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Page [unnumbered] MEDIEVAL SCOTTISH POETRY
Page [unnumbered] Published by WVILLIAM HODGE & Co., Glasgow WILLIAMS &- NORGATE, London and Edinburgh I
Page [unnumbered] Rbbotsforb Series of the %cottisb Poets Edited by GEORGE EYRE-TODD MEDIAVAL SCOTTISH POETRYKING JAMES THE FIRST ROBERT HENRYSON WILLIAM DUNBAR GAVIN DOUGLAS * * ": - GLASGOW: WILLIAM HODGE & CO I892
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Page [unnumbered] NOTE. THE medieval poetry of Scotland, equally with the earliest Scottish poetry, has hitherto been all but inaccessible to the general reader. The difficulties in the way of anything like a popular study of poets such as James I., Henryson, Dunbar, and Douglas may be gathered from the fact that the works of these four, when found, are scarcely to be had together for a smaller sum than five guineas. The present volume is an attempt to overcome these difficulties, and to render available the flower of mediaeval Scottish poetry. In all cases, excepting the more voluminous works of Gavin Douglas, the poems included are printed complete.
Page [unnumbered] CONTENTS. PAGE MEDIAVAL SCOTTISH POETRY,.... I KING JAMES THE FIRST,..... 7 - The Kingis Quair,.... 25 * Good Counsel,.. 75 ROBERT HENRYSON,.77 N %Robene and Makyne,....91 The Garmond of Gude Ladeis,. 96 "-The Abbay Walk,.... 98. The Prais of Aige,.... 101 The Testament of Cresseid,..... IO3 Prologue to the Moral Fables,....126 '~ The Taill of the Uplandis Mous,... 30 v WILLIAM DUNBAR,.. 39, The Goldyn Targe,..... 59 v X"The Thrissil and the Rois,..... 70 Bewty and the Presoneir,. 177 London,..... 182 Be ye ane Luvar,...... I85 To a Ladye,...... i86
Page [unnumbered] viii CONTENTS. PAGE " Lament for the Makaris,.... 7 ' The Dance of the Sevin Deidly Synnis,.. 192 V Amendis to the Telyouris and Sowtaris,. 97 The Fenyeit Freir of Tungland,... 99 The Ladyis Solistaris,... 204 Discretioun in Asking,.....206 )The Petition of the Gray Horse, Auld Dunbar,. 208 v <Best to be Blyth,....... 211 \Meditatioun in Wyntir,...... 213 GAVIN DOUGLAS,. 215 Honour,......... 235 King Hart,..... 237 Dido's Hunting Party,...... 244 Winter,. 249 Morning in May,.......255 V' Evening and Morning in June,.... 266
Page 1 MEDIUEVAL SCOTTISH POETRY. THE history of Scottish poetry divides itself naturally into certain strongly marked periods corresponding to periods in the political history of the country. The most interesting of these poetic periods in many respects is that in which the mediaeval spirit reached its highest expression. Almost the sole subject of the country's early muse had been the deeds of arms and heroes. After the great struggle with England there had ensued the century of the chronicler-poets, and in their hands Scottish verse had drawn its inspiration entirely from the national patriotism. James I., however, among other advantages, brought home with him from his captivity a new poetic influence-the influence of Petrarch and Chaucer. From.that time, beginning with James' own kingly composition, a fresh life seemed to be abroad in Scottish poetry. It was as if a soft summer wind had come blowing out of the south. In the heart of the north there began to throb new B II
Page 2 2 MEDIE VAL SCOTTISH POETRY. pulses of thought and desire. Imagination stirred again and woke. Beside the old stem of heroic narrative sprang new poetic formspastoral, allegory, satire, ballad. And presently, passionate, rich, and exuberant, this later poesy of the Middle Ages burst into prodigal flower. In the fifteenth century there was passing over Europe one of those great waves of vitality which from time to time have made and marked the eras of history. A later wave of the same sort, yet unnamed, made its political mark in the French Revolution, and finding early expression in Scotland in the poetry of Burns, gave birth to the romantic genius of Byron, Scott, Balzac, and Goethe, and the world of modern thought. The moving event in the fifteenth century, perhaps, was the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in I453. For hundreds of years the ancient capital of the Eastern Empire had been the chief repository of the traditions of Greek literature and civilization; and the scattering of Byzantine scholarship over Europe upon the fall of the city largely helped to bring about that revival of thought and art which in the south took the form of the Renaissance and in the north of the Reformation. The Scottish poets of the last decades of the fifteenth and the first of the sixteenth century cannot, it is true, be reckoned singers of the new
Page 3 MED IEVAL SCOTTISH POETRY. 3 era. There is about the work of Henryson, Dunbar, and Douglas a mournful note that betokens it of an age about to pass away. They are not the prophets of a morning-time, and the soul that shines in their verse has the splendid weariness of full experience, not the hot enthusiasm of an epoch's youth. It would seem, however, as if a breath of the coming life had touched the air, and to the ripeness of the older time had added a flush of colour and strength. There is reason to believe that all the great Scottish poets of the period had visited the Continent, and there, it is probable, they had felt something of the quickening of the new era that was about to dawn. At any rate it is certain that the poetry of mediaeval Scotland found its fullest and richest expression at the last, when feudalism in church and state had reached its climax, and when, before the kindling of the Reformation, the old order was about to disappear. The political circumstances of the period in Scotland throw their own light upon the subject. In the history of every nation which has perfected a national life there can be distinguished a golden era. Athens had her time of Pericles, Rome her Augustan age, Later Italy her Renaissance, England her reign of Elizabeth. A regular likeness may be noticed
Page 4 4 MEDIZEVAL SCOTTISH POETRY. in the circumstances of all these periods. When a Philosophy of History, Aristotle's ambitious dream, at last is written, the phenomena of national growth and decay may be discovered to be as regular, even to minute details, as the growth, flourish, and decay of the forest oaks. It is enough here to remark that, after an infancy of obscure development and a youth of storm and struggle, there appears always to come a national manhood of exuberant spirit and strength. A new sense of power seems to awaken. While conquest flushes the country's arms, and wealth floats in upon a flowing tide, the national genius of poetry and art breaks into splendid fire. Scotland reached this era of her history towards the end of the fifteenth century. Out of its Celtic, Saxon, Cymric, and Norman elements the nation had been born into a new existence amid the early Wars of Independence. Afterwards, for one hundred and fifty years, the Stewarts had been making their way from the position of little more than party leaders among a turbulent nobility to the actual sovereignty of the state. But towards the close of the fifteenth century the royal house had at last secured for itself unquestioned power. A firm, strong government was established under the sceptre of James IV. To its more ancient
Page 5 MIEDIEA VAL SCOTTISH POETRY. 5 acquisitions of the Western Isles and the Isle of Man the crown had lately added the isles Orkney and Shetland. By the rapid increase of the country's maritime enterprise possibilities of wealth had recently developed to an extent before unknown. And in the eyes of Europe just then, chiefly because of the foothold she afforded for checkmating the movements of Henry VII., Scotland had assumed a position of large consideration. These were the greater political influences at work to bring about the ripeness of the time. Some minor circumstances were perhaps not less important. James IV. had inherited the hoarded wealth of his unfortunate father, as Augustus Caesar inherited the wealth of the dead Julius; and, like Augustus, the Scottish king sought by all available means to encourage the arts of civilization in his realm. James himself was no mean scholar, speaking Latin, French, German, Flemish, Italian, Spanish, and Gaelic, besides his native Scottish, and his tastes and his policy alike were towards refinement.* Never before * These and other particulars of James and of Scotland at that time are to be found in a letter dated London, 25th July, 1498, from Don Pedro de Ayala, Spanish ambassador to Scotland, to his master, Ferdinand, contained in the Calendar of Spanish State Papers, edited by Mr. Bergenroth (I862-8). See also for a view of the reign an interesting little volume, The Days of James IV., arranged in extracts from contemporary writers by G. Gregory Smith, M.A., I89o.
Page 6 6 MAEDILEVAL SCOTTISH POETRY. had there been so brilliant a court in Scotland, and never was there to be so brilliant a court again. For the fourth time a Scottish king had married an English princess, and for the fourth time a consequent wave of civilization seemed to pass across the country.* Gay tournaments, huntings, feastings, were the pursuits of the nobility; and amid the quickening of social life the arts that elevate and the arts that charm rose into high esteem. At the same time-as great an influence, perhaps, of another sort-the discovery of printing was introduced into Scotland during the reign of James IV. It was in circumstances like these-the national pulse beating with its fullest life, and the fortunes of the country a rising flood-that the national poetry might be expected to put forth its brightest blossoms. This in fact was what came to pass. Fifty years earlier than the great revival of letters in the southern half of the island the golden age of her poetry arrived in Scotland. * Malcolm Canmore had married the sister of Edgar Atheling, Alexander III. the daughter of Henry III., James I. the niece of Henry IV., and the reign of each of these kings had marked a distinct advance in the cultivation of the arts of peace in Scotland.
Page 7 KING JAMES THE FIRST.
Page 8 I
Page 9 KING JAMES THE FIRST. WITH James I. there appeared in Scottish history at once the genius which inspired and the tragedy which haunted the ill-starred Stewart race. His grandfather, Robert II., had not lacked energy in his youth. It was in great part owing to him that the tide of English conquest had been rolled back in the minority of David II. But he was fifty-five years of age when he ascended the throne, and his day for brilliance in kingly parts was over. Robert III. also had been past his first vigour when the sceptre came to his hand, and besides, in some early tournament the kick of a horse had lamed and unfitted him for the part of a leader in that active and warlike age. But in James I., perhaps the most accomplished knight! and statesman of his time, to say nothing of his poetic gifts, shone forth again with larger lustre the spirit of that gallant Walter Stewart who fought at Bannockburn and Berwick, and whose marriage with the daughter of Bruce brought to his house the inheritance of the Scottish crown. And the deeds and fate of James form a fitting prelude to the reign of a race whose chivalry and misfortunes for three hundred
Page 10 IO KING JAMES THE FIRST. years, till its final eclipse at Culloden, have made Scottish history read like a romance. The second son of Robert III. and his queen Annabella, daughter of Sir John Drummond of Stobhall, James was born at Dunfermline in July, I394. Singularly unfortunate in those who should have been his strongest support, he was indebted for the tragic events which respectively gave him the throne and ended his life to his two uncles, Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, and Walter Stewart, Earl of Athole. King Robert III. (whose baptismal name, John, had been considered unfortunate for a monarch), incapacitated by disposition and infirmity for strong government, had entrusted the affairs of state to his brother Albany. This nobleman, as bold and ambitious as the king was easy and weak, had not been slow to perceive the possibility thus afforded of carving his own way to the throne. Recently in similar circumstances in England he had seen Richard II. deposed by Henry of Lancaster, and it was more than possible that a like effort would be attended with like success in the north. It was only by a slip in the second step of his enterprise that his calculations defeated their own ends. Between him and the crown stood the king's elder son, David, Duke of Rothesay, and the young prince James, Earl of Carrick. Upon a plea of dissipation and extravagance, the former, while travelling quietly in Fife, was seized and thrown into Albany's tower of Falkland, where, in spite of the pitying efforts of a poor woman, who, it is said, fed him for a time
Page 11 KING JAMES THE FIRST. 11 through the bars with thin barley cakes and milk from her own bosom, he died horribly of starvation in March, I402. Fearful, after this, for the safety of his remaining son, the king first entrusted James to the care of Henry Wardlaw, Bishop of St. Andrews, and afterwards, upon the plea of securing better education, arranged to send him to the court of Charles VI. of France. It illustrates alike the fierceness of the times and the power of the king's brother, that though Albany made no effort to arrest James on his way to the Bass, yet, for a political revenge of his own, he had the prince's escort and kinsman, Sir David Fleming of Cumbernauld, waylaid and slain on returning towards Edinburgh. Tytler in his Lives of Scottish Worthies has left small doubt that Albany intrigued with Henry IV. of England for the capture of the prince at sea. Possibly he calculated upon the perpetual confinement and ultimate death of James. It is known that on his own side he had a strong inducement' to offer the English king for the effecting of his purpose. Though the death of Richard II. at Pomfret had been announced, it was rumoured that the deposed king had been recognized in the outer isles of Scotland. The story is one of the last told by Wyntoun. A baron's daughter of Ireland, who had seen Richard in that country, and had married a brother of the Lord of the Isles, had recognized the monarch in the person of a poor wanderer seated by the kitchen fire in her castle. This individual was now at the Scottish court, and his
Page 12 12 KING JAMES THE FIRST. safe-keeping, or even removal, could be used to bribe or control the action of Henry IV. Albany's intrigue, however, succeeded only in part. Sailing from the Bass with the second Earl of Orkney and others on board, the prince's ship, though it was in time' of truce, was taken by the English off Flamborough Head on Palm Sunday, the i2th of — April, I405. But James was neither slain in the action nor ill-treated afterwards. Though a prisoner, he was furnished with all the education befitting a prince, and in the keeping of Henry was safer by far than he could have been under the wardship of his uncle Albany. The possession of James was valuable to the English king in several ways. By producing him at any time the latter could annul in a day the power of the Scottish regent; the possibility of his doing this could always be used to prevent any exploiting of the claims of Richard II. by Albany; and the retention of the prince in English hands might even be made to minimise Scottish succours to the enemy in the war'with France. It is true that Robert III. died slowly of grief after the news of his son's capture; but to James himself nothing but profit can be said to have accrued from his detention in the south. Imprisoned successively in the Tower, in Nottingham Castle, and at Windsor, his studies were ably supervised by Sir John Pelham, and full opportunity was afforded him of attaining perfection in all the knightly accomplishments of the time. Practice even in the art of war formed part of his curriculum; for, carried by Henry V. to France in
Page 13 KING JAMES THE FIRST. 13 1421, he commanded the English at the siege of Dreux, and it is recorded that by his energy he reduced the town in six weeks. Literature, in particular, is indebted to his imprisonment for the opportunity it afforded of studying the works of the English poets, and for the occasion it furnished for the production of his own greatest poem. By his own account he had been a captive nearly eighteen years when one morning, looking from his prison lattice into the castle garden at Windsor, he beheld the Lady Jane Beaufort, daughter of the Earl of Somerset, and niece of Henry IV., who became successively the inspiration of his verse, the means of his liberation, and the partner of his throne. Meanwhile in Scotland the organism of the state and society had been rapidly going to wreck. Albany's policy had been to conciliate the great barons upon whose support he calculated for the retention of power. To this end their gravest misdeeds were overlooked, and in order that they might have no inducement for the restoration of James they were granted large possessions out of the crown lands and revenues. Upon the death of Albany in I419 the regency descended to the weak hands of his son Murdach, and the state of affairs, already grievous, fast became intolerable. Bands of feudal marauders overran the country, industry was at a standstill, and no man's life was safe. Far from being able to govern the kingdom, the regent appeared unable to control his own sons, and it is said that a gross insult from one of them finally determined him to seek the return
Page 14 I4 KING JAMES THE FIRST. of the king. To the offender he is reported to have said, " Since thou wilt give me neither reverence nor obedience, I will fetch home one whom we must all obey." This had lately become an easy matter. No English purpose could now be served by the prince's detention. The fear of Richard II. had passed away, and the presence of James on the English side did not prevent the Scottish auxiliaries fighting for France. On the other hand an alliance with the English royal house in the person of the Lady Jane appeared to offer sufficient security for the goodwill of the monarch. Accordingly a ransom of /40,000 in name of maintenance was arranged to be paid; on 2nd February, 1424, the young lovers were married in the church of St. Mary Overy, keeping their wedding feast in the Bishop of Winchester's palace close by; on ist April they entered Scotland amid great rejoicings; and on 2ist May James was crowned at Scone. Thirty years of age, the king is described as of middle height, with chest broad and full, strong but light in build, an adept in horsemanship, swordsmanship, and all knightly accomplishments, and a master of music, painting, and poetry, while history shows him to have been as resolute in mind as he was active in physique. The historians of that century fill pages with the records of his versatility, and it is known that the fame of his accomplishments spread even to the south of Europe. Strangely momentous must have been his thoughts
Page 15 KING JAMES THE FIRST. IS as he came northwards to require an account at the hands of his regent. News of his brother's terrible death must have been one of his earliest impressions. His own seizure and his father's consequent decease, as well as the nineteen years' captivity without attempt at ransom, could not but be burning in his mind. He found the crown all but bankrupt, its revenues plundered, its estates given away. He found Scotland in a state of anarchy, misrule, and licentiousness, the church laid waste, the nobles at war. There was a long account to settle, but the barons, swollen in power, and long accustomed to their own pleasure, were likely ill to brook the interference of a master. For ten months he waited, unsuspected by the half-contemptuous nobles, silently informing himself of the polity of the country and assuring himself of the support of friends. In order to ascertain the condition of the common people he is even said to have moved about incognito. Then on i2th March, 1425, he summoned a parliament at Perth, and the blow fell. By a sudden mandate were arrested the Duke of Albany and his two sons, with his father-in-law, the Earl of Lennox. These were tried by their peers at Stirling on the 24th and 25th May, convicted of high treason, and forthwith executed on the Heading Hill. It is greatly to the credit of James that almost by these four executions alone he reduced the country from lawlessness to obedience. Had he been less prompt in action Scotland could scarcely have escaped the horrors of civil war. As it was, his resolution
Page 16 I6 KIKNG JAMES THE FIRST. struck terror to the hearts of the lawless barons, and soon made apparent what he himself declared at Perth, that "no longer were authority, honesty, and virtue to be accounted idle names, nor that reckoned right which was gained and kept by stroke of sword." The Highlands, it is true, continued for some time to give trouble; but even there the king's sharp energy quickly made itself felt, and after overwhelming defeat in a marsh of Lochaber, Alaster Macdonald, Lord of the Isles, was finally reduced to appear, half-naked, in Holyrood Church on an Easter Day and throw himself unreservedly on the monarch's mercy. It had soon become evident that James had vigorous ideas on the duties of government, and that he meant to carry them out. On coming to Scotland he had vowed that though he himself should lead the life of a dog he would make "the key keep the castle and the bush the cow," and resolutely he kept his word. For thirteen years Scotland enjoyed such justice as had not been known since the regency of Randolph. Arts were promoted, circuit courts were established, and law everywhere impartially administered, while much was done to reform the clergy. Once more as in the days of Malcolm Canmore, in strikingly similar circumstances, civilization had begun to make a fresh growth in the country, when the clouds suddenly darkened round the head of the king. James had not established law and order without offending many whose license he curtailed. The discontent among these, chiefly the barons, grew in silence for some time. Murmurs, however, at length
Page 17 KING JAIES THE FIRST. I7 began to be heard, and in the parliament of 1435 Sir Robert Graham, whose nephew had been deprived by James of the earldom of Strathearn, is said actually to have laid hands on the king. He was instantly arrested and thrown into prison, but escaping and fleeing to "the country of the wild Scots," he sent a letter to James renouncing his allegiance and swearing mortal revenge whenever this should be in his power. The king in the end of the following year was prosecuting the siege of Roxburgh, then in English hands, when the queen came suddenly to the camp bringing tidings of danger. Her exact information is unrecorded, but it is now known that the old Earl of Athole had become the head of a formidable conspiracy which promised to set his son, Sir Robert Stewart, on the throne. At the queen's tidings James raised the siege of Roxburgh and, mistakenly perhaps, disbanded his army. Resolving to spend Christmas at Perth, he was about to cross the Forth, when a Highland "prophetess" suddenly appeared and warned him that if he crossed that water he should never return alive. The king seemed startled for a moment, and paused, but the warning was finally disregarded. The rest of the story is tragic enough. The evening of the 2oth February, 1437, had been spent gaily by the court in the Blackfriars Monastery at Perth. Music, chess, and the reading of romances had been kept up till a late hour, and the Earl of Athole and his son, Sir Robert Stewart, were among the last courtiers to retire. Before the gates closed the Highland woman had again appeared to seek an C II
Page 18 I8 KING JAMES THE FIRST. audience of the king, had forced her way even to the chamber door, but had been refused admission by the usher. At midnight, James, in his nightgown and slippers, was standing before the fire chatting pleasantly with the queen and her ladies. Just then a sudden clashing of armour was heard in the garden below, and great flashes of torchlight were cast up against the casements of the windows. At once the king remembered Sir Robert Graham and the warning of the Highland prophetess. There was no time for escape, the assassins were already on their way, and as the king wrenched up the flooring with the tongs and leaped into a sewer-vault below, Catherine Douglas sprang to the door and for lack of a bolt thrust her own arm into the empty staples. All, however, was in vain. The door was burst open, the king's hiding-place discovered, the queen wounded, and James, weaponless, after a terrific struggle with the two first ruffians who leaped down upon him, stabbed and hacked to death by Graham. Of succeeding events little need be said. Notwithstanding the death of the king the throne remained unshaken. Forty days later, so swift was the queen's pursuit, all the conspirators were captured and put to death with fearful tortures. Such, in barest outline, is the life of King James I. of Scotland, a life that for romantic and tragic incident and for the illustration of a resolute, lofty, and finished character, has not been surpassed by poetic invention. As a king he proved himself, what the Stewarts not always w:ere, entirely capable for his place and time,
Page 19 KING JAMES THE FIRST. i9 and as a civilizing influence he sowed seeds which have been bearing gentle fruit in the national life for nearly five hundred years. Were it for nothing more than his effect upon the national music he must be entitled to grateful remembrance, many of the sweetest Scottish airs sung to the present day in castle and clachan, being owed, it is believed, to him. But above his fame as a composer and even as a statesman towers his reputation in another realm. King James is likely to remain best known to the world by his work as a poet. In 1783 Tytler first printed The Kingis Quair, or Book, from the only known copy, the Selden MS. in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. His edition, however, though it made the poem available, proved somewhat inaccurate, the transcription having been entrusted to " an ingenious young gentleman," a student of Oxford. The various editions which followed were more or less merely reprints of Tytler's text, and it is to Professor Skeat, in his edition for the Scottish Text Society in 1883, that the first reliable version of the poem is owed. The Kingis Quair is in Chaucer's seven-line stanza, called from this use of it Rime Royal. It celebrates the love of the captive prince for the Lady Jane Beaufort, and is understood to have been written by James at Windsor in 1423, the year before his release. Mair in his History of Scotland states that it was written before the king's marriage. From stanza Io, in which the poet speaks of Fortune having been first his foe and afterwards his friend, it is probable that the exact date of composition was soon after the successful issue of his suit.
Page 20 20 KING JAMES THE FIRST. In the last stanza James acknowledges Chaucer and Gower as his masters in verse, and it is certain that he imbibed from these masters an influence which, carried by his work into the north, was to exert a far-reaching effect upon Scottish poetry. The green branch of southern poesy which James engrafted on the grey bardic stem of Scotland flourished luxuriantly for more than a hundred years, and was hardly all cut down even by the stern pruning-knife of the Reformation. There was more in the royal poet, however, than he got from his masters. They as well as he may be said in the words of one critic to " breathe the romantic and elegant grace which the immense popularity of Petrarch had at that time made the universal pattern throughout Europe." The father of English verse, moreover, was monarch of realms into which the Scottish- poet never sought to enter. But, as Mr. Stopford Brooke has said, in The Kingis Quair "the natural description is more varied, the colour is more vivid, and there is a modern self-reflective i quality which does not belong to Chaucer at all"; and the same writer must be listened to when he declares the work of James to be "sweeter, tenderer, and purer than any verse till we come to Spenser." The allegoric form in which a great part of the poem is written has passed away, it is true, from modern taste; but The Kingis Qzair possesses perennial qualities which remain as fresh yet as when the verses were penned by the royal prisoner. No poet has ever painted love-longing and the dawn of love more delicately or with subtler artistic touch; no poet has
Page 21 KING JAIMES THE FIRST. 21 given a more exquisite impression of the sweet awe and loveliness of womanhood. As it stands, The Kingis Quair places James in the gallery of the world's immortal lovprs. Beside Petrarch penning his sonnets to Laura, and the pale Dante gazing on his dead Beatrice, must remain the picture of the captive prince looking forth from his lattice in the tower of Windsor, while below in the garden alleys there lingers for a space, half-consciously, the maid of "beautee eneuch to mak a world to dote." This, nevertheless, was not the only poem composed by James I. First of all, Mair, who wrote about the year 1500, says that besides "the book concerning the queen," and many songs still popular in his own day, James had written other two compositions beginning respectively with the words " Yas sen" and "At Beltayn." Then, in Bannatyne's MS., written in 1568, the poem of Christ's Kirk on the Green has the note appended "Quod K. James the First." And still further, both Dr. Irving and Mr. Skeat print a poem of three stanzas, whose authenticity can hardly be questioned, as it is ascribed to James I. in The Gude and Godlie Ballates of 1578, and in Ane coinpentiovs Booke of godly and spiritual Songs, printed in i621. The last of these poems is included in the present volume, but regarding the identity and authenticity of the first three-the compositions beginning with " Yas sen" and "At Beltayn," and the poem of Christ's Kirk-grave doubts have been expressed. The only clue to the first two are the words given by Mair, but,
Page 22 22 2 KING JAMES THE FIRST. on the strength of these, two compositions printed in Pinkerton's Ancient Scottish Poems have been attributed to James-a Song on Absence beginning: Sen that [the] eyne that workis my weilfare Dois no moir on me glance; and the well-known Peblis to the Play, which begins with: At Beltane quhen ilk bodie bownis To Peblis to the Play. Of Christ's KXirk on the Green, printed in the same collection, the only suggestion of James' authorship is Bannatyne's note. Against the authenticity of the Song on Absence and Peblis to the Play is remarked the slightness of Mair's evidence. The first words of the former have to be transposed to fit his quotation, while regarding the latter he distinctly affirms that as the king's poem was not accessible, several substitutes had been made; the opening "At Beltayn," therefore, may be understood to have become hackneyed. Against James' authorship of Christ's Kirk on the Green it is observed that the sole authority, Bannatyne, appears to have been careless or confused enough to make a mistake. The next poem but one in his collection he ascribes to "James the Fyift," or as some read it, "the Fyrst," in mistake for James the Fourth, and it is supposed he may have made a similar error with Christ's Kirk. Further, it is averred that common tradition previous to the discovery of the Bannatyne MS. invariably ascribed the poem to James V. This tradition is supported by the usage of the early writers, Dempster
Page 23 KING JAMES THE FIRST. 23 in the beginning of the seventeenth century, Bishop Gibson in I691, and James Watson in I706. Sibbald in his Chronicle of Scottish Poetry may be quoted: " James V. certainly was a writer of verses, as we know from the undoubted testimony of Lindsay, and it appears safer upon the whole in this instance to trust to vulgar tradition than to the ipse dixit of Bannatyne, who seems to have had but an indistinct notion of our different kings of the name of James." It has been pointed out that the style and strain of humour both of Peblis to the Play and of Christ's Kirk are exactly the same as those of The Gaberlunzieman, which has always been attributed to James V.; while on the other hand one writer, Guest, in his English Rhythms, has said: "One can hardly suppose those critics serious who attribute this song (Christ's Kirk) to the moral and sententious James I." Finally, Professor Skeat declares that "if we are to have any regard at all to the language, style, and metre of these poems, we cannot make them earlier than half-a-century or more after 1437." It would seem most fair, therefore, to follow the example of critics like Percy, Warton, Ritson, and Stopford Brooke, and assign the probable authorship both of Peblis to the Play and Christ's Kirk on the Green to James the Fifth. It is upon his Kingis Quair that the poetic fame of James the First must ultimately depend. By it he is sufficiently proved to be, in the words of Dr. Irving, " a royal poet upon whose character royalty itself couldc scarcely confer any additional splendour."
Page 24 ON the plea that The Kingis Quair was written in an imitation of Chaucer's dialect, and that the language of the poem therefore was technically imperfect, Mr. Skeat undertook to regulate the lines by addition of words and syllables where he considered requisite. As absolute regularity of rhythm, however, may not have been the poet's intention, only such additions are here inserted (in brackets) as seem necessary for the sense. For most of these, and for the light which its notes frequently cast on the text, indebtedness has to be acknowledged to Mr. Skeat's edition. The poem is here printed complete.
Page 25 THE KINGIS QUAIR. Maid be King Iames of Scotland the First quhen his Maiestie wes in Ingland. J EIGH in the hevynnis figure circulere [H _] lThe rody sterres twynklyng as the fyre; And, in Aquary, Cynthia' the clere ' MS. Citherea. Rynsid hir tressis like the goldin wyre, That late tofore, in fair and fresche atyre, Through Capricorn heved hir hornis bright, North northward approchit the myd-nyght; Quhen as I lay in bed allone waking, New partit out of slepe a lyte tofore', 2 a little before. Fell me to mynd of many diuerse thing, Off this and that; can I noght say quharfore, Bot slepe for craft in erth myght I no more; For quhich as tho3 coude I no. better wyle, 3then. Bot toke a boke to rede apon a quhile: Off quhich the name is clepit4 properly 4 called. Boece, eftere him that was the compiloure, Schewing [the] counsele of philosophye, Compilit by that noble senatoure Off Rome, quhilom5 that was the warldis floure, 5 formerly. And from estate by fortune a quhile Foriugit6 was to pouert7 in exile: 7 poverty.
Page 26 26 AING JAMES THE FIRST: And there to here this worthy lord and clerk, His metir suete, full of moralitee; His flourit pen so fair he set a-werk, ~ Describing. Discryving' first of his prosperitee, And out of that his infelicitee; 2poeticnarra- And than how he, in his poetly report2, tive. 3 began. In philosophy can3 him to confort. 4 though. For quhich, thoght4 I in purpose, at my boke, 5 that. To borowe a slepe at thilke5 tyme began, 6 stopped. Or euer I stent6, my best was more to loke Vpon the writing of this noble man, That in him-self the full recouer wan Off his infortune, pouert, and distresse, 7 true security. And in tham set his verray sekernesse7. And so the vertew of his youth before Was in his age the ground of his delytis: Fortune the bak him turnyt, and therfore He maketh ioye and confort, that he quit is 8 theseuncertain. Off thir vnsekirs warldis appetitis; MS. theire. 9 worthily. And so aworth9 he takith his penance, And of his vertew maid it suffisance: With mony a noble resoun, as him likit, Enditing in his faire Latyne tong, xo rhetorically So full of fruyte, and rethorikly pykit~0, culled. skull, head. Quhich to declare my scole"I is ouer yong; 12 tongue, Therefore I lat him pas, and, in my tong'2, language. Procede I will agayn to my sentence Off my mater, and leue all incidence.
Page 27 THE KINGIS QUAI~. 27 The long nyght beholding, as I saide, Myn eyne gan to smert for studying; My buke I schet, and at my hede it laide; And doune I lay bott ony tarying, I without. This matere new in my mynd rolling; This is to seyne2, how that eche estate, 2 say. As Fortune lykith, thame will [oft] translate. For sothe it is, that, on hir tolter3 quhele, 3 unstable. Euery wight cleuerith in his stage4, 4 clambers in his rank. And failyng foting oft, quhen hir lest rele, Sum vp, sum doune, is none estate nor age Ensured, more the prynce than the page: So vncouthly hir werdes5 sche deuidith, sSo strangely her fates. Namly6 in youth, that seildin ought prouidith. 6Especially. Among thir7 thoughtis rolling to and fro, 7 these. Fell me to mynd of my fortune and vre; 8 chance. In tender youth how sche was first my fo, And eft9 my frende, and how I gat recure 9 afterwards. Off my distresse, and all myn auenture I gan oure-hayle ~, that langer slepe ne rest Io overhaul. Ne myght I nat, so were my wittis wrest. For-wakit and for-walowit", thus musing, " Sore waking and sore tossWery, forlyin2, I lestnyt sodaynlye, ing. 12 tired with And sone I herd the bell to matynes ryng, lying. And vp I rase, no langer wald I lye: Bot now, how trowe ye? suich a fantasye Fell me to mynd, that ay me-thoght the bell Said to me, "Tell on, man, quhat the befell."
Page 28 28 KING JAMES THE FIRST. 'then. Thoght I tho' to my-self, "Quhat may this be? This is myn awin ymagynacioun; person. It is no lyf2 that spekis vnto me; It is a bell, or that impressioun Off my thoght causith this illusioun, makethsme That dooth me think so nycely3 in this wise;" think so foolishly. And so befell as I schall you deuise. Determyt furth therewith in myn entent, Sen I thus haue ymagynit of this soune, And in my tyme more ink and paper spent To lyte effect, I tuke conclusioun Sum new thing to write; I set me doun, And furth-with-all my pen in hand I tuke, began. And maid a +, and thus begouth4 my buke. 6 crude. 6rnOden. Thou [sely]S youth, of nature indegest6, Vnrypit fruyte with windis variable; Like to the bird that fed is on the nest, And can noght flee; of wit wayke and vnstable, 7 liable. To fortune both and to infortunie hable7; Wist thou thy payne te cum and thy trauaille, For sorow and drede wele myght thou wepe and waille. stands. Thus stant8 thy confort in vnsekernesse, 9 guide. And wantis it that suld the reule and gye9: o helmless. Ryght as the schip that sailith stereles'~ must hie to Vpon the rok[kis] most to harmes hye", harm. 2help. For lak of it that suld bene hir supplye"2; So standis thou here in this warldis rage, And wantis that suld gyde all thy viage.
Page 29 THE KINGIS QUAIR. 29 I mene this by my-self, as in partye; lament this regarding Though nature gave me suffisance in youth 2, myself, as participator. The rypenesse of resoun lak[it] I, 2 sufficientreason for a youth. To gouerne with my will; so lyte I couth3, 3 so little I could. Quhen stereles to trauaile I begouth4, 4 began. Amang the wawis of this warld to driue; And how the case, anone I will discriue. With doutfull hert, amang the rokkis blake, My feble bote full fast to stere and rowe, Helples allone, the wynter nyght I wake, To wayte5 the wynd that furthward suld me throwe. 5 ascertain. O empti saile! quhare is the wynd suld blowe Me to the port, quhar gynneth all my game? Help, Calyope, and wynd, in Marye name! The rokkis clepe6 I the prolixitee 6 name. Off doubtfulnesse7 that doith8 my wittis pall: 7 MS. doubilnesse. The lak of wynd is the deficultee 8maketh. In enditing of this lytill trety small: The bote I clepe the mater hole of all: My wit vnto the saile that now I wynd, To seke connyng9, though I bot lytill fynd. 9 skill. At my begynnyng first I clepe and call To yow, Cleo0~, and to yow, Polymye", o10 io, Muse of History. With Thesiphone12, goddis and sistris all, "Polyhymnia, Muse of Song, In nowmer ix., as bokis specifye; &c. 12 Tisiphone, a In this processe my wilsum13 wittis gye; Fury mist. perh. for a And with your bryght lanternis wele conuoye Muse. My pen, to write my twilful. My pen, to write my turment and my ioye!
