The Hatmakers, Masons, and Labourers' Play: The Purification

Almyghty God in heven so hy,1
The maker of all heven and erth,
He ordenyd here all thynges evenly,
For man he ment to mend his myrth.
In nomber, weight, and mesure fyne
God creat here al thyng, I say,
His lawes he bad men shulde not tyne,7
But kepe his commandmentes allway.
In the mount of Syney full fayre,
And in two tabyls to you to tell,
His lawes to Moyses tuke God there
To geve to the chylder of Israell,
That Moyses shuld theme gyde alway,13
And lerne theme lely to knowe Goddes wyll,
And that he shulde not it denay,
But kepe his lawes stable and styll.
For payn that he hadd putt therefore,
To stone all theme that kepis it nott
Vtterly to death, both lesse and moore;19
There shulde no marcy for them be soght.
Therefore kepe well Goddes commandement,
And leyd your lyf after his lawes,
Or ells surely ye mon be shent
Bothe lesse and moore, ylkone on rawes.
This is his wyll after Moyses lawe:25
That ye shulde bryng your beistes good
And offer theme here your God to knawe,
And frome your synns to turne your moode.
Suche beestes as God hais marked here,
Vnto Moyses he spake as I yow tell,
And bad hyme boldly with good chere,31
To say to the chylder of Israell
That after dyvers seknes seer
And after dyvers synes alsoo,
Go bryng your beestes to the preest even here
To offer theme vp in Goddes sight, loo.
The woman that hais borne her chylde,37
She shall comme hether at the forty day
To be puryfied where she was fylde,
And bryng with her a lame, I say,
And two dove-byrdes for her offerand,
And take them to the preest of lay
To offer theme vp with his holy hand;43
There shulde no man to this say nay.
The lame is offeryd for Goddes honour
In sacrefyes all onely dight,
And the preistes prayer purchace secure
For the woman that was fylyd in God sight.
And yf so be that she be power49
And haue no lame to offer, than
Two tyrtle-doves to Godes honoure
To bryng with her for her offrand.
Loo, here am I preest present alway,
To resave all offerandes that hydder is broght,
And for the people to God to pray55
That helth and lyfe to theme be wroght.
Here in this holy playce I say57
Is my full purpose to abyde,
To serve my God bothe nyght and day
With prayer and fastyng in ever-ylk a tyde.
For I haue beyn a wyddo this threscore yere
And foure yere to, the truthe to tell,
And here I haue terryed with full good chere63
For the redempcyon of Israell.
And so for my holy conversacion
Grete grace to me hais nowe God sent,
To tell by profecy for mans redempcion
What shall befall by Goddes intent.
I tell you all here in this place,69
By Godes vertue in prophecy,
That one is borne to oure solace,
Here to be present securely
Within short space,
Of his owen mother, a madyn free,
Of all vyrgens moost chaist suthly,75
The well of mekenes, blyssed myght she be,
Moost full of grace.
And Symeon, that senyour
That is so semely in Godes sight,
He shall hyme se and do honour
And in his armes he shall hym plight,81
That worthy leyd.
Of the holy goost he shall suthly
Take strength, and answere when he shall hy
Furth to this temple and place holy
To do that deyd.
A, blyssed God, thowe be my beylde87
And beat my baill bothe nyght and day,
In hevynes my hart is hylde,
Vnto myself, loo thus I say.
For I ame wayke and all vnwelde,
My welth ay wayns and passeth away,
Whereso I fayre in fyrth or feylde93
I fall ay downe for febyll, in fay.
In fay I fall whereso I fayre,
In hayre and hewe and hyde I say.
Owte of this worlde I wolde I were,
Thus wax I warr and warr alway
And my myscheyf growes in all that may.99
Bot thowe myghty lorde my mornyng mar;
Mar ye, for it shulde me well pay,
So happy to se hyme yf I warr.
Nowe certys then shulde my gamme begynne
And I myght se hyme, of hyme to tell,
That one is borne withouten synne105
And for mankynde mans myrth to mell.
Borne of a woman and madyn fre,
As wytnesse Davyt and Danyell,
Withouten synne or velanye,
As said also Isacheell.
