From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

N-Town Cycle, Play 35 - The Harrowing of Hell B, Christ's Appearance to Mary; Pilate Berates the Soldiers

Tunc dormyent milites, et ueniet Anima Christi de inferno cum Adam et Eua, Abraham, Johan Baptist, et aliis.

1 ANIMA CHRISTI. Come forthe, Adam, and Eue with the,
2 And all my fryndys þat herein be!
3 To paradys come forthe with me,
4 In blysse for to dwelle.
5 þe fende of helle, þat is 3oure foo,
6 He xal be wrappyd and woundyn in woo.
7 Fro wo to welthe now xul 3e go,
8 With myrthe evyrmore to melle.

9 ADAM I thanke þe, Lord, of þi grett grace,
10 That now is for3ovyn my grett trespace.
11 Now xal we dwellyn in blysful place,
12 In joye and endeles myrthe.
13 Thorwe my synne man was forlorn,
14 And man to saue þu wore all torn,
15 And of a mayd in Bedlem born,
16 þat evyr blyssyd be þi byrthe.

17 EUA Blyssyd be þu, Lord of Lyff!
18 I am Eue, Adamis wyff.
19 þu hast soferyd strok and stryff
20 For werkys þat we wrought.
21 þi mylde mercy haht all for3[e]vyn;
22 Dethis dentys on þe were drevyn.
23 Now with þe, Lord, we xul levyn--
24 þi bryght blood hath us bowth.

25 JOHANNES. BAPTISTAI am þi cosyn, my name is Johan.
26 þi woundys hath betyn be to þe bon.
27 I baptyzid þe in Flom Jordon,
28 And 3aff þi body baptyze.
29 With þi grace now xul we gon
30 From oure enmyes everychon
31 And fyndyn myrthis many on
32 In pley of paradyse.

33 ABRAHAM. I am Abraham, fadyr trowe
34 þat reyned after Noes flowe.
35 A sory synne Adam gan sowe,
36 þat clad us all in care.
37 A sone þat maydenys mylk hath sokyn,
38 And with his blood oure bonde hath brokyn.
39 Helle logge lyth vnlokyn--
40 Fro fylth with frende we fare.

41 ANIMA CHRISTI Fayre frendys, now be 3e wunne,
42 On 3ow shyneth þe sothfast sunne.
43 þe gost þat all grevaunce hath gunne,
44 Ful harde I xal hym bynde.
45 As wyckyd werme þu gunne apere
46 To tray my chylderyn þat were so dere.
47 þerfore, traytour, heuyrmore here
48 Newe peynes þu xalt evyr fynde.

49 Thorwe blood I took of mannys kynde,
50 Fals devyl, I here þe bynde!
51 In endles sorwe I þe wynde,
52 þerin evyrmore to dwelle.
53 Now þu art bownde, þu mayst not fle.
54 For þin envyous cruelté,
55 In endeles dampnacyon xalt þu be,
56 And nevyr comyn out of helle.

57 BELIALL Alas! Herrow! Now am I bownde
58 In helle gonge to ly on grounde.
59 In hendles sorwe now am I wounde,
60 In care evyrmore to dwelle.
61 In helle logge I ly3 alone.
62 Now is my joye awey al gone,
63 For all fendys xul be my fone.
64 I xal nevyr com from helle.

65 ANIMA CHRISTI Now is 3oure foo boundyn in helle,
66 þat evyr was besy 3ow for to qwelle.
67 Now wele I rysyn flesch and felle,
68 þat rent was for 3oure sake.
69 Myn owyn body þat hynge on rode,
70 And, be þe Jewys nevyr so wode,
71 It xal aryse, both flesch and blode.
72 My body now wyl I take.

Tunc transiet Anima Christi ad resuscitandum corpus, quo resuscitato dicat Jesus:

73 JESUS Harde gatys haue I gon
74 And peynes sofryd many on,
75 Stomblyd at stake and at ston
76 Ny3 thre and thretty 3ere.
77 I lyght out of my faderys trone
78 For to amende mannys mone.
79 My flesch was betyn to þe bon,
80 My blood I bledde clere.

81 For mannys loue I tholyd dede,
82 And for mannys loue I am rysyn up rede.
83 For man I haue mad my body in brede,
84 His sowle for to fede.
85 Man, and þu lete me þus gone
86 And wylt not folwyn me anone,
87 Such a frende fyndyst þu nevyr none
88 To help be at þi nede.

89 Salue, sancta parens, my modyr dere!
90 All heyl, modyr, with glad chere.
91 For now is aresyn with body clere
92 þi sone þat was dolve depe.
93 þis is þe thrydde day þat I 3ow tolde
94 I xuld arysyn out of þe cley so colde.
95 Now am I here with brest ful bolde;
96 þerfore no more 3e wepe.