Page 30 30 KING JAMIES THE FIRST. I spring. In vereI, that full of vertu is and gude, Quhen Nature first begynneth hir enprise, That quhilum was be cruell frost and flude And schouris scharp opprest in many wyse, 2Cynthius. And Synthius" [be]gynneth to aryse 3 morning. Heigh in the est, a morow3 soft and suete, Vpward his course to driue in Ariete: 4 degrees exactly Passit mydday bot foure greis evin4, (i.e. one hour). MS. Passitbot Off lenth and brede his angel wingis bryght midday. He spred vpon the ground doune fro the hevin; That, for gladnesse and confort of the sight, i And with the tiklyng of his hete and light, The tender flouris opnyt thame and sprad; And, in thaire nature, thankit him for glad. Noght fer passit the state of innocence, 5 i.e. nearly ten Bot nere about the nowmer of yeris thre5, years old. Were it causit throu hevinly influence Off goddis will, or othir casualtee, Can I noght say; bot out of my contree, By thaire avise that had of me the cure, Be see to pas, tuke I myn auenture. Puruait of all that was vs necessarye, With wynd at will, vp airly by the morowe, Streight vnto schip, no longere wold we tarye, 6 before. The way we tuke, the tyme I tald to-forowe6; With mony "fare wele" and "Sanct Iohne to 7 be your secu. borowe7 " rity. Off falowe and frende; and thus with one assent We pullit vp saile, and furth oure wayis went.
Page 31 THE KINGIS QUAIR. 3I Vpon the wawis weltering to and fro, So infortunate was vs that fremyt' day, nlucky. 'hat maugre, playnly, quhethir we wold or no, With strong hand, by forse, schortly to say, Off inymyis takin and led away We weren all, and broght in thaire contree; Fortune it schupe2 none othir wayis to be. 2destined. Quhare as in strayte ward and in strong prisoun, So fer forth3 of my lyf the heuy lyne, 3 far forward. Without confort, in sorowe abandoune, The secund sistere lukit hath to twyne4, 4 i.e Lachesis, spinner of life's Nere by the space of yeris twise nyne; teena'iocut seen to it to cut Till Iupiter his merci list aduert5, in twain. 5 pleased to turn. And send confort in relesche6 of my smert. 6 relief. Quhare as in ward full oft I wold bewaille My dedely lyf, full of peyne and penance, Saing ryght thus, "Quhat haue I gilt to faille7 7 done ill to lose. My fredome in this warld and my plesance? Sen euery wight has thereof suffisance, That I behold, and I a creature Put from all this-hard is myn auenture! The bird, the beste, the fisch eke in the see, They lyve in fredome euerich8 in his kynd; 8 every one. And I a man, and lakkith libertee; Quhat schall I seyne9, quhat resoun may I fynd, 9say. That Fortune suld do so?" Thus in my mynd My folk I wold argeweI0, bot all for noght; 1i.e. argue with. Was none that myght, that on my peynes rought.
Page 32 32 KING JAMES THE FIRST. Than wold I say, "Gif God me had deuisit I pain. To lyve my lyf in thraldome thus and pyne', Quhat was the cause that he [me] more comprisit 2ruin. Than othir folk to lyve in suich ruyne2? 3 ae. whenalone, I suffer allone amang the figuris nyne3, as cipher among tlshenine Ane wofull wrecche that to no wight may spede4, 4 give help. And yit of euery lyvis5 help hath nede." 5 person's. The long dayes and the nyghtis eke I wold bewaille my fortune in this wise, For quhich, agane distresse confort to seke, My custum was on mornis for to ryse Airly as day; 0 happy excercise! By the come I to ioye out of turment. Bot now to purpose of my first entent:Bewailing in my chamber thus allone, Despeired of all ioye and remedye, 6 Full weary. For-tirit6 of my thoght, and wo-begone, 7 MS. And to. Unto7 the wyndow gan I walk in hye8, 8 haste. To se the warld and folk that went forby; As for the tyme, though I of mirthis fude Myght haue no more, to luke it did me gude. Now was there maid fast by the touris wall A gardyn faire, and in the corneris set 9 shrubbery. Ane herbere9 grene, with wandis long and small Railit about;. and so with treis set Was all the place, and hawthorn hegis knet, person. That lyf-0 was none walking there forby", I past. / That myght within scarse ony wight aspye.
Page 33 THE AKINGIS QUAAI'. 33 So thik the bewis' and the leues grene boughs. Beschadit all the aleyes that there were, And myddis eujblbere myght be sene The schi suete ienepere, Growihri vvith branchis here and there, That, as xe myt to a lyf without, The bevj spred the herbere all about; And on the small grene twistis2 sat 2twigs. The lytill suete nyghtingale, and song So loud and clere, the ympnis3 consecrat 3hymns. Off lufis vse, now soft, now lowd among4, 4 at times That all the gardyng and the wallis rong Ryght of thaire song and of the copill5 next scouplet. MS. on the copill. Off thaire suete armony, and It the text: [CANTUS.] " Worschippe, ye that loueris bene, this May, For of your blisse the kalendis are begonne, And sing with vs, away, Winter, away! Cum, Somer, cum, the suete sesoun and sonne! Awake for schame! that haue your hevynnis wonne, And amorously lift vp your hedis all, Thank Lufe that list6 you to his merci call." 6 is pleased. Quhen thai this song had song a lytill thrawe, 7 space. Thai stents a quhile, and therewith vnaffraid, stopped. As I beheld and kest myn eyne a-lawe9, below. From beugh to beugh thay hippit and thai plaid, And freschly in thaire birdis kynd arraid Thaire fetheris new, and fret thame in the sonne, And thankit Lufe, that had thaire makis'~ wonne. Iomates. D II
Page 34 34 A KING J.AM7ES THE FIR;ST. This was the plane ditee of thaire note, And there-with-all vnto my-self I thoght, way of life. Quhat lyf' is this, that makis birdis dote? Quhat may this be, how cummyth it of ought? Quhat nedith it to be so dere ybought? It is nothing, trowe I, bot feynit chere, And that men list to counterfeten chere." Afterwards. Eft2 wald I think; "O Lord, quhat may this be? That Lufe is of so noble myght and kynde, Lufing his folk, and suich prosperitee Is it of him, as we in bukis fynd? 3 make fast. May he oure hertes setten3 and vnbynd? Hath he vpon oure hertis suich maistrye? Or all this is bot feynyt fantasye! For gif he be of so grete excellence, That he of euery wight hath cure and charge, Quhat haue I gilt to him or doon offense, That I am thrall, and birdis gone at large, 4 Since. Sen4 him to serue he myght set my corage? 5 say. And gif he be noght so, than may I seyne5, Quhat makis folk to iangill of him in veyne? Can I noght elles fynd, bot gif that he Be lord, and as a god may lyue and regne, To b'nyd and louse, and maken thrallis free, Than wold I pray his blisfull grace benigne,? worthy. To hable6 me vnto his seruice digne7; And euermore for to be one of tho Him trewly for to serue in wele and wo.
Page 35 THE KINGIS QUAIR. 35 And there-with kest I doune myn eye ageyne, Quhare as I sawe, walking vnder the toure, Full secretly, new cummyn hir to pleyne, Tplay. The fairest or the freschest yong floure j That euer I sawe, me-thoght, before that houre, For quhich sodayn abate, anone astert The blude of all my body to my hert. And though I stude abaisit tho a lyte2, 2 then a little. No wonder was; for quhy, my wittis all Were so ouercome with plesance and delyte, Onely throu latting of myn eyen fall, That sudaynly my hert became hir thrall For euer, of free wyll; for of manace There was no takyn3 in hir suete face. 3 token. And in my hede I drewe ryght hastily, And eft-sones4 I lent it forth ageyne, 4 soon after. And sawe hir walk, that verray womanly, With no wight mo, bot onely wommen tueyne. Than gan I studye in my-self, and seyne, "A! suete, ar ye a warldly creature, ) Or hevinly thing in likenesse of nature? Or ar ye god Cupidis owin princesse, And cummyn are to louse me out of band? Or ar ye verray5 Nature the goddesse, D truly. That haue depayntit with your hevinly hand This gardyn full of flouris, as they stand? Quhat sall I think, allace! quhat reuerence Sall I minister6 to your excellence? 6 MS. minster.
Page 36 36 AING JAMES THE FIRST. Gif ye a goddesse be, and that ye like Iavoid. To do me payne, I may it noght astert'; 2 makethmesigh. Gif ye be warldly wight, that dooth me sike2, 3 Why pleased. Quhy lest3 God mak you so, my derrest hert,, 4 innocent. To do a sely4 prisoner thus smert, 5knows. That lufis yow all, and wote5 of noght bot wo? And therefor, merci, suete! sen it is so." 6 while. Quhen I a lytill thrawe6 had maid my moon, Bewailling myn infortune and my chance, Vnknawin how or quhat was best to doon, So ferre i-fallyng into lufis dance, That sodeynly my wit, my contenance, My hert, my will, my nature, and my mynd, Was changit clene ryght in ane-othir kynd. Off hir array the forme gif I sall write, Toward hir goldin haire and rich atyre 7 trimmed. In fret-wise couchit7 [was] with perllis quhite 8 Balassian And grete balas lemyng8 as the fyre, rubies glowing. With mony ane emeraut and faire saphire; And on hir hede a chaplet fresch of hewe, Off plumys partit rede, and quhite, and blewe; Full of quaking spangis bryght as gold, 9forget.me-not(?) Forgit of schap like to the amorettis9, So new, so fresch, so plesant to behold, ogreatSt.John's. The plumys eke like to the floure-ionettis~", wort flower. "a sort of And othir of schap like to the [round crokettis]," curled tuft." MS. repeats And, aboue all this, there was, wele I wote, " floure. ionettis." Beautee eneuch to mak a world to dote. /
Page 37 THE KINGIS QUAIR. 37 About hir nek, quhite as the fyre amaille", I enamel made by fire. A gudely cheyne of smale orfeuerye2, 2 gold work. Quhareby there hang a ruby, without faille, Lyke to ane hert schapin verily, That, as a sperk of lowe3, so wantonely 3flame. Semyt birnyng vpon hir quhyte throte; Now gif there was gud partye4, God it wote! 4 a good partner. Fr. partie. And for to walk that fresche Mayes morowe, Ane huke5 sche had vpon hir tissew6 quhite, doress.P 6 thin underThat gudeliare had noght bene sene toforowe7, garment. As I suppose; and girt sche was a lyte. 7before. Thus halflyng8 louse for haste, to suich delyte partly. It was to see hir youth in gudelihede, That for rudenes to speke thereof I drede. In hir was youth, beautee, with humble aport9, 9 demeanour. Bountee, richesse, and wommanly facture'~, ofashioning. God better wote than my pen can report. Wisedome, largesse, estate, and connyng" sure skill. In euery poynt so guydit hir mesure, In word, in dede, in schap, in contenance, That nature myght no more hir childe auance. Throw quhich anone I knew and vnderstude Wele, that sche was a warldly creature; On quhom to rest myn eye, so mich gude It did my wofull hert, I yow assure, That it was to me ioye without mesure; And, at the last, my luke vnto the hevin I threwe furthwith, and said thir versis" sevin: 2 these lines.
Page 38 38 KING JAMES THE FIRST. made a star. "O Venus clere! of goddis stellifyit'! To quhom I yelde homage and sacrifise, Fro this day forth your grace be magnifyit, That me ressauit haue in suich [a] wise, To lyve vnder your law and do seruise; Now help me furth, and for your merci lede My hert to rest, that deis nere for drede." Quhen I with gude entent this orisoun 2 stopped a little Thus endit had, I stynt a lytill stound2; space. 3 afterwards. And eft3 myn eye full pitously adoune I kest, behalding vnto hir lytill hound, That with his bellis playit on the ground; Than wold I say, and sigh there-with a lyte, "A! wele were him that now were in thy plyte!" Ane-othir quhile the lytill nyghtingale, That sat apon the twiggis, wold I chide, And say ryght thus, "Quhare are thy notis smale, That thou of loue has song this morowe-tyde? Seis thou noght hire that sittis the besyde? For Venus sake, the blisfull goddesse clere, Sing on agane, and mak my lady chere. And eke I pray, for all the paynes grete, 4 Progne, wife That, for the loue of Proigne4 thy sister dere, of Tereus, changed to a Thou sufferit quhilom, quhen thy brestis wete swallow. Were with the teres of thyne eyen clere, All bludy ronne; that pitee was to here The crueltee of that vnknyghtly dede, Quhare was fro the bereft thy maidenhede,
Page 39 THE INVGIS QUAIR. 39 Lift vp thyne hert, and sing with gude entent; And in thy notis suete the tresone telle, That to thy sister trewe and innocent Was kythit' by hir husband false and fell; shown. For quhois gilt, as it is worthy wel, Chide thir husbandis that are false, I say, And bid thame mend, in the twenty deuil way2. i.e. in every possible way. MS. xxty. O lytill wrecch, allace! maist thou noght se Quho comnlyth yond? Is it now tyme to wring? 3 grieve. Quhat sory thoght is fallin vpon the? Opyn thy throte; hastow no lest4 to sing? 4 hsteho1 Allace! sen thou of resone had felyng, Now, suete bird, say ones to me 'pepe:' I dee for wo: me-think thou gynnis slepe. Hastow no mynde of lufe? Quhare is thy make? Or artow seke, or smyt with ielousye? Or is sche dede, or hath sche the forsake? Quhat is the cause of thy malancolye, That thou no more list5 maken melodye? 5 art pleased tc. Sluggart, for schame! lo here thy goldin houre,> That worth were hale6 all thy lyvis laboure! 6 wholly. Gyf thou suld sing wele euer in thy lyve, Here is, in fay7, the tyme, and eke the space: 7in faith. Quhat wostow than8? sum bird may cum and stryve 8 hat knowest '- thou then? In song with the, the maistry to purchace. Suld thou than cesse, it were grete schame, allace! And here, to wyn gree9 happily for euer, degree, superiHere is the tye to sng, or ellis neuer."ority. Here is the tyme to syng, or ellis neuer."
Page 40 40 'ING JA.JIES THE FIRST. I thoght eke thus, gif I my handis clap, throw forth (a Or gif I cast", than will sche flee away; sound). And gif I hald my pes, than will sche nap' -knows. And gif I crye, sche wate2 noght quhat I say: Thus, quhat is best, wate I noght be this day: /Bot, blawe wynd, blawe, and do the leuis schake, j That sum twig may wag, and mak hir to wake. 3 MS. he. With that anone ryght sche3 toke vp a sang, / Quhare come anone mo birdis and alight; Bot than, to here the mirth was thame amang, 4 Above that to Ouer that to4, to see the sueti sicht Off hyr ymage, my spirit was so light, Me-thoght I flawe for ioye without arest, bound all to So were my wittis boundin all to fest5. And to the notis of the philomene, W6 Which. Quhilkis6 sche sang, the ditee there I maid Direct to hire that was my hertis quene, Withoutin quhom no songis may me glade; And to that sanct, [there] walking in the schade, My bedis thus, with humble hert enitere, Deuotly [than] I said on this manere. 7 have pity. "Quhen sail your merci rew7 vpon your man, unknown. Quhois seruice is yit vncouth8 vnto yow? 9 then. Sen9, quhen ye go, ther is noght ellis than"' "1 that. Bot; 'Hert! quhere as"- the body may noght throu 2 ~2may not go through. Folow thy hevin! Qulio suld be glad bot thou ', ' i.e. thou, 0 heart! That suich a gyde to folow has vndertake? 14 refuse thou not. Were it throu hell, the way thou noght forsake'4!'"
Page 41 THE KCINGIS QUA IR. 4I And efter this the birdis euerichone' i every one. Tuke vp ane-othir sang full loud and clere, And with a voce said, "Wele is vs begone', 2haed ihsit. That with oure makis3 are togider here; 3 mates. We proyne4 and play without dout and dangere, 4 preen. All clothit in a soyte5 full fresch and newe, 5 in one suit. In lufis seruice besy, glad, and trewe. And ye, fresche May, ay mercifull to bridis, Now welcum be ye, floure of monethis all; For noght onely your grace vpon vs bydis6, 6abides. Bot all the warld to witnes this we call, That strowit hath so playnly ouer all With new fresche suete and tender grene, Oure lyf, oure lust7, oure gouernoure, oure quene." 7 delight. This was thair song, as semyt me full heyes, loud. With full mony vncouth suete note and schill9, shrill. And therewith-all that faire"~ vpward hir eye lo fair one. Wold cast amang", as it was (oddis will, "at times. Quhare I myght se, standing allane full still, The faire facture"2 that nature, for maistryei3, 3 as a manship In hir visage wroght had full lufingly. piece. And, quhen sche walkit had a lytill thrawe'4 4 while. Vnder the suet6 grene bewis bent'5, 'bendedboughs. Hir faire fresche face, as quhite as ony snawe, Scho turnyt has, and furth hir wayis went; bgn7 6 then. Bot tho 6 began myn axis17 and turment, 7 fever. To sene hir part'8, and folowe I na myght; 8 see her depart. Me-thoght the day was turnyt into nyght.
Page 42 42 KING JAMES THE FIRST. Than said I thus, " Quhare-to lyve I langer? Wofullest wicht, and subiect vnto peyne! God knows, Of peyne? no! God wote, ya': for thay no stranger 2 these (pains) May wirken2 ony wight, I dare wele seyne. no more strongly may How may this be, that deth and lyf, bothe tueyne, afflict. 3 at once. Sail bothe atonis3 in a creature Togidder duell, and turment thus nature? I may noght ellis done bot wepe and waile, 4 locked. With-in thir cald wallis thus i-lokin4; From hennsfurth my rest is my trauaile; My drye thrist with teris sail I slokin, And on my-self bene al my harmys wrokin: 5 remedy. 6unless. Thus bute5 is none; bot6 Venus, of hir grace, 7 prepare it. Will schape7 remede, or do my spirit pace8. 5make my spirit pass. As Tantalus I trauaile, ay but-les, 9 alike. That euer ylike9 hailith at the well Water to draw with buket botemles, And may noght spede; quhois penance is ane hell: Io regarding. So by'0 my-self this tale I may wele telle, For vnto hir that herith noght I pleyne; Thus like to him my trauaile is in veyne." So sore thus sighit I with my-self allone, That turnyt is my strenth in febilnesse, foes. My wele in wo, my frendis all in fone", My lyf in deth, my lyght into dirknesse, I certainty. My hope in feer, in dout my sekirnessel2; 3 may God co- Sen sche is gone: and God mote hir conuoye'3, That me may gyde to turment and to ioye!
Page 43 THE KINGIS QUAIAR. 43 The long day thus gan I prye and poure, Till Phebus endit had his bemes bryght, And bad go farewele euery lef and floure, This is to say, approch gan the nyght,And Esperus his lampis gan to light; Quhen in the wyndow, still as any stone, I bade' at lenth, and, kneling, maid my mone., abode. So lang till evin, for lak of myght and mynd, For-wepit and for-pleynit2 pitously, 2 weary with weeping and Ourset so sorow had bothe hert and mynd, plaining. That to the cold stone my hede on wrye3 3 awry. I laid, and lent, amaisit verily, Half sleping and half suoune, in suich a wise: And quhat I met, I will you now deuise4. 4 describe. Me-thoght that thus all sodeynly a lyght In at the wyndow come quhare that I lent, Off quhich the chambere-wyndow schone full bryght, And all my body so it hath ouerwent, That of my sicht the vertew hale iblent5; 5 thewholepower was lost. And that with-all a voce vnto me saide, "I bring the confort and hele6, be noght affrayde."6 healing. And furth anone it passit sodeynly, Quher it come in, the ryght way ageyne, And sone, me-thoght, furth at the dure in hye7 7 haste. I went my weye, nas nothing me ageyne8; 8 nor was there anything And hastily, by bothe the armes tueyne, hindering me. I was araisit vp in-to the aire, Clippit9 in a cloude of cristall clere and faire. 9 Embraced.
Page 44 44 KING J-AMIES THE FIRST. Ascending vpward ay fro spere to spere, Through aire and watere and the hote fyre, Till that I come vnto the circle clere ie. the sphere Off Signiferen, quhare faire, bryght, and schire2, of the zodiac. 2clear. The signis schone; and in the glade empire Off blisfull Venus, [quhar] ane cryit now So sudaynly, almost I wist noght how. Off quhich the place, quhen I come there nye, Was all, me-thoght, of cristall stonis wroght, And to the port I liftit was in hye, 3 i.e. in a trice, Quhare sodaynly, as quho sais at a thoght3, as one may say. It opnyt, and I was anon in broght 4 spacious. Within a chamber, large, rowm4, and faire; 5 concourse. And there I fand of peple grete repaire5. This is to seyne, that present in that place Me-thoght I sawe of euery nacioun Loueris that endit [had] thaire lyfis space In lovis seruice, mony a mylioun, 6 adventures. Off quhois chancis6 maid is mencioun In diuerse bukis, quho thame list to se; And therefore here thaire namys lat I be. The quhois auenture and grete labouris Aboue thaire hedis writin there I fand; 7 ie. for love. This is to seyne, martris and confessouris7, mate. Ech in his stage, and his make8 in his hand; And therewith-all thir peple sawe I stand, 9 MS. solempt. With mony a solempnit9 contenance, Io As Love chose to advance After as Lufe thame lykit to auancel~. them.
Page 45 THE KINGIS QUA/I'. 45 Off gude folkis, that faire in lufe befill', I befell. There saw I sitt in order by thame one2 2by themselves. With hedis hore; and with thame stude Gude-will To talk and play. And after that anone Besyde thame and next there saw I gone3 3 go about. i Curage, amang the fresche folkis yong, t And with thame playit full merily and song. And in ane-othir stage, endlong4 the wall, 4along. There saw I stand, in capis wyde and lang,;/:/,f; full'grete nowmer; bot thaire hudis all, '/ Wist I noght quhy, atoure5 thair eyen hang; 50ver. And ay to thame come Repentance amang6, 6at times. And maid thame chere, degysit in his wede7. 7 d sed in 'y dress. And dounward efter that yit I tuke hede. Ryght ouerthwert' the chamber was there drawe 8athwart. A trevesse9 thin and quhite, all of plesance, 9 curtain. The quhich behynd, standing, there I sawe A warld of folk, and by thaire contenance Thaire hertis semyt full of displesance, With billis in thaire handis, of one assent Vnto the iuge thaire playntis to present. And there-with-all apperit vnto me A voce, and said, "Tak hede, man, and behold: Yonder"~ thou seis the hiest stage and gree" t MS ondere Off agit folk, with hedis hore and olde; Idegree. Yone were the folke that neuer change wold' In lufe, bot trewly seruit him alway, In euery age, vnto thaire ending-day.
Page 46 46 KING JAM1ES THE FIRST. For fro the tyme that thai coud vnderstand he practice, The exercise, of lufis craft the cure', the skill of the craftoflove. Was none on lyve2 that toke so moch on hand 2 alive. For lufis sake, nor langer did endure In lufis seruice; for, man, I the assure, Quhen thay of youth ressauit had the fill, Yit in thaire age thame lakkit no gude will. Here bene also of suich as in counsailis And all thar dedis, were to Venus trewe; Here bene the princis, faucht the grete batailis, 3 memory. In mynd3 of quhom ar maid the bukis newe, Here bene the poetis that the sciencis knewe, Throwout the warld, of lufe in thaire suete layes, Suich as Ouide and Omere in thaire dayes. And efter thame downe in the next stage, 4 where. There as4 thou seis the yong folkis pleye: Lo! thise were thay that, in thaire myddill age, Seruandis were to Lufe in mony weye, And diuersely happinnit for to deye; 5 mates. Sum soroufully, for wanting of thare makis5, And sum in armes for thaire ladyes sakis. And othir eke by othir diuerse chance, As happin folk all day, as ye may se; Sum for dispaire, without recouerance; Sum for desyre, surmounting thaire degree; Sum for dispite and othir inmytee; 6 a why, areason. Sum for vnkyndenes without a quhy6; 7 i.e. too much Sum for to moch7, and sum for ielousye. love.
Page 47 THE KINGIS QUAIR. 47 And efter this, vpon yone stage adoun', MS. doun. Tho that thou seis stond in capis wyde; Yone were quhilum2 folk of religioun, 2 once. That from the warld thaire gouernance3 did hide, 3 conduct. And frely seruit lufe on euery syde In secrete, with thaire bodyis and thaire gudis. And lo! quhy so thai hingen doune thaire hudis: For though that thai were hardy at assay4, 4 stout in trial. And did him seruice quhilum priuely, Yit to the warldis eye it semyt nay; So was thaire seruice half [bot] cowardy: And for thay first forsuke him opynly, And efter that thereof had repenting, For schame thaire hudis oure thaire eyne thay hyng. And seis thou now yone multitude, on rawe5 sin a row. Standing, behynd yone trauerse of delyte? Sum bene of thame that haldin were full lawe, And take by frendis, nothing thay to wyte6, 6 blame. In youth from lufe into the cloistere quite; And for that cause are cummyn, recounsilit7, 7i.e. reunited to their mates. On thame to pleyne that so thame had begilit. And othir bene amongis thame also, That cummyn ar to court, on Lufe to pleyne8, complain. For he thaire bodyes had bestowit so, Quhare bothe thaire hertes gruchit9 ther-ageyne; 9 repined MS. For quhich, in all thaire dayes, soth to seyne, o truth to say. Quhen othir lyvit in ioye and [in] plesance, Thaire lyf was noght bot care and repentance;
Page 48 48 ICING JAMES THE FIRST. And, quhare thaire hertis gevin were and set, Were coplit with othir that coud noght accord; misdeed. Thus were thai wrangit that did no forfet', 2 Separating. Departing' thame that neuer wold discord. Off yong ladies faire, and mony lord, 3 drivenfrom That thus by maistry were fro thair chose dryve3, their choice. Full redy were thaire playntis there to gyve." And othir also I sawe compleynyng there Vpon Fortune and hir grete variance, That, quhere in loue so wele they coplit were, With thaire suete makis coplit in plesance, 4 MS. So. Sche4 sodeynly maid thaire disseuerance, And tuke thame of this warldis companye, 5reason. Withoutin cause, there was none othir quhy5. And in a chiere of estate besyde, With wingis bright, all plumyt, bot his face, There sawe I sitt the blynd god Cupide, With bow in hand, that bent full redy was, And by him hang thre arowis in a cas, Off quhich the hedis grundyn were full ryght, Off diuerse metals forgit faire and bryght. And with the first, that hedit is of gold, He smytis soft, and that has esy cure; The secund was of siluer, mony-fold 6 worse. Wers6 than the first, and harder auenture; 7 recovery. The thrid, of stele, is schot without recure7; bright. And on his long yalow lokkis schene8 A chaplet had he all of levis grene.
Page 49 THE KINGIS QUAIR. 49 And in a retrete lytill of compas, DepeyntitI all with sighis wonder sad, f Paintedo 2 makes menace Noght suich sighis as hertis doith manace2, to hearts. Bot suich as dooth lufaris to be glad, Fond I Venus vpon hir bed, that had A mantill cast ouer hir schuldris quhite: Thus clothit was the goddesse of delyte. Stude at the dure Fair-calling, hir vschere, That coude his office doon in connyng wise, And Secretee, hir thrifty chamberere, That besy was in tyme to do seruise, And othir mo that I can noght on avise3; 3 more of whom I cannot tell. And on hir hede, of rede rosis full suete, A chapellet sche had, faire, fresch, and mete. With quaking hert astonate of that sight, Vnnethis4 wist I quhat that I suld seyne; 4 Scarce. Bot at the last febily, as I myght, With my handis on bothe my kneis tueyne, There I begouth my caris to compleyne; With ane humble and lamentable chere Thus salute I that goddesse bryght and clere: " Hye Quene of Lufe! sterre of beneuolence' Pitouse princes, and planet merciable5! 5 merciful. Appesare of malice and violence! By vertew pure of your aspectis hable6, 6 powerful. Vnto youre grace lat now bene acceptable My pure request, that can no forthir gone To seken help, bot vnto yow allone! E II
Page 50 50 AKING JAMES THE FIRST. As ye that bene the socoure and suete well Off remedye, of carefull hertes cure, And, in the huge weltering wawis fell Off lufis rage, blisfull havin and sure; O anker and keye of our gude auenture, iconquered. Ye haue your man with his gude-will conquest': Merci, therefore, and bring his hert to rest! Ye knaw the cause of all my peynes smert Bet than my-self, and all myn auenture Ye may conuoye, and as yow ist, conuert The hardest hert that formyt hath nature: -whWllyA. Sen in your handis all hale2 lyith my cure, Haue pitee now, O bryght blisfull goddesse, havespity on. Of your pure man3, and rew4 on his distresse! And though I was vnto your lawis strange, By ignorance, and noght by felonye, And that your grace now likit hath to change My hert, to seruen yow perpetualye, prepare. Forgiue all this, and shapith5 remedye To sauen me of your benigne grace, make me die. Or do me steruen6 furth-with in this place. And with the stremes of your percyng lyght Conuoy my hert, that is so wo-begone, Ageyne vnto that suete hevinly sight, That I, within the wallis cald as stone, 7 i the mrning. So suetly saw on morow7 walk and gone, Law in the gardyn, ryght tofore myn eye; Now, merci, Quene! and do me noght to deye."
Page 51 THE KING1S ()UUAIR. 5I Thir wordis said, my spirit in dispaire, A quhile I stynt, abiding efter grace': And there-with-all hir cristall eyen faire' Sche2 kest asyde, and efter that a space, Benignely sche turnyt has hir face Towardis me full pleasantly conueide; And vnto me ryght in this wise sche seide: " Yong man, the cause of all thyne inward sorowe Is noght vnknawin to my deite, And thy request, bothe now and eke toforowe3, Quhen thou first maid professioun to me; Sen of my grace I haue inspirit the To knawe my lawe, contynew furth, for oft, There as I mynt4 full sore, I smyte bot soft. Paciently thou tak thyne auenture, This will my sone Cupide, and so will I, He can the stroke, to me langis5 the cure Quhen I se tyme, and therefor humily Abyde, and serue, and lat Gude-hope the gye6: Bot, for I haue thy forehede here present, I will the schewe the more of myn entent. 1 stopped, waiting to find grace. 2 MS. Me. 3 formerly. 4 There where I aim. 5 belongs. 6 guide thee. This is to say, though it to me pertene In lufis lawe the septre to gouerne, That the effectis of my bemes schene7 Has thaire aspectis by ordynance eterne, With otheris bynden, mynes to discerne, Quhilum in thingis bothe to cum and gone, That langis noght to me, to writh allone8; 7 bright. i.e. My means of discernment, past and future, are bound up with others' (powers); control belongs not to me alone. MS. bind and.
Page 52 52 A5KING JTAMES THE FIRST: As in thyne awin case now may thou se, For which For-quhy' lo, that [by] otheris influence'2 planet's Thy persone standis noght in libertee; influence. Quharefore, though I geve the beneuolence, 3 control. It standis noght yit in myn aduertence:, Till certeyne coursis endit be and ronne, 4 Until. Quhill4 of trew seruis thow have hir graice i-wonc. And yit, considering the nakitnesse Bothe of thy wit, thy persone, and thy myght, It is no mach, of thyne vnworthynesse To hir hie birth, estate, and beautee bryght: Als like ye bene, as day is to the nyght; 5 crimson cloth. Or sek-cloth is vnto fyne cremesye5; Or doken to the fresche dayesye. 6 bright. Vnlike the mone is to the sonne schene6; 7 MS. likeunto Eke Ianuarye is vnlike to May7; May. Vnlike the cukkow to the phylomene; coats of arms. Thaire tabartis' ar noght bothe maid of array9; 9 arrayed alike. IO parrot. Vnlike the crow is to the pape-iayl~; Vnlike, in goldsmythis werk, a fischis eye compare. To peire" with peril, or maked be so heye. MS. pererese. As I haue said, vnto me belangith Specialy the cure of thy seknesse; Bot now thy matere so in balance hangith, 12assurance. That it requerith, to thy sekernesse, 13 MS. than. The help of othir mo that13 bene goddes, And haue in thame the menes and the lore, 4 i.e. to shorten In this matere to schorten with thy sore4 thy woe with.
Page 53 THE KINGIS QUAIR'. 53 And for thou sail se wele that I entend, Vn-to thy help, thy welefare to preserue, The streight weye thy spirit will I send To the goddesse that clepit is Mynerue, And se that thou hir hestis wele conserue, For in this case sche may be thy supplye', help. And put thy hert in rest, als wele as I. Bot, for the way is vncouth vnto the, 2 unknown to There as hir duelling is and hir soiurne, I will that Gude-hope seruand to the be, Youre alleris frend3, to let the to murn4, Friendofyou Be thy condyt and gyde till thou returne, 4to urning hy And hir besech that sche will, in thy nede, Hir counsele geve to thy welefare and spede, And that sche will, as langith hir office, Be thy gude lady, help and counseiloure, And to the schewe hir rype and gude auise5, advice. Throw quhich thou may, be processe and laboure, Atteyne vnto that glad and goldyn floure, That thou wald haue so fayn with all thy hart. And forthir-more, sen thou hir seruand art, Quhen thou descendis doune to ground ageyne, Say to the men that there bene resident, How long think thay to stand in my disdeyne, That in my lawis bene so negligent From day to day, and list thame noght repent, Bot breken louse, and walken at thaire large? Is nocht eft none6 that thereof gevis charge? 6 There isnot
Page 54 54 KING JAMES THE FIRST And for," quod sche, "the angir and the smert Off thaire vnkyndenesse dooth me constreyne, My femynyne and wofull tender hert, That than I wepe; and, to a token pleyne, As of my teris cummyth all this reyne, That ye se on the ground so fast ybete Fro day to day, my turment is so grete. ease at aotherAnd quhen I wepe, and stynten othir quhile', For pacience that is in womanhede, Than all my wrath and rancoure I exile; And of my cristall teris that bene schede, The hony flouris growen vp and sprede, 2pray. That preyen2 men, in thaire flouris wise, Be trewe of lufe, and worschip my seruise. And eke, in takin of this pitouse tale, Quhen so my teris dropen on the ground, In thaire nature the lytill birdis smale 3 space of time. Styntith thaire song, and murnyth for that stound. And all the lightis in the hevin round 4compassion. Off my greuance haue suich compacience4, That from the ground they hiden thaire presence And yit in tokenyng forthir of this thing, Quhen flouris springis, aS freschest bene of hewe, And that the birdis on the twistis sing, 5 MS. to renew. At thilke tyme ay gynnen folk renewe5 That seruis vnto loue, as ay is dewe, Most commonely has ay his obseruance, 6 former. And of thaire sleuth tofore6 haue repentance.
