Play 37, Appearance to Mary Magdalene
Play 37, APPEARANCE TO MARY MAGDALENE: FOOTNOTES1 Here she will walk a little from the sepulcher, saying
Play 37, APPEARANCE TO MARY MAGDALENE
Abbreviations: PP: Passion Play, ed. Meredith (1990); s.d.: stage direction.
Both York and N-Town include separate plays devoted to Christ’s appearance to Mary Magdalene, and they are both based on John 20:11–17.
This play is written in double-quatrain octaves.
8 lake. Compare line 37.20. See note to 36.41.
9–12 Woman that stondyst here alone. . . and wherefore. In John 20:12 we are told that two angels appear. In York 39 there are no angels: Jesus himself simply appears behind Mary to question her about the reasons for her sorrow. N-Town collapses the two angels into one, with questions that give Mary the opportunity to express her sense of personal loss before Jesus speaks to her.
25–26 A grettyr cawse had nevyr woman / For to wepe both nyth and day. The poet focuses nicely on the paradox of Mary Magdalene as the weeper (see Richard Crashaw’s poem, "The Weeper," and the tradition of affective piety), a paradox of the empathizer’s weeping/bleeding sorrow ("for sorwe myn hert doth blede," line 29) and the vital joy whereby now "in herte I am so glad, / So grett a joy nevyr wyff had non" (lines 72–73).
37, s.d. Meredith comments that the stage direction could refer to Mary Magdalene or Christ, or even both of them (PP, p. 227n1879sd).
50 to ordeyn yow a place. The poet reappropriates the words of Jesus’ sermon after the Last Supper (John 14:2–3), where he told of the many mansions of his father’s house where he will go to prepare a place for his followers.
102 Amen. See note to 15.321–22 on the response said by all. Rastall notes that here "Amen" is written three times in the margin (Minstrels Playing, p. 112).
Play 37, APPEARANCE TO MARY MAGDALENE: TEXTUAL NOTESAbbreviations: Bl: Ludus Coventriae, ed. Block (1922); PP: Passion Play, ed. Meredith (1990); S: N-Town Play, ed. Spector (1991); s.d.: stage direction.
1 sorwe. MS: o written over another letter and written above.
2–7 MS: large play number 37 in right margin.
7 kannat. MS: se nat.
10 wepe and morne and wepe. So MS, Bl, S. PP: omits and wepe, as scribal repetition.
28 For. MS: And For.
37 M.A.R.I.A. So MS, Bl, S.
44 hye. MS: Hyʒ.
92 is. So PP, S. MS: omitted, but appears in a stanza copied in fol. 201 (PP, p. 227n1929). Bl: omitted but noted.
102 Amen written twice more in the margin. The remainder of fol. 201r repeats lines 72–93 in another hand; for the lines, see S 1:369. Fol. 201v is blank except for some scribbling at the bottom. PP ends his edition at this point.
102, s.d. Magdalene. MS: Magdale, end of name is cropped.
[Maria Magdalene goth to the grave and wepyth and seyth:
MARIA MAGDALENE For hertyly sorwe, myn herte doth breke,
With wepynge terys I wasch my face!
Alas, for sorwe, I may not speke!
My Lorde is gon, that hereinne wase.
Myn owyn dere Lorde and Kynge of Gras,
That sefne develys fro me dyd take —
I kannat se hym, alas, alas!
He is stolyn awey owt of this lake.
ANGELUS Woman that stondyst here alone,
Why dost thu wepe and morne and wepe so sore?
What cawse hast thu to make such mone?
Why makyst thu such sorwe, and wherefore?
MARIA MAGDALENE I have gret cawse to wepe evyrmore.
My Lord is take out of his grave,
Stolyn awey and fro me lore!
I kannot wete where hym to have.
heartfelt sorrow; (t-note)
grave; (see note)
and for what reason
[Hic parum deambulet a sepulcro, dicens:1
Alas! Alas, what shal I do?
My Lord awey is fro me take!
