PILATE: Lords and ladies, listen to me: I order you in each degree, As chief doomsman in this country, For learned counsel. At my bidding you ought to be, And humbly kneel. Sir Caiaphas, highest clergy here, Your counsel let us quickly hear: Since by your leave we caused to die Jesus this day. That we maintain, and stand thereby This work, always. CAIAPHAS: Yes sir, we shall maintain that deed; It was all done by law, indeed. You know yourself, undoubtedly, As well as we. His sayings are now upon him seen, And always shall be. ANNAS: The people, sir, in this same stead, Wholeheartedly before you said He was deserving to be dead. And this they swore! We were by righteous counsel led: Name it no more. PILATE: To name it seems a needful thing. Since he has gone to burying; We haven't heard from old or young, Any tiding. CAIAPHAS: The Centurion, sir, the news will bring Of everything. We left him there, a man most wise. If any rebels should arise, Our righteous judgement to despise, Or to offend, He'll seize them for the next assize, To make an end. CENTURION: Ah, blessed Lord, Adonai, What may these marvels signify, That we've seen here before our eye So openly, Today, when that man came to die? Jesus is he. It is a misty thing I mean; Such wondrous sight I've never seen. To our priests and princes, instantly, Without delay, I must describe this troubled scene. What will they say? God save you sirs, on every side, Worship and wealth in all the world wide, With much mirth may you always bide, Both day and night. PILATE: Centurion, be welcome at this tide, Our comely knight. You have been missed among us here. CENTURION: By grace of God, may you ever prosper. PILATE: Centurion, good friend old and dear, What is your will? CENTURION: You have done wrong, I greatly fear, And wonder ill. CAIAPHAS: Wonder ill? Tell why, I pray? Declare it to this whole array. CENTURION: Then sirs, to you I truly say, (I'll mince no word): I mean the righteous man, today, Whom you've slaughtered. PILATE: Centurion, you'll cease this rot. You are a man in law well taught: If we, by any witness, thought Us to excuse, To always hold our side you ought, And not refuse. CENTURION: Maintaining truth's a worthy way. I tell you, when I saw him die, The son of mighty god, I say, Was hanging there. I still say so, and stand thereby Forevermore. CAIAPHAS: Well, sir, this reasoning you may rue; You should not name this thing anew, Unless there is some token true That you can tell. CENTURION: Such wondrous things you never knew As just befell. ANNAS: We pray you, do relate these things. CENTURION: Each element, and everything, In its own manner made mourning, In every stead. All knew by countenance their king; That he was dead. For woe the sun waxed pale and wan; The moon and stars their shining ban; The earth, it trembled, and like man, Began to speak. The stones that never stirred 'till then, Asunder creak. And dead men rose, both great and small - PILATE: Centurion, beware withal! You know that clerks "eclipses" call These sudden sights: When this occurs, both sun and moon shall Lack their lights. CAIAPHAS: Yes, and dead men rising bodily Could well be done through sorcery. This counts as nothing we can see To worry us. CENTURION: All that I tell, the truth it be, I'll ever trust. In all the deeds that you did work, Not only did the sun turn murk; But how was the veil rent in your church? This I would know. PILATE: These tales you tell will quickly irk, If out they go. ANNAS: Centurion, such speech withdraw. Of all these words, we're not in awe. CENTURION: Since you'll not credit what I saw, Sirs, have good day. God grant you grace that you may know The truth always. ANNAS: If you're afraid, then make good speed; For we shall stand by all our deeds. PILATE: Such wondrous things he says, indeed, As none before. CAIAPHAS: To mention this, we have no need: Never say more. Now watch that no man make ill cheer; No harm of this may yet come here. But doubting men must cause us fear. The folk may tell Of all these things that we've heard here. Advise you well, And take heed of this tale quickly; For Jesus did say openly, A thing that would grieve all Jewry, And so it may: That he would rise up bodily, On the third day. If this be so (as I may speed), Then we must dread this latter deed, More than the first, if we take heed, Or look thereto. To mention this, we have most need, And had best do. ANNAS: Well, even if he did say so, He cannot simply rise and go. But if his men take his corpse, though, And steal away, It would be for us, and more also, A troubled day. For they could then claim, every one, That he rose by himself alone. Therefore, guard him from now on, With trusty knights, Until three days have come and gone, And