Herod the Great

Moste myghty mahowne / meng you with myrth!1
Both of burgh and of towne / by fellys and by fyrth,
Both kyng with crowne / and barons of brith,3
That radly wyll rowne / many greatt grith4
Shall be happ.5
Take tenderly intent6
what sondys ar sent,7
Els harmes shall ye hent,8
And lothes you to lap.9
Herode, the heynd, kyng / by grace of mahowne,10
Of Iury, Iourmontyng / sternly with crowne,11
On lyfe that ar lyfyng / in towre and, in towne,12
Gracyus you gretyng / commaundys you be bowne13
At his bydyng;14
luf hym with lewte,15
drede hym, that doughty!16
he chargys you be redy17
lowly at his lykyng.18
What man apon mold, / menys hym agane,19
Tytt teyn shall be told, knyght, sqwyere, or swayn;
Be he neuer so bold, / byes he that bargan,21
Twelf thowsand fold, / more then I sayn22
May ye trast;23
he is worthy wonderly,24
Selcouthly sory;25
ffor a boy that is borne her by26
Standys he abast.27
A kyng thay hym call / and that we deny;28
how shuld, it so fall / greatt meruell haue I;29
Therfor ouer all / Shall I make a cry,30
That ye busk not to brall / nor lyke not to ly31
This tyde;32
Carpys of no kyng33
Bot herode, that lordyng,34
Or busk to youre beyldyng,35
youre heedys for to hyde.36
He is Kyng of Kyngys / Kyndly I Knowe,37
Chefe lord of lordyngys / chefe leder of law,38
Ther watys on his wyngys / that bold, bost wyll blaw,
Greatt dukys downe dyngys / ffor his greatt aw,40
And hym lowtys.41
Tuskane and turky,42
All Inde and Italy,43
Cecyll and surry,44
Drede hym and dowtys.45
ffrom paradyse to padwa / to mownt flascon;46
ffrom egyp to mantua / vnto kemp towne;47
ffrom sarceny to susa / to grece it abowne;48
Both normondy and norwa / lowtys to his crowne;49
his renowne50
Can no tong tell,51
ffrom heuen vnto hell;52
Of hym can none spell53
Bot his cosyn mahowne.54
he is the worthyest of all / barnes that are borne;
ffree men ar his thrall / full teynfully torne;56
Begyn he to brall / many men cach skorne;57
Obey must we all / or els be ye lorne58
Att onys.59
Downe dyng of youre knees,60
All that hym seys,61
Dysplesyd he beys,62
And byrkyn many bonys.63
here he commys now, I cry / that lord, I of spake;64
ffast afore wyll I hy / radly on a rake,65
And welcom hym worshipfully / laghyng with lake,66
As he is most worthy / and knele for his sake67
So low;68
Downe dernly to fall,69
as renk most ryall:70
hayll, the worthyest of all!71
to the must I bow!72
hayll, luf lord! lo / thi letters haue I layde;73
I haue done I couth do / and peasse haue I prayd,74
Mekyll more therto / opynly dysplayd;75
Bot romoure is rasyd so / that boldly thay brade76
Emangis thame;77
Thay carp of a kyng,78
thay seasse not sich chateryng.79
Bot I shall tame thare talkyng,80
And let thame go hang thame:81
Stynt, brodels, youre dyn / yei, euerychon!82
I red that ye harkyn / to I be gone,83
ffor if I begyn / I breke ilka bone,84
And pull fro the skyn / the carcas anone,85
yei, perde!86
Sesse all this wonder,87
and make vs no blonder,88
ffor I ryfe you in sonder,89
Be ye so hardy.90
Peasse both yong and old / at my bydyng, I red,91
ffor I haue all in wold, / in me standys lyfe and dede;
who that is so bold / I brane hym thrugh the hede;93
Speke not or I haue told, / what I will in this stede;
ye wote nott95
All that I will mefe;96
Styr not bot ye haue lefe,97
ffor if ye do, I clefe98
you small as flesh to pott.99
My myrthes ar turned to teyn / my mekenes into Ire,
And all for oone I weyn / with-in I fare as fyre.101
May I se hym with eyn / I shall gyf hym his hyre;102
Bot I do as I meyn / I were a full lewde syre103
In wonys;104
had I that lad in hand,105
As I am kyng in land,106
I shuld with this steyll brand107
Byrkyn all his bonys.108
My name spryngys far and nere / the doughtyest, men me call,
That euer ran with spere / A lord and kyng ryall;110
what ioy is me to here / A lad to sesse my stall!111
If I this crowne may bere / that boy shall by for all.
