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thi blysful sone so nere to fynde,

in his p(re)sens to lede my lyff. 180 Alas! ffor joy I qwedyr and qwake.

Alas! what hap now was this ! [70a] A! mercy! mercy! my jentyl make,

mercy! I haue seyd al amys.

All that I haue seyd here I forsake : 185 zour swete feet now lete me kys. Maria: Nay, lett be my fete, not tho ze take, my mowthe ze may kys, i-wys,

and welcom onto me.
Joseph: Gramercy, myn owyn swete wyff,
190 gramercy, myn hert, my love, my lyff ;

shal I nevyr more make suche stryff
betwyx me and the.


A! mary, mary, wel thu be!
and blyssyd be the frewte in the,

goddys sone of myght!
now good wyff, full of pyte,
as be not evyl payd with me,

thow that thu haue good ryght,
as for my wronge in syght
to wyte the with any synne.
had thu not be a vertuous wy[ght]
god wold not a be the withinne.



I knowlage I haue don amys,
I was nevyr wurthy, i-wys,

ffor to be thin husbonde;
I shal amende aftere thys,
ryght as thin owyn wyl is

to serve the at foot and hande.

179 presens] psens MS 201 wyght] wythe MS

181 ] MS has full form this 206 ) MS has full form thys

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and thi chylde bothe to vndyrstonde,
to wurchep hym with good affecion;
and therfore telle me, and nothynge whonde,

the holy matere of your concepcion.
Maria: At zoure owyn wyll, as ze bydde me,-

ther cam an aunge, hyght Gabryell,
and gret me ffayr, and seyd ave,
and ferthermore to me gan tell
God shulde be borne of my bode,
the ffendys powste for to felle,
thorwe the holy gost, as I wel se;

thus god in me wyl byde and dwelle.
Joseph: Now I thank god with spech and spelle

that euer, mary, I was weddyd to the Maria: it was the werk of god, as I zow telle,

now blyssyd be that lord, so purveyd for me!


214 ) MS has full form ther 2 17 shulde shulde shulde MS 222] MS has full form the.



Maria: Butt, husbond of oo thynge I pray zow most

mekely,– I haue knowyng that oure cosyn Elyzabeth with

childe is, that it plese zow to go to here hastyly, If owught we my[ght] comforte here it were to me

blys. 5 Joseph : A! goddys sake! is she with childe? sche!

than wole here husbond, zakarye, be mery.
In Montana they dwelle, fer hens, so mot [I] the,
In the cety of Juda, I knowe it veryly;

It is hens, I trowe, myles two and ffyfty; 10 we are lyke to be wery or we come at that same.

I wole with a good wyl, blyssyd wyff mary : now go we forthe than in goddys name. Maria : Gofod] husbond, thow it be to zow peyne,

this jurny, I pray zow, let us go fast, 15 ffor I am schamfast of the pepyl to be seyne,

and namely of men, therof I am agast. pylgrymages and helpynges wolde be go in hast; the more the body is peynyd the more is the mede.

say ze zour devocionys and I shal myn i-cast, 20 now in this jurny god mote us spede! Joseph: Amen! Amen! and evyrmore!

lo, wyff, lo! how starkly I go before.

et sic t(ra)nsient c(ir)ca placeam.

4 myght] myth MS 6, 7, 12, 14] MS has full forms than, they, than, this 7 mot I) moty MS 13 good ] goth MS 19 i-cast] reast H

after 22 transient ] tênsient MS circa ] cca MS

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Contemplacion : Sovereynes, vndyrstondyth that kynge

davyd here ordeyned ffoure and twenty prestys of grett devocion, in the temple of god, aftere here let apere, 25 thei weryd clepyd summi sacerdotes, for here min

istracion, and on was prynce of prestys, havynge dsomi)na

cyon; amonge whiche was an old prest clepyd zakarye, and he had an old woman to his wyff, of holy

conversacion, whiche hy[ght] Elizabeth, that nevyr had childe, 30


In hese mynistracion, the howre of incense,
the aungel gabryel apperyd hym to;
that hese wyff shulde conseyve he gaff hym in-

telligence; hese juge, hese vnwurthynes and age not belevyd so. The plage of dompnesse his lippis lappyd, lo! 35 thei wenten hom and his wyff was conseyvenge. this concepcion gabryel tolde oure lady to, and in soth sone aftere that sage sche was sekynge, and of here tweyners metyng here gynnyth the proces. now god be oure begynnynge, and of my tonge I wole ses.

27 dominacyon ] dînacyon MS

30 hyght ] hyth MS 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 39 ] MS has full forms: the, the, the, thei, this, and

[Scene 3]

Joseph: A! A! wyf, in feyth I am wery,

therfore I wole sytt downe and rest me ryght here. 45 lo! wyff, here is the hous of zakarye,

wole ze I clepe Elyzabeth to zow to apere? [72 a) Maria : Nay, husbond, and it plese zow I shal go ner.

now the blyssyd trynite be in this hous!

A! cosyn Elizabeth, swete modyr, what cher ? 50 3e grow grett. A! my god, how ze be gracyous ! Elizabeth : Anon as I herd of zow this holy gretynge, mekest mayden and the modyr of god, mary, be zour breth the holy gost us was inspyrynge,

that the childe in my body enjoyd gretly, 55 and turnyd down on his knes to oure god rev

erently, whom ze bere in zour body, this veryly I ken. ffulfyllyd with the holy gost thus lowde I cry: blyssyd be thu amonge all women, and blyssyd be the frute of thi wombe also, thu wurthyest virgyne and wyff that evyr was wrought, how is it that the modyr of god me shulde come to, that wrecche of all wrecchis, a whyght wers than

nought? and thu art blyssyd that belevyd veryly in thi

thought that the wurde of god shulde profyte in the ; 65 but how this blyssydnes abought was brought

I can not thynk nyn say how it myght be.


Maria: To the preysynge of god, cosyn, this seyd

must be: Whan I sat in my lytyl hous, onto god praynge,

44, 47, 59 ] MS has full forms therefore, and, and

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