The Play of the Doctors

Secundus Magister
That a madyn a barn shuld, bere;1
And his name thus can thay tell,2
ffro the tyme that he born were,3
he shalbe callyd emanuell;4
Counselloure, and god of strengthe,5
And wonderfull also6
Shall he be callyd, of brede and lenghthe7
As far as any man may go.8
Tercius Magister
Masters, youre resons ar right good,9
And wonderfull to neuen,10
yit fynde I more by abacuk;11
Syrs, lysten a whyle vnto my steuen.12
Oure bayll, he says, shall turn to boytt,13
her-afterward som day;14
A wande shall spryng fro Iesse roytt,-15
The certan sothe thus can he say,-16
And of that wande shall spryng a floure,17
that shall spryng vp full hight:18
Ther of shall com full swete odowre,19
And therapon shall rest and lyght20
The holy gost, full mych of myght;21
The goost of wysdom and of wyt,22
Shall beyld his nest, with mekyll right,23
And, in it brede and sytt.24
Primus Magister
Bot when trow ye this prophecy25
Shalbe fulfyllyd in dede,26
That here is told so openly,27
As we in scrypture rede?28
Secundus Magister
A greatt meruell for sothe it is,29
To vs to here of sich mastry;30
A madyn to bere a chyld, Iwys,31
without mans seyde, that were ferly.32
Tercius Magister
The holy gost shall in hyr lyght,33
And kepe hir madynhede full clene;34
whoso may byde to se that sight35
Thay ther not drede, I wene.36
Primus Magister
Of all thise prophetys wyse of lore37
That knew the prophecy, more and les,38
was none that told the tyme before,39
when he shuld, com to by vs peasse.40
Secundus Magister
wheder he be commen or not41
No knowlege haue we in certayn;42
Bot he shall com, that dowt we not;43
ffull prophetys haue prechyd it full playn.44
Tercius Magister
Mekyll I thynk that thise prophetys45
Ar holden to god, that is on hight,46
That haue knowyng of his behetys,47
And for to tell of his mekyll myght.48
Masters, luf be with you lent,49
And mensk be vnto this meneyoe!50
Primus Magister
Son, hens away I wold thou went,51
ffor othere haft in hand haue we.52
Secundus Magister
Son, whosoeuer the hyder sent,53
Thay were not wyse, thus tell I the;54
ffor we haue othere tayllys to tent55
Then now with barnes bowrdand to be.56
Tercius Magister
Son, thou lyst oght lere / To lyf by moyses lay;57
Com heder, and thou shall here / The sawes that we wyll say;
ffor in som mynde it may the bryng59
To here oure sawes red by rawes.60
To lere of you nedys me no thyng,61
ffor I knaw both youre dedys & sawes.62
Primus Magister
hark, yonder barn with his bowrdyng!63
he wenys he kens more then he knawys;64
Nay, certys, son, thou art ouer ying65
By clergy yit to know oure lawes.66
I wote as well as ye / how that youre lawes was wroght.
Secundus Magister
Com sytt! soyn shall we se, / ffor certys so semys it noght.
Tercius Magister
It were wonder if any wyght69
vntill oure resons right shuld reche;70
And thou says thou has in sight71
Oure lawes truly to tell and teche.72
The holy gost has on me lyght,73
And anoynt me lyke a leche,74
And gyffen to me powere and myght75
The kyngdom of heuen to preche.76
Secundus Magister
whens euer this barne may be77
That shewys thise novels new?78
Certan, syrs, I was or ye,79
And shall be after you.80
Primus Magister
Son, of thi sawes, as we haue ceyll,81
And of thi wytt is wonder thyng;82
Bot neuer the les fully I feyll83
That it may fayll in wyrkyng;84
ffor dauid demys euer ilk deyll,85
And thus he says of chylder ying,86
"Ex ore infanicium & lactencium, perfecisti laudem."
