The Parchmentmakers' and Bookbinders' Play: Abraham and Isaac

Grett God that alle this world has wrought,1
And wisely wote both gud and ille,
I thanke hym thraly in my thoght
Of alle his laue he lens me tille,
That thus fro barenhede has me broghte
A hundereth wynter to fulfille,
Thou graunte me myght so that I mowght7
Ordan my werkis aftir thi wille.
For in this erthely lyffe
Ar non to God more boune
Then is I and my wyffe,
For frenshippe we haue foune.
Vnto me tolde God on a tyde,13
Wher I was telde vnder a tree,
He saide my seede shulde be multyplyed
Lyke to the gravell of the see,
And als the sternes wer strewed wyde,
So saide he that my seede schuld be;
And bad I shulde be circumcicyd19
To fulfille the lawe-thus lernynde he me.
In worlde wherso we wonne
He sendes vs richeys ryve;
Als ferre as schynes the sonne,
He is stynter of stryve.
Abram first named was I,25
And sythen he sette a sylypp ma;
And my wiffe hyght Sarae
And sythen was scho named Sara.
But Sara was vncertan thanne
That euere oure seede shulde sagates yoelde,
Because hirselfe sho was barrane31
And we wer bothe gone in grete eelde.
But scho wroght as a wyse woman:
To haue a barne vs for to beelde,
Hir seruand prevely sho wan
Vnto my bede my wille to welde.
Sone aftir than befelle37
When God oure dede wolde dight,
Sho broght forthe Esmaell,
A sone semely to sight.
Than aftirward when we waxed alde,
My wyffe scho felle in feere for same;
Oure God nedes tythynges tyll vs talde43
Wher we wer in oure house at hame,
Tille haue a sone we shulde be balde,
And Isaak shulde be his name,
And his seede shulde springe manyfalde.
Gyff I were blythe, who wolde me blame?
And for I trowed this tythynge,49
That God talde to me thanne,
The grounde and the begynnyng
Of trowthe that tyme beganne.
Nowe awe I gretely God to yeelde,
That so walde telle me his entente,
And noght gaynestandyng oure grete eelde55
A semely sone he has vs sente.
Now he is wight hymselfe to welde
And fra me is all wightnes wente,
Therfore sall he be my beelde.
I lowe hym that this lane has lente,
For he may stynte oure stryve61
And fende vs fro alle ill;
I love hym as my liff,
With all myn herte and will.
Abraham, Abraham.65
Loo, I am here.65
Nowe bodeword vnto the I brynge:66
God wille assaye thi wille and cheere,
Giffe thou wille bowe tylle his byddyng;
Isaak thi sone that is the dere,
Whom thou loues our alle thyng,
To the lande of vyssyon wende in feere
And there of hym thou make offering.72
I sall the shewe full sone
The stede of sacrifice.
God wille this dede be done,
And therfore the avise.
Lord God that lens ay-lastand light,77
This is a ferly fare to feele.
Tille haue a sone semely to sight,
Isaak, that I loue full wele-
He is of eelde to reken right
Thyrty yoere and more sumdele-
And vnto dede hym buse be dight.83
God has saide me so for my seele,
And biddis me wende on all wise
To the lande of vysioune,
Ther to make sacryfice
Of Isaak that is my sone.
And that is hythyn thre daies jornay89
The ganeste gate that I cane goo;
And sertis, I sall noght say hym nay
If God commaunde myself to sloo.
Bot to my sone I will noght saye,
Bot take hym and my seruantis twoo,
And with our asse wende forthe our waye;95
As God has saide, it sall be soo.
Isaak, sone, I vndirstande
To wildirnesse now wende will we,
Thare fore to make oure offerand,
For so has God comaunded me.
Fadir, I am euere at youre wille,101
As worthy is withowten trayne;
Goddis comaundement to fulfille
Awe all folke for to be fayne.
Sone, thou sais me full gode skille,105
Bott alle the soth is noyot to sayne.
Go we sen we sall thertille-
I praye God sand vs wele agayne.
Childir, lede forthe oure asse109
With wode that we sall bryne.
Euen as God ordand has,
To wyrke we will begynne.
Famulus 1
Att youre biddyng we wille be bowne113
What way in worlde that yoe wille wende.
Famulus 2
Why, sall we trusse ought forthe a towne115
In any vncouthe lande to lende?
Famulus 1
I hope tha haue in this sessoune117
Fro God of heuyn sum solayce sende.
Famulus 2
To fulfille yt is goode reasoune,119
And kyndely kepe that he has kende.
Famulus 1
Bott what thei mene certayne121
Haue I na knowlage clere.
Famulus 2
It may noght gretely gayne123
To move of swilke matere.
