The Wakefield Pageant of the Harrowing of Hell


  •      Jesus
  •      Adam
  •      Eve
  •      Simeon
  •      John the Baptist
  •      Moses
  •      Esaias
  •      David
  •      Ribald
  •      Beelzebub
  •      Sathanas




[The Extraction of Souls from Hell.]

Jesus. My fader me from blys has send
Till's erthe for mankynde sake,
Adam mys for to amend,
My deth nede must I take:

I dwellyd ther thyrty yeres and two,
And som dele more, the sothe to say,
In anger, pyne, and mekylle wo,
I dyde on cros this day.

Therefor tille helle now wille I go,
To chalange that is myne,
Adam, Eve, and othere mo,
Thay shalle no longer dwelle in pyne;

The feynde theym wan withe trayn,
Thrughe fraude of earthly fode,
I have theym boght agan
With shedyng of my blode.

And now I wille that stede restore,
Whiche the feynde felle from for syn,
Som tokyn wille I send before,
Withe myrthe to gar thare gammes begyn.

A light I wille thay have,
To know I wille com sone;
My body shalle abyde in grave
Tille alle this dede be done.

  Adam. My brether, herkyn unto me here,
More hope of helth never we had,
Four thousand and six hundred yere
Have we bene in darknes stad;

Now se I tokyns of solace sere,
A gloryous gleme to make us glad,
Wherthrughe I hope that help is nere,
That sone shalle slake oure sorrowes sad.

Eve. Adam, my husband heynd,
This menys solace certan,
Siche lighte can on us leynd
In paradyse fulle playn.

Isaias. Adam, thrugh thi syn
Here were we put to dwelle,
This wykyd place within,
The name of it is helle;

Here paynes shalle never blyn
That wykyd ar and felle,
Love, that lord, withe wyn
His lyfe for us wold selle.

[Et cantent omnes "Salvator mundi" primum versum.

Adam, thou welle understand,
I am Isaias, so Crist me kende,
I spake of folk in darknes walkand,
I saide a light shuld on them lende;

This light is alle from Crist commande,
That he tille us has hethir sende,
Thus is my poynt proved in hand,
As I before to fold it kende.

Simeon. So may I telle of farlys feylle,
For in the tempylle his freyndes me fande,
Me thoght dayntethe with hym to deylle,
I halsyd hym homely with my hand,

I saide, Lord, let thi servandes leylle
Pas in peasse to lyf lastande,
Now that myn eeyn has sene thyn hele
No longer lyst I lyf in lande.

This light thou has purvayde
For theym that lyf in lede,
That I before of the have saide
I se it is fulfillyd in dede.

Johannes Baptista. As a voice cryand I kend
The wayes of Crist, as I welle can,
I baptisid hym with bothe myn hende
In the water of flume Jordan;

The Holy Gost from heven discende
As a white dowfe downe on me than,
The Fader voyce, oure myrthes to amende,
Was made to me lyke as a man;

"Yond is my son," he saide,
"And whiche pleasses me fulle welle,"
His light is on us layde,
And commys oure karys to kele.

Moyses. Now this same nyght lernyng have I,
To me, Moyses, he shewid his myght,
And also to another one, Hely,
Where we stud on a hille on hyght,

As whyte as snaw was his body,
His face was like the son for bright,
No man on mold was so mighty
Grathly durst loke agans that light,
And that same lighte here se I now
Shynyng on us, certayn,
Wherethrughe truly I trow
That we shalle sone pas fro this payn.

Rybald. Sen fyrst that helle was mayde and I was put therin
  Siche sorow never ere I had, nor hard I siche a dyn,
My hart begynnys to brade, my wytt waxys thyn,
  I drede we can not be glad, thise saules mon fro us twyn;

  How, Belsabub! bynde thise boys, siche "Harow"
    was never hard in helle.

Belzabub. Out, Rybald! thou rorest what is betyd? can thou oght telle?

Rybald. Whi, herys thou not this ugly noyse?
Thise lurdans that in lymbo dwelle,
They make menyng of many joyse,
And muster myrthes theym emelle.

