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Joseph: That semyth evyl, I am afrayd,

thi wombe to hyze doth stonde;
I drede me sore I am betrayd.
Su(m) other man the had in hande,
hens sythe that I went.

[67 b] Thy wombe is gret, it gynnyth to ryse, than hast thu begownne a synfull gyse. telle me now in what wyse thyself thu ast thus schent. Ow, dame! what thinge menyth this? with childe thu gynnyst rysght] gret to gon. Sey me, Mary, this childys fadyr ho is ?

I p(ra)y the telle me and that anon.
Maria : The fadyr of hevyn and ze it is,

Other fadyr hath he non;
I dede nevyr forfete with man i-wys,
Wherfore I p(ra)y zow amende zour mon;

this childe is goddys and zour.
Joseph: Goddys childe! thu lyist, in fay!

God dede nevyr jape so with maye,
And I cam nevyr ther, I dare wel sey,
zitt so nyh thi boure.

But zit I sey, Mary, whoos childe is this?
Maria: Goddys and zoure, I sey i-wys.
Joseph: za, za, all olde men to me take tent,

and weddyth no wyff in no kynnys wyse,
that is a zonge wench, be myn asent,
ffor dowte and drede and swich servyse.
Alas! Alas! my name is shent,
all men may me now dyspyse,

28 sum sû MS 25, 30, 31, 33, 34] MS has full forms: that, Thy, than, thy, this 33 thinge ] yinge MS

35 ryght] ryth MS H

41 pray] êy MS 42, 45, 47 ] MS has full forms this, and, this

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and seyn: “olde cokwold, thi bowe is bent

newly, after the frensche gyse." [68] Alas and welaway!

Alas, dame, why dedyst thu so ?
for this synne that thu hast do
I the forsake and from the go,

ffor onys evyr and ay.
Maria: Alas, good spowse, why sey ze thus ?

Alas, dere hosbund, amende zour mod.

It is no man but swete Ih(es)us,
65 he wyll be clad in flesch and blood,

and of your wyff be born.
Sephor: ffor sothe, the aungell thus seyd he,

that goddys sone in trynite
ffor mannys sake a man wolde be,

to save that is forlorn.
Joseph: An aungell! allas! alas! fy for shame!

ze syn now in that ze (so] say.
to puttyn an aungel in so gret blame !
Alas! alas ! let be! do way!
It was sum boy began this game,
that clothyd was clene and gay,
and ze zeve hym now an aungel name,
Alas! Alas! and welaway!
that evyr this game betydde!
A! dame, what thought haddyst thu?
here may all men this proverbe trow,
that

many a man doth bete the bow,

another man hath the brydde. [68 b] Maria: A! gracyous god in hefne trone,

comforte my spowse in this hard case !

60, 62) MS has full forms the, thus 62 so] crossed out in MS 67 Sephor] H does not follow MS in giving the following speech to Sephor, but makes her name a vocative, thus making Mary address her. 72 so to MS H 79 ] MS has full form this

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mercyful god, amend his mone,

as I dede nevyr so gret trespas ! Joseph: lo! lo! seres, what told I gow ? that it was not for my prow

a wyff to take me to, an[d] that is wel sene now, ffor mary, I make god a vow,

is grett with childe, lo! Alas! why is it so? to the busshop I wole it telle, that he the lawe may here do, with stonys here to qwelle.

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Nay, nay, zett god forbede
that I shuld do that ve[n]geabyl dede,

but if I wyst wol qwy.
I knew never in here, so god me spede,
tokyn of thynge in word nor dede,

that towchyd velany. nevyr the les what for thy? thow she be meke and mylde, withowth mannys company she myght not be with childe.

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But I ensure myn was it nevyr.
thow that she hath not don here devyr,

rather than I shuld plenyn opynly,
Serteynly zitt had I levyr
fforsake the countre fforevyr,

and nevyr come in here company. ffor (an) men knew this velany, in repreff thei wolde me holde,

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99 vengeabyl ] vegeabyl MS H thow 110) MS has full form than and H

109 ) MS has full form

114 an] & MS,

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and zett many bettyr than I [69 al za hath ben made cokolde.

Now alas! whedyr shal I gone?
I wot nevyr whedyr nor to what place,
ffor oftyn tyme sorwe comyth sone,
and lenge it is or it pace.
no comforte may I have here;
I-wys, wyff, thu dedyst me wronge;
alas ! I taryed from the to longe.
all men haue pety (on me) amonge,

ffor to my sorwe is no chere.
Maria: God, that in my body art sesyd,
thu knowist myn husbond is dysplesyd

to see me in this plight;
ffor vnknowlage he is desesyd,
and therfore help that he were esyd,

that he myght knowe the ful perfyght.
ffor I haue levyr abyde respyt,
to kepe thi sone in priuite,
grauntyd by the holy spryt,
than that it shulde be opynd by me.

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[Scene 2]
Deus: Descende, I sey, myn aungelle,
onto Joseph for to telle

such as my wyl is.
byd hym with mary abyde and dwelle,
ffor it is my sone fful snelle

that she is with, i-wys.
Angelus : Almyghty god of blys,

I am redy ffor to wende 116 ) MS has full form than

124 taryed ] traryed H 125 on me) onime MS

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wedyr as thi wyl is,
to go bothe fer and hynde.
Joseph! Joseph! thu wepyst sh(ry]le,

ffro thi wyff why comyst thu owte? Joseph: Good sere, lete me wepe my fylle,

[69 b] go forthe thi way and lete me nowght. Angelus: In thi wepynge thu dost ryght ylle,

agens god thu hast myswrought.
Go chere thi wyff with herty wylle,
and chawnge thi chere, amende thi thought,
Sche is a ful clene may.
I telle the god wyl of here be born,
and sche clene mayd, as she was beforn,
to save mankynd that is forlorn;

Go, chere hyre therfore I say.
Joseph: A! lord god, benedicite !

of thi gret comforte I thank the,
that thu sent me this space.
I myght wel a wyst, parde!
so good a creature as she

wold nevyr a done trespace;
for she is ful of grace.
I know wel I haue myswrought,
I walke to my pore place,
and aske forgyfnes, I haue mysthought.
Now is the tyme sen at eye,
that the childe is now to veryfye,

which shal save mankende, at it was spoke by prophesye; I thank the, god that syttys on hye,

with hert, wyl, and mende that evyr thu woldyst me bynde, to wedde mary to my wyff, 147 shrylle ] shyrlle MS

161 ) MS has full form the 173 prophesye) pphesye MS

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