The Hosiers' Play: Moses and Pharaoh

Rex Pharao
O pees, I bidde that no man passe,1
But kepe the cours that I comaunde,
And takes gud heede to hym that hasse
Youre liff all haly in his hande.
Kyng Pharo my fadir was,
And led the lordshippe of this lande,
I am his hayre as elde will asse,7
Euere in his steede to styrre and stande.
All Egippe is myne awne
To lede aftir my lawe,
I will my myght be knawen
And honnoured as it awe.
Therfore als kyng I commaunde pees13
To all the pepill of this empire,
That no man putte hym fourthe in prees
But that will do als we desire.
And of youre sawes I rede you sees,
And sesse to me, youre sufferayne sire,
That most youre comforte may encrese19
And at my liste lose liffe and lyre.
Consolator 1
My lorde, yf any were21
That walde not wirke youre will,
And we wist whilke thay were
Ful sone we suld thaym spill.
Rex Pharao
Thurghoute my kyngdome wolde I kenn,25
And konne tham thanke that couthe me telle,
If any wer so weryd then
That wolde aught fande owre forse to fell.
Consolator 2
My lorde, thar are a maner of men29
That mustirs grete maistris tham emell,
The Jewes that wonnes here in Jessen
And er named the childir of Israell.
They multyplye so faste
That suthly we suppose
Thay are like, and they laste,35
Yowre lordshippe for to lose.
Rex Pharao
Why, devill, what gawdes haue they begonne?37
Er thai of myght to make afrayse?
Consolator 1
Tho felons folke, sir, first was fonn39
In kyng Pharo yooure fadyr dayse.
Thay come of Joseph, Jacob sonn,
That was a prince worthy to prayse,
And sithen in ryste furthe are they run,
Now ar they like to lose our layse.
Thay sall confounde vs clene45
Bot if thai sonner sese.
Rex Pharao
What devill ever may it mene47
That they so fast encrese?
Consolator 2
Howe they encrese full wele we kenn,49
Als oure elders before vs fande,
Thay were talde but sexty and ten
Whan thei enterd into this lande.
Sithen haue they soionerd here in Jessen
Foure houndereth yoere, this we warande,
Now are they noumbered of myghty men55
Wele more than thre hundereth thowsande,
Withowten wiffe and childe
And herdes that kepes ther fee.
Rex Pharao
So myght we be bygillid;59
Bot certis that sall noght be,
For with qwantise we sall tham qwelle,
That thei sall no farrar sprede.
Consolator 1
Lorde, we have herde oure fadres telle63
Howe clerkis, that ful wele couthe rede,
Saide a man shulde wax tham emell
That suld fordo vs and owre dede.
Rex Pharao
Fy on tham, to the devell of helle!67
Swilke destanye sall we noght drede.
We sall make mydwayes to spille tham,
Whenne oure Ebrewes are borne,
All that are mankynde to kille tham,
So sall they sone by lorne.
For of the other haue I non awe.73
Swilke bondage sall we to tham bede:
To dyke and delfe, beere and drawe,
And do all swilke vnhonest dede.
Thus sall the laddis beholden lawe,
Als losellis ever thaire lyff to leede.
Consolator 2
Certis lorde, this is a sotell sawe,79
So sall the folke no farrar sprede.
Rex Pharao
Yaa, helpes to halde tham doune,81
That we no fantyse fynde.
Consolator 1
Lorde, we sall ever be bowne83
In bondage tham to bynde.
Grete God that all this grounde began85
And governes euere in gud degree,
That made me Moyses vnto man
And saued me sythen out of the see-
Kyng Pharo he comaunded than
So that no sonnes shulde saued be,
Agayns his wille away I wan-91
Thus has God shewed his myght in me.
Nowe am I here to kepe,
Sett vndir Synay syde,
The bisshoppe Jetro schepe,
So bettir bute to bide.
A, mercy God, mekill is thy myght,97
What man may of thy meruayles mene!
I se yoondyr a ful selcouth syght
Wherof befor no synge was seene.
A busk I se yondir brennand bright
And the leues last ay inlike grene;
If it be werke of worldly wight103
I will go witte withowten wene.