I anger;113
I wote not what dewill me alys,114
Thay teyn me so with talys,115
That by gottys dere nalys,116
I wyll peasse no langer.117
what dewill! me thynk I brast / ffor anger and for teyn;
I trow thyse kyngys be past / that here with me has beyn;
Thay promysed me full fast / or now here to be seyn,
ffor els I shuld, haue cast / an othere sleght, I weyn;
I tell you,122
A boy thay sayd thay soght,123
with offeryng that thay broght;124
It mefys my hart right noght125
To breke his nek in two.126
Bot be thay past me by / by mahowne in heuen,127
I shall, and that in hy / set all on sex and seuen;
Trow ye a kyng as I / will suffre thaym to neuen129
Any to haue mastry / bot my self full euen?130
Nay, leyfe!131
The dewill me hang and draw,132
If I that losell knaw,133
Bot I gyf hym a blaw,134
That lyfe I shall hym reyfe.135
ffor parels yit I wold, / wyst if thay were gone;136
And ye therof her told / I pray you say anone,137
ffor and thay be so bold, / by god that syttys in trone,
The payn can not be told, / that thay shall haue ilkon,
ffor Ire;140
Sich panys hard, neuer man tell,141
ffor vgly and for fell,142
That lucyfere in hell143
Thare bonys shall all to-tyre.144
Primus Miles
Lord, thynk not ill if I / tell you how thay ar past;
I kepe not layn, truly / Syn thay cam by you last,146
An othere way in hy / thay soght, & that full fast.
why, and ar thay past me by? / we! outt! for teyn I brast!
we! fy!149
ffy on the dewill! where may I byde?150
Bot fyght for teyn and al to-chyde!151
Thefys, I say ye shuld, haue spyde152
And told, when thay went by;153
ye ar knyghtys to trast! / nay, losels ye ar, and thefys;
I wote I yelde my gast / so sore my hart it grefys.
Secundus Miles
what nede you be abast? / ther ar no greatt myschefys
ffor these maters to gnast. /157
Tercius Miles
why put ye sich reprefys158
withoutt cause?158
Thus shuld ye not thrett vs,159
vngaynly to bete vs,160
ye shuld not rehett vs,161
withoutt othere sawes.162
ffy, losels and lyars! / lurdans ilkon!163
Tratoures and well wars! / knafys, bot knyghtys none!
had ye bene woth youre eres / thus had thay not gone;
Gett I those land lepars / I breke ilka bone;166
ffyrst vengeance167
Shall I se on thare bonys;168
If ye byde in these wonys169
I shall dyng you with stonys,170
yei, ditizance doutance.171
I wote not where I may sytt / for anger & for teyn;
we haue not done all yit / if it be as I weyn;173
ffy! dewill! now how is it? / as long as I haue eyn
I think not for to flytt / bot kyng I will be seyn175
ffor euer.176
Bot stand I to quart,177
I tell you my hart,178
I shall gar thaym start,179
Or els trust me neuer.180
Primus Miles
Syr, thay went sodanly / or any man wyst,181
Els had mett we, yei, perdy / and may ye tryst.182
Secundus Miles
So bold, nor so hardy / agans oure lyst,183
was none of that company / durst mete me with fyst184
ffor ferd.185
Tercius Miles
Ill durst thay abyde,186
Bot ran thame to hyde;187
Might I thaym haue spyde,188
I had made thaym a berd.189
what couth we more do / to saue youre honoure?190
Primus Miles
we were redy therto / and shal be ilk howre.191
Now syn it is so / ye shall haue fauoure;192
Go where ye wyll, go / by towne and by towre,193
Goys hens!194
I haue maters to mell195
with my preuey counsell;196
Clerkys, ye bere the bell,197
ye must me encense.198
Oone spake in myne eere / A wonderfull talkyng,199
And sayde a madyn shuld, bere / anothere to be kyng;
Syrs, I pray you inquere / in all wrytyng,201
In vyrgyll, in homere / And all other thyng202
Bot legende;203
Sekys poece tayllys;204
lefe pystyls and grales;205
Mes, matyns, noght avalys,206
All these I defende;207
I pray you tell heyndly / now what ye fynde.208
Primus Consultus
Truly, sir, prophecy / It is not blynd;209
we rede thus by Isay / he shalbe so kynde,210
That a madyn, sothely / which neuer synde,211
Shall hym bere:212
"virgo concipiet,213
Natumque pariet;"214
"Emanuell" is hete,215
his name for to lere,216
"God is with vs," that is forto say.217
Secundus Consultus
And othere says thus / tryst me ye may:218
"Of bedlem a gracyus / lord shall spray,219
That of Iury myghtyus / kyng shalbe ay,220
lord myghty;221
And hym shall honoure222
both kyng and emperoure."223
why, and shuld I to hym cowre?224
Nay, ther thou lyys lyghtly!225
ffy! the dewill the spede / and me, bot I drynk onys!
