The Mercers' Play: The Last Judgement

Firste when I this worlde hadde wroght-1
Woode and wynde and wateris wan,
And all-kynne thyng that nowe is oght-
Fulle wele methoght that I did thanne.
Whenne thei were made, goode me thame thoght;
Sethen to my liknes made I man
And man to greue me gaffe he noght,7
Therfore me rewis that I the worlde began.
Whanne I had made man at my will,
I gaffe hym wittis hymselue to wisse,
And paradise I putte hym till
And bad hym halde it all as his.
But of the tree of goode and ill13
I saide, ‘What tyme thou etis of this,
Manne, thou spedes thiselue to spill-
Thou arte broght oute of all blissé.
Belyue brak manne my bidding.
He wende haue bene a god therby;
He wende haue wittyne of all-kynne thyng,19
In worlde to haue bene als wise as I.
He ete the appill I badde schulde hyng,
Thus was he begilid thurgh glotony;
Sithen both hym and his ospring
To pyne I putte thame all forthy.
To lange and late methoghte it goode25
To catche thois caitiffis oute of care.
I sente my sone with full blithe moode
Till erthe, to salue thame of thare sare.
For rewthe of thame he reste on roode
And boughte thame with his body bare;
For thame he shedde his harte-bloode-31
What kyndinesse myght I do thame mare?
Sethen aftirwarde he heryed hell
And toke oute thois wrecchis that ware thareinne;
Ther faughte that free with feendis feele
For thame that ware sounkyn for synne.
Sethen in erthe than gonne he dwelle,37
Ensaumpill he gaue thame heuene to wynne,
In tempill hymselffe to teche and tell,
To by thame blisse that neuere may blynne.
Sethen haue thei founde me full of mercye,
Full of grace and forgiffenesse,
And thei als wrecchis, wittirly,43
Has ledde ther liffe in lithirnesse.
Ofte haue thei greued me greuously,
Thus haue thei quitte me my kyndinesse;
Therfore no lenger, sekirlye,
Thole will I thare wikkidnesse.
Men seis the worlde but vanité,49
Yitt will no manne beware therby;
Ilke a day ther mirroure may thei se,
Yitt thynke thei noyot that thei schall dye.
All that euere I saide schulde be
Is nowe fulfillid thurgh prophicie,
Therfore nowe is it tyme to me55
To make endyng of mannes folie.
I haue tholed mankynde many a yoere
In luste and likyng for to lende,
And vnethis fynde I ferre or nere
A man that will his misse amende.
In erthe I see butte synnes seere,61
Therfore myne aungellis will I sende
To blawe ther bemys, that all may here
The tyme is comen I will make ende.
Aungellis, blawes youre bemys belyue,
Ilke a creatoure for to call,
Leerid and lewde, both man and wiffe,67
Ressayue ther dome this day thei schall,
Ilke a leede that euere hadde liffe-
Bese none forgetyn, grete ne small.
Ther schall thei see the woundes fyve
That my sone suffered for them all.
And sounderes thame before my sight,73
All same in blisse schall thei not be.
Mi blissid childre, as I haue hight,
On my right hande I schall thame see;
Sethen schall ilke a weried wight
On my lifte side for ferdnesse flee.
This day ther domys thus haue I dight79
To ilke a man as he hath serued me.
Angel 1
Loued be thou, lorde of myghtis moste,81
That aungell made to messengere.
Thy will schall be fulfillid in haste,
That heuene and erthe and helle schalle here.
Goode and ill, euery-ilke a gaste,
Rise and fecche youre flessh that was youre feere,
For all this worlde is broght to waste.87
Drawes to youre dome, it neghes nere.
Angel 2
Ilke a creature, bothe olde and yhing,89
Belyue I bidde yoou that yoe ryse;
Body and sawle with yoou yoe bring,
And comes before the high justise.
For I am sente fro heuene kyng
To calle yoou to this grette assise,
Therfore rise vppe and geue rekenyng95
How yoe hym serued vppon sere wise.
