| The Welsh Wassail Tradition: The Mari Lwyd
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About The Ritual From:The Book of WassailTop click here
The Mari Lwyd Song, Traditional click
Roberts,The Mari Lwyd and its Origin, 1896 click
Mary Lwyd, Wirt Sikes, 1881 click
Mari Lwyd, Thomas Christopher Evans,1887 click
The Mari Lwyd: A Twelfth Night Custom, David Jones, 1888
Mari Lwyd, The Link to Wassail and Origins, --C. Lorwerth Peate (1943) click
The Three Merry Dancers of Wales, Lois Blake (1958) click
MARI LWYD. Mr. Thomas Young, click
The Story of the Mumbles Horse's Head (Mari Lwyd) click
CHRISTMAS TIMES….1859 click
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS.—1869 click
Ludus Mariae click
CAREG LWYD (Oct 21, 1874).click
South Wales Star -
Ludus Mariae Magdalenae in gaudio. click
South Wales Echo - Friday December 29, 1899 click here
Commentary on: “Re-imagining the Mari Lwyd”, Conrad Bladey, click here
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS.—1869 click
NO FEASTS ANII FUN. A.I). 1618. Pontypool Free Press - LOCAL FOLK LORE. MARY LWYD. —Pontypool Free Press - Saturday 23 December 1876 click here
Western Mail - Saturday 23 December 1882 click here
For the main Wassail Epicenter click
For the most wondrous:The Book of Wassail by Conrad J. Bladey: Explore the mysteries of Wassail in the largest and most inclusive work on the subject ever published . Hundreds of songs, recipes and literary references. Plan events, learn songs. Celebrate! Experience this important custom.Five Volumes: 1-Folklore, Isbn 9780983357353. 2-Literature and Drama, Isbn 9780983357360, 3-Music and Dance, Isbn 9780983357377, 4-Recipes, Bowls etc., Isbn 9780983357384, 5-Bibliography, Isbn 978098335739 1 click
|Image Above: The Linthicum, Md., U.S.A Mari
A figure of a horse is constructed from a variety of materials and paraded around with singers and musicians from door to door. The groups must ask permission to enter a house and battle dramaticlly with improvised poetry. They bring or request food drink and are rewarded with the same. Note that the complexity of the ritual varies extensively. At times the Mari simply joins a procession. The goal is to scare the residents of the household, the purpose of which is poorly understood. Are they being scared into hospitality, or, just awakened to celebrate?
(See related songs in the Wassail Song section)
consists of lengthy quotations from a work written by
the Rev. W. Roberts (Nefydd), a Baptist minister and
antiquary of some standing, which form part of a book
published in the year 1852. A large portion of the
original is polemic in character, this essay having
for its object the dissuasion of the inhabitants of
"Certain traditions, superstitions, amusements and forms will be maintained hereditarily, without even a knowledge of, or respect to, their origin, but merely is customary, by the lower order."— (Aev. P. Roberts' Popular Antiquities.)
Without endeavouring to state the different views concerning the origin of Mari Lwyd which have recently appeared in the press,* I shall proceed to give what seems to be the more probable origin of the custom, a custom as to the beginning of which history has little definite to say. Roberts himself does not state its origin.
It is our object directly to prove that Mari Lwyd is but a relic of the dramas which were at one time performed under the sanction of the Roman Catholic Church, and it would seem that many other Welsh customs might also be traced to the same age.
*"Seren Corner,""Monmouthshire Merlin,"&c., &c.
It is well known that many dramatical compositions were formerly acted, several of which have survived to quite recent times, such as the"Mysteries of Coventry and Chester,"Doubtless such interludes as these formerly existed in Wales, indeed the Rev. P. Roberts, the writer of the"Popular Antiquities of Wales,"goes so far as to suggest that the story of Uthr Pendragon's transmigration by Merlin * is a kind of interlude. He also infers that the feast given by Cadwgan ab Bleddyn, in the year 1107, at Christmastide (vide Carnhuanawc, pp. 614 and 531), and the feast of Gruffydd ab Rhys, at Ystrad Tywi, in 1135, were held with a similar object. But it is more reasonable to suppose that those were more like Eisteddfodau, or literary meetings, at which also physical recreation was indulged in.
In the 12th century the Welsh were famous as poets, minstrels, and for their study of nature, as may be seen from portions of the work of Giraldus Cambrensis.
In the writings of W. Hone, a comprehensive account is given of the mediaeval dramas. The reader may consult Hone's book on "Ancient Mysteries and Religious Shows,"published in 1822.
supposed that these dramas originated in a desire to
bring religion to the level of the masses, with a view
to their instruction rather than amusement. In
The ancient "Fathers" were strongly averse to the classic Greek plays, and condemned and excommunicated those who patronised them. Tertuilian says that"those who in their baptism renounce the devil, with his vanities, become apostates when they appear on the stage."It is supposed that the archbishop's object, in providing scriptural dramas, was to counteract the popular effects of the Greek plays of Sophocles, Euripides, and others. One of Gregory's dramas is still extant; it is a tragedy on "Christ's Passion," in which the Virgin, or the Blessed Mary (Mari Lwyd), form one of the characters. It is said that Gregory succeeded in stemming the influence of the Greek stage by providing comedies and tragedies, based on scriptural events for the people's diversion, and that these were performed in public.**
as a means of inculcating doctrines held by the
Church, as already stated, was introduced in
opposition to the pagan plays, and spread widely, and
continued in use from Gregory's time up to a few
centuries ago. Several customs still in vogue among us
may be relics of those times. As regards dramas of
this nature still extant, and which go under the name
of "Mysteries." The Mysteries of Coventry are forty in
number, and the Mysteries of
*Vide"Enderbie's Cainb. Triumphans,"p. 185, and "Roberts' Antiquities," p. 137.
**"Ribadeneita's Lives,"Vol. I., p. 333."Leclcre Lives,"Vol. VIII., p. 289.
in 1656,* says:"Before the destruction of
the monasteries, this city (Coventry), was famous for
its plays on Corpus Christi Day, which caused
multitudes of people to gather together from far and
near; the acting was done by the Grey Friars, who had
large and tall theatres on wheels, so as to move
hither and thither in the city for the convenience of
the onlookers. They consisted of Old and New Testament
histories, set in rhyming dialogue, as may be seen in
the old manuscript (Bibl. Cotton. Vesp. D. VIII.)
called Ludus Corpus Christi, or Ludus Coventriae. "We
find that there was a large influx of people to
I believe the "Mari Lwyd" originated in these mystery--plays, the word llwyd being often used in the sense of blessed, as may be seen from the following instances:—
fu'r saint, geraint gu,
—Rhys Gock Eryri.
er gwann, i'r mwyndir goed,
— William Lleyn.
chywyddau i Ddnw twyd
—Dafydd ap Gwilym.
"Rhad Duw a. Chynoran lwyd ar y da—The grace of God and the blessed; Cynoran on the cattle—was an ejaculation made use of in offering at the well of Cynoran, at Llysfaen, on behalf of deceased cattle."—("Cambrian Biography"sub. loc.,"Cynoran.".)
In the copy of the Cambrian Biography, owned by lolo Morganwg and Taliesin ab lolo, opposite the above quotation, a marginal note,
116. t"Ormerod's History of
written by one of the two, reads as follows—"Llwyd, blessed, hence Daw Iwyd, etc. "This will suffice, by way of illustrating the former meaning of the word, though it would be easy to multiply instances from the works of the Welsh bards to prove that it was then used. The works of the bards from the earliest times to the Reformation are full of apostrophies to the Virgin as "Mair."
which may seem connected with the Mari Lwyd, were
established, one was called Feast of Fools, and the
other Feast of the Ass, in the year 990, by
Theophylact, Patriarch of Constantinople.*
Beletus states that the Feast of Fools was held in
some places on New Year's Day, and in others on the
12th of January, while in some it was observed the
following week. These feasts were held in the most
amusing manner. In
Consequently, Gregory (Bishop of Neocaesarea, who died in 265) established holy days or feasts in memory of saints and martyrs, in lieu of the feasts of the pagans, in order to facilitate their conversion. The Christian feasts, therefore, were held instead of the pagan feasts, and grew like unto them, such as the observing of Christmas with joy and merriment, eating and drinking, and every kind of mirth and amusement, instead of the Bacchanalia and the Saturnalia, the first of May with flowers, instead of the pagan Floralia, and the feasts of the Virgin, John the Baptist, and several of the Apostles, instead of heathen institutions on the appearance of the sun in the different signs of the Zodiac, **(Some sections of the priesthood went so far in its observance of feasts of this kind in imitation of pagan practices, that Boniface is said to have "complained of certain German priests, who, though professing Christianity, sacrificed bulls and goats to heathen gods."
of Pope Gregory's letters to Milletus, the abbot, on
the eve of dispatching for
569. **"Turner's History of
possessed, should not be destroyed, but be sprinkled with holy water, and certain relics deposited in them. Also, inasmuch as the ancestors of the people sacrificed oxen, they be permitted to slay kine or oxen, and build huts of the branches of the trees that grew around the temples, on the day of the dedication of the latter, which were the birthdays of the martyrs and saints, whose relics the temples contained, and hold a comfortable religious feast"*
quotations illustrate the beginning of several feasts
and customs which are still, to some extent, in vogue,
but were once more so up to a recent period in the
Principality. We find the origin of our May--day
festivities in the pagan Floralia. It is from those we
have the floral decorations, the rosettes, the
ribands, and the summer dances of the North, the
bearing of the may--pole, the lifting of the
birch--bough in South Wales and in
The Boy Bishop was elected as were his two deacons. He was escorted to church, wearing a mitre, by a choir of boys, where he officiated at a sham service. Thence he and the deacons went from door to door to collect money—not to beg for it as charity, but to demand it as a right. The bishop was elected on December 6th, and held office until the 28th, or Innocents' Day. It would be too long a task to notice everything that took place on these occasions, but some discription is necessary by way of explanation. The feast and the boys were under the protection of St. Nicholas, by reason of the miracle attributed to the saint of bringing to life again the bodies of young boys who had been killed and hacked to pieces. This custom was observed in this country for about six hundred years, and such sanction was given to it by the church, that it was an honourable and legitimate feature of our religious life. Every respect was paid to the bishop as to a real bishop, when alive and at his funeral when dead. Sometimes beautiful effigies in marble were raised to the memories of these bishops, some of which are still extant.** This parody was prohibited
History of LnVan 1,"Vol. VIII., p. 94.
VIII., and again by
course of the year, there are three Feasts of the Ass,
especially in Gwent and Morganwg. One commonly
observed is Flowering Sunday, in memory of Christ
riding on an ass to Jerusalem.* In
observing this feast formerly it used to be the custom
to prepare a wooden ass, on which was placed an image.
This was then placed on a stage, which was moved about
on wheels, and decorated with branches and flowers.
The stage with its contents was then drawn towards the
church by the people, going in procession and carrying
branches in their hands. On arriving at the church
door they were met by the priest, who blessed the
branches. The branches were henceforth looked upon as
a protection against losses from tempests that year in
the case of those who carried them. Then the priest
bowed himself before the wooden ass, lay on his face
until another priest appeared touching him with a long
rod. On his rising up, two other priests fell down and
sang a chant in that posture. Then they would all rise
up, and took the stage with the ass to church, where
the ceremony was completed. Another Feast of the Ass
commemorates the ass of Balaam. That was held at
Christmastide. A third was in memory of the flight of
Joseph and Mary with the young child into
*"Brand," Vol. I., p. 107.
was the origin of what is now called Mari Lwyd. The above feasts
were recently held in other countries, and we read how
the Feast of the Ass was celebrated pretty much in the
above manner in
seem that Mari Lwyd contains
mixed features of the Feast of Balaam's Ass and the
Feast of the Flight into
note: amounts not legible in
--paide to the sprytt of God,
It may be the following refer to the play of the judgment:—
to vj white soules, .
Thus the"blakke soules"got more than the others.