This has thou done in dede / to anger me for the nonys:
And thou, knafe, thou thy mede / shall haue, by cokys dere bonys!
Thou can not half thi crede! / outt, thefys, fro my wonys!
ffy, knafys!230
ffy, dotty-pols, with youre bookys!231
Go kast thaym in the brookys!232
with sich wylys and crokys233
My wytt away rafys!234
hard I neuer sich a trant / that a knafe so sleght235
Shuld, com lyke a sant / and refe me my right;236
Nay, he shall on slant / I shall kyll hym downe stryght;
war! I say, lett me pant / now thynk I to fyght238
ffor anger;239
My guttys will outt thryng240
Bot I this lad hyng;241
withoutt I haue a vengyng,242
I may lyf no langer.243
Shuld a carll in a kafe / bot of oone yere age,244
Thus make me to rafe? /245
Primus Consultus
Syr, peasse this outrage!246
A-way let ye wafe / all sich langage,246
youre worship to safe / is he oght bot a page247
Of a yere?248
we two shall hym teyn249
with oure wyttys betweyn,250
That, if ye do as I meyn,251
he shall dy on a spere.252
Secundus Consultus
ffor drede that he reyn / do as we red;253
Thrug outt bedlem / and ilk othere stede,254
Make knyghtys ordeyn / and put vnto dede255
All knaue chyldren / of two yerys brede,256
And with-in;257
This chyld, may ye spyll258
Thus at youre awne will.259
Now thou says here tyll260
A right nobyll gyn!261
If I lyf in land / good lyfe, as I hope,262
This dar I the warand / to make the Pope.263
O, my hart is rysand / now in a glope!264
ffor this nobyll tythand / thou shall haue a drope265
Of my good grace;266
Markys, rentys, and powndys,267
Greatt castels & groundys;268
Thrugh all sees and sandys269
I gyf the the chace.270
Now wyll I procede / and take veniance;271
All the flowre of knyghthede / call to legeance;272
Bewshere, I the byd / it may the avance.273
lord, I shall me spede / and bryng, perchaunce,274
To thy syght.275
hark, knyghtys, I you bryng276
here new tythyng;277
vnto herode kyng278
hast with all youre myght!279
In all the hast that ye may / in armowre full bright,
In youre best aray / looke that ye be dight.281
Primus Miles
why shuld we fray? /282
Secundus Miles
this is not all right.283
Tercius Miles
Syrs, withoutten delay I drede that we fight.283
I pray you,284
As fast as ye may,285
com to hym this day.286
Primus Miles
what, in oure best aray?287
yei, syrs, I say you.288
Secundus Miles
Somwhat is in hand / what euer it meyn.289
Tercius Miles
Tarry not for to stand / ther or we haue beyn.290
kyng herode all weldand / well be ye seyn!291
youre knyghtys ar comand / in armoure full sheyn,292
At youre wyll.293
Primus Miles
hayll, dughtyest of all!294
we are comen at youre call295
ffor to do what we shall,296
youre lust to fullfyll.297
welcom, lordyngys, Iwys / both greatt and small!298
The cause now is this / that I send for you all:299
A lad, a knafe, borne is / that shuld, be kyng ryall;
Bot I kyll hym and his / I wote I brast my gall;301
Therfor, Syrs,302
Veniance shall ye take,303
All for that lad, sake,304
And men I shall you make305
where ye com ay where, syrs.306
To bedlem loke ye go / And all the coste aboute,307
All knaue chyldren ye slo / and lordys, ye shalbe stoute;
Of yeres if they be two / and within, of all that rowte
On lyfe lyefe none of tho / that lygys in swedyll clowte,
I red you;311
Spare no kyns bloode,312
lett all ryn on floode,313
If women wax woode;314
I warn you, syrs, to spede you;315
hens! now go youre way / that ye were thore.316
Secundus Miles
I wote we make a fray / bot I wyll go before.317
Tercius Miles
A, thynk, syrs, I say / I mon whett lyke a bore.318
Primus Miles
Sett me before ay / good enogh for a skore;319
hayll heyndly!320
we shall for youre sake321
make a dulfull lake.322
Now if ye me well wrake323
ye shall fynd me freyndly.324
Secundus Miles
Go ye now tyll oure noytt / and handyll thaym weyll.
