The Towneley Lazarus Play

16 May 2005

Incipit Lazarus

1 Ihesus. Commes now brethere and go With me: 2 We Will pas furth untill Iude. 3 To betany will we Weynde, 4 To vysit lazare, that is our freynde. 5 Gladly I wold we with hym speke; 6 I tell you sothely he is seke.

7 Petrus. I red not that ye thider go: 8 The Iues haldon you for thare fo. 9 I red ye com not in that stede, 10 ffor if ye do, than be ye dede.

11 Iohannes. Master, tryst thou [not] on the Iue, 12 ffor many day sen thou thaym knewe; 13 and last tyme that we were there 14 We wenyd till haue bene ded therfor.

15 Thomas. When we were last in that contre, 16 This othere day, both thou and we, 17 We wenyd that thou ther shuld haue bene slayn. 18 Will thou now go thider again?

19 Ihesus. Herkyn, breder, and takys kepe: 20 lazare oure freynde is fallyn on slepe. 21 The way till hym now will we take, 22 To styr that knyght and gar hym wake.

23 Petrus. Sir, me thynke it were best 24 To let hym slepe and take his rest, 25 and kepe that no man com hym hend. 26 ffor if he slepe, then mon he mend.

27 Ihesus. I say to you: Withoutten fayll, 28 No kepyng may till hym availl, 29 Ne slepe may stand hym in no stede. 30 I say to you sekerly, he is dede. 31 Therfor, I say to you now at last: 32 leyfe this speche. go we fast.

33 Thomas. Sir, What so euer ye bid vs do, 34 We assent vs well therto. 35 I hope to god ye shall not fynde 36 None of vs lefe behynde. 37 ffor any parell that may befall, 38 Wend we With oure master all.

39 Martha. Help me, lorde, and gif me red: 40 lazare, my broder, now is dede, 41 That was to the both lefe and dere. 42 he had not dyed, had thou bene here.

43 Ihesus. Martha, martha, thou may be fayn: 44 Thi brothere shall rise and lif agayn.

45 Martha. lorde, I wot that he shall ryse 46 And com before the iustyce, 47 ffor at the dredfull day of dome, 48 There mon ye kepe hym at his come, 49 To loke What dome ye Will hym gif. 50 Then mon he rise; then mon he lyf.

51 Ihesus. I warne you, both man and wyfe, 52 That I am rysyng, and I am life; 53 And whoso truly trowys in me— 54 That I was euer, and ay shall be— 55 Oone thyng I shall hym gif: 56 Though he be dede, yit shall he lif. 57 Say thou, Woman, trowys thou this?

58 Martha. yee, for sothe, my lord of blys 59 Ellys were I greatly to mysprase. 60 ffor all is sothefast that thou saye.

61 Ihesus. Go tell thy sister, mawdlayn, 62 That I com; ye may be fayn.

63 Martha. Sister, lefe this sorowful bande. 64 Oure lorde commys here at hand, 65 And hys apostyls with him also.

66 Maria. A, for godys luf, let me go. 67 Blissid be he that sende me grace, 68 That I may se thee in this place. 69 lorde, mekill sorow may men se 70 Of my sister here, and me. 71 We are heuy as any lede 72 ffor oure broder that thus is dede. 73 had thou bene here and on hym sene, 74 dede, for soth, he had not bene.

75 Ihesus. hider to yon commen we ar, 76 To make you comforth of youre care. 77 Bot loke no fayntyse ne no slawth; 78 Bryng yon out of stedfast trawthe— 79 Then shall I hold you that I saide. 80 lo, where haue ye his body laide?

81 Maria. lorde, if it be thi Will, 82 I hope be this he sauers ill, 83 ffor it is now the iiii day gone 84 mm sen he Was laide vnder yonde stone.

85 Ihesus. I told the right now ther thou stode, 86 that thi trawth shuld ay be goode. 87 And if thou may that fulfill, 88 All bees done right at thi Will.

Et lacrimatus est ihesu dicens

89 ffader, I pray the, that thou rase 90 lazare, that was thi hyne, 91 And bryng hym oute of his mysese, 92 And oute of hell pyne. 93 When I the pray, thou says allwayse, 94 my Will is sich as thyne. 95 Therfor Will we now eke his dayse. 96 To me thou Will inclyne. 97 Com furth, lazare, and stande vs by: 98 In erth shall thou no langere ly. 99 Take and lawse hym foote and hand, 100 And from his throte take the bande, 101 And the sudary take him fro, 102 And all that gere, and let hym go.