three full nights. PILATE: For certain sirs, right well you say. This very point I shall purvey, And now attend to, if I may. He shall not rise; And none shall carry him away, In any wise. Sir knights, so bold in every deed, The chosen chiefs of chivalry, Your force inspires trust in me: Both day and night, Go forth and guard Jesus' body With all your might. Whatever things that happen may, Keep him well to the third day. And let no man take him away, Out of that stead; For if they do, I truly say, You shall be dead. 1 SOLDIER: Lords, we promise true and plain: We'll watch that tomb with might and main. No tricks those traitors may maintain, To steal him so. Sir knights, take useful gear again, And let us go. 2 SOLDIER: Yes sir. We are already bound; We'll guard him for our own renown. On every side, let us sit down, Together near. If any come, we'll crack his crown Whoever's here. [THEN JESUS ARISING [Later hand: Then an angel sings the Resurgens.]] 1 MARY: Alas, I wish that I had died. No one has suffered as much as I; My sorrow is always for that sight, I had to see. How Christ, my master, most in might, Is dead from me. Alas, that I should see his pain, And loss of him I must maintain. Of each ill he was medicine, And friend to all, Support and help to all who deign On him to call. 2 MARY: Alas, who can my grief abet? When I remember his wounds wet - Jesus, loving, sweet, who yet Did never ill, Is dead and graved now under grit: Unfairly killed. 3 MARY: Unfairly killed; the Jews each one That lovely Lord to death have done, Although he never hurt anyone, In any stead. To whom shall I now make my moan, Since he is dead? 1 MARY: Since he is dead, my sisters dear, Mildly let us all draw near, With these annointments fair and clear, That we have brought, To wash the many wounds severe The Jews have wrought. 2 MARY: Let's go together, sisters free. We all desire that corpse to see. But I know not what best may be. Help we have none, And who here now, of us three, Will move the stone? 3 MARY: On our own, we can't do so, For it is huge, and heavy also. 1 MARY: Sisters, a child, where we go- Making mourning! I see it sit where we go to, In white clothing. 2 MARY: Sisters, for certain, nothing to hide, That heavy stone's been pushed aside! 3 MARY: You're right! Whatever this thing may betide, Near we will wend. To seek that lovely one beside, Who was our friend. ANGEL: You women, mourning in your thought: Here in this place, whom have you sought? 1 MARY: Jesus, who to death was brought; Our Lord so free. ANGEL: Women, certainly, here he is not. Come near and see. He is not here, the truth to say. The place is void, wherein he lay; The shroud is all that's left today. That on him was laid. He is risen, and took his way, Just as he said. Just as he said, so done has he. He is risen through great authority. He shall be found in Galilee, In flesh of his. Now go to his disciples free, And tell them this. 1 MARY: My sisters dear, since it is so, That he is risen from below - The angel told both me and you. Our Lord so free - Away from here I'll never go, Until I see. 2 MARY: Mary, time we can no longer spend; To Galilee now we must wend. 1 MARY: Not till I see my faithful friend, My Lord and leech. Therefore, dear sisters, you extend, And go and preach. 3 MARY: What we have heard, this we shall say; Mary, our sister, have good day. 1 MARY: Now may true God, as well he may, Man most of might, Be guide to you sisters, well on your way, And rule you right. Alas, now what will happen to me? My wretched heart will break in three. When I think on that body free, How it was spilt. Both hands and feet were nailed to a tree, Without guilt. Without guilt he was put to pain; From trespass he was free of stain. He suffered wounds and much disdain, All for my miss. It was for my deeds he was slain, And not for his. How could I make such kindness known, Unless I loved him as my own? For love of me he suffered wounds; Died, and was buried. There's not a thing until we meet May make me merry. 1 SOLDIER: What?! Out, alas, what shall I say? Where is the corpse that herein lay? 2 SOLDIER: What ails you man? Is he away, Whom we attend? 1 SOLDIER: Rise up and see! 2 SOLDIER: Harrow! For ay! We are dead men! 3 SOLDIER: What the devil is this? What ails you two? Thus to raise such cry and hue? 1 SOLDIER: Why is he gone? 3 SOLDIER: Alas! Where is he that here lay? 4 SOLDIER: Whoa! How the devil did he get away? 3 SOLDIER: What? So away from us he went, That traitor that to his grave was sent? And we were here to pay attent; What have we done? For this, our bodies will be rent, Every last one. 1 SOLDIER: Alas, what shall we do this day, Now that this warlock has gone his way? And safely sirs - I dare well say, He rose alone. 