Page 55 THE IKINGIS QUAIR. 5 55.Thus maist thou seyne, that myn effectis grete, Vnto the quhich ye aughten maist weye', No lyte offense, to sleuth is [al] forget2: And therefore in this wise to thame seye, As I the here haue bidden3, and conueye The matere all the better tofore said4; Thus sall on the my charge bene ilaid. 1 ought most. to pay regard. MS. aught and. 2 owing to sloth is all forgotten. 3 MS. bid. 4 said before. Say on than, 'Quhare is becummyn, for schame! The songis new, the fresch carolis and dance, The lusty lyf, the mony change of game, The fresche array, the lusty contenance, The besy awayte5, the hertly obseruance, That quhilum was amongis thame so ryf? Bid thame repent in tylre, and mend thare lyf: Or I sail, with my fader old Saturne, And with al hale6 oure hevinly alliance, Oure glad aspectis from thame writh7 and turne, That all the warld sall waile8 thaire gouernance. Bid thame be-tyme that thai haue repentance, And [with] thaire hertis hale renew my lawe; And I my hand fro beting sall withdrawe. 5 service (waiting upon). 6 all whole. 7 remove. 8 bewail. This is to say, contynew in my seruise, Worschip my law, and my name magnifye, That am your hevin and your paradise; And I your confort here sail multiplye, And, for your meryt here, perpetualye Ressaue I sail your saulis of my grace, To lyve with me as goddis in this place."'
Page 56 - i.6,. AINVG A,4IE'ES THE FIRST. -~s With humble thank, and all the reuerence skilL That feble-wit and connyng' may atteyne, I tuke my leue; and from hir presence, Gude-hope and I to-gider, bothe tueyne, shortly to say. Departit are, and, schortly for to seyne2, i.e. to be brief. He hath me led [be] redy wayis ryght Vnto Mineruis palace, faire and bryght. 3gate. Quhare as I fand, full redy at the yate3, The maister portare, callit Pacience>, That frely lete vs in, vnquestionate; And there we sawe the perfyte excellence, 4 The sober retinue(?) The said renewe4, the state, the reuerence, dignified. The strenth, the beautee, and the ordour digne5 Off hir court riall, noble and benigne. And straught vnto the presence sodeynly Off dame Minerue, the pacient goddesse, Gude-hope my gyde led me redily; timiorous To quhom anone, with dredefull humylnesse6, humility. Off my cummyng the cause I gan expresse, And all the processe hole, vnto the end, Off Venus charge, as likit hir to send. Off quhich ryght thus hir ansuere was in bref: " My sone, I haue wele herd, and vnderstond, Be thy reherse, the matere of thy gref, 7 seek. And thy request to procure, and to fonde7 Off thy pennance sum confort at my hond, Be counsele of thy lady Venus clere, To be with hir thyne help in this matere.
Page 57 THE KINGGIS QUA. I'. 57 Bot in this case thou sail wele knawe and witt, Thou may thy hert ground on suich a wise, That thy laboure will be bot lytill quit'; requited. And thou may set it in anothir wise2, 2 M in othir wise. That wil be to the grete worschip and prise; And gif thou durst vnto that way enclyne, I will the geve my lore and disciplyne. Lo, my gude sone, this is als mich to seyne3, 3 asuch asy. t As, gif thy lufe [be] sett all-uterly Of nyce lust4, thy trauail is in veyne; Onfoolish desire. And so the end sail turne of thy folye To payne and repentance; lo, wate thou quhy5! 5 know thou why. (rif the ne list on lufe thy vertew set, Vertu sall be the cause of thy forfet6. 6disaster. 'ak Him before in all thy gouernance, That in His hand the stere7 has of you all; 7 control. And pray vnto His hye purueyance8 sprovidence. Thy lufe to gye, and on Him traist and call, That corner-stone and ground is of the wall That failis noght; and trust, withoutin drede, Vnto thy purpose sone He sall the lede. For lo, the werk that first is foundit sure, May better bere a pace9 and hyare be, 9 stage, storey. Than othir-wise, and langere sail endure, Be monyfald, this may thy resoun see, And stronger to defendT" aduersitee: oresist. Ground thy werk, therefore, vpon the stone, And thy desire sall forthward with the gone.
Page 58 58 KING JAMES THE FIRST: Be trewe, and meke, and stedfast in thy thoght, And diligent hir merci to procure, Noght onely in thy word, for word is noght; I care. Bot gif thy werk and all thy besy cure1 2 given forth by Accord thereto; and vtrid be mesure2 rule. The place, the houre, the maner, and the wise Gif mercy sall admitten thy seruise. All thing has tyme, thus sais Ecclesiaste; 3 well is it with. And wele is3 him that his tyme wel abit4. 4 abideth. MS. wilabit. Abyde thy time; for he that can bot haste controls not Can noght of hap5, the wise man it writ; fortune. And oft gude fortune flourish with gude wit: Quharefore, gif thou wtill be wele fortunyt, 6 joined. Lat wisedome ay to thy will be iunyt6. 7 brittle, unre- Bot there be mony of so brukill7 sort, That feynis treuth in lufe for a quhile, 8sport, delight. And setten all thaire wittis and disport8 The sely innocent woman to begyle, And so to wynne thaire lustis with a wile; Suich feynit treuth is all bot trechorye, 9shade. Vnder the vmbre9 of hid ypocrisye. For as the foulere quhistlith in his throte Diuersely, to counterfete the brid, And feynis mony a suete and strange note, bush. That in the busk'T for his desate" is hid, Till sche be fast lokin his net amyd; 12 deceiver. Ryght so the fatoure 2, the false theif, I say, With suete tresoun oft wynnith thus his pray.
Page 59 THE KINGIS QUAII'. 59 Fy on all suich! fy on thaire doubilnesse! Fy on thaire lust and bestly appetite! Thaire wolfis hertis, in lambis liknesse; Thaire thoughtis blak, hid vnder wordis quhite; Fy on thaire laboure! fy on thaire delyte! That feynen outward all to hir honour, And in thaire hert hir worschip wold deuoure. So hard it is to trusten now on dayes The warld, it is so double and inconstant, Off quhich the suth is kid' be mony assayes 'the truth is shown. More pitee is; for quhich the remanant, That menen wele, and ar noght variant, For otheris gilt ar2 suspect of vntreuth, 2 MS. and. And hyndrit oft, and treuely that is reuth. Bot gif the hert be groundit ferme and stable In Goddis law, thy purpose to atteyne, Thy laboure is to me agreable; And my full help, with counsele trew and pleyne, I will the schewe, and this is the certeyne; Opyn thy hert, therefore, and lat me se Gif. thy iemede be pertynent to me." "Madame," quod I, "sen it is your plesance That I declare the kynd of my loving, Treuely and gude, withoutin variance, In lufe that floure abufe all othir thing; And wold bene he that to hir worschipping Myght ought auaile, be Him that starf on rude, 3 b, Him that Ad., died on cross And nouthir spare for trauaile, lyf, nor gude4. 4 goods.
Page 60 6o KING /A IES THE FIRST. And forthirmore, as touching the nature Off my lufing, to worschip or to blame, I darre wele say, and there-in me assure, For ony gold that ony wight can name IS. Wald. Nold' I be he that suld of hir gude fame Be blamischere in ony point or wyse, 2 endure. For wele nor wo, quhill my lyfe may suffise2. 3 MS. theffect. This is the effect3 trewly of myn entent, Touching the suete that smertis me so sore, 4 feigned (fault?). Giff this be faynt4, I can it noght repent, All-though my lyf suld forfaut be therefore, Blisful princes! I can seye you no more; 5 desire so com- Bot so desire my wittis dooth compace5, passes my wits. 6 without. More ioy in erth kepe I noght bot6 your grace." 7 1 willnot say it "Desire," quod sche, "I nyl it noght deny7, nay. So thou it ground and set in Cristin -wise; And therefore, sone, opyn thy hert playnly." truly without deceit. "Madame," quod I, "trew withoutin fantise8, 9 MS. That day That day sall neuer be I sall vp-rise9 sail I never up-rise. For my delyte to couate~0 the plesance ~o covet. "honour. That may hir worschip" putten in balance I2. 12 jeopardy. For oure all thing, lo, this were my gladnesse, To sene the fresche beautee of hir face; 13 MS. it. And gif I13 myght deserue, be processe 4, 14 in course of time. For my grete lufe and treuth, to stond in grace, 15 Her honour Hir worschip sauf'5, lo, here the blisfull cace'6 safe. i6 lot. That I wold ask, and there-to attend, For my most ioye vnto my lyfis end."
Page 61 THE ATINGIS Q UA I. 6i "Now wele," quod sche, "and sen that it is so, That in vertew thy lufe is set with treuth, To helpen the I will be one of tho From hensforth, and hertly without sleuth', heartily with' out sloth, Off thy distresse and excesse to haue reuth That has thy hert; I will pray full faire That Fortune be no more thereto contraire. For suth it is, that all ye creaturis Quhich vnder vs beneth haue your duellyng Ressauen diuersely your auenturis-, coursesof life variously. Off quhich the cure and principall melling carenchief. Apperit is4, withoutin repellyng5, gmeddling) Onely to hir that has the cuttis two 4 Appertains. 5 recall. In hahd6, bothe of your wele and of your wo. 6 i.. Fortune. And how so be that sum clerkis trete, That all your chance7 causit is tofore 7lot. Heigh in the hevin, by quhois effectis grete Ye movit are to wrething8, lesse or more, 8 action. Thar9 in the warld, thus calling that therefore 9 Ms Q"hare 'Fortune,' and so that the diuersitee Off thaire wirking' suld cause necessitee... workin. Bot othir clerkis halden that the man Has in him-self the chose" and libertee "choice. To cause his awin fortune, how or quhan That him best lest, and no necessitee WNas in the hevin at his natiuitee, Bot yit the thingis happin in commune Efter purpose'2, so cleping thame 'fortune.' pacurpdios
Page 62 62 KINGC JAM.4ES THE FIRST. previous know-And quhare a persone has tofore knawing' Off it that is to fall purposely, Lo, Fortune is bot wayke in suich a thing, -note. Thou may wele wit2, and here ensample quhy; MS. it. To God, that3 is the first cause onely Off euery thing, there may no fortune fall: is previously And quhy? for he foreknawin is4 of all. aware. And therefore thus I say to this sentence; 5 is greatest and Fortune is most and strangests euermore strongest. Quhare lest foreknawing or intelligence Is in the man; and, sone, of wit or lore Sen thou are wayke and feble, lo, therefore, communlion. The more thou art in dangere and commune6 With hir that clerkis clepen so Fortune. Bot for the sake, and at the reuerence Off Venus clere, as I the said tofore, I haue of thy distresse compacience; 7assnagement. And in confort and relesche7 of thy sore, advise. The schewit [haue] here myn avises therefore; Pray Fortune help, for mich vnlikly thing Full oft about sche sodeynly dooth bring. Now go thy way, and haue gude mynde vpone in the waytof Quhat I haue said in way of thy doctryne9." teaching thee. A"MS. he. "I sail, madame," quod IIO; and ryght anone I tuke my leve. Als straught as ony lyne, With-in a beme that fro the contree dyvine ",h icn a beaot Sche, percyng throw the firmament, extendit", forth as a path To ground ageyne my spirit is descendit. from heaven.
Page 63 T THE KINGIS QUAIR. 63 Quhare, in a lusty' plane, tuke I my way, ' pleasant. Endlang2 a ryuer, plesant to behold, 2 Along. Enbroudin3 all with fresche flouris gay, 3 Embroidered, adorned. Quhare, throu the grauel, bryght as ony gold, The cristall water ran so clere and cold, That, in myn ere maid contynualy A maner soune, mellit4 with armony; 4 Akindofsound, mingled. That full of lytill fischis by the brym, Now here, now there, with bakkis blewe as lede, Lap and playit, and in a rout can swym So prattily, and dressit5 thame to sprede 5 addressed. Thaire curall6 fynnis, as the ruby rede, 6coral. That in the sonne on thaire scalis bryght As gesserant7 ay glitterit in my sight 7 shining mail. And by this ilke ryuer-syde alawe8 down bythis sameriver-side. Ane hye-way fand I like to bene9, 9 like as it were. On quhich, on euery syde, a long rawe Off treis saw I, full of leuis grene, That full of fruyte delitable were to sene~, 1" to be seen. And also, as it come vnto my mind, Off bestis sawe I mony diuerse kynd: The lyoun king, and his fere" lyonesse; "companion. The pantere, like vnto the smaragdyne12; 12emerald. The lytill uerell full of besynesse I3 drudging..2-. beast of pain. The slawe ase, the druggare beste of pyne'3; '4 foolish. '5 warlike. The nyQe'4 ape; the werely5 porpapyne; 6 the" lover unicorn " was to be The percyng lynx; the lufare vnicorne 6, taken,Samson like, by maiden That voidis venym with his euour'7 horne. lures. '7 i.vry.
Page 64 64 K4ING JAlAMES THE FI'RST There sawe I dresse him new out of [his] haunt cruelttive. The fery' tigere, full of felonye2; 3 standing. The dromydare; the standar3 oliphant; The wyly fox,.the wedowis inemye; 4 climbing goat. The clymbare gayte4; the elk for alblastrye5; 5 elk strong. againstmissiles. The herknere bore6; the holsum grey for hortis7: 6 heark'ning boar. The haire also, that oft gooth to the wortis8. 7 badger good for. hurts. 8 plants. 9 ox. The bugill9, draware by his hornis grete; 10 marten. The martrik-, sable, the foynyee", and mony m I beech-marten. 0; 12 skilful. 13 MS. say. T4 skilful. 15 ravening bear. r6 camlet cloth. The chalk-quhite ermyn, tippit as the iete; The riall hert, the conyng12, and the ro; The wolf, that of the murthir noght sayis'3 "Ho!' The lesty14 beuer, and the ravin bareI5; For chamelot 6, the camel full of hare; With mony ane-othir beste diuerse and strange, That cummyth noght as now vnto my mynd. Bot now to purpose,-straucht furth the range I held a-way, oure-hailing in my mynd From quhenes I come, and quhare that I suld fynd 17 in haste. Fortune, the goddesse, vnto quhom in hye"7 Gude-hope, my gyde, has led me sodeynly. And at the last, behalding thus asyde, A round place, wallit, haue I found; ' soon after. In myddis quhare eftsone'8 I have aspide'9 19 MS. spide.. 20 lodging. Mod. Fortune, the goddesse, hufing20 on the ground: Scot. houf, a resort. And ryght before hir fete, of compas round, 21 clinging I saw. A quhele, on quhich cleuering I sye21 A multitude of folk before myn eye.
Page 65 THE KING1S QUAIR. 65 And ane surcote sche werit' long that tyde, That semyt to me of diuerse hewis, Quhilum thus, quhen sche wald [hir] turne asyde, Stude this goddesse of fortune and [of glewis2]; A chapellet, with mony fresche anewis3 Sche had vpon her hed; and with this hong A mantill on hir schuldris, large and long, I wore. 2 sports, freaks. 3 little rings. Fr. anneau. That furrit was with ermyn full quhite, Degoutit with the self4 in spottis blake: 4 self-spotted. And quhilum in hir chiere5 thus a lyte6 5 cheer, demeanour. Louring sche was; and thus sone it wold slake7, 6a little 7 slacken, cease. And sodeynly a maner8 smylyng make, 8 manner of. An9 sche were glad; [for] at one contenance 9 If. MS. And. Sche held noght, bot [was] ay in variance. And vnderneth the quhele sawe I there Ane vgly pit, depe as ony helle, That to behald thereon I quoke for fere; Bot o thing herd I, that quho there-in fell Come no more vp agane, tidingis to telle; Off quhich, astonait of that ferefull syght, I ne wist quhat to done, so was I fricht~1. o affrigte0. Bot for to se the sudayn weltering Off that ilk quhele, that sloppare" was to hold, It semyt vnto my wit a strange2 thing, So mony I sawe that than clymben wold, And failit foting, and to ground were rold; And othir eke, that sat aboue on hye, Were ouerthrawe in twinklyng of ane eye. II slippery, I2 MS. strong. F II
Page 66 66 KING JAlMES THE FIRST. And on the quhele was lytill void space, very. nearly Wele nere oure-straught' fro lawe vnto2 hye; straight across. 2MS. to. And they were ware3 that long sat in place, 3 wary. 4 So unsteadily So tolter quhilum did sche it to-wrye4; at times she turned it awry. There was bot clymbe and ryght dounward hye5, And sum were eke that fallyng had [so] sore, There for to clymbe thaire corage was no more. I sawe also that, quhere sum were slungin, Be quhirlyng of the quhele, vnto the ground, 6 thrust themup. Full sudaynly sche hath [thaim] vp ythrungin6, And set thame on agane full sauf and sound: And euer I sawe a new swarme abound, That [thought] to clymbe vpward vpon the quhele, 7 go round. In stede of thame that myght no langer rele7. MS. presene. And at the last, in presence8 of thame all 9 called. That stude about, sche clepit9 me be name; And therewith apon kneis gan I fall 10 saluting. Full sodaynly hailsing0~, abaist for schame; And, smylyng thus, sche said to me in game, "Quhat dois thou here? Quho has the hider sent? Say on anone, and tell me thyne entent. I se wele, by thy chere and contenance, There is sum thing that lyis the on hert,;stands. It stantT" noght with the as thou wald, perchance?" "Madame," quod I, "' for lufe is all the smert 12 along and That euer I fele, endlang and ouerthwert2. across. Mod. colloq. to tell Help, of your grace, me wofull wrechit wight, the long and the short of it. Sen13 me to cure ye powere haue and myght." 13 Since.
Page 67 THE KINGIS QUAIR. 67 "Quhat help," quod sche, "wold thou that I ordeyne, To bring the vnto thy hertis desire?" "Madame," quod T, "bot that your grace dedeyne', deign. Off your grete myght, my wittis to enspire, To win the well that slokin may the fyre In quhich I birn. A, goddesse fortunate! Help now my game, that is in point to mate2." 2 onpoi tofbeing me-_3 "Off mate?" quod sche, "! verray sely wrech3, I se wele by thy dedely coloure pale, Thou art to feble of thy-self to streche Vpon my quhele, to clymbe or to hale4 Withoutin help; for thou has fundin stale5 This mony day, withoutin werdis wele6, And wantis now thy veray hertis hele7. Wele maistow be a wrechit man callit, That wantis the confort suld8 thy hert glade; And has all thing within thy hert stallit9, That may thy youth oppressen or defade"~. Though thy begynnyng hath bene retrograde, Be froward opposyt quhare till aspert", Now sall thai turne, and luke on the dert"2." s1ULtICK 11 lU.~. 3 truly helpless wretch. 4 haul. 5 found stall (prison). 6 happy fate. 7 health. 8 MS. that suld. 9 installed. ro dispirit. II Opposed by froward men towards whom thon art xasc ' ' perated. 12 dirt. And therewith-all vnto the quhele in hye3 13 in haste. Sche hath me led, and bad me lere14 to clymbe,4 learn. Vpon the quhich I steppit sudaynly. "Now hald thy grippis," quod sche, "for thy tyme, Ane houre and more it rynnis ouer prime; To count the hole, the half is nere away; Spend wele,-therefore, the remanant of the-day.
Page 68 68 8 KING JAMES THE FIRST. these folkt Ensample," quod sche, " tak of this tofore', before (thee). That fro my quhele be rollit as a ball; For the nature of it is euermore, 2 descend. After ane hicht, to vale2 and geue a fall, 3 to cause to fall. Thus, quhen 'me likith, vp or doune to fall3. Fare-wele," quod sche, and by the ere me toke So ernestly, that therewithall I woke. 4 restless spirit. O besy goste4! ay flikering to and fro, That neuer art in quiet nor in rest, Till thou cum to that place that thou cam fro, Quhich is thy first and verray proper nest: 5 art thou treated. From day to day so sore here artow drest5, 6alwayswhie That with thy flesche ay walking6 art in trouble, waking. 7 pain. And sleping eke; of pyne7 so has thou double. haC. couert Towart8 my-self all this mene I to loke9. 9 have regard. Though that my spirit vexit was tofore o dreamiung. In sueuenyngl0, alssone as euer I woke MS. sueuyng. MS. xxty fold. By twenty6fold" it was in trouble more, Bethinking me with sighing hert and sore That [I] nane othir thingis bot dremes had, 12 certainty. Nor sekernesT2, my spirit with to glad. 13 addressed. And therewith sone I dressit'3 me to ryse, '4 Filled full. Fulfild'4 of thoght, pyne, and aduersitee; 15 MS. i And to my-self I said vpon'5 this wise; "A! merci, Lord! quhat will ye dco with me? Quhat lyf is this? quhare hath my spirit be? Is this of my forethoght impressioun, Or is it from the hevin a visioun?
Page 69 THE KINGIS Q)UZIR. 69 And gif ye goddis, of youre puruiance', I providence. Haue schewit this for my reconforting, In relesche2 of my furiouse pennance, 2 assuagement. I yow beseke full humily of this thing, That of youre grace I myght haue more takenyng3, 3 token. Gif it sal be as in my slepe before Ye shewit haue." And forth, withoutin more, In hye vnto the wyndow gan I walk, Moving within my spirit of this sight, Quhare sodeynly a turture4, quhite as chalk5, 4 turtle-dove. 5 MS. calk. So evinly vpon my hand gan lyght, And vnto me sche turnyt hir full ryght; Off quham the chere in hir birdis aport6 6demeanour. 'Gave me in hert kalendis of confort7. 7 beginnings of comfort. This fair bird ryght in hir bill gane hold Of red iorofflis8 with thair stalkis grene 8 gillyflowers. A fair branche, quhare writtin was with gold, On euery list9, with branchis bryght and schene'Io ~9 gishes In compas fair, full plesandly to sene", brightand A plane sentence, quhich, as I can deuise Ipleasant to see. And haue in mynd, said ryght on this wise: "Awak! awake! I bring, lufar2, I bring I lover. The newis glad, that blisfull bene and sure Of thy confort; now lauch, and play, and syng, That art besid13 so glad ane auenture; 13 near to. For in the hevyn decretit is the cure'4." I4 cure is decreed thee. And vnto me the flouris fair present'5: 1s she presented. With wyngis spred, hir wayis furth sche went.
Page 70 7o KING JAMES THE FIRST. Quhilk vp a-none I tuke, and as I gesse, 'ere. Ane hundreth tymes, or' I forthir went, I haue it red, with hertfull -glaidnese; 2took. And, half with hope, and half with dred, it hent2, And at my beddis hed, with gud entent, I haue it fair pynnit vp, and this First takyn was of all my help and blisse. The quhich treuly efter, day be day, That all my wittis maistrit had tofore, 3 MS. Quhich From hennesferth3 the paynis did away. hensferth. And schortly, so wele Fortune has hir bore, To quikin treuly _day by day my lore, 4 That to my To my larges that4 I am cumin agayne, freedom. To blisse with hir that is my souirane. Bot for als moche as sum micht think or seyne, 5 upon so small Quhat nedis me, apoun so litill evyn5, a foundation. Mod. Scot. a To writt all this? I ansuere thus ageyne,supposition. 6 had once crept Quho that from hell war croppin onys in hevin6, into heaven. 7 MS. vi or vii. Wald efter o thank for ioy mak sex or sevyn7: 8 sweet, And euery wicht his awin suetes or sore happiness. Has maist in mynde: I can say you no more. Eke quho may in this lyfe haue more plesance 9 liberty. Than cum to largesse9 from thraldom and peyne, o means. And by the mene'~ of Luffis ordinance, That has so mony in his goldin cheyne? Ix MS. this. Quhich thinkis" to wyn his hertis souereyne, blame. Quho suld me wite" to write thar-of, lat se! Now suffictnte is my felicitee.
Page 71 THE KINGIS QUAIR. Beseching vnto fair Venus abufe, For all my brethir that bene in this place, This is to seyne, that seruandis ar to Lufe, And of his lady can no thank purchase, His paine relescht, and sone to stand in grace, I relieve. Boith to his worschip' and to his first ese; 2 honour. So that it hir and resoune noght displese: And eke for thame that ar noght entrit inne The dance of lufe, bot thidder-wart on way, In gude tyme and sely3 to begynne 3 seasonable. Thair prentissehed, and forthir-more I pray For thame that passit ben the mony affray In lufe, and cummyn4 ar to full plesance, 4 MS. cunnyng. To graunt thamie all, lo! gude perseuerance: And eke I pray for all the hertis dull, That lyven here in sleuth and ignorance, And has no curage at the rose to pull, Thair lif to mend and thair saulis auance With thair suete lore, and bring thame to gude chance; And quho that will noght for this prayer turne, Quhen thai wald faynest speid, that thai may spurne5 s i.e. I pray that they may trip. To rekyn of euery-thing the circumstance, As hapnit me quhen lessen gan my sore, Of my rancoure and [of my] wofull chance, It war to long, I lat it be tharefor. And thus this floure6, I can seye no more, 6 i.e.flower of womanhood. So hertly has vnrto my help attendit, That from the deth hir man sche has defendit.
Page 72 72 XING JA4I~ES THE FIRST. 'vorking. And eke the goddis mercifull virking', For my long pane and trewe seruice in lufe, That has me gevin halely myn asking, Quhich has my hert for euir sett abufe In perfyte ioy, that neuir may remufe, 2praise. Bot onely deth: of quhom, in laud and prise2, With thankfull hert I say richt in this wise:3may. "Blissit mot3 be the goddis all, So fair that glitteren in the firmament! And blissit be thare myght celestiall, That haue convoyit hale, with one assent, My lufe, and to [so] glade a consequent! 4 axle-tree. And thankit be Fortunys exiltree4 And quhele, that thus so wele has quhirlit me. Thankit mot be, and fair and lufe befall The nychtingale, that, with so gud entent, Sang thare of lufe the notis suete and small, Quhair my fair hertis lady was present, 5 ere. Hir with to glad, or5 that sche forthir went! 6 gillyflower. And thou gerafloure6, mot i-thankit be All othir flouris for the lufe of the! And thankit be the fair castell wall, Quhare as I quhilom lukit furth and lent. 7 saintsofMarch. Thankit mot be the sanctis marciall7, That me first causit hath this accident. Thankit mot be the grene bewis bent, 8happenedtome.Throu quhom, and vnder, first fortunyt me8 9healing. My hertis hele9, and my confort to be.
Page 73 THE KINGIS QUAIR. 73 For to the presence suete and delitable, Rycht of this floure that full is of plesance, By processe and by menys fauorable, First of the blisful goddis purueyance', And syne2 throu long and trew contynuance Of veray3 faith in lufe and trew seruice, I cum am, and [yit] forthir in this wise. Vnworthy, lo, bot onely. of hir grace, In lufis yok, that esy is and sure, In guerdoune of all my lufis space4 Sche hath me tak, hir humble creature. And thus befell my blisfull auenture, In youth, of lufe, that now from day to day Flourith ay newe, and yit forthir, I say. 1 providence. 2 afterwards. 3 true. 4 duration. Go litill tretise, nakit of eloquence, Causing simplese and pouertee to wit5; And pray the reder to haue pacience Of thy defaute, and to supporten it6, Of his gudnese thy brukilnese to knytt7, And his tong for to reule and to stere, That thy defautis helit may bene here. 5 simplicity and poverty to be known. 6 to bear with it. 7 thy brokenness to piece together. Allace! and gif thou cummyst in the presence, Quhare as8 of blame faynest thou wald be quite,8 Where that. To here thy rude and crukit eloquens, Quho sal be thare to pray for thy remyt9? 9 excuse. No wicht, bot geve" hir merci will admytt 0 No person, b unless. The for Gud-will, that is thy gyd and stere: " do thou To quhame for me thou pitousely requere". piteously entreat.
Page 74 74 KING JAMES THE FIRST. 'MS.fotall. And thus endith the fatall' influence Causit from hevyn, quhare power is commytt Of gouirnance, by the magnificence Of Him that hiest in the hevin sitt; give thnks. To Quham we thank2 that all oure [lif] hath writt, 3 Whocould read Quho coutht it red, agone syne mony a yere3, it many a year ago. Hich in the hevynnis figure circulere. 4 hynns. Vnto [the] impnis4 of my maisteris dere, MS. inpnis. Gowere and Chaucere, that on the steppis satt Of rethorike quhill thai were lyvand here, Superlatiue as poetis laureate, In moralitee and eloquence ornate, I recommend my buk in lynis sevin, And eke thair saulis vn-to the blisse of hevin. Amen. Quod explicit Jacobus Primus, Scotorum Rex Illustrissimus.
Page 75 GOOD COUNSEL. [From 'The Gude and Godlie Ballates," I578.] SEN throw vertew incressis dignitie, And vertew is flour and rute of noblesse ay, Of ony wit, or quhat estait thow be, His steppis follow, and dreid for none effray': Eject vice, and follow treuth alway: Lufe maist thy God that first thy lufe began, And for ilk2 inche he will the quyte3 ane span. I fear no affrighting. a each. 3 requite. Be not ouir4 proude in thy prosperitie, For as it cummis, sa will it pas away; The tyme to compt5 is schort, thow may weill se, For of grene gress sone cummis wallowit6 hay. Labour in treuth, quhilk suith is of thy fay7; Traist maist in God, for he best gyde the can, And for ilk inche he will the quyte ane span. 4 over. 5 count, reckon. 6 withered. 7 which is the truth(substance) of thy faith. Sen word is thrall, and thocht is only fre, 8 Tame thou. Thou dant8 thy toung, that power hes and may9 9 is mighty. Thou steikT" thy ene fra warldis vanitie: io close thou. Refraine thy lust, and harkin quhat I say: Graip or" thow slyde, and keip furth2 the hie-way, ' Grope ere. Thow hald the fast upon thy God and man, And for ilk inche he will the quyte ane span. Quod King James the First.
Page 76 i 1 i i i i I I i I iI I I i
Page 77 ROBERT HENRYSON.
Page 78 I I
Page 79 ROBERT HENRYSON. LINKING the latter days of the First James to the brilliant age of James the Fourth shines the name of Robert Henryson, writer of the earliest Scottish pastoral. First of the greater Scottish makars whose I life and work bore no direct relation to the political history of the country, the Dunfermline poet struck on the national lyre certain sweet and quaint new keys which ring yet with an undiminished charm, and preserve for him a unique place among the mastersingers of the north. Little is known of the personal history of this " most exquisite of the Scottish Chaucerians." According to the tradition of last century he was the representative of the family of Henryson or Henderson of Fordell in Fife; and in Douglas's Baronage of Scotland he is stated to have been the father of James Henderson, King's Advocate and Lord Justice-Clerk in the reign of James IV., who redeemed the family lands and had them erected into a barony in I510. Of these facts, however, though possible and even probable enough, there exists no absolute proof. In the Chartulary of Dunfermline there are three deeds dated March, 1477-8, and July, 1478, by Henry, Abbot of Dunfermline, granting to George de Lothreisk and Patrick
Page 80 80 ROBERT HEN YSON. Baron the lands of Spitalfield near Inverkeithing. To each of these documents the name of Magister Robertus Henryson, notarius publicus, is appended as witness. From the title of notary public Dr. Irving, in his History of Scottish Poetry, infers that Henryson was probably an ecclesiastic, and could therefore have no legitimate offspring. It has to be noted, however, that Henryson is nowhere styled clericus or presbyter, the usual titles of churchmen. By an Act of James III., moreover, in I469, laymen had been admitted to act as notaries in matters civil. It is quite possible, therefore, that the poet may have been the father of the Lord Justice-Clerk who fell with James IV. at Flodden. Whether this was the case, however, and whether the lands of Fordell had formerly belonged to the family of Henryson, and had been wadsett or alienated by them previous to the acquisition by the Justice-Clerk,* are questions hardly likely to find conclusive settlement now. In one of his works Henryson describes himself as "ane man of age," and Sir Francis Kynaston, who translated the Testament of Cresseid into Latin verse in the time of Charles I., stated upon what seems good authority that the poet " being very old, died of a diarrhcea or flux." It is certain that he had passed away before 1506, for Dunbar, in his well-known "Lament for the Makaris," written about that year, says of DeathIn Dunfermelyne he hes done roun With gud Maister Robert Henrisoun. * See Appendix to Laing's edition of Henryson, pp. 44-5.
