Now, Lord! That all this world shall win…


From the Ludus Coventriae

(And it took seeing this in Latin to be reminded that a Play is a Game, and to be reminded that these are not frivolous things.)

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 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 sall happe 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…

Linocut by Chris Wormell, from Through the Animals’ Eyes

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