Belzabub. Myrth? nay, nay! that poynt is past,
More hope of helthe shalle they never have.

Rybald. They cry on Crist fulle fast,
And says he shalle thaym save.

Belzabub. Yee, though he do not, I shalle,
For thay ar sparyd in specyalle space,
Whils I am prynce and pryncypalle,
Thay shalle never pas out of this place;

Calle up Astarot and Anaballe,
To gyf us counselle in this case;
Belle, Berith and Bellyalle
To mar theym that siche mastry mase;

Say to sir Satan oure syre,
And byd hym bryng also
Sir Lucyfer lufly of lyre.

Rybald. Alle redy, lord, I go.

Jesus. Attolite portas, principes vestras, et elevamini portœ æternales, et introibit rex gloriæ.

Rybald. Out, harro, out!--what deville is he
That callys hym kyng over us alle?
Hark Belzabub, com ne,
For hedusly I hard hym calle.

Belzabub. Go spar the yates, ylle mot thou the!
And set the waches on the walle,
If that brodelle come ne
With us ay won he shalle:

And if he more calle or cry,
To make us more debate,
Lay on hym hardlly,
And make hym go his gate.

David. Nay, withe hym may ye not fyght,
For he is king and conqueroure,
And of so mekille myght,
And styf in every stoure;

Of hym commys alle this light
That shynys in this bowre;
He is fulle fers in fight,
Worthi to wyn honoure.

Belzabub. Honoure! harsto, harlot, for what dede
Alle erthly men to me ar thralle,
That lad that thou callys lord in lede
He had never harbor, house, ne halle;

How, sir Sathanas, com nar
And hark this cursid rowte!

Sathanas. The dewille you alle to har!
What ales the so to showte?
And see, if I com nar,
Thy brayn bot I bryst owte.

Belzabub. Thou must com help to spar,
We ar beseged abowte.

Sathanas. Besegyd aboute! whi, who durst be so bold
For drede to make on us a fray?

Belzabub. It is the Jew that Judas sold
For to be dede this othere day.

Sathanas. How, in tyme that tale was told,
That trature travesses us alle way;
He shalle be here fulle hard in hold,
Bot loke he pas not I the pray.

Belzabub. Pas! nay, nay, he wille not weynde
From hens or it be war,
He shapys hym for to sheynd
Alle helle e'er he go far.

Sathanas. Fy, faturs, therof shalle he faylle,
For alle his fare I hym defy;
I know his trantes fro top to taylle,
He lyffes by gawdes and glory.

Therby he broght furthe of oure baylle
The lathe Lazare of Betany,
Bot to the Jues I gaf counsaylle
That thay shuld cause hym dy:

I entered there into Judas
That forward to fulfylle,
Therfor his hyere he has
Alle wayes to won here stylle.

Rybald. Sir Sathan, sen we here the say
Thou and the Jues were at assent,
And wote, he wan the Lazare away
That unto us was taken to tent,
Hopys thou that thou mar hym may
To muster the malyce that he has ment?
For and he refe us now oure pray
We wille ye witt e'er he is went.

Sathanas. I byd the noght abaste
Bot boldly make you bowne,
Withe toyles that ye intraste,
  And dyng that dastard downe.

Jesus. Attolite portas, principes vestras, et elevamini portæ
æternales, et introibit rex gloriæ.

Rybald. Outt, harro! what harlot is he
That says his kyngdom shal be cryde?

David. That may thou in sawter se,
For of this prynce thus err I saide;

I saide that he shuld breke
Youre barres and bandes by name,
And of youre wareks take wreke;
Now shall thou se the same.

Jesus. Ye prynces of helle open youre yate,
And let my folk furthe gone,
A prynce of peasse shalle enter therat
Wheder ye wille or none.

Rybald. What art thou that spekys so?

Jesus. A kyng of blys that hight Jesus.

Rybald. Yee hens fast I red thou go,
And melle the not with us.

