The Towneley plays
The Resurrection of the Lord
Peasse, I warne you, woldys in wytt!
And standys on syde or els go sytt,
ffor here ar men that go not yit,
And lordys of me[kill] myght;
We thynk to abyde, and not to flytt,
I tell you euery wight.
Spare youre spech, ye brodels bold,,
And sesse youre cry till I haue told,
What that my worship wold,,
here in thise wonys;
whoso that wyghtly nold,
ffull hy bese hanged his bonys.
wote ye not that I am pilate,
That satt apon the Iustyce late,
At caluarie where I was att
This day at morne?
I am he, that great state,
That lad has all to-torne.
Now sen that lothly losell is thus ded,
I haue great ioy in my manhede,
Therfor wold, I in ilk sted,
It were tayn hede,
If any felowse felow his red,
Or more his law wold lede. Page 307
ffor and I knew it, cruelly
his lyfe bees lost, and that shortly,
that he were better hyng ful hy
On galow tre;
Therfor ye prelatys shuld, aspy
If any sich be.
As I am man of myghtys most,
If ther be any that blow sich bost,
with tormentys keyn bese he indost
The devill to hell shall harry hys goost,
Bot I say nomore.
Sir, ye thar nothyng be dredand,
ffor centurio, I vnderstand,
youre knyght is left abydand
Right ther behynde;
We left hym ther, for man most wyse,
If any rybaldys wold oght ryse,
To sesse theym to the next assyse,
And then forto make ende.
A, blyssyd lord adonay,
what may this meruell sygnyfy
That here was shewyd so openly
vnto oure sight,
When the rightwys man can dy
that ihesus hight?
heuen it shoke abone,
Of shynyng blan both son and moyne,
And dede men also rose vp sone,
Outt of thare grafe;
And stones in wall anone
In sonder brast and clafe. Page 308
Ther was seen many a full sodan sight,
Oure prynces, for sothe, dyd nothyng right,
And so I saide to theym on hight,
As it is trew,
That he was most of myght,
The son of god, ihesu.
ffowlys in the ayer and fish in floode,
That day changid thare mode,
when that he was rent on rode,
That lord veray;
ffull well thay vnderstode
That he was slayn that day.
Therfor right as I meyn / to theym fast will I ryde,
To wyt withoutten weyn / what they will say this tyde
Of this enfray;
I will no longer abyde
bot fast ride on my way.
God saue you, syrs, on euery syde!
Worship and welth in warld so wyde!
Centurio, welcom this tyde,
Oure comly knyght!
God graunt you grace well forto gyde,
And rewll you right.
Centurio, welcom, draw nere hand!
Tell vs son tythyngys here emang,
ffor ye haue gone thrughoutt oure land,
ye know ilk dele.
Sir, I drede me ye haue done wrang
And wonder yll.
wonder yll? I pray the why?
declare that to this company.
So shall I, sir, full securly,
with all my mayn;
The rightwys man, I meyn, hym by
that ye haue slayn.
Centurio, sese of sich saw;
ye ar a greatt man of oure law,
And if we shuld any wytnes draw,
To vs excuse,
To mayntene vs euermore ye aw,
And noght refuse.
To mayntene trowth is well worthy;
I saide when I sagh hym dy,
That it was godys son almyghty,
That hang thore;
So say I yit and abydys therby,
yee, sir, sich resons may ye rew,
Thou shuld not neuen sich notes new,
Bot thou couth any tokyns trew,
vntill vs tell.
Sich wonderfull case neuer ere ye knew
As then befell.
we pray the tell vs, of what thyng?
Of elymentys, both old, and ying,
In thare manere maide greatt mowrnyng,
In ilka stede;
Thay knew by contenaunce that thare kyng
was done to dede.
The son for wo it waxed all wan,
The moyn and starnes of shynyng blan,
And erth it tremlyd as a man
Began to speke;
The stone, that neuer was styrryd or than,
In sonder brast and breke;
And dede men rose vp bodely, both greatt and small.
Centurio, bewar with all!
ye wote the clerkys the clyppys it call Page 310
Sich sodan sight;
That son and moyne a seson shall
lak of thare light.