Good Soul 1
Loued be thou lorde, that is so schene,97
That on this manere made vs to rise,
Body and sawle togedir, clene,
To come before the high justise.
Of oure ill dedis, lorde, thou not mene,
That we haue wroght vppon sere wise,
But graunte vs for thy grace bedene103
That we may wonne in paradise.
Good Soul 2
A, loued be thou, lorde of all,105
That heuene and erthe and all has wroght,
That with thyne aungellis wolde vs call
Oute of oure graues hidir to be broght.
Ofte haue we greued the, grette and small,
Theraftir lorde thou deme vs noght,
Ne suffir vs neuere to fendis to be thrall,111
That ofte in erthe with synne vs soght.
Bad Soul 1
Allas, allas, that we were borne,113
So may we synfull kaytiffis say;
I here wele be this hydous horne
Itt drawes full nere to domesday.
Allas, we wrecchis that are forlorne,
That never yoitt serued God to paye,
But ofte we haue his flessh forsworne-119
Allas, allas, and welaway.
What schall we wrecchis do for drede,
Or whedir for ferdnes may we flee,
When we may bringe forthe no goode dede
Before hym that oure juge schall be?
To aske mercy vs is no nede,125
For wele I wotte dampned be we,
Allas, that we swilke liffe schulde lede
That dighte vs has this destonye.
Oure wikkid werkis thei will vs wreye,
That we wende never schuld haue bene weten,
That we did ofte full pryuely,131
Appertely may we se them wreten.
Allas, wrecchis, dere mon we by-
Full smerte with helle fyre be we smetyn.
Nowe mon neuere saule ne body dye,
But with wikkid peynes euermore be betyne.
Allas, for drede sore may we quake,137
Oure dedis beis oure dampnacioune.
For oure mys menyng mon we make,
Helpe may none excusacioune.
We mon be sette for oure synnes sake
Foreuere fro oure saluacioune,
In helle to dwelle with feendes blake,143
Wher neuer schall be redempcioune.
Bad Soul 2
Als carefull caitiffis may we ryse,145
Sore may we wringe oure handis and wepe;
For cursidnesse and for covetise
Dampned be we to helle full depe.
Rought we neuere of Goddis seruise,
His comaundementis wolde we noyot kepe,
But ofte than made we sacrafise151
To Satanas when othir slepe.
Allas, now wakens all oure were,
Oure wikkid werkis may we not hide,
But on oure bakkis vs muste them bere-
Thei wille vs wreye on ilke a side.
I see foule feendis that wille vs feere,157
And all for pompe of wikkid pride.
Wepe we may with many a teere,
Allas, that we this day schulde bide.
Before vs playnly bese fourth brought
The dedis that vs schall dame bedene;
That eres has herde, or harte has thoght,163
Sen any tyme that we may mene,
That fote has gone or hande has wroght,
That mouthe hath spoken or ey has sene-
This day full dere thanne bese it boght;
Allas, vnborne and we hadde bene.
Angel 3
Standis noght togedir, parte you in two!169
All sam schall yoe noght be in blisse;
Oure fadir of heuene woll it be soo,
For many of yowe has wroght amys.
The goode on his right hande yoe goe,
The way till heuene he will you wisse;
Ye weryed wightis, yoe flee hym froo175
On his lefte hande as none of his.
This woffull worlde is brought till ende,177
Mi fadir of heuene he woll it be;
Therfore till erthe nowe will I wende
Miselue to sitte in magesté.
To deme my domes I woll descende;
This body will I bere with me-
Howe it was dight, mannes mys to mende,183
All mankynde there schall it see.
Mi postelis and my darlyngis dere,
The dredfull dome this day is dight.
Both heuen and erthe and hell schall here
Howe I schall holde that I haue hight:
That yoe schall sitte on seetis sere189
Beside myselffe to se that sight,
And for to deme folke ferre and nere
Aftir ther werkyng, wronge or right.