I'em—to ij sprytts,
I'tem—payd ij wormes of conscience,
In 1573 the player's name is mentioned who represented two characters in the same drama:—
to Fawston for hanging Judas,
In 1578 we have:—
Pd. for a new hoke to hang Judas, .
A curious item this:—
the deville's cole.
the sollys cottys,
the demons garment.
Item—payd for mendyng Pilats hat, .
Payd for mendyng the wyiv.le,.
Payd for a new roppe for the wynd,
Payd for pare of angyllys wynges,
There are instances of these plays being performed as late as 1817 and 1822 in different places, but maybe the above quotations will suffice on this head. Though it became necessary to leave out the religious character of these plays in this country, yet the people would not let go the amusement they afforded, and they were turned into secular observances, as we have already seen.
institution Mari Lwyd has nowhere been kept in
matters in other districts in the Principality,Dyfedr
which contains the counties of
The wooden horse ceremony is performed in this manner:—Having discovered that conjugal infidelity exists in the neighbourhood, without waiting for a certain fixed season of the year, such as Christrnastide or May Day, to notify the fact, the intended disrespect is shown as soon as possible. A wooden horse is prepared, a number of people congregate together, bringing with them all the necessary instruments, such as old frying--pans, and tin vessels, horns to blow in, with everything calculated to make sufficient noise, so as to give publicity to the disgrace of the offenders. We seem to see the crowd now approaching the house of the guilty party, armed with all the implements above mentioned. The evil--doer has already seen them coming, who, feeling guilty and aware of the custom, needs no prophet to tell him the purport of this visit of the populace who have come to do him "honour." However, he is determined to bolt and secure the door, so that not a living soul can come in. But the friends are not to be thus defeated in their object. They make for the door, burst it open, and bring out the culprit, whom they set on the back of the wooden horse. Some person known for his wit and eloquence is appointed spokesman, whose duty it becomes to relate the sins of the fellow who sits on his wooden horse in a conspicuous place. Then the din commences, in one clamorous chorus, no matter whether grave or gay the character of the rattle and noise of the vessels and the horns, alt that is cared for is the quantity and not the quality of the hubbub. The tin vessels are beaten furiously and the blasts of the horns are terrible. The procession wends its way through the principal streets, and in order to give the discipline a religious finishing, the crowd make for the church, and turn three times round the sacred edifice. This turning round the church has ceased in some places, but was a common practice some forty years ago in administering this mode of punishment. But should the offender escape, or in some way elude his pursuers, the spokesman then would mount the wooden horse. Occasionally, also, the guilty parties were placed together on the back of the horse. This custom is in full swing up to now, at least in some neighbourhoods. We recently read an account of a similar event in Cardigan, and the matter in the end went to the law court. The case was reported in "Cronicl y Cymry." There still prevails in Pembrokeshire, and in certain localities in the adjoining counties, a custom which, doubtless, is related to Mari Lwyd, for all that one can make out. We refer to the custom locally known as "mynwenta" o r"penwenta." It is difficult to make out the meaning of the word in this relation, but the custom has so many features like Mari Lwyd that it is thought the two were originally identical. In country places farmers are so scattered that young folk are unable to meet each other except occasionally. But about the spring or beginning of May, when the farmer brings a cart--load or two of corn to be ground in the mill, it is customary to attend to the task the night through. Young people of both sexes are told, somewhat privately, that the "mynwent" or "penwent"of so--and--so is to be at the mill on such and such a night. Then a horse's head is prepared in a manner similar to that in use in acting Mari Lwyd, so that it can be made to open and bite. Dialogues and every kind of merriment follow, very much the same as in Mari Lwyd, as will be more fully explained again. The practice may have fallen into disuse now. My informant had himself been engaged in this kind of play some thirty years ago.
is also met wiih in those parts of
We now come to the Mari Lwyd institution, as performed in Gwent and Morganwg, as well as in some parts of Brecknockshire, &c.
The chief theatre of the custom is Monmouth and Glamorgan, and this name is used only in those parts. Proceed we to describe the play as acted in its greatest splendour by the Gwent folks themselves. As may be seen the Feasts of Balaam's Ass, and the flight of Joseph and Mary with the child to Egypt, with the dialogues spoken by the several characters in the different religious dramas performed during the festive seasons, form features of the Mari Lwyd play. Before Christmas comes round the young folk look out for the head of a horse, or a mare, or that of a he ass or she ass. It is worthy of notice that the head employed some time ago, was invariably that of an ass, but now it is of no importance whether it be that of an ass or a horse, both being indiscriminately used. Having found a head, a wooden arrangement is provided in lieu of a jaw, which has a spring attached so as to enable it to open and shut, at the command of the manipulator, to bite people, to eat grass, to neigh and do other things besides speaking. The head is decorated with ribands of various colours, and feathers are placed on the few parts remaining undecorated. The head is provided with a mane, and a pole is driven through instead of a backbone. A canvas cover is placed over the and also over the man who steers the apparatus, which is now called a"Mari Lwyd,"and is the principal actor in the play. The frame--work is made to resemble a real head as closely as possible, and now the remaining characters are appointed. These sometimes are four singers, with, perhaps, two to represent Punch and Judy. Two of the characters are called sergeant and corporal. But these are not invariably the same. Sometimes one of these plays a fiddle and does the work of merryman. Thus the number, the work, or the costume of the actors is not uniformly the same. The costumes of all concerned, if possible, are clean and tidy, and gaily dressed with ribbons, and sometimes broad and pretty sashes are worn round the waist. The company start on Christmas eve, and are engaged in the play for a fortnight, three weeks, or even a month.
The play is conducted in the following fashion:—Having arrived, say, at some respectable house, the six men—Mari Lwyd, the leader, the sergeant, the merryman, and Punch and Judy—now start singing short verses craving for admittance. The husband, or someone else inside acquainted with the play responds, and refuses entrance. Should the person inside show greater aptitude than the Mari Lwyd without, or the person versifying, then it is legitimate to keep the party out of the house altogether. But usually, after a lengthy dialogue, they are permitted to go in. Instances are known of such dialogues being conducted for an hour or more. The following is a specimen of the dialogue in use:—
* For the literal translation of these verses we are indebted to Mr. T. C. Evans (Cadrawd), in whose"History of Llangynwyd,"a variant can be seen at p. 161.
Mari Lwyd (Loq.)
* For the literal translation of these verses we are indebted to Mr. T. C. Evans (Cadrawd), in whose"History of Llangynwyd,"a variant can be seen at p. 161.
The Response (inside.)
Then Mari Lwyd advances, to leader taking hold of the rein, and before the house is entered, some verses like the following are sung:----
Aftewards Mari Lwyd goes in, first to the women, with puffing, snorting, neighing, pretending shying, and showing various equine antics, besides conversing. The merryman with his fiddle follows, performing every funny trick he can. They then sing the verse----
Then Judy comes, carrying a broom to sweep the hearth. After her walks Punch, and throws Judy down. A scuffle ensues. Punch afterwards kisses the women, and Judy pursues him with her broom. Then, having sung, danced, and played sufficiently long, all sit at the table, and are treated to meat and drink. Having acted the whole drama they sing:----
* In these verses singular and plural are mixed up; this is accounted for by the
way the answers were given: when the Wassailers sung together the introductory
verses they sung"we,"but when it came to"fioncio"—making rhymes at the
time in answer to each other—it was left to one, and he, of course, would say,"I, rose from my bed,"&c.
The description of the action of this improvised drama, and the opening verses given above, in which many expressions witness to an ancient origin, have led the writer to connect the custom with the festivals fully illustrated in the early portion of the essay, and thus Mari Lwyd (Blessed Mary) reminds us of the flight to Egypt and the equine or asinine discourse of the Feast of Balaam's Ass, while the dialogues and characters recall Coventry with its mysteries and other dramatic representations.
Bibliography, &c.—In addition to the
information given by this article, further notices may
be found in a paper by the late Mr. David Jones, of
Wallingford, in"Archseologia Cambrensis"for 1888, p.
389; in"British Goblins,"by the Hon. Wirt Sikes, and
in"The History of Llangynwyd Parish,"by Mr. T. C.
1887, p. 161 (all in the Cardifl Free Library.) At the
The Rev. W., (Neeydd), "The Mari Lwyd and its Origin",
Trans.: W. Eilir Evans, In:
Reports and Transactions-- Cardiff Naturalists'
Society, Vol. 28--34, 1896 p. 80.
Night customs, none is more celebrated than that
called Mary Lwyd. It prevails in various parts of
The penglog (a skull, a noddle) is a similar custom peculiar to Aberconwy (Conway) in Carnarvonshire. In this case the horse's skull is an attention particularly bestowed upon prudes.
Mary Lwyd may mean Pale Mary, or Wan Mary, or Hoary Mary, but the presumption is that it means in this case Blessed Mary, and that the custom is of papal origin. There is, however, a tradition which links the custom with enchantment, in connection with a warlike princess, reputed to have flourished in Gwent and Morganwg in the early ages, and who is to be seen to this day, mounted on her steed, on a rock in Rhymney Dingle.1
--Sikes, Wirt, British Goblins: Welsh Folk Lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions, 1881, p. 256.
Wassailing.—This again was a new year's custom, and was the occasion of most elaborate preparations of the "Mari Lwyd" (Holy Mary), the actors in which were the following:—First and foremost was the head of a horse fantastically decked with ribbons, and draped with white. Beneath the drapery was concealed the bearer of this "Mari," whose duty it was to make the necessary genuflexions and bows outside the doors of those who were visited, while "Punch and Judy"—also dressed in character—accompanied him, as well as a party of men, chiefly selected for being ready rhymesters, witty companions, and for having a most exemplary thirst. The party, thus composed, halted at the doors where they believed they would be welcomed, and where good cheer was usually bestowed. At their coming the doors would always be found closed and barred.
The whole party then began (to a tune that seems to be somewhat doleful, although it must be owned melodious,) to chant some introductory verses,—craving, first of all, for permission to sing; then recounting the perils and trials of the journey thither; and most feelingly concluding with an appeal to those within, to be liberal with the cake, and especially to tap the barrel, and distribute its contents freely. To this, those inside the house would reply—pleading that they had no cake, no beer, no anything; upon which those outside would again most pathetically entreat the mercies of the season.
Upon this would commence a conflict of wits,—those inside proposing in rhyme, sung to the tune aforesaid, riddles, or questions to those outside, and being answered by them in rhyme also. Most important it was that each party should be ready in their wit, adepts at rhyming, and able to mix a little sarcasm with the dialogue which they conducted. This conflict of wits was carried on till one party was defeated. If those outside were the conquerors, they were admitted to the house, the wassailing bowl was produced, and the feast was commenced. One of the ancient wassailing bowls is still preserved at the Vicarage. It has a capacity of about a gallon and a half; it has eighteen handles, but some are now knocked off. Each of the company took hold of a handle, and in turns drank—probably enunciating some verse, or toast, previously.
The following are a few specimens of the introductory rhymes, sung in the Parish:—
Wei, dyma ni'n dwad,
I ofyn cawn genad—i ganu.
Os na chawn ni genad,
Rhowch glywed ar ganiad,
Pa fodd mae'r 'madawiad—nos heno.
dorson era crimpa',
Os aethoch rhy gynar,
I'r gwely'n ddialgar,
O codwch i'n bawddgar—roesawu.
A thapwch y firil,
Gollyngwch yn rhigl,
A rbenwch e'n gynil—y gwyliau.
The challenge from without:—
Os oes yna ddynion,
All blethu englynion,
O rhowch i'n atebion—nos beno.
