The Creation and Fall of Man
Ego sum alpha et omega. principium et finis
My name is known, God and king.
My work for to make, now will I wend
In myself rests my ruling,
It has no beginning nor end,
And all that ever shall have being
Are closed in my mind.
When it is made to my joy
I may it save, I may it destroy
After my pleasure.
So great of might my power be
All things shall be made by me
I am one God in persons three
Knit in one substance sure.
Here walking here alone.
Three persons, myself I see
Locked in me, God alone.
Of power the father I be
My son with me has begun,
My spirit is grace in majesty
Who wields wealth up in heaven’s throne
One God in three I am called,
I am father of might
My son keeps the right
My spirit has the light
And grace withall.
And endless I am through my own might
Now will I begin my work to make.
First, I make heaven with stars of light
In mirth and joy evermore to wake.
In heaven I make Angels full bright
My servants to be, and for my sake
With mirth and melody worship my might
I make them in my bliss
Angels in heaven ever more shall be
In light full clear coloured they be
With mirth and song to worship me
Of joy they may not miss.
Here the angels sing, in heaven, part of the Te Deum: i omnes angeli tibi celi et universe potestates Tibi cherubim et seraphim incessabili voce proclamant Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus Dominus deus sabaoth.
To whose worship sing you this song?
To worship God or reverance me?
Unless you worship me, you do me wrong
For I am the worthiest that ever may be.
We worship God of might most strong
Who has formed both us and thee
We may never worship him too long
For he is most worthy of majesty.
On our knees to God we fall
Our lord to worship we
And in no wise honour we thee
A greater lord may none never be
Than he that made us all.
A worthier lord, forthsooth, am I
And worthier than he ever will I be.
In evidence that I am more worthy,
I will go sit where God should be!
Above sun and moon and stars in the sky.
I am now set as you may see.
Now, worship me as the most mighty
And for your lord honour now me,
Sitting in my seat.
God’s might we forsake
And for a more worthy God we thee take.
Thee to worship, honour we make
And fall down at your feet.
Thou, Lucifer, for thy great pride
I bid thee fall from heaven to hell
And all those that choose your side
In my bliss never more to dwell.
At my commandment now down you slide
With mirth and joy never more to mell.
In mischief and menace ever shall you abide
In bitter burning and fire so fell.
In pain that ever shall bite!
At thy bidding thy will I work
And pass from joy to pain smart
Now I am a devil full dark
That was an angel bright.
In endless pain that ever shall bite.
For fear of fire a fart I crack!
Hell’s dungeon is all my sight
Now heaven is made for the angels’ sake
The first day and the first night.
The second day the water I make
The welkin, also, full fair and bright.
The third day I part water from earth.
Trees and every growing thing
Both herbs and flowers of sweet smelling
The third day are made by my working.
Now make I the day that shall be the fourth.
The fourth day, I make the same.
The fifth day, worm and fish that swim and go,
Birds and beasts, both wild and tame.
The sixth day my work I do
And make the man Adam by name.
In earthly paradise without any woe
I grant thee dwelling lest thou do blame.
Adam, here is thy wife and mate.
Both fish and fowls that swim around
To each of them, a name thou take.
Both tree and fruit and beasts, each one,
Red and white, both blue and green.
Thou give them names, thou alone.
Herbs and grass, beets and bran.
Thy wife thou give a name also
Look that you not cease
Your fruit to increase
That there be excess,
My worship for to do.
There shalt thou have all manner of things,
Both flesh and fish and fruit of price
All shall be obedient to thy bidding.
Here are peppers, peonies and sweet licorice.
Take them all at thy liking
Both apples and pears and choice rice.
But touch not this tree of Knowing.
All things, save this, for thee are wrought.
Here are all things that should thee please,
All ready made unto thine ease.
Eat not this fruit, me not displease,
For then thou dyest, thou escapest not.
Now have I made all things of nought,
Heaven and earth, fowl and beast.
To all things that my hand has wrought
I grant my blessing that ever shall last.
My way to heaven is ready sought.
Of working I will the seventh day rest.
And all my creatures that be about
My blessing you have both east and west.
Of working the seventh day you cease.
And all those that cease of labouring here
The seventh day, without fear,
And worship me in good manner
They shall in heaven have endless peace.
To heaven now I speed my way.
Look thou well thy wits to chase
And govern thy spirit as I thee say.
Holy father, blessed thou be
For I may walk in wealth enow.
