THE CHRISTIAN FEAST
Mary. This hase he ordand of his grace,
my sone so ying, A starne to be schynyng a space at his bering
Joseph. Nowe welcome, floure fairest of hewe, I shall the menske * with mayne and myght. Hayle ! my maker, hayle Crist Jesu ! Hayle, riall king, roote of all right !
Hayle, saueour. Hayle, my lorde, lemer f of light,
Hayle, blessid floure ! Mary. Nowe lord ! that all this worlde schall wynne, To the my sone is that I saye, Here is no bedde to laye the inne, Therfore my dere sone, I the praye
sen it is soo, Here in this cribbe I myght the lay
betwene ther bestis two. And I sail happe J the, myn owne dere childe, With such clothes as we haue here. Joseph. O Marie ! beholde thes beestis mylde, They make louyng in ther manere
as thei wer men. For-sothe it semes wele be ther chere
thare lord thei ken. Mary. Ther lorde thai kenne, that wate I wele, They worshippe hym with myght and mayne ; The wedir is colde, as ye may feele, To halde hym warme thei are full fayne,
with thare warme breth."I2
The playwrights are at their best in the shepherd scenes ; indeed these are the most original parts of the cycles, for here the writers found little to help them in theological tradition, and were thrown upon their own wit. In humorous dialogue and naive sentiment the lusty burgesses of the fifteenth century were thoroughly at home, and the comedy and pathos of these scenes must have been as welcome a relief to the spectators, from the
* Worship. f Shedder. \ Wrap.