2 SOLDIER: When Pilate hears of this outrage We must be slain. 3 SOLDIER: Come on you fellows, use your head, 4 SOLDIER: There's nothing for it; we're all dead. 2 SOLDIER: When Jesus stirred out of this stead, No one saw then. 1 SOLDIER: Alas, too bad it's on my head, Among all men. As soon as Pilate of this knows: That we were sleeping when he rose, To forfeiture we'll be exposed, All that we have. 2 SOLDIER: We must make lies; we need to pose Ourselves to save. 3 SOLDIER: Yes, as I live, I think that's so. 4 SOLDIER: And I approve this plan also. 2 SOLDIER: I'll say, a hundred men and more: Armed, each one, Came and took away that corpse; We were near slain! 1 SOLDIER: No. I think no choice as good As tell the truth, just as it stood. He really rose, in main and mood, And went his way. Despite Sir Pilate's rage, I would This dare to say. 2 SOLDIER: To Pilate you dare go the way, And news like this to him you'll say? 1 SOLDIER: That's my advice. If he must slay, We die but once. 3 SOLDIER: Now he who wrought this woe today, I curse his bones! 4 SOLDIER: Sir knights, let us be going hence. Sir Pilate we must now attend. I trust that we shall not part friends, When there we pass. 1 SOLDIER: I'll tell him every word to the end, Just as it was. Sir Pilate, prince without a peer; Sirs Caiaphas and Annas near; And all you lords together here, To name by name: God save you on all sides from fear, From sin, and shame. PILATE: You are welcome, our knights keen; In merry mirth now you may mean. Therefore, some tales tell us between, How you have wrought. 1 SOLDIER: Our mighty watch, undoubtedly, Has come to naught. CAIAPHAS: To naught? Alas, stop speaking so! 2 SOLDIER: The prophet Jesus, whom you know, In spite of us, did rise and go, With main and might. PILATE: For this, the devil himself you draw! False traitor knight! Miserable cowards, I you call! How could he escape you all? 3 SOLDIER: Sir, what we could do was too small, When that man went. 4 SOLDIER: We were so afraid, we must needs fall, And shake for dread. ANNAS: You lacked the strength to stop one man? Traitors, you should've bound him in bands, And anyone else who there did stand, And stopped them soon. 1 SOLDIER: That deed all men on sea and sand Could not have done. 2 SOLDIER: We were so stunned, every one, When he pushed aside the stone; So astonished, we dared move none, And so unnerved. PILATE: What? He rose himself, alone? 1 SOLDIER: Yes sir, I'm sure. 4 SOLDIER: Never heard the like, since we were born, Nor all our fathers who came before: Such melody, midday or morn, As was made there. CAIAPHAS: Alas, now all our laws are lorn For evermore. 2 SOLDIER: When he arose, good heed I took: The earth then trembled, quaked, and shook, And then my consciousness forsook, Till he was gone. 3 SOLDIER: I was afraid, I could not look; Strength had I none. I might not stand, I was so stark. PILATE: Sir Caiaphas, you cunning clerk: If we have really missed the mark, We shall both pay. What shall come of all this work? Your counsels say. CAIAPHAS: What's truly best to do I shall: And this will benefit us all. Your knights must all their words recall, How he is gone. We'd not, whatever might befall, Have this thing known. ANNAS: Now Sir Pilate, since it is so- From dead, he's risen (this we know)- Tell your knights to say, wherever they go, That he was pried By twenty thousand men and more, And they nearly died. And to this end, from the treasury, Reward them for their loyalty. PILATE: I'm pleased with all this plan I see, And further thus: Sir knights, well-famed in chivalry, Pay heed to us: And listen to what you shall say, To every man both night and day: Ten thousand men in good array Fought you, until, By force of arms, they bore him away, Against your will. This you shall say in every land. In payment of this covenant, A thousand pounds you'll have in hand, As your reward. And friendship, sirs, you understand, Will not be spared. CAIAPHAS: Each one, your rank we shall amend, If credence to this tale you lend. 1 SOLDIER: To whatsoever land we're sent, By night or day, Whereso we come, whereso we wend, So shall we say. PILATE: Yes. Wherever you stay, in each country, Of our doing in each degree, Let no man any wiser be, Or question more. And of that sight, which you did see, Never say more. For we shall maintain you always, And to the people we shall say, It interferes with our land's ways, To think such things. So they'll believe, both night and day, These lies we sing. Thus shall the truth be bought and sold, And treason shall as truth be told; And therefore, in your hearts you'll hold This counsel clean. Farewell now all, both young and old And all between.
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