The following was sung, when the "Mari Lwyd" was introduced to the company inside --
dyma'r hoeous feinwen,
Before leaving, if the Wassailing Company had been hospitably entertained, they sang the following verses:—
rhoddo i'ch lawenydd,
Christopher, History of Llangynwyd Parish, 1887,
The rapid decay and disappearance of old customs which the latter half of the nineteenth century has witnessed is a matter of such common observation that it has become the merest of truisms to speak of it. Many old observances which this century had inherited from a long line of predecessors have now ceased to be found even as "survivals"; if met with at all, I apprehend it would be only as "revivals", produced as something strange and rare for the amusement of the curious. Thus it has come to pass that the special local observances and rural pageantry which in Glamorganshire, on and about Twelfth Night, wound up the festivities of Christmastide, are no longer to be met with as part of the life of the people "Canu Gwassaila" and the going about with a "Mari Lwyd"—customs common enough in the forties and fifties of the century—must now, I suspect, be classed with the things of the past. Both customs — for they certainly were each of distinct origin—were known by the one name of"Canu Gwassaila", or even more commonly,"Singing Gwassaila."But, while the"Gwassailwyr"proper needed not to trouble themselves with providing a "Mari Lwyd" , those who went about with a"Mari Lwyd"were perforce obliged to “Sing Gwassaila." Singing was part of the performance, and tradition provided them with no other song. Of the two names, the first is self--explanatory: it is the"Singing of Wassail"; the second, in its application at least, is not very clear. The word "Lwyd" means "Blessed." How the name "Blessed Mary" has come to be applied to the skeleton of a horse's head, decked with ribbons and other finery, as will be presently described, is a question easier put than answered. An attempt, however, will be made to explain its application; and the conclusions arrived at may or may not be acceptable. What follows on this subject will be taken chiefly from a contribution of my own to a Glamorganshire newspaper in 1878—one of a series of papers on local folk--lore—in which the Christmas and Twelfth Night customs of Glamorganshire were dealt with at length. To the theory I then advanced I still adhere, and I fancy it has since been adopted elsewhere.
By the kindness of a friend at Llangynwyd there was exhibited at the late meeting of the Association at Cowbridge a very fair representation of a "Man Lwyd." It was not (as it turned out) a veritable "Mari" which had gone the ronnd of the parish, but had, in the previous winter, been specially got np to aid in the illustration of a lecture on Glamorganshire Customs delivered at Maesteg, and some of the details it had not been thought necessary to reproduce for the occasion.1 It was enough like in appearance to answer the purposes required.
The "Gwassailwyr" pure and simple were a body of rustics who enlivened the season, both for themselves and their neighbours, by going about from house to house singing the Wassail song. It was sufficient for the occasion if they blackened their faces, wore rough masks, or disguised themselves in any manner, and the rougher the disguise the better. One of them should be in woman's clothes, to play the part of "Bessy." Bossy carried a besom; the others had staves, with which, when the in--door fun began, they belaboured each other's sides and backs in a manner which would have been painful to behold if one had not known that each and all were pretty well protected by straw under their puffed--out garments. At the door of the house they wassailed they began with the following song, to a traditional tune, which I doubt not is still well known:—
"0 dyma ni'n dywed "0 tapwch y faril
Gym'docon dinuwad, Gyllynwch yn rhigill, &c.
I ofun cewn genad, &c Nos heno..
II. "A'r deishan fr/as felus
"Os na chewn ni genad A phob sort o spisus
Ni drewn ar y nailldu, &c. A gatwyd yn garcis, &c.
Nos heno. Y gwyla.
"Cei'r g/wyla mynd heibo Ond ni sydd yn cofio, &c.
Heb neb dod i'ch cofio? Nos heno!"
These were verses of obligation: when these had been sung then, possibly, would come the tug of war. It was a recognised part of
"Mari" which was
exhibited has since been presented to the Museum at
the custom that if any one inside the house replied, those outside must answer, and so a musical dialogue would be kept up until one or the other of the two parties would be unable to respond in impromptu verse. When at last they obtained admission, it would be well if ample space had been cleared for them in the kitchen or other suitable apartment wherein they might display their antics. A good deal of "horse--play"would be indulged in, for the licence extended to the season by prescription would be availed of to the utmost. They should by right have with them a wassail--bowl, or that which is, I believe, its proper Glamorganshire substitute, namely, a feol made of Ewenny ware; but the "survival" of these articles within the time to which my own memory extends was a common bucket, or even, it might be, a tin can! Whichever vessel it may have been, it would be passed round, or at least you would be offered a mugful of drink out of it, while it was of course expected that the master of the house would do his part in keeping it pretty well replenished from the"barrel", which in song they had already asked should be "tapped" for them. Finally, the jingling of coins in a battered tin vessel, which did duty for a money--box, would be heard, and when this appeal had been responded to the Wassailers would take their departure, singing ere they went a valedictory stanza outside the house door. The words of this closing verse I do not remember.
For the "Mari Lwyd" much greater preparation was required. Indeed, it took the long evenings of several weeks beforehand to get everything necessary for the success of the pageant, and put all in apple--pie order. Why, the "Mari Lwyd'' was the pride and admiration of the whole village! Everybody almost would have had a hand in the adorning of it and in decking out these "Gwassailwyr"—mothers, sisters, sweethearts—all! The lads who formed the party came dressed not only in their"Sunday best", but in great bravery of ribbons of many colours (cheerfully lent them by the women) superadded to coats and hats. If ribbons were not abundant enough, the want would be supplied by a sort of frilling of coloured paper. The "Mari Lwyd" itself, however, has not been described. The basis of the structure was, as has already been stated, the skeleton of a horse's head. This was padded on the outer side, where the flesh had been, and then covered into shape with white calico. The jaw was so fastened as to move up and down easily, and could he--made to "bite" at the will of the man who played the part of"horse." Eyes were made out of the bottoms of broken beer--bottles carefully chipped round, while the ears would be of felt, leather, or any suitable material. The whole would be decked with"ribbons so plenty"that the"Mari"was indeed a sight to see! There was also some arrangement to give the appearance of a neck, and over this from the head there depended a long and large sheet or loose gown of calico, which served to conceal the young man who gave life to the "Mari." A smart "groom" had charge of the"animal", which he led by a long rein of wide scarlet braid. The number of the party would be regulated by liking or convenience, but they were usually about six. They also sang at each door they went to about three verses of the Wassail song already given; upon the fourth they changed from Welsh to English, thus:
got a fine Mary,
This is how it would be managed in the bilingual district comprising the Vale of Glamorgan. In the northern parts of the county the singers continued in Welsh, thus:
Mari Lwyd yma
After this intimation it was not usual to challenge them to a musical parley from the inside; they were generally admitted at once. They brought with them no "survival“ of the wassail bowl, such as we have seen the"Gwassailwyr"proper had, as an inseparable adjunct to their perambulations, and their proceedings indoors were of a more orderly character than what has been already described. Still there was a good deal of romping. If there were any young women about, they came in for the not very welcome attentions of "Mari" , who ran after them, pretending to bite, and so forth. It was all meant in harmless fun, and the whole proceedings generally promoted a good deal of it. They would have beer given to them, and, possibly, a piece of cake each. They, too, had a money--box. On leaving, the strain sung by this party, at the door, was—
bless the ruler of this house,
And God send you a happy new year."
There seems to have been, eighty or one hundred years ago, a sort of unwritten law that the "Mari Lwyd" of one parish should not intrude within the bounds of another. If this were done the intruding party did so at its peril; for if it were so met by a "Mari Lwyd" party of the parish intruded upon there would be a battle royal between them, and each would do its best to destroy the "Mari Lwyd" of the other.
I think, be at once conceded that in this rustic
pageant of the "Mari Lwyd", or
the"Blessed Mary", we have had amongst us the survival
of part of some ancient popular rite or ceremony. Is
it not the last remnant of the once highly popular
"Festival of the Ass"? This festival was held on the
14th January, and commemorated the flight of the Holy
Objection may perhaps be taken to the solution here offered on the ground that the day of the celebration of the"Festival of the Ass"did not coincide with the "Festival of the Epiphany"; that the two observances were distinct, and were never likely to be commingled. Whether there is a lack of likelihood in this or not, I have, I think, shown pretty plainly that the Twelfth Night customs of Glamorganshire were of a twofold character, certainly of a twofold origin, and were partially, at least, commingled. We must remember that in pre--Reformation times the festivities of the Christmas season were kept up until Candlemas. After the Reformation the natural tendency of the times was to shorten them. Herrick, however, gives us to understand that in his time the Christmas decorations were kept up until the Feast of the Purification. The Puritans, as we know, did what they could to abolish Christmas revellings altogether. They were powerless to do this, from the hold which these had upon the minds and affections of the people. But they accomplished two things: (1) they shortened the duration of the period of licence and buffoonery; and, as a natural consequence, they (2) displaced and threw into some confusion the several popular observances which had served to mark the prolonged course of the festival. The processon of the “Blessed Mary” was of too popular a character to be thrown aside altogether; rather, therefore, than lose it, the day of its celebration was thrown back by popular consent ten days in the calendar, and was held on (and after) the 6th of January, instead of the l3th, and was allowed to share the honours of Twelfth Night rejoicings with the "Gwassaila."
itself much might be said, both as to the mode in
which the custom was observed in
I ought, perhaps, to add that since the meeting at Cowbrulge I have been shown a Welsh essay upon the"Mari Lwyd", but was not able to do more than glance at it. I regret to say that I did not note, and do not remember, the author's name. It would seem to have been published about 1882. The wassailing song contained several more verses than I have given; but the greater part were quite new to me, and I venture to think would not be generally known in Glamorganshire.
--Jones, David, "The Mari Lwyd: a Twelfth Night Custom", Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1888, p.389.
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Mari Lwyd, The Link to Wassail and Origins, --C. Lorwerth Peate (1943)
1. Peate describes wassailing outside of Glamorganshire. Peate equates wassailing with Mari Lwyd house visiting customs.
2. In Carmarthenshire, Mari Lwyd is called “Y Warsel (The Wassail).”
3. In Anglesey the custom “cau yn y drws” or “singing at the door” is similar to the Mari Lwyd. Young men went from house to house. They sang carols and asked to come in. Once they were inside they were given beer and cakes. This was also done in Cardiganshire.
4. Peate notes that according to Edward Jones, “canu dan bared” or “Singing under a wall” is "common in Merionethshire on Christmas Eve. If the people under the pared have the superiority in singing and wit, they claim admittance into the house, and a right to participate in the fare of it.”
5. J.H. Davies correctly assumes that “Mari Lwyd” was just a south Wales variation of a country-wide custom.
6. In regard to “Welsh Wassail-songs” or “Canu Gwirod:”
They are linked to “Gwyl Fair” or “the Festival of Mary” or “Gwyly Nadolig” or “Christmas.” Peate cites Parry Williams who had quoted a wassail song which began:
Arfer y nydolig yw
rhodio/r/ nos Ile bytho gwiw
I edrych ple bo diod dda…
(“the Christmas custom is to roam at night where it is meet to look for a place where there is good drink…”)
7. The festival of Mary described above was “Gwyl Fair y Canhwyllau” or the “Festival of Mary of the candles, the Purification of Mary, the 3rd of February.” This was also linked to Christmas. This association led to the titling of a wassail song: “Can Gwirod neu Wyl Fair” or “Drinking Song or the Festival of Mary” which was most likely written by Gruffydd Phylip, a poet of the early seventeenth-century. This song was published by Mr. W. Ll. Davies, librarian of the National Library of Wales in his study of the poet’s work. “It was a custom to bear drink at the Festival of the Virgin Mary at the beginning of spring.
Every happy man loves to remember with joy
Mary the daughter of Anna…
To her was born the son of the Just God on Christmas Day, revered festival.
The Festival of Mary too is a delightful festival.
Mary went meetly to the church,
with virgins from the locality,
Their candles all alight,
The purification of Mary, all with their drink meeting her.
If God the Father gives us permission,
we shall drink to the dregs.
We shall drink the Health of the generous
without any mention of the misers…”
Peate notes that the poem demonstrates that:
a. The “bearing of drink” was linked to the “beginning of Spring.”
b. The custom had something to do with remembering Mary.
c. Christmas was a “revered festival” associated with the custom.
d. The festival referred to is only that of the Festival of the Candles and the Purification as is described.