Moyses, come noght to nere105
Bot stille in that stede dwelle,
And take hede to me here,
And tente what I the telle.
I am thy lorde, withoutyn lak,
To lengh thi liffe euen as me list,
And the same God that somtyme spak111
Vnto thyne elders als thei wiste;
Both Abraham and Ysaac
And Jacob, saide I, suld be bliste
And multyplyeand, tham to mak,
So that ther seede shulde noght be myste.
And nowe kyng Pharo117
Fuls thare childir ful faste.
If I suffir hym soo
Thare seede shulde sone be past.
To make the message haue I mende
To hym that tham so harmed hase,
To warne hym with wordes hende123
So that he lette my pepull passe,
That they to wildirnesse may wende
And wirshippe me als whilom was.
And yf he lenger gar them lende
His sange ful sone sall be ‘alas’.
A, lord, syth, with thy leue,129
That lynage loves me noght,
Gladly they walde me greve
And I slyke boodword brought.
Therfore lord, late sum othir fraste
That hase more forse tham for to feere.
Moyses, be noght abaste135
My bidding baldely to bere.
If thai with wrang ought walde the wrayste,
Owte of all wothis I sall the were.
We, lord, thai wil noght to me trayste139
For al the othes that I may swere.
To neven slyke note of newe
To folke of wykkyd will,
Withouten taken trewe,
They will noght take tente thertill.
And if they will noght vndirstande145
Ne take heede how I haue the sente,
Before the kyng cast downe thy wande
And it sall seme as a serpent.
Sithen take the tayle in thy hande
And hardely vppe thou itt hente,
In the firste state als thou it fande-151
So sall it turne be myn entent.
Hyde thy hande in thy barme
And as a lepre it sall be like,
Sithen hale withouten harme;
Thi syngnes sall be slyke.
And if he wil not suffre than157
My pepull for to passe in pees,
I sall send vengeaunce ix or x
To sewe hym sararre, or I sesse.
Bot the Jewes that wonnes in Jessen
Sall noyot be merked with that messe,
Als lange als thai my lawes will kenne163
Ther comfort sal I euere encresse.
A, lorde, lovyd be thy wille165
That makes thy folke so free,
I sall tell tham vntill
Als thou telles vnto me.
But to the kyng, lorde, whan I come
And he ask me what is thy name,
And I stande stille than, defe and dum,171
How sal I be withouten blame?
I saie thus ego sum qui sum,173
I am he that I am the same,
And if thou myght not meve ne mum
I sall the saffe fro synne and shame.
I vndirstande this thyng177
With al the myght in me.
Be bolde in my blissyng,179
Thy belde ay sall I be.
A, lorde of lyffe, lere me my layre181
That I there tales may trewly tell.
Vnto my frendis nowe will I fare,
The chosen childre of Israell,
To telle tham comforte of ther care,
And of there daunger that thei in dwell.
God mayntayne you and me euermare,187
And mekill myrthe be you emell.
Puer 1
A, Moyses, maistir dere,189
Oure myrthe is al mornyng,
We are harde halden here
Als carls vndir the kyng.
Puer 2
Moyses, we may mourne and myne,193
Ther is no man vs myrthes mase;
And sen we come al of a kynne,
Ken vs som comforte in this case.
Beith of youre mornyng blyne,197
God wil defende you of your fays.
Oute of this woo he will you wynne
To plese hym in more plener place.
I sall carpe to the kyng
And fande to make you free.
Puer 3
God sende vs gud tythynge,203
And allway with you be.
Kyng Pharo, to me take tent.205
Rex Pharao
Why, what tydyngis can thou tell?206
Fro God of heuen thus am I sente207
To fecche his folke of Israell;
To wildirnesse he walde thei wente.
Rex Pharao
Yaa, wende thou to the devell of hell.210
I make no force howe thou has mente,
For in my daunger sall thei dwelle.
And faytour, for thy sake,
Thei sall be putte to pyne.
Thanne will God vengeaunce take215
On the and on al thyne.
Rex Pharao
Fy on the ladde, oute of my lande!217
Wenes thou with wiles to lose oure laye?
When is this warlowe with his wande
That wolde thus wynne oure folke away?