And Melachiell that proffett snell111
Hais tolde vs of that babb so bright,
That he shulde comme with vs to dwell
In our temple as leme of light.
And other proffettes prophesieth
And of this blyssed babb dyd mell,
And of his mother, a madyn bright,117
In prophecy the truth gan tell,
That he shulde comme and harro hell
As a gyant grathly to glyde,
And fersly the feyndes malles to fell
And putt there poors all on syde.
The worthyest wight in this worlde so wyde123
His vertues seer no tong can tell,
He sendes all soccour in ylke tyde
As redemption of Israell.
Thus say they all,
There patryarkes and ther prophettes clere:
‘A babb is borne to be oure fere,129
Knytt in oure kynde for all our chere
To grete and small’.
Ay, well were me for ever and ay
If I myght se that babb so bright
Or I were buryed here in clay,
Then wolde my cors here mend in myght135
Right faithfully.
Nowe lorde, thowe grant to me thy grace
To lyf here in this worlde a space,
That I myght se that babb in his face
Here or I dy.
A, lorde God, I thynke may I endure,141
Trowe we that babb shall fynde me here;
Nowe certys with aige I ame so power
That ever it abaites my chere.
Yet yf kynde fale for aige in me,
God yett may length my lyfe suthly,
Tyll I that babb and foode so free147
Haue seyn in sight.
For trewly, yf I wyst relesse
Thare shulde nothyng my hart dyseas;
Lorde, len me grace yf that thowe pleas
And make me light.
When wyll thowe comme babb? Let se, haue done;153
Nay, comme on tyte and tarry nott,
For certys my lyf-days are nere done,
For aige to me grete wo hais wroght.
Great wo is wroght vnto mans harte
Whan he muste want that he wolde haue;
I kepe no longar to haue quarte159
For I haue seen that I for crave.
A, trowes thowe these ij eyes shall see
That blyssed babb or they be owte?
Ye, I pray God so myght it be-
Then were I putt all owte of dowte.
Olde Symeon, Gods seruaunt right,165
Bodworde to the I bryng I say,
For the holy goost moost of myght,
He says thowe shall not dye away
To thowe haue seen
Jesu the babb that Mary bare,
For all mankynde to slake there care.171
He shall do comforth to lesse and mayr,
Both morne and even.
A, lorde, gramarcy nowe I say174
That thowe this grace hais to me hight,
Or I be buryed here in clay
To se that semely beam so bright.
No man of molde may haue more happ
To my solace and myrth allway,
Than for to se that Mary lapp180
Jesu my joy and savyour ay,
Blyssyd be his name.
Loo, nowe mon I se, the truth to tell,
The redempcion of Israell,
Jesu my lorde Emanuell,
Withouten blame.186
Joseph my husbonde and my feer,187
Ye take to me grathely entent,
I wyll you showe in this manere
What I wyll do, thus haue I ment:
Full xl days is comme and went
Sens that my babb Jesu was borne,
Therefore I wolde he were present193
As Moyses lawes sais hus beforne,
Here in this temple before Goddes sight
As other women doith in feer,
So methynke good skyll and right
The same to do nowe with good chere,
After Goddes sawe.199
Mary my spowse and madyn clene,200
This matter that thowe moves to me
Is for all these women bedene
That hais conceyved with syn fleshely
To bere a chylde.
The lawe is ledgyd for theme right playn,
That they muste be puryfied agayne,206
For in mans pleasoure for certayn
Before were they fylyd.
But Mary, byrde, thowe neyd not soo
For this cause to be puryfiede, loo,
In Goddes temple.
For certys thowe arte a clene vyrgyn212
For any thoght thy harte within,
Nor never wroght no flesly synne
Nor never yll.
That I my madenheade hais kept styll216
It is onely throgh Godds wyll,
That be ye bold.
Yett to fulfyll the lawe ewysse,
That God almyghty gon expresse,
And for a sample of mekenesse
Offer I wolde.222
A, Mary, blyssed be thowe ay,223
Thowe thynkes to do after Goddes wyll,
As thowe haist said Mary, I say,
I will hartely consent theretyll
Withouten dowte.
Wherefore we dresse vs furth oure way
And make offerand to God this day,229
Even lykwyse as thyself gon say
With hartes devowte.
