The Towneley plays
Thomas of India
Hayll brethere! and god be here!
I bryng to amende youre chere,
Trist ye it and knawe;
he is rysen, the soth to say,
I met hym goyng bi the way,
he bad me tell it you.
Do way, woman, thou carpys wast!
It is som spirite, or els som gast;
Othere was it noght; Page 338
we may trow on nokyns wyse
That ded man may to lyfe ryse;
This then is oure thoght.
It may be sothe for mans mede,
The Iues maide hym grymly blede
Thrugh feet, handys, and syde;
With nayles on rode thay dyd hym hang,
wherfor, woman, thou says wrang,
As myght I blys abide.
Do way youre threpyng! ar ye wode?
I sagh hym that dyed on roode,
And with hym spake with mowth;
Therfor you both, red I,
putt away your heresy,
Tryst it stedfast and cowth.
Do way, woman! let be thi fare,
ffor shame and also syn!
If we make neuer sich care
his lyfe may we not wyn.
And it is wretyn in oure law
`Ther is no trust in womans saw,
No trust faith to belefe;
ffor with thare quayntyse and thare gyle
Can thay laghe and wepe som while,
And yit nothyng theym grefe.'
In oure bookes thus fynde we wretyn,
All manere of men well it wyttyn,
Of women on this wyse;
Till an appyll she is lyke-
Withoutten faill ther is none slyke-
In horde ther it lyse,
Bot if a man assay it wittely,
It is full roten inwardly
At the colke within; Page 339
Wherfor in woman is no laghe,
ffor she is withoutten aghe,
As crist me lowse of syn.
Thefor trast we not trystely,
Bot if we sagh it witterly
Then wold we trastly trow;
In womans saw affy we noght,
ffor thay ar fekill in word and thoght,
This make I myne avowe.
As be I lowsid of my care,
It is as trew as ye stand thare,
By hym that is my brothere.
I dar lay my heede to wed,
Or that we go vntill oure bed
That we shall here anothere.
If it be sothe that we here say,
Or this be the thrid day
The sothe then mon we se.
Bot it be sothe to trow,
As ye mon here, els pray I you
ffor fals that ye hold me.
Waloway! my lefe deres / there I stand in this sted,
sich sorow my hart sheres / for rewth I can no red,;
sen that mawdleyn witnes beres / that ihesus rose from ded,
Myn ees has letten salt teres / on erthe to se ym trede.
Bot alas! that euer I woke / that carefull catyf nyght,
When I for care and cold, qwoke / by a fyre burnyng full bright,
When I my lord ihesu forsoke / for drede of womans myght;
A rightwys dome I will me loke / that I tyne not that semely sight, Page 340
Bot euer alas! what was I wode! / myght noman be abarstir;
I saide if he nede be-stode / to hym shuld none be trastir;
I saide I knew not that good / creature my master.
Alas! that we fro the fled / that we ne had with the gane;
When thou with Iues was sted / with the was dwelland nane,
Bot forsoke the that vs fed / for we wold not be tayn;
we were as prysoners sore adred / with Iues forto be slayn.
Now, ihesu, for thi lyfe swete / who hath thus mastryd the?
That in the breede that we eytt / thi self gyffen wold be;
And sythen thrugh handys and feytt / be nalyd on a tre;
Grauntt vs grace that we may yit / thi light in manhede se.
This is the day that god maide / all be we glad and blythe,
The holy gost before vs glad / full softly on his sithe;
Red clothyng apon he had / and blys to vs can kith;
softly on the erthe he trade / ffulle myldly [he did] lythe.
This dede thrugh god is done / thus in all oure sighte.
Mighty god, true kyng in trone / Whose son in marye light,
send vs, lord, thi blissid bone / As thou art god of myght,
Sothly to se hym sone / and haue of hym a sight.
Who so commys in goddis name / ay blissid mot he be!
Mightfull god shelde vs fro shame / In thi moder name marie;
Thise wykid Iues will vs blame / Thou grauntt vs for to se
The self body and the same / the which that died on tre.
peasse emangys you euer ichon! / it is I, drede you noght,
That was wonte with you to gone / and dere with ded you boght.
