The Fishers' and Mariners' Play: The Flood

That lord that leves ay-lastand lyff,1
I loue the euer with hart and hande,
That me wolde rewle be reasoune ryffe,
Sex hundereth yere to lyffe in lande.
Thre semely sonnes and a worthy wiffe
I haue euer at my steven to stande;
Bot nowe my cares aren keene as knyffe,7
Bycause I kenne what is commannde.
Thare comes to ilke contré,
Ya, cares bothe kene and calde.
For God has warned me
This worlde wastyd shalle be,
And certis the sothe I see,13
As forme-fadres has tald.
My fadir Lamech who, likes to neven,
Heere in this worlde thus lange gon lende,
Seuene hundereth yere seuenty and seuene,
In swilke a space his tyme he spende.
He prayed to god with stabill steuene19
That he to hym a sone shuld sende,
And at the laste ther come from heuen
Slyke hettyng that hym mekill amende,
And made hym grubbe and graue
As ordand faste beforne,
For he a sone shulde haue,25
As he gon aftir crave;
And as God vouchydsaue
In worlde than was I borne.
When I was borne Noye named he me,
And saide thees wordes with mekill wynne:
‘Loo’, he saide, ‘this ilke is he31
That shalle be comforte to mankynné.
Syrs, by this wele witte may ye,
My fadir knewe both more and mynne
By sarteyne signes he couthe wele see,
That al this worlde shuld synke for synne;
Howe God shulde vengeaunce take,37
As nowe is sene sertayne,
And hende of mankynde make
That synne wold nouyot forsake;
And howe that it shuld slake,
And a worlde waxe agayne.
I wolde God itt wasted were,43
Sa that I shuld nott tente thertille.
My semely sonnes and doughteres dere,
Takis yoe entent vnto my skylle.
Filius 1
Fader we are all redy heere,47
Youre biddyng baynly to fulfille.
Goos calle youre modir, and comes nere,49
And spede vs faste that we nouyot spille.
Filius 1
Fadir, we shal nouyot fyne51
To youre biddyng be done.
Alle that leues vndir lyne53
Sall, sone, soner passe to pyne.
Filius 1
Where are ye, modir myne?55
Come to my fadir sone.
What sais thou sone?57
Filius 1
Moder, certeyne57
My fadir thynkis to flitte full ferre.
He biddis you haste with al youre mayne
Vnto hym, that no thyng you marre.
Ya, goode sone, hy the faste agayne61
And telle hym I wol come no narre.
Filius 1
Dame, I wolde do youre biddyng fayne,63
But yow bus wende, els bese it warre.
Werre? That wolde I witte.65
We bowrde al wrange, I wene.
Filius 1
Modir, I saie you yitte,67
My fadir is bowne to flitte.
Now certis, I sall nouyot sitte69
Or I se what he mene.
Filius 1
Fadir, I haue done nowe as ye comaunde,71
My modir comes to you this daye.
Scho is welcome, I wele warrande;73
This worlde sall sone be waste awaye.
Wher arte thou Noye?75
Loo, here at hande,75
Come hedir faste dame, I the praye.
Trowes thou that I wol leue the harde lande77
And tourne vp here on toure deraye?
Nay Noye, I am nouyot bowne
To fonde nowe ouer there fellis.
Doo barnes, goo we and trusse to towne.
Nay, certis, sothly than mon ye drowne.82
In faythe thou were als goode come downe83
And go do somwhat ellis.
Dame, fowrty dayes are nerhand past85
And gone sen it began to rayne,
On lyffe sall no man lenger laste
Bot we allane, is nought to layne.
Now Noye, in faythe the fonnes full faste,89
This fare wille I no lenger frayne;
Thou arte nere woode, I am agaste,
Farewele, I wille go home agayne.
O woman, arte thou woode?93
Of my werkis thou not wotte;
All that has ban or bloode
Sall be ouere flowed with the floode.
In faithe, the were als goode97
To late me go my gatte.
We! Owte! Herrowe!
What now, what cheere?99
I will no nare for no-kynnes nede.100
Helpe, my sonnes, to holde her here,101
For tille hir harmes she takes no heede.
Filius 2
Beis mery modir, and mende youre chere;103
This worlde beis drowned, withouten drede.
