Ego sum alpha et novissimus
I am gracious and great, God without beginnng, I am maker unmade, all might is in me; I am life and way unto wealth-winning, I am foremost and first, as I bid shall it be. Unto my dignity therefore shall be dight A place full of plenty as pleases my play And first, in faithfullness my thought to fullfll, Obedient to my blessing I bid that there be A beauteous bliss all about me; And in that bliss let there be in my sight Nine orders of angels full bright, My glory aye praising devoutly. <d>[Angels appear Here below me now a new place I fashion, That land shall be earth. ‘Tis done at my telling: The fair earth, foul hell, and here, highest heaven; And power presiding shall dwell in this dwelling. This grant I to you, ministers mine, So you remain steadfast in thought - But know that any that set me at nought Shall be put to my prison in pain. <d>[To Lucifer Of all the might I have made, the next after me I make thee the master, and mirror of my might; Meekly and humbly in bliss for to be, I name thee as Lucifer, the bearer of light. All things that are here I grant unto thee; In this bliss shall you abide, And have all power at your side So you be obedient to me.
<c>Good Angel 1 Ah, merciful maker, most great is thy might, That all this work at a word worthily has wrought. Aye praised be that precious Lord in his light, That us mighty has made, that ere was right nought, In bliss to abide in his blessing. In love everlasting we laud him, And worship thus willingly about him, Our mirth nevermore shall be missing.
<c>Lucifer All the mirth that is made is markèd in me! The beams of my brightness are burning so bright, And I so seemly a sight myself now do see, For like a lord am I let to live in this light. More fairer by far than my fellows, In me is no point that may compare; I am well-favoured and fair, My power surpasses my peers.
<c>Good Angel 2 Lord, with a lasting love we love thee alone, Thou most mighty maker that marked us and made us, And wrought us thus worthily for heavenly home, Where never foulness nor filth may besmirch us or fade us. All bliss is here beaming about us; Indeed we are steadfast in thought In the worship of him that us wrought, That we are obedient never doubt us.
<c>Bad Angel 1 O, what! I am comely and fair and fashioned full fit! The form of all fairness upon me is fast, All-puissant my power, I wot by my wit; The beams of my brightness are blazing with the best. My shape is all shimmering and shining, So boldly to bliss am I brought; I need bestir me right nought, I shall never fear pain or repining.
<c>Good Angel 1 With all the wit that we wield we worship thy will, Thou glorious God that is ground of all grace; Aye steadfastly serving let us stand still, Lord, to be fed with the food of thy fair face. In life that is truly aye-lasting, Thy table is aye sumptuously spread. For whoso thy food may be tasting And sees thy fair face, will not fast.
<c>Lucifer Ow, certes, what - I am worthily wrought with honour, iwis! For in a glorious glow I glitter and gleam; I am so mightily made, my joy may not fail - Aye shall I bide in this bliss by the brightness of my beams. I need not seek troubles to fret me: I am Lord of all power; all bow at my name Above all you others boldly I set me, On height in the highest of heaven. There shall I seat myself full seemly to be seen, To reserve my reverence through right of reknown; I shall be like unto him that is highest on high. Ow, what I am worthy and wise - <d>[He sits on God’s throne; he and the bad angels are immediately transformed into devils Ow! The Devil! All goes down! My might and my majesty are all marred! Help, fellows! In faith, I am fallen.
<c>Bad Angel 2 From heaven are we hurled in a torrent, To woe are we wending, I warrant.
<c>Lucifer Out! Out! Harrow! Helpless, so hot it is here; This is a dungeon of dole to which I am dight. Where are my kin, that were comely and clear? Now am I most loathsome, that ere was light. My brightness is blackness and blue now, My sin is aye searing and burning Where each one goes howling and hurling. Out! Ay welaway! I dwell ever in woe now.
<c>Bad Angel/Devil 2 Out! Out! I go mad for woe, my wits are all marred now, All we find for our food is but filth, at our feet meanly tossed. We that were bathed in bliss, in pain are we burned now - Out on thee Lucifer, lurdan, our light has thou lost. Thy deeds to this dole now has brought us, It was thou who sped us to slaughter, For thou was our light and our leader, That thou wast the highest of heaven you taught us.
<c>Lucifer Welaway! Woe is me! Woe far worse than it was. You have no cause to chide me - I spoke but a thought.
<c>Bad Angel/Devil 1 Wey, lurdan, thou lost us.
<c>Lucifer You lie! Out, alas! I wist not this woe would be wrought. Out on you, lurdans, you smother me in smoke.
<c>Bad Angel/Devil 2 This woe has thou done us.
<c>Lucifer You lie, you lie!
<c>Bad Angel/Devil 1 You lie, and for that you shall pay: Wey, lurdan, have at you, take that! <d>[They disappear into hell, fighting
<c>Good Angel 1 Ah, Lord, loved be thy name that us this light lent, Since Lucifer our leader is fallen so low, For his disobedience in hell to be burnt - Thy righteousness to reward with rue Each work after is wrought- Through grace of thy merciful might The cause I see it in sight, Wherefore to bale he is brought.