Grope and fele flesh and bone / and fourme of man well wroght;
Sich thyng has goost none / loke wheder ye knawe me oght.
My rysyng fro dede to lyfe / shall no man agane moytt;
Behold my woundes fyfe / thrugh handys, syde, and foytt;
To ded can luf me dryfe / and styrryd my hart roytt.
Of syn who will hym shryfe / thyes woundys shalbe his boytt.
ffor oon so swete a thyng / my self so lefe had wroght,
Man sawll, my dere derlyng / to batell was I broght;
ffor it thay can me dyng / to bryng out of my thoght,
On roode can thay me hyng / yit luf forgate I noght.
luf makys me, as ye may se / strenkyllid, with blood so red;
luf gars me haue hart so fre / it opyns euery sted;
luf so fre so dampnyd me / it drofe me to the ded;
luf rasid, me thrug his pauste / it is swetter then med.
wytterly, man, to the I cry / thou yeme my fader fere,
Thyn awne sawll kepe cleynly / whyls thou art wardan here;
slo it not with thi body / synnyng in synnes sere,
On me and it thou haue mercy / for I haue boght it dere. Page 342
Mi dere freyndys, now may ye se / for soth that [it] is I
That dyed apon the roode tre / and sythen rose bodely;
That it all-gatys sothfast be / ye shall se hastely;
Of youre mett gif ye me / sich as ye haue redy.
lord, lo her a rostid fish / and a comb of hony
laide full fare in a dish / and full honestly;
here is none othere mett bot this / in all oure company,
Bot well is vs that we haue this / to thi lykyng only.
Mi dere fader of heuen / that maide me borne to be
Of a madyn withoutten steven / and sithen to die on tre,
ffrom ded to lif at set stevyn / rasid me thrugh thi paustee,
with the wordys that I shall neven / this mette thou blis thrugh me.
In the fader name and the son / and the holy gast,
Thre persons to knaw and com / in oone godhede stedfast;
I gif this mett my benyson / thrugh wordys of myghtys mast;
Now will I ette, as I was won / my manhede eft to tast
My dere freyndys lay hand till / eyttys for charite;
I ette at my fader will / at my will ette now ye.
That I ette is to fulfill / that writen is of me
In moyses law, for it is skyll / ffulfillyd that it be.
Myn ye noght that I you told, / in certan tyme and sted,,
When I gaf myself to wold, / to you in fourme of bred,,
That my body shuld be sold, / my bloode be spylt so red;
This [co]rs gravyn ded, and cold, / the thrid day ryse fro ded? Page 343
youre hartes was fulfillyd with drede / whyls I haue fro you bene;
The rysyng of my manhede / vnethes wold, ye weyn;
Of trouth now may ye spede / thorow stedfast wordys and cleyn.
leyf freyndys, trow now the dede / that ye with ees haue sene.
ye haue forthynkyng and shame / for youre dysseferance,
I forgif you the blame / in me now haue affyance;
The folk that ar with syn lame / preche theym to repentance,
fforgif syn in my name / enioyne theym to penance.
The grace of the holy gost to wyn / resaue here at me;
The which shall neuer blyn. / I gif you here pauste;
whom in erth ye lowse of syn / in heuen lowsyd shall be,
And whom in erthe ye bynd ther-in / In heuen bonden be he.
Ihesu crist in trynyte / Ihesu to cry and call,
That borne was of a madyn fre / thou saue vs synfull all!
ffor vs hanged apon a tre / drank asell and gall,
Thi seruandys saue fro vanyte / In wanhope that we not fall.
Brethere, be we stabyll of thoght / wanhope put we away,
Of mysbelefe that we be noght / for we may safly say
he that mankynde on rood boght / fro dede rose the thryd day;
we se the woundys in hym was wroght / all blody yit were thay.
he told vs fyrst he shuld, be tayn / And for mans syn shuld dy,
Be ded and beryd vnder a stayn / and after ryse vp bodely;
Now is he quyk fro grafe gan / he cam and stode vs by,
And lete vs se ilkan / the Woundys of his body.