Therto am I full redy dight,232
But one thyng Joseph I wolde you meyve.
Mary my spouse and madyn bright,234
Tell on hartely, what is your greyf?
Both beest and fewll hus muste neydes haue,236
As a lambe and ij dove-byrdes also.
Lame haue we none nor none we crave,
Therefore Joseph what shall we do,
What is your read?
And we do not as custome is,
We are worth to be blamyd iwysse,242
I wolde we dyd nothyng amys
As God me speyd.
A, good Mary, the lawe is this:245
To riche to offer bothe the lame and the byrd,
And the poore ij tyrtles iwys.
Or two doyf-byrdes shall not be fyrd
For our offerand;
And Mary, we haue doyf-byrdes two
As falls for hus, therefore we goo-251
They ar here in a panyer, loo,
Reddy at hand.
And yf we haue not both in feer,
The lame, the burd, as ryche men haue,
Thynke that vs muste present here
Oure babb Jesus, as we voutsaue257
Before Godes sight.
He is our lame Mary, kare the not,
For riche and power none better soght;
Full well thowe hais hym hither broght,
This our offerand right.
He is the lame of God I say,263
That all our syns shall take away
Of this worlde here.
He is the lame of God verray
That muste hus fend frome all our fray,
Borne of thy wombe, all for our pay
And for our chere.269
Joseph my spowse, ye say full trewe,270
Than lett vs dresse hus furth our way.
Go we than Mary, and do oure dewe,272
And make meekly offerand this day.
Lo, here is the tempyll on this hyll
And also preest ordand by skyll,
Power havand.
And Mary, go we thyther forthy,
And lett vs both knele devowtly,278
And offre we vp to God meekly
Our dewe offrand.
Vnto my God highest in heven281
And to this preest ordand by skyll,
Jesu my babb I offer hyme
Here with my harte and my good wyll
Right hartely.
Thowe pray for hus to God on hyght
Thowe preest, present here in his myght,287
At this deyd may be in his sight
Accept goodly.
Loo sir, and two doyf-byrddes ar here,290
Receyve them with your holy handes,
We ar no better of power,
For we haue neyther rentes ne landes
Bott good sir, pray to God of myght
To accepte this at we haue dight,296
That we haue offeryd as we arr hight
Here hartely.
O God and graunter of all grace,299
Blyst be thy name both nyght and day,
Accepte there offerand in this place
That be here present to the alway.
A, blyssed lorde, say never nay,
But lett thys offerand be boot and beylde
Tyll all such folke lyvand in clay,305
That thus to the mekly wyll heyld;
That this babb lord, present in thy sight,
Borne of a madyns wombe vnfylde,
Accepte for there specyall gyft
Gevyn to mankynde, both man and chylde,
So specyally.311
And this babb borne and here present
May beylde vs, that we be not shent,
But ever reddy his grace to hent
Here verely.
A, blyssyd babb, welcome thowe be,
Borne of a madyn in chaistety,317
Thowe art our beylde, babb, our gamme and our glee
Ever sothly.
Welcome oure wytt and our wysdome,
Welcome, our joy all and somme,
Welcomme redemptour omnium
Tyll hus hartely.323
Welcome blyssed Mary and madyn ay,324
Welcome, mooste meke in thyne array;
Welcome bright starne that shyneth bright as day,
All for our blys.
Welcome, the blyssed beam so bryght,
Welcome the leym of all oure light,
Welcome that all pleasour hais plight330
To man and wyfe.
Welcome thowe blyssed babb so free,
Welcome oure welfayre wyelly
And welcome all our seall, suthly,
To grete and small.
Babb, welcome to thy beyldly boure,336
Babb, welcome nowe for our soccoure,
And babb, welcomme with all honour
Here in this hall.
Olde Symeon, I say to the340
Dresse the furth in thyne array,
Come to the temple, there shall thu see
Jesus that babb that Mary barre,
That be thowe bolde.
A, lorde, I thanke the ever and ay,345
Nowe am I light as leyf on tree,
My age is went, I feyll no fray,
Methynke for this that is tolde me
I ame not olde.
Nowe wyll I to yon temple goo
To se the babb that Mary bare,351
He is my helth in well and woo,
And helps me ever frome great care.