<c>God Those fools for their beauty in fantasies fell, And had mock of my might that marked them and made them. Thus for their wicked works, in woe shall they dwell. For some are fallen into filth that shall ever befoul them, Never shall they have grace for to gird them. So puissant in power they thought them, They would not me worship that wrought them; Henceforth shall my wrath ever go with them. And all that me worship shall dwell here, iwis; To bring forth more of my work, work now I will.
<d>[Music/tableau of rest of creation
In heaven and earth duly by dint Of five days work, even onto end, All is complete by courses clean; Methinks the space of them well spent. In heaven are angels fair and bright, Stars and planets their courses to go, The moon does service unto the night The sun to light the day also. In earth is trees and grass to spring, Beasts and fowls, both great and small, Fishes in flood, all other thing Thrive and have my blessing all. This work is wrought now at my will, But yet can I here no beast see That accords by kind and skill, And for my work might worship me. A skilful beast then will I make After my shape and my likeness, The which shall worship to me take. Of the simplest part of earth that is here I shall make man.
Rise up, thou earth, in blood and bone, In shape of man, I command thee. A female shall thou have as friend, Her shall I make of thy left rib, Take now here the breath of life And receive both your souls of me; This female take thou to thy wife, Adam and Eve your names shall be.
<c>Adam Ah, lord, full mickle is thy might And that is seen in on every side For now his here a joyful sight To see this world so large and wide. Many diverse things now here is, Of beasts and fowls, both wild and tame; Yet is none made to thy likeness But we alone - Ah, loved be thy name.
<c>Eve To such a lord in all degree Be evermore lasting praise, That to us such a dignity Has given before all other thing; And suchlike things may we see here Of this very world so large and broad, With beasts and fowls so many and more; Blessed be he that has us made.
<c>Adam Ah, blessed Lord, now by thy skill Since we were wrought, vouchsafe to tell And also say to us thy will: What we shall do and where to dwell?
<c>God For this skill made I you this day, My name to worship ay-where; Love me, from hence, and love me ay For my making, I ask no more. Both wise and witty shall thou be, As man that I have made of nought; Lordship in earth then grant I thee, All things to serve thee that I have wrought. In paradise shall you together go, Of earthly thing get you no need, Ill and good both shall you know, I shall you learn your life to lead.
<c>Adam Ah, lord, since we shall do no thing But love thee for thy great goodness, We shall aye bow to thy bidding And fulfil it, both more and less.
<c>Eve His sign since he has on us set Before all other thing certain, Him for to love we shall not let And worship him with might and main.
<c>God At heaven and earth first I began And six days wrought ere I would rest; My work is ended now with man, All likes me well, but this is best. My blessing have they ever and aye. The seventh day shall my resting be, Thus will I cease, soothly to say, Of my doing in this degree. To bliss I shall you bring, Come forth, you two, with me; You shall live in liking My blessing with you be. Amen. <d>[God leads Adam and Eve to Paradise
<c>God Adam and Eve, this is the place That I have granted you of my grace To have your dwelling in. Herbs, spice, fruit on tree, Beasts, fowls, all that ye see Shall bow to you, great and small. This place hight paradise, Here shall your joys begin; And if that ye be wise, From this place shall ye never part. Adam
<c>O lord, loved be thy name, For now is this a joyful home That thou has brought us to, Full of mirth and solace sweet, Herbs and trees, fruit and meat, With spices many and more. Lo, Eve, now are we brought Both unto rest and rue, We need to take no thought, But look aye well to do.
<c>Eve Loving be aye to such a lord, To us has given so great reward To govern both great and small, And made us after his own read, We love thee, most of might, Great God, that we on call.
<c>God Love my name with good intent And harken to my commandment, And do my bidding buxomly: Of all the fruit in paradise, Take ye thereof of your best wise And make you right merry.
The tree of good and ill, What time you eat of this Thou speeds thyself to spill, And be brought out of bliss. In earth I make thee lord of all, And beast unto thee shall be thrall, Thy kind shall multiply. Therefore this tree alone, Adam, this out-take I; The fruit of it touch none, For an ye do, then shall ye die.
<c>Adam Alas lord, that we should do so ill, Thy blessed bidding we shall fulfil Both in thought and deed; We shall not touch this tree,nor the bough, Nor yet the fruit that thereon grows Therewith our flesh to feed.
<c>Eve We shall do thy bidding, We have no other need; This fruit full still shall hang, Lord, that thou has forbid.
<c>God Look that ye do as ye have said. Henceforth this tree that I out-take, Now keep it safely for my sake, That nothing comes it near; All other at your willl shall be, I out-take nothing but this tree, To fill you hearts with fear. Here shall ye lead your life With dainties that are dear; Adam, and Eve thy wife, My blessing have ye here. <d>[God retires out of sight
<c>Lucifer For woe my wit is in a war That muffs me mickel in my mind; The Godhead that I saw so clear, Who promised that he should take kind Of a degree That he had wrought, and I disdained That angel kind should it not be; And we were fair and bright, Therefore me thought that he Our kind to him take might. And it offended me The kind of man he thought to take, And therat had I great envy. But he has made to him a make, And hard to her I will me hie That ready way, That purpose prove to put it by, And make to pluck from him that prey. My travail were well set Might I him so betray, His liking for to let, And soon I shall assay. In a worm's likeness will I wend, And falsely feign a wicked lie. <d>[Tranforms into a serpent and appraoches Eve Eve, Eve.
