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185

190

he and Elizabeth p(ro)phesyed as thus
they mad BENEDICTUS them beforn,
and so MAGNIFICAT and BENEDICTUS
ffyrst in that place ther made worn.
Whan all was done, oure lady fre
toke here leve than aftere this
at Elizabeth and zakarie,
and kyssyd John, and gan hym blys.
Now most mekely we thank zu of your pacyens,
and beseke zu of your good supportacion.
If here hath be seyd ore don any inconuenyens
we asygne it to your good deliberac[ion),
Besekynge to crystes p(re)cious passyon
conserve and rewarde zour hedyr comynge.
With Aue we begunne and Aue is oure conclusyon.
AVE REGINA C[A]ELORUM, to oure ladye we

195

synge.

189 ) MS has full forms than, this

196 precious pcious MS CELORUM MS

195 deliberacion MS

199 CAELORUM ]

torn

5

[PLAY] 15. [THE NATIVITY.]

[82a] Joseph: Lord! what travayl to man is wrought!

Rest in this wer[l]d behovyth hym non;
Octauyan, oure Emp(er)our, sadly hath besought
Oure trybute hym to bere, folk must forth ichon,
It is cryed in every bourgh and cety be name.
I that am a pore tymbrewry[ght), born of the blood

of dauyd,
the Emp(er)oures comawndement I must holde with,
and ellys I were to blame.
now, my wyff mary, what sey ze to this?
for sekyr nedys I must fforth wende
onto the cyte of bedleem, fer hens i-wys,

thus to labore I must my body bende.
Maria: Myn husbond and my spowse, with zow wyl

I wende,
A syght of that cyte ffayn wolde I se;
If I myght of myn alye ony ther ffynde,
it wold be grett joye onto me.

10

15

Joseph : My spowse, ze be with childe, I fere zow to kary,

ffor me semyth it were werkys wylde; but zow to plese ryght ffayn wold I, zitt women ben ethe to greve whan thei be with 20

childe. now latt us fforth wende as fast as we may, and almyghty god spede us in oure jurnay!

2 werld) werd MS

3, 7 Emperour) Emprour MS 6 tymbrewryght] tymbrewryth MS

20 ben ethe ] benethe H

[Scene 2] Maria: A! my swete husbond, wold ze telle to me,

, what tre is zon, standynge upon zon hylle ? 25 Joseph: fforsothe, mary, it is clepyd a chery tre;

In tyme of zere ze myght ffede zow theron your fylle.

30

Maria : Turne ageyn, husbond, and beholde zon tre,

how that it blomyght now so swetly! [82 b) Joseph: Cum on, mary, that we worn at zon cyte !

or ellys we may be blamyd, I telle zow, lythly.. Maria: Now, my spowse, I pray zow to behold

how the cheryes growyn upon zon tre;
ffor to haue therof ryght ffayn I wold,

and it plesyd zow to labore so meche for me. 35 Joseph: zour desyre to ffulfylle I shal assay sekyrly.

Ow! to plucke zow of these cheries it is a werk wylde, ffor the tre is so hyg it wold not be (don) lyghtly, therfore lete hym pluk zow cheryes begatt zow with

childe.

40

Maria: Now, good lord, I pray the graunt me this boun,

to haue of these cheries, and it be your wylle.
now I thank [the], god, this tre bowyth to me down;
I may now gaderyn anowe and etyn my fylle.

Joseph: Ow! I know weyl I haue offendyd my god

in trinyte, spekyng to my spowse these vnkynde wurdes; ffor now I beleve wel it may non other be but that my spowse beryght the kyngys son of blys,

he help us at oure nede!

45

39,

36 ) MS has full form these 44] MS has full forms the, these

37 don omit MS H

41 the) it MS H

50

of the kynrede f Iesse worthely were se bore,
kynges and patryarkys zow beffore,
all these wurthy of your kynred wore,

as clerkys in story rede.
Maria: Now, gramercy, husbond, for your report!

In oure weys wysely late us forth wende. the fadyr all myghty he be oure comfort! the holy gost gloryous he be oure frende !

55

[blocks in formation]

Joseph: Heyl, wurchepful sere, and good day!

a cetecyn of this cyte ze seme to be,
Of herborwe ffor (my) spowse and me I zow pray,
ffor trewly this woman is fful weré,

and fayn at reste, sere, wold she be.
we wolde ffulffylle the byddynge of oure emp(er)o(ure),
ffor to pay trybute as ryght is oure,
and to kepe oureselfe ffrom dolowre

we are come to this cyte.

бо

65

Ciues : Sere, ostage in this towne know I non,

thin wyff and thu in for to slepe;
this cete is besett with pepyl every-won,
and zett thei ly withowte fful every strete.

70

withinne no wall, man, comyst thu now[ght),
be thu onys withinne the cyte gate;
onethys in the strete a place may be sow[ght],
theron to rest withowte debate.

58 my) omit MS H 61 emperoure empô MS

67 and 68 ) MS has full forms this, and 69 and 74 nowght nowth MS 71 sowght] sowth MS

Joseph: Nay, sere, debate that wyl I now[ght].

all suche thyngys passyn my powere,
but gitt my care and all my thought
is for mary, my derlynge dere.

75

A! swete wyff, what shal we do?
wher shal we logge this nyght?
Onto the fadyr of heffne pray we so
vs to kepe ffrom every wykkyd w[ygh]t.

80

Ciues : Good man, o word I wyl the sey,

if thu wylt do by the counsell of me,
zonder is an hous of haras that stant be the wey,
amonge the bestys herberyd may ze be.

86

[83 b] Maria : Now the fadyr of hefne he mut zow gelde!

his sone in my wombe forsothe he is;
he kepe the and thi good be fryth and ffelde!
go we hens, husbond, for now tyme it is.
But herk now, good husbond, a newe relacyon
which in my self I know ryght well:
Crist in me hath take incarnacion,
sone wele be borne, the trowthe I fele.

90

in this pore logge my chawmere I take,
here for to abyde the blyssyd byrth
of hym that all this wer[l]d dude make;
betwyn my sydys I fele he styrth.

95

Joseph: god be thin help, spowse, it swemyth me sore

thus febyly loggyd and in so pore degre
goddys sone amonge bestes ffor to be bore;
his woundyr werkys ffulfyllyd must be

100

80 wyght] whyt MS

95 werla ) werd MS

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