I saide also whan I you sente
To suffre sorowe for my sake,
All tho that wolde thame right repente195
Shulde with you wende and wynly wake;
And to youre tales who toke no tente
Shulde fare to fyre with fendis blake.
Of mercy nowe may noyot be mente,
Butt, aftir wirkyng, welth or wrake.
My hetyng haly schall I fullfille,201
Therfore comes furth and sittis me by
To here the dome of goode and ill.
1Apostle 1
I loue the, lord God allmyghty;204
Late and herely, lowde and still,
To do thy bidding bayne am I.
I obblissh me to do thi will
With all my myght, als is worthy.
2Apostle 2
A, myghtfull God, here is it sene209
Thou will fulfille thi forward right,
And all thi sawes thou will maynteyne.
I loue the, lorde, with all my myght,
That for vs that has erthely bene
Swilke dingnitees has dressed and dight.
Comes fourthe, I schall sitte yoou betwene,215
And all fullfille that I haue hight.
1Diabolus 1
Felas, arraye vs for to fight,217
And go we faste oure fee to fange.
The dredefull dome this day is dight-
I drede me that we dwelle full longe.
2Diabolus 2
We schall be sene euere in ther sight221
And warly waite, ellis wirke we wrange,
For if the domisman do vs right,
Full grete partie with vs schall gang.
3Diabolus 3
He schall do right to foo and frende,225
For nowe schall all the soth be sought.
All weried wightis with vs schall wende,
To payne endles thei schall be broght.
[…     …]228
Ilke a creature, takes entent229
What bodworde I to you bringe:
This wofull worlde away is wente,
And I am come as crouned kynge.
Mi fadir of heuene, he has me sente
To deme youre dedis and make ending.
Comen is the day of jugement;235
Of sorowe may ilke a synfull synge.
The day is comen of kaydyfnes,
All tham to care that are vnclene,
The day of bale and bittirnes-
Full longe abedyn has it bene;
The day of drede to more and lesse,241
Of ire, of trymbelyng, and of tene,
That ilke a wight that weried is
May say, ‘Allas, this daye is sené.
Here may yoe see my woundes wide,
The whilke I tholed for youre mysdede.
Thurgh harte and heed, foote, hande and hide,247
Nought for my gilte, butt for youre nede.
Beholdis both body, bak and side,
How dere I bought youre brotherhede.
Thes bittir peynes I wolde abide-
To bye you blisse thus wolde I bleede.
Mi body was scourged withouten skill,253
As theffe full thraly was I thrette;
On crosse thei hanged me, on a hill,
Blody and bloo, as I was bette,
With croune of thorne throsten full ill.
This spere vnto my side was sette-
Myne harte-bloode spared noght thei for to spill;259
Manne, for thy loue wolde I not lette.
The Jewes spitte on me spitously,
Thei spared me no more than a theffe.
Whan thei me strake I stode full stilly,
Agaynste tham did I nothyng greue.
Behalde, mankynde, this ilke is I,265
Thus was I dight for thy folye-267
Man, loke, thy liffe was to me full leffe.
Thus was I dight thi sorowe to slake;
Manne, thus behoued the to borowed be.
In all my woo toke I no wrake,
Mi will itt was for the loue of the.
Man, sore aught the for to quake,273
This dredfull day this sight to see.
All this I suffered for thi sake-
Say, man, what suffered thou for me?
My blissid childre on my right hande,
Youre dome this day yoe thar not drede,
For all youre comforte is command,279
Youre liffe in likyng schall yoe lede.
Commes to the kyngdome ay-lastand
That yoou is dight for youre goode dede,
Full blithe may yoe be where yoe stande,
For mekill in heuene schall be youre mede.
Whenne I was hungery yoe me fedde,285
To slake my thirste youre harte was free;
Whanne I was clothles yoe me cledde,
Ye wolde no sorowe vppon me see.