Page 81 ROBERT HENR YSON. Laing therefore conjectures that we cannot greatly err in supposing the poet to have been born not later than the year 1425. From the general tone, no less than the various classical allusions in his work, it might be gathered that he had received an education unusually liberal for laymen of that age. This is made certain by the fact that he is uniformly styled Master Robert Henryson, a title confined exclusively in those days to persons who had taken an academic degree. His name, nevertheless, does not appear on the registers of St. Andrews, at that time the only university in Scotland, and it must therefore be inferred that he pursued or completed his studies at some foreign university, such as Louvain or Paris. This was a custom from an early date in Scotland. In 1365 and 1368, as we know from existing permits, John Barbour, Archdeacon of Aberdeen, and others passed through England to France for purposes of scholarship; and fifty years after Henryson's time there was hardly a university in Europe which did not count among its members wandering Scottish scholars like George Buchanan and the Admirable Crichton. Glasgow University, the second in Scotland, was founded by a bull of Pope Nicholas V. in 1451, and among those incorporated as members appears on ioth September, I462, "the venerable Master Robert Henryson, Licentiate in Arts and Bachelor in Decrees." Such a title would imply that the poet had qualified for the legal profession, and upon the strength of this Laing suggests that "although no such record is preserved, it is by no G II
Page 82 82 ROBERT HENRYSON. means improbable that he became a Fellow of Glasgow University for the purpose of reading lectures in law." But it seems as likely that his enrolment, with that of others, was for the purpose of giving weight and dignity to the new foundation. Whatever may have been his functions as a notary public, Henryson, according to common tradition, followed the occupation of schoolmaster in Dunfermline. He is so designated first on the title of his Fables in 1570 and I57I, and again on the edition of his "Cresseid" in 1593. Various conjectures have been hazarded as to the exact professional position of the poet.* It is now, however, well known t that a "Sang Scule" existed at an early period in almost every one of the cathedral cities of Scotland, as well as in many of the smaller towns. The "Sang Scule" of Aberdeen, the most famous of these ancient institutions, is believed to have existed as early as 1370, and so popular did it become that it attracted teachers of even continental fame. The original purpose of these "scules" was the instruction of youths in the music and Latin necessary for proper performance of the church services. Gradually, however, other branches of instruction were added, until the institutions assumed the complete functions of grammar schools. Laing quotes from the Privy Council Register of I3th * Lord Hailes' Ancient Scottish Poems, p. 273; Sibbald's Chronicle of Scottish Poetry, vol. i., p. 87; and Chalmers' Preface to "Robene and Makyne," &c., p. vii., note 2. t See an interesting article on "Music in Early Scotland " by Mr. J. Cuthbert Hadden in the Scottish Review for October, i888.
Page 83 ROBERT HENRYSON. 83 October, I573, a complaint at the instance of "John Henryson of the Grammar School within the Abbey of Dunfermline," which states that "he.and his predecessors had continued Masters and Teachers of the Youth, in letters and doctrine, to their great commodity, within the said school, past memory of man, admitted thereto by the Abbots of Dunfermling for the time," &c. This, without doubt, was the school of which the poet was in his time chief master, and curiously enough it is the only " sang scule " in Scotland of which traces still remain. According to Mr. Cuthbert Hadden, "the precentor of the parish church of Dunfermline still enjoys a yearly salary of ~8 6s. 8d. as teacher of music in the Sang or Grammar School, which is a sinecure." No further facts of Henryson's life are known, though it may be possible to conjecture something of the poet's character and experience from the character and tone of his work. Twelve years of age when the poet-king, James I., was slain at Perth, the greater part of his life was comprised in the reigns of James II. and James III., the darkest and most stormy period of Stuart rule in Scotland, and though it cannot be supposed that he had any personal share in the troubles of the time, their shadow can be distinctly seen resting here and there upon his verse. A quiet, thoughtful man he appears to have been, who, as the echoes of the changeful strife without reached him in his still abbey walk, came to ask himself what were the true ideals and the meaning of human existence. The answer at
Page 84 84 ROBERT HENR YSON. which he arrived is to be read everywhere between the lines of his poems. Henryson's works have been preserved scattered amid the following collections:-The Asloan MS. in the Auchinleck Library, the Bannatyne MS. and Gray's MS. in the Advocates' Library, the Maitland MS. in the Pepysian Library at Cambridge, the Harleian MS. in the British Museum, and Makculloch's MS. which was in the possession of his editor, Laing. Of editions of the separate poems there may be mentioned " Orpheus and Eurydice,"printed by Chepman & Millar in 1508, the "Moral Fables" by Lekprevik in I570, and the "Testament of Cresseid" by Henry Charteris in I593. From the Bannatyne MS., in which are included the greater number of Henryson's existing poems, the Bannatyne Club printed "Robene and Makyne" and "The Testament of Cresseid" in 1824; and in 1832 the Maitland Club reprinted the "Moral Fables" from an edition of 1621. The poet's works, however, did not exist in complete collected form until 1865, in which year an edition, "leaving nothing to be desired," was edited by David Laing and published at Edinburgh. -— The Testament of Cresseid" has generally been esteemed the greatest of Henryson's compositions, though it cannot be considered the most complete. It suffers from the fact that it forms the sequel to a poem by another writer. Upon reading Chaucer, whose works had but lately been printed, the Scottish poet appears to have been struck by the unjust ending of the tale of "Troilus and Creseide." In
Page 85 ROBERT HENR YSON. that tale, while the noble Troilus perishes on the battlefield, the false Creseide is left living with Diomed. To remedy this defect, and bring about.a catastrophe more in accordance with poetic justice, Henrhyson wrote his episode. This formed part of the contents of the lost folios of the Asloan MS. (1515), and Laing conjectures that it was probably printed by Chepman & Millar with other works of Henryson in o508; but so close a relation did it bear to Chaucer's poem, and so much did it enhance the interest of the narrative, that it was included, without its author's name, in all the early editions of the English poet after I532. "It was even," says Laing, "enumerated in the list of Chaucer's works by Leland, Bale, and other early writers, who:seem never to have heard of the name of Henryson." The true authorship of the "Testament" was first acknowledged in i635 by Sir Francis Kynaston in,the introduction to his Latin translation of "Troilus.and Creseid." "For the author of this supplement,".he says, "called the Testament of Creseid, which may pass for the sixth and last book of this story, I have very sufficiently been informed by Sir Thomas Erskine, late Earle of Kelly, and divers aged scholars.of the Scottish nation, that it was made and written by one Mr. Robert Henderson, sometime chiefe Schoolemaster in Dunfermling, much about the time that Chaucer was first printed; and dedicated to King Henry VIII. by Mr. Thinne, which was neere the end of his raigne" (i.e., in 1532). The historian of Scottish poetry has remarked that
Page 86 86 R OBERT HENRYSON. "for 'the tale of Troy divine' neither Chaucer nor Henryson had recourse to the classical sources. This, like some other subjects of ancient history, had been invested with all the characteristics of modern romance. The personages are ancient, but the institutions and manners are all modern." At another place, adverting to the poet's account of Mercury, the same writer expresses the hope "that Henryson taught one system of mythology to his scholars, and adopted another for the embellishment of his poetry." Such freedom of treatment, however, was common to all the writers as well as the painters of the time, and it detracts little from the actual value and beauty of the poem. The chief objection to the "Testament of Cresseid " has been that in afflicting the heroine with so loathsome a disease as leprosy Henryson departed from the delicacy of Chaucer's original work. Godwin, the biographer of Chaucer, observes: "Henryson perceived what there was defective in the close of the story of Troilus and Creseide as Chaucer left it; but the Scottish poet was incapable of rising to the refinement, or conceiving the delicacies of the English poet; though it must be admitted that in the single instance of the state of mind, the half-recognition, halfignorance, attributed to Troilus in his last encounter with Creseide, there is a felicity of conception impossible to be surpassed. In some respects the younger poet has clearly the advantage over the more ancient. There is in his piece abundance of incident, of imagery, and of painting, without tediousness, with scarcely one of those lagging, impertinent, and un
Page 87 ROBERRT HENRYSON. 87 meaning lines, with which the production of Chaucer is so frequently degraded." With the latter part of this criticism Dr. Merry Ross* entirely agrees, saying of the lament of Cresseid in the spittal-house in particular, "The pathos throughout is so sweet and tender, the imagery so rich and various, the wordpainting so felicitous, in spite of an excessive alliteration, that we venture to pronounce this part of the poem the highest achievement of Henryson's genius." Attention may be drawn to the opening of the poem as a passage of singular charm. Nothing could be happier than the introduction, wherein the poet, after regarding from his chamber the beauty of the frosty night outside, mends the fire, comforts his spirits with "ane drink," and, taking a book in hand, settles himself "to cut the winter nicht and mak it schort." And altogether, there can be no question that in the " Testament of Cresseid" the Scottish makar has, to quote his editor, "produced as a distinct episode a picture of touching pathos and beauty." " Orpheus and Eurydice," a metrical version of the well known classical story, of equal length with the "Testament of Cresseid," has been attributed alternately to the early years and to the old age of the poet. Holding close to the incidents of the tale as narrated by Virgil and Ovid, it certainly exhibits little of the master-touch seen in its sister composition, and may be considered as chiefly of note for illustrating its author's familiarity with the classic learning of his time. * Scottish History and Literature, p. 165.
Page 88 88 ROBERT HENRYSON. Most bulky and perhaps best known of Henryson's works is his series of " Moral Fables." These claim to be Scottish metrical versions of thirteen of the fables of AEsop, each with a moral appended, and the whole introduced by two prologues. Of the Latin collection of fables attributed to the Phrygian zAsop, it is conjectured that the first printed edition was made at Rome, in the year I473, and that proving extremely popular, the work was translated before long into most European languages. At anyrate, collections of such apologues, under the names of A.sop, Avianus, and other ancient writers, afforded popular amusement for all classes of people towards the end of the fifteenth century. Which of these collections Henryson used as a model is not known, but it is believed, from their allusions to the corruptions and disturbances of the time, that his own " Moral Fables " were written between the years I470 and 1480, and he has the credit of being one of the first of the British poets to employ the apologue as a distinct class of literature. In telling these stories Henryson departs from the terse manner of his classic models, and his work bears little likeness to the short, neat fables of Gay and La Fontaine. His tales are full of descriptive imagery, pleasant dialogue, humorous incident, and allusions to the everyday life and manners of his time. He had the artistic instinct to perceive that such productions take their chief value from the human sentiment behind them. So much, indeed, has he raised the interest of the narratives by the reflection in them of human feeling and character
Page 89 ROBERT HENRYSON. 89 that he may be said to have by them added to literature a novel and fascinating poetic form. From the fable which has generally been considered his best, "The Taill of the Uplandis Mous and the Burges Mous," a good deal is to be gathered, as one critic has pointed out, of the social institutions of Henryson's age. Among other details the town mouse, a "gildbrother" and "free burges," when she travels to visit her upland sister, who lives "as outlawis dois," goes barefoot and with pikestaff in her hand, "as pure pilgrym." Some light is even cast upon the diet of those days —wine, cheese, thraf-cakes, and "all the coursis that cuikis culd defyne." But if manners have altered, human nature has not changed. The modern reader is tempted to smile in curious recognition of the city madame who, when offered the plain fare of her sister's shieling, "prompit furth in pryde." In short, under the guise of apologue this and the other twelve fables present us with pictures of real life whose shrewd accuracy is all the more delightful that it is veiled behind a playful name. Henryson's shorter pieces are marked no less strongly than his more ambitious works with the individuality of their author. Among them "The Bludy Serk" has been called one of the earliest specimens of ballad writing. But it is in reality a subtle allegory which might have afforded Bunyan a suggestion for his episode of Giant Despair. A better example of the poet's allegorical fancy is found in "The Garmond of Gude Ladeis," a typical work of its kind, containing a touch or two, as in the third verse,
Page 90 90 ROBERT HENR YSON. which our modern tongue could hardly approach. The other short poems, like " The Abbay Walk" and "The Prais of Aige," with their gentle temper and pensive benignity, bring the reader nearest, perhaps, to the character of the poet himself. It is by his single short pastoral, however, that Henryson, after all has been said, is likely to linger longest in the memory of the reader. " Robene and Makyne " is the earliest specimen of pastoral poetry in the language, but in no respect does it fall short of later efforts in the same field. Dr. Irving, indeed, considered it "superior in many respects to the similar attempts of Spenser and Browne," finding it "free from the glaring improprieties which sometimes appear in the pastorals of those distinguished writers," while Dr. Merry Ross declared it to be "one of the loveliest pastorals in all literature." Every point in the poem is true to nature, and every stanza strikes a chord in the common heart of humanity. Nothing could be more profoundly pathetic than the lines beginning "Robene that warld is all away," simple as the words appear; and when the poem has been read throughout, the whole remains in the mind, clear and vivid, a picture to which no touch could add effect. In this poem, within a brief compass, is perhaps to be discovered the main secret of Henryson's charm. Here the art and the heart of the master-singer are revealed together-the lines are still lightened by a quaint and kindly humour while his pen is touching the tender fountains of passion and regret.
Page 91 ROBENE AND MAKYNE. OBENE sat on gud grene hill, Kepand a flok of fe'; Mirry Makyne said him till2, "Robene, thow rew on me3; I half the luvit lowd and still4 Thir yeiris two or thre,; My dule in dern bot gif thow dill5, Doutless but dreid I de6." Robene answerit, "Be the Rude, Na-thing of lufe I knaw, Bot keipis my scheip undir yone wude, Lo, quhair thay raik on raw7! Quhat hes marrit the in thy mude, Makyne, to me thow schaw? Or quhat is lufe or to be lude8? Fane wald I leir9 that law. "At luvis lair'~ gife thow will leir, Tak thair ane A, B, C; Be heynd", courtass, and fair of feir2, Wyse,-hardy, and fre: I sheep. 2 to. 3 havepityonme. 4 openly and secretly. 5 My secret woe unless thou share. 6 for lack of endurance I die 7 range in row. 8 loved. 9 learn. to lore. rx gentle. 12 carriage.
Page 92 92 ROBERT HENR YSON. I daunt thee. 2 Whatsoever woe in secret thou endure. 3 Exert. 4 wot. 5 thus uneasy. 6 glad. 7 healthy on the heights. 8 If. 9 bring reproof. So that no denger do the deir', Quhat dule in dern thow dre2; Preiss3 thee with pane at all poweir Be pacient, and previe." Robene answerit hir agane, "I wait4 nocht quhat is lufe; But I haif mervell incertaine, Quhat makis th6 this wanrufe5. The weddir is fair, and I am fane6, My scheip gois haill aboif7, And8 we wald play us in this plane Thay wald us bayth reproif9." 2o take heed. II advise. 12 whole. 13 And also. 24 salve for sorrow. 15 In secret with thee unless I deal. I6 this same time. I7 While we have lain. 's ill-will have I if I tarry. I9 stir. "Robene, tak tent~0 unto my taill, And wirk all as I reidI', And thow sall haif my hairt all haill2, Eik and'3 my maidenheid. Sen God sendis bute for baill14, And for murnyng remeid; In dern with thee bot giff I daill'5 Dowtles I am bot deid." "Makyne, to-morne this ilka tyde 6 And ye will meet me heir Peraventure my scheip may gang besyd Quhill we haif liggit7 full -neir; Bot mawgre haif I and I bydi8 Fra thay begin to steir,9. Quhat lyis on hairt I will nocht hyd; Makyne than niak gud cheir."
Page 93 ROBENE AND MAKYNE. 93 "Robene, thow reivis me roiff' and rest! I luve bot the allane." "Makyrie, adew! the sone gois west, The day is neir-hand gane." "Robene, in dule I am so drest2, That lufe wil be my bane." "Ga lufe, Makyne, quhair-evir thow list, For lemman r luve nane." "Robene, I stand in sic a style3 I sicht4, and that full sair." " Makyne, I haif bene heir this quhyle, At hame God gif I wair5." "My huny, Robene, talk ane quhyle, Gif thow will do na mair." "Makyne, sum uthir man begyle, For hamewart I will fair." 1 robbest me of quiet. 2 beset. 3 such a state. 4 sigh. 5 God grant I were. Robene on his wayis went Als licht as leif of tre. Mawkyn murnit in hir intent6, And trowd him nevir to se. Robene brayd atour the bent7; Than Makyne cryit on hie, "Now ma thow sing, for I am schent8; Quhat alis lufe at me?" Mawkyne went hame withowttin faill Full wery eftir cowth weip9. Than Robene in a ful fair daillx~ Assemblit all his scheip. 6 desire. 7 "strode across the brake." 8 lost. 9 weary and like to weep. Io deal, number.
Page 94 94 ROBERT HENR YSON. Be that sum parte of Mawkynis aill Out-throw his hairt cowd creip; He fallowit hir fast thair till assaill 'tood her And till hir tuke gude keep-. good heed. "Abyd, abyd, thow fair Makyne! A word for ony-thing! For all my luve it sal be thyne, 2 Without Withowttin departing2. dividing. 3 To have thy All haill thy harte for till haif myne3 whole heart mine. Is all my cuvating. 4 till. My scheip to-morn, quhill4 houris nyne, Will neid of no keping." "Robene, thow hes hard soung and say 5 romances. In gestis5 and storeis auld 'The man that will nocht quhen he may, Sall haif nocht quhen he wald.' I pray to Jesu, every day 6 May add to. Mot eik6 thair cairis cauld, 7 endeavour. That first preissis7 with the to play enclosed land. Be firth8, forrest, or fauld9." 9 open pastures. "Makyne, the nicht is soft and dry, The weddir is warme and fair, And the grene woid rycht neir us by 0 To walk over — To walk atour all quhair'": everywhere. tattler. Thair ma na janglour" us espy That is to lufe contrair; Thairin, Makyne, bath ye and I Unsene we ma repair."
Page 95 'OBENE AND MAKYNE. 95 "Robene, that warld is all away, And quyt brocht till ane end; And nevir agane thairto, perfay', Sall it be as thow wend2. For of my pane thow maid it play, And all in vane I spend; As thow-hes done, sa sail I say, Murne on, I think to mend." I by my faith. 2 weened, expected. "Makyne, the howp of all my heill3, My hairt on the is sett, And evir-mair to the be leill4 Quhill I may leif, but lett5; Nevir to faill, as utheris feill6, Quhat grace that evir I gett." "Robene, with the I will nocht deill; Adew! for thus we mett." Makyne went hame blyth anewche7 Attour the holtis hair8. Robene murnit, and Makyne lewche9; Scho sang, he sichit sair10: And so left him bayth wo and wreuch", In dolour and in cair, Kepand his hird under a huche2 Amang the holtis hair. 3 hope of all my health. 4 loyal. 5 without ceasing. 6 as others fail. 7 enough. 8 Over the grey hills. 9 laughed. 10 sighed sore. 1 woeful and wretched. 12 cliff.
Page 96 THE GARMOND OF GUDE LADEIS.* WALD my gud Lady lufe me best, And wirk eftir my will, I suld ane garlgond gudliest I Cause make for Gar mak hir body till. her body. 2high. Off he' honour suld be hir hud, Upoun hir heid to weir, Garneist with governance so gud, 3 No censure should hurt Na demyng suld hir deir3. her. Hir sark suld be hir body nixt, Of chestetie so quhyt, With schame and dreid togidder mixt, The same suld be perfyt. Hir kirtill suld be of clene constance, 4 lawfl loe. Lasit with lesum lufe4 5 eyelet-holes of The mailyheis of continuance5 continence. For nevir to remufe. * Lord Hailes considered this poem "a sort of paraphrase of I Tim. ii., 9-II," and Laing remarks that "Pinkerton (History, vol i., p. 434) refers to it as giving the best idea of the dress of a lady of that period; 'the complete attire consisting of hood, shift, kirtle (or gown and petticoat) tied with laces and adorned with mails or spangles; an upper gown or robe, purfled and furred, and adorned with ribbons; a belt; a mantle or cloak in bad weather; a hat, tippet, patelet, perhaps small ruff; a ribbon about the neck; sleeves, gloves, shoes and hose.'"
Page 97 THE GARMOND OF GUDE LADEIS. 97 Hir gown suld be of gudliness, Weill ribband with renowne, Purfillit with plesour in ilk place', 'each place. Furrit with fyne fassoun2. 2fashion. Hir belt suld be of benignitie, About hir middill meit; Hir mantill of humilitie, To tholl3 bayth wind and weit. 3 endure. Hir hat suld be of fair having4, 4 carriage. And hir tepat of trewth, Hir patelet of gude pansing5, 5 Her ruffofgoodht. Hir hals-ribbane6 6f rewtl 7. 6 throat-ribbon. 7 pity. Hir slevis suld be of esperance, To keip hir fra dispair; Hir gluvis of the gud govirnance, To hyd hir fyngearis fair. Hir schone8 suld be of fickernes9, certainty. In syne that scho nocht slyd; Hir hois of honestie, I ges, I suld for hir provyd. Wald scho put on this garmond gay, I durst sweir by my seill Io, salvation. That scho woir nevir grene nor gray That set hir half so weill. H II
Page 98 THE ABBAY WALK.* ALLONE as I went up and doun In ane Abbay was fair to se, Thinkand quhat consolatioun Was best in-to adversitie; By chance. On caiss' I kest on syd myne e, And saw this written upoun a wall, Of quhat estait, Man, that thow be, Obey, and thank thy God of all. Thy kindome and thy grit empyre, Thy ryaltie, nor riche array, Sall nocht endeur at thy desyre, Bot, as the wind, will wend away; Thy gold, and all thy gudis gay, Quhen fortoun list will fra thee fall: 2 Since thou seest such examples Sen thow sic fampillis seis ilk day2, eachday. Obey, and thank thy God of all. * This title was given to the poem by Lord Hailes "from a like title given to a popular poem mentioned by Sir James Inglis" in The Complaynt of Scotland.
Page 99 THE ABBA Y WALK 99 Job was maist riche, in Writ we find, Thobe maist full of cheritie; Job woux pure', and Thobe blynd, Baith tempit with adversitie. Sen blindnes wes infirmitie, And poverty wes nafturall; Thairfoir rycht patiently bath he and he Obeyit, and thankit God of all. I waxed poor. Thocht2 thow be blind, or half ane halt, Or in thy face deformit ill, Sa it cum nocht throw thy defalt, Na man suld the repreif by skill3. Blame nocht thy Lord, sa is his will; Spurn nocht thy fute aganis the wall; Bot with meik hairt and prayer still Obey, and thank thy' God of all. God of his justice mon4 correct And of his mercie petie haif; He is ane Juge, to nane suspect5, To puneis synfull man and saif. Thocht thow be lord attour the laif6, And eftirwart maid bound and thrall, Ane pure begger, with skrip and staiff, Obey, and thank thy God of all. This changeing and grit variance Off erdly7 staitis up and doun Is nocht bot8 casualitie and chance, Sa9 sum men sayis, without ressoun, 2 Though. 3 reprove by reason (of it). 4 must. 5 by none to be suspected. 6 over the rest. 7 earthly. 8 only. 9 As.
Page 100 I00 ROBERT HENRYSON. Bot be the grit provisioun Of God aboif that rewel the sall; Thairfoir evir thow mak the boun' To obey, and thank thy God of all. I ready. 2 exalt. 3 Who raises lowly hearts and puts down the high. In welth be meik, heich2 not thy-self;: Be glaid in wilfull povertie; Thy power and thy warldis pelf Is' nocht b&t verry vanitie. Remembir him that deit on tre, For thy saik taistitthe bittir gall, Quha heis law hairtis, and lawis he3;. Obey, and thank thy God of all.
Page 101 THE PRAIS OF AIGE. IN-TYL ane garth', under ane reid roseir', a redrse-tree. Ane auld man, and decrepit, hard I syng; Gay wes the noit, sweit was the voce and cleyr; It wes grit joy to heir of sic ane thyng. "And to my doume3," he said, in his dytyng4, 3s to my fate. 4 tale, ditty. "For to be young I wald nocht, for my wyss5, 5 after what I know. Of all this warld to mak me lord and king: The moyr of aige the nerar hevynis bliss. "Fals is this warld, and full of varyance, Oureset with syt and uther synnys mo6; soerrcome wi sorrow and Now trewth is tynt7, gyle hes the governance, other pities And wrachitness hes wrocht al weill to wo; 7 lost. Fredoume is tynt, and flemyt8 the lordis fro, 8 driven away. And cuvattyce is all the cause of this: I am content that yowthheid is ago9: 9 gone. The moyr of aige the nerar hevynis blis. "The stait of yowth I repute'1 for na gude, 1o esteem. For in that stait grit perrell now I se; Can nane gane-stand the rageing of his blude Na yit be stabil quhill that he aigit be": "till he be aged.
Page 102 102 ROBERT HENRYSON. Than of the thing that maist rejoysit he, Na-thing remaynis for to be callit his; For quhy? it was bot verray vanite: The moyr of aige the nerar hevynis blyss. 1trust. "This wrechit warld may na man trow'; for quhy? Of erdly joy ay sorrow is the end; The gloyr of it can na man certify, This day a king, the morne na-thing to spend! Quhat haif we heyr bot grace us to defend! 2 to amendour The quhilk God grant us till amend our myss2, fault. That till his joy he may our saullis send; The moyr of aige the nerar hevynis bliss."
Page 103 THE TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID. ANE doolie sessoun to ane cairfull dyte' toalefus Suld correspond, and be equivalent. of woe. Richt sa it wes quhen I began to wryte This tragedie, the wedder richt fervent2, 2 the weather right severe. Quhen Aries in middis of the Lent; I Schouris of haill can fra the north discend, That scantlie fra the cauld I micht defend. Yet nevertheles within myne oratur3 3 oratory. I stude, quhen Titan had his bemis bricht Withdrawin doun, and sylit under cure4, 4 concealed under care. And fair Venus, the bewtie of the nicht, Uprais, and set unto the west full richt Hir golden face, in oppositioun Of god Phebus, direct discending doun. Throwout the glas hir bemis brast5 sa fair, 5 burst. That I rnicht se on everie syde me by, The northin wind had purifyit the air, And sched the mistie cloudis fra the sky; The froist freisit, the blastis bitterly Fra Pole Artick come quhisling loud and schill6, 6 shrill. And causit me remufe aganis my will.
Page 104 Io4 ROBERT HENR' YSON. For I traistit that Venus, luifis quene, I promise. To quhome sum-tyme I hecht' obedience, My faidit hart of lufe scho wald mak grene; And therupon, with humbill reverence, I thocht to pray hir hie magnificence; 2was prevented. Bot for greit cauld as than I lattit was2, And in my chalmer to the fyre can pas. 3 ThoughlovebeThocht lufe be hait3, yit in ane man of age hot. It kendillis nocht sa sone as in youtheid, Of quhome the blude is flowing in ane rage, 4 dull and dead. And in the auld the curage doif and deid4; Of quhilk the fire outward is best remeid, To help be phisike quhair that nature faillit 5 attempted. I am expert, for baith I have assailit5. 6 basked. I mend the fyre, and beikit6 me about, Than tuik ane drink my spreitis to comfort, And armit me weill fra the cauld thairout; To cut the winter nicht, and mak it schort, 7 quire, book. I tuik ane quair7, and left all uther sport, Writtin be worthie Chaucer glorious, Of fair Cresseid and worthie Troylus. And thair I fand, efter that Diomeid Ressavit had that lady bricht of hew, 8started aside. How Troilus neir out of wit abraid8, And weipit soir, with visage paill of hew; 9 which despair. For quhilk wanhope9 his teiris can renew, lo Till. Quhill'0 Esperus rejoisit him agane: by whiles. Thus quhyle" in joy he levit, quhile in pane.
Page 105 TESTAiM1ENT OF CRESSEID. Io5 Of hir behest he had greit comforting, Traisting to Troy that scho suld mak retour, Quhilk he desyrit maist of eirdly thing; For why? scho was his only paramour: Bot quhen he saw passit baith day and hour Of hir ganecome', than sorrow can oppres I coming again. His-wofull hart, in cair and hevines. Of his distres me neidis nocht reheirs, For worthie Chauceir, in the samin buik, In gudelie termis and in joly veirs Compylit hes his cairis, quha will luik. To brek my sleip ane uther quair I tuik, In quhilk I lfand the fatall destenie Of fair Cresseid, that endit wretchitlie. Quha wait2 gif all that Chauceir wrait was trew? 2 Who knows. Nor I wait nocht gif this narratioun Be authoreist, or fenyeit of the new3 3 feigned anew. Be sum poeit, throw his inventioun Maid to report the lamentatioun And wofull end of this lustie4 Cresseid; 4 pleasant. And quhat distres scho thoillit5, and quhat deid6. suffered. ' 6 death. Quhen Diomed had all his appetyte, And mair, fulfillit of this fair ladie, Upon ane uther he set his haill delyte, And send to hir ane lybell of repudie; And hir excludit fra his companie. Than desolait scho walkit up and douh, And, sum men sayis, in-to the court commoun.
Page 106 io6 ROBERT HENR YSON. 0, fair Cresseid! the floure and A per se Of Troy and Grece, how was thow fortunait! To change in filth all thy feminitie, polluted. And be with fleschelie lust sa maculait', * And go amang the Greikis air and lait, Sa giglotlike, takand thy foull plesance! I have pietie thow suld fall sic mischance. 2 censure. Yit nevertheles, quhat-ever men deme2 or say 3frailty. In scornefull langage of thy brukkilnes3, I sall excuse, als far furth as I may, Thy womanheid, thy wisdome, and fairnes; And quhilk Fortoun hes put to sic distres As hir pleisit, and na-thing throw the gilt Of the, throw wickit langage to be spilt. This fair lady, in this wyse destitute Of all comfort and consolatioun, 4 without. Richt privelie, but4 fellowschip, on fute Disagysit passit far out of the toun Ane myle or twa, unto ane mansioun, Beildit full gay, quhair hir father Calchas Quhilk than amang the Greikis dwelland was. Quhen he hir saw, the caus he can inquyre Of hir cuming? Scho said, siching full soir, "Fra Diomeid had gottin his desyre He wox werie, and wald of me no moir." Quod Calchas, "Douchter, weip thow not thairfoir, Peraventure all cummis for the best, Welcum to me, thow art full deir ane gest."
Page 107 TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID. Io7 This auld Calchas, efter the law was thol, ' then. Wes keeper of the tempill, as ane preist, In quhilk Venus and hir sone Cupido War honourit, and his chalmer was thame neist2,2 next. To quhilk Cresseid, with baill aneuch3 in breist, 3 woe enough. Usit to pas, hir prayeris for to say; Quhill at the last, upon ane solempne day, As custome was, the pepill far and neir Befoir the none unto the tempill went With sacrifice devoit in thair maneir: But still Cresseid, hevie in hir intent, In-to the kirk wald not hir-self present, For givih of the pepill ony deming Of hir expuls fra Diomeid the king; Bot past into ane secreit orature, Quhair scho micht weip hir wofull desteny. Behind hir bak scho cloisit fast the dure, And on hir kneis bair fell down in hy4; Upon Venus and Cupide angerly Scho cryit out, and said on this same wyse, "Allace that ever I maid yow sacrifice! "Ye gave me anis ane devine responsaill, That I suld be the flour of luif in Troy, Now am I maid an unworthie outwaills, And all in cair translatit is my joy. Quha sall me gyde? quha sall me now convoy, Sen6 I fra Diomeid and nobill Troylus Am clene excludit, as abject odious? 4 in haste. 5 outcast. 6 Since.
Page 108 io8 ROBERT HENRYSON. I blame. (0 fals Cupide, is nane to wyte' bot thow, And thy mother, of lufe the blind goddess! Ye causit me alwayis understand and trow The seid of lufe was sawin in my face, And ay grew grene throw your supplie and grace. Bot now, allace! that seid with froist is slane, 2 neglected. And I fra luifferis left, and all forlane2." Quhen this was said, doun in ane extasie Ravischit in spreit, intill ane dreame scho fell, And be apperance hard quhair scho did ly Cupide the king ringand ane silver bell, Quhilk men micht heir fra hevin unto hell; At quhais sound befoir Cupide appeiris The sevin Planetis discending fra thair spheiris, Quhilk hes power of all thing generabill To reull and steir, be thair greit influence, Wedder and wind and coursis variabill. And first of all Saturne gave his sentence, Quhilk gave to Cupide litill reverence, 3fierce,bluster- Bot as ane busteous3 churle on his maneir, ing. Come crabitlie with auster luik and cheir. 4 frosted. His face frosnit4, his lyre5 was lyke the leid, 5 skin. 6 shivered(?) His teith chatterit, and cheverit6 with the chin, 7 hollow. His ene drowpit, how7, sonkin in his heid, end-drop. Out of his nois the meldrop8 fast can rin, 9 livid. With lippis bla9, and cheikis leine and thin, The iceschoklis that fra his hair doun hang Was wonder greit and as ane speir als lang.
Page 109 TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID. Io9 \ Atouir' his belt his lyart2 lokkis lay I Over. 2 hoary. Felterit3 unfair, ovirfret4 with froistis hoir, 3 tangled. 4 overspread. His garmound and his gyiss full gay of gray, isettre. His widderit weid6 fra him the wind out woir, 6 withered dress. Ane busteous bow within his hand he boir, Under his girdill ane flasche of felloun flanis7, 7 a sheaf of cruel - - arrows. Fedderit with ice and heidit with hailstanis. Than Juppiter richt fair and amiabill, God of the starnis in the firmament, And nureis to all thing generabill, Fra his father Saturne far different, With burelie8 face, and browis bricht and brent9, fairasmooth. Upon his heid ane garland wonder gay Of flouris fair, as it had bene in May. His voice was cleir, as cristall wer his ene, As goldin wyre sa glitterand was his hair, His garmound and his gyis full gay of grene, With golden listis'~ gilt on everie gair", Ioedges. ~" strip. Ane burelie brand about his middill bair, In his right hand he had ane groundin12 speir, 2 harpened. Of his father the wraith fra us to weir'3. 3 to ward off the apparition - from us. Nixt efter him come Mars, the god of ire, Of strife, debait, and all dissensioun, To chide and fecht, als feirs as ony fyre, In hard harnes, hewmoind and habirgeoun'4, a4 helmet and coat of mail. And on his hanche ane roustie fell fachioun'5, 5s falchion. And in his hand he had ane roustie sword, Wrything his face, with mony angrie word.
