20. The Spurriers' and Lorimers' Play: Christ with the Doctors in the Temple

Mary, we may now speak between
Ourselves of joys, and talk of some
Of the solemn sights that we have seen
In that city where we come from.

Surely, Joseph, the joys within
My heart I make you do not know,
Since that our son with us has been
And seen there solemn sights also.

We should go home, say I,
With all the speed we may,
Because of company
That will go on our way.

For good fellowship we have found,
And always forward will we find.

Ah, sir!  Where is our beautiful son?
I think our wits are wasted as wind.
Alas!  In sorrow I am bound;
What ails us both, to be so blind?
To go too fast we have begun,
And left that lovely lad behind.

Mary, amend your cheer,
For, surely, when all is done,
He'll come with people here
And will overtake us soon.

Overtake us soon?  Sir, surely nay,
Such blabbering may me not beguile.
For we have travelled all this day
From Jerusalem, many a mile.

I thought he'd been with us.  Away
From both of us?  How could he while-

It helps us not, such things to say.
My son is lost!  Alas, the while
That ever we went there, out
With him in company.
We looked too late about,
And, therefore, woe is me!

For he has gone some way that's wrong,
And none is worthy to blame but we.

I advise we get along
And hurry back to that city,
To enquire and ask all men among,
For surely, homeward bound is he.

Of sorrows sore shall be my song,
'Till I my beautiful son may see.
He is but twelve years old.
What way so ever he wends-

Woman!  We may be bold
To find him with our friends.

Masters, to me be attent
And read your reasons all in rows.
And, all you people here present,
Each one, let's see what wit he shows.
I wish to know, before we went,
By scholarship if we could know
If any to whom life is lent
Might here allege against our law.
Either in more or less
If we a fault might feel,
Duly we'll make redress
By judgement, every deal.

That was well said, I say truly.
To name such notes there was a need;
For masters in this land are we,
And have the laws loyally to lead,
And doctors also in our degree
Who judgement have of every deed.
Lay forth our books at once; let's see
What matter were best for us indeed.

We shall ordain so well,
Since scholarship we know,
Defects shall no man feel,
Neither in deed nor saw.

My lords, may love be to you lent,
And joy unto this gathering be.

Son, hence away I would you went,
For other tasks in hand have we.

Son, whoever has you sent,
They were not wise, I say to thee;
On other tales we are intent
Than now with babes jesting to be.

Son, if you'd like to hear
How to live by Moses' law,
Come listen; sitting near,
You shall hear our every saw,

For in some mind it may you bring
To hear our reasons read by rows.

From you I need to learn nothing,
For I know both your deeds and saws.

Now, hear this babe with his boasting;
He thinks he knows more than we knows!
Well, no, surely, son, you are too young
By scholarship to know our laws.

I know as well as you
How all your laws were wrought.

Come sit, and we shall know,
For surely I think not.

It were a wonder if any might
Unto our reasons right should reach.
And you say you have some insight,
Our laws truly to tell and teach?

The Holy Spirit on me did alight,
And as a doctor anointed me,
And has given me power and might
The Kingdom of Heaven for to preach.

Whence ever may this boy be
That shows these novelties new?

I was before you, surely,
And shall be after you.

Son, of your sayings, as I have weal,
And of your wit is a wondrous thing.
But nevertheless, I fully feel
It may well fail in its working.
For David judges of every deal,
And says thus of children young:
"Out of their mouths," he knew full well,
"Our Lord has performed much loving."
But, son, not even yet
Should you presume so large,
For where masters are met,
Children's words are not to charge.

And, although you eager had been,
Although you wished to learn the law,
You are neither of might nor main
To know it as a scholar may know.

Sirs, I tell you for certain,
The whole truth shall be all my saw,
And power has plainer and plain to say,
And answer as I owe.

Masters, what may this mean?
Marvel, I think, have I,
Where ever this boy has been,
To speak thus cunningly.

As wide in the world as we once went,
We never found such wonders there.
For, surely, I think this boy is sent
Full sovereignly, to ease our care.

Sirs, I shall prove to all present
All the sayings I said before.

Well, what call you the First Commandment,
And the greatest, in Moses' lore?

Sirs, since you are set in a row,
And have your books out spread,
Let's see, sirs, in your saws
How right that you can read.

