27. The Baxters' Play: The Last Supper

Peace be, by both night and day,
Unto this house, and all that are here.
Here I will hold, as I did say,
The Paschal feast, with my friends dear.

Master, we have well arrayed
A seemly service for your supper.
Our lamb is roasted, and ready made;
To Moses' law we did adhere.

That is, each man that has
People at his own post
Shall roast a lamb at Pasch,
For him and all his host.

Master, the custom well we know
That with our elders ever has been:
How every man with guests does owe
To roast a lamb, and eat it clean.

I thank you truly for your saw;
You say as you yourself have seen.
Therefore, sit down, all in a row,
And I shall part it you between.
Therefore, I will that you
Eat thereof, every one,
With the remnant given to
Poor people, who have none.

Here I make an end to Moses' law,
In certain parts, but not in all:
My command should otherwise be thought
Like those that men should cunningly call.
But the lamb of Paschal that here is brought,
Which all Jews use, both great and small,
Henceforward I allow it not
To Christian folk, whatever befall.
Instead, there shall be set
A new law, us between;
But whoever thus shall eat
Behoves to be washed clean.

For that new law, if you wish to hear,
You need in heart to be clean and chaste.
Mark, my own disciple dear,
Bring us some water here, in haste.

Master, it is already here,
And here a towel, clean as is best.

Come forth with me, all of you here;
My words must not be said in waste.
Set forth your feet; let's see.
They must be washed, and soon.

Ah, Lord, by you, I say,
That deed must not be done.

I can't make my members worthy or meet
For such a sovereign service to see.

Peter, unless you let me wash your feet,
You'll get no part of bliss with me.

Ah, mercy, Lord and master sweet;
Out of that bliss if I would be,
Wash on, my Lord, and get me wet,
Both head and hand, I pray indeed.

Peter, you do not know
Where all this work will lead.
But soon it shall be shown
To you, and to you all, indeed.

Your Lord and master:  thus you call
Me, and so I am.  All wealth I wield.
Yet here I kneel unto you all,
To wash your feet, as you have felt.
Example from me take you shall:
Ever to serve, when young or old;
To be humble, either in cottage or hall;
And each to give shelter to others, as well.
For if you all are true
And loyal in love, each one,
You shall find others new
To grieve with, when I am gone.

Now, since our master says he shall
Go, and will not tell us whither,
Which of us shall be principal?
Let's decide, while we are together.

I know your will, both great and small
And your high hearts I hear:  whether
To one or the other such luck should fall,
That you might speak when you come thither,
Where it must so betide
On such matters for to dwell.
But first you must abide
Many trials, fierce and fell.

Here shall I set you for to see
This young child, for example, here.
Both simple and gentle in heart is he,
And free from malice, glad of cheer.
So simple and gentle unless you be,
[You cannot come to Heaven near.
Pride is your foe, and so is greed.
An example you shall quickly hear,
For this to you I say:
That one of you, my friends,
Did his own Lord betray,
And for gold my life shall end.

And now, I say, the sop of wine
That I shall give secretly to one of you
Shall be the token and the sign
That I know of the deed that he shall do.]


[As Jesus blesses the bread and wine, the disciples say the following--ed.]

My dear Lord, I pray you the truth to tell:
Which of us is he that that treason shall do?
What traitor is he, that his Lord would sell?
Pronounce his name, Lord, that would work us woe.

If there is one that would sell you so,
Good master, tell us now openly his name.
What traitor is he, who from you would go,
And with false treason fulfil his great shame?

It is just dreadful, such treason to think,
And still more dreadful to do that bad deed!
For that false treason to Hell he shall sink,
A life of endless pain to lead.

It is not I, Lord!  For fear, I have dread.
It never occured to me, that sin to fulfil.
If I sold you, and made you bleed,
In doing that treason my soul I should kill.

Gold, silver, and treasure do soon pass away,
But without an end, ever does last your grace.
Ah, Lord, who is it that will sell you for money?
For he that sells his own Lord, too great is his trespass!