8. Peate notes that the term “wassail” with its meaning “be whole, be healthy” is inherently linked to the act of purification. This celebration occurred from December 25 to February 3.
9. Peate notes that many songs begin with:
“Llyma wirod Mair yn dyfod
er mwyn Mair wen byddwch lawen
("Here comes Mary's drink, for the sake of holy Mary, be joyful"”.)
10. It is noted that the Mari Lwyd verses begin with an introduction
“ Wel dyma ni'n dwad (Here we come) and a reference to the "joyful" state in Mari lwyd lawen (joyful Mari Lwyd.)
11. A wassail song. “carol gwirod” cited by W. Ll. Davies. starts with this phrase. Because Wales tended to be “nonconformist.” medieval songs to Mary fell into disfavour. Because of this some of the controversial references were removed while non-controversial references remained.
12. Peate notes that “Mairi” is the Welsh equivalent of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The word “Mari” meaning the colloquial form of the personal name Mary at one time was used to refer to the Holy Mother (in the “Black Book of Carmarthen” as well as in the poems of the bards and early Welsh princes). It is found as well as “Mair” in wassail songs such as:
Y glan angel, hwn oedd Gabriel,
kyfawn wy ti o ras, Mari.
(the fair angel, this was Gabriel, greeted her: thou art full of grace, Mary.)
13. Peate notes that Parry-Williams suggested that the wassail songs are both “the development and the deterioration of a long--established custom. At first there is the “pre-Christian” custom of initiation of the spring. This was then associated with Christian festivals held during the late winter and the festivals of Mary and her son which occurred in the early spring. This is reflected in the opening stanza of the song above:
Roedd yn ddefod mynd a gwirod
Gwyl fair forwyn ddechre gwanwyn.
(It was a custom to bear drink at the Feast of the Virgin Mary at the beginning of spring.")
14. Peate proposes the following evolution: “The pre--Christian players emphasized the beginning of Spring; the Christian singers laid importance on the Feast of the Virgin Mary. In time Mary's drink lost its former significance and connoted only feasting, drinking and play--acting. The songs lost their medieval religious references and became catalogues of the food, drink and money which the players sought.”
C., "Mari Lwyd: A suggested Explanation", In:
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1. Mrs. Lois Blake, President of the Welsh Folk Dance Society, writes:
“Mrs. Lowe's reference to the "three merry dancers of Wales"(JEFDSS, 1957, p. 80) is surprising. The much quoted account in the Gentleman's Magazine, to which she refers, reads: "The merry dancers---usually three persons. Frequent, but no universal accompaniment of this merry dance, are the conspicuous but grotesque figures of "Punch and Judy."
2. "Merry Dancers," or Punch and Judy, processed through Glamorganshire teaming up with wassailers to gain entrance to houses where they otherwise would not be welcome.
3. A report in Archeologia Cambrensis, 1888, describes “two parties of Gwassailwyr (Wassailers.) The Gwassailwyr proper sang a Wassail song, carried a wassail bowl, and were roughly disguised with blackened faces. They carried staves with which they beat each other,” "being well padded with straw under their puffed out garments." Punch and Judy often cam with them. They sang verses of the Wassail song, outside, sometimes having a musical contest. If those inside could not respond then the , Gwassailwyr were admitted.
4. Gwassailwyr also had Mari Lwyd men. They were dressed “in their best, but profusely decorated with ribbons.” The Mari was a horse's skull, mounted on a pole. It was carried by a man, “covered in a white cloth, was also decorated, being the pride of the village.” The same Wassail song was sung but with an additional verse:----
"We've got a fine Mari, She's dressed very pretty,
With ribbons so plenty, This Christmas."
5. In South West Glamorgan the Mari men were let right in without rhyming and there were no Punch and Judy.
6. Mrs. Thomas of Nantgarw (N.E. Glamorgan) remembered observing the Mari Lwyd, often with the Punch and Judy. “Punch carried a long poker, with which he tapped the ground while singing went on. Judy, the tallest man in the party, carried a broom and swept the ground, the door, the windows and any person who was incautious enough to come near. Only a woman with a baby in her arms would be safe from the brushing. If the inmates heard Punch, with his poker, outside, a rhyming contest was sure to ensue; and the rhymester inside would be careful to exact a promise that he would not rake out the fire.” When the Mari Lwyd men go in the horse leader would drop the reins and do a step dance with Punch and Judy. The Mari would champ her jaws while the rest of the group kept singing. The rhyming contest was to makes sure the Mari behaved but also to required the Punch and Judy to refrain from their antics.
Merry Dancers of Wales" remain elusive; unless we
identify them with the Mari men or the Mari Lwyd and
her merry men.”
"The Three Merry Dancers of
may not have leave,
gone to bed too early
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MARI LWYD. Mr. Thomas Young
Monmouthshire Merlin - Saturday December 31, 1864
MARI LWYD. Mr. Thomas Young, of the New Inn, Rlica(?) sends us the following as explanatory of the origin of the practice of exhibiting the figure of a decorated horse's head at Christmas time, termed in the Welsh language y Mari Lwyd.
” I now wish to lay before the readers of your valuable paper a few particulars on the, subject, which I have gleaned from ancient history and tradition. In the latter part of the 15th century, and near Christmas time, the town of Caerleon, in the county of Monmouth was in danger of being besieged; the offending party were in ambush in two neighbouring woods, Lady hill and St. Julian's. A strong party for the defense were stationed in the castle at the north-west end of the then wooden bridge spanning the river Usk. A sergeant with nine men were stationed in the village on the south-east side of the river, in order to watch the movements of the enemy. Late in the evening, two days before Christmas, the lookout party saw a personage in female attire, mounted on a grey steed, slowly descending the hill leading to the bridge, and apparently taking a strict survey. It being a very unseasonable hour for any lady of the neighbourhood to be coming that way they at once suspected the personage to be a spy, and lay concealed until the object of their suspicion had passed without seeing them. On coming to the bridge the steed made a momentary stand, then slowly paced forward upon the bridge; when about the center the sergeant with his nine men ran upon the bridge and blew a signal horn immediately the norh-west end of the bridge and road were blockaded with armed men, on which sight the intruder turned the steed, and tempted to force a way back through the minor party, One of the party seized the rein of the bridle the steed instantly became restive until another succeeded in striking the animal on the forehead with the pole of a battle axe, and felled it on the bridge. No sooner was the steed down than the rider placed his hands on. the rail of the bridge, and sprung over it into the tide, which just then was returning from its flow.
A passing cloud obstructing the light of the moon at the time they could not see whether their lost victim was bourn away with the tide or a swam to land, but most probably the latter, as early the following morning the enemy evacuated the wood., and did not attempt the besieged The party not having captured the rider, cut off the head of the steed, tied it upon a pole, and exhibited the same through the streets, receiving gifts and applause for their heroic actions. After exhibiting the head for several days, they attempted to embalm it for an annual exhibition, but not being skilled in be art of embalming, it proved a failure. During the hot. nights of summer the head became disfigured and in a putrefying state near the year's end all putrefying substances were cleansed from the bones, and the skeleton fixed upon a short pole and covered with grey cloth, attaching thereto artificial ears of leather and eyes of glass the bridle, being decorated with ribbons, was
Placed thereon- A sheet was also attached to the back part of the head with a small opening in front, under which went a man to bear the figure; another stood behind bearing the reins of the bridle as- a guide. In this they sallied into the street, followed oy the rest of the party. On coming to the door of any respectable dwelling they sang in the Welsh language, naming what they were, their number, and asking admittance.
Wel dyma ni' dwad. gyfeillion diniwed
T'eh cegin nei i'ch parlwa
Na i eich neuadd os cewn ddod
Ni din i fod ond deg wn, &c., &c
On being admitted the horse figure and guide first entered and surveyed all within. The rest of the party would then rush in, on which the figure would pretend to be restive, bite or run over any that came in its way, till one would seize the rein of the bridle, and another strike the figure on the forehead with a small wooden axe provided for the purpose. The figure would then fall prostrate upon the floor, the leader disappears. This ended the first part of the performance. The concealed would then come from under the sheet, fold it up, and lay the head aside the disappeared re-enter; one of. the party would then produce a violin and play a hornpipe: and the party, with any who choosed to join them, go through a country dance. This concluded the performance. Having received what gift, the inmates choosed to present them with, they returned to the door, and sung a departing song of praise, thanksgiving, and long life to the inmates,
Farwelwch wir bonddigion
Ni gawsom roesaw ddigon, &c., &c.
-then left for the next station.
In the following year several parties procured skeletons of horses' heads, which they decorated in like manner, and exhibited in all the towns, villages, and respectable dwellings for many miles round—the practice of which has more or less been kept up to the present day. The foregoing account gives the origin of the Mari Lwyd.
Merthyr Telegraph, and General Advertiser for the Iron Districts of South Wales -
... Then, among
the final incidents, we have the "Mari Lwyd," a
procession, not of "stalwart men and chiefs of
fame," but beer loving worthies, who, carrying a
faint resemblance to a horse's head, go and parley
at public-house doors, displaying at times
considerable wit in their efforts to gain
admittance. When the landlord is not an adept, one
of the band enters, and, closing the door, submits
the others to a severe cross-examination, "replies
them with curious questions, as to their business,
etc,, till, being defeated, which always happens,
the door is opened, and in "rush the worthies, to
demand and obtain a liberal allowance of beer
gratis, gratis. "Mari Lwyd," or "Blessed Mary," is
believed to be a remnant of papist times; but it
should be the head of an ass, not a' horae, as the
Flight to Egypt," 0f 'Mary, Joseph and Christ is
intended to be symbolized. ts every man to do his
SECHS ALTDEUTSCHE MYSTERIEN
NACH EINER HANDSCHRIFT DES XV. JAHRHUNDERTS
HERAUSGEGEBEN UND ERLÄUTERT
m KARL FEED. KUMMEE.
К. K. I10F- UNI) UNIVERSITÄTS-BUCH
Prncipit ludus Marie Magdalene in gaudio.a)
Ludus Mariae Magdalenae in gaudio.
Proclamator v. 1— 25,
Lucifer und sechs Teufel 26 —151,
Die neun Seelen des Schneiders 152—167,
Wirtes 202 — 207,
Schülers 208 — 227,
der Buhlerin 228 — 243,
des Schreibers 244—265,
des zweiten Schülers 266 — 295.
Die Teufel gehn zu Magdalena 296 - 309,
Gesang der Engel 310—313,
Magdalena singt, Chor der Teufel 314— 350.
a) Magdalena und die Magd 351—369,
der Buhler und die Kupplerin 370 — 443,
b) der Buhler und Magdalena 444 — 464,
c) Magdalena und Martha 465 — 484,
a') Magdalena und die Magd 485 — 509,
b'J der Buhler und Magdalena 510 — 519,
c') Magdalena und Martha 520 — 539.
b") Magdalena's und des Buhlers Wettgesang 540 — 623,
c") Martha warnt zum drittenmal 624 — 627,
b'") der Buhl er wird abgewiesen 628—657.
Der Buhler, sein Diener und die Kupplerin 658 — 669.
Martha bekehrt die Magdalena 670—707,
Christus verzeiht der Magdalena 708 —713.
Primo angelí cantaiit: Silete!
Deinde proclamai or ludi precurrens dicit rikmum:
Hôrt, îr herren all sampt,
als euch got hat her gesaut!
welt îr sagen hôren,
so soit îr uns nicht wetorn;
5 tut zu den mund und auf den leip
îr jungen und ir alten weip,
îr warm und îr ehalten!
an veisten sol niemant verzagen,
durch red wîrt manig man erslagen;
10 da von sweigt an diser frist,
wann in der null pôs hárphen ist,
und lñsent unserm reimen zü —
di sind hubsch als ein chü —
und uneern hubschen warten,
15 die reiment sich chaum an dem dritten chrautgarten.
nu merkeht an tinser große zîr,
es reimt sich umb uns als ein altes panzîr.
zu chlughait chñn wîr unmaß vil,
als ein chue zu federspil.
