The Paynters and the Glasiors Playe
On wolds have I walked full wild
Under bushes my bower to build
From stiff storms my sheep to shield
My seemly whethers to save,
From comely Conwy unto Clyde
In their shelters them to hide
A better shepherd on no side
No earthly man may have.
Beside the stream my sheep I sought
My lively tups are in my thought,
Them to save and heal
From the sore and scab it sought
Or the rot, it if were wrought
If the cough had them caught
Of it I could them heal.
Wisely wrought for every wound -
That would a whole man bring to ground
Within a little while -
Of henbane, and hoarhound
Tibbie, radish and egremont
Which be my herbs all safe and sound
All mingled in a row.
I shall rank them in a row:
Finter, fanter and feverfew
And also pennywort
This is all that I know.
For be it wether or be it ewe
I shall heal them in a row,
Clean them from their hurt
To heal them form the rot.
Well I can and well I wot
The tails from them take
And if sworn it were cursed
Yet shall the tail be in my purse
And the sheep never the worse
To frolic in the field.
Save myself, in good faith
Therefore for a friend will I cry
But first will I drink, if I may. He drinks
Drive thy sheep here below.
Thou may not hear unless I blow [on my horn]
As ever I have health
Fellow, now be we well met
And though methinks us needs
Had we Tudd here by us set
Then might we sit and feed us
Yet to feed us friendly i’faith
How might we have our service?
Thou must cry loud, by this day;
Tudd is deaf and may not well hear us.
How, Tud, come, for thy father’s kin! Shouting
Nay, faith, thy voice is wondrous dim
Why, knowest thou not him?
Fie man, for shame!
Call him Tudd, Tibby’s son
And then will the fool come
For in good faith it is his wont
To love well his Dame’s name.
How, Tudd, Tibby’s son! Shouting
Sir, in faith now I come Entering up the aisle
For yet have I not all done
That I have to do.
To stew a salve for our sheep
And - lest my wife should it wit -
With great gravel and grit
I scour it out of this old pan
With tar boyste must all be tamed
Pennygrass and butter for fat sheep;
Of this salve I am not ashamed.
No point pertaining to my craft
No better - that I well know -
In land is nowhere living.
To husbands that be here about;
That each man must bow to his wife
And cower for fear of a clout.
All is for fear of womankind
Now will I cast my ware hereby
And hie fast till I get to Hankin
To bring me up on high there by thee
Gladly sir, if thou would be by me
For loth me is to deny thee
Now since God has gathered us together
With good heart I thank him of his grace
Welcome be thou: well fair weather
Tudd, shall we shape us to some solace?
Solace would best be seen
That we shape us to our supper;
For meat and drink, well I deem
To each deed is most dear.
Lay forth, each man alike
What he hath left of his livery
And I will put forth my piece
With my part, first of all us three.
And such store as my wife had
In your heart soon shall you see
In the beginning to make us glad
For in good meat there is much glee
Onions, garlic and leeks
Butter that was bought in Blacon
And green cheese that will grease well your cheeks
And here ale of Halton I have
And what meat I had to my hire
This pudding shall no man dispraise
And a jannock of Lancashire
And a grain to lay on the green,
And sour milk. My wife had ordained
A noble supper, as well is seen.
Now will I cast off my cloak
And put on’t part of my livery
Put all that I have in my poke
And a pig’s foot, from puddings pure.
Abide, fellows, and ye shall see here
This hot meat - we serve it here.
Bowls of the best,
A pudding with a prick in the end.
My satchel to shake out
To shepherds I am not ashamed,
And this tongue pared round about,
With my teeth it shall be tamed
Bid me do gladly, and I thee.
For by God here is good grazing
Come eat with us, God of heaven high
But take no heed that here be no housing.
Housing enough have we here
While we have heaven over our heads
Now to wet our mouths it is the time
This flask will I tame, by your leave.
And of this bottle now will I bib
For here is bowls of the best.
Fellows now our bellies be full
Think we on him that keeps our beasts.
Blow thy horn and call after Trowle
And bid him, Son, to share our feast.