Of thare mowthes, sayth dauid, wele,87
Oure lord he has perfourmed louyng.88
Neuer the les, son, yit shuld thou lett89
her for to speke in large;90
ffor where masters ar mett,91
Chylder wordys ar not to charge.92
ffor certys, if thou wold neuer so fayn93
Gyf all thi lyst to lere the law,94
Thou art nawther of myght ne mayn95
To know it, as a clerk may knaw.96
Syrs, I say you in certan,97
That sothfast shall be all my saw;98
And powere haue I plene and playn,99
To say and answere as me aw.100
Primus Magister
Masters, what may this mene?101
Meruell, methynk, haue I102
where euer this barne has bene103
That carpys thus conandly.104
Secundus Magister
In warld as wyde as we haue went105
ffand we neuer sich ferly fare;106
Certys, I trow the barn be sent107
Sufferanly to salfe oure sare.108
Syrs, I shall preue in youre present109
All the sawes that I sayde are.110
Tercius Magister
which callys thou the fyrst commaundement111
And the most, in moyses lare?112
Syrs, synthen ye syt on raw,113
And hafe youre bookys on brede,114
let se, syrs, in youre saw115
how right that ye can rede.116
Primus Magister
I rede that this is the fyrst bydyng117
That moyses told, vs here vntyll;118
honoure thi god ouer ilka thyng,119
with all thi wyt and all thi wyll;120
And all thi hart in hym shall hyng,121
Erly and late, both lowde and styll.122
ye nede none othere bookys to bryng,123
Bot fownd this to fulfyll;124
The seconde may men profe125
And clergy knaw therby;126
youre neyghburs shall ye lofe127
Right as youre self truly.128
[Thise] commaunded moyses tyll all men129
In his commaundes clere;130
In thise two bydyngys, shall ye ken,131
hyngys all the law we aght to lere.132
who so fulfylles thise two then133
with mayn and mode and good manere,134
he fulfyllys truly all ten135
That after thaym folows in fere.136
Then shuld we god honowre137
with all oure myght and mayn,138
And luf well ilk neghboure139
Right as oure self certayn.140
Primus Magister
Now, son, synthen thou has told vs two,141
which ar the aght, can thou oght say?142
The thyrd bydys, "where so ye go,143
That ye shall halow the holy day;144
ffrom bodely wark ye take youre rest;145
youre household, looke the same thay do,146
Both wyfe, chyld, seruande, and beest."147
The fourt is then in weyll and wo148
"Thi fader, thi moder, thou shall honowre,149
Not only with thi reuerence,150
Bot in thare nede thou thaym socoure,151
And kepe ay good obedyence."152
The fyft bydys the "no man slo,153
Ne harme hym neuer in word ne dede,154
Ne suffre hym not to be in wo155
If thou may help hym in his nede."156
The sext bydys the "thi wyfe to take,157
Bot none othere lawfully;158
lust of lechery thou fle and fast forsake,159
And drede ay god where so thou be."160
The seuen bydys the "be no thefe feyr,161
Ne nothyng wyn with trechery;162
Oker, ne symony, thou com not nere,163
Bot conscyence clere ay kepe truly."164
The aght byddys the "be true in dede,165
And fals wytnes looke thou none bere;166
looke thou not ly for freynd ne syb,167
lest to thi saull that it do dere."168
The neyn byddys the "not desyre169
Thi neghburs wyfe ne his women,170
Bot as holy kyrk wold it were,171
Right so thi purpose sett it in."172
The ten byddys the "for nothyng173
Thi neghburs goodys yerne wrongwysly;174
his house, his rent, ne his hafyng,175
And crysten fayth trow stedfastly."176
Thus in tabyls, shall ye ken,177
Oure lord to moyses wrate;178
Thise ar the commaundmentys ten,179
who so will lely layt.180
Secundus Magister
Behald how he lege oure lawes,181