Haill blyssed babb that Mary bare,
And blyssed be thy mother, Mary mylde,
Whose wombe that yeildyd fresh and fayr
And she a clean vyrgen ay vnfyld.357
Haill babb, the father of heven own chylde
Chosen to chere vs for our myschance;
No erthly tong can tell vnfylyd
What thy myght is in every chance.
Haill, the moost worthy to enhance,
Boldly thowe beylde frome all yll,363
Withoute thy beylde we gytt grevance
And for our deydes here shulde we spyll.
Haill floscampy and flower vyrgynall,
The odour of thy goodnes reflars to vs all.
Haill, moost happy to great and to small
For our weyll.369
Haill ryall roose, moost ruddy of hewe,
Haill flour vnfadyng, both freshe ay and newe,
Haill the kyndest in comforth that ever man knewe
For grete heyll.
And mekly I beseke the here where I kneyll
To suffre thy servant to take the in hand,375
And in my narmes for to heue the here for my weyll,
And where I bound am in bayll to bait all my bandes.
Nowe come to me, lorde of all landes,
Comme myghtyest by see and by sandes,
Come myrth by strete and by strandes
On moolde.381
Come halse me, the babb that is best born,
Come halse me, the myrth of our morne,
Come halse me, for ells I ame lorne
For olde.
I thanke the lord God of thy greet grace
That thus haith sparyd me a space,387
This babb in my narmes for to inbrace
As the prophecy telles.
I thanke the that me my lyfe lent,
I thanke the that me thus seyll sent,
That this sweyt babb, that I in armes hent
With myrth my myndes alwais melles.393
Mellyd are my myndes ay with myrth,
Full fresh nowe I feyll is my force,
Of thy grace thowe gave me this gyrth
Thus comly to catch here thy corse
Moost semely in sight.
Of helpe thus thy freynd never faills,399
Thy marcy as every man avaylls,
Both by downes and by daylls,
Thus mervelous and muche is thy myght.
A, babb, be thowe blyssed for ay,
For thowe art my savyour I say
And thowe here rewles me in fay,405
In all my lyfe.
Nowe blist be thi name,
For thowe saves hus fro shame,
And here thou beyld vs fro blame
And frome all stryfe.
Nowe care I no moore for my lyfe411
Sen I haue seen here this ryall so ryfe,
My strength and my stynter of stryfe
I you say.
In peace lorde nowe leyf thy servand
For myne eys haith seyn that is ordand,
The helth for all men that be levand417
Here for ay.
That helth lorde hais thowe ordand I say
Here before the face of thy people,
And thy light hais thowe shynyd this day
To be knowe of thy folke that was febyll
For evermore.423
And thy glory for the chylder of Israell,
That with the in thy kyngdome shall dwell
Whan the damnyd shall be drevyn to hell
Than with great care.
Mary, my spowse and madyn mylde,428
In hart I marvell here greatly
Howe these folke spekes of our chylde.
They say and tells of great maistry
That he shall doo.
Yea certes, Joseph, I marvell also,433
But I shall bere it full styll in mynde.
God geve hyme grace here well to do,435
For he is comme of gentyll kynde.
Harke Mary, I shall tell the the truth or I goo.437
This was putt here to welde vs fro wo,
In redemption of many and recover also,
I the say.
And the sworde of sorro thy hart shal thyrll
Whan thowe shall se sothly thy son soffer yll
For the well of all wrytches, that shall be his wyll
Here in fay.
But to be comforth agayn right well thowe may,
And in harte to be fayne, the suth I the say,
For his myght is so muche thare can no tong say nay
Here to his wyll.
For this babb as a gyant full graythly shall glyde449
And the myghtiest mayster shall meve on ylke syde,
To all the wightes that wons in this worlde wyde,
For good or for yll.
Tharefore babb, beylde vs that we here not spyll,
And fayrwell the former of all at thy wyll,
Fayrwell starne stabylyst by lowde and be styll,455
In suthfastnes.
Fayrwell the ryolest roose that is renyng,
Fayrwell the babb best in thy beryng,
Fayrwell God son, thowe grant vs thy blyssyng
To fyne our dystresse.

2018 Nov 25  22:07:40