Allas, that I this lare shuld lere.105
Thou spilles vs alle, ill myght thou speede.106
Filius 3
Dere modir, wonne with vs,107
Ther shal no thyng you greve.
Nay, nedlyngis home me bus,109
For I haue tolis to trusse.
Woman, why dois thou thus?111
To make vs more myscheue?
Noye, thou myght haue leteyn me wete;113
Erly and late thou wente theroutte,
And ay at home thou lete me sytte
To loke that nowhere were wele aboutte.
Dame, thou holde me excused of itt,117
It was Goddis wille withowten doutte.
What, wenys thou so for to go qwitte?119
Nay, be my trouthe, thou getis a clowte.
I pray the dame, be stille.121
Thus God wolde haue it wrought.
Thow shulde haue witte my wille,123
Yf I wolde sente thertille,
And Noye, for that same skylle,
This bargan sall be bought.
Nowe at firste I fynde and feele
Wher thou hast to the forest soght,
Thou shuld haue tolde me for oure seele129
Whan we were to slyke bargane broght.
Now dame, the thar noyot drede a dele,131
For till accounte it cost the noght.
A hundereth wyntyr, I watte wele,
Is wente sen I this werke had wrought.
And when I made endyng,
God gaffe me mesore fayre
Of euery ilke a thyng;137
He bad that I shuld bryng
Of beestis and foules yoynge,
Of ilke a kynde a peyre.
Nowe certis, and we shulde skape fro skathe141
And so be saffyd as ye saye here,
My commodrys and my cosynes bathe,
Tham wolde I wente with vs in feere.
To wende in the watir it were wathe,145
Loke in and loke withouten were.
Allas, my lyff me is full lath,147
I lyffe ouere-lange this lare to lere.
Filia 1
Dere modir, mende youre moode,149
For we sall wende you with.
My frendis that I fra yoode151
Are ouere flowen with floode.
Filia 2
Nowe thanke we God al goode153
That vs has grauntid grith.
Filia 3
Modir, of this werke nowe wolde ye noyot wene,155
That alle shuld worthe to watres wan.
Filius 2
Fadir, what may this meruaylle mene?157
Wherto made God medilerth and man?
Filia 1
So selcouthe sight was never non seene,159
Sen firste that God this worlde began.
Wendes and spers youre dores bedene,161
For bettyr counsell none I can.
This sorowe is sente for synne,
Therfore to God we pray
That he oure bale wolde blynne.
Filius 3
The kyng of al mankynne166
Owte of this woo vs wynne,
Als thou arte lorde, that maye.
Filius 1
Ya, lorde, as thou late vs be borne169
In this grete bale, som bote vs bede.
My sonnes, se yoe mydday and morne171
To thes catelles takes goode heede;
Keppes tham wele with haye and corne;
And women, fanges thes foules and feede,
So that they be noyot lightly lorne
Als longe as we this liffe sall lede.
Filius 2
Fadir, we ar full fayne177
Youre biddyng to fulfille.
ix monethes paste er playne
Sen we wer putte to peyne.
Filius 3
He that is most of mayne181
May mende it qwen he wyll.
O barnes, itt waxes clere aboute,183
That may yoe see ther wher yoe sitte.
Filius 1
I, leffe fadir, ye loke thareowte,185
Yf that the water wane ought yoitt.
That sall I do withowten dowte,187
Thorbe the wanyng may we witte.
A, lorde, to the I love and lowte.
The catteraks I trowe be knytte.
Beholde, my sonnes al three
The clowdes are waxen clere.
Filius 2
A, lorde of mercy free,193
Ay louyd myght thou be.
I sall assaye the see,195
How depe that it is here.
Loved be that lord that giffes all grace,197
That kyndly thus oure care wolde kele.
I sall caste leede and loke the space,199
Howe depe the watir is ilke a dele.
Fyftene cobittis of highte itt hase
Ouere ilke a hille fully to feylle;
Butte beese wel comforte in this casse,
It is wanand, this wate I wele.
Therfore a fowle of flight205
Full sone sall I forthe sende
To seke if he haue sight,
Som lande vppon to light;
Thanne may we witte full right
When oure mornyng sall mende.
Of al the fowles that men may fynde211
The raven is wighte, and wyse is hee.