Tercius Miles
I shall pay thaym on the cote / begyn I to reyll.326
Primus Miles
hark, felose, ye dote / yonder commys vnceyll;327
I hold, here a grote / she lykys me not weyll328
Be we parte;329
Dame, thynk it not yll,330
thy knafe if I kyll.331
Prima Mulier
what, thefe! agans my wyll?332
lord, kepe hym in qwarte!333
Primus Miles
Abyde now, abyde / no farther thou gose.334
Prima Mulier
Peasse, thefe! shall I chyde / and make here a nose?
Primus Miles
I shall reyfe the thy pryde / kyll we these boyse!336
Prima Mulier
Tyd may betyde / kepe well thy nose,337
ffals thefe!338
haue on loft on thy hode.339
Primus Miles
what, hoore, art thou woode?340
Prima Mulier
Outt, alas, my chyldys bloode!341
Outt, for reprefe!342
Alas for shame and syn / alas that I was borne!343
Of wepyng who may blyn / to se hir chylde forlorne?
My comforth and my kyn / my son thus alto torne!345
veniance for this syn / I cry, both euyn and morne.
Secundus Miles
well done!347
Com hedyr, thou old stry!348
that lad of thyne shall dy.349
Secunda Mulier
Mercy, lord, I cry!350
It is myn awne dere son.351
Secundus Miles
No mercy thou mefe / it mendys the not, mawd!352
Secunda Mulier
Then thi skalp shall I clefe! / lyst thou be clawd?
lefe, lefe, now by lefe! /354
Secundus Miles
peasse, byd I, bawd!355
Secunda Mulier
ffy, fy, for reprefe! fy, full of frawde!355
No man!356
haue at thy tabard,357
harlot and holard!358
Thou shall not be sparde!359
I cry and I ban!360
Outt! morder! man, I say / strang tratoure & thefe!
Out! alas! and waloway! / my child that was me lefe!
My luf, my blood, my play / that neuer dyd man grefe!
Alas, alas, this day! / I wold, my hart shuld, clefe
In sonder!365
veniance I cry and call,366
on herode and his knyghtys all!367
veniance, lord, apon thaym fall,368
And mekyll warldys wonder!369
Tercius Miles
This is well wroght gere / that euer may be;370
Comys hederward here! / ye nede not to fle!371
Tercia Mulier
wyll ye do any dere / to my chyld, and me?372
Tercius Miles
he shall dy, I the swere / his hart blood shall thou se.
Tercia Mulier
God for-bede!374
Thefe! thou shedys my chyldys blood!375
Out, I cry! I go near wood!376
Alas! my hart is all on flood,377
To se my chyld, thus blede!378
By god, thou shall aby this dede that thou has done.
Tercius Miles
I red the not stry / by son and by moyn.380
Tercia Mulier
haue at the, say I! / take the ther a foyn!381
Out on the I cry / haue at thi groyn382
An othere!383
This kepe I in store.384
Tercius Miles
Peasse now, no more!385
Tercia Mulier
I cry and I rore,386
Out on the, mans mordere!387
Alas! my bab, myn Innocent / my fleshly get! for sorow
That god me derly sent / of bales who may me borow?
Thy body is all to-rent / I cry both euen and morow,
veniance for thi blod, thus spent / out! I cry, and horow!