20 wer dar über unser spott,
es sei Hainreich oder Ott,
6 f.) Vielleicht: ir alten und ir jungen weip, ir warm und ir ehalten,
ir jungen und ir alten! Vgl. III, 64 f. paide gross und chlain, chlain
a) Zur Aufschrift vgl. S. 105 Maria in gaudio und v. 376 Maria in
frauden. — 11 Vgl. M. Haupt z. Neidhart 69, 38.
96 IV, 22 — 51.
dem wünsch ich, das er sich ervall
als ein veder ab einem stall.
da von sñllt îr still dagen,
25 das euch icht werd ein plater an dem chragen.
Tune Lucifer sedens super sedem vocans diabulos:
Nu wol her auz hellen,
lieben mein gesellen,
nü wol her all mein genaßen,
di mit mîr von himel sein gestoßen!
30 nü sagt mîr allgeleich,
mit weu chñnt îr do dienen meinem reich?
Primus demon (licit:
Herr, ich haiß Sathanas,
der ie der pest was.
du mâchst gern merkchen,
35 wie ich dein er chan sterkchen:
ich chan mit hochfart und mit fras
die lâut machen also las,
das si dein aigen müßen sein;
nü hôr, lieber herr mein:
40 di phaffen zu der geitichait,
di frau zu der eitelhait,
di Juden zu gesüch,
di armen zu dem fluch —
so pin ich auch der pot,
45 der mit haimleichen rat
[der] Adam und Evam hat wetrogen,
und hab seu zu der hell gezogen.
siech da mit dien ich dîr,
mit we wild du lanen mîr?
50 Hab dankch, lieber Sathanas,
der mîr ie der pest was!
22) wusch. — 23) eimê.
26 f. = Haupt's 0. Sp. 36 f. vgl. Innsbr. Auferst. 271 f. Redent. 0. Sp.
373 f. Hess. "Wein. Sp. 718 f. Hall. Pass. (Öst. Revue 1866, I. H. S. 30). Alsf.
P. Sp. 133 f. Kunz. Fr. Sp. v. 111 (Bauer). — 28 f. = Alsf. P. Sp. 159 f.
Künz. Fr. Sp. v. 203 f. (Bauer) u. ö. — 32 f. Vgl. Haupt's 0. Sp. 64 f. Wien.
0. Sp. 304, 17. Hall. Pass. 97, 2 (überall der ie wider got was). — 42 Vgl.
Sterz. 0. Sp. 164, 18. — 50 = Haupt's 0. Sp. 74.
IV, 52-83. 97
ein feurein chron,
di gib ich dîr ze Ion.
nü nim der teufel mer mit dîr
55 und pring di sel all mîr,
so wil ich seu verslikchen
in meinem ars dikchen.
Seenndus demon dicit:
Herr, ich haiß Astaroth,
ein fraisleich teufl wider got.
60 es sei der sneider mit der ellen,
oder der weber mit dem gestellen,
oder der fleischhakcher mit der parten,
oder der scherer mit der Charten —
ich wil dîr sagen das end:
65 wo ich mich hin wend,
so schaff ichs nach dem willen dein.
siech herr, das ist der dînst mein.
Lucifer vocat tercium demonem et dicit:
wie leist du so still,
70 wo piet du so lange?
du nrîist werden erhangen.
Waffen, herr waffen,
wi übel han ich das verslaffen!
ich het ein fraun || gar betrogen, 12 Ъ.
75 das ich sei in di hell het schîr gezogen;
di ist mîr nü entrunnen
und ist warden zu einer nunnen.
das si uns nit warden ist,
des mus ich in di hell zu diser i'rist.
Qnartus demon dicit:
80 Herr, ich haiß Rosenchranz,
zu frawen spring ich an den tanz,
ich wehig seu vil snell,
ob si mîr icht gevell;
52 f. = Haupt's 0. Sp. 63. 62. vgl. Alsf. P. Sp. 201 f. 232 f. Kunz. Fr.
Sp. S. 352, v. 212 f. 106 f. 128 f. — 58 = Alsf. P. Sp. 386.
Dt. Kummer, Erlauer .Spiele. 7
98 IV, 84—115.
ich streich in ein salben unter di augen,
85 do mit si got müßen verlaugen,
und vach seu an mein sail,
das sie uns werden zu tail,
und pring si mit mîr in di hell.
nu prelle herr, prell!
Quintus demon dicit:
90 Herr, ich haiß Lasterpalkch,
zu allen dingen pin ich ein rechter schalkch:
ich chan wol lern liegen
di man, das si weip wetriegen,
da mit si uns allen
95 in der hell werden gefallen;
ich wartt auch ein ganze wochen,
unz das vîr oder fünf werden derstochen,
rauber und spiler,
prenner und würfltrager,
100 heler und steler,
pader und laßer,
pheiffer und paukker,
pusauner und gaukkler,
di pring ich all mit mîr herein.
105 was sol wesen der Ion mein?
So gib ich dîr ze Ion,
ein feureine chron.
Sextus demon dicit:
Herr, ich haiß Kottîr,
ein teufel hübsch und zîr.
110 ich pin nur schônr fraun chnecht,
den ich zu dînst pin recht;
wann ich chan se wol zîren
und chan in das har wol florîren,
ich chan auch machen goldvar
115 zôph, lôkch und das har,
93) di weyp das si weyp.
86 Vgl. Hess. Wein. Sp. 763. 793. — 89 = Spiel von den zehn Jungfrauen
(L. Beckstein) 26, 1.
IV, 116-147. 99
das stet so minnichleich
eben siecht und dar zu geleich;
ich durchgrab mit allem fleis
di mündelein in sôlher weis,
120 das si rosenvarb werden gevar
und manig man sein augen wendet dar,
das si ze chaîner stund
haben gesehen so raten mund;
ir hâlslein mach ich liligenweis,
125 gespilteu augen mit allem fleiz.
herr das hab ich gelert,
Iones pin ich wol wert.
Nottîr, ich gib dîr ze Ion
in der hell ein feurein chron,
130 de ist wol umbhangen
mit natern und mit slangen.
Lucifer saltando super sedem dicit: a)
Incafatus pratus, vultus chüsultus,
spentus rimentus, horante corante,
mulsus molsus, schibuntus truncus,
135 hanglangko langko, polf'ortus stortus,
schygo ertrigo, râkus protâkus,
propdesancus, ein teufel haißt lankus!
das sind de teuflischen wart,
di îr oft habt von mîr gehort.
140 nu wol her auz der helle grunt,
chômt zu mîr an diser stund,
vart auz in di lant,
weit lat euch sein wechant;
wetriegt und liegt, was da ist,
145 mit eurr 1er und list,
betriegt auch di nunnen,
di alten und di jungen,
a) Über den Höllentanz vgl. Mone II, 81 zu Redent. 0. Эр. 1328, Wacker
nagel Kl. Sehr. I, 313. Alsf. P. Sp. S. 4. Haller Pass. 98, 14 bis 21. —
140 f. Vgl. Künz. Fr. Sp. v. 205 f. (Bauer).
100 IV, 148-179.
und pringt zu diser zeit
neun und nâunzikch alter weib!
150 îr teufel, das sei euch gesait,
wer das tut, dem tun ich nicht laid.
Et currunt pro animabus. Primus demon dicit ad animam:
Nu dar, wi lang wild du hî stan?
du soit mit mîr zu meinem herren gau,
von wann du pist chumen.
155 dein wain 'chan dîr nicht frumen,
di sel und der leib dein
müs ewichleich verlorn sein.
Et portat animam ad Lucifernm, qui dicit:
Sag an, sag an, was hast du getan,
das du so jâmerleich vor dem gericht müst stan?
Prima anima dicit:
160 Herr, ich pin ein sneider,
ich pin got gar unmâr:
ich verstal di abschraten,
di ploben und di roten,
di swarzen und di weißen,
165 des mus ich di hell wescheißen;
ich well oder ich enwell,
ich mus in di hell.
Sathanas, lieber gesell,
trag mîr den sneider in di hell!
170 hola her, hol her,
pring mîr der selen mer!
Secunda anima portatur ad sedem demonis:
Herr, ich pin gewesen ein schüster,
ich pin got gar unmâr:
ich leg die sollen zu dem feuer
175 und prat se ungeheur,
das si verprinnent gar;
das sag ich euch fürbar,
mit derselben arbait
ich hab verdient di wîrdichait,
162—165 = Innsbr. Auferst. 394 bis 397. — 169 Vgl. Redent. 0. Sp.
1449 f. — 174 = Redent. 0. Sp. 1397 vgl. Innsbr. Auferst. 368.
IV, 180-209. 101
180 das ich ewichleieh verdampt bin;
in di hell müs ich hin.
Tercia anima dicit:
Herr, ich pin gewesen ein rauber,
ich pin got gar unmâr:
ich nam die merhen all,
185 ich fund se ze wald oder in dem stall;
des hab ich verdient gotes zarn,
owe das ich ie ward geporn!
Seid du verdient hast gotes zarn,
so müst du in meinen ars varn;
190 dein sünd habent dich verraten,
ich wil dich sieden und praten.
paid her in di hell mein,
îr teufl, ir helft all schrein!
Quarta anima dicit:
Ich pin gewesen ein pekch,
195 ich püch ze chlain wekk,
wan er mich daucht zu groß,
so prach ich ab ein stoz
und warf in under di chleiben;
dar umb müs ich übel gedeihen. ,
200 mit der selben arbait
hab ich verdient di ewig pitterchait.
Quinta anima dicit: ||
Ich pin gewesen ein leutgeb 13a.
, und het das stât in meiner phleg,
ich gab chlaine maß,
205 ich laicht di leut mit großem haß,
mit überraitten und pargen; '
dar umb pin ich in großen sargen.
Sexta anima dicit:
Ich pin gewesen ein schüler
und der goczdiener
189 Vgl. Red. 0. Sp. 1803. — 196 bis 199 = Innsbr. Auferst. 267-70
vgl. Redent. 0. Sp. 1364 f. — 204 Vgl. Innsbr. Auferst. 382.
102 IV, 210 — 243.
210 und dient îm mit zuchten und mit ern
und gedacht îm sein dînst ze mern,
dar umb sol ich nicht in di hellen
mit den posen gesellen.
Pist du gewesen ein schüler
215 und ein hubscher minner
und der goczdiener,
so han ich wol vernomen mâr,
das di schñler sein schoner fraun dîner,
wann si sind all gilt minner.
220 es sein greuleich chnecht,
si mugen mîr sein nicht gar recht
und furcht, châmen si mîr in di hellen
zu den andern mein gesellen,
si würden mîr prñeder machen an der muter mein;
225 das müset mîr ein groß laster sein.
si chumen hin ein nicht,
ich hab mit in chain phlicht.
Septima anima dicit:
Herr, ich pin gewesen ein schone maid,
chainem chnaben hab ich nie versait;
230 das machten mein schôn chrânze,
wann ich cham zu dem tanze,
so traib ich soleich hochfart.
das ist mîr unz her gespart;
nu tñ mîr gñtleich, lieber herre,
235 des pitt ich dich sere.
Wir sullen das magdein laßen gan,
si hat es durch hubscher chnaben willen getan;
si sol fliehen da hin,
das ist unser gewin.
240 ' nu spring hin gar bald
und gewer di chnaben manigvald,
und eher dich nicht an der weit chlaffen
und schaffe, was du hast ze schaffen!
222-24 Vgl. unten v. 286 f. und Haupt's 0. Sp. 233 bis 236. —
232 f. V&I. Haupt's 0. Sp. 245 f.
IV, 244-277. ЮЗ
Octava anima dicit:
Genad herr Lucifer,
245 ich pin gewesen ein stolzer Schreiber,
all mein sargen
di warn schôn fraun unverpargen.
ich was ein schreiber also stolz,
all fraun warn mîr hold,
250 ich chert all di sinn mein,
wi ich pei in mocht gesein,
sie hetten mich zu dînst aus derchorn;
soll ich dar umb sein verlorn?
herr maister, ich sag dîr das,
255 du sollt wissen an allen has,
chum ich in di hell zu der müter dein,
îr müßt all mein stefchinder sein.