I find dates in great plenty
And many fine fruits fill every bow.
All this wealth is given to me
And to my wife, with whom I go.
I have no need to touch yon tree
Against my lord’s will. To work now.
I am a good gardener.
Every fruit of the right name
I may gather with glee and game.
To break that bond, I were to blame
That my lord bad me keep here.
We may be both blithe and glad
Our lord’s commandment to fulfill.
With fine fruit be we fair fed.
Wonder sweet and never one ill.
Every tree with fruit is spread
Of them to take as pleases us till.
Our wits were unstable, we would be bad
To do ought against our lord’s will
In any wise.
In this garden I will go see
All the flowers of fair beauty
And taste the fruits of great plenty
That be in Paradise.
Hail, fair wife and comely dame!
This fruit to eat, I thee council.
Take the apple and eat the same.
This fruit is best, as I thee tell.
That apple to eat I were to blame.
From joy our lord would us expell.
We should die, and be put out with shame,
In joy of paradise never more to dwell.
God himself thus said
What day of that fruit we ate,
With these words God did us threat,
That we should die, our lives to let.
Therefore I am afraid.
Of this apple, if you will bite,
Even as God is, so shall you be –
Wise and knowing – as I you plight.
Like unto God in all degree.
Sun and moon and stars bright,
Fish and fowl, on land and sea,
At your bidding both day and night
All things shall in your power be.
You shall be God’s peer.
Take this apple in thine hand.
Bite thereof I thee demand.
And take another to thine husband
Thereof thou have no fear.
As wise as God is in his great brain
And a fellow in knowledge fain would I be.
Eat this apple and for certain
That I am true, soon shalt thou see.
To my husband with heart full glad
This apple I bear, as thou biddest me.
This fruit to eat, I shall him persuade.
So wise as God is, if we may be,
And God’s peer of might.
To my husband I walk my way
And of this apple I shall assay
To make him to eat, if I may,
And of this fruit to bite.
Here Eve returns to Adam, her husband, and says to him …
Listen to me, sir, I you pray.
Take this fair apple into you hand
Thereof a morsel bite and assay
To eat this apple that I have found.
God’s fellow to be always –
All his wisdom to understand
And God’s peer to be for aye.
All things for to make
Both fish and fowl, sea and sand,
Bird and beast, water and land.
This apple thou take out of my hand.
A bite thereof thou take.
I dare not touch thy hand for dread
Of our lord God omnipotent.
If I should work as thou hast said
Of God our maker, I should be shent.
If that we do this sinful deed,
We shall be dead, by God’s judgment.
Out of thy hand with hasty speed
Cast that apple, this instant
For fear of God’s threat.
Of this apple, if thou wilt bite,
God’s peer thou shalt be on height
So wise, so cunning, I thee plight,
This fruit if thou wilt eat.
If we it eat, ourselves we kill,
As God us told, we should be dead!
To eat that fruit and my life to spill
I dare not do as thou hast said.
A fair angel thus did me tell
To eat that apple take you no dread
So cunning as God on heaven’s hill
Thou shalt soon be and stand in his stead.
Therefore this fruit thou eat.
Of God’s wisdom for to learn
And in cunning to be his peer
From thy hand I take it here
And shall soon taste this meat.
Here Adam shall eat the apple. Adam says …
My fleshly friend, my foe I find.
Shameful sin from us proceeds.
I see us naked before and behind!
Our lord’s word we would not dread.
Therefore we be now caitiffs unkind.
Our poor privities to hide
Some fig leaves fain would I find
To cover our sin and grief.
Woman lay this leaf on thy privity
And with this leaf, I shall hide me
Great shame it is us naked to see
Our lord God thus to grieve.
Alas that ever that speech was spoken
That the false angel said unto me.
Alas our maker’s bidding is broken
For I have touched his own dear tree.
Our fleshly eyes now all are open
Naked, for sin, ourselves we see.
That sorry apple that we have eaten
To death has brought my spouse and me.
Right grievous is our sin.
Of much shame now do we know.
Alas that ever this apple did grow!
To dreadful death now must we go,
In pain forever to pine.
Adam that with my hands I made,
Where art thou now? What hast thou wrought?
Ah, lord, for sin our flowers do fade.
I hear thy voice, but I see thee nought.
Adam, why hast thou sinned so soon,
Thus hastily to break my boon.
I made thee master under the moon.
Truly, of every tree,
One tree I kept for my own.