Deth that is so kene / ihesu ouer comen has,
As he vs told, yit may we mene / from ded how he shuld, pas;
Ihesu stode witnes betwene / that with hym dwelland, was,
All his dyscyples has hym sene / safe oonly thomas.
If that I prowde as pacok go,/ my hart is full of care;
If any sorow myght a man slo / my hart in sonder it share;
Mi life wyrkys me all this wo / of blys I am full bare,
yit wold I nawthere freynd ne fo / wyst how wo me ware.
Ihesu, my lyfe so good / ther none myght better be,
None wysere man then better food / nor none kyndere then he;
The Iues haue nalyd his cors on rood / nalyd with nales thre,
And, with a spere thay spylt his blood / great sorow it was to se.
To se the stremes of blood ryn / well more then doyll it was,
sich great payn for mans syn / sich doyllfull ded, he has;
I haue lyfid withoutten wyn / sen he to ded can pas,
ffor he was fare of cheke and chyn / for doyll of ded, alas! Page 345
Myghty god for to dyscryfe / that neuer dyed,, ne shall,
wo and wandreth from you dryfe / that ye not therin fall.
he the saue with woundys fyfe / his son ihesu to call,
That rose from deth to lyfe / and shewyd, hym till vs all.
whannow, peter! art thou mad,? / on lyfe who was hym lyke!
ffor his deth I am not glad / for sorow my hart will breke,
That with the Iues he was so stad / to ded they can hym wreke;
Thou hym forsoke, so was thou rad, / when they to the can speke.
let be, leyf brothere thomas / and turne thi thoght belyfe,
ffor the thryd day ihesus rase / fleshly fro ded to lyfe;
Till vs all he cam a pase / and shewyd his woundys fyfe,
And lyfyng man, and etten hase / hony takyn of a hyfe.
Let be for shame! apartly / ffantom dyssauys the!
ye sagh hym not bodely / his gost it myght well be,
fforto glad youre hartes sory / in youre aduersyte;
he luffyd vs well and faythfully / therfor sloes sorow me.
Thou wote, thomas / and sothe it was, and oft has thou hard say,
how a fysh swalod, ionas / thre dayes therin he lay;
yit gaf god hym myght to pas / whyk man to wyn away;
Myght not god sich myght has / rase his son apon the thryd day?
Man, if thou can vnderstand / cryst saide his self, mynnys me,
That all lokyn was in his hande / all oone was god and he! Page 346
The son wax marke, all men seand / when he died, on the tre,
Therfor am I full sore dredand, / that who myght his boote be.
the holy gost in marye light / and in hir madynhede
Goddis son she held, and dight / and cled hym in manhede;
ffor luf he wentt as he had hight / to fight withoutten drede;
when he had termynd that fight / he skypt outt of his wede.
If he skypt outt of his clethyng / yit thou grauntys his cors was ded,;
It was his cors that maide shewyng / vnto you in his sted;
fforto trow in youre carpyng / my hart is hevy as led;
his dede me bryngys in great mowrneyng / and I withoutten red.
The gost went to hell a pase / whils the cors lay slayn,
And broght the sawles from sathanas / for which he suffred, payn;
The thryd day right he gase / right vnto the cors agayn,
Mighty god and man he rase / and therfor ar we fayn.
All sam to me ye flyte / youre resons fast ye shawe,
Bot tell me a skyll perfyte / any of you on raw;
when cryst cam you to vysyte / as ye tell me with saw,
A whyk man from spyryte / wherby couth ye hym knaw?
Thomas, vnto the anone / herto answere I will;
Man has both flesh and bone / hu, hyde, and hore thertill;
sich thyng has goost none / thomas, lo, here thi skyll;
Goddis son toke of mary flesh and bone / what nede were els thertill?
