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? take.

i be not slack.
* destroy.

3 flood.
& prepared.

7 chopping-block.
10 all together.

8 pitch.


9 stick. 12 wet weather.

5 vex.



I 20

I will not do after thy rede.

Noah. Lord, at your bidding I am bayne;6 Noah. Good wife, do now as I thee bid. Since none other your grace will gain, 146 Noah's WIFE. By Christ! not ere I see

It will I fulfil fain, more need,

For gracious I thee find. Though thou stand all the day and stare. A hundred winters and twenty

This ship making tarried have I, 150 Noah. Lord, that women be crabbed aye,

If through amendment any mercy
And never are meek, that dare I say; 106 Would fall unto mankind.
This is well seen by me today
In witness of you
each one.

Have done, you men and women all!
Good wife, let be all this bere?


lest this water fall. That thou makest in this place here, That each beast were in his stall, 155 For all they ween thou art master

And into the ship brought! And so thou art, by St. John!

Of clean beasts seven shall be,

Of unclean two, this God bade me. God. Noah, take thou thy company,

This flood is nigh, well may we see; And in the ship hie that you be,

Therefore tarry you not.

160 For none so righteous man to me 115 Is now on earth living.

Then Noah shall enter the ark, and his Of clean beasts do thou with thee take

family shall exhibit and name all the Seven and seven, ere thou slake,

animals depicted on sheets of parchHe and she, make to make,

ment, and after each one has spoken his Quickly in do thou bring.

part, he shall go into the ark, except

Noah's wife. The animals depicted Of beasts unclean, two and two,

ought to correspond to the descriptions; Male and female, without mo;4

and thus let the first son begin. Of clean fowls seven also,

The he and she together;
Of fowls unclean, two and no more,

SHEM. Sir, here are lions, leopards in,

125 As I of beasts said before,

Horses, mares, oxen, and swine, That shall be saved through my lore,

Goats, calves, sheep, and kine,
Against I send the weather.

Here sitting thou mayst see.
HAM. Camels, asses, men may find,

Buck, doe, hart, and hind,
Of all meats that must be eaten

And beasts of all manner of kind Into the ship look there be getten, 130

Here be, as thinks me.
For that no way may be forgetten,

And do all this bydene,
To sustain man and beast therein,

JAPHET. Take here cats, and dogs too, Aye till this water cease and blynne. Otter, fox, fulmart' also,

170 This world is filled full of sin,

Hares hopping gaily can go,

135 And that is now well seen.

Have cowle here for to eat.

Noah's WIFE. And here are bears, wolves Seven days be yet coming,

set, You shall have space them in to bring;

Apes, owls, marmoset, After that is my liking

Weasels, squirrels, and ferret;

175 Mankind for to annoy:

Here they eat their meat.

140 Forty days and forty nights Rain shall fall for their unrights,

SHEM'S WIFE. Yet more beasts are in this And what I have made through my house: mights,

Here cats make it full crowse, Now think I to destroy.

Here a rat, here a mouse,

They stand nigh together. counsel. 2 noise. 6 quickly. 6 ready.

? skunk.

8 jolly.





3 mate


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HAM'S WIFE. And here are fowls, less and

more: Herons, cranes, and bittour,1 Swans, peacocks; and them before

Meat for this weather.

HAM. Shall we all fetch her in?
NOAH. Yea, sons, in Christ's blessing

and mine!
I would you hied you betime,

For of this flood I am in doubt.5


JAPHET'S WIFE. Here are cocks, kites, The Good Gossips. (They sing.) crows,

185 The flood comes in full fleeting fast, 225 Rooks, ravens, many rows;

On every side it spreadeth full far; Ducks, curlews: whoever knows

For fear of drowning I am aghast, Each one in his kind?

Good gossip, let us draw near. And here are doves, ducks, drakes, And let us drink ere we depart, Redshanks, running through the lakes; 190 For oftentimes we have done so; 230 And each fowl that language makes For at a draught thou drink'st a quart, In this ship men may find.

And so will I do, ere I go. Noah. Wife, come in! why standest thou

JAPHET. Mother, we pray you altogether, here?

For we are here, your own children, Thou art ever froward, that dare I swear.

Come into the ship for fear of the weather, Come in, on God's half!? time it were, 195 For his love that you bought. 236 For fear lest that we drown.

Noah's WIFE. That will I not for all your NOAH'S WIFE. Yeå, sir, set up your sail,

call, And row forth with evil hail!

Unless I have my gossips all. For without any fail

Shem. In faith, mother, yet you shall, I will not out of this town.

Whether you will or not!