<c>Eve What is there?
<c>Lucifer I, a friend. And for thy good is to thee come I hither sought. Of all the fruit that ye see hang In paradise, why eat you not?
<c>Eve We may of them each one Take all that we good thought, Save one tree out is taken, It would do harm to eat it ought.
<c>Lucifer And why that tree, that would I wot, Any more than all other by?
<c>Eve For our lord God forbids us it, The fruit thereof, Adam nor I To come it near; And if we did we both should die, He said, and cease our solace here.
<c>Lucifer Aha, Eve, to me take tent; Take heed and thou shalt hear What that the matter meant He moved on that manner. To eat thereof he you defends (I know it well, this was his skill) Because he would none other kenned These great virtues that are his still. For will thou see, Who eats the fruit of good and ill Shall have knowing as well as he.
<c>Eve Why, what kind of thing art thou That tells this tale to me?
<c>Lucifer A worm, that woteth well how That thou may worshipped be.
<c>Eve What worship should we win thereby? To eat thereof us needeth it nought, We have Lordship to have mastery Of all thing that in earth is wrought.
<c>Lucifer Woman, do way! To greater state ye may be brought If ye will do as I shall say.
<c>Eve To do is us full loathe That should our God mis-pay.
<c>Lucifer Nay, certes it is no lie, Eat it safely ye may. For peril right therein none lies, But worship and a great winning, For right as God ye shall be wise And peer to him in everything. Ay, Gods shall ye be, Of ill and good to have knowing, For to be as wise as he. Eve Is this sooth that thou says?
<c>Lucifer Ye, why trowest thou not me? I tell naught but truth to thee.
<c>Eve Than will I to thy teaching trust And fetch this fruit unto our food.
<c>Lucifer Bite on boldly, be not abashed, And bid Adam to amende his mood And eke his bliss.
<c>Eve <d>[She eats and takes the apple to Adam Adam, have here of fruit full good.
<c>Adam Alas woman, why took thou this? Our Lord commanded us both To tend that tree of his. Thy work will make him wrath - Alas, thou hast done amiss.
<c>Eve Nay Adam, grieve thee nought thus so, And I shall say the reason why. A worm has done me for to know We shall be as Gods, thou and I, If that we eat Here of this tree; Adam, therefore Fear not that worship for to get. For we shall be as wise As God that is so great, And as mickle of price; Therefore, eat of this meat.
<c>Adam To eat it would I not eschew Might I me trust in thy saying.
<c>Eve Bite on boldly, for it is true, We shall be Gods and know all-thing.
<c>Adam To win that name I shall it taste at thy teaching. <d>[He eats the apple Alas, what have I done, for shame! Ill counsel, woe worth thee! Ah, Eve, thou art to blame, To this enticed thou me - I am shamed at my body, For I am naked as methink.
<c>Eve Alas Adam, right so am I.
<c>Adam And for sorrow sere why may not we sink, For we have grieved God almighty That made me man - Broken his bidding bitterly. Alas that ever we it began. This work, Eve, hast thou wrought, And made this bad bargain.
<c>Eve Nay Adam, blame me not.
<c>Adam Do way, dear Eve, who then?
<c>Eve The worm to blame well worthy were, With tales untrue he me betrayed.
<c>Adam Alas, that I listened to thy lore Or trowed the trifles that thou me said. Our bodies do me shame most sore, Wherewith they shall be hid.
<c>Eve Let us take these fig-leaves, Since it is thus betide.
<c>Adam Right as thou says so shall it be, For we are naked and all bare; Full wonder fain I would hide me From my Lord’s sight,
<c>God Adam, Adam.
<c>God Where art thou, there?
<c>Adam I hear thee Lord, and see thee not.
<c>God Say, Adam tell me now, This work why hast thou wrought?
<c>Adam Lord, Eve led me do wrong And to that brag me brought.
<c>God Say, Eve, why hast thou made thy make Eat fruit I bad thee should hang still, And commanded none of it to take?
<c>Eve A worm, Lord, enticed me thereto; So welaway, That ever I did that deed so ill.
<c>God Ah, wicked worm, woe worth thee aye For thou on this manner Hast made them such affray; My malediction have thou here With all the might I may. And on thy womb then shall thou glide, And be aye full of enmity To all mankind on every side, And earth it shall thy sustenance be To eat and drink. Adam and Eve also, yea In earth then shall ye sweat and swink, And travail for your food.
<c>Adam Alas, that we should sink, We that had all the world’s good Most wretched now us think.
<c>God Now Cherubin, my angel bright, To middle-earth straight go drive these two.
<c>Angel All ready lord, as it is right, Since thy will is that it be so, And thy liking. Adam and Eve, do you to go, For here may you make no dwelling; Go ye forth fast to fare, Of sorrow may ye sing.
<c>Adam Alas, for sorrow and care Our hands may we wring.