Page 110 110 ROBE R7' HENR YSON. Schaikand his sword, befoir Cupide he come yegry-staring With reid visage and grislie glowrand ene", 2 mass. And at his mouth ane bullar2 stude of fome, Lyke to ane bair quhetting his tuskis kene, 3 brawler-like Richt tuilyeour lyke, but temperance in tene3; without t. in wrath. Ane horne he blew with mony bosteous brag4, 4 fierce defiance. 5 war. Quhilk all this warld with weir5 hes maid to wag. Than fair Phebus, lanterne and lamp of licht Of man and beist, baith frute and flourisching, Tender nureis, and banischer of nicht, And of the warld causing, be his moving And influence, lyfe in all eirdlie thing, Without comfort of quhome, of force to nocht Must all ga die that in this warld is wrocht. As king royall he raid upon his chair, The quhilk Phaeton gydit sum-tyme unricht, The brichtness of his face, quhen-it was bair, Nane micht behald for peirin-g of his sicht; This goldin cart with fyrie bemes bricht Four yokkit steidis, full different of hew, 6 Without pause. But bait6 or tyring throw, the spheiris drew. The first was foyr, with mane als reid as rois, 7 E/ous(Ovid, Callit Eoye7 in-to the Orient; Met. 77, 153). s called:Ethon. The secund steid to name hecht Ethios8, 9 somewhat. Quhitlie and paill, and sum-deill9 ascendent; ro pyrois. The thrid PerosIo, right hait and richt fervent; " Phlegon. The feird was blak, callit Phlegoniell, Quhilk rollis Phebus down in-to the sey.
Page 111 TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID. III Venus was thair present, that goddess gay, Her sonnis querrel for to defend, and mak Hir awin complaint, cled in ane nyce' array, simple. The ane half grene, the uther half sabill blak, Quhyte hair as gold, kemmit and sched abak, Bot in hir face semit greit variance, Quhyles perfyte treuth, and quhyles inconstance. Under smyling scho was dissimulait, Provocative with blenkis2 amorous, 2 glances. And suddanely changit and alterait, Angrie as ony serpent vennemous, Richt pungitive with wordis odious. Thus variant scho was, quha list tak keip3, 3who chooses take heed. With ane eye lauch, and with the uther weip. In taikning4 that all fleschelie paramour 4 token. Quhilk Venus hes in reull and governance, Is sum-tyme sweit, sum-tyme bitter and sour, Richt unstabill, and full of variance, Mingit5 with cairfull joy, and fals plesance, 5 Mingled. Now hait, now cauld, now blyith, now full of wo, Now grene as leif, now widderit and ago6. 6 withered and gone. With buik in hand than come Mercurius, Richt eloquent and full of rethorie, With polite termis, and delicious, With pen and ink to report all reddie, Setting sangis7, and singand merilie. 7 i.e. to music. His hude was reid, heklit atouir his croun, 8 hooked over his head. Lyke to ane poeit of the auld fassoun9. 9 fashion.
Page 112 112 ROBERT HENRY YSON. Boxis he bair with fine electuairis, And sugerit syropis for digestioun, Spycis belangand to the pothecairis, WVith mony hailsum sweit confectioun; Docteur in phisick, cled in skarlot goun, And furrit weill, as sic ane aucht to be, Honest and gude, and not ane word culd lie.* Nixt efter him come Lady Cynthia, The last of all, and swiftest in hir spheir, decked. Of colour blak, buskit' with hornis twa, And in the nicht scho listis best appeir, Har as the leid, of colour na-thing cleir, For all hir licht scho borrowis at hir brother Titan, for of hir-self scho hes nane uther. 2 attire. Hir gyse2 was gray, and full of spottis blak, And on hir breist ane churle paintit full evin, Beirand ane bunche of thornis on his bak, Quhilk for his thift micht dim na nar the hevin. Thus quhen thay gadderit war, thir Goddis sevin, Mercurius they cheisit with ane assent To be foir-speikar in the parliament. Quha had bene thair, and lyking for to heir 3 graceful of His facound3 toung and termis exquisite, utterance. 4practice. Of rhetorick the prettick4 he micht leir5, 5 learn. 6 i.e. how to In breif sermone ane pregnant sentence wryte6. write. 7 alittle. Befoir Cupide, veiling his cap alyte7, 8 Asks. Speiris8 [he] the caus of that vocation; And he anone schew his intentioun. * Mercury was "the god of thieves, pickpockets, and all dishonest persons."
Page 113 TEST4AiMENT OF CRESSEID. LI3 " Lo!" quod Cupide, "quha will blaspheme the name Of his awin god, outher in word or deid, To all goddis he dois baith lak' and schame, Ireproach. And suld have bitter panis to his meid; I say this by yone wretchit Cresseid, The quhilk throw me was sum-tyme flour of lufe, Me and my mother starklie can reprufe; "Saying of hir greit infelicitie I was the caus and my mother Venus; Ane blind Goddes hir cald that micht not se, With sclander and defame injurious. Thus hir leving unclene and lecherous Scho wald returne on me and my mother, To quhome I schew my grace abone all uther. "And sen2 ye ar all sevin deificait, 2since. Participant of devyne sapience, This greit injurie done to our hie estait, Me-think with pane we suld mak recompence; Was never to goddes done sic violence. As weill for yow as for myself I say, Thairfoir ga help to revenge, I yow pray." Mercurius to Cupide gave answeir, And said, "Schir King, my counsall is that ye Refer yow to the hiest planeit heir, And tak to him the lawest of degre, The pane of Cresseid for to modifie3: 3formulate. As God Saturne, with him tak Cynthia." "I am content," quod he, "to tak thay twa." I II
Page 114 II4 ROBERT HENR YSON. Than thus proceidit Saturne and the Mone, Quhen thay the mater rypelie had degest; For the dispyte to Cupide scho had done, And to Venus oppin and manifest, In all hir lyfe with pane to be opprest, And torment sair, with seiknes incurabill, And to all lovers be abominabill. This dulefull sentence Saturne tuik on hand, And passit doun quhair cairfull Cresseid lay, And on hir heid he laid ane frostie wand, Than lawfullie on this wyse can he say; " Thy greit fairnes, and all thy bewtie gay, Thy wantoun blude, and eik thy goldin hair, Heir I exclude fra the for evermair: "I change thy mirth into melancholy, Quhilk is the mother of all pensivenes, Thy moisture and thy heit in cald and dry, Thyne insolence, thy play and wantones To greit diseis, thy pomp and thy riches In mortall neid and greit penuritie; Thow suffer sall, and as ane beggar die." 0 cruell Saturne! fraward and angrie. Hard is thy dome, and too malitious. On fair Cresseid quhy hes thow na mercie, Quhilk was sa sweit, gentill, and amourous? Withdraw thy sentence, and be gracious, As thow was never, so schawis thow thy deid, revengeful. Ane wraikfull' sentence gevin on fair Cresseid.
Page 115 TESTAMEINT OF CRESSEID. 115 Than Cynthia, quhen Saturne past away, Out of hir sait discendit down belyveI, Iquickly. And red ane bill on Cresseid quhair scho lay, Contening this sentence diffinityve, "Fra heile2 of bodie I the now deprive, 2health. And to thy seiknes sal be na recure, But in dolour thy dayis to indure. "Thy cristall ene minglit with blude I mak, Thy voice sa cleir unplesand hoir and hace3, 3aged(hoar)and Thy lustie lyre4 ouirspred with spottis blak, 4 beauteous skin. And lumpis haw5 appeirand in thy face; 5 livid. Quhair thow cummis ilk man sail fle the place, This sall thow go begging fra hous to hous, With cop and clapper lyke ane lazarous." This doolie dreame, this uglye visioun Brocht to'ane end, Cresseid fra it awoik, And all that court and convocatioun Vanischit away. Than rais scho up and tuik Ane poleist glas, and hir schaddow culd luik; And quhen scho saw hir face sa deformait, Gif scho in hart was wa aneuch, God wait6! 6 woeful enough, God knows. Weiping full sair, "Lo! quhat it is," quod sche, "With fraward langage for to mufe and steir Our craibit goddis, and sa is sene on me! My blaspheming now have I bocht full deir, All eirdly joy and mirth I set areir7. 7behind. Allace this day! allace this wofull tyde! Quhen I began with my goddis for to chyde!"
Page 116 II6 ROBERT HEVR YSON. Be this was said ane chyld come fra the hall To warne Cresseid the supper was reddy; afterwards. First knokkit at the dure, and syne' culd call, in haste. " Madame, your father biddis you cum in hy', 3 grovelling, He has mervell sa lang on grouf3 ye ly; 4 somewhat. And sayis, Your prayers bene too lang sum-deill4, The goddis wait all your intent full weill." Quod scho, " Fair chylde, ga to my father deir, And pray him cum to speik with me anone." And sa he did, and said, "Douchter, quhat cheir?" "Allace," quod scho, "father, my mirth is gone!'" "How sa?" quod he; and scho can all expone, 5 wreaking. As I have tauld, the vengeance and the wraik5, For hir trespas, Cupide on hir culd tak. He luikit on hir uglye lipper face, The quhilk befor was quhite as lillie flour; Wringand his handis oftymes, he said, Allace, That he had levit to se that wofull hour! For he knew weill that thair was na succour To hir seiknes, and that dowblit his pane; Thus was thair cair aneuch betuix thame twane. Quhen thay togidder murnit had full lang, 6 known. Quod Cresseid, "Father, I wald not be kend6' 7 go. Thairfoir in secreit wyse ye let me gang7, Unto yone hospitall at the tounis end; And thidder sum meit for cheritie me send 8earth. To leif upon; for all mirth in this eird8 9 fate. Is fra me gane, sic is my wickit weird9."
Page 117 i TES7L4JAENT OF CRESSEID. X I7 Than in ane mantill; and ane bavar hat, With cop and clapper, wonder prively -ie opnit ane secreit yett', and 6ut thairat gat Convbyit hir, that na man suld espy, Unto ane village half ane Inyle thairby, Delyverit hir insat the spittail hous, And daylie sent hi part of his alrious.* Sum knew hir weill, and' sm had na'knawle4ge Of hir, becaus tscho was..sa deformnait, With bylis2 blak owirspred in hir visage, 2 boils. And hir fair coidur faiditand alterait; Yit. thay prtsumit for hir hie rf'rait, And still murning cho was of nobill kin, With better will thairfoir they tuik hir in. * * * *. 'The day passit, and Phebus went to rest, The cloudis blak o-irquhelmit ll the sky; God wait gif Cresseid was ane sorowfu'l gest,.3 unaccustomed Seeing that uncouth fair and herbey3,; fare and lodging. B ' ut meit4 or drink scho dressit hir to ly 4 without. In ane dark corner of the Tous allone, ~ And on this wyse, weiping, scho maid hir mone. * Sir Walter Scott in the notes to lfis edition of Sir T istre,n, p. 362, says, in reference to a passage of that poem, "Want of cleanliness, of linen, of vegetables, of fresh meat in winter, but, above all, sloth and hardship, concurred to render the leprosy as.common in Europe during the middle ages as it is in some eastern countries at this day. Nor were its ravages confined to the poor and destitute. Robert de Bruce died of this disorder, as did Constance, duchess of Bretagne,. and Ie-enry IV. of England. Various hospitals were founded by the pious for the reception of those miserable objects, whose disease, being infectious, required their exclusion from society. For the same reason, while they begged through the streets they usually carried the cup and clapper mentioned in the text. The former served to receive alms, and the noise of the latter warned the passenger to keep.aloof, even while bestowing his charity."
Page 118 II8 ROBERT HENR YSON. THE COMPLAINT OF CRESSEID. "O0 sop of sorrow sonken into cair! 0, cative Cresseid! now and ever-mair 1 earth. Gane is thy joy and all thy mirth in eird', 2 blackened bare. Of all blyithnes now art thow blaiknit bair2. Thair is na salve may saif the of thy sair! 3 evil is thy fate. Fell is thy fortoun, wickit is thy weird3, 4 thywoeputting Thy blys is baneist, and thy baill on breird4, forth leaf. Under the eirth God gif I gravin wer, Quhair nane of Grece nor yit of Troy micht heirdt 5 furnished. "Quhair is thy chalmer wantounlie besene5, 6 pleasant. With burely6 bed, and bankouris browderit bene7, 7 abundant embroidered Spycis and wyne to thy collatioun, tapestries. 8 beauty. The cowpis all of gold and silver schene8, The sweit meitis servit in plaittis clene, 9 saffron(?)sauce. With saipheron sals9 of ane gude sessoun0~, 10 seasoning. Thy gay garmentis with mony gudely goun, i pin. Thy plesand lawn pinnit with goldin prene"? 122behind. All is areir12, thy greit royall renoun! "Quhair is thy garding with thir greissis gay, And fresche flowris, quhilk the Quene Floray 3 piece. Had paintit plesandly on everie pane'3, Quhair thow was wont full merilye in May To walk, and tak the dew be it was day, 14 thrush. And heir the merle and mavisI4 mony ane, rs go. With ladyis fair in carrolling to gane'5, ~6 persons. And se the royal rinksi6 in thair array, 17 green. In garmentis gay, garnischit on everie grane17?
Page 119 TESTAMIENT OF CRESSEID. II9 " Thy greit triumphand fame and hie honour, Quhair thow was callit of eirdlye wichtis flour, All is decayit; thy weird is welterit so', tossed so. Thy hie estait is turnit in darknes dour2! 2hard. This lipper ludge tak for thy burelie bour, And for thy bed tak now ane bunche of stro, For waillit3 wyne and meitis thow had tho4, 3 chen." 4 then. Tak mowlit5 breid, peirrie6, and ceder sour; 5 mouldy. 6 small ale? Bot cop and clapper now is all ago. "My cleir voice and courtlie carrolling, Quhair I was wont with ladyis for to sing, Is rawk as ruik7, full hiddeous hoir and hace; 7 hoarse as rook. My plesand port all utheris precelling, Of lustines8 I was hald maist conding9, 8 aeauty. 9 agreeable. Now is deformit; the figour of my face To luik on it na leid'0 now lyking hes: Ioman. Sowpit in syte", I say with sair siching, Drenched in grief. Ludgeit amang the lipper leid, Allace! "0 ladyis fair of Troy and Grece attend My miserie, quhilk nane may comprehend, My frivoll fortoun, my infelicitie, My greit mischief, quhilk na man can amend. Be-war in tyme, approchis neir the end, And in your mynd ane mirrour mak of me; As I am now, peradventure that ye, For all your micht, may cum to that same end, Or ellis war'2, gif ony war may be. Iworse. "Nocht is your fairnes lot ane faiding flour, Nocht is your famous laud and hie honour
Page 120 T20 ROBER 7' HENR ISON. Bot wind inflat in uther mennis eiris; Your roising reid to rotting sail retour. Exempill mak of me in your memour, Quhilk of sic thingis wofull witnes beiris. All welth in eird away as wind it weiris: Be-war, thairfoir, approchis neir the hour; Istirs. Fortoun is fikkill quhen scho beginnis and steirisL." Thus chydand with her drerie destenye, Weiping, scho woik the nicht fra end to end. Bot all in vane; hir dule, hir cairfull cry, Micht not remeid, nor yit hir murning mend. 2passed. Ane lipper lady rais, and till hir wend2, And said, "Quhy spurnis thow aganis the wall, To sla thyself, and mend na-thing at all? "Sen thy weiping dowbillis bot thy wo, I counsall th6 mak vertew of ane neid; To leir to clap thy clapper to and fro, 3 leper folk. And leir efter the law of lipper leid3." 4 help. Thair was na buit4, bot furth with thame scho yeid5 5 went. Fra place to place, quhill cauld and hounger sair 6 importunate. Compellit hir to be ane rank6 beggair. That samin tyme of Troy the garnisoun, Quhilk had to chiftane worthie Troylus, Throw jeopardie of weir had strikken down Knichtis of Grece in number mervellous. With greit tryumphe and laude victorious Agane to Troy richt royallie they raid 7 abode. The way quhair Cresseid with the lipper baid7.
Page 121 TESTAMI/ENT OF CRESSEID. 121 Seing that companie thai come all with ane stevin', noise. Thay gaif ane cry, and schuik coppis gude speid. Said, " Worthie lordis, for Goddis lufe of Hevin, To us lipper part of your almous deid." Than to thair cry nobill Troylus tuik heid; Having pietie, neir by the place can pas Quhair Cresseid sat, not witting what scho was. Than upon him scho kest up baith her ene, And with ane blenk2 it come in-to his thocht 2glance. That he sum tyme hir face befoir had sene; Bot scho was in sic plye3 he knew hir nocht. 3 such plight. Yit than hir luik into his mynd it brocht The sweit visage and amorous blenking Of fair Cresseid, sumtyme his awin darling. Na wonder was, suppois4 in mynd that he 4 although. Tuik hir figure sa sone, and lo, now, quhy: The idole of ane thing in cace5 may be 5chance. Sa deip imprentit in the fantasy That it deludis the wittis outwardly, And sa appeiris in forme and lyke estait Within the mynd, as it was figurait. Ane spark of lufe than till his hart culd spring, And kendlit all his bodie in ane fyre With halt fevir ane sweit and trimbilling Him tuik, quhill he was reddie to expyre; To beir his scheild his breist began to tyre; Within ane quhyle he changit mony hew, And nevertheless not ane ane-uther knew.
Page 122 122 ROBERT HENR YSON. For knichtlie pietie and memoriall Of fair Cresseid ane gyrdill can he tak, Ane purs of gold, and mony gay jowall, cast heavily. And in the skirt of Cresseid doun can swak': Than raid away, and not ane word he spak, Pensive in hart, quhill he come to the toun, 2 ofttimes. And for greit cair oft-syis- almaist fell doun. The lipper folk to Cresseid than can draw, To se the equall distributioun Of the almous, but quhan the gold they saw 3 whisper. Ilk ane to uther prevelie can roun3, And said, " Yone lord hes mair affectioun, How-ever it be, unto yone lazarous, Than to us all; we knaw be his almous." 4 knowledge. " Quhat lord is yone," quod scho, "have ye na feill4, Hes done to us so greit humanitie?" "Yes," quod a lipper man, " I knaw him weill: 5 noble. Schir Troylus it is, gentill and fre5." Quhen Cresseid understude that it was he 6 stun of pain. Stiffer than steill thair stert ane bitter stound6 Throwout hir hart, and fell doun to the ground. Quhen scho, ovircome with siching sair and sad, With mony cairfull cry and cald " Ochane! 7 bested. Now is my breist with stormie stoundis stad7, atlossgfora Wrappit in wo, ane wretch full will of wane8." dwelling. Than swounit scho oft or scho culd refrane, And ever in hir swouning cryit scho thus:" 0, fals Cresseid, and trew knicht Troylus!
Page 123 TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID. 123 "Thy lufe, thy lawtie', and thy gentilnes loyalty. I countit small in my prosperitie; Sa elevait I was in wantones, And clam upon the fickill quheill' sa hie; 2 i.e. of F e See Kingis All faith and lufe I promissit to the Quair. XWas in the self fickill and frivolous: 0, fals Cresseid, and trew knicht Troylus! "For lufe of me thow keipt gude continance, Honest and chaist in conversatioun; Of all wemen protectour and defence Thow was, and helpit thair opinioun. My mynd in fleschelie foull affectioun Was inclynit to lustis lecherous. Fy, fals Cresseid! 0, trew knicht Troylus! " Lovers be war, and tak gude held about Quhome that ye lufe, for quhome ye suffer paine, I lat yow wit, thair is richt few thairout Quhome ye may traist to have trew lufe againe: Preif3 quhen ye will, your labour is in vaine. 3Try. Thairfoir I reid4 ye tak thame as ye find, 4counsel. For thay ar sad as widdercock5 in wind. 5 serious as weather-vane. "Becaus I knaw the greit unstabilnes, Brukkil6 as glas, into my-self I say, 6 brittle. Traisting in uther als greit unfaithfulnes, Als unconstant, and als untrew of fay. Thocht sum be trew, I wait richt few are thay. Quha findis treuth, lat him his lady ruse7; 7 extol. Nane but myself, as now, I will accuse."
Page 124 124 ROBERT HZENRYSON. Quhen this was lsaid, with paper scho sat doun, And on this maneir maid hir testament: bequeath. Heir I beteiche' my corps and carioun 2 toads. With wormis and with taidis2 to be rent; My cop and clapper, and myne ornament, And all my gold, the lipper folk sail have, Quhen I am deid, to burie me in grave. "This royall ring, set with this rubie reid, 3 troth-token. Quhilk Troylus in drowrie3 to me send, To him agane I leif it quhan I am deid, 4 known. To mak my cairfull deid unto him kend4: Thus I conclude schortlie, and mak ane end. My spreit I leif to Diane, quhair scho dwellis, 5 marshes. To walk with hir in waist woddis and wellis5. " O, Diomeid! thow hes baith broche and belt Quhilk Troylus gave me in takning 6 expired. Of his trew lufe."-And with that word scho swelt6. And sone ane lipper man tuik of the ring, 7 Afterwards. Syne7 buryit hir withouttin tarying. To Troylus furthwith the ring he bair, And of Cresseid the deith he can declair. Quhen he had hard hir greit infirmitie, Hir legacie and lamentatioun, And how scho endit in sic povertie, He swelt for wo, and fell doun in ane swoun, 8ready. For greit sorrow his hart to birst was boun8: Siching full sadlie, said, "I can no moir, Scho was untrew, and wo is me thairfoir!"
Page 125 TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID. 125 Sum said he maid ane tomb of merbell gray, And wrait hir name and superscriptioun, And laid it on hir grave, quhair that scho lay, In goldin letteris conteining this ressoun: " Lo, fair ladyis, Cresseid of Troyis toun, Sumtyme countit the flour of womanheid, Under this stane, late lipper, lyis deid!" Now, worthie Wemen, in this ballet schort, Made for your worschip' and instructioun, honour. Of cheritie I monische and exhort Ming2 not your lufe with fals deceptioun; 2 Mix. Beir in your mynd this schort conclusioun Of fair Cresseid, as I have said befoir. Sen scho is deid I speik of hir no moir.
Page 126 PROLOGUE TO THE MORAL FABLES. IN middis of June, that joly sweit seasoun, Quhen that fair Phebus with his bemis bricht Had dryit up the dew fra daill and doun, I radiance. And all the land maid with his lemis' licht, In ane mornyng, betuix mid-day and nicht, I rais and put all sleuth and sleip asyde, 2 without guide. And to ane wod I went alone, but gyde2. Sweit wes the smell of flouris quhyte and reid, The noyis of birdis richt delitious, 3 boughs. The bewis3 braid blomit abone my heid, The ground growand with gersis gratious. Of all plesance that place wes plenteous, With sweit odouris and birdis harmonie, 4 therefore. The morning myld, my mirth wes mair forthy4. twigs.heand The roisis reid arrayit on rone and ryce5, twigs. The prymerois and the purpour viola; To heir it wes ane poynt of Paradyce, 6 (lid make. Sic mirth the mavis and the merle couth ma6. 7 hillside. The blossummis blyith brak up on bank and bra7, The smell of herbis, and of foullis cry, Contending quha suld haif the victorie.
Page 127 PROLOGUE. 127 Me to conserve then fra the sonnis heit, Under the schadow of ane hawthorne grene I lenit' doun amang the flouris sweit, Synex cled my heid and closit baith my ene. I Presently. On sleip I fell amang thir bewis bene2, 2 abundant. And, in my dreme, methocht come throw the schaw33 covert. The fairest man that euer befoir I saw. His gowne wes of ane claith als quhyte as milk, His chymeris4 wes of chambelote5 purpour broun;4 loose light gown. His hude of scarlet, bordourit weill with silk, 5 camlet cloth. On hekillit wyis6 untill his girdill doun; 6 in manner of a cock's neckHis bonat round and of the auld fassoun; feathers. His beird wes quhyte, his ene wes greit and gray, With lokker7 hair, quhilk ouer his schulderis lay. 7 curling. Ane roll of paper in his hand he bair, Ane swannis pen stikkand under his eir, Ane inkhorne, with ane prettie gilt pennair8, 8 pen-case. Ane bag of silk, all at his belt can beir: Thus was he gudelie graithit9 in his geir. 9 clad. Of stature large and with ane feirfull face Evin quhair I lay he come ane sturdie pace; And said, "God speid, my sone:" and I wes fane~ Io glad. Of that couth" word and of his cumpanie. "familiar. With reverence I salusit him agane, "Welcome, father:" and he sat doun me by. "Displeis you nocht, my gude maister, thocht I2 I2though i. Demand your birth, your facultie, and name, Quhy ye come heir, or quhair ye dwell at hame?"
Page 128 128 8 OBERT HENY 'SON. "My sone," said he, "I am of gentill blude. My native land is Rome, withouttin nay, I went. And in that towne first to the sculis I yude', In civile law studyit full mony ane day,* 2 dwelling. And now my winning2 is in hevin for ay. 3 am called. Esope I hecht3; my wryting and my werk 4 known- Is couth and kend4 to mony cunning clerk." "O Maister Esope, poet laureate, knows. God wait5 ye ar full deir welcum to me. 5 knows. Ar ye nocht he that all thir fabillis wrait 6 though they be Quhilk in effect, suppois they fenyeit be6, 6 though they be feigned. Ar full of prudence and moralitie?" "Fair sone," said he, "I am the samin man." God wait gif that my hert was merie than. I said, "Esope, my maister venerabill, I yow beseik hartlie, for cheritie, Ye wald nocht disdayne to tell ane prettie fabill, Concludand with ane gude moralitie." Schaikand his heid, he said, "My sone, lat be; For quhat is worth to tell ane fenyeit taill Quhen haly preiching may no-thing availl? "Now in this world me-think richt few or nane To Goddis word that hes devotioun. The eir is deif, the hart is hard as stane, Now oppin sin without correctioun, The ee inclynand to the eirth ay doun. Sa roustie is the warld with canker blak That now my taillis may lytill succour mak." * Laing suggests that Henryson may in this passage be describing his own experience.
Page 129 PROLOGUE. I29 " Yit, gentill Schir," said I, "for my requeist, Nocht to displeis your fatherheid, I pray, Under the figure of ane brutale beist Ane morall fabill ye wald denyie' to say. r deign. Quha wait nor I may leir2 and beir away 2 learn. Sum-thing thairby heirefter may availl?" "I grant," quod he, and thus begouth ane taill. K II
Page 130 THE TAILL OF THE UPLANDIS MOUS AND THE BURGES MOUS. ESOPE, myne author, makis mentioun Of twa myis, and thay wer sisteris deir, a royal roygalh Of quham the eldest dwelt in ane borrowis toun', borough. -dwelt in the The uther wynnit uponland weill neir2, country conveniently Richt solitar, quhyles under busk and breir, near.;d'amage. Quhylis in the come, and uther mennis skaith3, gchtance As outlawis dois, and levis on thair waith4. gettings. This rurall Mous in-to the wynter-tyde -offered. Had hunger, cauld, and tholits greit distress; The uther Mous that in the burgh can byde Wes gild-brother and maid ane free burgess, without taxes. Toll-fre als, but custum6 mair or less, And fredome had to ga quhair-ever scho list, chest. Amang the cheis in ark and meill in kist7. Ane tyme quhen scho wes full and unfute-sair Scho tuke in mynde hir sister uponland, And langit for to heir of hir weilfair, in, state of To se quhat lyfe scho had under wand8", & subjection. Bairfute, allone, with pykestalf in lr hand, ~ As pure pilgryme scho passit out of toun To seik hir sister baith over daill and doun.* _ *
Page 131 THE UP'LANDIS MOUS. I31 Furth mony wilsum' wayis can scho walk, 'lonely. Throw mosse and muir, throw bankis, busk, and breir Scho ranne cryand, quhill scho cam to ane balk:, larnd.l "Cum furth to me my awin sister deir! Cry peip anis3!" With that the Mous culd heir, 3 once. And knew her voce, as kinnisman will do, Be verray kynd4, and furth scho come hir to. 4 Byer The hartlie5 joy, Lord God! gif ye had sene, s cordial. Was kithit6 quhen that thir twa sisteris met, ) shown. And greit kyndenes was schawin thame betuene; For quhylis thay leuch, and quhylis for joy they gret7, 7 wept. Quhylis kissit sweit, and quhylis in armis plet8; 8 folded. And thus thay fure quhill9 soberit wes thair mude, 9 fared till. Syne fute for fute unto the chalmer yude"~. o went. As I hard say, it was ane sober wane" "Idwelling. Of fog" and fairn full febillie wes maid, 2 moss. Ane sillie scheillI3 under ane steidfast stane, 13 Afrailsheiling, shelter. Of quhilk the entres wes nocht hie nor braid; And in the samyn thay went but mair abaidI4, 4 ditaotmre Withoutin fyre or candill birnand bricht, For commounlie sic pykeris'5 luffis not licht. ' such pilferers. Quhen thay wer lugit thus, thir selie'6 myse, 16 these poor. The youngest sister unto hir butterie yeid, *And brocht furth nuttis and peis in-stead of spyce. Gif this wes gude fair I do it on thame besyde. ' The burgesMous prompit furth in pryde, i, said, "ster, is this your daylie fude?" ' Quhy not," quod scho, "is nocht this meit rycht * gude?" *
Page 132 132 ROBERT HENI YSON. "Na, be my saull, I think it bot ane scorne." "Madame," quod scho, " ye be the mair to blame. My mother said, sister, quhen we were borne, That ye and I lay baith within ane wame: I keip the rate and custume of my dame, And of my leving in-to povertie, For landis half we nane in propertie." "My fair sister," quod scho, "haif me excusit. This rude dyet and I can nocht accord. Till tender meit my stomok is ay usit, For quhylis I fair als weill as ony lord. hered Thir widderit' peis and nuttis, or2 thay be bord, withered. 2 ere. ank. Will brek my teith and mak my wame full sklender3, Quhilk wes befoir usit to meittis tender." "Weill, weill, sister," quod the rurall Mous, "Gif it pleis yow, sic thingis as ye se heir, 4 lodging. Baith meit and drink, harberie4 and hous, Sal be your awin, will ye remane all yeir; Ye sall it haif with blyith and merie cheir, mprisions. And that suld mak the maissis5 that ar rude, Amang freindis richt tender and wonder gude. "Quhat plesure is in feistis delicate, The quhilkis ar gevin witfi ane glowmand brow? Ane gentill hart is better recreat 6 give possession h ae gi possession With blyith curage than seith6 till him ane kow: Ane modicum' is mair for till allow, Swa that gude-will be kerver at the dais, 7 ill-humoured Than thrawin vult7 and mony spycit mais." look.
Page 133 THE UPLANDIS ZMOUS. 133 For all hir merie exhortatioun, This burges Mous had lytill will to sing, Bot hevilie scho kest hir browis doun, For all the daynteis that scho culd hir bring. Yit at the last scho said, half in hething', z scorn. "Sister, this victuall and your royall feist May weill suffice unto ane rurall beist. "Lat be this hole, and cum in-to my place, I sall to yow schaw be experience My Gude-Fryday is better nor your Pace2. 2 Easter-feast. My dische-weschingis is worth your haill3 expence; 3 whole. I haif housis anew4 of greit defence; 4 enough. Of cat nor fall-trap I haif na dreid." "I grant," quod scho; and on togidder thay yeid5. 5 went. In stubbill array, throw rankest gers and corne, And under buskis6, prevelie couth they creip. 6 bushes. The eldest wes the gyde and went beforne, The younger to hir wayis tuke gude keip7. 7 heed. On nicht thay ran, and on the day can sleip, Quhill in the morning or the laverock sang8 8 ere lark sang. Thay fand the toun, and in blythlie couth gang9. 9did go. Nocht fer fra thynel~ unto ane worthie wane o thence. This burges brocht thame sone quhar thai suld be. Without God speid thair herberie wes tane In-to ane spence" with vittell greit plentie, "larder. Baith cheis and butter upone thair skelfis hie"2, I2shelves high. And flesche and fische aneuch, baith fresche and salt, And sekkis full of meill and eik of malt.
Page 134 134 ROBERT HENRYSON. Efter, quhen thay disposit wer to dyne, iwashed. Withouttin grace thay wesche' and went to meit, With all the coursis that cuikis culd defyne, 2 cut off in great Muttoun and beif strikin in tailyeis greit2; slices. And lordis fair thus couth thay counterfeit, Except ane thing-thay drank the watter cleir Instead of wyne'; bot yit thay maid gude cheir. 3 raillery. With blyith upcast3 and merie countenance 4asked her The eldest sister sperit at hir gaist4, guest. Gif that scho be ressone fand difference 5sorry. Betuix that chalmer and hir sarie5 nest? "Yea dame," quod scho, " How lang will this lest?" 6 wot. "For evermair, I wait6, and langer to." "Gif it be swa ye ar at eis," quod scho. 7 To add to. Til eik7 thair cheir ane subcharge8 furth scho brocht, 8 second course. 9 oats with husks Ane plait of grottis9 and ane dische full of meill, removed. 0 wheatencakes. Thraf-caikkis"~ als I trow scho spairit nocht Aboundantlie about hir for to deill, a rich read. And mane" fyne scho brocht in-steid of geill", I2 jelly. 13 stolen. And ane quhyte candill out of ane coffer stall'3 In-steid of spyce to gust thair mouth withall. 4 til. Thus maid thay merie quhill'4 thay micht na mair, And, Haill, Yule, haill! cryit upon hie. Yit efter joy oftymes cummis cair, And troubill efter greit prosperitie, Thus, as thay sat in all thair jolitie,, butler. The Spenser'5 come with keyis in his hand, Opinit the dure, and thame at denner fand.
Page 135 77HE UPIANDI)'S i/O US. I35 Thay taryit nocht to wesche as I suppose, But on to ga quha that micht formest win'., attain. The burges had ane hoill, and in scho gois, Hir sister had na hoill to hyde hir in; To se that selie Mous it wes greit syn, So desolate and will of ane gude reid2, at a loss for - good counsel. For veray dreid scho fell in swoun neir deid. Bot, as God wald, it fell ane happy cace3 3 chance. The Spenser had na laser for to byde, Nouther to seik nor serche, to skar nor chace, Bot on he went, and left the dure up wyde. The bald burges his passing weill hes spyde; Out of hir hoill scho come, and cryit on hie, "How fair ye sister? Cry peip quhair-ever ye be?" This rural Mous lay flatling on the ground, And for the deith scho wes full sair dredand, For till hir hart straik mony wofull stound4; 4 pain-shocks. As in ane fever scho trimbillit fute and hand, And quhan hir sister in sic ply5 hir fand, 5 such plight. For verray pietie scho began to greit6, 6 weep. Syne confort hir with wordis hunny sweit. "Quhy ly ye thus? Ryse up my sister deir Cum to your meit, this perrell is overpast." The uther answerit hir, with hevie cheir, "I may nocht eit, sa sair I am agast. I had levir7 thir fourtie dayis fast, 7 liefer, rather. With watter-caill8, and to gnaw benis or peis, S broth made without meat. Than all your feist, in this dreid and diseis."