And leryd neuer on booke to rede!182
ffull sotell sawes, me thynk, he says,183
And also true, if we take hede.184
Tercius Magister
yei, lett hym furth on his wayes,185
ffor if he dwell, withoutten drede186
The pepyll will ful soyn hym prayse187
well more then vs, for all oure dede.188
Primus Magister
Nay, nay, then wyrk we wrang!189
sich spekyng will we spare;190
As he cam let hym gang,191
And mefe vs, not no mare.192
A, dere Ioseph! what is youre red?193
Of oure greatt bayll no boytt may be;194
My hart is heuy as any lede,195
My semely son to I hym se.196
Now haue we soght in euery sted,197
Both vp and downe, thise dayes thre;198
And wheder he be whik or dede199
yit wote we not; so wo is me!200
Sorow had neuer man mare!201
Bot mowr[n]yng, mary, may not amend;202
ffarther do I red we fare,203
To god some socoure send.204
Abowtt the tempyll if he be oght,205
That wold I that we wyst this nyght.206
A, certys, I se that we have soght!207
In warld was neuer so semely a sight;208
lo, where he syttys! se ye hym noght209
Amangys yond masters mekyll of myght?210
Blyssyd be he vs heder broght!211
In land now lyfys there none so light.212
Now dere Ioseph, as haue ye seyll,213
Go furth and fetche youre son and myne;214
This day is goyn nere ilka deyll,215
And we haue nede for to go hien.216
with men of myght can I not mell,217
Then all my trauell mon I tyne;218
I can not with thaym, that wote ye well,219
Thay are so gay in furrys fyne.220
To thaym youre erand, forto say,221
Surely that thar ye drede no deyll!222
Thay will take hede to you alway223
Be cause of eld, this wote I weyll.224
when I com ther what shall I say?225
ffor I wote not, as haue I ceyll;226
Bot thou will haue me shamyd for ay,227
ffor I can nawthere crowke ne knele.228
Go we togeder, I hold, it best,229
Vnto yond worthy wyghtys in wede;230
And if I se, as haue I rest,231
That ye will not, then must I nede.232
Go thou and tell thi tayll fyrst,233
Thi son to se will take good hede;234
weynd furth, mary, and do thi best,235
I com behynd, as god me spede.236
A, dere son, Ihesus!237
sythen we luf the alone,238
whi dos thou tyll vs thus,239
And gars vs make this mone?240
Thi fader and I betwix vs two,241
Son, for thi luf has lykyd yll,242
we haue the soght both to and fro243
wepeand sore, as wyghtis wyll.244
wherto shuld ye, moder, seke me so?245
Oft tymes it has bene told, ye tyll246
My fader warkys, for wele or wo,247
Thus am I sent for to fulfyll.248
Thise sawes, as haue I ceyll,249
I can well vnderstonde,250
I shall thynk on them weyll251
To fownd what is folowand.252
Now sothly, son, the sight of the253
has comforthed vs of all oure care;254
Com furth, now, with thi moder and me!255
At nazareth I wold we ware.256
Be leyf then, ye lordyngys fre!257
ffor with my freyndys now wyll I fare.258
Primus Magister
Son, where so thou shall abyde or be259
God make the good man euer mare.260
Secundus Magister
No wonder if thou, wife,261
Of his fyndyng be fayn;262
he shall, if he haue lyfe,263
prefe to a full good swayn.264
Tercius Magister
Son, looke thou layn, for good or yll,265
The noyttys that we haue nevened now;266
And if thou lyke to abyde here styll,267
And with vs won, welcom art thou.268
Gramercy, syrs, of youre good wyll!269
No longer lyst I byde with you,270
My freyndys thoght I shall fulfyll,271
And to thare bydyng baynly bow.272
ffull well is me this tyde,273
Now may we make good chere.274
No longer wyll we byde;275
ffar well all folk in fere.276

2016 Nov 11  15:38:41