Well said, Hankin, by my sooth
For that shrew I suppose us seeks
My horn to sound I will not cease
Till that lad has some of our leeks
Leeks to his livery is liking
Such a lad nowhere in land is
Blow a note for that meeting
While that horn now in they hand is
With this horn shall I make a “hoo”
That he and all Heaven shall hear
Yonder lad that sits on the lea
The loud of this horn shall hear Blows horn
Good lord, look on me Elsewhere on the stage
And my flock here as they fed have
On this wold walk we
Are no men here, that no way.
All is bare, perdi,
Therefore, sheep, we mun go,
No better may be
Of beast that blood and bone have.
What necessities I may need,
Nettle, hemlock and butter I have here
And my good dog Dottynowle
That is never slow to be chiding.
If any man come me by
And would know which way best were
My leg I lift up where I lie
And wish him east or west away.
I would think that travail lost.
Nor king, nor Duke, by this day
Rise will I not - but take my rest.
Now here sit down I will,
And pipe at this pot like a Pope.
Would God that I were down,
Out of harm’s way as I hope.
Save myself, the devil of the drink.
All this talk I set at little,
Nay, ye lads, I sit not by ye
For you have many a foul fit,
Thou fowle fylth, though thou flit, I defye thee.
Trowle, take tent to my talking
For thy tooth here is good tugging
While thy wethers go walking
On this loin thou may have good lugging
Fie on your loins and your livery
Your livers, lights and lungs
Your sausage, souse and saveloy
Your sitting without any songs!
No hope of your hot meat have I
But flit with my fellows in fear
And your sheep all securely save I
For thou savest our sheep,
Good knave, take keep
Since thou may not sleep
Come eat of this souse.
Nay the dirt is so deep,
Stubbed therein for to steep
And the maggots on it creep
At home in thy house.
Of your cooking today
Will I nought by no way
Till I have my wages.
But, see, so ragged is mine array;
And penny-pinching is your pay
To any poor page.
Trowle, boy, for God’s tree
Come eat a morsel with me
And then wrestle will we
Here on this wold.
That will I never flee!
Though it be with all three
To win my livery
That will I hold He joins the others
Now comes Trowle the True
A tournament I bid to fight
With my masters. Come on now
Come forth - who is most of might?
Trowle, better thou never knew;
Eat of this, meat for a knight
Nay, spare it. If I spew
All on your heads will it light
How should we suffer this shame
Of a shrew thus to be shent?
This lad lusts to be lame
And lose a limb ere he went.
Have done! Begin we this game
But ware less your coat be rent.
That were little dole to our dame,
Though in the middest of Dee you were drent.
False lad, fie on thy face!
On this ground thou shall have a fall
And this, sirs, be your solace
Hankyn, shepherd, shame thee I shall
Wroth thou art, worse than thou was
Beware lest thou welter here by the wall
They fight and he throws Hankin
Boy, lest I break thy bones
Kneel down and ask me a boon
Lest I destroy thee here on these stones
Cease, lest I shend thee too soon
Go thee to growls and groans!
Good were thee thy old rags to save soon
Little doubt of thy moans
Lie there, tyke, for deeds done. Throws Harvey
Out, alas, he lies on his loins
But let me go now to that lad
Shepherds he shames and shends
For last now am I struck dead
Both your backs here to me bend;
For all your boasts I hold you to bad
Hold your arses and your backsides
Then hope I to have as I have had Throws Tudd
My livery now will I take
This curry, this coat and this cake
For ye be cast, now will I catch!
To the devil I you all betake
As traitors to your task
On this wold with this will I walk
Over all the world wander and watch Moves away
Fellows, this a foul case is
That we be thus cast of a knave
All against our will he has this
But I must needs hold the harms that I have
That I have I needs must hold
Of these unhappy harms of hear I
Therefore I will wait on this wold
For better weather, for I am weary
If we be weary no wonder
What with wrestling and waking
God amend it with his making
The star appears
What is all this light here
That blazes so bright here
On my black beard?
For to see this light here
A man may be afright here
For I am afeard
Feard for a fray now
May we be all now
And yet it is night
Yet seems it day now
Never, soothly to say now
Saw I such a sight.
Such a sight seeming
And a light gleaming
Lets me to look.
All to my deeming
From a star streaming
It to me struck.
That star if it stand
To seek will I find
Though my sight it fails me
While I live in land
Why should I not find
If it will avail me?
In yonder star light is
Of the sun this sight is
As it now seems.
It seems, as I now see
A bright star to be,
There to abide.