In harde presse whan I was stedde,
Of my payns yoe hadde pitee;
Full seke whan I was brought in bedde,291
Kyndely yoe come to coumforte me.
Whanne I was wille and werieste
Ye herbered me full hartefully;
Full gladde thanne were yoe of youre geste,
And pleyned my pouerté piteuously.
Belyue yoe brought me of the beste297
And made my bedde full esyly,
Therfore in heuene schall be youre reste,
In joie and blisse to be me by.
Good Soul 1
Whanne hadde we, lorde that all has wroght,301
Meete and drinke the with to feede,
Sen we in erthe hadde neuere noght
But thurgh the grace of thy Godhede?
Good Soul 2
Whanne waste that we the clothes brought,305
Or visite the in any nede,
Or in thi sikenes we the sought?
Lorde, when did we the this dede?
Mi blissid childir, I schall yoou saye309
What tyme this dede was to me done:
When any that nede hadde, nyght or day,
Askid yoou helpe and hadde it sone.
Youre fre hartis saide them neuere nay,
Erely ne late, mydday ne none,
But als ofte-sithis as thei wolde praye,315
Thame thurte but bide and haue ther bone.
Ye cursid caytiffis of Kaymes kynne,
That neuere me comforte in my care,
I and yoe foreuer will twynne,
In dole to dwelle for euermare.
Youre bittir bales schall neuere blynne321
That yoe schall haue when yoe come thare;
Thus haue yoe serued for youre synne,
For derffe dedis yoe haue done are.
Whanne I had mistir of mete and drynke,
Caytiffis, yoe cacched me fro youre yoate.
Whanne yoe wer sette as sirs on benke,327
I stode theroute, werie and wette;
Was none of yowe wolde on me thynke,
Pyté to haue of my poure state,
Therfore till hell I schall you synke-
Weele are yoe worthy to go that gate.
Whanne I was seke and soriest333
Ye visitte me noght, for I was poure;
In prisoune faste whan I was feste
Was none of you loked howe I fore.
Whenne I wiste neuere where for to reste,
With dyntes yoe draffe me fro your dore,
Butte euer to pride thanne were yoe preste,339
Mi flessh, my bloode, ofte yoe forswore.
Clothles whanne I was ofte, and colde,
At nede of you, yoede I full naked;
House ne herborow, helpe ne holde
Hadde I none of you, thof I quaked.
Mi mischeffe sawe ye manyfolde,345
Was none of you my sorowe slaked,
Butt euere forsoke me, yonge and alde,
Therfore schall yoe nowe be forsaked.
Bad Soul 1
Whan had thou, lorde that all thing has,349
Hungir or thirste, sen thou God is?
Whan was that thou in prisoune was?
Whan was thou naked or herberles?
Bad Soul 2
Whan was it we sawe the seke, allas?353
Whan kid we the this vnkyndinesse?
Werie or wette to late the passe,
When did we the this wikkidnesse?
Caistiffis, als ofte als it betidde357
That nedfull aught askid in my name,
Ye herde them noght, youre eris yoe hidde,
Youre helpe to thame was noyot at hame.
To me was that vnkyndines kyd,
Therfore ye bere this bittir blame;
To leste or moste whan yoe it did,363
To me yoe did the selue and the same.
Mi chosen childir, comes vnto me,
With me to wonne nowe schall yoe wende
There joie and blisse schall euer be,
Youre liffe in lyking schall yoe lende.
Ye cursed kaitiffis, fro me yoe flee,369
In helle to dwelle withouten ende,
Ther yoe schall neuere butt sorowe see
And sitte be Satanas the fende.
Nowe is fulfillid all my forthoght,
For endid is all erthely thyng.
All worldly wightis that I haue wroght,375
Aftir ther werkis haue nowe wonnyng.
Thei that wolde synne and sessid noght,
Of sorowes sere now schall thei syng,
And thei that mendid thame whils thei moght
Shall belde and bide in my blissing.

2018 Nov 25  22:07:40