Here beginneth a treatise, how the High Father of Heaven sendeth DEATH to
summon every creature to come and give account of their lives in this
world, and is in manner of a moral play.
[Enter MESSENGER I
I pray, you all give your audience,
And hear this matter with reverence,
By figurer a moral play.
The Summoning of Everyman called it is,
That of our lives and ending shows
How transitory we be all day.
The matter is wonder precious,
But the intent of it is more gracious
And sweet to bear away.
The story saith: Man, in the beginning
Look well, and take good heed to the ending,
Be you never so gay.
You think sin in the beginning full sweet,
When in the end causeth the soul to weep,
When the body lieth in clay.
Here shall you see how fellowship and jollity.
Both strength, pleasure, and beauty,
Will fade from thee as flower in May.
For ye shall hear how our Heaven-King
Calleth Everyman to a general reckoning.
Give audience and hear what he doth say.
[Exit MESSENGER. Enter GOD]
I perceive, here in my majesty,
How that all creatures be to me unkind,
Living without dread in worldly prosperity.
Of ghostly sight the people be so blind,- - -
Drowned in sin, they know me not for their God.
In worldly riches is all their mind:
They fear not of my righteousness the sharp rod;
My law that I showed when l for them died
They forget clean, and shedding of my blood red.
hanged between twos It cannot be denied.
To get them life I suffered to be dead. •
I healed their feet. with thorns hurt was my head.
I could do no More than I did, truly—
And now I see the people do clean forsake me.
From the morality play
They use the seven deadly sins damnable,
As pride. coveitise, wrath, and gluttony
Now in the world be made commendable.
And thus they leave of angels the heavenly company.
Every man liveth so after his own pleasure,
And yet of their life they be nothing sure.
I see the more that I them forbear,
The worse the