From it we may not flee
But aye glare at the glow
Till it down glide
Fellows, will we
Kneel down on our knee
For the true Trinity
For to lead us to see
Our elders Lord?
Our Lord will declare
To us through our prayer
Whereto it will apent.
And why on high here
The air is so clear,
Now shall we be kent.
Lord, of this light
Send us some sight
Why that it is sent
Before this night
Was I never so afright
Of the firmament
Now fie! By my faith
Now is it nigh day
So was it never.
Therefore I pray
The sooth us to say
Angels sing “Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis”
React to Shepherds’ misunderstanding throughout the following.
May ye not hear
This music on high?
In “glore” and in “glere”?
Yet no man was near
Within our sight
Nay, it was a “Glory”
Of this strange story
Such mirth is merry
I would have more
As I then deemed
“Selsis” it seemed
That he sang so
What song was this, say you
That he sang to us all three?
Expounded shall it be
Ere we shall pass
As I am eldest of degree
And also best, as seems me
It was “Glorus Glorus” with a “Glee”
It was neither more nor less.
Nay, it was “glorus glarus” with a “glo”
And much of “celsis” was thereto
As ever I have rest or woe
Much he spake of “glas”
Nay, it was neither “glas” nor “glye”
Therefore fellows, now stand by
By faith he was some spy
Our sheep for to steal
Or else he was a man of our craft,
For seemly he was, and wondrous deft.
Nay, he came by night - his mind on theft
Our tups with tar to seal.
Nay, on a “glor” and on “glay” and a “gly”
Sang Gabriel when he so gloried.
When he sang I might not be sorry;
Through my breast-bone his bleating bored
Nay, by God, it was a “gloria”
That Gabriel sang when he said so.
He had a much better voice than I have
As in heaven all Angels have so.
Will ye hear how he sang “celsis”?
For on that sadly he set him;
Neither sings “sar” nor so well “cis”
Nor “Peace merry maid when she met him.”
One time he touched on “tar”,
Ad thereto I took good intent;
All heaven might not him hear,
That note on high when he up went.
And after a “pax” or a “peace”
Up like a pie he piped.
Such a melody - so clear and sweet,
Never in my life me so liked
Upon “hominibus” he muted,
That much marvel to me was
And aye I quaked when he so fluted
I dare not look where that it was
Yet, yet he sang more than all this
For some word is worthy a pother
For he sang “bonae voluntatis”
That is a thing that passes all other.
Yet, and yet he sang more too
From my mind it shall not start
He sang also of a “Deo”
Me thought that healed my heart.
From which I take good intent
And “pax” also may not be blamed
For that to this song I assent.
Now pray we go to him with good intent
And sing I will and me unbrace
And he will let us to be kent
And to send us of his grace.
Now since I have all my will
Never in this world so well I was.
Sing we we now, I say you, shrill
A merry song for us to solace.
Sing we now; let’s see
Some song I will assay
All men now sing after me,
For music of me learn ye may.
They sing “Trolly loly loly loo” and dance
Now wend we forth to Bethlehem
That is best out song to be
For to see the star-gleam
And the fruit of that maiden free.
Now follow we the star that shines
Till we come to that holy stable
To Bethlehem bend our limbs
Follow we it without any fable.
Follow we it and hie full fast
Such a friend loath us were to fail
Launch on! I will not be the last
At Mary for to marvel.
Music They go towards Bethlehem and Mary and Joseph position themselves at the screen with the baby and manger.
Stint now: go no more steps;
For now the star begins to stand
Angel appears still in pulpit
Shepherds, of this sight
Be ye not afright
For this is Goddes might
Take this in mind.
To Bethlehem now right
There shall you see in sight
That Christ is born tonight
To redeem all mankind.
To Bethlehem take we the way
For with you I think to wend
The prince of peace for to pray
Heaven to have at our end.
And singe we all, I rede,
Some mirth to his Majesty
For certain now see we it indeed
The King Son of heaven is he.
See, See, surely,
Here I see Mary
And Jesus Christ hard by
Lapp-ed in hay.
Kneel we our knee
And pray we him of mercy
And welcome him worthily
So woe does away.
Away all our woe is
And many men’s moe is
Christ, Lord, let us kiss
Thy crib or thy clothes.
Solace now to see this
Builds in my breast, bliss
Never after to do amiss
Nor things that him loath is.