Belzabub. Oure yates I trow wille last,
Thay ar so strong I weyn,
Bot if oure barres brast,
For the, thay shalle not twyn.

Jesus. This stede shalle stande no longer stokyn;
Open up and let my pepille pas.

Rybald. Out, harro! oure baylle is brokyn,
And brusten ar alle oure bandes of bras.

Belzabub. Harro! oure yates begyn to crak,
In sonder, I trow, thay go,
And helle, I trow, wille all to-shak;
Alas, what I am wo!

Rybald. Lymbo is lorn, alas!
Sir Sathanas, com up!
This wark is wars than it was.

Sathanas. Yee, hangyd be thou on a cruke;

Thefys, I bad ye shuld be bowne
If he maide mastres more
To dyng that dastard downe,
Sett hym bothe sad and sore.

Belzabub. "So sett hym sore" that is sone saide.
Com thou thi self and serve hym so;
We may not abyde his bytter bradye,
He wold us mar and we were mo.

Sathanas. Fy, fature! wherfore were ye flayd?
Have ye no force to flyt hym fro?
Loke in haste my gere be grayd,
My self shalle to that gadlyng go.

How, thou belamy, abyde,
Withe alle thi boste and beyr,
And telle me in this tyde
What mastres thou makes here.

Jesus. I make no mastry bot for myne,
I wille theym save, that shalle the sow,
Thou has no powere theym to pyne,
Bot in my pryson for thare prow

Here have thay sojornyd,--not as thyne,
Bot in thi wayrd, thou wote as how.

Sathanas. Why, where has thou hene ay syn
That never wold neghe theym nere e'er now?

Jesus. Now is the tyme certan
My Fader ordand herfor,
That they shuld pas fro payn
In blys to dwelle for ever more.

Sathanas. Thy fader knew I welle by syght,
He was a wright his meett to wyn,
Mary, me mynnys, thi moder hight,
The utmast ende of alle thy kyn:

Say who made the so mekille of myght?

Jesus. Thou wykyd feynde lett be thi dy[n],
My Fader wonnes in heven on hight,
In blys that never more shalle blyn:
I am his oonly son his forward to fulfylle,
Togeder wille we won, in sonder when we wylle.

Sathanas. Goddes son! nay, then myght thou be glad
For no catelle thurt the crave;
Bot thou has lyffed ay lyke a lad,
In sorow, and as a sympille knave.

Jesus. That was for the hartly luf I had
Unto man's saulle, it for to save,
And for to make thee masyd and mad,
And for that reson rufully to rafe.

My Godhede here I hyd
In Mary, moder myne,
Where it shalle never be kyd
To the, ne none of thyne.

Sathanas. How now? this wold I were told in towne,
Thou says God is thi syre;
I shalle the prove by good reson
Thou moyttes as man dos into myre.

To breke thi byddyng they were fulle bowne,
And soon they wroght at my desyre,
From paradise thou putt thym downe,
In helle here to have thare hyre;

And thou thi self, by day and nyght,
Taght ever alle men emang,
Ever to do reson and right,
And here thou wyrkys alle wrang.

Jesus. I wyrk no wrang, that shalle thou wytt.
If I my men fro wo wille wyn;
My prophettes playnly prechyd it,
Alle the noytys that I begyn;

They saide that I shud be that ilke
In helle where I shud entre in,
To save my servandes fro that pytt
Where dampynyd saullys shalle syt for syn.

And ilke true prophete taylle
Shalle be fulfillid in me;
I have thaym boght fro baylle,
In blis now shalle thay be.

Sathanas. Now since thou list to legge the lawes
Thou shalbe tenyd or we twyn,
For those that thou to witnes drawes
Fulle even agans the shalle begyn;

As Salaman saide in his sawes,
Who that ones commys helle within
He shalle never owte, as clerkes knawes
Therfor, belamy, let be thy dyn.
Job thi servande also
In his tyme can telle
That nawder freynde nor fo
Shalle fynde relese in helle.