97 MARIA Welcom, my Lord! Welcom, my grace!
98 Welcome, my sone and my solace!
99 I xal þe wurchep in every place.
100 Welcom, Lord God of Myght!
101 Mekel sorwe in hert I leed
102 Whan þu were leyd in dethis beed.
103 But now my blysse is newly breed;
104 All men may joye þis syght.

105 JESUS All þis werlde þat was forlorn
106 Shal wurchepe 3ou bothe evyn and morn.
107 For had I not of 3ow be born,
108 Man had be lost in helle.
109 I was deed and lyff I haue,
110 And thorwe my deth man do I saue.
111 For now I am resyn out of my graue,
112 In hevyn man xal now dwelle.

113 MARIA A dere sone, þese wurdys ben goode.
114 þu hast wel comfortyd my mornyng moode.
115 Blyssyd be þi precyous bloode
116 þat mankende þus doth saue.
117 JESUS Now, dere modyr, my leve I take.
118 Joye in hert and myrth 3e make.
119 For deth is deed and lyff doth wake,
120 Now I am resyn fro my graue.

121 MARIA Farewel, my sone! Farewel, my childe!
122 Farewel, my Lorde, my God so mylde!
123 Myn hert is wele þat fyrst was whylde.
124 Farewel, myn owyn dere love!
125 Now all mankynde, beth glad with gle!
126 For deth is deed, as 3e may se,
127 And lyff is reysed, endles to be,
128 In hevyn dwellynge above.

129 Whan my sone was naylyd on tre,
130 All women myght rewe with me;
131 For grettere sorwe myght nevyr non be
132 Than I dede suflyr, iwys.
133 But þis joy now passyth all sorwe
134 þat my childe suffryd in þat hard morwe.
135 For now he is oure alderers borwe,
136 To brynge us all to blys.

Tunc evigilabunt milites sepulcri, et dicit Primus Miles:

137 PRIMUS MILES Awake, awake!
138 Hillis gyn quake
139 And tres ben shake
140 Ful nere atoo!
141 Stonys clevyd,
142 Wyttys ben revid,
143 Erys ben devid--
144 I am servid soo.

145 SECUNDUS MILES He is aresyn, þis is no nay,
146 þat was deed and colde in clay!
147 Now is he resyn belyve þis day,
148 Grett woundyr it is to me!
149 He is resyn by his owyn myght,
150 And forth he goth his wey ful ryght.
151 How xul we now us qwytte
152 Whan Pylat doth us se?

153 TERCIUS MILES Lete us now go
154 Pilat ontoo,
155 And ryght evyn so
156 As we han sayn,
157 þe trewth we sey:
158 þat out of clay
159 He is resyn þis day
160 þat Jewys han slayn.

161 QUARTUS MILES I holde it best.
162 Lete us nevyr rest,
163 But go we prest,
164 þat it were done.
165 All heyl, Pilatt,
166 In þin astat!
167 He is resyn vp latt
168 þat þu gast dome.

169 PILAT What? What? What? What?
170 Out upon the! Why seyst þu þat?
171 Fy vpon the, harlat,
172 How darst þu so say?
173 þu dost myn herte ryght grett greff!
174 þu lyest vpon hym, fals theff!
175 How xulde he rysyn ageyn to lyff
176 þat lay deed in clay?

177 PRIMUS MILES 3a, þow þu be nevyr so wroth,
178 And of these tydandys nevyr so loth,
179 3itt goodly on ground on lyve he goth,
180 Qwycke and levynge man.
181 Iff þu haddyst a ben þer we ware,
182 In hert þu xuldyst han had gret care,
183 And of blysse a ben ryght bare,
184 Of colore bothe pale and whan.

185 PILATUS Or 3e come there
186 3e dede all swere
187 To fyght in fere
188 And bete and bynde.
189 All þis was trayn,
190 3oure wurdys wore vayn.
191 þis is sertayn--
192 3ow fals I fynde!

193 SECUNDUS MILES Be þe deth þe devyl deyd,
194 We were of hym so sore atreyd,
195 þat for fer we us down leyd
196 Ryght evyn vpon oure syde.
197 Whan we were leyd upon þe grounde,
198 Stylle we lay as we had be bounde.
199 We durst not ryse for a thowsand pounde,
200 Ne not for all þis worlde so wyde.