Sir, and if that dede men ryse vp bodely,
That may be done thrugh socery,
Therfor nothyng we sett therby,
that be thou bast.
Sir, that I saw truly,
That shall I euermore trast.
Not for that ilk warke that ye dyd wyrke,
Not oonly for the son wex myrke,
Bot how the vayll rofe in the kyrke,
ffayn wyt I wold.
A, sich tayles full sone wold make vs yrke,
if thay were told.
harlot! wherto commys thou vs emang
with sich lesyngys vs to fang?
Weynd furth! hy myght thou hang,
Weynd furth in the Wenyande,
And hold styll thy clattur.
Sirs, sen ye set not by my saw, / haues now good day!
God lene you grace to knaw / the sothe all way.
with draw the fast, sen thou the dredys,
ffor we shall well mayntene oure dedys.
Sich wonderfull resons as now redys
were neuer beforne,
To neuen this note nomore vs nedys,
nawder euen nor morne,
Bot forto be war of more were
That afterward myght do vs dere,
Therfor, sir, whils ye ar here Page 311
vs all emang,
Avyse you of thise sawes sere
how thay will stand.
ffor ihesus saide full openly
Vnto the men that yode hym by,
A thyng that grevys all Iury,
And right so may,
That he shuld, ryse vp bodely
within the thryde day.
If it be so, as myght I spede,
The latter dede is more to drede
Then was the fyrst, if we take hede
And tend therto;
Avyse you, sir, for it is nede,
the best to do.
Sir, neuer the les if he saide so,
he hase no myght to ryse and go,
Bot his dyscypyls steyll his cors vs fro
And bere away;
That were till vs, and othere mo,
A fowll enfray.
Then wold the pepyll say euerilkon
That he were rysen hym self alon,
Therfor ordan to kepe that stone
with knyghtys heynd,
To thise thre dayes be commen and gone
And broght till ende.
Now, certys sir, full well ye say,
And for this ilk poynt to puruay
I shall, if that I may;
he shall not ryse,
Nor none shall wyn hym thens away
of nokyns wyse. Page 312
Sir knyghtys, that ar of dedys dughty,
And chosen for chefe of cheualry,
As I may me in you affy,
By day and nyght,
ye go and kepe ihesu body
with all youre myght;
And for thyng that be may,
kepe hym well vnto the thryd day,
That no tratur steyll his cors you fray,
Out of that sted;
ffor if ther do, truly I say,
ye shall be dede.
yis, sir pilate, in certan,
we shall hym kepe with all oure mayn;
Ther shall no tratur with no trayn
Steyll hym vs fro;
Sir knyghtys, take gere that best may gayn,
And let vs go.
yis, certys, we are all redy bowne,
we shall hym kepe till youre renowne;
On euery syde lett vs sytt downe,
we all in fere;
And I shall fownde to crak his crowne
whoso commys here.
who shuld be where, fayn wold I wytt.
Euen on this syde wyll I sytt.
And I shall fownde his feete to flytt.
we ther shrew ther!
Now by mahowne, fayn wold I wytt
who durst com here
This cors with treson forto take,
ffor if it were the burnand drake
Of me styfly he gatt a strake, Page 313
haue here my hand;
To thise thre dayes be past,
This cors I dar warand.
Erthly man, that I haue wroght,
wightly wake, and slepe thou noght!
with bytter bayll I haue the boght,
To make the fre;
Into this dongeon depe I soght
And all for luf of the.
Behold how dere I wold the by!
My woundys ar weytt and all blody;
The, synfull man, full dere boght I
With tray and teyn;
Thou fyle the noght eft for-thy,
Now art thou cleyn.
Clene haue I mayde the, synfull man,
With wo and wandreth I the wan,
ffrom harte and syde the blood out ran,
Sich was my pyne;
Thou must me luf that thus gaf than
My lyfe for thyne.
Thou synfull man that by me gase,
Tytt vnto me thou turne thi face;
Behold, my body, in ilka place
how it was dight;
All to-rent and all to-shentt,
Man, for thy plight.
