Christmas In Ritual & Tradition - online book

The Observance Of Christmas In Various Lands And Ages.

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search



Share page  


Previous Contents Next

CHRISTMAS DRAMA
Hail, full of favoure,
That made all of noght! Hail, I kneel and I cowre. A bird have I broght To my barne. Hail, litel tine mop ! * Of oure crede thou art crop ;f I wold drink on thy cop, Litel day starne.
Tertius Pastor.
Hail, derling dere,
Full of godhede ! I pray thee be nere
When that I have nede. Hail! swete is thy chere ;J
My hart wolde blede To see thee sitt here
In so poore wede, With no pennys. Hail ! Put forth thy dall ! § I bring thee bot a ball ; Have and play thee with all, And go to the tenis ! " *?
The charm of this will be felt by every reader ; it lies in a curious incongruity—extreme homeliness joined to awe; the Infinite is contained within the narrowest human bounds ; God Himself, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, a weak, helpless child. But a step more, and all would have been irreverence; as it is we have devotion, human, naive, and touching.
It would be interesting to show how other scenes connected with Christmas are handled in the English miracle-plays : how Octavian (Caesar Augustus) sent out the decree that all the world should be taxed, and learned from the Sibyl the birth of Christ ; how the Magi were led by the star and offered their symbolic gifts ; how the raging of the boastful tyrant Herod, the
* Baby.                 t Head.                  { Face.                 § Hand.
*37
Previous Contents Next