The Cornish Mystery-Play of the Three Maries


  •      The Gardener--Jesus Christ
  •      The Three Maries--
    •                    Mary Magdalene
    •                    Mary, Mother of James
    •                    Mary Salome
  •      First Angel
  •      Second Angel


[Enter Mary Magdalene, and Mary, mother of James.]

Mary Magdalene. What shall I do, alas!
My Lord went to the tomb,
  To-day is the third day;
Go now see indeed
If he comes and rises,
  As he said to me truly.

Mary, Mother of James. I will go and see
The body of him who redeemed me with pain,
  If it be risen again.
Great comfort he was to us;
That we should have seen his death!
  Alas! alas!

[Enter Mary Salome

Mary Salome. The third day is to-day;
If the body of Christ be risen,
  Go to see.
For the torment which he had
Is ever in my heart;
  This sorrow does not leave me.

[Here she shall meet the other Maries.

Mary Magdalene. Women, joy to ye!
And Mary, mother of James,
  And Salome also.
Sorrow is in my heart, alas!
If the body of God himself is gone,
  Where may it be found?

Mary, Mother of James. So it is with me,
Much and great torment for him;
  If he will not, through his grace,
Help me in a short time,
My heart in me will break
  Very really through troubles.

Mary Salome. So with me is sorrow
May the Lord see my state
  After him.
As he is head of sovereignty,
I believe that out of the tomb
  To-day he will rise.

Mary Magdalene. Oh! let us hasten at once,
For the stone is raised
  From the tomb.
Lord, how will it be this night,
If I know not where goes
  The head of royalty?

Mary, Mother of James. And too long we have stayed,
    My Lord is gone his way
      Out of the tomb, surely.
    Alas! my heart is sick;
    I know not indeed if I shall see him,
      Who is very God.

Mary Salome. I know truly, and I believe it,
That he is risen up
  In this day.
How will it be to us now,
That we find not our Lord?
  Alas! woe! woe!

[They sing.

[The Dirge.]

    Alas! mourning I sing, mourning I call,
    Our Lord is dead that bought us all.

Mary Magdalene. Alas! it is through sorrows,
My sweet Lord is dead
  Who was crucified.

[Mary Magdalene weeps at the tomb.

He bore, without complaining,
Much pain on his dear body,
  For the people of the world
Mary, Mother of James. I cannot see the form
Of him on any side;
  Alas! woe is me!
I would like to speak with him,
If it were his will,
  Very seriously.

Mary Salome. There is to me sharp longing
In my heart always,
  And sorrow;
Alas! my Lord Jesus,
For thou art full of virtue,
  All mighty.

[The Dirge.]

Alas! mourning I sing, mourning I call,
Our Lord is dead that bought us all.

Mary Magdalene. Jesus Christ, Lord of Heaven,
O hear now our voice;
Who believes not in thee, miserable he!
  He will not be saved.
When I think of his Passion,
There is not any joy in my heart;
Alas! that I cannot at once
  Speak to thee.

Mary, Mother of James. Gone he is to another land,
And with him many angels;
Alas! now for grief
  I am sorrowful.
I pray thee, Lord of grace,
To send a messenger to us,
That something we may be knowing
  How it is to thee.

Mary Salome. O Jesus, full of mercy,
Do think of us;
To thy kingdom when we come,
  Hear our voice.
For desire I become very sick,
I cannot stand on my standing,
Alas! now what shall I do?
  O Lord of heaven!

[The Dirge.]

Alas! mourning I sing, mourning I call,
Our Lord is dead, that bought us all.

1st Angel. I know whom ye seek:
Jesus is not here,
  For he is risen
To life in very earnest,
As I tell you,
  Like as he is worthy.

Mary Magdalene. O angel, now tell me,
The body (none, equal to him),
  To what place is it gone?
Like as his grace is great,
Joy to me, with my eyes
  To see him yet.

2nd Angel. O Mary, go forthwith,
Say to his disciples
  And to Peter,
Like as he promised to them
He will go to Galilee,
  Very truly without doubt.

Mary, Mother of James. Now he is risen again indeed,
Jesus our Saviour,
  Gone from the tomb.
Worship to him always;
He is Lord of heaven and earth,
  Head of sovereignty.

Mary Salome. Hence go we to the city,
And let us say in every place
  As we have seen:
That Jesus is risen,
And from the tomb forth gone,
  To heaven really.

Mary Magdalene. Never to the city shall I go,
If I do find not my Lord,
  Who was on the cross tree.
O Jesus, King of grace,
 Joy to me once to see thee,
  Amen, amen.

Mary, Mother of James. Mary, be with thee
All the blessings of women,
  And the blessing of Jesus Son of grace;
Of full heart I pray him,
Joy and grace always good to do
  To us now, from God the Father.

Mary Magdalene. My blessing on ye also,
From Christ, as he is gone to the tomb,
  Joy to ye to do well to-day.
Lord, give me the grace
Once to see thy face,
  If it be thy will with thee.

Mary Salome. Amen, amen, let us seek
Christ, who redeemed us in pain,
  With his flesh and with his blood;
Much pain he suffered,
For love of the people of the world,
  As he is the King of power.

[Here Mary, the mother of James, and Salome retire from the tomb, and sit down a little way from it.

Mary Magdalene. He who made heaven, · as he is gone to the tomb,
After him · great is my desire.
Christ, hear my voice, · I pray also
That thou be with me · at my end.

Lord Jesus, · give me the grace,
As I may be worthy · to find a meeting,
With thee to-day, · in some sure place,
That I may have a view · and sight of thy face.

As thou art Creator · of heaven and earth,
And a Redeemer · to us always,
Christ my Saviour, · hear, if it regards thee
Disclose to me, · what I so much desire.

Through great longing · I am quite weary,
And my body also, · bones and back.
Where is there to-night · any man who knows
Where I may yet find · Christ full of sorrow.

[She goes to the garden.

[Enter the Gardener.

Gardener (Jesus). O woeful woman, · where goest thou?
For grief thou prayest, · cry out thou dost.
Weep not nor shriek, · he whom thou seekest
Thou didst dry his feet · with thy two plaits.

Mary Magdalene. Good lord, · if thou hast chanced to see
Christ my Saviour, · where is he truly?
To see him · I give thee my land;
Jesus, Son of grace, · hear my desire.

Gardener. O Mary, · as I know thee to be
Within this world, · one of his blood,
If thou shouldst see him · before thee,
Couldst thou · know him?

Mary Magdalene. Well I do, · know the form
Of the son of Mary, · named Jesus;
Since I see him not · in any place,
I feel sorrow; · else I would not sing "alas!"

[And then Jesus shall shew his side to Mary Magdalene, and say:

Gardener. Mary, see · my five wounds,
Believe me truly · to be risen;
To thee I give thanks · for thy desire,
Joy in the land · there shall be truly.

Mary Magdalene. O dear Lord, · who wast on the cross tree,
To me it becomes not · to kiss thy head.
I would pray thee · let me dare
Now to kiss · once thy feet.

[Woman, touch me not!]

Gardener. O woeful woman, · touch me not near,
No, it will not serve, · nor be for gain;
  The time is not come;
Until I go · to heaven to my Father,
And I will return · again to my country,--
  To speak with thee.

Mary Magdalene. Christ, hear my voice, · say the hour
That thou comest from heaven · again to earth
  To speak with us.
Thy disciples · are very sad,
And the Jews · with violence always
  Are round about them.

Gardener. O Mary, · tell them,
 Truly I go · to Galilee,
  As I said;
And besides that, · bear in memory to speak
Good comfort · to Peter by me;
  Much he is loved.