Page 136 136 6ROBERT HENA YSON. caused. With fair tretie yit scho gart' hir upryse, And to the burde thay went and togidder sat, And scantlie had thay drunkin anis or twyse Quhen in come Gib-Hunter, our jolie cat, And bad God-speid. The burges up with that, And till the hoill scho went as fyre of flint. Grimalkin. Bawdronis2 the uther be the bak hes hint3. 3 seized. Fra fute to fute he kest hir to and fra, 4 playful. Quhylis up, quhylis doun, als cant4 as ony kid. 3 Sometimes. Quhylis5 wald he lat hir run under the stra, hide-and-seek. Quhylis wald he wink, and play with her buk-hid6 Thus to the selie Mous greit pane he did, Quhill at the last, throw fortune and gude hap, Betuix ane burde and the wall scho crap. partition. And up in haist behind ane parpalling7 Scho clam so hie that Gilbert micht not get hir, claw. Syne be the cluke8 thair craftelie can hing Till he wes gane, hir cheir wes all the bettir; s prevent. Syne doun scho lap quhen thair wes nane to let9 hir, And to the burges Mous loud can scho cry, "Fairweill, sister, thy feist heir I defy!" Thy feastis "Thy mangerie is myngit'~ all with cair, mingled. "sauce. Thy guse is gude, thy gansell" sour as gall; The subcharge of thy service is bot sair, So sall thow find heir-efterwart may fall. 12 partition wall. I thank yone courtyne and yone perpall wall'2 Of my defence now fra ane crewell beist. Almychty God keip me fra sic ane feist!
Page 137 7/HE UI'LANDIS MIOUS. I37 "Wer I in-to the kith' that I come fra, For weill nor wo, suld never cum agane." With that scho tuke hir leif and furth can ga, Quhylis throw the corne and quhylis throw the plane. Quhen scho wes furth and fre scho wes ful fane2, And merilie merkit3 unto the mure. I can nocht tell how efterwart scho fure4, r familiar place. 2 glad. 3 hastened, lit. rode. 4 fared. Bot I hard say scho passit to hir den, Als warme als woll, supposes it wes nocht greit, Full benely stuffit, baith but and ben6, Of beinis and nuttis, peis, ry, and quheit; Quhen-ever scho list scho had aneuch to eit In quyet and eis, withoutin ony dreid; Bot to hir sisteris feist na mair scho yeid. 5 although. 6 abundantly furnished, both outer and inner room. MORALITAS. Friendis, ye may fynd, and7 ye will tak heid, In-to this fabill ane gude moralitie. As fitchis myngit ar with nobill feid, Swa intermynglit is adversitie With eirthlie joy, swa that na estait is fre, And als troubill and sum vexatioun; And namelie8 thay quhilk climmis up maist That ar nocht content with small possessioun. 7 if. hie, 8 notoriously. Blissit be sempill lyfe withoutin dreid! Blissit be sober feist in quyetie! Quha hes aneuch, of na mair hes he neid, Thocht it be lytill in-to quantitie.
Page 138 I38 08ROBERT HENR YSOA Greit abondance and blind prosperitie Oftymes makis ane evill conclusioun. The sweitest lyfe thairfor in this cuntrie security. Is sickernes", with small possessioun. O wantoun man, that usis for to feid Thy wambe, and makis it ane god to be, 2 without fear. Luik to thy-self! I warne thee wele, but dreid2: The cat cummis and to the mous hes ee. Quhat vaillis than thy feist and rialtie, With dreidfull hart and tribulacioun? Thairfoir best thing in eird, I say, for me, Is blyithnes in hart, with small possessioun. 3 a tiny flame. Thy awin fyre, my friend, sa it be bot ane gleid3 It warmis weill, and is worth gold to thee; And Solomon sayis, gif that thow will reid, " Under the hevin it can nocht better be Than ay be blyith and leif in honestie." Quhairfoir I may conclude be this ressoun, Of eirthly joy it beiris maist degrie, Blyithnes in hart, with small possessioun.
Page 139 WILLIAM DUNBAR.
Page 141 WILLIAM DUNBAR. A LIKENESS in some respects has already been remarked between the temper and condition of Rome in the time of Augustus and of Scotland in the time of James IV. The resemblance may even be traced in the personality of the poets of the two epochs. Gavin Douglas, the courtly poet-churchman of James the Fourth's time, may in some degree be likened to the grave and stately Virgil, whose work he translated; and still more closely may a likeness be remarked, in character and fortunes, between the Roman Horace and the most brilliant poet of the middle ages in Scotland, William Dunbar. Both of these latter were courtiers by compulsion, longing continually to escape to the quiet of easy ways. Both were keen men of the world and epicureans by nature, loving pleasure, and without any burning desire to inflame the world with new ideals; both had a twinkle of the eye for the peccadilloes of themselves or their friends, and a curl of the lip that could give a bitter turn to satire upon their enemies; while both used supreme poetic gifts, prodigal of form and colour, largely for the purpose of securing material favours, and as a resource for the
Page 142 142 WTILL4IAM DUNBAR. expression of private and personal feeling. If in anything they differed it was that while the Roman poet apparently with calm wisdom took what fortune brought him, and made the most of it, there was in the heart of the Scottish makar* a hunger, wistful, eager, that was to ask to the end unsatisfied. Behind all the glory of those days the reign of James IV. was a time of failing faith in Scotland. The ancient religion of the country was crumbling in corruption to ruin, and men, Dunbar among them, were seeking, in the absence of a larger vision, to live for the immediate pleasures of the hour. Of the dweller in such a time, the heart self-centred in its own desires, the ancient saying remains perennially true, "He that seeketh his life shall lose it." Born, it is supposed, about the year 1460, Dunbar, from allusions in his famous "Flyting with Kennedy," appears to have been a native of Lothian and a member of Cospatrick's clan. Laing was inclined to consider him a grandson of Sir Patrick Dunbar of Beill in East Lothian, a younger son of the tenth Earl of March. In I475 he was sent to the University of St. Andrews, where he received the degree of B.A. in I477, and of M.A. in I479. His life for the following twenty years is but vaguely known. It is possible that he pursued his studies at Oxford, one of his poems bearing the colophon "Quod Dunbar * Dr. Irving quotes from Sir Philip Sidney's Apologiefor Poetry a remark upon the similarity between the European word "poet," from the Greek,olliv, to make, and the native northern term "makar," or maker; " which name, how high and incomparable a title it is, I had rather were knowne by marking the scope of other sciences, then by my partiall allegation."
Page 143 IVILLIA/1 I) DUNj BAR. I43 at Oxinfurde." But there is an Oxenford Castle near Edinburgh whence the poem may have been dated, or Dunbar may have written it when casually visiting the English university town. From his poem "How Dunbar wes desyrd to be ane Freir" it is to be gathered that, entering the Order of St. Francis, the Gray Friars, he spent several years of novitiate as a wandering preacher, making good cheer in every pleasant town between Berwick and Calais, mounting the pulpit at Dernton and Canterbury, even crossing the Straits of Dover, and exercising his profession through Picardy. In these wanderings he pleads guilty to "mony wrink and wyle, quhilk mycht be flemit with na haly watter;" from which confession it may be understood that he was neither much better nor much worse than the other preaching friars of his time. A little later, from allusions in his poems, he appears to have entered the service of James IV., and to have been employed on several of that monarch's numerous embassies to foreign courts. It is known, at anyrate, that in 1491 he was residing at Paris, probably in connection with the embassy there. In 1500 he received from his royal master a pension of /1io as a foretaste of favours to come. In the following year he went to England with the ambassadors sent to conclude negotiations for the marriage of James to the Princess Margaret. There during the state festivities he was styled " the Rhymer of Scotland," and upon at least one occasion he is recorded as having given evidence of his powers. "In the Cristmas week," says the chronicler,
Page 144 144 WILLIAM1 D1 UNBAR. " the Mair had to dyner the ambassadors of Scotland, whom accompanyed my Lord Chaunceler and other Lords of the realm; where, sittying at dyner, ane of the said Scottis givying attendance upon a Bishop Ambassador, the which was reputed to be a Protonotary of Scotland and servant of the Ld. Bishop, made this balade." The "balade," which is given at length, is that beginning, "London thou art of townes A per se."* During the embassy Dunbar is known to have received from Henry VII. two separate gifts of -6 I3s. 4d., and on his return to Edinburgh the Treasurer's accounts show him to have received ~5 in addition to his salary. Apart from the joyous occasion, it is probable that these gifts mark the special approbation of the poet's services by the English and Scottish monarchs. It was at this period (1503) that, besides several poems describing the attractions of the young princess, he composed his magnificent allegory, "The Thrissil and the Rois," upon the marriage of James and Margaret. This work may be taken to have crowned his services as laureate. At anyrate it is certain that from the time of its composition he lived much at court, apparently on familiar terms with the king and queen. In one poem he describes " A Dance in the Quenis Chalmer" in which he himself takes part. Than cam in Dunbar the mackar; On all the flure there was nane frackar. *The incident is quoted from MS. Cott. Vitell. A.xvi., by Dr..Eneas Mackay (Introduction to Dunbar), who notes that though the reference is to Dunbar, it was Foreman who was the Protonotary.
Page 145 IVILLIAM DUNBA AR. I45 To another composition, "The Petition of the Gray Horse, Auld Dunbar," in which the poet begs to be housed and stalled, there are appended, under the heading "Responsio Regis," eight lines of direction to the royal treasurer, which, there is fair reason to suppose, may have been added by the king's own hand. But with whatever familiarity James was willing to treat Dunbar at court, and however far he may have seen fit to assist him in other ways, he refrained from putting the coping-stone upon his benefits, and died without granting the chief object of the poet's ambition, a church benefice. There is no reason for doubting the kindliness of the king's regard for his courtier. In 1504 Dunbar performed mass before James for the first time, and on that occasion was munificently rewarded. In 1507 his pension was increased to /20, and in I5io to ~80, to be paid until he should be promoted to a benefice of /Jioo or more. And in 1511 he appears to have been in the queen's train when she visited the north of Scotland, to judge from the circumstantial description of her welcome in his poem "Blyth Aberdein." Nevertheless, for reasons which can now only be conjectured, the long-hoped-for benefice was never conferred. It has been suggested that for this omission Dunbar's own imprudence may have been to blame. By his own confession his career as a friar had not been of the most circumspect sort, and many of his poems are, it must be confessed, both indecent and irreverent, one of them, " We that are here in Hevin's L II
Page 146 146 WILLIAM D UNBAR. Glory," being a deliberate profane parody of the litanies, while another, "To the Quene," contains language which might offend a modern courtezan. Conspicuous piety, however, was by no means necessary to the candidate for church preferment in those days, and only the most open and gross profligacy could have stood in the way of the promotion of an ecclesiastic. A more probable cause of Dunbar's prayers for a benefice remaining unanswered, Laing has suggested, might be the desire of James to keep the poet about his court. It is well known to have been part of the policy of that gallant and enlightened sovereign to retain about him a court of such learning and brilliance as should both impress the ambassadors of foreign powers and render illustrious the country's annals of the time. Whatever the reason, though Dunbar never ceased, by petition, innuendo, and satire, to beg for what he desired, James with a smile, as little embarrassed as might be, appears to have put the petition aside, making up for the main refusal by sundry gifts, pensions, and perquisites. The last of these, a payment of the small sum of fortytwo shillings, appears in the treasurer's accounts for Ist April, I5I3. Five months afterwards the fortunes of Dunbar were to fall with the pride of Scotland, the gallant James himself, on the field of Flodden. The cloud which then settled on the country obscures the remainder of the poet's life. It is possible that his pension continued to be paid, the treasurer's accounts from I 513 to 1515, and from 1518 to 1522 having been lost. And it is just possible that
Page 147 WILLIAM DUNBAR. 147 before marching to the field James conferred upon Dunbar his long-craved-for desire, a benefice. But the probability is that with the death of the king, and the unpopularity of the queen, the lamp of the poet's hopes went out, leaving the rest of his life in the darkness of disappointment. From several of his poems it is to be gathered that he lived to an advanced age. He was alive in i517, as one of his compositions celebrates the passing of the Regent Albany into France in that year. The year I520 is generally assigned as the date of the poet's death, and it is at least certain that he was dead ten years later, since the fact is alluded to in the prologue to "The Complaynt of the Papingo" written by Sir David Lindsay about I530. Before he died a change seems to have come upon the spirit of Dunbar. The levity of his earlier years appears to have been forsaken, and several of his poems are composed in a moral and religious strain. It would seem as if at last "the false world's wavering," the bitterness of final disappointment, had broken his gay and ambitious heart, and filled him with a profound sadness. It was a fit if sorrowful end for a career so full of contradictions. At war throughout with destiny, denied the worldly prize he craved, debarred by his vows from the solace of woman's love, Dunbar's life was typical of the genus irritabile. A parallel cannot fail to be seen between his fate and the fate of his great successor Robert Burns. Both, with hearts too keenly alive and eager for the joy of life, were doomed to meet only "the slings and arrows
Page 148 I48 WILLIAM DUNBAR. of outrageous fortune," and in both their real achievement, the blaze of poetry which has been their magnificent legacy to Scotland, was struck, as if by accident, out of too sharp contact with the flinty ways of life. But between the two there was a vital difference. While the sorrows of the Ayrshire poet opened his heart to the pathos of existence and gave to his verse its high tragic quality, its profound pity and tenderness, disappointment only filled the heart of Dunbar with bitterness and drove the iron into his soul. The first volume issued from the Scottish press, the book printed by Chepman & Myllar in 1508, contained several of Dunbar's poems, including "The Thrissil and the Rois," "The Goldyn Targe," and "The Lament for the Makaris." Only one copy of this volume, that in the Advocates' Library, is known to exist, but from this copy the book was reprinted in 1827 with the title of The Knightly Tale of Gologras and Gawane, and other Ancient Poems. The majority of the poet's existing works have been preserved in manuscripts, the Bannatyne MS., 1568, the Asloan MS., I575, the Maitland MS. in the Pepysian Library, and the Reidpeth MS., 1623, in the University Library, Cambridge, each containing several. From these sources detached poems were printed in the collections of Allan Ramsay, John Pinkerton, Lord Hailes, and James Sibbald. But it remained to Mr. David Laing in 1834 to issue the first collected edition of the works of Dunbar, as "the best monument that could be erected to his genius." A supplement to this
Page 149 WILLIAM DUNBAR. 149 was issued in I875; in I873 appeared in Edinburgh " The Works of William Dunbar, including his Life," by James Paterson; and in I883 a new edition of the poet's works was prepared for the Scottish Text Society by Mr. John Small, M.A., with, in i888, a copious introduction by Dr. AEneas Mackay. Dunbar has also received attention on the Continent, Dr. Mackay declaring Prof. Schipper's edition (Berlin, I884), to be the best book on the poet. Apart from the works which must inevitably have been lost, no fewer than a hundred and one poems remain to the present day accredited to the genius of Dunbar. Of eleven of these, including the scarcely doubtful " Freiris of Berwik," the authenticity is not absolutely proved, but the remaining ninety include the work upon which his chief fame rests. No early poet has attempted so great a variety, either in subject, in style, or in form of verse, as Dunbar. In varying temper and on varying occasion he has essayed nearly every role of poetry, and to each he has given the supreme touch of the master-hand. Allegory, satire, and moral musing, invective, comic narrative, and natural description, personal pleading, courtly compliment, and the wild riot of Rabelaisian farce, all are here, treading each inimitably its appropriate measure. Smock and gay doublet, blackthorn cudgel and friar's hood, flashing rapier and dazzling pageant dress, each is assumed as occasion asks, and none is laid down till its part has been played to perfection. In the stateliest efforts of his muse Dunbar followed the poetic fashion of his time. " The Goldyn Targe "
Page 150 i50 WILLZAM DUNBAR. and "The Thrissil and the Rois " are allegories in the strain introduced to Scotland by the great poem of James the First. Of these two " The Thrissil and the Rois" shares the advantage of "The Kingis Quair" in having for its subject a historic fact. An interest beyond that of most allegories is added to Dunbar's poem by the knowledge that it celebrates the union between James IV. and the Princess Margaret, daughter of Henry VII., which was to have such momentous issue three generations later in the union of the English and Scottish crowns. The event is celebrated with a richness of colour, imagery, and music, and a wealth and splendour of description which are hardly to be rivalled in the same field. In this poem, describing the young queen, Dunbar rises to his noblest vision of womanhood, and it may well be believed that such an epithalamium set the seal to a lasting friendship between the royal pair and the poet. By Langhorne in his Genius and Valour it was named as the chief work of its author. In nervous strains Dunbar's bold music flows And Time still spares the Thistle and the Rose. "The Goldyn Targe," nevertheless, has by some been considered Dunbar's masterpiece in that style of poetry. "All the beauties of 'The Thistle and the Rose,"' says Dr. Merry Ross, "are here seen in rarer and more sparkling perfection. The scenes and figures are painted in brighter colours, and the music of the verse has a more voluptuous swell." The intention of the poem is to set forth that the golden targe, or shield of reason, proves an untrustworthy defence
Page 151 WILLIAM DUNBAR. 151 against the assaults of love. From its gorgeous opening the pageant of the poet's fantasy moves on, glowing and glittering, fair, and alive with swaying, sensuous imagery, without a lapse, to the end, a picture appropriate to, and worthy of, the vital truth which it illustrates. Another brief allegory by Dunbar on a like subject, beginning " Sen that I am a Presoneir," has a charm of its own in its lighter but still perfect setting. To Chaucer must be attributed the suggestion of the two considerable poems, " The Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo" and "The Freiris of Berwik." The latter is a comic tale, modelled exactly on Chaucer's style, but related with a sustained vigour and interest which characterises only the best of that poet's work. It is to be regretted that the authorship of the poem is not absolutely attested. "If," says a competent critic, "'The Freiris of Berwik' is not the work of Dunbar, then Scotland has a nameless poet of the same age, who, in comic humour, richness of invention, knowledge of human nature, skill in the arrangement of detail, and a charming vivacity of narrative, rivals the author of the Canterbury Tales." "The Freiris of Berwik" furnished Allan Ramsay with something more than the suggestion of his tale of "The Monk and the Miller's Wife." "The Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo" treats of a subject somewhat similar to that of Chaucer's "Wife of Bath's Tale," but the methods and morals of the two poems are widely different. Dunbar's poem "presents us with the only specimen of blank verse which the ancient
Page 152 152 WILLIAM D UNBAR. Scottish language affords." The rhythm is of the kind employed by the early Anglo-Saxon poets, and borrowed from them by the author of " Piers Plowman." Alliteration supplies the place of rhyme. In each double line there should be three words beginning with the same letter, and by the rule two of these should occur in the first and the other should begin the second part of the line. Neither Dunbar nor the author of "Piers Plowman," however, followed the rule exactly. The Scottish poem has been justly praised for its richness of description, though its language, owing to the necessities of the versification, may sometimes appear obscure. The opening passage, as perhaps the finest, may be quoted: Apon the Midsumer ewin, mirriest of nichtis, I muvit furth allane, neir as midnicht wes past, Besyd ane gudlie grein garth, full of gay flouris, HIegeit of ane huge hicht with hawthorne treis, Quhairon ane bird on ane bransche so birst out hir notis That neuer ane blythfullar bird was on the beuche harde. Quhat throw the sugarat sound of hir sang glaid And throw the sauar sanatiue of the sueit flouris, I drew in derne to the dyk to dirkin efter myrthis; The dew donkit the daill and dynnit the foulis. I hard, vnder ane holyn hewinlie grein hewit, Ane hie speiche, at my hand, with hautand wourdis; With that in haist to the hege so hard I inthrang That I was heildit with hawthorn and with heynd leveis. Throw pykis of the plet thorne I presandlie luikit Gif ony persoun wald approche within that plesand garding. I saw thre gay ladeis sit in ane grein arbeir, All grathit in-to garlandis of fresche gudelie flouris. So glitterit as the gold wer thair glorius gilt tressis, Quhill all the gressis did gleme of the glaid hewis. Kemmit was thair cleir hair, and curiouslie sched
Page 153 WILLIAM DUNBAR. I53 Attour thair schulderis doun schyre, schyning full bricht, With curches, cassin thame abone, of kirsp cleir and thin. Thair mantillis grein war as the gress that grew in May sessoun, Fetrit with thair quhyt fingaris about thair fair sydis. Of ferlifull fyne favour war thair faceis meik, All of flurist fairheid, as flouris in June, Quhyt, seimlie, and soft, as the sweit lillies, New vpspred vpon spray, as new spynist rose. Arrayit ryallie about with mony rich wardour, That Nature full nobillie annamalit fine with flouris Off alkin hewis under hewin that ony heynd knew, Fragrant, all full of fresche odour fynest of smell, Ane marbre tabile coverit wes befoir thai thre ladeis With ryale cowpis apon rawis, full of ryche wynis. And of thir fair wlonkes, with tua [that] weddit war with lordis, Ane wes ane wedow I wist, wantoun of laitis. And as thai talkit at the tabill of mony taill funde Thay wauchtit at the wicht wyne, and warit out wourdis, And syne thai spak more spedelie, and sparit no materis. The "materis" treated of in this long conversation are the opinions of the three ladies upon the obligations of marriage. The sentiments uttered are of the most profligate sort, one of the wives expressing her wishes thus: Chenyeis ay ar to eschew, and changeis ar sueit. Sic cursit chance till eschew had I my chois anis Out of the chenyeis of ane churle I chaip suld for euir. God gif matrimony were made to mell for ane yeir! It war bot monstrous to be mair bot gif our myndis pleisit. Dunbar's idea of womanhood touches its nadir in this poem, and the effect is the more unwholesome from the fact that the most licentious and sensual imaginings are put into the mouths, not of degraded women, but of the most lovely and modest-seeming of the sex. But it is when he leaves the initiative of others
Page 154 154 WILLIAMI DUNBAR. behind and enters a realm of his own that Dunbar's powers are seen in their full strength and exuberance. '" The Dance of the Sevin Deidly Synnis " is the most powerful of all his works. No such daring grotesquerie ever was painted, before or since, for a carnival riot on the eve of Lent. In "Tam o' Shanter" there is a familiar touch which softens the horrible, and Goethe's "Walpurgis Night" has a mournful human under-strain; but here the picture is unrelieved; an iron curtain seems pushed aside, and a moment's bewildering glimpse is caught of the actual lurid turmoil of hell. The poem is realistic and fearfully vivid in its details, and in the days when it was written must have appeared to its readers as horrible as it is startling. In the same lower region the poet set the scene of another grotesque production, "The Turnament," a contest between a tailor and souter, or shoemaker. This and the long and somewhat obscure "Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy" furnish specimens of such extravagant scurrility and dirt, without containing anything morally impure, as it would be difficult to match out of Rabelais. It is curious to think that the "Flyting," with all its villanous abuse, was probably nothing more than a friendly tilting match between two famous free-lances. Irving notes the fact that a similar abusive contest was carried on in the time of Lorenzo de Medici by Luigi Pulci and Matteo Franco, who were nevertheless close friends, and that in our country the example of Dunbar and Kennedy was followed by James V...
Page 155 WILL/IAM DUNBAR. I55 and Sir David Lindsay, and by Montgomery and Hume. Formal rules, indeed, for such encounters were laid down by James VI. in his Art of Poesie. The elaborate "Flyting," nevertheless, it is to be feared, is apt to prove somewhat wearisome reading now-a-days. The "Turnament," on the other hand, with its wild, if coarse, fun, would appear to have excited the ire of members of the crafts burlesqued, and under the guise of an apology to the offended guildsmen the poet wrote an "Amendis," which is one of the most salt of his satires. It was personal feeling, however, which gave their bitterest tang to many of the satires of Dunbar. Two of these concern a certain Italian impostor, one John Damian from Lombardy, who, on the strength of a professed ability to convert the baser metals into gold, effected a footing as physician and alchemist at the court of James IV., and in i504 was made Abbot of Tungland in Galloway. Three years later, according to Bishop Lesley,* having failed to produce the promised gold, Damian, to maintain his reputation, gave out that he would fly from the walls of Stirling Castle to France. This he actually attempted, and on the appointed day, furnished with a huge pair of wings, he plunged from the castle rampart; but instead of flying through the heavens he fell to the ground beneath and broke his thigh-bone. Such a subject was not to be missed by the satirist, affording, as it did, a contrast between the high preferment bestowed on quackery and the neglect to which modest merit was * The historian of James the Fourth's reign.
Page 156 I56 WILLIAM DUNBAR. relegated. In "The Fenyeit Freir of Tungland" the poet has made the most of the episode. It is "a rare specimen of burlesque spiced with gay malice." In many poems Dunbar did not hesitate to set forth his grievance in plain words to the king, coming in several cases as near to the accent of reproach as was politic in addressing a sovereign. Sometimes these appeals for promotion are almost pathetic in their expression of the sickness that comes of hope deferred; sometimes, though less frequently, they are couched in a humorous form, as in " The Petition of the Gray Horse." They give here and there a pitiful revelation of the poet in his need, improvident while his means last, watching with a sigh the constant preferment of duller souls, while age creeps fast upon him, and the hunger of his heart remains unsatisfied. In one considerable class of his poems, as has been said, a moral and philosophical vein is touched, and it is supposed that these were chiefly written in his latter days. Some of them, such as "Best to be Blyth" and "Meditatioun in Wynter," take a cheerful turn, but, like the personal petitions addressed to the king, most are tinged with the shade of melancholy. All, however, show a deep appreciation of the peculiarities of human nature, and an accurate gauging of the secret springs of human motives, foibles, and passions. "The Lament for the Makaris" is the best known of these moral poems, and is, besides, a specimen of the sort of macaronic verse, the fantastic mixture of tongues, which was then a poetic fashion. The reflections of the poem are simple, and its tone
Page 157 WILLIAM DUNBAAR. 157 uniformly sad. Youth and loveliness, bravery and wit, all come to an end, and even the poets, for all their sweet service, cannot escape the hand of death. As a historical document, a record of the names of early Scottish singers, this composition has been of the greatest value; but it is something more than this; it is a noble elegy on the illustrious dead, sung by lips that have thirsted and found life bitter. Of Dunbar's work and character as a whole numerous estimates have been made. Merry Ross appears inclined to consider as his highest quality " a certain unique intensity of feeling," the expression of that " passionate or indomitable force, even tending to extravagance and one-sided zeal, which distinguishes and differentiates the people of the north from their southern neighbours, and is particularly conspicuous in all their foremost men."* Scott did not hesitate to set Dunbar in several respects upon a level with Chaucer. " In brilliancy of fancy," he declares, "in force of description, in the power of conveying moral precepts with terseness, and marking lessons of life with conciseness and energy, in quickness of satire and in poignancy of humour, the Northern Makar may boldly aspire to rival the Bard of Woodstock."t On the makar's vital shortcoming, on the other hand, the critics seem agreed. Brilliant beyond any of the poet company he sang, Dunbar still lacked one thing to set him in the ranks of the greatest of the immortals. That place is reserved for those * Scottish History and Literature, p. 215. t Memoirs of George Bannatyne, I829, p. 14.
Page 158 I58 W'ILL AiZ DUNBAR. alone who, supreme in other gifts, possess also the key to the fountain of tears. Humour the wildest, wit the keenest, imagination the richest and most glowing, illumine his page; but nowhere, except lightly in "The Lament for the Makaris," and in one little love poem perhaps, does he stir the deeper currents of the heart. No storm of tragic passion or tenderness sweeps through his verse, the joys and sorrows, the hopes and fears, the toils and hardships of common life were nothing to him. The gentler part of existence was shut from him, with the pure ministry of womanhood, by his priestly vows, and while lord alike of beauty and terror, of bewitching fantasies and mocking laughter, he leaves one side of life, and that the truest, entirely untouched. His work reflects the ideals and life of Scotland at a time when the old world with its faith was passing away. Nothing of the warm breath and promise of a springtime is to be found in his pages. His gorgeous colour and splendid imaginings are like the glories of the autumn forest, the fires in the withering leaf. In the spirit of his time is to be found at once the keynote and the shortcoming of Dunbar's life and poetry. In an atmosphere of nobler aspiration his genius might have burned with a purer flame. As it is, he holds a great place, second only to that of Robert Burns, in the gallery of Scottish poets.
Page 159 THE GOLDYN TARGE. YGHT as the stern of day begouth to schyne, - Quhen gone to bed war Vesper and Lucyne, I raise and by a rosere' did me rest; Irose-tree. Wp sprang the goldyn candill matutyne With clere depurit bemes cristallyne, Glading the mirry foulis in thair nest; Or2 Phebus was in purpur kaip revest 2ere. Wp sprang the lark, the hevinis menstrale fyne, In May, in-till a morow3 myrthfullest. 3morning. Full angellike thir birdis sang thair houris4 4morning prayers. Within thair courtyns5 grene in-to thair bouris, gardens. Apparalit quhyte and red, wyth blumys suete; Anamalit was the felde wyth all colouris, The perly droppis schuke in silvir schouris, Quhill all in balme did branch and levis flete6; 6 float. Depairt fra Phebus, did Aurora grete7, 7 weep. Hir cristall teris I saw hyng on the flouris, Quhilk he for lufe all drank vp with his hete. For mirth of May, wyth skippis and wyth hoppis, The birdis sang vpon the tender croppis8 8 tree tops. With courius note, as Venus chapell clerkis: The rosis reid, now spreding of thair knoppis9, 9 knobs, tufts.