Consolator 2
It is Moyses, we wele warrand,221
Agayne al Egipte is he ay.
Youre fadir grete faute in hym fande,
Nowe will he marre you if he may.
Rex Pharao
Nay, nay, that daunce is done,225
That lordan leryd ouere-late.
God biddis the graunte my bone,227
And late me go my gate.
Rex Pharao
Biddis God me? Fals lurdayne, thou lyes!229
What takyn talde he, toke thou tent?
Yaa sir, he saide thou suld despise231
Botht me and all his comaundement.
In thy presence kast on this wise
My wande he bad by his assent,
And that thou shulde the wele avise
Howe it shulde turne to a serpent.
And in his haly name237
Here sal I ley it downe:
Loo ser, se her the same.
Rex Pharao
A! Dogg! The deuyll the drowne!240
He saide that I shulde take the tayle241
So for to proue his poure playne,
And sone he saide it shuld not fayle
For to turne a wande agayne.
Loo sir, behalde.
Rex Pharao
Hopp illa hayle!245
Now certis this is a sotill swayne,
But this boyes sall byde here in oure bayle,
For al thair gaudis sall noght tham gayne;
Bot warse, both morne and none,
Sall thei fare for thy sake.
God sende sum vengeaunce sone,251
And on thi werke take wrake.
Egyptian 1
Allas, allas, this lande is lorne,253
On lif we may no lenger lende.
Egyptian 2
So grete myscheffe is made sen morne255
Ther may no medycyne vs amende.
Consolator 1
Sir kyng, we banne that we wer borne,257
Oure blisse is all with bales blende.
Rex Pharao
Why crys you swa, laddis? Liste you scorne?259
Egyptian 1
Sir kyng, slyk care was neuere kende.260
Oure watir that was ordand
To men and beestis fudde,
Thurghoute al Egipte lande
Is turned to rede blude.
Full vgly and ful ill is it
That was ful faire and fresshe before.266
Rex Pharao
This is grete wondir for to witt267
Of all the werkis that ever wore.
Egyptian 2
Nay lorde, ther is anothir yoitt269
That sodenly sewes vs ful sore,
For tadys and frosshis we may not flitte,
Thare venym loses lesse and more.
Egyptian 1
Lorde, grete myses bothe morn and none273
Bytis vs full bittirlye,
And we hope al by done
By Moyses, oure enemye.
Consolator 1
Lorde, whills ve with this menyhe meve277
Mon never myrthe be vs emange.
Rex Pharao
Go saie we sall no lenger greve-279
But thai sall neuere the tytar gang.
Egyptian 2
Moyses, my lord has grauntyd leve281
At lede thy folk to likyng lande,
So that we mende of oure myscheue.
I wate ful wele thar wordes er wrange;284
That sall ful sone be sene,
For hardely I hym heete,
And he of malice mene
Mo mervaylles mon he mett.
Egyptian 1
Lorde, allas, for dule we dye,289
We dar not loke oute at no dore.
Rex Pharao
What deuyll ayles yow so to crye?291
Egyptian 2
We fare nowe werre than euere we fure.292
Grete loppis ouere all this lande thei flye,
That with bytyng makis mekill blure.
Egyptian 1
Lorde, oure beestis lyes dede and dry295
Als wele on myddyng als on more-
Both oxe, horse and asse
Fallis dede doune sodanly.
Rex Pharao
Therof no man harme has299
Halfe so mekil as I.
Consolator 2
Yis lorde, poure men has mekill woo301
To see ther catell be out cast.
The Jewes in Jessen faren noyot soo,
They haue al likyng in to last.
Rex Pharao
Go saie we giffe tham leue to goo305
To tyme there parellis be ouer-past-
But or thay flitte over-farre vs froo
We sall garre feste tham foure so fast.
Egyptian 2
Moyses, my lord giffis leue309
Thy men for to remewe.
He mon haue more mischeff311
But if his tales be trewe.
Egyptian 1
We, lorde, we may not lede this liffe.313
Rex Pharao
Why, is ther greuaunce growen agayne?314
Egyptian 2
Swilke poudre, lord, apon vs dryffe315
That whare it bettis it makis a blayne.