(Then she will go.] Unless I have my gossips every one One foot further I will not gone;3 They shall not drown, by St. John!

Noah. Welcome, wife, into this boat!

Noah's Wife. And have thou that for If I may save their life! They loved me full well, by Christ!

thy mote!6

205 Unless thou wilt let them in thy chest,

[She deals Noah a blow.) Row forth, Noah, whither thou list,

Noah. Aha, marry, this is hot! And get thee a new wife.

It is good to be still.

Ah, children, methinks my boat removes! Noah. Shem, son, lo! thy mother is

Our tarrying here hugely me grieves; 246 wraw:4

Over the land the water spreads

God do as he will!
Forsooth, such another I do not know! 210
SHEM. Father, I shall fetch her in, I

Ah, great God that art so good,

He that works not thy will is wood.

250 Mother, my father after thee sent,

Now all this world is in a flood, And bids thee into yonder ship wend.

As I see well in sight; Look up and see the wind,

This window I will shut anon,

215 For we be ready to sail.

And into my chamber will I gone,
Till this water, so great one,

255 Noah's WIFE. Son, go again to him and

Be slaked through thy might. say I will not come therein today.

Then let Noah shut the window of the ark, NOAH. Come in, wife, in twenty devils' and let them, remaining within for a way!

short time, sing the psalm "Save me, Or else stand there without.

O God;" then let Noah open the window and look around.


1 bittern,

go-an infinitive.

2 for God's sake.

s fear.

6 chatter.

7 mad.

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God. Noah, take thy wife anon,
And thy children every one;
Out of the ship thou shalt gone

Whereas you have eaten before Grass and roots since you were born, Of clean beasts, less and more,



And they all with thee;

I give you leave to eat;

4 haste.
i swim.

I say.

5 pleasing.


6 think.


? gentle.

3 faith.


Why dois your brand sae drap wi

bluid, And why sae sad gang yee O?” "O I hae killed my hauke sae guid,

Mither, mither, O I hae killed my hauke sae guid,

And I had nae mair bot hee 0."

2. “Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid,

Edward, Edward, Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid,

My deir son I tell thee 0.”
"O í hae killed my reid-roan steid,

Mither, mither,
O I hae killed my reid-roan steid,

That erst was sae fair and frie 0."

Save blood and flesh both in fere?
Of wrong dead carrion that is here:
Eat not of that in no manner,
For that aye shall you let.2

Manslaughter also you shall flee,
For that is not pleasant to me.
That sheds blood, he or she,

Anywhere amongst mankind, That blood foully shed shall be,

340 And vengeance have that men shall see. Therefore beware now all ye,

You fall not in that sin.
A foreword now with thee I make,
And all thy seed for thy sake,

345 From such vengeance for to slake,

For now I have my will;
Here I promise thee a hest:4
That man, woman, fowl nor beast
With water, while the world shall last, 350

I will no more spill.5
My bow between you and me
In the firmament shall be,
For very token that you may see
That such vengeance shall

cease; 355
That man nor woman shall never more
Be wasted by water, as before;
But for sin, that grieveth me sore,

Therefore this vengeance was.
Where clouds in the welkin been
That same bow shall be seen,
In token that my wrath and teen?

Shall never thus wreaked be;
The string is turned toward you,
And toward me is bent the bow, 365
That such weather shall never show,

And this promise I thee. My blessing now I give thee here, To thee, Noah, my servant dear, For vengeance shall no more appear. 370 And now, farewell, my darling dear.

3. “Your steid was auld, and ye hae got mair,

Edward, Edward,
Your steid was auld, and ye hae got

Sum other duleye drie 0 0.”
“O I hae killed my fadir deir,

Mither, mither,
O I hae killed my fadir deir,

Alas, and wae is mee O!”


4. “And whatten penance


drie for that,

Edward, Edward,
And whatten penance will ye drie for

My deir son, now tell me 0.”
"Ile set my feit in yonder boat,

Mither, mither,
le set my feit in yonder boat,
And Ile fare ovir the sea 0."

5. “And what wul ye doe wi your towirs and your ha,

Edward, Edward? And what wul ye doe wi your towirs

and your ha,
That were sae fair to see O?”
"Ile let thame stand tul they doun fa,

Mither, mither,
Ile let thame stand tul they down fa,
For here nevir mair maunil I bee 0.




1. "Why dois your brand sae drap wi bluid,

Edward, Edward.

6. “And what wul ye leive to your bairns and your wife,

Edward, Edward? grief.

10 suffer.

1 together.
4 assurance.

2 leave alone.
5 destroy.

6 be.

3 covenant.

* but.

11 must.

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