Thou has answered me ffull Wele / and, full skylfully,
Bot my hart is harde as stele / to trow in sich mastry;
Say, bad he any of you fele / the woundys of his body,
fflesh or bone or ilka dele / to assay his body?
yis, thomas, he bad vs se / and handill hym with hande,
To loke wheder it were he / ihesu, man lyfand,
That dyed apon a tre / flesh and bone we fand,
his woundes had bene pyte / to towch that were bledand.
Waloway! ye can no good / youre resons ar defaced,
ye ar as women rad for blood, / and lightly oft solaced;
It was a goost before you stod / lyke hym in blood betraced,
his cors that dyed on rood / for euer hath deth embraced.
Certys, thomas, gretter care / myght no synfull wight haue
Then she had, that wepyd so sare / the mawdleyn at his graue;
ffor sorow and doyll hir awne hare / of hir hede she rent and rafe,
Ihesu shewid hym till hir thare / hir sorow of syn to safe.
lo, sich foly with you is / wysemen that shuld be,
That thus a womans witnes trowys / better than that ye se!
In all youre skylles more and les / for mysfowndyng fayll ye;
Might I se ihesu gost and flesh / gropyng shuld not gab me.
lefe thomas, flyte no more / bot trow and turne thi red,
Or els say vs when and whore / crist gabbyd in any sted;
ffor he saide vs when thou was thore / when he hym gaf in bred,,
That he shuld, salfe all oure sore / quyk rysand fro ded,.
he was full sothfast in his sawes / that dar I hertly say,
And rightwys in all his lawes / whils that he lyfyd ay;
Bot sen he shuld thole hard thrawes / on tre whils that he lay,
Dede has determyd his dayes / his lyfe noght trow I may.
Thyne hard hart thi saull will dwyrd / Thomas, bot if thou blyn;
he has ded conquerd, / and weshen vs all fro syn.
May nawder knyfe ne swerde / hym eft to ded wyn;
Goddys myght in hym apperd, / that neuer more shall blyn.
That god I trow full Wele / goostly to you light,
Bot bodely neuer a dele / ihesu that woundid wyght.
My hart is harde as stele / to trow in sich a myght,
Bot if I that wounde myght fele / that hym gaf longeus the knyght.
That wounde haue we sene, thomas / and so has mo then we;
With lucas and with cleophas / he welke a day Iurnee;
Thare hartes that for hym sory was / with prophecy comforted he,
To Emaus castell can thai pas / ther hostyld thai all thre.
Ihesu, goddis son of heuen / at sopere satt betweyn;
Ther bred he brake as euen / as it cutt had beyn.
Nothyng that ye may neuen / his rysyng gars me weyn,
If ye me told, sich seuen / the more ye myght me teyn.
Thomas, brothere, turne thi thoght / and trust that I say the;
Ihesu so dere has boght / oure synnes apon a tree,
which rysyng hath broght / adam and his meneyee.
lett be youre fayr! shew it noght/ that he efte quyk shuld be. Page 349
That must thou nedelyngys trow / if thou thi saull will saue,
ffor that we sa we dar avowe / ihesu rose quyk from graue.
I haue you saide, and yit dos now / thise wordes to wast ye haue;
he shewid hym not to you / for mysfoundyng ye rafe.
ffor we say that we haue sene / thou hold,ys vs wars then woode;
Ihesu lyfyng stod vs betwene / oure lord that with vs yode.
I say ye wote neuer what ye mene / a goost before you stode;
ye wenyd that it had bene / the cors that died on roode.
The cors that dyed on tre / was berid in a stone,
The thurgh beside fande we / and in that graue cors was none;
his sudary ther myght we se / and he thens whik was gone.
Noght, bot stolne is he / with Iues that hym haue slone.
Certys, thomas, thou sais not right / thay wold, hym not stele,
ffor thay gart kepe hym day and nyght / with knyghtys that they held lele;
he rose has we haue sene in sight / fro all the Iues fele.
I lefe not bot if I myght / myself with hym dele.
He told vs tythyngys, thomas / yit mynnys me,
That as Ionas thre dayes was / In a fysh in the see,
so shuld he be, and bene has / in erth by dayes thre,
pas fro ded, ryse, and rase / as he saide done has he.