With cordes enewe and ropys toghe
The Iues fell my lymmes out-drogh,
ffor that I was not mete enoghe
vnto the bore;
with hard stowndys thise depe woundys
Tholyd I thefore. Page 314
A crowne of thorne, that is so kene,
Thay set apon my hede for tene,
Two thefys hang thai me betwene,
All for dyspyte;
This payn ilk dele thou shall wyt wele,
May I the wyte.
Behald my shankes and my knees,
Myn armes and my thees;
Behold me well, looke what thou sees,
Bot sorow and pyne;
Thus was I spylt, man, for thi gylt,
And not for myne.
And yit more vnderstand thou shall;
In stede of drynk thay gaf me gall,
Asell thay menged it withall,
The Iues fell;
The payn I haue, tholyd I to saue
Mans saull from hell.
Behold, my body how Iues it dang
with knottys of whyppys and scorges strang;
As stremes of well the bloode out sprang
On euery syde;
knottes where thay hyt, well may thou wytt,
Maide woundys wyde.
And therfor thou shall vnderstand
In body, heed, feete, and hand,
ffour hundreth woundys and fyue thowsand
here may thou se;
And therto neyn were delt full euen
ffor luf of the.
Behold, on me noght els is lefte,
And or that thou were fro me refte,
All thise paynes wold I thole efte Page 315
And for the dy;
here may thou se that I luf the,
Sen I for luf, man, boght the dere,
As thou thi self the sothe sees here,
I pray the hartely, with good chere,
luf me agane;
That it lyked me that I for the
tholyd all this payn.
If thou thy lyfe in syn haue led,
Mercy to ask be not adred;
The leste drope I for the bled
Myght clens the soyn,
All the syn the warld with in
If thou had done.
I was well wrother with Iudas
ffor that he wold not ask me no grace,
Then I was for his trespas
That he me sold;
I was redy to shew mercy,
Aske none he wold,.
lo how I hold myn armes on brede,
The to saue ay redy mayde;
That I great luf ay to the had,
well may thou knaw!
Som luf agane I wold, full fayn
Thou wold me shaw.
Bot luf noght els aske I of the,
And that thou fownde fast syn to fle;
pyne the to lyf in charyte
Both nyght and day;
Then in my blys that neuer shall mys
Thou shall dwell ay. Page 316
ffor I am veray prynce of peasse,
And synnes seyr I may releasse,
And whoso will of synnes seasse
And mercy cry,
I grauntt theym here a measse
In brede, myn awne body.
[That ilk veray brede of lyfe
Becommys my fleshe in wordys fyfe;
who so it resaues in syn or stryfe
Bese dede for euer;
And whoso it takys in rightwys lyfe
Dy shall he neuer.]
Alas! to dy with doyll am I dyght!
In warld was neuer a wofuller wight,
I drope, I dare, for seyng of sight
That I can se;
My lord, that mekill was of myght,
Is ded, fro me.
Alas! that I shuld se hys pyne,
Or that I shuld, his lyfe tyne,
ffor to ich sore he was medecyne
And boytte of all;
help and hold, to euer ilk hyne
To hym wold call.
Alas! how stand I on my feete
when I thynk on his woundys wete!
Ihesus, that was on luf so swete,
And neuer dyd yll,
Is dede and grafen vnder the grete,
withoutten skyll thise Iues ilkon
That lufly lord thay haue hym slone,
And trespas dyd he neuer none, Page 317
In nokyn sted,;
To whom shall we now make oure mone?
Oure lord is ded.
Sen he is ded, my systers dere,
weynd we will with full good chere.
with oure anoyntmentys fare and clere
That we haue broght,
ffor to anoyntt his woundys sere,
That Iues hym wroght.
Go we then, my systers fre,
ffor sore me longis his cors to see,
Bot I wote neuer how best may be;
help haue we none,
And which shall of vs systers thre
remefe the stone?
That do we not bot we were mo,
ffor it is hogh and heuy also.
Systers, we thar no farther go
Ne make mowrnyng;
I se two syt where we weynd to,
In whyte clothyng.
Certys, the sothe is not to hyde,
The graue stone is put besyde.
