The Plasterers' Play: The Creation

In altissimis habito,1
In the heghest heuyn my hame haue I;
Eterne mentis et ego,
Withoutyn ende ay-lastandly.
Sen I haue wroght thire worldys wyde,
Heuyn and ayre and erthe also,
My hegh Godhede I will noght hyde7
All-yf sume foles be fallyn me fro.
When thai assent with syn of pride
Vp for to trine my trone vnto,
In heuyn thai myght no lengger byde
But wyghtly went to wone in wo;
And sen thai wrange haue wroght13
My lyk ys to lat tham go,
To suffir sorowe onsoght,
Syne thai haue seruid so.
Thare mys may neuer be amende
Sen thai asent me to forsake,
For all there force non sall thame fende19
For to be fendys foule and blake.
And tho that lykys with me to lende,
And trewly tent to me will take,
Sall wonne in welth withoutyn ende
And allway wynly with me wake;
Thai sall haue for thare sele25
Solace that neuer sall sclake.
This warke me thynkys full wele
And more now will I make.
Syne that this world es ordand euyn,
Furth well I publysch my power:
Noght by my strenkyth, but by my steuyn31
A firmament I byd apere,
Emange the waterris, lyght so leuyn,
There cursis lely for to lere,
And that same sall be namyd hewuyn,
With planitys and with clowdis clere.
The water I will be sent37
To flowe bothe fare and nere,
And than the firmament
In mydis to set thame sere.
The firmament sal nough moue,
But be a mene, thus will I mene,
Ouir all the worlde to halde and houe,43
And be tho tow wateris betwyne.
Vndir the heuyn and als aboue
The wateris serly sall be sene,
And so I wille my post proue
By creaturis of kyndis clene.
This warke his to my pay49
Righit will, withoutyn wyne;
Thus sese the secunde day
Of my doyingys bydene.
Moo sutyll werkys assesay I sall,
For to be set in seruice sere:
All the waterris grete and smalle55
That vndir heuyne er ordande here,
Gose togedir and holde yow all,
And be a flode festynde in fere,
So that the erthe, both downe and dale,
In drynesch playnly may apere.
The drynes ‘landé’ sall be61
Namyd bothe ferre and nere,
And then I name the ‘sé’,
Geddryng of wateris clere.
The erthe sall fostyr and furthe bryng
Buxsumly, as I wyle byde,
Erbys and also othir thyng,67
Well for to wax and worthe to wede;
Treys also tharon sall spryng
With braunchis and with bowis on brede,
With flouris fayr on heght to hyng
And fruth also to fylle and fede.
And thane I will that thay73
Of themselfe haue the sede
And mater, that thay may
Be lastande furth in lede.
And all ther materis es in mynde
For to be made of mekyl might,
And to be kest in dyueris kynde79
So for to bere sere burgvns bright.
And when ther frutys is fully fynde
And fayrest semande vnto syght,
Thane the wedris wete and wynde
Oway I will it wende full wyght;
And of there sede full sone85
New rotys sall ryse vpright.
The third day thus is done,
Thire dedis er dewly dyght.
Now sene the erthe thus ordand es,
Mesurid and made by myn assent-
Grathely for to growe with gres91
And wedis that sone away bese went-
Of my gudnes now will I ges,
So that my werkis no harmes hent,
Two lyghtis, one more and one lesse,
To be fest in the firmament.
The more light to the day97
Fully suthely sall be sent,
The lesse lyght allway
To the nyght sall take entent.
Thir figuris fayre that furth er fun
Thus on sere sydys serue thai sall:
The more lyght sall be namid the son,103
Dymnes to wast be downe and be dale.
Erbis and treys that er bygune
All sall he gouerne, gret and smale;
With cald yf thai be closid or bun
Thurgh hete of the sun thai sal be hale.
Als thei haue honours109
In alkyn welth to wale,
So sall my creaturis
Euir byde withoutyn bale.
The son and the mone on fayre manere
Now grathly gange in yoour degré,
Als ye haue tane yooure curses clere115
To serue furth loke ye be fre,
For ye sall set the sesons sere,
Kyndely to knowe in ilke cuntré,
Day fro day and yere fro yere
By sertayne signes suthly to se.
The heuyn sall be ouerhyld121
With sternys to stand plenté.
The furth day his fulfillid,
This werke well lykys me.
Now sen thir werkis er wroght with wyne
And fundyn furth be firth and fell,
The see now will I set within127
Whallis whikly for to dewell,
And othir fysch to flet with fyne-
Sum with skale and sum with skell,
Of diueris materis more and myn-
In sere maner to make and mell;
Sum sall be milde and meke,133
And sum both fers and fell.
This world thus will I eke,
Syn I am witt of well.
Also vp in the ayre on hyght
I byd now that thore be ordande
For to be foulis fayre and bright,139
Dewly in thare degré dewlland,
With fedrys fayre to frast ther flight
For stede to stede whore thai will stande,
And also leythly for to lyght
Whoreso tham lykis in ilke a londe.
Thane fysch and foulis sere,145
Kyndely I yoow commande
To meng on yooure manere,
Both be se and sande.
This materis more yoitt will I mende,
So for to fulfill my forthoght,
With diueris bestis in lande to lende151
To brede and be with balé furth brught.
And with bestis I wille be blende
Serpentis to be sene vnsoght,
And wormis vpon thaire wombis sall wende
To won in erth and worth to noght.
And so it sall be kende157
How all that eme is oght,
Begynnyng, mydes and ende
I with my worde hase wrothe.
For als I byde bus all thyng be
And dewly done als I will dresse,
Now bestys ar sett in sere degré163
On molde to moue, both more and lesse;
Thane foulis in ayre and fische in see
And bestis on erthe of bone and flesch,
I byde yoe wax furth fayre plenté
And grathly growes, als I yoow gesse.
So multiply yoe sall169
Ay furth in fayre processe,
My blyssyng haue yoe all;
The fift day endyd es.

2018 Nov 25  22:07:40