I read that this is the first bidding
That Moses taught us here untill:
To honor God over every thing,
With all your mind and all your will,
And all your heart on him shall hang,
Early and late, aloud and still.

You need no other books to bring,
But always try this to fulfil.
The second may we prove
And clearly know to be:
Your neighbours shall you love
As yourself, certainly.

This commanded Moses to all men
In his Ten Commandments clear;
In these two sayings, we see then,
Hangs all the law that we shall hear.
Whoever those two fulfils, then,
With strength, and might, in good manner,
He truly fulfils all the ten
That follow after those two here.
Then, God we should honour
With all your might and main,
And love well every neighbour
Just as yourself, certain.

Now, son, since you have told us two,
Where are the eight?  Now, can you say?

The third bids that, wherever you go,
You shall keep holy the Sabbath day.
Then is the fourth:  for well or woe,
To honour your parents every day.
The fifth commands you never to
Slay man or woman by any way.
The sixth, truly to see,
Commands all humankind
That they shall try to flee
All filth of fleshly sin.

The seventh forbids you for to steal
Your neighbour's goods, both more and less;
This fault we may find such a deal
Among folks now, a wonder it is.
The eighth teaches you to be loyal,
Here for to bear no false witness.
Your neighbour's house, while you have weal,
The ninth bids you take not by distress.
The tenth bids you not covet.
These are the Commandments Ten,
For whoso will truly set.

Behold how he alleges our laws,
And learned never a book to read.
Quite subtle sayings I think he says,
And also true, if we take heed.

Yes-let him now go on his ways;
If he should stay, I say indeed,
The people quickly shall him praise
Well more than us, for all our deeds.

No, no, then wrong we'd do;
Such speaking will we spare.
As he came, let him go,
And trouble us no more.

Ah, dear Joseph, what now?  Indeed
Of our great woe is no remedy.
My heart is heavy as any lead
Until my beautiful son I see.
Now we have sought in every street,
Both up and down for three days, three,
And whether he is alive or dead
Yet know we not, so woe is me!

Unease had never a man more,
But mourning may not amend.
I advise we farther fare,
'Till God some succour send.

That temple if he were about,
I would we knew, this very night.

Ah, sir!  I see what we have sought!
In world was never so seemly a sight.
Look where he sits-you see him not?-
Among such masters, much in might.

Now, blessed be He that us here brought,
For never was there a man so light!

Ah, dear Joseph, as joy we feel,
Go forth and fetch your son and mine;
This day is gone, nearly every deal,
And we have need to go again.

With men of power I mix full ill;
Then I must lose these labours of mine.
I cannot speak with them, you know well;
They are so bright in furs so fine.

To them your errand for to say
Truly you must not such fear feel;
They will respect you in every way,
Because of your age; you know that well.

When I come there, what shall I say?
I've no idea, as I do tell.
Surely, Mary, you'll have me shamed today,
For I can neither bend nor kneel.

Let us go together, that would be best,
Unto that worthy one indeed.
And if I see, as I may rest,
That you will not, then I must needs.

Go on, Mary, and do your best;
I come behind, as God me speed.

Ah, dear son Jesus,
Since we love you alone,
Why did you do this to us,
And make us make such a moan?

Your father and I between us two,
Son, for your love, have been pleased ill;
We have sought you to and fro,
Weeping sorely, as people will.

Why ever should you seek me so?
Many times it has been told you 'till:
My Father's business, for weal or woe,
Thus am I sent here to fulfil.

These words, as joy I feel,
I cannot understand.
I shall think on them well,
To see what must follow then.

Now, truly, son, your face to see
Has saved us both from all our sore.
Come forth, now, son, with your mother and me;
At Nazareth I would we were.

Then fare you well, you lords so free,
For with my family now will I fare.

Now, son, whereever you may be,
God make you a good man evermore.
No wonder if this wife
At his finding should be glad.
He shall, if he should live,
Prove to be a handsome lad.

But, son, keep secret, for good and ill,
The new things we have named here now.
And if you like to stay here still
And dwell with us, welcome are you.

I thank you, sirs, for your good will,
But I think no longer to dwell with you.
My family's thoughts I will fulfil,
And to their bidding obediently bow.

Full well are us this tide;
Now may we make good cheer.

No longer we'll abide.
Farewell, all people here.

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