Certys, for thyng that may betyde,
Now will we weynde
To late the luf, and with hym byde,
that was oure freynde.
ye mowrnyng women in youre thoght,
here in this place whome haue ye soght?
Ihesu that vnto ded was broght,
Oure lord so fre.
Certys, women, here is he noght;
Com nere and se.
he is not here, the sothe to say,
The place is voyde ther in he lay;
The sudary here se ye may
was on hym layde;
he is rysen and gone his way,
As he you sayde.
Euen as he saide so done has he,
he is rysen thrugh his pauste;
he shalbe fon in galale,
In fleshe and fell;
To his dyscypyls now weynd ye,
And thus thaym tell.
My systers fre, sen it is so,
That he is resyn the deth thus fro,
As saide till vs thise angels two,
Oure lord and leche,
As ye haue hard, where that ye go
Loke that ye preche.
As we haue hard so shall we say;
Mare, oure syster, haue good day!
Now veray god, as he well may,
Man most of myght,
he wysh you, systers, well in youre way,
And rewle you right.
Alas, what shall now worth on me?
My catyf hart wyll breke in thre
when that I thynk on that ilk bodye
how it was spylt;
Thrugh feete and handys nalyd was he
withoutten gylt then was he tayn,
That lufly lord, thay haue hym slayn,
And tryspas dyd he neuer nane, Page 319
Ne yit no mys
It was my gylt he was fortayn,
And nothing his.
how myght I, bot I lufyd that swete
That for me suffred woundys wete,
Sythen to be grafen vnder the grete,
Sich kyndnes kythe;
Ther is nothyng till that we mete
may make me blythe.
Outt, alas! what shall I say?
where is the cors that here in lay?
what alys the man? he is away
That we shuld tent!
Ryse vp and se.
harrow! thefe! for ay
I cownte vs shent!
what devyll alys you two
sich nose and cry thus forto may?
ffor he is gone.
he that here lay.
harrow! devill! how swa gat he away?
what, is he thus-gatys from vs went,
The fals tratur that here was lentt,
That we truly to tent
Certanly I tell vs shent
Alas, what shall I do this day
Sen this tratur is won away?
And safely, syrs, I dar well say
he rose alon.
wytt sir pilate of this enfray
we mon be slone.
wote ye well he rose in dede?
I sagh myself when that he yede.
when that he styrryd out of the steed
None couth it ken.
Alas, hard hap was on my hede
emang all men.
ye, bot wyt sir pilate of this dede,
That we were slepand when he yede,
we mon forfett, withoutten drede,
All that we haue.
we must make lees, for that is nede,
Oure self to saue.
That red I well, so myght I go.
And I assent therto also.
A thowsand shall I assay, and mo,
well armed ilkon,
Com and toke his cors vs fro,
had vs here slone.
Nay, certys, I hold ther none so good
As say the sothe right as it stude,
how that he rose with mayn and mode,
And went his way;
To sir pilate, if he be wode,
Thus dar I say.
why, and dar thou to sir pilate go
with thise tythyngys, and tell hym so?
So red I that we do also,
we dy bot oones.
Now he that wroght vs all this wo
wo worth his bones!
Go we sam, sir knyghtys heynd,,
Sen we shall to sir pilate weynd,
I trow that we shall parte no freynd, Page 321
Or that we pas.
Now and I shall tell ilka word till ende,
right as it was.
Sir pilate, prynce withoutten peyr,
Sir Cayphas and Anna both in fere,
And all the lordys aboute you there,
To neuen by name;
Mahowne you saue on sydys sere
ffro syn and shame.
ye ar welcom, oure knyghtys so keyn,
A mekill myrth now may we meyn,
Bot tell vs som talkyng vs betwene,
How ye haue wroght.
Oure walkyng, lord, withoutten wene,
Is worth to noght.
To noght? alas, seasse of sich saw.
The prophete ihesu, that ye well knaw,
Is rysen, and went fro vs on raw,
with mayn and myght.
Therfor the devill the all to-draw,
vyle recrayd knyght!
what! combred cowardys I you call!
lett ye hym pas fro you all?