Life and death therein were known.
Thy sin from life now has thee thrown.
From death thou may not flee.
Lord, I have done against thy will,
But I meant not myself to spill!
The mate thou gave me, me to fulfil,
She brought me to this pass.
It was her counsel and her reed.
She bade me do this same deed.
I walk as a worm without any weed,
I have no clothes, alas.
Woman, thou art this man’s wife.
Why hast thou caused your own strife?
Now you fall from your fair life,
And are judged, now, to die.
Unwise woman, tell me why
You have done this foolish folly
When I made you a great lady
In paradise safe to lie?
Lord when you went from this place,
A worm with an angel’s face
He said we would be full of grace
If that the fruit we ate.
I did his bidding! Alas, alas.
Now we are bound in death’s tight grasp.
I suppose that it was Sathanas.
To dwell in pain now is our fate.
Thou worm with thy wiles so sick
Thy false fables, they are so thick!
Why hast thou put death’s dark prick
In Adam and his wife?
Through you, my laws they both have broken.
They suffer woe through words you have spoken.
In Hell’s lodgings you shall be locked
And never more have life.
I shall thee tell wherefore and why
I did them all this villainy.
I am full of great envy,
Of wrath and of wicked hate
That man should dwell above the sky
Where at one time have dwelled I.
And now am I cast to Hell’s sty
Straight out from heaven’s gate.
Adam, because the apple thou didst eat,
Against the bidding that I set,
Go till thy food with toil and sweat
Until thy life’s end.
Go naked, hungry and barefoot.
Eat herbs and grass and root.
There is no help, have no doubt,
As a wretch in the world you must wend.
And bade him break my bidding.
Therefore, thou shalt be underling
And to man’s bidding bend.
What he biddeth thee, do thou that thing
And bear thy children with great groaning
In danger and thy death dreading
Unto thy life’s end.
Thou wicked worm, full of pride,
Foul envy sit by thy side!
Upon thy gut thou shalt glide
And as a wicked worm also
Till a maiden in middle earth be born.
Thou fiend, I warn thee here before.
Through her thy head shall be all torn.
On thy womb away thou go.
At thy bidding, foul I fall.
I creep home to my stinking stall.
Hell pit and heaven’s hall
Shall do thy bidding boon.
I fall down here a foul freak.
For this fall I begin to quake.
With a fart my breach I break.
My sorrow comes full soon.
For the sins that you have done
Out of my bliss you shall be gone
In earthly labour to live in woe,
And sorrow shall you taste.
For your sin and misdoing
An angel with a sword burning
Out of this joy shall you bring
Your wealth away is passed.
Here God withdraws and an angel seraphim with a flaming sword drives Adam and Eve out of paradise
Ye wretches unkind and right unwise
Out of this joy hye you in haste.
With flaming sword from paradise
To pain I beat you, of care to taste.
Your mirth is turned to carefull sighs,
Your wealth with sin is now all waste
For your false deeds and sinful ways
This bliss I tear you from, right fast.
Here may you come no more
Till a child of a maid be born
And upon the cross be rent and torn
To save all that you have lorn
Your wealth to be restored.
Alas, alas and well away
That ever I touched that dreadful tree
I wend as a wretch in wilderness way.
In black bushes my bower shall be.
In paradise is plenty of play,
Fair fruits in right great plenty.
The gates be shut with God’s key.
My husband is lost because of me
Beloved spouse, now have you found
That we stumble o’er stalk and stone.
My wits away from me are gone
Twist on to my neck bone
With the hardness of thy hand.
Wife, thy wit is not worth a rush!
Dear woman turn thy thoughts.
I will not slay the flesh of my flesh
For from my flesh, thy flesh was wrought.
Our luck was hard, our wits foolish,
When to paradise we were brought.
My weeping shall break out afresh
Our sin a long sorrow now has bought.
Never again repeat your tale,
For if I should slay my wife
I would slay myself without a knife
And so in hell to live my life
In woe my tears to wail.
With right great labour our food to find
With delving and digging with my hand
Our bliss to care and pain confined.
Wife, to spinning now must thou turn thy hand
Our naked bodies in clothes to wind
Till some comfort God shall send
With grace to relieve our carefull minds.
Now come, go we hence now my wife.
Alas that ever we wrought this sin.
Our bodily sustenance for to win
You must delve and I must spin,
In care to lead our lives.
2017 Dec 13 18:14:15