Egyptian 1
Like mesellis makis it man and wyffe.317
Sythen ar they hurte with hayle and rayne;
Oure wynes in mountaynes may noyot thryve,
So ar they threst and thondour-slayne.
Rex Pharao
How do thay in Jessen,321
The Jewes, can yoe aught say?
Egyptian 2
This care nothyng they ken,323
Thay fele no such affray.
Rex Pharao
No? Devill! And sitte they so in pees325
And we ilke day in doute and drede?
Egyptian 1
My lorde, this care will euere encrese327
Tille Moyses have leve tham to lede.
Consolator 1
Lorde, war thay wente than walde it sese,329
So shuld we save vs and oure seede,
Ellis be we lorne-this is no lese.
Rex Pharao
Late hym do fourth, the devill hym spede!332
For his folke sall no ferre
Yf he go welland woode.
Consolator 2
Than will itt sone be warre,335
Yit war bettir thai yooode.
Egyptian 2
We, lorde, new harme is comon to hande.337
Rex Pharao
No! Devill! Will itt no bettir be?338
Egyptian 1
Wilde wormes is laide ouere al this lande,339
Thai leve no frute ne floure on tree;
Agayne that storme may nothyng stande.
Egyptian 2
Lord, ther is more myscheff thynke me,342
And thre daies hase itt bene durand,
So myrke that non myght othir see.
Egyptian 1
My lorde, grete pestelence345
Is like ful lange to last.
Rex Pharao
Owe, come that in oure presence?347
Than is oure pride al past.
Egyptian 2
My lorde, this vengeaunce lastis lange,349
And mon till Moyses haue his bone.
Consolator 1
Lorde, late tham wende, els wirke we wrang,351
It may not helpe to hover na hone.
Rex Pharao
Go saie we graunte tham leue to gange353
In the devill way, sen itt bus be done-
For so may fall we sall tham fang
And marre tham or tomorne at none.
Egyptian 1
Moyses, my lorde has saide357
Thou sall haue passage playne.
And to passe am I paied.359
My frendes, bees nowe fayne,
For at oure will now sall we wende,
In lande of lykyng for to lende.
Puer 1
Kyng Pharo, that felowns fende,363
Will haue grete care fro this be kende,
Than will he schappe hym vs to shende
And sone his ooste aftir vs sende.
Beis noght aferde, God is youre frende,367
Fro alle oure fooes he will vs fende.
Tharfore comes furthe with me,
Haves done and drede yow noght.
Puer 2
My lorde, loved mott thou bee,371
That us fro bale has brought.
Puer 3
Swilke frenshippe never before we fande,373
But in this faire defautys may fall.
The Rede See is ryght nere at hande,
Ther bus vs bide to we be thrall.
I sall make vs way with my wande,377
For God hase sayde he saue vs sall;
On aythir syde the see sall stande,
Tille we be wente, right as a wall.
Therfore have yoe no drede,
But faynde ay God to plese.
Puer 1
That lorde to lande vs lede,383
Now wende we all at esse.
Egyptian 1
Kyng Pharro, ther folke er gane.385
Rex Pharao
Howe nowe, es ther any noyes of newe?386
Egyptian 2
The Ebrowes er wente ilkone.387
Rex Pharao
How sais thou that?388
Egyptian 1
Ther talis er trewe.388
Rex Pharao
Horse harneys tyte, that thei be tane,389
This ryott radly sall tham rewe.
We sall not sese or they be slone,
For to the se we sall tham sew.
Do charge oure charyottis swithe
And frekly folowes me.
Egyptian 2
My lorde we are full blithe395
At youre biddyng to be.
Consolator 2
Lorde, to youre biddyng we er boune397
Owre bodies baldely for to bede,
We sall noght byde, but dyng tham doune
Tylle all be dede, withouten drede.
Rex Pharao
Hefe vppe youre hartis ay to Mahownde,401
He will be nere vs in oure nede.
Owte! Ay herrowe! Devill, I drowne!
Egyptian 1
Allas, we dye for alle our dede.404
Puer 1
Nowe ar we wonne fra waa405
And saued oute of the see,
Cantemus domino,
To God a sange synge wee.

2018 Nov 25  22:07:40