat sufferyn wo
265 Naylid on his tre.
266 So cruelly with grett dyspyte
267 þus shamfully was nevyr man dyghte.
268 þerfore in peyn myn hert is pyghte--
269 Al joyedepartyth fro me.

Hic quasi semi-[m]ortua cadat prona in terram. Et dicit Johannes:

270 JOHANNES. Now, blyssyd mayd, com forthe with me,
271 No lengere his syght þat 3e se.
272 I xal 3ow gyde in his countré
273 Where þat it plesyth 3ow best.
274 MARIA Now, jentyl Johan, my sonys derlyng,
275 To Goddys temple þu me brynge
276 þat I may prey God with sore wepynge
277 And mornynge þat is prest.

278 JOHANNES. All 3oure desyre xal be wrought;
279 With herty wyll I werke 3oure thought.
280 Now, blyssyd mayde, taryeth nowth,
281 In þe temple þat 3e ware.
282 For holy prayere may chaunge 3oure mood
283 And cawse 3oure chere to be more good.
284 Whan 3e se not3 3oure childys blood,
285 þe lasse may be 3oure care.

Tunc transiet Maria ad templum cum Johanne, et cetera.

286 MARIA Here in þis temple my lyff I lede,
287 And serue my Lord God with hertyly drede.
288 Now xal wepynge me fode and fede,
289 Som comforte tyll God sende.
290 A, my Lord God, I þe pray,
291 Whan my childe ryseth þe iijde day,
292 Comforte thanne thyn handmay,
293 My care for to amende.

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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. N-Town Cycle, Play 32 - The Procession to Calvary and the Crucifixion of Christ. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http://www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.