That traitor that does this horrible menace,
Both body and soul, he is lost and lorn:
Damned to Hell's pit, far from your face,
Among all foul fiends to be rent and torn.

Too bad a merchant, that traitor he is;
And for that money he may mourning make.
Alas, what causeth him to sell the King of Bliss?
For his false winnings, the Devil him take!

For his false treason the fiends so black
Shall bear his soul deep down into Hell's pit.
He shall have no rest, but evermore wake
Burning in hot fire, in prison ever shut.

The truth would I know, certainly,
And therefore, good sir, the truth to me tell.
Which of us here may that traitor be?
Am I that person who must you now sell?

You say so yourself; now heed your words well.
Why do you ask me if you shall do that treason?
Remember your own mind; you know it quite well.
You are an adult, and you know how to reason.
[So, Judas, I tell you thus
Between us two alone:]

Quod facis, fac cicius.
What you must do, do soon.

Alas!  Such sorry men as we
Did never walk in the world, indeed.
Our master says to us that he
By one of us has been betrayed.

Ah-I think, since you sit next to his knee,
We wish you to ask him again, with all speed.

Domine, quis est qui traduit te?
Lord, who shall do that awful deed?
Alas, our joy is past;
This false promise is cursed.
I may no longer last;
For pain, my heart may burst.

It is time for me to get along,
For now begins a note that's new:
My fellows mutter themselves among
That I should all this bargain brew-
And what they're thinking is not wrong.
The prince of priests I shall go to,
And they shall teach him, before too long,
That all his sayings he sore shall rue.
For I know where he goes
To pray, with all his men.
I'll tell that to the Jews,
And they shall catch him then.

I tell you now, my friends so free:
Heed these words that I shall say.
The Devil is angry with you and me,
And he will harm you if he may.
But, Peter, I have prayed for thee,
So that you shall not fear his affray.
So, comfort all this company
And lead them, when I have gone away.

Ah, Lord, where will you go?
I shall go where you lead;
Where you go, I also
Shall go, in life and deed.

No earthly fear shall me withdraw,
But I shall live with you and die.

Surely, now, so say we all,
Or else of woe we'd be well worthy.

Peter, to you I say this now,
So that you shall speak no fantasy:
This very night, before the cock-crow,
You shall three times my name deny,
And say you knew me never,
Nor any friends of mine.

Alas, Lord, I would rather
Be put to endless pain.

Just as I say, so shall it be.
You need no other recourse to crave.
All that ever was written of me
Must be fulfilled, for knight or knave.
I am the shepherd; the sheep are ye,
And when the shepherd shall injuries have,
The flock shall flee, and eagerly,
And seek some succour, themselves to save.
You shall, when I am alone,
Be in misery and discord.
But when I rise again,
Then your joy shall be restored.

You have all been eager my pain to defeat;
Therefore, your shield I shall always be.
And because you did, in cold and heat,
My commandments, in every country,
In the Kingdom of Heaven shall be your seat,
Even as my Father has said to me.
With spiritual food there shall we eat,
And on twelve seats, then sit shall ye,
For truly you took care
In the world with me to dwell;
There shall you sit before
The twelve tribes of Israel.

But you shall be bewildered soon,
In danger more than you have seen
From the time to come, when I am gone
And you have turned away in pain.
And look that you have swords, each one,
And whoever has none, you between,
Must sell his coat and buy him one;
Thus bid I that you them obtain.
Satchels I bid you have,
And stones to stop all strife,
Your own selves for to save,
In the lengthening of your life.

Master, we have here two swords
To save ourselves in peril severe.

It is enough.  You need no more;
From harms I'll guard you, everywhere.
But rise up now, for we will go;
By now, our enemies ready are.
My Father said it should be so;
His bidding I shall not forbear.
Be sure to learn this law
That you have heard from me.
All those who it well know
Forever blessed shall be.

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