23. The Curriers' Play: The Transfiguration

Peter, my own disciple dear,
And James and John, my cousins two:
Take heartfelt heed, for you shall hear;
I'll only tell these things to you.
And you shall see sundry sights here,
Which none shall see but you also.
Therefore, come forth and gather near;
To yonder mountain I will go.
There you will see a sight,
Which you have yearned for long.

My lord, we are full light,
And glad; with you we're going.

Long you've coveted to ken,
My Father, for I set him before.
You knew full well, which time and when,
As we were going to Galilee's shore.
"Show us your father," you asked me then
"That would suffice us with no more."
I said to you, and to all men,
"Who sees me, sees my father there."
Such words I spoke, my friends,
In truth, to make you bold;
You could not comprehend
The tales that I then told.

Another time, to make increase
In truth, and teach you more of this,
I said, "Quem dicunt homines
Esse filium hominis?"
I asked you whom the people chose
As Son of Man, without a miss;
You answered, saying "Some, Moses,
And some say that Elijah he is,
And some say John Baptist."
Then more, I questioned yet;
I asked you if you guessed
Who I was, by your wit.

You answered, Peter, to your credit,
And said that I was Christ, God's son.
Though by yourself, you guessed it not;
My father had this grace begun.
Therefore be bold, and bide you now,
Until you have my father found.

Lord, to your bidding we will bow,
Obediently as we are bound.

Lord, we will work your will
Always with true intent.
We love God, boldly, still,
Who such a gift has lent.

Full glad and blithe we ought to be,
And thank our master, great in might,
Who says we shall these sights now see,
Which no one else shall have in sight.

He told us of his father free;
Of this, we're eager for more, all right.

All that he's promised, fulfill will he;
Therefore inquire no more we might.
But as to us he grants,
So we'll understand.
Behold, here now advance
New tidings in hand!

Lord God, I love you lastingingly,
And highly, both with heart and hand;
That I, Elijah your prophet, can be
Thus summoned in this stead to stand.
Dwelling in Paradise was I,
Since I left this earthly land.
I came, Christ's name to clarify,
At God, his Father's, own command,
In order to bear witness
In word to man and wife
That this God's own son is,
And lord of lasting life.

Lord God, that of all wealth is well,
With will and wit, we worship thee;
Who unto me, Moses, would tell
This great point of your mystery,
And lovingly let me out of hell,
That I this solemn sight should see,
When your dear darlings who there dwell
Have not your grace in this degree.
Our fathers would be fain
To see this solemn sight,
Which in this place so plain
Is mustered through your might.

Brothers, what can this brightness be?
Such marvels before have never been.
It mars my might, I may not see;
So wondrous a sight was never seen.

Where this may lead, that know not we.
How weak I grow in every limb!
Before there was one; now there are three.
I think our master stands between.

That our master is there,
We may truly believe.
Before, he was full fair,
But not as we now perceive.

His clothing is as white as snow;
His face shines as bright as the sun.
To speak with him, I have great awe;
So fair before was never one.

The other two, I'd like to know,
And learn what works them here have won.

Why don't we ask them in a row,
And gather how this game's begun?

If you have come indeed,
To clarify Christ's name,
Now tell us here, all three,
For we would do the same.

It is God's will we make you wise
Of all his worthy works on high.
I have my place in Paradise;
Enoch, my brother, is nearby.
As messenger from heaven's bliss,
I'm called to teach this company,
To witness that God's son is this;
Equal in power, almighty is he.
To death we were not brought;
Alive again we'll come
When Antichrist is fought,
Before the day of doom.

Friends, if you would ask my name,
Moses, then, you may rightly know.
Two thousand years after Adam came,
God gave to me his holy law.
Since then, in hell has been our home,
Until Christ comes.  Alas, this you know,
Oh, Adam's kin; this man's the same
Who shall us from that dungeon draw!
He shall bring those to bliss,
Who now are bound in pain;
This mirth we may not miss,
For God's son is this same..

My dear disciples, dread you not.
I am your sovereign, certainly.
This wonder-work that here is wrought,
Is of my father almighty.
These men both are hither brought,
Elijah and Moses, as you see,
And, for your sake, thus they are sought,
To tell you that his son is me.
Of this, both heaven and hell
Bear witness to this deed.
And you on earth shall tell
My name where there is need. 

Ah, beloved be ever, my lord Jesus,
That all this solemn sight did send,
That condescend to be seen thus,
So your great might we'd understand!
Here is a full fair dwelling for us,
A lovely place in which to land;
Ah, lord, let us no further fuss,
For we will make with heart and hand
A tabernacle unto thee,
Forthwith, if you'll abide;
Another shall to Moses be,
And to Elias the third.

Yes, surely, that were well to do,
But we ought not such things to plan.
They need but say, to have it soon,
If he such service should command.
He gives his men, both morn and noon,
Their harbour in heaven, not on land.
Therefore, we'd best abide this boon;
Who counsels otherwise is mad.

Such signs as he will send,
May mend all our mischief;
And where he wants to wend,
We'll go there, with his leave.

[Now clouds descend, the Father in a cloud]

You feeble in faith, folk afraid:
Of us together, be not in fear.
I am your God, that goodly made
Both Earth and air, with clouds clear.
This is my son, as you have said,
As he has shown by his signs here.
Of all his works, I am well-paid.
Therefore, of him take heed and hear:
Where he is, there am I;
He is mine, and I am his.
Who trusts in this, steadfastly,
Will bide in endless bliss.

Peter, peace be unto thee;
And also to you, James and John.
Rise up, and tell me what you see,
And no more let your wits be gone.

Ah, lord, what may this marvel be?
Where has that glorious gleam all gone?
We saw here plainly persons three;
And now our lord is left alone.
This marvel moves my mind,
And makes my flesh afraid.

That brightness left me blind,
So hard a blow it made.

Lord God, our maker almighty,
This matter must ever be meant:
We saw two bodies stand nearby,
Who said his father had them sent.

Then came a cloud in the sky;
On them were sunbeams in descent;
But all this now seems fantasy.
We don't know how away they went.

That cloud stunned us clean,
That came shining so clear.
Such a sight was never seen,
On any side around here.

No, but the noise hurt us still more,
That we heard here so hideously high.

Friends, be not afraid therefore,
And I'll tell you the reason why:
My father knew well that you were
Still feeble in faith, and that is why
He came to give witness everywhere,
And to say that his son am I.
And also in this stead,
As witness to the same,
A quick man, and a dead
Came to make clear my name.

Lord, why did you not let us see
Your father's face in his fairness?

Peter, you're asking above your degree.
That grace may not be granted, I guess.
In his godhead, so high is he,
As all your prophets say express,
That long in life he shall not be,
Who sees the godhead as it is.
Here, you've seen in sight,
Some points of mystery;
As much as any human might,
On earth, be suffered to see.

And therefore, now we'll go again,
To all our men, to mend their cheer.

From questions, our fellows will not refrain
On how we've fared, together here.

This vision, a secret must remain.
Permit no living man to hear
'Till the Son of Man has suffered pain,
And risen from dead; then tell it clear.
For all who believe this thing,
Of my father and me,
They shall have his blessing,
And mine; so must it be.

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