Nu hôra, hôra, hêra,
was spricht der stolze schreiber da?
260 snell sleus zu das helltor
und laß den stolzen schreiber da var;
chumpt er in di hell zu der muter mein,
wîr müßen all sein stefchinder sein.
tragt in hin under di schônen weip
265 und lat in chuelen seinen leip!
Nona anima dicit:
Ich pin auch gewesen ein schueler
und ein hübscher minner;
si hies Mâtzel oder Trugart,
ich var îr in îrn rauhen part;
270 sie haiß Chundel oder Tâusche],
ich var îr in den rauch rêuschel;
dar zu so haiß ich der Smekchenstrüczel,
chum ich îr auf îrn hñtzel,
ich rür îr den part,
275 das si wânt, ich haiß Ekhart.
wann mein vater wand, ich wâr ze schuel,
so was ich an der loterfftr;
245 Vgl. unten v. 602 ff. und Weinhold in Goache's Jahrbuch S. 26. —
256 f. = 262 f. 286 ff. vgl. Innsbr. Auferst. 404 f. - 274 f. Vgl. Ш, 134 f.
104 IV, 278 — 310.
als mein muter wânt, ich les den salter,
so mint ich ein nunn hinter dem alter,
280 ich fûrcz in das glokhaus
und macht jung münich dar aus.
Hôr an, hôr an, Sathanas,
wie ein minner das was!
Sathanas, lieber gesell,
285 sperr mîr vor dem schüler di hell
und châm er auf di muter mein,
er machet jung teufelein;
so mñsten chlagen al di teufel di da sind,
di würden all steuf chind.
290 chain schueler ich nicht wißen will,
wan si chñnnen aller lotrei vil.
ge hin zu den hübschen weiben,
mit den solt du dein zeit vertreiben!
Allium currit vias et dicit:
Da mit so lauff ich enwekch,
295 her teufl, habt euch mein drekch!
Hôrst du, gesell Sathanas,
der ie wider got was,
es wil îczund her aus gen
ein frau, haißt Magdalen;
300 di ist ein frau so zart,
si phligt in unserm dînst großer hochfart.
wîr schullen pei îr beleiben
und iimb sei gen zu einer scheiben,
da mit wîr gesellen
805 dem hübschen weib gevallen wellen,
und süllen sei vahen an unser sail,
das si uns werd ze tail,
damit pringen wîr sei gen hell.
prelle herr, prell!
Deinde cantant aiigeli Silete etc. et vulgariter:
310 fr swaiget lieben lâute,
310 bis 313 Vgl. Haupt's 0. Sp. S. 369, wo durch Pueri cantant: silete
von der Teufelsscene immittelbar zur Magdalenenscene übergegangen wird.
IV, 311-333. 105
und lat euch das bedâuten
von unserm herren Jhesu Christ,
der von dem tod erstanden ist.
Deinde exit Maria in gaudio cum ancilla.a) Et ipsa cantat:
Wârleich, zîr di ist gut,
315 si geit den läuten hohen mut,
so wil ich auch dar nach ringen
und wil gute liedlein singen.
Et tunc cantat :b) ||
* Mundi delectacio dulcie est et grata, 13b.
* eins conversacio suavis et ornata.c>
Et cantat rikmum:
* Ich wil preisen meinen leib
* mit tanzen und mit raieD —
320 * wan ich pin ein schônes weip —
* den phaffen und auch den laien.
* das ist war, des müs ich gehen, das ist ane laugen,
* schoner weip ward nie geporn offenwar an taugen.
Et dicit rikmum :
Nempt war, îr stolzen laien,
325 gegen disem maien
ich wil preisen meinen leip,
wenn ich pin ein schônes weip;
da von wil ich tanzen und springen
und gut liedlein singen.
330 * Ja ließ ich meinen mandel in der aue,
* Do wegund mich frogen meine fraue,
* wo ich gewesen wâre;
* des dâucht ich mich so spâhe;
b) 0hne Zeilenabsatz von gleicher Hand: Verte folium, tunc videbis.
a) Vgl. die Spielordnung in Haupt's 0. Sp. S. 369. Maria cum puellis
in Ben. P. Sp. 129. cum una puella S. Gall. Sp. S. 79. Maria Magdalene . .
stolzlichenn dritte . .herfur (mit der meydtt) Heidelb. P. Sp. S. 21. Maria
vertit se ad ancillam Alsf. P. Sp. S. 57. — 318 bis 323 = Alsf. P. Sp. 1790
bis 1793. — c) Mundi delectacio = Ben. P. Sp. S. 129. Haupt's 0. Sp.
v. 295 f. — 328 f. = Alsf. P. Sp. 1794 f. — 330 bis 335 = Haupt's 0. Sp.
311—314 (v. 333 des Erlauer Spieles hat keine Parallele) Alsf. P. Sp. 1796
bis 1801 (ebenso); vgl. Eger. Sp. 274, 3.
106 IV, 334 — 364.
* was wil si mein, was wil si mein,
335 * sol ich meines leibes nicht gewaltig sein?
Diaboli persequentes eam cantando:
* Jo du, jo du, jo du, liebes frâuelein,
* du solt deines leibes wol gewaltig sein;
* du solt deinen leip
* preisen ze aller zeit,
340 * Maria, gehab dich wol!
* wes tu heuer nicht gepußest,
* das püß du hinz jar.
* In frâuden wil ich immer leben
* nach der jungen 1ere,
345 * mein herze müs in frâuden sweben ||
* heut und immer mere; 14a.
* zürnet dann di muter mein,
* das mag sein, was wil si mein,
* sol ich meines leibes nicht gewaltig sein?
350 * Jo du, jo du, liebes etc.
Maria dicit rikmum:
Sag an, dîrn Wendelmut,
was zimpt dich gut,
well wîr gen under di linden
zu den hübschen chinden
355 und mit lauffen nach dem pall?
das wâr auch gut an dem vall.
Ancill a respondet:
Treun frau, dar umb sült îr mich nicht fragen,
ich chan euch gar ein gutz sagen,
wîr sullen nicht lenger hie sten
360 und under deu chrâm gen
und sollen chauffen reichen anstreich,
da von wîr werden schôn und reich.
nempt den spiegl in eur hent
und schaut eur gepent,
336 = Haupt's 0. Sp. 315 vgl. Haupt's Anm. S. 358. — 338 bis 342 =
619 bis 623. — 351 bis 367 Vgl. 485 bis 508. — 363 = Haupt's 0. Sp. 329
vgl. Niederrh. 0. Sp. 828. Alsf. P. Sp. 1834. Uerding. Magd. Sp. (Rein, Vier
geistliche Spiele des XVII. Jahrh.) v. 1452.
IV, 365-389. 107
365 ob es euch ste recht;
wann es sind hi all hñbsch chnecht,
das wîr den mit unserm gepâr wol gevallen.
Maria jactat diabolis pilam dicfina :
Set hin, îr jungen man all,
und lauft mit uns nach dem pall!
Deinde exit Procus cantando:a)
Veni in ortum meum, sóror mea sponsa.b)
Et dicit rikmum ad populum:
370 Got grüß euch, ir herren all gemain,
paide groß und chlain!
chan mîr împt zaigen ein man,
der mîr dar zu geraten chan,
zu der schônisten frauen ain,
375 so sei di sunn ie überschain,
Maria in freuden ist si genant,
si ist eu doch wol wechant.
wolt îr mich sei wißen lan,
îr frauen und îr tugentleichen man,
380 wann ich sei nicht geloben mag,
paide nacht und tag.
hiet ich ein poten gut, der mîr fügt
und dar zu mich auch wol genügt,
dem wolt ich leihen und geben
385 und tugentleichen mit îm leben.
Tetilla dicit ad Procum:
Ja leupper sun herr,
ich wais aine, de ist nicht verr,
di ist di schônist genant,
so man sei vint in einem lant.
a) Procus. Vgl. den Amator im Ben. P. Sp. 130, den Juvenis in Haupt's
0. Sp. S. 369, Yesse von Pilatus' Hof im Don. P. Sp. S. 188, den Miles Herodis
Alaf. P. Sp. S. 56. — b) Veni in hortum meum, sor or mea sporntet,
messui myrrham meam cum aromatibus meis, comedi favum cum melle
meo, bibi vinum meum cum lacte meo ; comedite amici, et bibite, et inebria
mini carissimi. Cant. 5, 1. Aus Cant. 3, 2—5 und 8, 6—7 ist die Epistel
am Feste der h. Maria Magdalena (22. Juli) zusammengesetzt; vgl. Brev.
Rom. III, 571 ff. Lectio I* et IIa. — 386 Vgl. M. Haupt z. Neidhart 47, 9
108 IV, 390 — 423.
390 welt îr mich sein genüßen lan,
ich wolt hâimleich zu îr gan
und wolt euch wol erwerfen,
oder ich wolt dar umb sterben.
Eia liebes muterlein,
395 des nim hin di treu mein,
ich gib dîr silber und gold,
oder ich wil dîr immer wesen hold,
das du mich pringest zu dem minnichleichen weip,
oder ich verleus den meinen leip.
400 Des solt du gewis sein,
ich wil treuleich werfen di potschaft dein.
Vetilla dicit ad Mariam":
Got grüß dich, tôchter lôbleich,
du pist aller tugent reich,
du traist der ern ein chran
405 ob allen trauen schon,
du pist ein schôns weip,
wol gezîrt ist dein leip.
ich wil dîr sagen hü&sche ding
von einem stolzen jungeling;
410 er ist hübsch und wol gestalt,
er ist chaum achtzehen jar alt,
raid und chraue ist sein har
und als di gelben seiden var;
der ist dîr auz der maßen hold,
415 er wil silber und gold
verzern in deinen eren.
liebe frau, du solt in geweren,
und ring îm sein swâr
und enpeut îm gute mâr!
420 Wol hin, îr alte, lat mich nicht gehôrn,
wî lang welt îr mich wetôrn!
ich hab selber silber und gold;
der mîr dar umb wolt wesen hold,
396 f. Vgl. V, 121 f.
IV, 424-454. 109
der sich zu mîr wolt ehern,
425 dem wolt ich dankchen gern,
das er von mîr würd gewert
alles, des sein herz gert.
Tetilla dicit ad Procum :
Nu dar, ich han dîrs gewarfen wol,
si tut alles das si sol.
430 nu in guten dingen
soit du nach îrn hulden ringen.
wiß, das dîr wol gelingen mag an îr,
das hat si enpoten dîr.
Proeus ad vetulam dicit:
Dankch hab, liebs muterlein,
435 s(o du sâlig müßest sein!
ich chauff dîr mandel und schlich,
hend und ain slôirtüeh,
rokeh und suknei
und di y vech chñrsen da pei, 14 b.
440 peutel und meßer —
nichtz wil ich vergeßen —,
ob mîr gelinget an der frauen mein,
so si immer sâlig muß sein.
Deinde cantat Maria:
Ja ließ ich etc.
Procus accedat Mariam salutando eam et dicit:
445 Raine frucht vil süße,
das dich got grüßen mnße!
Sei es nicht eur spot,
so dankch euch der reich got!
Mein schône tugentleiche frucht,
450 tü es durch dein zucht
und vernim mich genâdichleich !
do tust du zu gar smâhleich;
Wann mein herz ist traurn vol,
seid ich mich annen sol
444 Siehe oben 330. — 446 Vgl. Alsf. P. Sp. 1810.
Sp. 1816. — 453 bis 457 Vgl. Niederen. 0. Sp. 803-5.
- 448 Vgl. Alsf. P.
110 IV, 455—484.
455 deines rôsenvarben mund,
von dem ich aber würd gesund,
da von ich untrôstleich singe,
sîch frau, wi ich prinne!