Whatever that old man that here is?
Take heed how his head is hoar
His beard is like a bush of briars
With a pound of hair about his mouth and more
Why, with his beard though it be rough
Right well to her he heeds.
Worthy wight, now we would know
Will you deny us, worthy in weeds?
Shepherds, soothly I see
That my son you hither sent
Through Goddes might in majesty
That in me lit and here is lent
This man married was to me
For no sin in such assent
But to keep my virginity
And truly with no other intent.
Good men, Moses take in mind
As he was made through God All-might
Ordain-ed laws for us to bind
Which that we should keep of right.
Men and women for to bind
Lawfully them both to light
To be fruitful, as men may find
That time was wedded every wight.
As law would have; her for to cheer
From noise and slander and trespass
And through that deed the Devil to dare
As told me Gabriel, full of grace
When I had trussed up all my gear
To have fled and never seen her face,
By him was I arrested there
That she guiltless was of sin.
And when I heard that tokening
From her durst I no way turn.
Therefore, go forth and preach this thing
All together and not in twain
That you have seen your heavenly king
Who has come all mankind to win.
Great God, sitting on they throne
That made all thing of nought
Now we may thank thee each one
This is he we have sought.
Go we near anon
With such as we have brought
Ring, brooch, or precious stone -
Let’s see whether we have aught to proffer.
Let us do him homage.
Who shall go first? The page?
Nay, ye be father in age.
Therefore ye must first offer
Possible music underscoring shepherds’ presentation of gifts
Hail, King of heaven so high
Borne in a crib
Mankind unto thee
Thou hast made full sib.
Prophets did tell thou should be our succour
This clerks do say,
Lo, I bring thee a bell;
I pray thee save me from hell
So that I may with thee dwell
And serve thee for aye.
Hail, the Emperor of hell
And of heaven also
The fiend shalt thou fell
That hath ever been false.
That stood us before
Hail, the blessedest Baron
That ever was born.
Lo, son, I bring thee a bowl
Thereby hangs a spoon,
For to eat they pottage with at noon,
As I myself full often-times have done.
With my heart I pray thee to take it.
Hail, prince withouten any peer,
That mankind shall relieve
Hail the foe of Lucifer
The which beguil-ed Eve.
For on earth now thou dwells
Lo, son I bring thee a cap,
For I have nothing else.
And though I come the hindmost of all
When thou shalt men to thy bliss call,
Good Lord, think yet on me.
My dear, with devotion unto thee I me dress
My state in fellowship that I do not lose;
And for to save me from all sickness,
I offer thee a pair of my wife’s old hose.
Have I none for to give
That is worth anything at all,
But my good heart, while I live
And my prayers till death doth me call.
Now, farewell mother and maid
For of sin nought thou wottest .
Thou has brought forth this day
God’s Son of might most.
“Blessed in every coast and place
Be he, a memorial for us all.”
And that we may from sin fall
And stand ever in his grace
Our Lord God be with thee
Brethren, let us walk all three
Singing walk homewardly
Unkind will I never in no case be
But preach all that I can and know,
As Gabriel taught me by his grace.
Singing “Away Heathen” will I.
Over sea, if God grant grace
I will gang and go about now
To preach this thing in every place;
And sheep will I keep no more now. Lays down crook
I rede we us agree
For our misdeeds amends to make
For so now will I;
And to the child I wholly me betake
For aye securely.
Shepherd’s craft I here forsake, Lays down crook
And as an anchorite hereby
I will in my prayers watch and wake.
And I a hermit,
To praise God, to pray,
To walk by stile and by street,
In wilderness to walk for aye.
And no man living shall I meet
But for my living I shall him pray,
Barefoot on my feet. Removing sandals
And thus will I live ever and aye.
This world I fully refuse
My amiss to amend with moans.
Turn to thy fellows, and kiss.
We have been friends, iwys.
Therefore lend me your mouth
And friendly let us kiss.
From London to Lowth
Such another shepherd I wot ne’re is.
Both friend and colleague
God grant you all his bliss.
To that bliss bring you
Great God, if that thy will be.
Amen, all sing you;
Good men, farewell ye.
Well for to fare, each friend
God of his might grant you;
For here we make an end
Farewell, for we from you now go.
Harvey raises up crooks in the shape of a cross. Tableau. Music
2019 Dec 12 00:35:56