Certys, that worde I harde hym say / and so harde ye hym all,
Bot for nothyng trow I may / that it so shuld befall,
That he shuld ryse the thrid day / that dranke asell and gall:
sen he was god and ded lay / from ded, who myght hym call?
The fader that hym sent / rasid hym that was ded,
he comforth vs in mowrnyng lent / and counseld vs in red;
he bad vs trow with good intent / his rysyng in euery sted;
Thyne absens gars thi saull be shent / and makys the heuy as led.
Thou says soth, harde and heuy / am I to traw that ye me say;
Mi hardnes I trow skilfully / for he told vs thus ay,
That his fader was euer hym by / for all bot oon were thay;
That he rose bodely / for nothyng trow I may.
May thou not trow withoutten mo / for sothe, that it was he?
Thomas wherto shuld we say so? / then wenys thou fals we be.
I wote youre hartes was full wo / and fownd with vanyte;
If ye swere all and ye were mo / I trow it not or that I se.
Thomas, of errowre thou blyn / and till vs turne thi mode;
Trow his rysyng by dayes threyn / sen he died on the rode.
Noght bot I myght my fynger wyn / in sted as nayle stode,
And his syde my hande put in / ther he shed his hart bloode.
Brethere all, be with you peasse! / leaffe stryfe that now is here!
Thomas, of thyn errowre seasse / of sothe Witnes thou bere;
putt thi hande in my syde, no fres / ther longeus put his spere;
loke my rysyng be no les / let no wan-hope the dere.
Mercy, ihesu, rew on me / my hande is blody of thi blode!
Mercy ihesu, for I se / thi myght that I not vnderstode!
Mercy, ihesu, I pray the / that for all synfull died on roode!
Mercy, ihesu, of mercy fre / for thi goodnes that is so goode!
kest away my staf will I / and with no wepyn gang;
Mercy will I call and cry / ihesu that on roode hang;
Rew on me, kyng of mercy / let me not cry thus lang!
Mercy, for the velany / thou tholyd on Iues with wrang.
Mi hat will I kest away / my mantill sone onone,
vnto the poore help it may / for richere knawe I none.
Mercy will I abyde, and pray / to the ihesu, alone;
My synfull dede I rew ay / to the make I my mone.
Mercy, ihesu, lorde swete / for thi fyfe woundys so sare,
Thou suffred thrugh handys and feete / thi semely side a spere it share;
Mercy, ihesu, lord, yit / for thi moder that the bare!
Mercy, for the teres thou grett / when thou rasid lazare!
Mi gyrdill gay and purs of sylk / and cote away thou shall;
whils I am werere of swylke / the longere mercy may I call.
Ihesu, that soke the madyns mylk / ware noght bot clothes of pall,
Thi close so can thai fro the pyke / on roode thay left the small. Page 352
Mercy, ihesu, honoure of man / mercy, ihesu, mans socoure!
Mercy, ihesu, rew thi leman / mans saull, thou boght full soure!
Mercy, ihesu, that may and can / forgif syn and be socoure!
Mercy, ihesu, as thou vs wan / forgif and gif thi man honoure.
None myght bryng the in that wytt / for oght that thay myght say,
To trow that I myght flytt / fro ded to lyfe to wyn away;
My saull and my cors haue knytt / a knott that last shall ay;
Thus shall I rase, well thou wytt / ilk man on domesday.
Who so hath not trowid right / to hell I shall theym lede,
Ther euer more is dark as nyght / and greatt paynes to drede;
Those that trow in my myght / and luf well almus dede,
Thai shall shyne as son bright / and heuen haue to thare mede.
That blys, thomas, I the hete / that is in heuen cytee,
ffor I se the sore grete / of the I haue pytee;
Thomas, for thi teres wete / thi syn forgiffen be,
Thus shall synfull thare synnes bete / that sore haue grefyd me.
Thomas, for thou felys me / and my woundes bare,
Mi risyng is trowed in the / and so was it not are;
All that it trowes and not se / and dos after my lare,
Euer blissid mot thay be / and heuen be theym yare!