Lesche, herr lesche
460 disen man also vreche!
er ist zornig und ungemut,
er prinnfc recht als ein glut.
wolt îr mîr das gelauben,
îr solt für den zorn essen strauben.
Revertere, revertere, Sunamitis etc.a)
et dicit rikmum:
465 Maria, liebe swester mein,
wecher dich von den sünden dein,
und eher zu unserm herren Jhesu Christ,
der aller werlt gewaltig ist!
Wartha, herr wartha,
470 was wil mein swester Martha,
das si mich nicht lât singen?
si solt da haim ein rokehen spinnen!
ich wil mich nicht wechern,
ich wil di werlt an freuden mern;
475 sol ich nicht preisen meinen leip,
und pin ich doch ein schônes weip.
mâchst du sein enpeiten,
ja hell ich auf di Seiten,
und han ich dan das gelükeh,
480 ja fall ich ab der seiten auf den rük.
nach sechs und dreißik jam
so wil ich in ein chloster varn
und wil da mein sünde pñßen
mit henden und mit fñßen.
455 f. Vgl. 632 f. — a) Revertere, revertere, Sunamitis, reverteré
revertere, ut intueamur te. Cant. 6, 12. — 465 f. = Haupt's 0. Sp. 337 f.
vgl. S. Gall. Sp. 163. Frankf. P. Sp. S. 142. Abf. P. Sp. 1854 ff. Heidelb. P.
Sp. 445. — 469 f. = Alsf. P. Sp. 1904 f. — 472 Vgl. S. Gall. Sp. 202. Alsf.
P. Sp. 1928.
Maria ad ancillam dicit:
485 Sag an, dîrn Wendelmüt,
was dunkcht dich gut?
well wîr tanzen oder springen
oder gut liedlein singen
oder lauffen nach dem pall?
490 dar an tu, was dîr gevall!
Frau, dar umb soit îr mich nicht fragen,
ich wil euch gar ein gutz sagen:
chert euch an euer swester red nicht!
was si geleugt, das ist gar enwicht.
495 ir wisst wol, das di nunnen
vil verwerrens chunnen.
nempt hin den spiegl in di hant,
den hat euch eur pül gesant,
da lügt ein und legt recht eur gepend
500 und trükchet schon eur hend!
wîr sullen nicht lenger hie stan,
wîr süllen in di chram gan
und chauffen gut anstreich,
da von werd wîr schôn und reich.
505 dar nach ge wîr under di linden
zu den hübschen chinden.
so werdent uns di jungen man
gar liebleich sehen an.
Ja ließ ich meinen ut supra.
510 Herzen liebe frawe mein, nu trôst mich,
oder ich muß sterben umb dich,
trôst mich, lieber morgenstern,
wann ich dein nicht mag enpern.
Treun du hast vil wol gesprochen,
515 chum nach phingsten in der Vierden wochen
so man sicht ligen ehalten sne,
der tut uns gar lüczel we;
509 Siehe oben 330.
112 IV, 518 — 546.
seit îr dann ein sâlig man,
so wil ich mit euch über das eis gan.
Revertere, revertere ut supra.
520 Swester, liebe swester,
ich sag dîr heut als gesstern,
du solt dich ehern zu got,
ee das es dîr werd ze spot;
verla dich nicht zu deinen jungen tagen
525 und la dîr rechte 1er vortragen!
So, was wil aber Martha di swester mein?
wil si nicht da haim sein
und hiet îr îrn scherz und îr chlaffen
mit den münichen und mit den phaffen?
530 woi du sagst mîr ains als ein mâr,
des ich gern übrig wâr;
ich siech dich in solchem leben,
das du mîr chain 1er môchst geben.
hat mîr got das himelreich beschert,
535 sand Peter mîrs halt nîmmer wert.
ich eher mich hin und eher mich her,
di alten sind mîr gar unmâr;
ich eher mich von den alten zu den jungen,
den ist an mîr oft gelungen.
Maria dicit ad Procum:
540 Junger man, welt îr nü mein diener sein,
so singt mit mîr das liedelein!
Tunc Maria cantat cum diabulo ut infra ||
Maria: * Wis willechum ain summerzeit, loa.
* die haid in checher varbe leit,
* der winder sei verwaßen!
545 * pluemlein und der grüne chle,
* den siecht man heur aber als ee,
519) wil] wich. — 539) das. — 542) Vorher am Rande: Versus primus.
— 545) Vorher Uber der Zeile: 2™.
528 Vgl. Abf. P. Sp. 1906. Eger. Sp. 274, 12. — 538 Vgl. Eger. Sp. 274, 9.
— 541 Vgl. Alsf. Sp. 1823. — 542 ff. Vgl. das eingelegte Lied im Niederrh.
0. Sp. 796 ff.
IV, 547- 578. 113
* das sich mein leib
* in frâuden aufzwinget.
Proens: * Traut sâlig weip,
550 * nu la la la la mîr an dir gelingen!
Maria: * Du pist tump, das du mein gerst,
* da du dich selber mit enwerst.
* nü la mich gehoren!
Proeus: * Frâuelein, das chumt da von,
555 * das mîr dein minne tut so don
* und wil mich mir tôren
* ser in den tod,
* so verleus ich mein sinne.
Maria: * Was ist di not,
560 * di du leidest? das daz das si verprinne!
* Frau, das la dîr wesen laid
durch aller frauen wîrdichait
und siech, wî ich prinne!
* So nim ein waßer und lesche dich,
das dunkcht das allerpeste mich
in allen meinen sinnen.
* Nain trau, du pist
de mich leschet allaine.
Nu gib mîr frist,
unz ich mich sein pas wol wol wol veraine.
* Freuelein, wann chumpt der tag,
das mich dein trost gehelfen mag, ||
dein weibleich gute?
* Als mein an von chirchen chumpt,
so mag dîr frâud wol werden chund
* Wie ob si dann
ze lange beleibet?
547) leib] herz siehe v. 549. — 556) tötten. — 567) Am Rande: áyabolus.
— 571) Von hier an ist die Bezeichnung der Personen des Liedes rot. —
576) hoches gemüte.
Dr. Kummer, Erlauer Spiele. H
114 IV, 579-611.
Magdalena: * Nain si chumt schîr,
580 * als man rot rot rot rot rosen siecht sneiben.
* Das waist wol, das mîr we geschiecht,
* ee das man rosen sneiben sicht,
- es wîrt mîr ze lange.
* Welt îr mîr nicht pargen dar,
* so phendet eurn pürgel zwar,
* ir seit anegenge.
* Frau, ich wil sein,
* als dein gut mir enpeutet.
* Was wil ich dein?
* mirst lieber der der der der mich da trâuttet.
Procus: * Frâuelein, ich pins dein chnecht
* und sol dich trâutten, deist mein recht,
* und niemmant mere.
Maria: * Di red di dunkchet mich ze chrankch,
595 * euch môcht mein diern wesen endankch,
* und mñt mich [so] sere.
Procus: * Frau, eur diern,
* di füget mîr nicht rechte.
Maria cantat: * Mit meiner diern,
600 * so Ion ich wol wol wol wol meinen chnechten.
Procus: '* Und treutet euch ein ander man,
* der mit dem || griffel schreiben chan,
* das ist mein swâre.
(* Ir grift'elschreiben liebet mîr,
(* wie leit das an dem herzen dîr
(* so offenwâre!
(* ich pin in holt,
(* das han ich in erzaiget.
(* îr minn geit reichen sold,
610 (* hat mîr oft oft oft oft trauren erleidet.
vel sic cantat Maria:
(* Zwe sol mîr silber unde gold,
590) mir ist. — 592) das ist. — 597) fugt. — 611) Der Initiale X mí
in Z gebessert.
IV, 612-639. 115
(* war ich nicht den mannen hold,
(* di chñnnen laid verdrukchen.
(* dar umb sol sich ein schônes weip
615 (* vil nahen zu in smükchen.
(* Wir sullen des nicht laßen.
(* wir schñllen singen, springen, raien
(* den maiereH auf der straze.
(* Ich pin ein vil schônes weip,
020 (* ich wil preisen meinen leip,
(* den wil ich preisen ciliare.
(* wes ich heuer nicht gepueß,
(* das püß ich hinz jare.
Revertere, revertere etc.
et dicit rikmum:
Maria, liehe swester mein,
625 wecher dich ut supra.
Wartha her, wartha,
was wil mein swester Martha ut patet supra.
(* Got grüß di lieben trauen mein,
(* so du immer sâlig mñßest sein!
630 (* du hast verwuntt das herze mein,
(* dar umb so leid ich große pein;
(* und schold ich chussen deinen roten mund,
(* so würd ich endichleich gesund.
Gott grüß dich ros und liligenweis,
635 got dich beschüf mit seinem fleis.
und solt ich dich noch meiner glust
smukchen an meines herzen prtist
und der minn mit dîr weginnen, ||
zehen jar wollt ich prinnen 16b.
615) ym. — 616) Über der Zeile rot: 2™ versus. — 619) Über der Zeile
rot: 3ï! versus. — a) Maria] Martha. Vgl. oben v. 469 ff.
620 — 23 Vgl. oben v. 338 bis 342. — 624 f. oben v. 465 ff.
116 IV, 640 — 671.
(540 in der tieffen helle grunt.
nu trôste mich dein rôter mund!
Maria dicit : Wart, wie er sich gesprânzelt hat
in so ritterleiche wat!
und sold er chussen meinen roten mund,
645 so wñrd er seiner swer gesunt.
des châm uns ze der wochen vil und geniig;
get hâm, habt euers herren phlüg!
Herzenliebe frau gemait,
du Ion mîr mein arbait,
650 wann .ich dîr fleißleich gedienet han
recht als ein rechter chanman,
der nimer lieb hat dan ains,
stîrbt îm das, so hat er chains.
Maria dicit: Wol hin, du falscher mut,
(555 du pist in allen dingen nicht gut.
ich acht dein chlain als ein har,
das sag ich dîr fftr war.
Servus Proci dicat:
Herr, war umb wetrübt ir eurn leip
durch das minnicleich weip,
(560 der in dem lant mer mügen sein?
da von lat eur traurn sein,
nempt hin das swert in eur hant
und slacht den alten torant
auf îrn schadernakch,
665 das si chaum trag den petelsakch!
Procus reeipit servo gladium et dicit:
Hast du mich dan gelaichen,
macht ich dich weraichen,
ich wolt dîr einen slag geben,
der dich alte prâcht von dem leben.
Martha cantat Revertere etc. et dicit:
(570 Maria, ich tun dîr chunt,
slach von dîr der helle hunt
654 ff. Vgl. Ben. P. Sp. 132 Heu vita praeterita, vita plena malin etc
(= Haupt's 0. Sp. 403 ff.).
IV, 672-697. 117
und cher dich zu Jhesum Christ,
der aller sünder trost ist.
wann er siczt an dem gericht sein
675 und erchent die sünde dein,
so gewinst du an derselben zeit
ein herren, der an der cheten leit.
da von becher dich von den sünden dein,
wan Jhesus der herre mein
680 wil dîr vergeben dein missetat,
di du wegangen hast mit der hochfart.
Maria frangat comale a) et iactat ad populum dicens:
Se hin werlt, für deinen Ion,
den ich von dîr gehabt han
und nimmer gewinne!
685 mich habent wetrogen all mein sinne;
ich wil mich an Jhesum ehern
und wil auch gern von im lern
den weg der gerechtichait.
was ich hab getan, das ist mîr laid,
690 und wil es gern pñßen
da zu Jhesum dem sueßen.
Iterum Maria dicit:
Wol hin, du arme hochfart,
ee es mîr werd ze spat!
du pringst den tieflischen spot,
695 mein sin und mein mut der stet zu got.