Jesus. He sayde fulle soythe, that shalle thou se,
In helle shalbe no relese,
Bot of that place then ment he
Where synfulle care shalle ever encrese.

In that baylle ay shalle thou be,
Where sorrowes seyr shalle never sesse
And my folk that wer most fre
Shalle pas unto the place of peasse;

For thay were here with my wille,
And so thay shalle furthe weynde,
Thou shalle thi self fulfylle,
Ever wo withoutten ende.

Sathanas. Whi, and wille thou take theym alle me fro?
Then thynk me thou ar unkynde;
Nay, I pray the do not so,
Umthynke the better in thy mynde,

Or els let me with the go;
I pray the leyfe me not behynde.

Jesus. Nay, tratur, thou shalle won in wo,
And tille a stake I shalle the bynde.

Sathanas. Now here I how thou menys emang
With mesure and malyce for to melle,
Bot sen thou says it shalbe lang,
Yit som let alle wayes with us dwelle.

Jesus. Yis, witt thou welle, els were greatt wrang,
Thou shalle have Caym that slo Abelle,
And alle that hastes theym self to hang,
As dyd Judas and Architophelle;
And Daton and Abaron and alle of thare assent,
Cursyd tyranttes ever ilkon that me and myn tormente.

And alle that wille not lere my law
That I have left in land for new
That makes my commyng knaw,
And alle my sacramentes persew;

My deth, my rysyng, red by raw,
Who trow thaym not thay ar untrewe,
Unto my dome I shalle theym draw,
And juge thaym wars then any Jew.
And thay that lyst to lere my law and lyf therby
Shalle never have harmes here, bot welth as is worthy.

Sathanas. Now here my hand, I hold me payde,
Thise poyntes ar playnly for my prow,
If this be trew as thou has saide
We shalle have mo then we have now;

Thise lawes that thou has late here laide
I shalle thym lere not to alow,
If thay myn take thay ar betraide,
And I shalle turne thym tytte I trow.

I shalle walk eest, I shalle walk west,
And gar theym wyrk welle war.

Jesus. Nay feynde, thou shalbe feste,
That thou shalle flyt no far.

Sathanas. Feste? fy! that were a wykyd treson!
Belamy, thou shalle be smytt.

Jesus. Deville, I commaunde the to go downe
Into thi sete where thou shalle syt.

Sathanas. Alas! for doylle and care,
I synk into helle pyt.

Rybald. Sir Sathanas, so saide I are,
Now shalle thou have a fytt.

Jesus. Com now furthe, my childer alle,
I forgyf you youre mys;
Withe me now go ye shalle
To joy and endles blys.

Adam. Lord, thou art fulle mekylle of myght,
That mekys thi self on this manere,
To help us alle as thou had us hight,
When bothe frofett I and my fere;

Here have we dwelt withoutten light
Four thousand and six hundreth yere,
Now se we by this solempne sight
How that mercy makes us dere.

Eva. Lord, we were worthy more tornamentes to tast,
Thou help us lord of thy mercy, as thou of myght is mast.

Johannes. Lord, I love the inwardly,
That me wold make thi messyngere,
Thi commyng in erthe to cry,
And teche thi fayth to folk in fere;

Sythen before the forto dy,
To bryng theym bodwordthat be here,
How thay shuld have thi help in hy,
Now se I alle those poyntes appere.

Moyses. David, thi prophette trew,
Of tymes told unto us;
Of thi commyng he knew,
And saide it shuld be thus.

David. As I said ere yit say I so,
Ne derelinquas, domine,
Animam meam in inferno
Leyfe never my saulle, Lord, after the,

In depe helle whedur dampned shalle go
Suffre thou never thi sayntes to se
The sorrow of thaym that won in wo,
Ay, fulle of fylthe, and may not fle.

Moyses. Make myrthe bothe more and les,
And love oure lord we may,
That has broght us fro bytternes
In blys to abyde for ay.

Ysaias. Therfor now let us syng
To love oure lord Jesus,
Unto his blys he wille us bryng,
  Te Deum laudamus.