Page 160 I6o WILLL4IA DUNXBAR. I beryl. War powderit brycht with hevinly beriallI droppis, Throu bemes rede birnyng as ruby sperkis; The skyes rang for schoutyng of the larkis, 2 over.spilled. The purpur hevyn our-scailit2 in silvir sloppis, Our-gilt the treis, branchis, leivis and barkis. 3 brushwood. Doun thrwch ryss3 ane ryuir ran wyth stremys, s likened flames. So lustily4 agayn thai lykand lemys5 That all the lake as lamp did leme of licht, Quhilk schadovit all about wyth twynkling glemis, e branches. That bewis6 bathit war in secund bemys Throu the reflex of Phebus visage brycht. 7 on high. On every syde the hegeis raise on hicht7, The bank was grene, the bruke' vas full of bremys, gravel. The stanneris8 clere as stern in frosty nycht. The cristall air, the sapher firmament, The ruby skyes of the orient, Kest beriall bemes on emnerant bewis grene; 9 garden. The rosy garth9, depaynt and redolent rose-red,deli With purpur, azure, gold, and goulis gent'0, Arayed was by 'dame Fflora the quene "I to see. So nobily that ioy was for to seneII": 22 rock. The rochI2 agayn the rywir resplendent '3 shining. As lowI3 enlumynit alI the leues schene14. Quhat throu the mery foulys armony, And throu the ryueris sounn that ran me by, On Fflorais mantill I slepit quhair I lay, Quhare sone in-to my dremes fantasy
Page 161 THE GOLD YN TARGE. i6i I saw approch agayn the orient sky Ane saill als quhite as blossum vpon spray, Wyth mast of gold, brycht as the stern of day, Quhilk tendit to the land full lustily, As falcoun swift desyrouse of hir pray. And hard on burd' vnto the blomyt medis, Iground. Amangis the grene rispis"and the redis, 2 coarse grasses. Arrivit scho; quhar-fro anone thare landis Ane hundreth ladyes, lusty in-till wedis, Als fresch as flouris that in the May vp spredis, In kirtillis grene, withoutyn kell3 or bandis4; neckerchiefs. Thair brycht hairis hang gletering on the strandis In tressis clere, wyppit5 wyth goldyn thredis, 5 bound round. With pappis quhite,' and middillis small as wandis. Discriue I wald, bot quho cowth wele endyte How all the feldis wyth thai lilies quhite Depaynt war brycht, quhilk to the hevin did glete6? 6 gleam. Noucht thou, Homer, als fair as thou cowth wryte, For all thi ornate sfyle so perfyte, Nor yit thou, Tullius, quhois lippis suete Off rethorike did in-to termis flete7: 7 float. Your aureate tongis both bene all to lyte8 8 too little. For to compile that paradise complete. Thare saw I Nature, and [dame] Venus quene, The fresch Aurora, and lady Flora schene9, beautiful. Iuno, [Latona,] and Proserpyna, Dyane, the goddesse chaste of woddis grene, M II
Page 162 I62 WILLIAM DUNBAR. xhelp of poets is. My lady Cleo that help of makaris bene', Thetes, Pallas, and prudent Minerua, 23 signen. Fair feynit2 Fortune, and lemand3 Lucina Thir mychti quenis in crounis mycht be sene, Wyth bemys blith, bricht as Lucifera. There saw I May, of myrthfull monethis quene, Betuix Aprile and June, her sisteris schene, Within the gairdene walking vp and doun, 4 rejoice sud. Quham of the foulis gladdith al bedene4; denly. Scho was full tender in-till hir yeris grene. Thare saw I Nature present hir a goune, Rich to behald and nobil of renoune, Off ewiry hew that vnder the hevin hes bene Depaynt, and braid be gude proporcioun. company. Full lustily thir ladyes all in fere5 Enterit within this park of most plesere, rankleaves. Quhare that I lay helit wyth leuis ronk6; The mery foulis, blisfullest of chere, 7 Saluted. Salust7 Nature, me-thocht, in thair manere, And ewiry blome on branch and eke on bonk Opnyt and spred thair balmy leuis donk, Full low enclynyng to thair Quene full clere, Quham of thair nobill nvrissing thay thonk. SAfterwards. Syne8 to dame Flora on the samyn wyse 9times. Thay saluse and thay thank a thousand syse9, And to dame Wenus, lufis mychti quene, guise, fashion. Thay sang ballattis in lufe, as was the gyse'0,
Page 163 THE GOLD YN TARGE. I63 With amourouse notis most lusty to devise, As thay that had lufe in thair hertis grene; Thair hony throtis, opnyt fro the splene', from the heart. With warbillis suete did perse the hevinly skyes, Quhill loud resownyt the firmament serene. Ane-othir court thare saw I subsequent; Cupide the king, wyth bow in hand ay bent And dredefull arowis grundyn scharp and square; Thare saw I Mars, the god armypotent, Aufull and sterne, strong and corpolent; Tharg saw I crabbit Saturn ald and haire2, 2 hoar. His luke was lyke for to perturb the aire; Thare was Marcourius, wise and eloquent, Of rhethorike that fand3 the flouris faire. 3 found. Thare was the god of gardynis, Priapus; Thare was the god of wildernes, Phanus; And Ianus, god of entres4 delytable; 4entries. Thare was the gdd of fludis, Neptunus; Thare was the god of windis, Eolus, With variand luke; rycht lyke a lord vnstable; Thare was Bachus, the gladder of the table; 'Thare was Pluto, the elrich5 incubus, elvish. In cloke of grene, hiscourt usit- no sable. And ewiry one of thir6, in grene arayit, 6 these. On harp or lute full merily thai playit, And sang ballettis with michty notis clere. Ladyes to dance full sobirly assayit,
Page 164 I64 WILLIAM DUNBAR. IAlong. Endlangr the lusty rywir so thai mayit; Thair obseruance rycht hevynly was to here. Than crap I throu the leuis and drew nere, Quhare that I was richt sudaynly affrayit 2 bought. All throu a luke quhilk I haue coft2 full dere. And schortly for to speke, of lufis quene I was aspyit. Scho bad hir archearis kene Go me arrest; and thay no time delayit. Than ladyes fair lete fall thair mantillis grene, With bowis big in tressit hairis schene. All sudaynly thay had a felde arayit; And yit rycht gretly was I noucht affrayit, 3 to see. The party was so plesand for to sene3. 4 A wonderfully A wonder lusty bikar4 me assayit. pleasant strife. And first of all, with bow in hand ay bent, 5 confound, destroy. Come dame Bewty rycht as scho wald me schent5;. 6 company. Syne folowit all hir dammosallis in feir6, With mony diuerse aufull instrument, Wnto the pres; Fair Having wyth hir went, Fyne Portrature, Plesance, and lusty Chere. Than come Resoun, with schelde of gold so clere.. In plate and maille, as Mars armypotent, Defendit me that nobil cheuallere. Syne tender Youth come wyth hir virgenis ying Grene Innocence, and schamefull Abaising, And quaking Drede, wyth humyll Obedience. The Goldyn Targe harmyt thay no-thing;
Page 165 THE GOLD YN TA'RGE. I65 Curage in thame was noucht begonne to spring; Full sore thay dred to done a violence. Suete Womanhede I saw cum in presence; Of artilye' a warld sche did in bring, r artillery. Seruit wyth ladyes full of reuerence. Scho led with hir Nurture and Lawlyness, Continwance2, Pacience, Gude Fame, and Stedfastnes, 2 Continence. Discretioun, Gentrise3, and Considerance, 3 Gentlehood. lefull4 Company and Honest Besynes 4 Lawful. Benigne Luke, Mylde Chere, and Sobirnes. All thir bure ganyeis5 to do me greuance, 5 darts. But Resoun bure the Targe wyth sik6 constance 6such. Thair scharp assayes mycht do no dures To me for all thair aufull ordynance. Wnto the pres persewit Hie Degre; Hir folowit ay Estate and Dignitee, Comparisoun, Honour, and Noble Array, Will, Wantonness, Renoun, and Libertee, Richesse, Fredome, and eke Nobilitee. Wit ye thay did thair baner hye display; A cloud of arowis as hayle-schour lousit thay And schot, quhill7 wastit was thair artilye, 7 tll. Syne went abak rebutit8 of thair pray. 5 repulsed. Quhen Venus had persauit this rebute, Dissymilance scho bad go mak persute, At all powere to perse the Goldyn Targe; And scho that was of doubilnes the rute
Page 166 i66 WILLI4M DUNBAR. ' mcahnment. Askit hir choise of archeris in refute'. 2choose. Wenus the best bad hir to wale2 at large; 3 pledge. Scho tuke Presence plicht3 anker of the barge, 4 an arrow. And Fair Callyng that wele a flayn4 coud schute, And Cherising for to complete hir charge. Dame Hamelynes scho tuke in company, S skilful. That hardy was, and hende5 in archery, And brocht dame Bewty to the felde agayn. With all the choise of Venus cheualry 6 made assault. Thay come, and bikkerit6 vnabaisitly. The schour of arowis rappit on as rayn; 7 "sy shoots Perrellus Presence, that mony syre7 has slayne, scions, shoots. 8 took place on The bataill broucht on bordour8 hard me by; the beach. 9 sorer, truth to The salt was all the sarar, suth to sayn9. say. Thik was the schote of grundyn dartis kene; Bot Resoun with the Scheld of Gold so schene o In walike Weirly'~ defendit, quho-so-ewir assayit. fashion. storm. The aufull stoure" he manly did sustene, Quhill Presence kest a pulder in his ene, x2 went astray. And than as drunkyn man he all forvayit12. Quhen he was blynd the fule wyth hym thay playit, And banyst hym amang the bewis grene. That sair sicht me sudaynly affrayit. Than was I woundit till the deth wele nere And yoldyn as a wofull prisonnere To lady Bewty in a moment space. Me-thocht scho semyt lustiar of chere
Page 167 THE GOLDYN TARGE. I67 Efter that Resoun had tynt' his eyne clere I lost. Than of before, and lufliare of face. Quhy was thou blyndit, Resoun? quhi, allace! And gert2 ane hell my paradise appere, 2 caused. And mercy seme, quhare that I fand no grace. Dissymulance was besy me to sile3 3blindfold. And Fair Calling did oft vpoun me smyle And Cherising me fed wyth wordis fair; New Acquyntance enbracit me a quhile, And fauouryt me quhill men mycht ga ane myle, Syne tuk hir leif; I saw hir nevir mare. Than saw I Dangere toward me repair; I couth eschew hir presence be no wyle; On syde scho lukit wyth ane fremyt fare4. 4 foreign (unfriendly) bearing. And at the last Departing cowth hir dresse5, b Seganer And me delyuerit vnto Hevynesse treatment. For to remayne, and scho in cure6 me tuke. 6 care. Be this the Lord of Wyndis, wyth wodenes7, 7 fury, madness. God Eolus, his bugill blew I gesse, That with the blast the leuis all to schuke, And sudaynly, in the space of ane luke, All was hyne8 went, thare was bot wildernes, 8 hence. Thare was no nlore bot birdis, bank, and bruke. In twynkling of ane e to schip thai went, And swyth9 vp saile vnto the top thai stent0, 9 swiftly. And with swift course atour" the flude thay frak2. " over. sped. Thay fyrit gunnis wyth polder violent,
Page 168 I68 WILLIAM1 DUNBAR. smoke. Till that the reke' raise to the firmament; 2 crash. The rockes all resoundit wyth the rak2; 3 noise. For reird3 it semyt that the raynbow brak. 4 sprang. Wyth spreit affrayit apon my fete I sprent4, 5 cliffs, ravines. Amang the clewis5 so carefull was the crak. 6 awake from my And as I did awalk of my sueving6 dreaming. The ioyfull birdis merily did syng For myrth of Phebus tendir bemes schene; 7 morning. Suete war the vapouris, soft the morowing7, Halesum the vale, depaynt wyth flouris ying; The air attemperit, sobir, and amene; 8forth.ed In quhite and rede was all the felde besene8, Throu Naturis nobil fresche anamalyng, In mirthfull May of ewiry moneth quene. O reuerend Chaucere, rose of rhethoris all, As in our tong ane flour imperiall, That raise in Britane ewir, quho redis rycht, Thou beris of makaris the tryumph riall; 9 celestial. Thy fresch anamalit termes celicall9 This mater coud illumynit haue full brycht. Was thou noucht of oure Inglis all the lycht, Surmounting ewiry tong terrestriall, Alls fer as Mayes morow dois mydnycht? O morall Gower, and Ludgate laureate, Your sugurit lippis and toTnhgis aureate Bene to oure eris cause of grete delyte. Your angelik mouthis most mellifluate
Page 169 THE GOLDYN TARGE. 169 Our rude langage has clere illumynate, And faire our-gilt oure speche, that imperfyte Stude or' your goldyn pennis schupe2 to wryte. prepared This lie before was bare and desolate Of rethorike, or lusty fresch endyte. Thou lytill Quair, be ewir obedient, Humble, subiect, and symple of entent Before the face of ewiry connyng3 wicht, 3 skilful. I knaw quhat thou of rethorike hes spent. Off all hir lusty rosis redolent Is none in-to thy gerland sett on hicht4, 4 on high. Eschame thairfoir, and draw the out of sicht, Rude is thy wede, destitute, bare, and rent, Wele aucht thou be affeirit5 of the licht. 5 afraid.
Page 170 THE THRISSIL AND THE ROIS. QUHEN Merche wes with variand windis past, And Appryll had, with hir siluer schouris, Tane leif at Nature with ane orient blast, pleasant. And lusty' May, that mvddir is of flouris, 2 morning Had maid the birdis to begyn thair houris2 prayers. Amang the tendir odouris reid and quhyt, Quhois armony to heir it wes delyt; In bed at morrow, sleiping as I lay, Me-thocht Aurora with hir cristall ene In at the window lukit by the day, 3greeted. And halsit3 me, with visage paill and grene; 4 from the heart. On quhois hand a lark sang fro the splene4, " Awalk, luvaris, out of your slomering! Se how the lusty morrow dois vp spring." Me-thocht fresche May befoir my bed vpstude, In weid depaynt of mony diuerss hew, 5 meekness. Sobir, benyng, and full of mansuetudes, In brycht atteir of flouris forgit new, Hevinly of color, quhyt, reid, broun, and blew, Balmit in dew, and gilt with Phebus bemys, 6glowing. Quhill all the house illumynit of hir lemys6.
Page 171 THE THRISSIL AND THE ROIS. I7I "Slugird," scho said, "awalk' annone for schame, awake. And in my honour sum-thing thou go wryt; The lark hes done the mirry day proclame, To raise vp luvaris with confort and delyt; Yit nocht incressis thy curage to indyt, Quhois hairt sum-tyme hes glaid and blisfull bene, Sangis to mak vndir the levis grene." "Quhairto," quod I, "sall I vpryse at morrow, For in this May few birdis herd I sing? Thai haif moir cause to weip and plane thair sorrow; Thy air it is nocht holsum nor benyng; Lord Eolus dois in thy sessone ring2; 2 reigns in thy season. So busteous3 ar the blastis of his home, 3 rude, powerful. Amang thy bewis4 to walk I haif forborne." 4 boughs. With that this lady sobirly did smyle, And said, "Vpryse, and do thy observance; Thow did promyt, in Mayis lusty quhyle, For to discryve5 the Rois of most plesance. s describe. Go se the birdis how thay sing and dance, Illumynit our6 With orient skyis brycht,, 6 over. Annamyllit richely with new asur lycht." Quhen this wes said, depairtit scho, this quene, And enterit in a lusty gairding gent7; 7 neat (genteel). And than, me-thocht, full hestely besene8, s fitted out. In serk and mantill [eftir hir] I went In-to this garth9, most dulce and redolent 9 inclosure. Off herb and flour and tendir plantis sueit, And grene levis doing of dew doun fleit. o causing dew to float down.
Page 172 I72 WILLIAM11 DUNBAR. The purple sun. The purpour sone1, with tendir bemys reid, In orient bricht as angell did appeir. Throw goldin skyis putting vp his heid, Quhois gilt tressis schone so wondir cleir, That all the world tuke confort, fer and neir, To luke vpone his fresche and blisfull face, Doing all sable fro the hevynnis chace..the blissfuhe And as the blisfull sonne of cherarchy2 angel choir. The fowlis song throw confort of the licht; The birdis did with oppin vocis cry, " 0, luvaris fo, away thou dully Nycht! And welcum, Day, that confortis every wicht! nintfu. Haill May, haill Flora, haill Aurora schene3, Haill princes Natur, haill Venus, luvis quene!" Dame Nature gaif ane inhibitioun thair To ferss Neptunus and Eolus the bawld, Nocht to perturb the wattir nor the air, And that no schouris [snell] nor blastis cawld 4 earth. Effray suld flouris nor fowlis on the fold4. 5 also. Scho bad eik5 Juno, goddis of the sky, That scho the hevin suld keip amene and dry. Scho ordand eik that every bird and beist Befoir hir hienes suld annone compeir, And every flour of vertew, most and leist, And every herb be feild fer and neir, As thay had wont in May fro yeir to yeir, To hir thair makar to mak obediens, Full law inclynnand with all dew reuerens.
Page 173 THE THRISSIL AND THE ROIS. I73 With that annone scho send the swyft Ro To bring in beistis of all conditioun; The restles Suallow commandit scho also To feche all fowll of small and greit renown; And to gar' flouris compeir of all fassoun cause. Full craftely conjurit scho the Yarrow, Quhilk did furth swirk2 als swift as ony arrow. 2dart. All present wer in twynkling of ane e, Baith beist and bird and flour, befoir the quene. And first the Lyone, gretast of degre, Was callit thair; and he, most fair to sene3, 3 to see. With a full hardy contenance and kene, Befoir dame Natur come, and did inclyne, With visage bawld and curage leonyne. This awfull beist full terrible wes of cheir, Persing of luke, and stout of countenance, Rycht strong of corpis, of fassoun fair, but feir4, 4withont comLusty of schaip, lycht of deliuerance5; movement. Reid of his cullour, as is the ruby glance, On feild of gold he stude full mychtely, With flour-de-lycis sirculit lustely.* This Lady liftit vp his cluvis6 cleir, 6 claws And leit him listly7 lene vpone hir kne, 7 willingly. And crownit him with dyademe full deir, Off radyous stonis, most ryall for to se, Saying, "The King of Beistis mak I the, And the cheif protector in woddis and schawis8; 8coverts. Onto thi leigis go furth and keip the lawis. * A description of the royal arms of Scotland.
Page 174 174 WILLIAM DUNBAR. "Exerce justice with mercy and conscience, hurt nor con- And lat no small beist suffir skaith na skornis' tumely. Of greit beistis that bene of moir piscence; 2 Makelawalike. Do law elyk2 to aipis and vnicornis, And lat no bowgle with his busteous hornis The meik pluch-ox oppress, for all his pryd, Bot in the yok go peciable him besyd." Quhen this was said, with noyis and soun of joy, All kynd of beistis in-to thair degre, At onis cryit lawd, "Viue le Roy!" And till his feit fell with humilite, 3 fealty. And all thay maid him homege and fewte3; 4 gestures. And he did thame ressaif with princely laitis4, 5 perhaps "does Quhois noble yre is proceir prostratis5. spare the prostrate." Syne crownit scho the Egle King of Fowlis, 6quills. And as steill dertis scherpit scho his pennis6, And bawd him be als just to awppis and owlis, 7 parrots. As vnto pacokkis, papingais7, or crennis, 8 mighty. And mak a law for wycht' fowlis and for wrennis; 9doaffrighting. And lat no fowll of ravyne do efferay9, Nor devoir birdis bot his awin pray. Than callit scho all flouris that grew on feild, o qualities. Discirnyng all thair fassionis and effeiris"~. Vpone the awfull Thrissill scho beheld, And saw him kepit with a busche of speiris; Concedring him so able for the weiris, A radius croun of rubeis scho him gaif, protect the And said, "In feild go furth, and fend the laif"; rest.
Page 175 THE THRISSIL AND THE ROIS. I75 "And, sen' thow art a king, thou be discreit; Isince. Herb without vertew thou hald nocht of sic2 pryce such. As herb of vertew and of odor sueit; And lat no nettill vyle and full of vyce, Hir fallow3 to the gudly flour-de-lyce; 3 fellow herself. Nor latt no wyld weid, full of churlicheness, Compair hir till the lilleis nobilness. -' Nor hald non vdir flour in sic denty4 4 in such regard. i As the fresche Roiseof cullour reid and quhyt;* For gife thow dois, hurt is thyne honesty, (onciddering that no flour is so perfyt, (So full of vertew, plesans, and delyt, So full of blisfull angeilik bewty, Imperiall birth, honour, and dignite." Than to the Rois scho turnyt hir visage, And said, " lusty dochtir most benyng, Aboif the lilly illustare of lynnage,t Fro the stok ryell rysing fresche and ying, But ony spot or macull doing spring5; s Springing with out spot or stain. Cum, blowme of joy, with jemis to be cround, For our the laif6 thy bewty is renowned." 6 over the rest. A coistly croun, with clarefeid stonis brycht, This cumly quene did on hir heid inclois, Quhill all the land illumynit of the licht; Quhairfoir me-thocht all flouris did reiois, Crying attonis7, " Haill be thou, richest Rois 7 at once. Haill, hairbis empryce! haill freschest quene of flouris! To the be glory and honour at all houris!" * An allusion, as Laing pointed out, to the union of the Houses of York and Lancaster, the Red and White Roses, in the persons of Henry VII. and his queen. + An allusion to the earlier effort to unite James IV. to a (laughter of the House of Valois.
Page 176 176 WILLIAM1, DUNBAR. Thane all the birdis song with voce on hicht, Quhois mirthfull soun wes mervelus to heir. X thrush. The mavyis' song, "Haill, Rois most riche and richt, That dois vp flureiss vndir Phebus speir! Haill, plant of yowth, haill, princes dochtir deir, Haill, blosome, breking out of the blud royall, Quhois pretius vertew is imperiall!" The merle scho sang, "Haill, Rois of most delyt, Haill, of all flouris quene and souerane!" The lark scho song, " Haill, Rois, both reid and quhyt, Most plesand flour, of michty cullouris twane!" The nychtingaill song, "Haill, Naturis suffragane, In bewty, nurtour, and every nobilness, In riche array, renown and gentilness!" The commoun voce vp raise of birdis small, Apone this wyis, " 0 blissit be the hour That thow wes chosin to be our principall! Welcome to be our princes of honour, Our perle, our plesans, and our paramour, 2 peace. Our peax2, our play, our plane felicite, Chryst the conserf frome all aduersite!" Than all the birdis song with sic a schout, That I annone awoilk quhair that I lay, 3 cry. And with a braid3 I turnyt me about To se this court; bot all were went away. 4 partly inght. Than vp I lenyt, halflingis in affrey4, 5 before. And thus I wret, as ye haiff hard to-forrow5, Off lusty May vpone the nynt morrow.
Page 177 BEWTY AND THE PRESONEIR.* SEN that I am a presoneir Till hir that fairest is and best, I me commend, fra yeir till yeir, In-till hir bandoun1 for to rest. I service. I govit2 on that gudliest, 2 gazed eagerly. So lang to luk I tuk laseir, Quhill I wes tane withouttin test3, 3contest. And led furth as a presoneir. Hir sweit having and fresche bewtie Hes wondit me but4 swerd or lance, 4without. With hir to go commandit me Ontill the castell of Pennance. I said "Is this your gouirnance, To tak men for thair luking heir?" Fresche Bewty said "Ya, schir, perchance, Ye be my ladeis presoneir." Thai had me bundin to the yet5 5 They conveyed me to the gatc. Quhair Strangenes had bene portar ay, And in deliuerit me thairat, And in thjr6 termis can thai say, 6 these. * Laing suggests that in this poem Dunbar may have done little more than delineate one of the pageants or masques of the period which he had witnessed while in England. N II
Page 178 178 WILLIAM DUNBA'R. x Give attention. "Do wait', and lat him nocht away." Quo Strangnes vnto the porteir "Ontill my lady, I dar lay, Ye be to pure a presoneir." 2 named. 3 disdain. 4 Though I was woful I dared not complain. D qualities (senses). 6 did I say. Thai kest me in a deip dungeoun, And fetterit me but lok or cheyne. The capitane hecht2 Comparesone, To luke on me he thocht greit deyne3. Thocht I wes wo I durst nocht pleyne4, For he had fetterit mony affeir5; With petouss voce thus cuth I sene6 "Wo is a wofull presoneir!" 7 watch. Langour wes weche7 vpoun the wall, That nevir sleipit, bot evir wouke; 8jester. Scorne wes bourdour8 in the hall; 9 bauble. And oft on me his babill9 schuke, Lukand with mony a dengerous luke; "o comes within bounds." "Quhat is he yone, that methis"~ ws neir? " clownish(?) Ye be to townage", be this buke, To be my ladeis presoneir." 2 whispered. Gud Houp rownit12 in my eir, *3 write. And bad me baldlie breveI3 a bill; With Lawlines he suld it beir, With Fair Scherwice send it hir till. I wouk and wret hir all my will; 4 sped without Fair Scherwice fur withouttin feir4, companion. rs secret words. Sayand till hir with wirdis still'5, "Haif pety of your presoneir!"
Page 179 BEWTY AND THE PRESONEIR. 179 Than Lawlines to Petie went, And said till hir in termis schort, "Lat we yone presoneir be schent', lundone. Will no man do to ws support; Gar2 lay ane sege vnto yone fort." 2Cause. Than Petie said, "I sail appeir;" 3 I promise, if I Thocht sayis, "I hecht, corn I ourthort3, come over. I houp to lowss the presoneir." Than to battell thai war arreyit all, And ay the wawart4 kepit Thocht; 4vanguard. Lust bur the benner to the wall, And Bissines the grit gyn brocht5. great engine of war. Skorne cryis out, sayis, "Wald ye ocht?" ofwar Lust sayis, "We wald haif entre heir;" Comparisone sayis, "That is for nocht; Ye will nocht wyn the presoneir." Thai thairin schup6 for to defend, 6prepared. And thai thairfurth sailyeit7 ane hour; 7 assailed. Than Bissiness the grit gyn bend, Straik doun the top of the foir tour. Comparisone began to lour8, 8 look gloomy. And cryit furth, "I yow requeir, Soft and fair and do fawour, And tak to yow the presoneir." Thai fyrit the yettis deliuerly9 9 gates speedily. With faggottis wer grit and huge; And Strangenes, quhair that he did ly Wes brint in-to the porter luge.
Page 180 I8o WILLIAM DUNBAR. Lustely thay lakit bot a juge, and rustling Sic straikis and stychling wes on steir', were astir. The semeliest wes maid assege To quhome that he wes presoneir. 2 Through Scorn's nose. 3 blacking. 4 buried alive. 5 host, lit. large number. 6 chamberlain. 7 From the time when Slander heard. 8 Gathered to battle. 9 cousin. 10 gossipmongers. I conceals. Thrucht Skornes noss2 thai put a prik, This he wes banist and gat a blek3; Comparisone wes erdit quik4, And Langour lap and brak his nek. Thai sailyeit fast, all the fek5; Lust chasit my ladeis chalmirleir6; Gud Fame wes drownit in a sek. Thus ransonit thai the presoneir. Fra Sklandir hard7 Lust had vndone His enemeis, him aganis Assemblit' ane semely sort full sone, And raiss and rowttit all the planis. His cusing9 in the court remanis, Bot jalouss folkis and geangleiris'T And fals Invy that no-thing lanis" Blew out on Luvis presoneir. Syne Matremony, that nobill king, Was grevit, and gadderit ane grit ost, 12 armed, without lying, i.e. in And all enermit, without lesingI2, Chest Sklander to the west se cost. Than wes he and his linege lost, 3 doubt, uncer- And Matremony, withouttin weir13, tainty. The band of freindschip hes indost Betuix Bewty and the presoneir.
Page 181 BEWTY AND THE PRESONEIR. IS8 Be that of eild' wes Gud Famiss air, And cumyne to continwatioun, And to the court maid his repair, Quhair Matremony than woir the crowne. He gat ane confirmatioun All that his modir aucht but weir2, And baid3 still, as it wes resone, With Bewty and the presoneir. I By that time Good Fame's heir was of age. 2 owned assuredly. 3 abode.
Page 182 LONDON.* LONDON, thou art of townes A per se! Soveraign of cities, semeliest in sight, Of high renoun, riches, and royaltie; Of lordis, barons, and many goodly knight; Of most delectable lusty ladies bright; Of famous prelatis in habitis clericall; Of merchauntis full of substaunce and myght: London, thou art the flour of cities all! leagslat. Gladdith' anon thou lusty2 Troynovaunt, 3 named. City that some-tyme cleped3 was New Troy; In all the erth, imperiall as thou stant, Pryncesse of townes, of pleasure, and of joy, A richer restith under no Christen roy; For manly power, with craftis naturall, Is frmed. Fourmeth4 none fairer sith5 the flode of Noy. 5 since. London, thou art the flour of cities all! * The spelling of this poem, it will be noticed, follows the English model of the time in several respects, a fact owed perhaps to the courtesy of the poet, perhaps to the habit of the transcriber in the Cotton MS.
Page 183 LONDON. I83 Gemme of all joy, jasper of jocunditie, Most myghty carbuncle of vertue and valour, Strong Troy in vigour and in strenuytie', I fortitude. Of royall cities rose and geraflour2, 2 gillyflower. Empresse of townes, exalt in honour, In beawtie beryng the crone imperiall, Swete paradise precelling in pleasure, London, thow art the floure of cities all! Aboue all ryuers thy Ryuer hath renowne, Whose beryall3 stremys, pleasaunt and preclare4 mostfamous. Under the lusty wallis renneth down, Where many a swanne doth swymme with wyngis fare, Where many a barge doth saile and row with are5, 5 oar. Where many a ship doth rest with toppe-royall. O towne of townes, patrone and not compare, London, thou art the floure of cities all! Upon thy lusty Brigge6 of pylers white 6 fair bridge. Been merchauntis full royall to behold: Upon thy stretis goeth many a semely knyght [All clad] in velvet gownes and cheynes of gold. By Julyus Cesar thy Tour founded of old May be the hous of Mars victoryall, Whos artillary with tonge may not be told. London, thou art the flour of cities all! Strong be thy wallis that about thee standis; Wise be the people that within thee dwellis; Fresh is thy ryver with his lusty strandis;
Page 184 184 WILLIAM D UNBAR. Blith be thy churches, wele sownyng be thy bellis; Riche be thy merchauntis in substaunce that excellis; Fair be their wives, right lovesom, white, and small; lovelyps. Clere' be thy virgyns, lusty under kellis2. London, thow art the flour of cities all! Thy famous Maire* by pryncely governaunce With swerd of justice the rulith prudently. No lord of Parys, Venyce, or Floraunce In dignytie or honoure goeth to hym nye. 3 guide. He is examplar, loode-ster, and guye3, 4 commendation. Principall patrone and roose4 orygynalle, Above all maires as maister moost worthy; London, thou art the flour of cities all! * " Sir John Shaw, who was knighted on the field by Henry VII."-Gregory Smith.
Page 185 BE YE ANE LUVAR. BE ye ane luvar, think ye nocht ye suld Be weill adwysit in your gouerning? Be ye nocht sa it will on yow be tauld; Bewar thairwith for dreid of misdemyng.. evil report. Be nocht a wreche, nor skerche2 in your spending, 2 anpgganrd, or Be layth3 alway to do amiss or schame, 3loath. Be rewlit rycht and keip this doctring, Be secreit, trew, incressing of your name. Be ye ane lear4, that is werst of all; 4liar. Be ye ane tratlar5, that I hald als ewill; stattler. Be ye ane janglar6 and ye fra vertew fall; 6wrangler. Be nevir-mair on-to thir vicis thrall. Be now and ay the maistir of your will; Be nevir he that lesing7 sail proclame; 7 falsehood. Be nocht of langage quhair ye suld be still; Be secreit, trew, incressing of your name. Be nocht abasit for no wicket tung, Be nocht sa set as I half said yow heir: Be nocht sa lerge vnto thir sawis sung8, lessto these Be nocht our9 prowd, thinkand ye haif no peir. 9 BseayTgovs Be ye so wyiss that vderis at yow leirI0, o learn. Be nevir he to sklander nor defame; Be of your lufe no prechour as a freir; Be secreit, trew, incressing of your name.
Page 186 TO A LADYE. SWEIT roiss of vertew and of gentilnes, beauty. Delytsum lyllie of everie lustynes', Richest in bontie, and in bewtie cleir, And everie vertew that is [held most] deir, Except onlie that ye ar mercyles. 3attend. In-to your garthe2 this day I did persew3, Thair saw I flowris that fresche wer of hew; 4see. Baith quhyte and reid moist lusty wer to seyne4, 5wholesome. And halsum5 herbis vpone stalkis grene; Yit leif nor flour fynd could I nane of rew. I dout that Merche with his cauld blastis keyne Hes slane this gentill herbe that I of mene; 6 such pain. Quhois petewous deithe dois to my hart sic pane6 That I wald mak to plant his rute agane, So comfortand his levis vnto me bene. A
Page 187 LAMENT FOR THE MAKARIS QUHEN HE WES SEIK. I THAT in heill' wes and glaidnes x health. Am trublit now with gret seiknes And feblit with infirmitie; Timor Mortis conturbat me.* Our plesance heir is all vane glory, This fals warld is bot transitory, The flesche is brukle2, the Feynd is sle3; brttle, frail. Timor 'Mortis conturbat me. The stait of man dois change and vary, Now sound, now seik, now blyth, now sary4, 4 sorry. Now dansand mirry, now like to dee; Timor Mortis conturbat me. No stait in erd5 heir standis sickir6; S earth. 6 secure. As with the wynd wavis the wickir7 7 osier twig. So wavis this warldis vanite; Timor Mortis conturbat me. * The burden of this poem, "The fear of death troubles me," Laing points out, is borrowed from a poem by Lydgate, which begins "So as I lay the other night."
Page 188 I88 WILL~IAM DUNBAR. ' death. Onto the ded' gois all estatis, Princis, prelotis, and potestatis, Baith riche and pur of all degre; Timor Mortis conturbat me. He takis the knychtis in-to feild, 2 armed. Anarmit2 vnder helme and scheild; 3 in all contest. Wictour he is at all melle3; Timor Mortis conturbat me. That strang vnmercifull tyrand 4 sucking. Takis on the moderis breist sowkand4 The bab full of benignite; Timor Mortis conturbat me. 5 the champion He takis the campion in the stour5, in the storm (dust) of battle. The capitane closit in the tour, The lady in bour full of bewte; Timor Mortis conturbat me. 6 power. He spairis no lord for his piscence6, Na clerk for his intelligence; His awfull strak may no man fle; Timor Mortis conturbat me. Art magicianis, and astrologgis, Rethoris, logicians, and theologgis, Thame helpis no conclusionis sle; Timor Mortis conturbat me.
Page 189 LAMERNT FOR THE MAKARIS. 189 In medecyne the most practicianis, Lechis, surrigianis, and phisicianis, Thame-self fra ded may not supple'; defend. Timor Mortis conturbat me. I see that makaris' amang the laif3 2 poets. 3 rest. Playis heir ther padyanis4, syne gois to graif5; 4pageants. grave. Sparit is nocht ther faculte6; 6 their guild. Timor Mortis conturbat me. He hes done petuously devour The noble Chaucer, of makaris flouir, The monk of Bery7 and Gower all thre; 7 i.e. Lydgate. Timor Mortis conturbat me. The gude Syr Hew of Eglintoun, Ettrik, Heryot, et Wyntoun He hes tane out of this cuntre; Timor Mortis conturbat me. That scorpioun fell hes done infek8 s has inhibited(?) Maister Iohne Clerk and James Afflek Fra balat making and trigide; Timor Mortis conturbat me. Holland and Barbour he has berevit; Allace, that he nought with ws lewit Schir Mungo Lokert of the Le! Timor Mortis conturbat me.
Page 190 I90o WILLIAM D UNBAR. Clerk of Tranent eik he has tane, 1 adventures. That maid the anteris' of Gawane; Schir Gilbert Hay endit has he; Timor Mortis conturbat me. 2Alexander. He has Blind Hary et Sandy2 Traill Slaine with his schot of mortall haill, Quhilk Patrik Johnistoun myght nought fle; Timor Mortis conturbat me. 3 writing. He hes reft Merseir his endite3, 4 lively. That did in luf so lifly4 write, 5 high. So schort, so quyk, of sentence hie5; Timor Mortis conturbat me. He hes tane Roull of Aberdene, And gentill Roull of Corstorphin; Two bettir fallowis did no man se; Timor Mortis conturbat me. 6 whispered. In Dunfermelyne he has done rovne6 With gud Maister Robert Henrisoun; 7 embraced. Schir Iohne the Ros enbrast7 hes he; Timor Mortis conturbat me. 8 all. And he has now tane, last of aw8, Gud gentill Stobo and Quintyne Schaw, Of quham all wichtis hes pete; Timor Mortis conturbat me.
Page 191 LAMENT FOR THE MAKAR1S. I9I Gud Maister Walter Kennedy In poynt of dede lyis veraly; Gret reuth it wer that so suld be; Timor Mortis conturbat me.'- _ Sen he has all my brether tane He will naught lat me lif alane; On forse I man' his nyxt pray be; Timor Mortis conturbat me. Sen for the deid2 remeid is non, Best is that we for deid dispone3, Eftir our deid that lif may we; Timor Mortis conturbat me.* I perforce I must. 2 since for death. 3 dispose. * It has been noted as curious that Dunbar in this Lament makes no mention of such well-known poets as Gavin Douglas, James I., and Thomas the Rhymer, unless indeed the last named be recognised under the cognomen of " Ettrik."
Page 192 THE DANCE OF THE SEVIN DEIDLY SYNNIS. OFF Februar the fyiftene nycht Full lang befoir the dayis lycht, I lay in-till a trance; And then I saw baith Hevin and Hell: Me-thocht amangis the feyndis fell i Mahomet (the Devil).( Mahoun' gart cry ane dance 2 accursed Off schrewis2 that wer nevir schrevin3, 3 confessed. Aganis the feist of Fasternis evin4 4 the eve of Lent. To mak thair observance. 5 gallants pre- He bad gallandis ga graith a gyiss5 6 gambols (from And kast vp gamountis6 in the skyiss, Fr. jambe). As varlotis does in France. haPuhty. Heilie7 harlottis on hawtane8 wyiss Come in with mony sindrie gyiss, slaughed. Bot yit luche9 nevir Mahoun; l0 Till. Quhill"~ preistis come in with bair schevin nekkis, ll gestures of Than all the feyndis lewche and maid gekkis", derision. Blak-Belly and Bawsy-Brown.* * "Popular names of certain spirits. Bazvsy-Brown seems to be the English Robin Goodfellow, known in Scotland by the name of Brownie,"-HAILES. These six lines in the MSS. are made to follow the next stanza, but Laing must be considered right in assigning them an earlier place as above.
