The Girdlers and Nailers Play: The Slaughter of the Innocents

Powre bewsheris aboute,1
Peyne of lyme and lande,
Stente of youre steuenes stoute
And stille as stone yoe stande,
And my carping recorde.
Ye aught to dare and doute,
And lere you lowe to lowte7
To me youre louely lord.
Ye awe in felde and towne
To bowe at my bidding,
With reuerence and renoune,
As fallis for swilk a kyng,
The lordlyest on lyue.13
Who herto is noght bowne,
Be allmyghty Mahounde,
To dede I schall hym dryue.
So bolde loke no man be
For to aske helpe ne helde
But of Mahounde and me,19
That hase this worlde in welde,
To mayntayne vs emell.
For welle of welthe are we
And my cheffe helpe is he;
Herto what can yoe tell?
Consolator 1
Lord, what you likis to do25
All folke will be full fayne
To take entente therto,
And none grucche theragayne.
That full wele witte shall yoe,
And yf thai wolde noyot soo
We shulde sone wirke tham woo.31
Ya, faire sirs, so shulde it bee.32
Consolator 2
Lorde, the soth to saie,33
Fulle wele we vndirstande
Mahounde is God werraye,
And yoe ar lorde of ilke a lande.
Therfore, so haue I seell,
I rede we wayte allway
What myrthe most mende yoou may.39
Sertis, yoe saie right well.40
But I am noyed of newe,
That blithe may I noyot be,
For thre kyngis as yoe knowe
That come thurgh this contré,
And saide thei sought a swayne.
Consolator 1
That rewlle I hope tham rewe,46
For hadde ther tales ben trewe
They hadde comen this waye agayne.
Consolator 2
We harde how thei yoou hight,49
Yf they myght fynde that childe
For to haue tolde yoou right,
But certis thei are begilyd.
Swilke tales ar noght to trowe,
Full wele wotte ilke a wight,
Ther schalle neuere man haue myght55
Ne maystrie unto yoou.
Consolator 1
Tham schamys so, for certayne,57
That they dar mete you no more.
Wherfore shulde thei be fayne59
To make swilke fare before,
To saie a boy was borne
That schulde be moste of mayne?
This gadlyng schall agayne
Yf that the deuyll had sworne.
For be well neuer thei wotte65
Whedir thei wirke wele or wrang,
To frayne garte tham thus-gate
To seke that gedlyng gang,
And swilke carping to kith.
Consolator 2
Nay lorde, they lered ouere-latte70
Youre blisse schal neuere abatte,
And therfore lorde, be blithe.
Mahounde withouten pere,73
My lorde, yoou saue and see.
Messenger, come nere,75
And bewcher, wele the be.
What tydyngis? Telles thou any?
Ya lorde. Sen I was here78
I haue sought sidis seere,
And sene merueyllis full many.
And of meruayles to mene81
That wer most myrthe to me.
Lorde, euen as I haue seene83
The soth sone schall yoe see,
Yf yoe wille, here in hye.
I mette tow townes betwene
Thre kyngis with crounes clene,
Rydand full ryally.
A, my blys, boy, thou burdis to brode.89
Sir, ther may no botment be.90
Owe, by sonne and mone,91
Than tydis vs talis tonyght.
Hopes thou thei will come sone
Hedir, as thei haue hight,
For to telle me tythande?
Nay lorde, that daunce is done.96
Why, whedir are thei gone?97
Ilkone into ther owne lande.98
How sais thou ladde? Late be.99
I saie, for they are past.100
What, forthe away fro me?101
Ya lord, in faitht ful faste,102
For I herde and toke hede
How that thei wente all thre
Into ther awne contré.
A, dogges, the deuell yoou spede.106
Sir, more of ther menyng107
Yitt well I vndirstode,
How thei hadde made offering
Vnto that frely foode
That nowe of newe is borne.
Thai saie he schulde be kyng
And welde all erthely thyng.113
Allas, than am I lorne.114
Fy on thaym, faytours, fy!
Wille thei begylle me thus?
Lorde, by ther prophicy117
Thei named his name Jesus.
Fy on the ladde, thou lyes.119
Consolator 2
Hense tyte but thou the hye,120
With doulle her schall thou dye,
That wreyes hym on this wise.
Ye wyte me all with wrang,123
Itt is thus and wele warre.
Thou lyes, false traytoure strange,125
Loke neuere thou negh me nere.
Vppon liffe and lymme
May I that faitour fange,
Full high I schall gar hym hange,
Both the, harlott, and hym.
I am nott worthy to wyte,131
Bot fareswele all the heppe.
Consolator 1
Go, in the deueles dispite,133
Or I schall gar the leppe
And dere aby this bro.
Als for sorowe and sighte136
My woo no wighte may wryte;
What deuell is best to do?
Consolator 2
Lorde, amende youre chere139
And takis no nedles noy,
We schall yoou lely lere
That ladde for to distroye,
Be counsaille if we cane.
That may yoe noght come nere,144
For it is past two yoere
Sen that this bale begane.
