The York Cycle of Mystery Plays: A Complete Version

By J. S. Purvis | Go to book overview

8
THE SHIPWRIGHTES

Deus premuniens Noe facere archam de lignis levigatis.

GOD ¶First when I wrought this world so wide,
Wood and wind and waters wan,
Heaven and hell was not to hide;
With herbs and grass thus I began,
In endless bliss to be and bide.
And to my likeness made I man;
Lord and sire on every side
Of all mid-earth I made him then.
A woman also with him wrought I,
All in law to lead their life.
I bade them wax and multiply,
To fill this world full, without strife.
Since, men have wrought so wofully,
And sin is now running so rife,
That I repent and rue thereby
That ever I made or man or wife.
But since, they make me to repent
My work I wrought so well and true,
And without cease will not assent,
But ever be bound more bale to brew.
So for their sins shall they be shamed
And undone wholly, hide and hue.
Of them shall no more none be named,
But work this work I will all new.
All new I will this world be wrought,
And waste away that wend therein.
A flood above them shall be brought,
To drown the earth and all therein,
But Noe alone; leave shall it nought,
To be all sunken for their sin.
He and his sons -- thus is my thought --

-45-

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