The York Cycle of Mystery Plays: A Complete Version

By J. S. Purvis | Go to book overview
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1
THE TANNOURS

Deus pater omnipotens creans et formans celos angelos et archangelos Luciferum et angelos qui cum eo ceciderunt in infernum.1

GOD ¶Ego sum alpha et O, Vita, Via,
Veritas, Primus et Novissimus.
I am gracious and great, God without a beginning;
I am maker unmade, and all might is in me.
I am life and way unto weal winning;
I am foremost and first; as I bid shall it be.
My blessing in joy shall be blending,
And falls from harm to be hiding;
My body in bliss aye abiding,
Unending without any ending.
Since I am maker unmade, and most high in might,
And aye shall be endless, and nought is but I,
Unto my dignity dear shall duly be dight
A place full of plenty, at my pleasure to ply.
And therewith as I will I have wrought
Many divers doings amain,
Which my work shall duly contain,
And all shall be made even of nought.
But only the worthy work of my will
In my spirit shall inspire the might of me;
And in the first fitly my thoughts to fulfil,
At hand in my blessing I bid that here be
A bliss all-protecting about me.
In the which bliss I bid that be here
Nine orders of angels full clear,
In love everlasting to lout me.

____________________
1
The Latin descriptions, at the head of each play, give the list of characters from the "Ordo Paginarium ludi Corporis Christi" of A.D. 1415, as recorded in the oldest City Memorandum Book.

-15-

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