No, noye you noght in no degré125
So for to deme here of oure dede,
For als God comaunded so wirke will we,
Vntill his tales vs bus take hede.
Famulus 1
All thos that wille his seruandis be129
Ful specially he wille thaym spede.
Childir, with all the myght in me131
I lowe that lorde of ilke a lede,
And wirshippe hym certayne
My will is euere vnto.
Famulus 2
God giffe you myght and mayne135
Right here so for to doo.
Sone, yf oure lord God almyghty137
Of myselfe walde haue his offerande,
I wolde be glade for hym to dye,
For all oure heele hyngis in his hande.
Fadir, forsuth, ryght so walde I,141
Leuer than lange to leue in lande.
A, sone, thu sais full wele, forthy143
God geue the grace gratthely to stande.
Childir, bide yoe here still,
No ferther sall yoe goo,
For yoondir I se the hill
That we sall wende vntoo.
Kepe wele oure asse and all oure gere149
To tyme we come agayne you till.
My sone, this wode behoues the bere151
Till thou come high vppon yone hill.
Fadir, that may do no dere,153
Goddis comaundement to fullfyll,
For fra all wathes he will vs were
Wharso we wende to wirke his wille.
A, sone, that was wele saide.157
Lay doune that woode euen here
Tille oure auter be grathide-
And, my sone, make goode cheere.
Fadir, I see here woode and fyre,161
Bot wherof sall oure offerand be?
Sertis son, gude God oure suffraynd syre163
Sall ordayne it in goode degré.
For sone, and we do his dessyre,
Full gud rewarde tharfore gette wee.
In heuyn ther mon we haue oure hyre,
For vnto vs so hight has hee.
Therfore sone, lete vs praye169
To God, bothe thou and I,
That we may make this daye
Oure offerand here dewly.
Grete God that all this worlde has wrought
And grathely gouernes goode and ill,
Thu graunte me myght so that I mowght175
Thy comaundementis to fullfill.
And gyffe my flessche groche or greue oght,
Or sertis my saule assentte thertill,
To byrne all that I hydir broght
I sall noght spare yf I shulde spille.
Lorde God of grete pousté181
To wham all pepull prayes,
Graunte bothe my fadir and me
To wirke thi wille allweyes.
But fadir, nowe wolde I frayne full fayne
Wharof oure offerand shulde be grathid?
Sertis sone, I may no lengar layne:187
Thyselfe shulde bide that bittir brayde.
Why fadir, will God that I be slayne?189
Ya, suthly sone, so has he saide.190
And I sall noght grouche theragayne,191
To wirke his wille I am wele payed;
Sen it is his desire,
I sall be bayne to be
Brittynd and brent in fyre,
And therfore morne noght for me.
Nay sone, this gatis most nedis be gone,197
My lord God will I noght gaynesaye,
Nor neuer make mornys nor mone
To make offerand of the this day.
Fadir, sen God oure lorde allane201
Vowchesaffe to sende when yoe gon praye
A sone to you, whan ye had nane,
And nowe will that he wende his waye,
Therfore faynde me to fell
Tille offerand in this place;
But firste I sall you telle207
My counsaille in this case.
I knaw myselfe be course of kynde,
My flessche for dede will be dredande.
I am ferde that yoe sall fynde
My force youre forward to withstande.
Therfore is beste that ye me bynde213
In bandis faste, boothe fute and hande.
Nowe whillis I am in myght and mynde
So sall yoe saffely make offerrande,
For fadir, when I am boune
My myght may noght avayle.
Here sall no fawte be foune219
To make youre forward faylle.
For yoe are alde and alle vnwelde,
And I am wighte and wilde of thoght.
To bynde hym that shuld be my beelde!223
Outtane Goddis will, that wolde I noght.
Bot loo, her sall no force be felde,
So sall God haue that he has soght.
Farewele my sone, I sall the yoelde
Tylle hym that all this world has wroght.
Nowe kysse me hartely I the pray.229
Isaak, I take my leue for ay-
Me bus the mys.
My blissyng haue thou enterly,
And I beseke God allmyghty
He giffe the his.
Thus aren we samyn assent235
Eftir thy wordis wise.
Lorde God, to this take tente,
Ressayue thy sacrifice.
This is to me a perles pyne,
To se myn nawe dere childe thus boune.
Me had wele leuer my lyf to tyne241
Than see this sight thus of my sone.
It is Goddis will, it sall be myne,
Agaynste his saande sall I neuer schone,
To Goddis cummaundement I sall enclyne,
That in me fawte non be foune.
Therfore my sone so dere,247
If thou will anythyng saye,
Thy dede it drawes nere,
Farewele, for anes and ay.
Now my dere fadir, I wolde you praye,251
Here me thre wordes, graunte me my bone
Sen I fro this sall passe for ay;
I see myn houre is comen full sone.