Thou arte full crabbed and al thy kynde,
Wende forthe thi course I comaunde the,
And werly watte, and yther the wynd
Yf thou fynde awdir lande or tree.
ix monethes here haue we bene pyned,217
But when God wyll, better mon bee.
Filia 1
That lorde that lennes vs lyffe219
To lere his lawes in lande,
He mayd bothe man and wyffe,
He helpe to stynte oure striffe.
Filia 3
Oure cares are kene as knyffe,223
God graunte vs goode tydand.
Filius 1
Fadir, this foule is forthe full lange;225
Vppon sum lande I trowe he lende,
His foode ther fore to fynde and fange-
That makis hym be a fayland frende.
Nowe sonne, and yf he so forthe gange,229
Sen he for all oure welthe gon wende,
Then be he for his werkis wrange
Euermore weried withowten ende.
And sertis for to see
Whan oure sorowe sall sesse,
Anodyr foule full free235
Owre messenger sall be;
Thou doufe, I comaunde the,
Owre comforte to encresse.
A faithfull fewle to sende art thow
Of alle within there wanys wyde;
Wende forthe I pray the, for owre prowe,241
And sadly seke on ilke a side
Yf the floodes be falland nowe,
That thou on the erthe may belde and byde;
Bryng vs som tokenyng that we may trowe
What tydandes sall of vs betyde.
Filia 2
Goode lorde, on vs thou luke,247
And sesse oure sorow seere,
Sen we al synne forsoke
And to thy lare vs toke.
Filia 3
A twelmothe bott xij weke251
Have we be houerand here.
Now barnes, we may be blithe and gladde253
And lowe oure lord of heuenes kyng;
My birde has done as I hym badde,
An olyue braunche I se hym brynge.
Blyste be thou fewle that neuere was fayd,
That in thy force makis no faylyng;
Mare joie in herte never are I hadde,259
We mone be saued, now may we synge.
Come hedir my sonnes in hye,
Oure woo away is wente,
I se here certaynely
The hillis of Hermonye.
Filius 1
Lovyd be that lord forthy265
That vs oure lyffes hase lente.
For wrekis nowe that we may wynne267
Oute of this woo that we in wore;
But Noye, wher are nowe all oure kynne
And companye we knwe before?
Dame, all ar drowned, late be thy dyne,271
And sone thei boughte ther synnes sore.
Gud lewyn latte vs begynne,
So that we greue oure God no more;
He was greved in degré
And gretely moved in mynde
For synne, as men may see:277
Dum dixit ‘Penitet me‘.
Full sore forthynkyng was he
That euere he made mankynde.
That makis vs nowe to tole and trusse;
But sonnes, he saide-I watte wele when-
‘Arcum ponam in nubibus‘,283
He sette his bowe clerly to kenne
As a tokenyng bytwene hym and vs,
In knawlage tille all cristen men
That fro this worlde were fynyd thus,
With wattir wolde he neuere wast yt then.
Thus has God most of myght289
Sette his senge full clere
Vppe in the ayre of heght;
The raynebowe it is right,
As men may se in sight
In seasons of the yere.
Filius 2
Sir, nowe sen God oure souerand syre295
Has sette his syne thus in certayne,
Than may we wytte this worldis empire
Shall euermore laste, is noyot to layne.
Nay sonne, that sall we nouyot desire,299
For and we do we wirke in wane;
For it sall ones be waste with fyre,
And never worthe to worlde agayne.
A, syre, owre hertis are soore303
For thes sawes that yoe saye here,
That myscheffe mon be more.
Beis noyot aferde therfore,306
Ye sall noght lyffe than yore
Be many hundereth yhere.
Filius 1
Fadir, howe sall this lyffe be ledde309
Sen non are in this worlde but we?
Sones, with youre wiffes yoe sall be stedde,311
And multyplye youre seede sall yoe.
Youre barnes sall ilkon othir wedde
And worshippe God in gud degré;
Beestes and foules sall forthe be bredde,
And so a worlde begynne to bee.
Nowe travaylle sall yoe taste317
To wynne you brede and wyne,
For alle this worlde is waste;
Thez beestes muste be vnbraste,
And wende we hense in haste,
In Goddis blissyng and myne.

2018 Nov 25  22:07:40