A, woful wrecche! Whedyr shal I go?
My joye is gon owth of this lake!
JHESUS Woman, suche mornynge why dost thu make?
Why is thi chere so hevy and badde?
Why dost thu sythe so sore and qwake?
Why dost thu wepe so sore and sadde?
MARIA MAGDALENE A grettyr cawse had nevyr woman
For to wepe both nyth and day
Than I myself have, in serteyn,
For to sorwyn evyr and ay!
Alas, for sorwe myn hert doth blede!
My Lorde is take fro me away!
I muste nedys sore wepe and grede —
Where he is put, I kannot say.
But, jentyl gardener, I pray to thee,
If thu hym took out of his grave,
Telle me qwere I may hym se
That I may go, my Lorde to have.
JHESUS M. A. R. I. A.!
MARIA MAGDALENE A! Mayster and Lorde, to thee I crave!
As thu art Lord and Kynge of Blys,
Graunt me, Lord, and thu vowchesave
Thyn holy fete that I may kys!
JHESUS Towche me not as yett, Mary,
For to my Fadyr I have not ascende.
But to my bretheryn in hast thee hye;
With these gode wurdys, here care amende.
Sey to my bretheryn that I intende
To stey to my Fadyr and to yowre.
To oure Lord, both God and frende,
I wyl ascende to hevyn towre.
In hevyn, to ordeyn yow a place,
To my Fadyr now wyl I go,
To merth and joye and grett solace
And endeles blys to brynge yow to.
For man, I sufferyd both schame and wo,
More spyteful deth, nevyr man dyd take.
Yit wyl I ordeyn for al this, lo,
In hevyn, an halle for mannys sake.
MARIA MAGDALENE Gracyous Lord, at youre byddyng,
To all my bretheryn I shal go telle
How that ye be man levynge,
Quyk and qwethynge, of flesch and felle.
Now all hevynes I may expelle,
And myrth and joy now take to me.
My Lord that I have lovyd so wele
With opyn syght I dede hym se.
Whan I sowght my Lord in grave,
I was ful sory and ryght sad,
For syght of hym I myght non have.
For mornynge sore I was nere mad.
Grettere sorwe yit nevyr whith had,
Whan my Lord awey was gon.
But now in herte I am so glad,
So grett a joy nevyr wyff had non.
How myght I more gretter joye have
Than se that Lorde with opyn syght,
The whiche my sowle from synne to save,
From develys sefne he made me qwyght.
There kan no tounge my joye expres
Now I have seyn my Lorde on lyve.
To my bretheryn I wyl me dresse
And telle to hem anon ryght belyve;
With open speche I shal me shryve,
And telle to hem with wurdys pleyn
How that Cryst from deth to lyve
To endles blys is resyn ageyn.
Bretheryn, all blyth ye be,
For joyful tydyngys tellyn I kan!
I saw oure Lord Cryst — lyste wel to me —
Of flesch and bon, quyk, levynge man!
Beth glad and joyful as for than,
For trost me, trewly, it is ryght thus!
Mowth to mowth, this is sertayn,
I spak ryght now with Cryst Jhesus!
PETRUS A woundyrful tale, forsothe, is this,
Ever onowryd oure Lorde mote be!
We pray thee, Lord, and Kynge of Blys:
Onys thi presence that we may se,
Ere thu ascende to thi magesté.
Gracyous God, if that ye plese,
Late us have sum syght of thee,
Oure careful hertys to sett in ease.
[Explicit apparicio Marie Magdalene.
from this grave
mourn forever; (t-note)
Looking intently; (see note)
haste; hurry; (t-note)
good words; sorrow; their
To ascend; to yours
prepare; (see note)
Alive; speaking; whole body
plain view; did; see
great mourning; nearly
Greater sorrow yet; any one
to see; in plain view
seven devils; free
them at once
trust; the truth
Face to face; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
Here ends the appearance to Mary Magdalene; (t-note)
Go To Play 38, Cleophas and Luke; Appearance to Thomas