The Tile Thatchers' Play: The Nativity

Almighty God in Trinity,1
I pray thee lord, for thy great might,
Unto thy simple servant see,
Here in this place where we are put,
And all alone.
Lord, grant us good harbouring this night
Within this town.7
For we have sought both up and down
Through diverse streets in this city.
So mickle people is comen to town
That we can nowhere harboured be,
The crowds so press;
Forsooth I can no succour see,13
But to build here with the beasts.
And if we here all night abide
We shall be stormèd in this stead,
The walls are down on every side,
The roof is wrecked above our head,
As have I rue;19
Say Mary, daughter, what is thy word,
How shall we do?
For in great need now are we stood
As thou thyself the sooth may see,
For here is neither cloth nor bed,
And we are weak and all weary25
And fain would rest.
Now gracious God, for thy mercy,
Show us the best.
God will us ward, full well wit you,29
Therefore Joseph, be of good cheer,
For in this place born will he be
That shall us save from sorrows sere,
Both even and morn.
Sir, wit you well the time is near
He will be born.35
Then behoves us bide here still,36
Here in this same place all this night.
Yea sir, forsooth, it is God’s will.38
Then would I fain we had some light,39
What so befall.
It waxes right murk unto my sight,
And cold withal.
I will go get us light forthwith,
And fuel find, with me to bring.

[He goes out to find firewood

Almighty God you govern and guide,45
As he is sovereign of all thing
For his great might,
And lend me grace to praise him
For this holy night.
Now in my soul great joy have I,
I am all clad in comfort clear,51
Now will be borne of my body
Both God and man together as one,
Blest most he be.

[Music. Angels appear and screen Mary from view while the baby is born

Jesu my son that is so dear,55
Now born is he.
Hail my Lord God, Hail Prince of Peace,
Hail my Father, and Hail my Son;
Hail sovereign seat, all sins to cease,
Hail God and man in earthly home.
Hail, through whose might61
All this world was first begun,
Darkness and light.
Son, as I am simple subject of thine,
Vouchsafe, sweet son I pray thee,
That I might thee take in these arms of mine
And in these poor weeds array thee.67
Grant me thy bliss,
As I am thy mother chosen to be
In steadfastness.
Ah, lord God what the weather is cold,71
The foulest freeze that ever I felt.
I pray God help them that is old
And namely them that is unwell,
So may I say.
Now good God thou be my shield
As thou best may.77
Ah, lord God, what light is this

[Seeing the light from the Star

That comes shining thus suddenly?
I cannot say as have I bliss.
Till I come home unto Mary -
Her shall I seek.

[Returns to the stable

You are welcome sir.83
Say Mary, daughter, what cheer with thee?84
Right good Joseph, as has been aye.85
O Mary, what sweet thing is that on thy knee?86
It is my son, the sooth to say,87
That is so good.
‘Tis well I lived to see this day89
And greet this child.
Me marvels mickle of this light
That thus-gates shines in this place,
Forsooth it is a seemly sight.
This has he ordained of his grace,94
My son so young:
A star to be shining a space
At his birthing.
For Balaam told full long before
How that a star should rise full high,
And of a maiden should be born100
A son that shall our saviour be,
And shield us from cares keen.
Forsooth, it is my son so free
That yon Balam did mean.
Now welcome, flower fairest of hue,105
I shall thee serve with main and might.
Hail my maker, Hail Christ Jesu,
Hail royal King, root of all right,
Hail Saviour.
Hail my Lord, source of all light,
Hail blessed flower.111
Now Lord that all this world shall win,112
To thee, my son, is that I say,
Here is no bed to lay the in,
Therefore my dear son I thee pray,
Since it is so,
Here in this crib I might thee lay
Between these beasts two.118
And I shall wrap thee, mine own dear child,
With such clothes as we have here.
Honour and worship both day and night,121
Aye-lasting lord, be done to the
Alway, as is worthy;
And lord, to thy service I bless me
With all my heart, wholly.
Thou merciful maker, most mighty,126
My God, my lord, my son so free,
Thy handmaiden forsooth am I,
And to thy service I submit me,
With all my heart entire.
Thy blessing, beseech I thee,
Thou grant to all men here.132

2017 Oct 23  14:49:27