The Masons' and Goldsmiths' Play: no Herod, just the Magi

1st KING
Ah, lord that lives, everlasting light,1
I love thee ever with heart and hand
that me has made to see this sight
while my kindred was longing.
They said a star with beams bright
out of the east should stably stand,
and that it should mean mickle might7
of one that should be lord in land,
that men from sin should save.
And certes I shall say,
God grant me hap to have,
and knowing of ready way.
2nd KING
All-wielding God that all has wrought,13
I worship thee as is worthy,
that with thy brightness has me brought
out of my realm, rich Araby.
I shall nought say till I have sought
what marvel it shall signify.
God grant me grace to get good company,19
and my comfort increase
with thy star shining sheen,
for certes I shall not cease
till I wit what it mean.
3rd KING
Lord God that all good has begun24
and all may end, both good and evil,
that made for man both moon and sun,
and stayed yon star to stand stone still,
till I the cause may understand,
God guide me with his worthy will.
I hope I have here fellows found30
my yearning faithfully to fulfil.
Sirs, God you save and see,
and keep you ever from woe.
1st KING
Amen, so might it be,34
and save you sir also.
3rd KING
Sirs, with your will, I would you pray36
to tell me some of your intent,
whither ye wend forth in this way,
and from what country ye are went?
2nd KING
Full gladly, sir, I shall you say.40
A sudden sight was to us sent,
a royal star that rose ere day
before us in the firmament,
that made me fare from home
some point thereof to prove.
3rd KING
Certes, sirs, I saw the same46
that makes me thus to move.
For sirs, I have heard say certain
it should be seen by others here,
and further thereof I would learn
That makes me move in this manner.
1st KING
Sir, Isaiah says a maiden young52
shall bear a child among Hebrews,
that of all countries shall be king
and govern all that on earth grows.
2nd KING
Sirs, the proved prophet Hosee56
full truly told in town and tower
that a maiden of Israel, says he,
shall bear one like to the lily flower.
3rd KING
Balaam told full long before60
how a star should rise full high,
and of a maiden should be born
a son that shall our saving be.
1st KING
Sirs, of fellowship are we fain,64
Now wend we forth all together.
God grant us ere we come again
some good hearting thereof to hear.
Sirs, here is Jerusalem
to guide us as we go,
and beyond is Bethlehem;70
there shall we seek also.

The Kings travel; the star disappears


1st KING
Ah, sirs, for sight what shall I say?72
Where is our sign? I see it not.
2nd King
No more do I. Now dare I lay74
in our wending some wrong is wrought.
3rd KING
Unto that prince I rede we pray,76
that to us sent his sign unsought,
that he guide us in ready way
so friendly that we find him might.

They pray; the star re-appears


ATTENDANT
Ah sirs, I see it stand80
above where he is born.
Lo, here is the house at hand;
we have not missed this morn.
WOMAN
Whom seek ye sirs, by ways wild,84
with talking, travelling to and fro?
Here dwells a woman with her child
and her husband; here are no more.
2nd KING
We seek a bairn that all shall shield,88
his certain sign hath said us so,
and his mother, a maiden mild;
here hope we to find them two.
WOMAN
Come near good sirs and see;92
your way to end is brought.
3rd KING
Behold here, sirs, and see94
the same that ye have sought.
1st KING
Loved be that lord that lasteth aye,96
that has us kenned thus courteously
to wend by many a wildsome way,
and come to this clean company.
2nd KING
Let us make now no more delay,100
but straight take forth our treasury
and ordain gifts of good array
to worship him as is worthy.
3rd King
He is worthy to wield104
all wealth and worship to win;
and for honour and eld
brother, ye shall begin.
1st KING
Hail, fairest of field, folk for to find,108
from the fiend and his fellows faithfully us fend.
Hail, the best that shall be born to unbind
all the bairns that are born and in sin bound.
Hail, thou mark us thy men and keep us in mind,
since thy might is on earth mis-ease to amend.
Hail, clean that is comen of a king’s kind,114
and shall be king of all this kith, all clergy have kenned.
And since it shall be in this wise,
thyself have I sought, son, I say thee,
with gold that is greatest of price;
be pleased with this present, I pray thee.
2nd KING
Hail, food that thy folk fully may feed,120
Hail, flower fairest that never shall fade,
Hail, son, that is sent from this same seed
that shall save us from sin that our sires had.
Hail, mild, that art come to purvey for our need,
of a maid matchless thy mother thou made.
In that good through grace of thy godhead126
as the gleam in the glass gladly thou glowed.
And since thou shall sit for to deem
to hell or to heaven to have us,
let incense thy service beseem.
Son, see to thy subjects and save us.
3rd KING
Hail, bairn that is best our bales to beat,132
for our heal shall thou be bounden and stretched.
Hail, friend faithful, we fall at thy feet,
thy father’s folk from the fiend to be fetched.
Hail man that is made mankind to meet,
since thou and thy mother with mirth are met,
Hail duke that drives death under foot,138
but when thy deeds are done, to die is thy debt.
And since thy body buried shall be,
this myrrh will I give to thy graving,
the gift is not great of degree;
receive it, and see to our saving.
MARY
Sir kings, ye travel not in vain.144
As ye have meant, here may ye find,
for I conceived my son, certain,
withouten miss of man in mind,
and bore him here withouten pain,
where women are wont to be pained
God’s angel, in his greeting plain150
said he should comfort all mankind,
therefore doubt you none ill
here for to have your boon.
I shall witness full well
all that is said and done.
1st KING
All is performed that we for prayed.156
But good bairn, give us thy blessing.
Fair hap is before us laid.
For solace, sirs, now may we sing.


2021 Aug 24  19:58:26