201 PILATUS Now fy upon 3oure grett bost!
202 All 3oure wurchep is now lost!
203 In felde, in town, and in every cost,
204 Men may 3ou dyspravyn.
205 Now all 3oure wurchep, it is lorn,
206 And every man may 3ow we[l] scorn,
207 And bydde 3ow go syttyn in þe corn
208 And chare awey þe ravyn.

209 TERCIUS MILES 3a, it was hy3 tyme to leyn oure bost.
210 For whan þe body toke a3en þe gost,
211 He wold a frayd many an ost,
212 Kynge, knyght, and knave.
213 3a, whan he dede ryse out of his lake,
214 þan was þer suche an erthequake
215 þat all þe worlde it gan to shake!
216 þat made us for to rave!

217 QUARTUS MILES 3a, 3a, herke, felawys, what I xal say:
218 Late us not ses be nyght nor day,
219 But telle þe trewth ryght as it lay
220 In countré where we goo.
221 And than I dare ley myn heed
222 þat þei þat Crystys lawys leed,
223 They wyl nevyr ses tyl they be deed
224 His deth þat brought hym too.

225 PRIMUS MILES Be Belyall, þis was now wele ment.
226 To þis cowncell lete us consent.
227 Lett us go tellyn with on assent
228 He is resyn up þis day.
229 SECUNDUS MILES I grawnt þerto, and þat forthryght,
230 þat he is resyn by his owyn myght.
231 For þer cam non be day nor nyght
232 To helpe hym owte of clay.

233 PILATUS Now, jentyl serys, I pray 3ow all,
234 Abyde stylle a lytyl thrall
235 Whyll þat I myn cowncel call,
236 And here of þer councell.
237 PRIMUS MILES Syr, att 3oure prayour we wyl abyde
238 Here in þis place a lytel tyde.
239 But tary not to longe, for we must ryde--
240 We may not longe dwelle.

241 PILATUS Now, jentyl serys, I pray 3ow here
242 Sum good cowncel me to lere.
243 For sertys, serys, without dwere,
244 We stonnde in ryght grett dowte.
245 CAYPHAS Now trewly, sere, I 3ow telle,
246 þis matere is both fers and felle.
247 Combros it is þerwith to melle,
248 And evyl to be browth abowte.

249 ANNAS Syr Pylat, þu grett justyse,
250 þow þu be of wittys wyse,
251 3it herke ful sadly with good devyse
252 What þat þu xalt do:
253 I counsel þe, be my reed,
254 þis wundyrful tale pray hem to hede;
255 And upon þis 3eve hem good mede,
256 Bothe golde and sylver also.

257 And, sere, I xall telle 3ow why
258 In 3oure erys prevyly
259 Betweyn us thre serteynly;
260 Now herk, serys, in 3oure erys.

Hic faciant Pilatus, Cayphas, et Annas priuatim inter se consilium, quo finito dicat:

261 ANNAS For mede doth most in every qwest,
262 And mede is maystyr bothe est and west.
263 Now trewly, serys, I hold þis best--
264 With mede men may bynde berys.

265 CAYPHAS Sekyr, sere, þis counsell is good.
266 Pray þese knyhtys to chaunge þer mood.
267 3eve them golde, feste, and food,
268 And þat may chaunge þer wytt.
269 PYLATT Sere, 3oure good councel I xall fulfylle.
270 Now, jentyl knyhtys, come hedyr me tylle.
271 I pray 3ow, serys, of 3oure good wylle,
272 No ferther þat 3e flytt.

273 Jentyl knyhtys, I 3ow pray,
274 A bettyr sawe þat 3e say.
275 Sey þer he was cawth away
276 With his dyscyplis be nyght.
277 Sey he was with his dyscyplis fett.
278 I wolde 3e worn in 3oure sadelys ssett.
279 And haue here gold in a purs knett,
280 And to Rome rydyth ryght.

281 QUARTUS MILES Now, Syr Pylatt,
282 We gon oure gait.
283 We wyll not prate
284 No lengere now.
285 Now we haue golde,
286 No talys xul be tolde
287 To whithtys on wolde,
288 We make þe avow.

289 PILATUS Now, 3e men of myth,
290 As 3e han hyght,
291 Euyn so forthryght,
292 3oure wurdys not falle.
293 And 3e xul gon
294 With me anon,
295 All everychon
296 Into myn halle.

297 PRIMUS MILES Now hens we go
298 As lyth as ro;
299 And ryght evyn so
300 As we han seyd,
301 We xul kepe counsel
302 Wheresoevyr we dwell.
303 We xul no talys tell--
304 Be not dysmayd.

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Proper Citation: NeCastro, Gerard. N-Town Cycle, Play 35 - The Harrowing of Hell B, Christ's Appearance to Mary; Pilate Berates the Soldiers. From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. http://www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.