Martha, liebe swester mein,
ich volg gern der 1ere dein.
a) comale scheint einen Schmuckgegenstand zu bezeichnen ; der 57. Canon
des Concilium Avenionse ann. 1326, welcher Bestimmungen über die Tracht der
Juden enthält, verfügt mulleres autem Judaeae a 12. annis et supra comalia
deferant extra clomum. Du Gange Glossarium II, 605. Vgl. die Spielordnung
des Ben. P. Sp. 132 Tunc deponat vestimenta saecularia etc., Haupt's 0. Sp.
S. 375 et tunc reiciat ornatum. Niederrh. 0. Sp. v. 944 ff. Alsf. P. Sp. v. 1996 ff.
2013 und die Spielordnung S. 63 тutat häbitum. Heidelb. P. Sp. S. 24 Mag
dalena . . . didh diesse cleyder vß. — 682 ff. Vgl. Ben. P. Sp. 132 Hinc or
natus secidi, vestium candores etc. (= Haupt's 0. Sp. 415 ff.). — 692 Vg
AM. P. Sp. 2000. - 696 f. Vgl. Alsf. P. Sp. 2036 f.
118 IV, 698 —713.
Fñr mich, da ich Jhesum wegrüße
und chüß îm sein zart fueße
700 und wewain mein angst und mein not!
der hâilig geist mîr es enpot.
Et cantet Maria:
Peccaui super numerum arene maris etc.
Ich han arme gesundet mer
danne gris hat das mer,
wann mîr nicht zimt, das ich ansech
705 meines scheppher himelreich.
ich han ser verdienet seinen pan,
dar an hab ich übel getan.
Dominica persona cапtat:
Dimissa sunt ei peccata multa etc.a)
et dicit: Stand auf, Maria Magdalen,
in großen îrrn sich ich dich sten.
710 dein augenwaßer floz vil sueß,
da mit webñgt du mîr mein füß
und trükchest seu mit deinem har.
dein sünd sind vergehen gar.
Jhesu nostra redemption ut supra.
Et recedat cum 4t0 versu.c)
a) Am Rande Maria cantat: accessit ad pedes. — c) 0hne Zeilenabsatz
702 f. Vgl. Alsf. P. Sp. 2005. 2743 (= Wolfb. 0. Sp. 107 ff.). — 704 f.
Vgl. Alsf. P. Sp. 2009 f. — a) Dimissa sunt ei peccata multa, quoniam
dilexit muttum Luc. 7, 47 (Remittuntur etc.). Brev. Saltzb. 387, Ia (De S.
Maria Magdalena) Ille versus ante collectam dicatur, si placet. Brev. Rom. III,
573a Die S. Mariae Magd, in IIo Nocturno Lectio IVa, Sermo Gregorii Papae
(Homil. 25) Et vox veritatis inpletur: Dimissa sunt ei etc. Vgl. Ben. P. Sp.
134. S. Gall. Sp. S. 84. Alsf. P. Sp. S. 89. Frankf. P. Sp. S. 145. Heidelb.
P. Sp. S. 126. — Zu der am Rande nachgetragenen Antiphone Accessit ad pedes
vgl. Brev. Rom. III, 574b Die S. Mariae Magd. Lectio VIIIa: Accessit ergo
non ad caput domini, sed ad pedes. Dieselbe steht auch im Ben. P. Sp. 133.
Alsf. P. Sp. S. 86. — 708 Vgl. Alsf. P. Sp. 2821. — 710 f. Vgl. Haupt's 0.
Sp. 491 f. Niederrh. 0. Sp. 974 f. 1034 f. Augsb. P. Sp. 79 f. — 712 Niederrh.
0. Sp. 1026. Alsf. P. Sp. 2804. — 713 Alsf. P. Sp. 2776. - b) Jhesu nostra
redemptio. Vgl. oben III, S. 74. Derselbe Hymnus auch in der Fusswaschungs
scene des Alsf. P. Sp. S. 86.
fährt die Hs. mit Minuskel fort: Finito hoc Rubinns cantat de sepulchro
contra Petrum et Johannem ut infra etc.: ,
Ben sucht îr im grab, priider Aczman,
wen sücht îr îm grab, priider Aczman?
Petrus: (* Das tun ich Jhesum von Nazaret, pruder Ludolt.
Rubinus: (* Er ist an den galgen, der milde Jhesus (Hs. wilde Desus),
5 (* er ist ein hâiliger Christ, wo er ist.
Petrus: (* Sim ist îm also? (|
Rubinus: (* Sim io. 17a.
Petrus: , (* Sim ist îm also?
Rubinus: (* Sim io.
10 (* Ir pauren, wes stet îr also?
singt: Christ ist erstanden
von der marter etc.
Finito hoc Rubinns dicat rikmum:
Hôrt, ir herren all gemain,
paide groß und chlain!
Die folgenden Worte Incipit Indus circa sepulchrum domini a militibus
sind rot durchgestrichen.
Cambrian News - Friday November 20,1874
CAREG LWYD (Oct 21, 1874).—It is strange that. our Welsh lexicographers, including the Dr. Owen Pughe, have omitted the word " Llwyd" as implying "Blessed," and yet the word was well understood in early times to mean " Blessed."
Rhys Gook says in the 15th century.
" Llwydion fu’r Saint geralnt gu.
Diayml a llwyd yw Iesu "
"Blessed were the Saints, dear and
Sensible kindred, and blessed is Jesus."
Also. Gwilym Lleyn in the 16th century says:—
Mae lyn myn dy law myn Duwlwyd “ Iwyd "
" It is in thy hand by the Blessed God."
And dafydd ab Gwilym says in the 15th century :
" A chvwyddfrisin i Duw iwyd,
Yw Llasowyr Dafydd Brophwyd."
" Poems to the Blessed God are the Psalms of David the Prophet
above:Glamoran Mari c. 1900)
The play of Mari Lwyd , =The Blessed Mary, in
Glamorganshire, is simply a remnant of an old "
Mystery," acted at one time by the playwrights of
the day—the Grey Friars, —The Virgin Mary, Mari Lwyd
"—being the principal character. It is also a
significant fact that the Grey Friars are called by
the Welsh—"Y Brodyr Llwydion. Whether the " Llwvd "
really referred to the colour of their dress, or the
supposed sanctity of their lives is for others to
decide. This fraternity were great actors of plays
or mysteries at Coventry and Shrewsbury and the
Chester mysteries are said to be "The device of one
Done Randall, Mooches of Chester Abbey." It is also
worthy of note that the " Garreg Lwyd" was in more
than one instance the stone at which the Village
green games were held, and that on the " Gang Lwyd "
it may be the old Druidic altar—the harpist sat
dispensing music to the pleasure seekers. It may
also be mentioned in passing that our present word
for blessed is " geryn," the word changed by time as
other things are altered by the same power from grey
CHRISTMAS AND ITS CUSTOMS.
In these districts the" Mari Lwyd custom is still kept up, though it is now but a mere caricature of what it was thirty or fifty years ago. The custom was briefly this. A party of workmen procured the skeleton of a horse's head, to which a kind of spring is attached, enabling the mouth to open and shut at will. The head is dressed with ribbons of all colours, and even feathers are struck here and there. A short pole is also fastened to it to represent the horse's back, and the whole apparatus is supported and managed by a man over whom a covering is thrown. We should also mention that by some device or other the property" horse is represented as having fairly long ears. When all is ready the party start on their rounds on Christmas Eve, continuing their rounds for a fortnight or sometimes even a month after Christmas. When a house is approached, the spokesman of the party sings some traditional penillian to announce the approach of Mari Lwyd lawen." The master of the house, on realizing who his visitors are (if he has a ready wit), probably improvises a few rhymes, denying them admission at first, but it is generally understood and expected that he should give in and open the door to the Mari Lwyd." In passing, this passage of arms between the master and the outsiders might be compared with the somewhat analogous dialogue which prevailed be-tween the leaders of the Scouts" and the protector who represented the bride's father when the former desire admission on the wedding day in the latter's house, so as to carry away the bride to meet the bridegroom. On gaining admission, the Mari Lwyd (which, strictly, refers to the dressed “horse" of the company) goes through several horse-like performances such as snorting and snapping its mouth, with the view of frightening the ladies and the younger members of the family. Then after receiving some money from the master of the house (and sometimes meat and drink also), they make for the next house, where much the same kind of thing is repeated. Before going any further it would be as well to inquire into the origin of this custom. “Mari Lwvd" undoubtedly means the Blessed Mary." In the older Welsh poets, the word lwyd, meaning blessed, is frequently found Dafydd ab Gwilym has A “chywyddau i Dduw lwyd." So the custom has something to do with the Virgin Mary couple this with the fact that its only paraphernalia are those of a horse, or according to the stricter custom of some 50 years ago, of an ass, and we are at once led to see in it a survival of the Roman Catholic feast of the ass to celebrate the flight into Egypt. The feast was at one time observed with the greatest solemnity in Britain. It is on record: that in many instances an ass gaily decorated with ribbons was lead into the-parish church, where the priest read a special service in its honour, and the people responded by “he-hawing” after the usual manner of an ass. When this was over a procession was formed to march through the village or town, but we do not know whether any special ceremonial was gone through in that connection. But when this custom was driven out of the churches, it is no wonder that it should have been preserved among the people, though in some slightly modified form, and, that it is the very "Mari Lwyd of Wales, but with the exception of the he-hawing in Church, the ceremonial was probably a silent one. and it is significant that none of the penillion usually sang on this occasion contain any religious allusion at all. In fact, the ceremonial was a play without words," ranking in every other respect with the sacred mystery plays of the Middle Ages, and comparable to the passion play which is still preserved at Ober-Ammergau. Thus Christmas has become the proper occasion for such- “plays without words" (known long before L’ Enfant Prudigue). for our pantomimes are nothing else, and even they too have a religious origin, even the fairies at the back of the stage representing the angels on the good spirits" of two old 'mystery play." (The harlequinade, which is now always incorporated with the pantomime, is., however of secular origin, and, like Punch comes from Italy.) But to return to the Welsh “Mari Lwyd," how comes it. then, that its visits are. now generally accompanied with singing? At Christmas- time there was another custom quite-distinct from "Mari Lwyd that of Wassail singing, but in the course of time both became merged so that the- play was at last supplied with words, though of a very incongruous nature. Though the terms” Wassail" and wassailing may bae the purest Saxon, still the custom spread into Wales- "Gwassaela" was common, throughout most of the southern half of the Principality. Both the “Mari Lwyd” and the “Gwassaela” have j lately very much deteriorated1—the chief object of (those who take the “Mari Lwyd" about is to get drink, and for this purpose they practically levy blackmail on the timid and the nervous. When I asked an inspector of police, on Christmas Eve a few years ago, if he could tell me where I might be likely to see a :Mari Lwyd” he shrugged his shoulders and looked askance on me as a person who was in search of opportunity to disturb and break the peace. Poor "Mari Lwyd” its life is drawing to a close. But its skeleton will find a place in the museum, for we understand that the curator of the Cardiff Library has a couple of specimens of the “property" horse preserved in his museum. We might add a few of the “penillion" or ”tribanan” that were being sung a few years ago in one locality to accompany, the Mari Lwyd." The following is a specimen of the dialogue between Mari and the master of the house :—
Wei, dyma m'n dwad,
Gyfeillion rhiii demiwed,….
In event of no resistance
Y tylwyth t/o a’r teulu…
For New Year’s
Dymunwn I’ch lwenydd…
Verses deleted as they are found elsewhere.
…From Treorky I have a note on an old time custom: — You referred to the Mari Lwyd as a thing of the past. I beg to differ with you upon this point. Two years ago, I spent my Christmas in my native place, not more than six miles from Cardiff, at a, place called Caerphilly Common, and while there I found that the custom was still kept up to a certain extent in that district. I myself saw as many as three different Mari's that Christmas going from house to house, and not from one public-house to another. No doubt they preferred calling at public, houses, because they would generally get something to warm themselves with at such places. Unfortunately, I cannot go down there this Christmas or I would, for I should like to see the Mari Lwyd once again." My remarks were mainly directed to the Rhondda, where Mari Lwyd is now a thing of the past….