103 Lazarus. lorde, that all thyng maide of noght 104 louyng be to the, 105 That sich Wonder here was Wroght: 106 Gretter may none be. 107 When I was dede to hell, I soght, 108 And thou, thrugh thi pauste, 109 Rasid me vp and thens me broght. 110 Behold, and ye may se. 111 There is none so styf on stede, 112 Ne none so prowde in prese, 113 Ne none so dughty in his dede, 114 Ne none so dere on deese— 115 No kyng, no knyght, no Wight in wede, 116 ffrom dede haue maide hym seese— 117 Ne flesh he was wonte to fede: 118 It shall be Wormes mese: 119 youre dede is Wormes coke. 120 youre myrroure here ye loke, 121 And let me be youre boke: 122 youre sampill take by me. 123 ffro dede you cleke in cloke; 124 sich shall ye all be. 125 Ilkon in sich aray, 126 With dede thai shall dight 127 And closid in clay. 128 Wheder he be kyng or knyght 129 ffor all his garmentes gay 130 that semely were in sight, 131 his flesh shall frete away 132 With many a wofull wight. 133 Then wofully sich wightys 134 Shall gnawe thise gay knyghts: 135 Thare lunges and thare lyghtys 136 Thare harte shall frete in sonder. 137 Thise masters most of myghtys 138 Thus shall then be broght vnder— 139 Vnder the erthe ye shall 140 Thus carefully then cowche 141 The royse of youre hall; 142 youre nakyd nose shall towche. 143 Nawther great ne small 144 To you will kneele ne crowche. 145 A shete shall be youre pall. 146 Sich todys shall be youre nowche. 147 Todys shall you dere. 148 ffeyndys will you fere. 149 youre flesh that fare was here 150 thus rufully shall rote. 151 In stede of fare colore, 152 sich bandys shall bynde youre throte, 153 youre rud that was so red, 154 youre lyre, the lylly lyke, 155 Then shall be wan as led— 156 And stynke as dog in dyke. 157 Wormes shall in you brede 158 As bees dos in the byke 159 And ees outt of youre hede. 160 Thusgate shall paddokys pyke— 161 To pike you are preste 162 Many vncomly beest; 163 Thus thai shall make a feste 164 Of your flesh and of youre blode. 165 ffor you then sorowes leste 166 The moste has of youre goode; 167 youre goode ye shall forsake, 168 If ye be neuer so lothe, 169 And nothyng With you take 170 But sich such a wyndyng clothe. 171 Youre Wife sorow shall slake, 172 youre childer also both, 173 Vnnes youre mynnyng make, 174 If ye be neuer so wrothe: 175 Thai myn you With nothyng 176 That may be youre helpyng, 177 Nawthere in mes syngyng, 178 Ne yit with almis dede. 179 Therfor in youre leuyng, 180 Be wise and take good hede, 181 Take hede for you to dele 182 Whils ye ar on life. 183 Trust neuer fryndys freyle, 184 Nawthere of childe then Wife, 185 ffor sectures are not lele, 186 Then for youre good Will stryfe; 187 To by youre saules hele, 188 There may no man thaym shrife. 189 To shrife man thaym may 190 After youre ending day: 191 youre saull forto glad 192 youre sectures Will swere nay, 193 And say ye aght more then ye had. 194 Amende the man Whils thou may: 195 let neuer no myrthe fordo thi mynde. 196 Thynke thou on the dredefullday 197 When god shall deme all mankynde. 198 Thynk thou farys as dothe wynde: 199 This warlde is wast & will away. 200 Man, haue this in thi mynde, 201 And amende the Whils that thou may. 202 Amende the man whils thou art here, 203 Agane thou go anothere gate, 204 When thou art dede and laide on bere, 205 Wit thou well, thou bees to late. 206 ffor if all the good that euer thou gate 207 Were delt for the after thi day, 208 In heuen it wolde not mende thi state. 209 fforthi amende the Wils thou may. 210 If thou be right and ryall in rente 211 As in the stede standing in stall, 212 In thi harte knowe and thynk 213 That thai are goddys goodys 214 he myght haue maide the poore and small, 215 As he that beggys fro day to day— 216 With thou well accountys, gif thou shall, 217 Therfor amende the whils thou may. 218 And if I myght with you dwell 219 To tell you all my tyme, 220 fful mekill couthe I tell, 221 That I have harde and sene, 222 Of many a great meruell, 223 Sich as ye wolde not wene, 224 In the paynes of hell, 225 Theras I haue bene. 226 Bene I haue in wo; 227 Therfor kepe you ther fro 228 Whilst ye lif—do so 229 If ye will dwell with hym, 230 That can gar you thus go 231 And hele you lith and lym. 232 he is a lord of grace; 233 Vmthynke you in this case, 234 And pray hym full of myght, 235 he kepe you in this place 236 And haue you in his sight. 236a Amen.

Explicit lazarus


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