Redshanks running through the lakes

Then NOAH shall go into the Ark with all his family, his wife except, and the Ark must be boarded round about, and on the boards all the beasts and fowls hereafter rehearsed must be painted, that these words may agree with the pictures.

SHEM
Sir, here are lions, leopards in,
Horses, mares, oxen, and swine,
Goats, calves, sheep, and kine
Here sitten thou may see.

HAM
Camels, asses men may find,
Buck and doe, hart and hind;
All beasts of all manner kind
Here be, as thinketh me.

JAPHETH
Take here cats and dogs too,
Otter, fox, fulmart also;
Hares hopping gaily can go
Have cole here for to eat.

NOAH’S WIFE
And here are bears, wolves set,
Apes, owls, marmoset,
Weasels, squirrels, and ferret;
Here they eat their meat.

SHEM’S WIFE
Yet more beasts are in this house;
Here cats maken it full crouse;
Here a ratton, here a mouse,
They stand nigh together.

HAM’S WIFE
And here are fowls, less and more:
Herons, cranes, and bittor,
Swans, peacocks; and them before
Meat for this winter.

JAPHETH’S WIFE
Here are cocks, kites, crowes,
Rooks, ravens, many rows,
Ducks, curlews, whoever knowes
Each one in this kind;
And here are doves, digs, drakes;
Redshanks running through the lakes;
And each fowl that leden makes
In this ship man may find.

from the Chester Mystery Play of Noah’s Flood (15th century)

Images from Wikimedia Commons.

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One Response to “Redshanks running through the lakes”

  1. Evie Says:

    I missed this one – wonderful stuff!

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