5. The Coopers' [Barrel-Makers'] Play: The Fall of Man
SATAN: For woe, my wits in rage are rent, Which wreaks this havoc in my mind! That God I saw-I knew He meant To take upon Him such a kind Of a degree That He had made; but now I find That angel's form it will not be! Since we were bright and fair, Therefore I thought that He As an angel might appear; And that offended me. The form of man He thought to take; And then great envy did I know! But God has made for man a mate; And straight to her I think to go- An easy way- For God's great plan to overthrow, And then from Him to rob that prey. My time would well be spent, If I may thus betray, His pleasure thus to end. So now, I shall assay. In serpent's likeness I will wend, And strive to feign a flagrant lie. Eve, Eve! EVE: Who is there? SATAN: I...a friend. And for your own good, here am I. I have you sought. Of all this fruit that hangs hereby In paradise, why eat you nought? EVE: We eat of them, each one. We take as we have thought- Except one tree alone, Too harmful to be sought. SATAN: And why that tree-that I would wit- Any more than the others nearby? EVE: Because the Lord forbids us it- The fruit thereof, Adam nor I To come too near. For if we did, we both would die, He said, and lose our solace here. SATAN: Yah, Eve, now be intent; Take heed and you shall hear What all this matter meant When He spoke so severe. To eat thereof He forbade you- This was His plan all along- Because He wished none other knew Of the powers that to this belong. For, Eve, you see, Whoever eats this, right and wrong Shall understand, as well as He. EVE: Why, what sort of thing are you That tells this tale to me? SATAN: A snake, who knows you too May also worshipped be. EVE: What worship thus to win could we? To eat thereof-we need it not, We have the power of mastery Of all things that on Earth are wrought. SATAN: Woman, do way! To a greater state you may be brought If you will do as I shall say. EVE: We wish to do no harm, Our God to disobey. SATAN: Fear not, feel no alarm; Eat safely, as you may. Indeed, no danger therein lies, But honour, and great gain, I say. For just as God you shall be wise, And peer to Him in every way. Yes, gods you shall be- On good and ill to cast your eyes, To be as wise as He- EVE: Is this the truth you say? SATAN: Oh, yes. You don't trust me? Would I in any way Tell ought but truth to thee? EVE: Then I will to your teaching trust And take this fruit for us as food. [Then she should accept the apple] SATAN: Bite on boldly, be not distressed; And take some to Adam to mend his mood- And also his bliss! [Then Satan goes away] EVE: Adam, have here some fruit full good. ADAM: Alas, woman, why took you this? Our Lord commanded us both To shun that tree of His. This work will make Him wroth- Alas, you've done amiss! EVE: Nay, Adam, grieve you not at it, And I shall tell the reason why. A snake has given me to wit We shall be like gods, you and I, If that we eat Here of this tree; Adam, thereby, Fail not that honour for to get! For we shall be as wise As God that is so great- Exalted in the skies- Therefore, take this and eat! ADAM: To eat it I would not eschew, If I were sure of your teaching. EVE: Bite on boldly, for it is true; We shall be gods, and know everything! ADAM: To gain that name, I shall this taste, at your teaching. [And he accepts and eats] Alas! What have I done? For shame! Ill counsellor, curse thee! Ah, Eve, you are to blame; To this you enticed me- My body gives me shame; For I am naked, it seems to me. EVE: Alas! Oh, Adam, so am I! ADAM: Buried for sorrow, why are not we? For we've grieved God who sits on high, Who made me, Man- Broken His bidding, bitterly. Alas, that we this thing began. This deed, Eve, have you wrought, And made this bad bargain! EVE: No, Adam! Blame me not! ADAM: Oh no, dear Eve? Who then? EVE: Surely, we should blame the snake; With tales untrue he me betrayed! ADAM: Alas; I listened when you spoke And took as true things you said. For mercy I bid! For I now curse that bitter bread; That wicked deed, I know I did! Our shape with shock me grieves; With what shall we be hid? EVE: Let's take here these fig leaves, Since it is thus betid. ADAM: Right as you say, so shall it be, For we are naked, and all bare; Most gladly would I now hide me From my Lord's sight, if I knew where. Would that I were never wrought! GOD: Adam, Adam! ADAM: Lord? GOD: Where are you there? ADAM: I hear you, Lord, and see you not! GOD: And why? Hold not your tongue; This work why have you wrought? ADAM: Lord, Eve made me do wrong, And to this pass me brought! GOD: Speak, Eve; why have you made your mate Eat fruit I told you should hang still, And commanded none of it to take? EVE: A snake, Lord, enticed me theretill; Alas, the day That ever I did this deed so ill! GOD: Ah! Wicked snake, be cursed this day! By lying in her ear You made them such dismay; My curses have you here, With all the might I may. And on your belly shall you glide, And always full of enmity To all mankind on every side; And earth shall all your sustenance be To eat and drink. And also, Adam and Eve, In the earth you shall sweat and swink, And labour for your food. ADAM: Alas, when might we sink? We that had all the world's good, Most wretched may us think. GOD: Now, Cherubim, my angel bright, Into the world go drive these two. ANGEL: All ready, Lord, as it is right, Since your will is that it be so, And your liking. Adam and Eve! Do you two go, For here you may make no dwelling! Go forth now, fast, from here; Of sorrow you must sing! ADAM: Alas! For sorrow and care Our hands may we both wring.
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