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60

65

which shal saue that is forlorn,

As p(ro)phetys gonne spelle. iijus pastor: Danyel, the p(ro)phete thus gan e:

wyse god from woo us wreke! thi bryght hevyn thu to-breke and medele the with a mayde ! This pro)phecye is now spad, Cryst in oure kende is clad, therfore mankend may be glad, As p(ro)phetys beforn han seyd.

Cantent: Gloria in excelsis deo.
įus pastor: The p(ro)phecye of Boosdras is spedly sped,

now leyke we hens as that lyght us lede;
myght we se onys that bryght on bed,
oure bale it wolde vnbynde.
We shulde shadyr for no shoure,-
buske we us hens to bedleem boure
to se that fayr fresch flowre,

the mayde mylde in mynde.
ijus pastor: lete us follwe with all oure myght,

with songe and myrth we shul us dyght,
and wurchep with joye that wurthy wyght
that lord is of mankynne.
lete us go fforthe fast on hye,
and honowre that babe wurthylye

[90a] with merthe, songe, and melodye, haue do! this songe begynne!

tunc pastores cantabunt : Stella celi extirpauit, quo f(ac) to ibunt ad querendum Christum.

53, 54, 58 ) prophet etc.) pphet etc. MS 62 a B is written in the margin here in the MS, an A at line 78, and a C at line 90. H follows this suggested reärrangement, although the original arrangement seems quite as satisfactory. 58, 62, 69, 75 ] MS has full forms this, The, the, and 65 bale ] late hand substitutes sorwe, which H accepts 66 shadyr ] MS and H ; later hand substitutes not let

67 buske) MS and H; later hand substitutes Go after 77 facto) fto MS

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76

80

[Scene 2: On the road to Bethlehem.]
įus pastor: Ey! Ey! this was a wondyr note,

that was now songyn above the sky;
I haue that voys fful wele I-wote:

thei songe gle, glo, glory.
ijus pastor: Nay, so mot [I] the, so was it now[ght),

I haue that songe fful wele i-num,
in my wytt weyl it is wrought:

It was gle, glo, glas, glum.
iijus pastor : The songe methought it was glory,

and aftyrwarde he seyd us to:
ther is a chylde born shal be a prynce myghty,
ffor to seke that chylde I rede we go.

85

95

[Scene 3: In the Stable.) 90 i us pastor: heyle, floure of floures! fayrest i-fownde!

heyle, perle peerles, prime rose of prise!
heyl, blome on bedde! we shul be vnbownde
with thi blody woundys and werkys full wyse.
heyl, god grettest, I grete the on grownde!
the gredy devyl shal grone grysly as a gryse,
whan thu wynnyst this worlde with thi wyde wounde,
and puttyst man to paradys with plenty of prys.

to loue the is my delyte, [90b] heyl, floure fayr and fre!

lyght from the trynyte !
heyl! blyssyd mote thu be!

heyl, mayde fayrest in sight!
ijus pastor: heyl, floure ovyr ffloure, fowndyn in fryght!

heyl, Cryst kynde in oure kyth!
heyl, werker of wele to wonyn us wyth!

82 mot I) moty MS nowght] nowth MS 84 wytt] last two letters illegible in MS 86 ] MS has full form The

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105

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115

120

heyl, wynnere, i-wys !
heyl, fformere and ffrende!
heyl, ffellere of the fende !
heyl, clad in oure kende!

heyl, prince of paradys !
iijus pastor : heyl, lord ouer lordys that lyggest ful lowe!

heyl, kynge ovyr kynges, thi kynrede to knowe !
heyl, comely kny[ght], the deuyl to ouerthrowe!
heyl, floure of alle!
heyl, werkere to wynne
bodyes bowndyn in synne!
heyl, in a bestys bynne

bestad in a stalle!
Joseph: herdys on hylle, bethe not stylle,

but seyth your wylle to many a man, how god is born this mery morn;

that is forlorn fyndyn he can. įus pastor : we shul telle be dale and hylle

how harwere of helle was born this nyght. myrth is to melle and fendys to quelle,

that were so felle agens his ryght. ijus pastor: ffare wel, babe and barne of blys ! (91 a]

ffare wel, lord that lovely is! the to wurchep thi feet I kys,

on knes to the I falle. The to wurchep I falle on kne, all this wer[1]d may joye of the; now farewell, lorde of gret pouste!

za, farewel kynge of alle ! iijus pastor : Thow I be the last that take my leve,

zit, fayre mullynge, take it not at no greve.

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130

135

113 knyght] knyth MS

131, 135 ) MS has full forms The, Thow 132 werld ] werd MS

140

now, fayre babe, wele mut thu cheve!
ffayr chylde, now haue good day!
ffareweyl, myn owyn dere derlyng!
I-wys, thu art a ryght fayr thyng.
ffarewel, my lorde and my swetyng!

ffarewel, born in pore aray!
Maria: Now ze herdmen, wol mote ze be!

ffor youre omage and your syngynge
my sone shal aqwyte zow in hefne se,
and zeve zow all ryght good hendynge. Amen.

145

NOTE ON THE TEXT OF THE YORK PLAYS,

Many emendations have been suggested for this text. Most of them are entirely futile, though some are suggestive. I have noted in the variants all that seem in any way significant. The articles referred to are: Holthausen, Beiträge zur Erklärung und Text-Kritik der York Plays, Herrig's Archiv 85. 411-428, and Holthausen, Zu Alt- und Mittelenglischen Dichtungen, Anglia 21. 443, both of these referred to as H; Kölbing, Kleine Beiträge zur Erklärung und Text-Kritik Vor-Shakespere'scher Dramen, Engl. Stud. 20. 187-190, 21. 162-175, referred to as K; Hall, Text Emendation of the York Plays, Engl. Stud. 9. 450-459. Two other articles which have little or no bearing on these particular plays are: Luick, Text-Kritik der Spiele von York, Anglia 22. 384, and Coblentz, Suggested Rime Emendations, Mod. Lang. Notes 10. 77–81.

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