Primus Miles
Go lightly!392
Gett out of thise wonys!393
ye trattys, all at onys,-394
Or by cokys dere bonys395
I make you go wyghtly!396
Thay ar flayd now, I wote, thay will not abyde.397
Secundus Miles
lett vs ryn fote hote / now wold, I we hyde,398
And tell of this lott / how we haue betyde.399
Tercius Miles
Thou can do thi note / that haue I aspyde;400
Go furth now,401
Tell thou herode oure tayll!402
ffor all oure avayll,403
I tell you, saunce fayll,404
he wyll vs alow.405
Primus Miles
I am best of you all / and euer has bene;406
The deuyll haue my saull / bot I be fyrst sene;407
It fyttys me to call / my lord, as I wene.408
Secundus Miles
what nedys the to brall? / be not so kene409
In this anger;410
I shall say thou dyd best,411
saue myself, as I gest.412
Primus Miles
we! that is most honest.413
Tercius Miles
go, tary no langer!414
Primus Miles
hayll herode, oure kyng / full glad may ye be!415
Good tythyng we bryng / harkyn now to me;416
we haue mayde rydyng / thrugh outt Iure:417
well wyt ye oone thyng / that morderd, haue we418
Many thowsandys.419
Secundus Miles
I held, thaym full hote,420
I payd them on the cote;421
Thare dammys, I wote,422
Neuer bynde them in bandys.423
Tercius Miles
had ye sene how I fard / when I cam emang them!424
Ther was none that I spard / bot lade on and dang them.
I am worthy a rewarde / where I was emangys them.426
I stud and I stard / no pyte to hang them427
had I.428
Now, by myghty mahowne,429
That is good of renowne!430
If I bere this crowne431
ye shall haue a lady432
Ilkon to hym layd, and wed at his wyll.433
Primus Miles
So haue ye lang sayde / do somwhat thertyll!434
Secundus Miles
And I was neuer flayde / for good ne for yll.435
Tercius Miles
ye might hold, you well payde / oure lust to fulfyll,
Thus thynk me,437
with tresure vntold,438
If it lyke that ye wold,439
Both syluer and gold,440
To gyf vs greatt plente.441
As I am kyng crownde / I thynk it good right!442
Ther goys none on grownde / that has sich a wyght;443
A hundreth thowsand pownde / is good wage for a knyght,
Of pennys good and rownde / now may ye go light445
with store;446
And ye knyghtys of oures447
Shall haue castels and towres,448
Both to you and to youres,449
ffor now and euer more.450
Primus Miles
was neuer none borne / by downes ne by dalys,451
Nor yit vs beforne / that had sich avalys.452
Secundus Miles
we haue castels and corne / mych gold in oure malys.
Tercius Miles
It wyll neuer be worne / withoutt any talys;454
hayll heyndly!455
hayll lord! hayll kyng!456
we ar furth foundyng!457
Now mahowne he you bryng458
where he is lord freyndly;459
Now in peasse may I stand / I thank the, mahowne!460
And gyf of my lande / that longys to my crowne;461
Draw therfor nerehande / both of burgh and of towne;
Markys ilkon a thowsande / when I am bowne,463
Shall ye haue.464
I shalbe full fayn465
To gyf that I sayn!466
wate when I com agayn,467
And then may ye craue.468
I sett by no good, / now my hart is at easse,469
That I shed so mekyll blode / pes all my ryches!470
ffor to se this flode / from the fote to the nese471
Mefys nothing my mode / I lagh that I whese;472
A, mahowne!473
So light is my saull,474
that all of Sugar is my gall;475
I may do what I shall,476
And bere vp my crowne.477
I was castyn in care / so frightly afrayd,478
Bot I thar not dyspare / for low is he layd479
That I most dred are / so haue I hym flayd;480
And els wonder ware / and so many strayd481
In the strete,482
That oone shuld be harmeles,483
and skape away hafles,484
where so many chyldes485
Thare balys can not bete.486
A hundreth thowsand, I watt / and fourty ar slayn,487
And four thowsand; ther-at / me aght to be fayn;488
Sich a morder on a flat / shall neuer be agayn.489
had I had bot oone bat / at that lurdan490
So yong,491
It shuld, haue bene spokyn492
how I had me wrokyn,493
were I dede and rotyn,494
with many a tong.495
Thus shall I tech knauys / ensampyll to take,496
In thare wyttys that rauys / sich mastre to make;497
All wantones wafys / no langage ye crak!498
No sufferan you sauys / youre nekkys shall I shak499
In sonder;500
No kyng ye on call501
Bot on herode the ryall,502
Or els many oone shall503
Apon youre bodys wonder.504
ffor if I here it spokyn / when I com agayn,505
youre branys bese brokyn / therfor be ye bayn;506
Nothyng bese vnlokyn / it shalbe so playn;507
Begyn I to rekyn / I thynk all dysdayn508
ffor daunche.509
Syrs, this is my counsell-510
Bese not to cruell,511
Bot adew!-to the deuyll!512
I can nomore fraunch!513

2022 Jan 21  20:05:23