The Tile Thatchers' Play: The Nativity

JOSEPH
All-wielding God in trinity,1
I pray thee Lord, for thy great might,
Unto thy simple servant see,
here is this place where we are pight,
Ourselves alone.
Lord, grant us good harbour this night
within this town.7
For we have sought both up and down8
Through diverse streets in this city.
So mickle people is come to town
that we can nowhere harboured be,
there is such press;
forsooth, can I no succour see
but bide us with these beasts.14
For in great need now are we stead,15
as thou thyself the sooth may see,
for here is neither cloth nor bed,
and we are weak and all weary,
that does me rue.
Say, Mary daughter, what is thy rede?
How shall we do?21
MARY
God will us guide, full well wit ye,22
therefore Joseph be of good cheer,
for in this place born will he be
that shall us save from sorrows sore
both even and morn.
Sir, wit ye well, the time is near
he will be born.28
JOSEPH
Then behoves us bide here still,29
Here in this same place this night.
MARY
Yea sir, forsooth, it is God’s will.31
JOSEPH
Then would I fain we had some light,32
whatso befall.
It waxes right murk unto my sight,
and cold withal.
I will go get us light beside,
and fuel find with me to bring.

Exit Joseph


MARY
All-wielding God you govern and guide,38
as he is sovereign of all thing
for his great might,
and lend me grace to his lauding
in this night.
Now in my soul great joy have I,43
I am all clad in comfort clear.
Now will be born of my body
both God and man together here.
Blest may he be,
Jesu my son that is so dear,
now born is he.49
Hail my Lord God, hail prince of peace;50
Hail my father, and hail my son;
Hail sovereign saviour all sins to cease;
Hail God and man in earthly home.
Hail, through whose might
all this world was first begun,
darkness and light.56
Son, as I am simple subject of thine,57
vouchsafe, sweet son I pray thee,
that I might thee take in these arms of mine
and in these poor weeds to array thee.
Grant me thy bliss,
as I am thy mother chosen to be
in soothfastness.63

Enter Joseph


JOSEPH
Ah, Lord God, what the weather is cold,64
the foulest freeze that ever I felt.
I pray God help them that is old,
and namely them that is unwield,
so may I say.
Now, good God, thou be my shield
as thou best may.70
Ah, Lord God, what light is this71
that comes shining so suddenly?
I cannot say, as have I bliss.
When I come home to Mary,
I shall ask her.
Ah, praise be God, for now come I!
MARY
Ye are welcome sir.77
JOSEPH
Say Mary daughter, what cheer with thee?78
MARY
Right good, Joseph, as has been aye.79
JOSEPH
O Mary, what sweet thing is that on thy knee?80
MARY
It is my son, the sooth to say,81
that is so good
JOSEPH
Well is me that I bode this day83
to see this food.
Me marvels mickle of this light
that thus-wise shines in this place,
forsooth, it is a wondrous sight.
MARY
This he has ordained of his grace,88
my son so young,
a star to be shining a space at his bearing.
JOSEPH
Now welcome, flower, fairest of hue,91
I worship thee with main and might.
Hail my maker, hail Christ Jesu;
Hail royal king, root of all right;
Hail saviour.
Hail my lord, lantern of light;
Hail blessed flower.97
MARY
Now lord that all this world shall win,98
to thee my son this word I say:
Here is no bed to lay thee in,
therefore my dear son I thee pray,
since it is so,
here in this crib I might thee lay,
between these beasts two.104
Thou merciful maker, most mighty,105
My God, my lord, my son so free,
thy handmaiden forsooth am I,
and to thy service I bind me,
with all mine heart entire.
Thy blessing beseech I thee,
thou grant to all are here.111


2021 Aug 24  19:58:26