The Chandlers' Play: The Shepherds

Pastor 1
Bredir, in haste takis heede and here1
What I wille speke and specifie;
Sen we walke thus, withouten were,
What mengis my moode nowe meve yt will I.
Oure forme-fadres faythfull in fere,
Bothe Osye and Isaye,
Preued that a prins withouten pere7
Shulde descende doune in a lady,
And to make mankynde clerly,
To leche tham that are lorne.
And in Bedlem hereby
Sall that same barne by borne.
Pastor 2
Or he be borne in burgh hereby,13
Balaham, brothir, me haue herde say,
A sterne shulde schyne and signifie
With lightfull lemes like any day.
And als the texte it tellis clerly
By witty lerned men of oure lay,
With his blissid bloode he shulde vs by,19
He shulde take here al of a maye.
I herde my syre saye,
When he of hir was borne,
She shulde be als clene maye
As euer she was byforne.
Pastor 3
A, mercifull maker, mekill is thy myght,25
That thus will to thi seruauntes see,
Might we ones loke vppon that light
Gladder bretheren myght no men be.
I haue herde say, by that same light
The childre of Israell shulde be made free,
The force of the feende to felle in fighte,31
And all his pouer excluded shulde be.
Wherfore, brether, I rede that wee
Flitte faste ouere thees felles,
To frayste to fynde oure fee,
And talke of sumwhat ellis.
Pastor 1
We, Hudde!37
Pastor 2
We, howe?37
Pastor 1
Herkyn to me.37
Pastor 2
We, man, thou maddes all out of myght.38
Pastor 1
We, Colle!39
Pastor 3
What care is comen to the?39
Pastor 1
Steppe furth and stande by me right,40
And telle me than
Yf thou sawe euere swilke a sight.
Pastor 3
I? Nay, certis, nor neuere no man.43
Pastor 2
Say felowes, what, fynde yhe any feest,44
Me falles for to haue parte, pardé!
Pastor 1
Whe, Hudde, behalde into the heste,46
A selcouthe sight than sall thou see
Vppon the skye.
Pastor 2
We, telle me men, emang vs thre,49
Whatt garres yow stare thus sturdely?
Pastor 3
Als lange as we haue herde-men bene51
And kepid this catell in this cloghe,
So selcouth a sight was neuere non sene.
Pastor 1
We, no Colle. Nowe comes it newe inowe,54
That mon we fynde
[…     …]55
Pastor 3
Itt menes some meruayle vs emang,56
Full hardely I you behete.
Pastor 1
What it shulde mene that wate not yoee,58
For all that yoe can gape and gone.
I can synge itt alls wele as hee,60
And on asaie itt sall be sone
Proued or we passe.
Yf yoe will helpe, late see, halde on,
For thus it was:
Pastor 2
Ha! Ha! this was a mery note,65
Be the dede that I sall dye,
I haue so crakid in my throte
That my lippis are nere drye.
Pastor 3
I trowe thou royse,69
For what it was fayne witte walde I
That tille vs made this noble noyse.
Pastor 1
An aungell brought vs tythandes newe72
A babe in Bedlem shulde be borne,
Of whom than spake oure prophicie trewe-
And bad us mete hym thare this morne-
That mylde of mode.
I walde giffe hym bothe hatte and horne
And I myght fynde that frely foode.78
Pastor 3
Hym for to fynde has we no drede,79
I sall you telle achesoune why:
Yone sterne to that lorde sall vs lede.
Pastor 2
Ya, thou sais soth. Go we forthy82
Hym to honnour,
And make myrthe and melody,
With sange to seke oure savyour.
Pastor 1
Breder, bees all blythe and glad,86
Here is the burgh ther we shulde be.
Pastor 2
In that same steede now are we stadde,88
Tharefore I will go seke and see.
Slike happe of heele neuere herde-men hadde;
Loo, here is the house, and here is hee.
Pastor 3
Ya forsothe, this is the same,92
Loo whare that lorde is layde
Betwyxe two bestis tame,
Right als the aungell saide.
Pastor 1
The aungell saide that he shulde saue96
This worlde and all that wonnes therin,
Therfore yf I shulde oght aftir crave
To wirshippe hym I will begynne:
Sen I am but a symple knave,
Thof all I come of curtayse kynne,
Loo here slyke harnays as I haue-102
A baren-broche by a belle of tynne
At youre bosom to be;
And whenne yoe shall welde all
Gud sonne, forgete noyot me
Yf any fordele falle.
Pastor 2
Thou sonne that shall saue bothe see and sande,108
Se to me sen I haue the soght;
I am ovir poure to make presande
Als myn harte wolde, and I had ought.
Two cobill notis vppon a bande,
Loo, litill babe, what I haue broght,
And whan yoe sall be lorde in lande114
Dose goode agayne, forgete me noght,
For I haue herde declared
Of connyng clerkis and clene,
That bountith askis rewarde;
Nowe watte yoe what I mene.
Pastor 3
Nowe loke on me, my lorde dere,120
Thof all I putte me noght in pres,
Ye are a prince withouten pere,
I haue no presentte that you may plees.
But lo, an horne spone that haue I here-
And it will herbar fourty pese-
This will I giffe you with gud chere,126
Slike novelté may noght disease.
Farewele thou swete swayne,
God graunte vs levyng lange,
And go we hame agayne
And make mirthe as we gange.

2018 Nov 25  22:07:40