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XII. THE SPICERS. [The Prophets, The Annunciation, and the Visitation.) (42a)

[Scene 1]
(Prologue :] Lord God, grete meruell es to mene,

How man was made withouten mysse,
And sette whare he sulde euer haue bene
Withouten bale, bidand in blisse,
And howe he lost þat comforth clene,
And was putte oute fro paradys,
And sithen what sorouse [s]or warre sene
Sente vnto hym and to al his,
And how they lay lange space

In helle lokyn fro lyght,
Tille God graunted þam grace

Of helpe, as he hadde hyght.
pan is it nedfull for to neven,
How prophettis all good counsailes kende,
Als prophet Amos in his steven,
Lered whils he in his liffe gun lende.
DEUS PATER DISPOSUIT SALUTEM FIERI IN

MEDIO TERR[A]E, ETCE.
He sais þus, god þe fadir in heuen
Ordand in erthe man kynde to mende;
And to grayth it with godhede euen,
His sone he saide þat he suld sende,
To take kynde of man-kyn

In a mayden full mylde;
So was many saued of syn

And the foule fende be-gyled.

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20

7 sor ) so S; for MS TERRAE TERRE MS

19 euen ] euen MS

after 16

25

30

[42b]

35

And for the feende suld so be fedd
Be tyne, and to no treuth take tentt,
God made þat mayden to be wedde,
Or he his sone vnto hir sentte.
So was the godhede closed and cledde
In wede of weddyng whare th[ely wente.
And þat oure blysse sulde so be bredde,
Ful many materes may be mente.
QUONIAM IN SEMINE TUO BENEDICENTUR

OMNES GENTES, &C.
God hymself sayde this thynge

To Abraham als hym liste,
Of thy sede sall vppe sprynge

Wharein folke sall be bliste.
To proue thes prophettes ordande er,
Als I say vnto olde and yenge,
He moued oure myscheues for to merr;
For thus he prayed god for this thynge,
(RJORATE C[A]ELI DESUPER,
Lord, late þou doune at thy likyng
pe dewe to fall fro heuen so ferre,
For than the erthe sall sprede and sprynge
A seede þat vs sall saue,

pat nowe in blisse are bente.
Of clerkis who-so will craue,

pus may þer-gatis be mente:
Þe dewe to þe gode halygaste
May be remeued in mannes mynde,
The erthe vnto pe mayden chaste,
By-cause she comes of erthely kynde.

40

45

50

27 wedde) so S, wedded MS

30 they ) so K, thy MS S sho H

37 er ) MS has this at beginning of 38, S follows MS and inserts a wer at end of 37

41 RORATE CAELI ] ORATE CELI, MS, S

44 the ) of K

46 bente blente H

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60

þir wise wordis ware noght wroght in waste,
To waffe and wende away als wynde,
For this same prophett sone in haste
Saide forthermore, als folkes may fynde :
PROPTER HOC DABIT DOMINUS IPSE VOBIS

SIGNUM, &C.
Loo! he sais þus, god sall gyffe

Here-of a (sygne] to see
Tille all þat lely lyffe,

And þis þare sygne salbe.
ECCE VIRGO CONCIPIET, ET PARIET FILI-

UM, &C.
Loo! he sais a mayden mon,
Here on this molde mankynde omell,
Ful clere consayue and bere a sonne,
And neven his name Emanuell.
His kyngdom, þat euer is be-gonne,
Sall never sese, but dure and dwell ;
On dauid sege bore sall he wonne,
His domes to deme and trueth to telle.
ZELUS DOMINI FACIET HOC, &c.

[43a] He says luffe of oure Lorde

All þis sall ordan þanne, That mennes pees and accorde

To make with erthely manne. More of þis mayden me meves [he], This prophett sais for oure socoure, EGREDIETUR VIRGA DE JESSE, A wande sall brede of Jesse boure: And of þis same also sais hee,

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70

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58 sygne syngne MS, S 63 Ful] sal K 70 ordan ] ordan MS

73 me) omit Hall meves menes H he] omit MS

80

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Vppone þat wande sall springe a floure,
Wher-on þe haly gast sall be,
To governe it with grete honnoure.
That wande meynes vntill vs

þis mayden, even and morne,
And þe floure is Jesus,

pat of þat blyst bees borne. 85

he prophet Johell, a gentill Jewe,
Som-tyme has saide of þe same thyng :
He likenes criste euen als he knewe,
Like to þe dewe in doune commyng.
ERO QUASI ROS ET VIRGO ISRAELL GER-

MINABAT SICUT LILIUM.
pe maiden of Israell al newe,
He sais, sall bere one and forthe brynge,
Als þe lelly floure full faire of hewe.
pis meynes sa to olde and zenge
fat þe hegh haly gaste

Come oure myscheffe to mende
In marie mayden chaste,

When god his sone walde sende.
þis lady is to be lilly lyke,
þat is by-cause of hir clene liffe,
For in þis worlde was never slyke,

One to be mayden, modir, and wyffe, [43 b] And hir sonne kyng in heuen-ryke,

Als oft es red be reasoune ryfe,
And hir husband bath maister and meke,
In charite to stynte all striffe.
þis passed all worldly witte,

How god had ordand þaim þanne,

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100

105

88 like) right K omit K

103 maister ] mylde K

106 þaim )

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