Consolator 1
Lorde, therfore haue no doute,147
Yf it were foure or fyve.
Gars gadir in grete rowte
Youre knyghtis kene belyue,
And biddis tham dynge to dede
Alle knave childir kepte in clowte,
In Bedlem and all aboute,153
To layte in ilke a stede.
Consolator 2
Lorde, saue none, for youre seell,155
That are of ij yoere age withinne,
Than schall that fandelyng felle
Belyue his blisse schall blynne,
With bale when he schall blede.
Sertis, yoe saie right wele,160
And as yoe deme ilke dele
Shall I garre do indede.
Sir knyghtis, curtayse and hende,
Thow the nott bees nowe all newe,
Ye schall fynde me youre frende
And yoe this tyme be trewe.166
Miles 1
What saie yoe lorde? Lette see.167
To Bedlehem bus yoe wende,168
That schorwe with schame to schende
That menes to maistir me.
And abowte Bedlehem bathe
Bus yowe wele spere and spye,
For ellis it will be wathe
That he losis this Jury,174
And certis that were grete schame.
Miles 2
My lorde, that wer vs lathe,176
And he escapid it wer skathe
And we welle worthy blame.
Miles 1
Full sone he schall be soughte,179
That make I myne avowe.
Consolator 1
I bide for hym yoow loghte,181
And latte me telle yowe howe
To werke when yoe come there:
Bycause yoe kenne hym noght,
To dede they muste be brought,
Knave-childre, lesse and more.
Yaa, all withinne two yoere,187
That none for speche be spared.
Miles 2
Lord, howe yoe vs lere189
Full wele we take rewarde,
And certis we schall not rest.
Miles 1
Comes furth felowes in feere,192
Loo, fondelyngis fynde we here
[…     …]193
Mulier 1
Owte on yoow theves, I crye,194
Ye slee my semely sone.
Miles 2
Ther browls schall dere abye196
This bale that is begonne,
Therfore lay fro the faste.
Mulier 2
Allas for doule, I dye,199
To saue my sone schall I,
Aye-whils my liff may last.
Miles 1
A, dame, the deuyll the spede202
And me, but itt be quytte.
Mulier 1
To dye I haue no drede204
I do the wele to witte,
To saue my sone so dere.
Miles 1
Asarmes, for nowe is nede;207
But yf we do yone dede
Ther quenys will quelle vs here.
Mulier 2
Allas, this lothly striffe,210
No blisse may be my bette,
The knyght vppon his knyffe
Hath slayne my sone so swette,
And I hadde but hym allone.
Mulier 1
Allas, I lose my liffe,215
Was neuere so wofull a wyffe
Ne halffe so wille of wone;
And certis, me were full lotht
That thei thus harmeles yoede.
Miles 1
The deuell myght spede you bothe,220
False wicchis, ar yoe woode?
Mulier 2
Nay, false lurdayns, yoe lye.222
Miles 1
Yf yoe be woode or wrothe223
Ye schall noyot skape fro skathe;
Wende we vs hense in hye.
Mulier 1
Allas that we wer wroughte226
In worlde women to be,
The barne that wee dere bought
Thus in oure sighte to see
Disputuously spill.
Mulier 2
And certis, ther nott is noght,231
The same that thei haue soughte
Schall thei neuere come till.
Miles 1
Go we to the kyng.234
Of all this contek kene
I schall nott lette for nothyng
To saie as we haue sene.
Miles 2
And certis, no more shall I;238
We haue done his bidding
How so they wraste or wryng,
We schall saie sothfastly.
Miles 1
Mahounde oure god of myght,242
Saue the, sir Herowde the kyng.
Consolator 1
Lorde, take kepe to youre knyght,244
He wille telle yoou nowe tyding
Of bordis wher they haue bene.
Yaa, and thei haue gone right247
And holde that thei vs hight,
Than shall solace be sene.
Miles 2
Lorde, as yoe demed vs to done250
In contrees wher we come-
Sir, by sonne and mone,252
Ye are welcome home
And worthy to haue rewarde.
Haue yoe geten vs this gome?
Miles 1
Wher we fande felle or fone256
Wittenesse we will that ther was none.
Miles 2
Lorde, they are dede ilkone,258
What wolde yoe we ded more?
I aske but aftir oone260
The kyngis tolde of before,
That schulde make grete maistrie;
Telle vs if he be tane.
Miles 1
Lorde, tokenyng hadde we none264
To knawe that brothell by.
Miles 2
In bale we haue tham brought266
Aboute all Bedleham towne.
Ye lye, yooure note is nought,268
The deueles of helle yoou droune.
So may that boy be fledde,
For in waste haue yoe wroght.
Or that same ladde be sought
Schalle I neuere byde in bedde.
Consolator 1
We will wende with you than,274
To dynge that dastard doune.
Asarme euere-ilke man276
That holdis of Mahounde.
Wer they a thousand skore
This bargayne schall thai banne.
Comes aftir as yhe canne,
For we will wende before.

2018 Nov 25  22:07:40