Sir, ther was none that durst do bot small
when that he yede.
we were so ferde we can d,owne fall,
And qwoke for drede.
we were so rad, euerilkon,
when that he put besyde the stone,
we quoke for ferd, and durst styr none,
And sore we were abast.
whi, bot rose he bi hym self alone?
ye, lord, that be ye trast, Page 322
we hard neuer on euyn ne morne,
Nor yit oure faders vs beforne,
Sich melody, myd-day ne morne,
As was maide thore.
Alas, then ar oure lawes forlorne
ffor euer more!
A, devill! what shall now worth of this?
This warld farys with quantys;
I pray you, Cayphas, ye vs wys
Of this enfray.
Sir, and I couth oght by my clergys,
ffayn wold I say.
To say the best for sothe I shall;
It shalbe profett for vs all,
yond knyghtys behovys thare wordys agane call,
how he is myst;
we wold not, for thyng that myght befall,
That no man wyst:
And therfor of youre curtessie
Gyf theym a rewarde for-thy.
Of this counsell well paide am I,
It shalbe thus.
Sir knyghtys, that ar of dedys doghty,
Take tent till vs;
herkyns now how ye shall say,
where so ye go by nyght or day;
Ten thowsand men of good aray
Cam you vntill,
And thefyshly toke his cors you fray
Agans youre will.
loke ye say thus in euery land,
And therto on this couande
Ten thowsand pounds haue in youre hande Page 323
To youre rewarde;
And my frenship, I vnderstande,
Shall not be sparde;
Bot loke ye say as we haue kende.
yis, sir, as mahowne me mende,
In ilk contree where so we lende
By nyght or day,
where so we go, where so we weynd,
Thus shall we say.
The blyssyng of mahowne be with you nyght and day!
Say me, garthymere, I the pray,
If thou bare oght my lord away;
Tell me the sothe, say me not nay,
where that he lyys,
And I shall remeue hym if I may,
On any kyn wyse.
woman, why wepys thou? be styll!
whome sekys thou? say me thy wyll,
And nyk me not with nay.
ffor my lord I lyke full yll;
The stede thou bare his body tyll
Tell me I the pray;
And I shall if I may / his body bere with me,
Vnto myn endyng day / the better shuld I be.
woman, woman, turn thi thoght!
wyt thou well I hyd hym noght,
Then bare hym nawre with me;
Go seke, loke if thou fynde hym oght.
In fayth I haue hym soght,
Bot nawre he will fond, be.
why, what was he to the / In sothfastnes to say?
A! he was to me / no longer dwell I may.
Mary, thou sekys thy god, and that am I.
Rabony, my lord so dere!
Now am I hole that thou art here,
Suffer me to negh the nere,
And kys thi feete;
Myght I do so, so well me were,
ffor thou art swete.
Nay, mary, neghe thou not me,
ffor to my fader, tell I the,
yit stevynd I noght;
Tell my brethere I shall be
Before theym all in trynyte
whose will that I haue wroght.
To peasse now ar thay boght / that prysond, were in pyne,
wherfor thou thank in thoght / god, thi lord and myne
Mary thou shall weynde me fro,
Myn erand shall thou grathly go,
In no fowndyng thou fall;
To my dyscypyls say thou so,
That wilsom ar and lappyd in wo,
That I thaym socoure shall.
By name peter thou call / and say that I shall be
Before hym and theym all / my self in galyle.
lord, I shall make my vyage
to tell theym hastely;
ffro thay here that message
thay will be all mery.
This lord was slayn, alas for-thy,
ffalsly spylt, noman wyst why,
whore he dyd mys;
Bot with hym spake I bodely,
ffor-thi commen is my blys.
Mi blys is commen, my care is gone,
That lufly haue I mett alone;
I am as blyth in bloode and bone Page 325
As euer was wight;
Now is he resyn that ere was slone,
Mi hart is light.
I am as light as leyfe on tre,
ffor ioyfull sight that I can se,
ffor well I wote that it was he
My lord ihesu;
he that betrayde that fre
sore may he rew.
To galyle now will I fare,
And his dyscyples cach from care;
I wote that thay will mowrne no mare,
Commyn is thare blys;
That worthi childe that mary bare
he amende youre mys.