In worde, in werke, or any waye
That I haue trespassed or oght mysdone,
Forgiffe me fadir or I dye this daye,257
For his luffe that made bothe sonne and mone.
Here sen we two sall twynne
Firste God I aske mercy,
And you in more and myne,
This day or euere I dy.
Now my grete God Adonay263
That all this worlde has worthely wroght,
Forgyffe the sone for his mercye,
In worde, in worke, in dede and thoght.
Nowe sone, as we ar leryd
Our tyme may noyot myscarie.
Nowe farewele all medilerth,269
My flesshe waxis faynte for ferde;
Nowe fadir, take youre swerde,
Methynke full lange yoe tarie.
Nay, nay sone, nay, I the behete,273
That do I noght, withouten were.
Thy wordis makis me my wangges to wete
And chaunges, childe, ful often my cheere.
Therfore lye downe, hande and feete,
Nowe may thou witte thyn oure is nere.
A, dere fadir, lyff is full swete,279
The drede of dede dose all my dere.
As I am here youre sone
To God I take me till,
Nowe am I laide here bone,
Do with me what yoe will.
For fadir, I aske no more respete,285
Bot here a worde what I wolde mene:
I beseke yoou or that yoe smyte
Lay doune this kyrcheffe on myn eghne,
Than may yooure offerand be parfite
If yoe wille wirke thus as I wene.
And here to God my saule I wite291
And all my body to brenne bydene.
Now fadir be noght myssyng,
But smyte fast as yoe may.
Farewele, in Goddis dere blissyng295
And myn, for euer and ay.
That pereles prince I praye
Myn offerand heretill haue it,
My sacryfice this day
I praye the lorde ressayue it.
Abraham, Abraham.301
Loo, here iwys.301
Abraham, abide, and halde the stille.302
Sla noght thy sone, do hym no mysse,
Take here a schepe thy offerrand tyll,
Is sente the fro the kyng of blisse
That faythfull ay to the is fone;
He biddis the make offerrand of this
Here at this tyme, and saffe thy sone.308
I lowe that lord with herte entier309
That of his luffe this lane me lente,
To saffe my sone, my darlyng dere,
And sente this schepe to this entente,
That we sall offir it to the here-
So sall it be as thou has mente.
My sone, be gladde and make goode cheere,315
God has till vs goode comforte sente.
He will noght thou be dede,
But tille his lawes take kepe;
And se son, in thy stede
God has sente vs a schepe.
To make oure offerand at his wille321
All for oure sake he has it sente.
To lowe that lorde I halde grete skyll
That tylle his menyoe thus has mente.
This dede I wolde haue tane me till
Full gladly lorde, to thyn entent.
A, sone, thy bloode wolde he noght spill,327
Forthy this shepe thus has he sente;
And sone, I am full fayne
Of oure spede in this place-
Bot go we home agayne
And lowe God of his grace.
Abraham, Abraham.333
Loo, here indede.333
Harke sone, sum saluyng of our sare.
God sais thou sall haue mekill mede335
For thys goode will that thou in ware.
Sen thou for hym wolde do this dede-
To spille thy sone and noght to spare-
He menes to multiplie youre seede
On sides seere, as he saide are;
And yit he hight you this,341
That of youre seede sall ryse,
Thurgh helpe of hym and his,
Ouere-hande of all enmys.
Luk yoe hym loue, this is his liste,
And lelly lyff eftir his laye,
For in youre seede all mon be bliste347
That ther bese borne be nyght or day.
If yoe will in hym trowe or triste
He will be with yoou euere and aye.
Full wele wer vs and we it wiste,351
Howe we shulde wirke his will alwaye.
Fadir, that sall we frayne353
At wyser men than wee,
And fulfille it ful fayne
Indede eftir oure degree.
Nowe sone, sen we thus wele hase spede,357
That God has graunted me thy liffe,
It is my wille that thou be wedde
And welde a woman to thy wyffe;
So sall thy sede springe and be spredde
In the lawez of God be reasoune ryffe.
I wate in what steede sho is stede363
That thou sall wedde, withowten stryffe:
Rabek that damysell,
Hir fayrer is none fone,
The doughter of Batwell
That was my brothir sone.
Fadir, as you likes my lyffe to spende369
I sall assente vnto the same.
One of my seruandis sone sall I sende371
Vnto that birde to brynge hir hame.
The gaynest gates now will we wende.
My barnes, yee ar noght to blame
Yeff yoe thynke lang that we her lende;
Gedir same oure gere, in Goddis name,
And go we hame agayne377
Euyn vnto Barsabé.
God that is most of mayne
Vs wisse and with yoou be.

2018 Nov 25  22:07:40