Page 193 THE SE VIN DEIDL Y S YNNIS. I93 "Lat se," quod he, "Now quha begynnis?" With that the fowll Sevin Deidly Synnis Begowth to leip at anis'. at once. And first of all in dance wes Pryd, With hair wyld bak and bonet on syd, i2 i2 empty Lyk to mak vaistie wanis2 dwelling. And round abowt him, as a quheill, Hang all in rumpillis3 to the heill disordered His kethat4 for the nanis5. 4cassock. 5 nonce. Mony prowd trumpour6 with him trippit, 6deceiver. Throw skaldand fyre ay as thay skippit Thay gyrnd7 with hiddouss granis. 7grinned. Than Yre come in with sturt8 and stryfe; 8disturbance. His hand wes ay vpoun his knyfe, He brandeist lyk a beir: Bostaris, braggaris, and barganeris9 9 quarrellers. Eftir him passit, in-to pairis, IO arrayed in All bodin in feir of weir'0, feature of war. In iakkis" and stryppis and bonettis of steill, "jacketsofmail. 12 covered with Thair leggis wer chenyeit'2 to the heill, chain-mail. Ffrawart wes thair affeir'3: bearing. Sum vpoun vdir with brandis beft'4, I4buffeted Sum jaggit"5 vthiris to the heft 5 pricked. With knyvis that scherp cowd scheir. Nixt in the dance followit Invy,, Fild full of feid and fellony'6, I6 feuand fierce ness. Hid malyce and dispyte: Ffor pryvie hatrent that tratour trymlit. Him followit mony freik'7 dissymlit, 17 petulant folk. With fenyeit wirdis"I quhyte; I8 feigned words. 08 ege wods O II
Page 194 I94 WILLIAM DUNBAR. x lie. 2 whisperers of false lies. And flattereris in-to menis facis, And bakbyttaris in secreit placis To ley' that had delyte; And rownaris of fals lesingis2: Allace, that courtis of noble kingis Of thame can nevir be quyte! 3 usurers. 4 Misers, hoarders, gatherers. 5 wizard. 6 great quant (properly 12 weight). 7 wildfire. 8 emptied. 9 all kinds of coinage. -o grunting mouth. iI Many lazy tun-belliet gluttons. I2 slothful idl 13 drab. 14 solicitude. I5 loins. \ Nixt him in dans come Cuvatyce, Rute of all evill and grund of vyce, That nevir'cowd be content. Catyvis, wrechis, and okkeraris3, and Hud-pykis, hurdaris, and gadderaris4 All with that warlo5 went. Out of thair throttis thay schot on vdder:ity 8lYb. Hett moltin gold, me-thocht, a fudder6, As. fyreflawcht7 maist fervent: Ay as thay tomit8 thame of schot Ffeyndis' fild thame new vp to the thrott With gold of allkin prent9. Syne Sweirnes, at the secound bidding, Come lyk a sow out 'of a midding, Full slepy wes his grunyie'~. Mony sweir bumbard-belly hiuddroun", Mony slute daw12 and slepy duddroun'3, Him serwit ay with sounyieI4. He drew thame furth in-till a chenyie, And Belliall with a brydill renyie Evir lascht thame on the lunyie5. In dance thay war so slaw of feit Thay gaif thame in the fyre a heit on. And maid thame quicker of counyie'6.,6 apprehensi
Page 195 TH SES V/N DEIDL Y SYNNIS. I95 Than Lichery, that lathly corss, Come berandI lyk ane bagit2 horss And Ydilness did him leid. Thair wes with him ane vgly sort, Full mony stynkand fowll tramort3, That had in syn bene deid. Quhen they wer entrit in the dance Thay wer full strenge of countenance Lyk turkass4 birnand reid. All led thay vthir by the tersis, Suppoiss thay fyleit5 with thair ersis, It mycht be na remeid. I snorting. 2 baguette. 3 dead bodies. 4 torture-pincers. 5 Although they defiled. Than the fowll monstir Glutteny Off wame6 vnsasiable and gredy To dance he did him dress7. Him followit mony fowll drunckart With can and collep8, cop and quart, In surffett and excess. Full mony a waistless wallydrag9, With wamiss vnweildable,.did furth wag In creische~0 that did incress. "Drynk!" ay thay cryit, with mony a gaip; The feyndis gaif thame hait leid to laip; Thair leweray" wes na less. Na menstrallis playit to thame but dowt2, Ffor gle-menI3 thair wer haldin owt, Be day and eik by nycht, Except a menstrall that slew a man, Swa till his heretage he wan, Entering be brief of richt. 6 belly. 7 address. 8 a drinking vessel. 9 lit. the weakest bird in a nest. 10 grease. 11 desire, reward. 12 without doubt. 13 musicians.
Page 196 I96 WILLIAM DUNBAR. pageant. Than cryd Mahoun for a Heleand padyane'; Syne ran a feynd to feche Makfadyane Ffar northwart in a nuke. 2 By the time thathe had Be he the correnoch had done schout2 criedthedirge. Erschemen so gadderit him abowt heathenish In Hell grit rowme thay tuke. 3 heathenish crew; aplay Thae tarmegantis3 with tag and tatter here on the mwganr. Ffull lowde in Ersche begowth to clatter, 4croak likeraven And rowp lyk revin and ruke4. and rook. 5deafened. The Devill sa devit5 wes with thair yell That in the depest pot of Hell 6 smothered. He smorit6 thame with smvke.* * A curious light is thrown by this satiric stanza upon the ancient antipathy of the Lowland Scots for the Highlanders. The antipathy appears to have been mutual.
Page 197 AMENDIS TO THE TELYOURIS AND SOWTARIS. BETUIX twell houris and ellevin I dremed ane angell came fra Hevin, With plesand stevin' sayand on hie i sound, voice. "Telyouris and Sowtaris2, blist be ye 2Tailors and. - ' shoemakers. "In Hevin hie ordand is your place Aboif all sanctis in grit solace Nixt God, grittest in dignitie: Tailyouris and Sowtaris, blist be ye! "The causs to yow is nocht vnkend3, 3 unknown. That God mismakkis ye do amend Be craft and grit agilitie: Tailyouris and Sowtaris, blist be ye! "Sowtaris with schone weill-maid and meit Ye mend the faltis of ill-maid feit; Quhairfoir to Hevin your saulis will ltel: Telyouris and Sowtaris, blist be y'e! "Is nocht in all this fair a flyrok4 4 deformed person. That hes vpoun his feit a wyrok5, 5 a corn or bony excrescence. Knowll tais, nor mowlis in no degrie6, 6 Toes swollen at the joints, or Bot ye can hyd thame: blist be ye! chilblains to any extent.
Page 198 I98 WILLIAM DUNBAR. Iclothes. "And ye tailyouris with weil-maid dais' Can mend the werst-maid man that gais, And mak him semely for to se: Telyouris and Sowtaris, blist be ye! 2 misfashioned. "Thocht God mak ane misfassonit2 man, Ye can him all schaip new agane 3 than threesuch. And fassoun him bettir be sic thre3: Telyouris and Sowtaris, blist be ye! "Thocht a man half a brokin bak 4 what matter. Haif he a gude crafty tailyour, quhatt rak4? s cunning. That can it cuver with craftis slie5: Telyouris and Sowtaris, blist be ye! "Off God grit kyndness may ye dame, 6 crokedness. That helpis his peple fra cruke and lame6, and lameness. 7help. Supportand faltis with your supple7: Tailyouris and Sowtaris, blist be ye! 8 Inearth " In erd ye kyth sic8 mirakillis heir, show such. In Hevin ye sal be sanctis full cleir, 9 Though. Thocht9 ye be knavis in this cuntre: Telyouris and Sowtaris, blist be ye!"
Page 199 THE FENYEIT FREIR OF TUNGLAND. As yung Awrora with cristall haile In Orient schew hir visage paile ' A vision sudA sweuyng swyth did me assaile' denly came upon me. Off sonis of Sathanis seid; Me-thocht a Turk of Tartary Come throw the boundis of Barbary And lay forloppin2 in Lumbardy 2 fugitive. Ffull lang in waithman weid3. 3 in wanderer's dress. Ffra baptasing for to eschew4 4Toavid baptism. Thair a religious man he slew, And cled him in his habit new; Ffor he cowth wryte and reid. Quhen kend5 was his dissimvlance 5known. And all his cursit govirnance6 6conduct. Ffor feir he fled and come in France, With littill of Lumbard leid7. 7 language, lore. To be a leiche he fenyt8 him thair, 8 To be a physician he feigned. Qulhilk mony a man micht rew evir-mair, For he left nowthir seik nor sair Vnslane or he hyne yeid9. 9 ere he thence went.
Page 200 200 WILLIAMA D UNBAR. 'i.e. he opened Vane organis he full clenely carvitI, veins. 2stroke. Quhen of his straik' so mony starvit3, 3 died. Dreid he had gottin that he desarit He fled away gud speid. In Scotland than, the narrest way, He come his cunnyng till assay; To sum man thair it was no play 4 proving. The preying4 of his sciens. 5 As apothecary In pottingry he wrocht grit pyne5, hurt. He murdreist mony in medecyne: ingenuity. The jow6 was of a grit engyne7, h begot of giants. And generit was of gyans8. In leichecraft he was homecyd; i.e. fora night's He wald haif, for a nicht to byd9, attendance. A haiknay and the hurt manis hyd, means, re- So meikle he was of myancel~. sources. -' instruments. His yrnis" was rude as ony rawchtir"2, 12 rafter. Quhair he leit blude it was no lawchtir; Full mony instrument for slawchtir 13 cabinet, garde Was in his gardevyanceI3. de viande. He cowth gif cure for laxatyve 14 ^To cause a To gar a wicht horss want14 his lyve; strong horse lose. Quha-evir assay wald, man or wyve, 15 went. Thair hippis yeid'5 hiddy-giddy. His practikis nevir war put to preif But suddane deid or grit mischief; He had purgatioun to mak a theif i6 halter, gallows. * To dee withowt a widdy 6.
Page 201 THE FENYEIT FREIR. 201 Vnto no mess pressit this prelat I holy. For sound of sacring' bell nor skellat2; 2 small bell or crier's rattle. As blak-smith bruikit was his pallat3 3 begrimed was his poll. Ffor battering at the study4. 4anvil. Thocht he come hame a new-maid channoun He had dispensit with matynnis channoun; On him come nowthir stole nor fannoun5 5of apriestat For smowking of the smydy. mass. Me-thocht seir fassonis he assailyeit6 6 manmethods he tried. To mak the quintessance, and failyeit; And, quhen he saw that nocht availyeit, A fedrem7 on he tuke, 7 feathering. And schupe8 in Turky for to fle. 8 prepared. And quhen that he did mont on he All fowlis ferleit9 quhat he sowld be 9marvelled. That evir did on him luke. Sum held he had bene Dedalus, Sum the Mynataur mervalus, Sum the Martis smyth Wlcanus, And sum Saturnus kuke. And evir the cuschettis'~ at him tuggit, o1 wood pigeons. The rukis him rent, the ravynis him druggit", IIdragged. The hudit crawis his hair furth raggit12, 2 tore. The hevin he micht not bruke13. 13 enjoy. The myttane'4 and Sanct Martynis fowle'5 14 a hawk. 15 the marten. Wend'6 he had bene the hornit howle; i6 Deemed. Thay set avpone him with a yowle'7, I7 scream. And gaif him dynt for dynt.
Page 202 202 WILLIAM DUNBAR. Cuckoo, cormo. The golk, the gormaw, and the gled' rant, and hawk. Beft him with buffettis quhill he bled: The spar-halk to the spring him sped, Als fers as fyre of flynt. 2 a hawk. The tarsall2 gaif him tug for tug, 3 in each ear. A stanchell hang in ilka lug3, 4 magpie. The pyot4 furth his pennis did rug5, 6 without stop. Thi stork straik ay but stynt6. The bissart, bissy but rebuik, 7 claws. Scho was so cleverus of hir clvik7 8 possess. His bawis he micht not langer bruik8 9 in a grasp. Scho held thame at ane hint9. 'o jackdaws. Thik was the clud of kayis"~ and crawis, r two kinds of hawk. Of marleyonis, mittanis", and of mawis2, 12 mews. 13 made attack. That bikkritI3 at his berd with blawis In battell him abowt. 14 pecked. Thay nybillit14 him with noyis and cry, 15 uproar. The rerd15 of thame raiss to the sky, And evir he cryit on Fortoun, Fy! His lyfe was in-to dowt. i6 mocked with a The ja him skrippit with a skryke'6, screech. 17 at its pleasure. And skornit him as it was lyk':; The egill strong at him did stryke, i8 reached. And rawcht'8 him mony a rowt'9. '9 blow. 2o unwittingly Ffor feir vncunnandly he cawkit20, he betrayed himself. Quhill all his pennis war drownd and drawkit"; 21 drenched. 22 oxen all He maid a hundreth nolt all hawkit22 streaked. Beneth him with a spowt.
Page 203 THE FENYEIT FREIR. 203 He schewre' his feddreme that was schene2, And slippit owt of it full clene, And in a myre vp to the ene Amang the glar3 did glyd. The fowlis all at the fedrem dang4 As at a monster thame amang, Quhill all the pennis of it owtsprang In-till the air full wyde. r sheared, cut. 2 beautiful. 3 mud. 4 struck. And he lay at the plunge evir-mair Sa lang as any ravin did rair5; The crawis him socht with cryis of cair In every schaw6 besyde. Had he reveild bene to the rwikis7 Thay had him revin all with thair clwikis8, Thre dayis in dub amang the dukis9 He did with dirt him hyde. 5 make noise. 6 covert. 7 rooks. 8 claws. 9 in gutter among the ducks. The air was dirkit'~ with the fowlis Io darkened. yO-jS 12, 11*T clamourings. That come with yawmeris" and with yowlis, screamungs. With skryking'3, skrimming 4, and with scowlis, 3 screeching. '4 shrieking. To tak him in the tyde, I walknit'5 with the noyis and schowte, ts wakened. So hiddowis beir'6 was me abowte. r noiseofflight. Sen-syne'7 I curss that cankerit'8 rowte i-temered. Quhair-evir I go or ryde.
Page 204 Solicitors. THE LADYIS SOLISTARIS.' 2These. THIR2 ladyis fair that makis repair 3 known. And in the court ar kend3, Thre dayis thair thay will do mair Ane mater for till end Than thair gud men will do in ten For ony craft thay can; So weill thay ken quhat tyme and quhen Thair menes thay sowld mak than. 4 trouble. With littill noy4 thay can convoy Ane mater fynaly, 5 gentle. Richt myld and moy5, and keip it coy On evyns quyetly. Thay do no miss, bot gif thay kiss 6 keep feast. And keipis collatioun6, 7 concern. Quhat rek7 of this? Thair mater is Brocht to conclusioun. knowe. Ye may wits weill, thay haif grit feill9 9 knowledge. o solicit. Ane mater to solist I; "whit. Traist as the steill, syne nevir a deill" Quhen thay cum hame is mist.
Page 205 THE LADYIS SOLISTARIS. 205 Thir lairdis ar, methink, richt far Sic ladeis behaldin to, That sa weill dar go to the bar Quhen thair is ocht ado'. ' aught astir. Thairfoir I reid2, gif ye haif pleid3 2 counsl. Or mater in-to pley4, 4 in plea. To mak remeid5 send in your steid s remedy. Your ladeis grathit6 vp gay. 6 clad. Thay can defend, evin to the end, Ane mater furth express; Suppois7 thay spend, it is vnkend, 7 Although. Thair geir8 is nocht the les. 8 substance. In quyet place, and thay haif space, Within less nor twa houris Thay can, percaice9, purchess sum grace 9 perchance. At the compositouris. Thair compositioun, without suspitioun, Thair fynaly is endit; With expeditioun and full remissioun And seilis thairto appendit. Alhaill0~ almoist thay mak the coist Io All whole. With sobir recompens Richt littill loist, thay get indoist" ". indorsed. Alhaill thair evidens. Sic ladyis wyiss, thay ar to pryis12, 12 praise. To say the veretie; Swa can devyiss 3, and nane suppryiss '3 That can so contrive. Thame nor thair honestie.
Page 206 DISCRETIOUN IN ASKING. OFF every asking followis nocht Rewaird, but gif sum caus be wrocht, And quhair causs is men weill ma sie, And quhair nane is it wil be thocht In asking sowld discretioun be.,though. Ane fule, thocht' he haif causs or nane 2 tonstt rpei. Cryis ay "Gif me," in-to a drene2; And he that drones ay as ane bee Sowld haif ane heirar dull as stane: In asking sowld discretioun be. Sum askis mair than he deservis; 3 serves for. Sum askis far les than he servis3; 4 is of my sort. Sum schames to ask and breidis of me4, s dies. And all withowt reward he stervis5: In asking sowld discretioun be. 6 without. To ask but6 seruice hurtis gud fame; To ask for seruice is not to blame; To serve and leif in beggartie To man and maistir is baith schame: In asking sowld discretioun be.
Page 207 DISCRE T'IO UN IN ASKING. 207 He that dois all his best servyiss May spill it all with crakkis' and cryis boastings. Be fowll inoportunitie, Few wordis may suffice to the wyis. In asking sowld discretioun be. Nocht neidfull is men sowld be dum; Na-thing is gottin but wordis sum. Nocht sped but diligence we se; For na-thing it allane will cum: In asking sowld discretioun be. Asking wald haif convenient place, Convenient tyme, lasar, and space, But haist or preiss of grit menyie2, efcofgreat But hairt abasit, but toung rekless: In asking sowld discretioun be. Sum micht haif Ye, with littill cure3, 3 Yea, with little care. That hes oft Nay, with grit labour; All for his tyme nocht byd4 can he 4 abide, wait. He tynis5 baith eirand and honour: 5loses. In asking sowld discretioun be. Suppois the servand be lang vnquit6 6unrequited. The lord sumtyme rewaird will it. Gife he dois not, quhat remedy? To flyte7 with fortoun is no wit: 7 scold In asking sowld discretioun be.
Page 208 THE PETITION OF THE GRAY HORSE, AULD DUNBAR. 1Now when Now lufferis cummis with largess lowd' lovers come with gifts openly. Quhy sould not palfrayis thane be prowd, 2 fillies will be decked and Quheh gillettis wil be schomd and schroud2 clothed. 3commonality. That ridden ar baith with lord and lawd3? Schir, lett it nevir in toun be tald 4 Yule jade. That I sould be ane Yuillis yald4! 5condition. Quhen I was young and into ply5, 6 gambols. And wald cast, gammaldis6 to the sky, 7 outside. I had beine bocht in realmes by7, Had I consentit to be sauld. Schir, lett it nevir in toun be tald That I sould be ane Yuillis yald! 8 crop grass. With gentill horss quhen I wald knyp8 Thane is thair laid on me ane quhip; 9 To coal-heavers ' then must. To colleveris than man9 I skip 0 are scabbed, That scabbit ar, hes cruik and cald 0. rheumous. Schir, lett it nevir in toun be tald That I sould be ane Yuillis yald! 2 pThough. Thocbt"T in the stall I be nocht clappit12 As cursouris that in silk beine trappit, housing. With an new hoss3 Iwald be happit '4 covered. With ane new houss'3 I wald be happit'4
Page 209 THE GRAY HORSE. 209 Aganis this Crysthinmes for the cald. Schir, lett it nevir in town be tald That I sould be ane Yuillis yald! Suppois' I war ane ald yaid aver2, Schott furth our clewch3 to pull the claver4, And had the strenth of all Stranaver, I wald at Youll be housit and stald. Schir, latt it nevir in toun be tald That I suld be ane Yuillis yald! I am ane auld horss, as ye knaw, That evir in duill dois drug5 and draw; Great court horss puttis me fra the staw6 To fang the fog be firthe and fald7. Schir, latt it nevir in toun be tald That I sould be ane Yuillis yald! haif run lang furth in the feild On pastouris that ar plane and peild8; I mycht be now tein in for eild9; My beikis ar spruning he~0 and bauld. Schir, latt it nevir in toun be tald That I sould be ane Yuillis yald! x Although. 2 old spent horse. 3 ravine, rough ground. 4 clover. 5 in sorrow does drag. 6 from the stall. 7 To bite the moss by outfield and infield. 8 stripped. 9 taken in forage. 10 My corner teeth are projecting high. My mane is turned in-to quhyt, And thairof ye haff all the wyt"; Quhen uther horss had bran to byt I gat bot griss cnype" gif I wald. Schir, latt it nevir in toun be tald That I sould be ane Yuillis yald. It blame. 12 but grass to crop. P II
Page 210 210 WILLIAM DUNBAR. doted on. I was nevir dautit' into stabell; My lyf hes bene so miserable My hyd to offer I am [bot] abill 2 For ill.shorn straw that I For evill schom strae that I reive wald2. would tear. Schir, latt it nevir in toun be tald That I sould be ane Yuillis yald! 3 savings, goods. 4 possession. 5 shoemakers. 6 gnawed by ugly gums. 7 over-ridden mule. 8 trappings. 9 joint, lit. shoulder-blade. 'o treasurer. 1 Which. 12 grey. 13 deck. And yitt, suppois my thrift3 be thyne, Gif that I die your aucht4 within Latt nevir the soutteris5 have my skin With uglie gumes to be gnawin6. Schir, latt it nevir in toun be tald That I sould be ane Yuillis yald! The court hes done my curage cuill, And maid me ane forriddin muill7; Yett, to weir trappouris8 at this Yuill, I wald be spurrit at everie spald9. Schir, latt it nevir in toun be tald That I sould be ane Yuillis yald! RESPONSIO REGIS. Eftir our wrettingis, thesaurer'%, Tak in this gray horss, Auld Dunbar, Quhilk" in my aucht with schervice trew In lyart" changeit is in hew. Gar howss him now aganis this Yuill, And busk13 him lyk ane beschopis muill; For with my hand I have indost To pay quhat-euir his trappouris cost.
Page 211 BEST TO BE BLYTH. Full oft I muse and hes in thocht How this fals warld is ay on flocht', on wing. Quhair no-thing ferme is nor degest2; 2 composed. And quhen I haif my mynd all socht, For to be blyth me-thinkl it best. This warld evir dois flicht and wary3; 3 flit and vary. Ffortoun sa fast hir quheill dois cary, Na tyme in turning can it tak rest: For quhois fals change suld none be sary4; 4 sorry. Ffor to be blyth me-think it best. Wald men considdir in mynd richt weill, Or5 Fortoun on him turn hir quheill, sEre. That erdly honour may nocht lest, His fall less panefull he suld feill: For to be blyth me-think it best. Quha with this warld dois warsill and stryfe6, 6wrestle and strive. 'And dois his dayis in dolour dryfe, Thocht7 he in lordschip be possest, 7 Though. He levis bot ane wretchit lyfe: For to be blyth me-think it best.
Page 212 212 WILLIAM DUNBAR. Off warldis gud and grit richess fruit. Quhat fruct' hes man but miriness? Thocht he this warld had eist and west 2 without. All wer pouertie but2 glaidness; For to be blyth me-think it best. 3 loss. Quho suld for tynsall3 drowp or de For thyng that is bot vanitie, 4 Since. Sen4 to the lyfe that evir dois lest Heir is bot twynklyng of ane ee; For to be blyth me-think it best. Had I for warldis vnkyndness In hairt tane ony haviness, Or fro my plesans bene opprest, s long ago. I had bene deid langsyne5, dowtless: For to be blyth me-think it best. How-evir this warld do change and vary Lat ws in hairt nevir-moir be sary, Bot evir be reddy and addrest 6 tumult. To pass out of this frawdfull fary6; For to be blyth me-think it best.
Page 213 MEDITATIOUN IN WYNTIR. IN-TO thir dirk and drublie dayis I these dark and troubled days. Quhone2 sabill all the hewin arrayis when. With mystie vapouris, cluddis, and skyis, Nature all curage me denyis Of sangis, ballattis, and of playis. Quhen that the nycht dois lenthin houris, With wind, with haill, and havy schouris, 3 43 doleful. My dule3 spreit dois lurk forschoir4 4dejected. My hairt for languor dois forloir5 5 become useless. For laik of symmer with his flouris. I walk6, I turne, sleip can I nocht, 6 wake. I vexit am with havy thocht; This warld all ouir I cast about, And euer the mair I am in dout, The mair that I remeid have socht. I am assayit on everie syde Dispair sayis ay, "In tyme prowyde, And get sum-thing quhairon to leif, Or with grit trouble and mischeif Thou sall in-to this court abyde." Than Patience sayis, " Be nocht agast; Hald Hoip and Treuthe within the fast, And lat Fortoun wirk furthe hir rage, Quhen that no rasoun may assuage, Quhill that hir glas be run and past."
Page 214 214 WILLIAM DUNBAR. And Prudence in my eir sayis ay, that which will Quhy wald thou hald that will away'? away. 2 that which thou r craif that thou may have no space2, mayest in no wise have. Thow tending to ane-uther place, A journay going everie day?" And than sayis Age, "My freind, cum neir, And be nocht strange, I the requeir! Cum, brodir, by the hand me tak, Remember thou hes compt to mak Off all thi tyme thow spendit heir." 3 Presently. Syne3 Deid castis up his yettis4 wyd, 4 gates. 5 These open Saying, "Thir oppin sail ye abyd5. await you, it. shall you Albeid that thow were never sa stout, endure. 6 stoop. Vndir this lyntall sail thow lowt6; Thair is nane vther way besyd." For feir of this all day I drowp: 7 chest. No gold in kist7, nor wyne in cowp, No ladeis bewtie, nor luiffis blys 8 prevent. May lat8 me to remember this, How glaid that ever I dyne or sowp. 9 shorten. Yit, quhone the nycht begynnis to schort9 It dois my spreit sum part confort Off thocht oppressit with the schouris. Cum, lustie symmer! with thy flouris, That I may leif in sum disport.
Page 215 GAVIN DOUGLAS.
Page 216 I
Page 217 GAVIN DOUGLAS. ON the eve of the great battle of Flodden, in which the flower of Scottish chivalry was fated to fall, when James IV., notwithstanding the urgent entreaty of his council and the obvious melting of his troops, had declared his resolve to fight, the last noble to urge prudence upon the king was the aged Earl of Angus. His years and his great services, apart from the wisdom of his words, entitled him to be heard; but James, as headstrong as he was gallant, merely turned upon him with a word of scorn: "Angus, if you are afraid, you may go home."' Full of sorrow and foreboding, it will be remembered, the earl rode from the camp that night, but, loyal to the crown despite the insult he had received, he left his two eldest sons behind, and in the dire disaster which ensued, both of these, George, Master of Angus, and Sir William Douglas of Glenbervie, perished, along with two hundred others of the Douglas name. This earl, fifth in succession from the first Earl Douglas of Angus and the youngest daughter of King Robert III., was Archibald, surnamed "Bell the Cat" from a famous historic incident of the
Page 218 2I8 GA VIN DOUGLAS. days of James III., but generally styled the Great Earl of Angus. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Robert, Lord Boyd, Lord High Chamberlain of Scotland, and by her he had four sons, the third of whom was Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld. These antecedents, together with some knowledge of the feudal clan spirit of the times, throw a necessary light upon the character and career of a man who, while possessing the noble temper and ardent genius of a poet, had to sustain the difficult part of a high ecclesiastic of those days, and the obligations of the scion of a great ruling house. Tantallon castle, whose ruins frown yet out upon the Bass; Douglas castle, the cradle of his race, among the Lanark hills; Dudhope near Dundee, or Abernethy in Strathearn-any of these may have been the birthplace of the poet, for all of them were residences of the Earls of Angus. The date of his birth, from his own words before the Lords of Council in I515, was at the end of 1474 or beginning of 1475. From 1489 to 1494 he studied at St. Andrews, his name appearing upon the registers among the Licentiati or Master of Arts in the latter year; and it is probable that he afterwards spent some time at seats of learning abroad, though the statement* that "there is undoubted proof that his education was finished at the University of Paris" still lacks corroboration. His later career affords a striking contrast to that of his contemporary Dunbar. It is as if the fortunes * Warton's History of English Poetry, vol. iii., p. 3.
Page 219 GAVIN DOUGLAS. 2I9 of the rival houses of March and Douglas had been fated to find illustration in the lives of their respective poet-descendants. Hardly had Douglas reached his majority in I496 when the king conferred upon him the teinds of Monymusk in Aberdeenshire. This was followed two years later by a presentation to the parsonage of Glenquhorn when it should become vacant by the resignation of Sir Alexander Symson. He was also, probably through the interest of his mother's family, made parson of Linton and rector of Hauch, now Prestonkirk, near Dunbar. It was while engaged in his pastoral duties there that he composed his first allegorical poem, "The Palice of Honour," and Mr. Laing has suggested with much probability that this production, dedicated as it was to James IV., induced the king to confer upon Douglas his next and more important step in church preferment. At anyrate, about i501, the year in which "The Palice of Honour" was finished, the poet, while allowed to retain his former benefice, was appointed Dean or Provost of the Collegiate Church of St. Giles in Edinburgh. "This church, which was on a more extensive scale than any other of the kind in the country, except the Chapel-Royal at Stirling, supported a provost, a curate, sixteen prebendaries, and seven other offices, on the original foundation, to which was superadded a vast number of altars and chaplainries, some of them richly endowed."* Douglas's position as head of this foundation was one not only of ample emolument but of considerable consequence. * Works of Gavin Douglas, ed. John Small, M.A., p. 7.
Page 220 220 A GAVIN DOUGLAS. He is known from existing documents to have been conscientious in celebration of the religious services of the cathedral; his presence is recorded at meetings of the Lords of Council; in September, I 52, he was one of the great assize which passed an act anent "the resset of Rebellis, and Personis being at our souerane Lordis home;" and he is supposed to have even visited Rome for the furtherance of certain interests at the papal court. Of more importance at the present day, however, was another of his occupations. Sometime during the early years of his Provostship of St. Giles, Douglas, it is believed, composed his allegory " King Hart," and made his translation of Ovid's "Art of Love." The latter performance has unfortunately been lost, but there can be no doubt that the effort prepared the way for the production of his greatest work. In January, 1512, he began his translation of Virgil, an arduous but apparently congenial task, and the speed at which he wrote may be judged from the fact that he finished it in July of the following year, two months before the national disaster which was to be the crisis of his own fortunes, the red field of Flodden. It has already been mentioned that the two eldest brothers of the poet fell with their king on that fatal field. Upon hearing this dark news, the old earl, their father, retired to St. Mains, a religious house in Galloway, where he died of grief in the beginning of [5I4. This treble loss in his family, following the great
Page 221 GAVIN DOUGLAS. 221 disaster to the country, was pregnant of stirring consequences to Gavin Douglas. At one blow it put an end to his poetical efforts, and cast him into the whirl of political affairs. In the queen's first great personal distress at the loss of her husband the Provost of St. Giles had been appointed, with one or two other Lords of Council, to wait daily upon her for purposes of consolation and advice; and on the 3oth of September, his father being then Provost of Edinburgh, Douglas was made a free burgess of the city "communi bono ville." It has been concluded that this latter honour may have been conferred out of compliment to the Earl of Angus, or on account of the poet's own literary fame. But in the circumstances of the time it seems more probable that the freedom was conferred as stated " for the town's common good "-as a further means of attaching the personal and family interest of Douglas to the city. From this it would appear that already the Provost of St Giles was recognized as exerting an influence worth propitiating in matters of state. An impending event, however, was to place Douglas's influence above all question. Upon the death of the old lord, the earldom of Angus was inherited by Archibald, the son of the poet's eldest brother, a young nobleman as remarkable for his personal comeliness as for his ambition and feudal power. The new earl speedily attracted the attention of the youthful queen, who encouraged his addresses, and finally, only eleven months after Flodden, on the pretext that the support of the power
Page 222 222 GAVIN DOUGLAS. ful Douglas clan was needed by the throne, gave him her hand in the church of Kinnoull.* It is to be expected that, for feudal reasons, if from no more personal motives, the poet did all in his power to further his nephew's marriage, and this fact may account, to some extent at least, for the confidence and favour bestowed upon him from the first by the queen. As early as June 1514, she nominated him Abbot of Aberbrothock, the most valuable of the Scottish abbacies, and in September of that year, a month after her marriage, she commissioned him to act as her representative with plenary powers before the Lords of Council. But trouble was already in the air, and the high hopes of the house of Douglas were fated to bring more than disappointment upon the poet. The hasty and ill-managed marriage of Queen Margaret to so powerful a noble as Angus had at once excited the alarm of the Scottish peers. " It was investing the house of Douglas with almost royal dignity, and the experience of the last hundred years had shown only too well how insolent, daring, and ambitious that house could be." That this apprehension was not altogether unfounded may be gathered from one fact. James Beaton, Archbishop of Glasgow and Chancellor of Scotland, having spoken strongly against the royal marriage, was seized by Angus at Perth and forced to * Mr. Small, in an interesting note, draws attention to the fact that the present Royal Family of Great Britain derives its descent from this marriage, the issue of the union, Lady Margaret Douglas, born in I5I5, having "married Matthew, fourth Earl of Lennox, whose son, Lord Darnley, husband of Queen Mary, was father of James VI."
Page 223 GA VIN DOUGLAS. 223 surrender the Great Seal, which was then handed to the keeping of Gavin Douglas. For some months thereafter, though the Lords of Council immediately ordered him to restore the sign of authority, the poet appears to have held the office, or at least the title, of Chancellor. The popular feeling of the time is indicated by the statement in a contemporary diary that " all the court was rewlit by the Erle of Angus, Mr. Gawin Dowglass, and the Drummonds,* but nocht weill." Moved by their apprehensions, the Lords declared that by her marriage the queen had forfeited the guardianship of her son James V.; and they determined to recall the Duke of Albany, grandson of James II. and cousin of James IV., from France to the regency of Scotland. Meanwhile, the archbishopric of St. Andrews having become opportunely vacant, the queen had nominated Gavin Douglas to the primacy, recommending him to Pope Leo the Tenth as second to none in learning and virtue. But the canons, partaking the spirit of the times, elected John Hepburn, their prior, to the see, and the latter, laying siege to the archiepiscopal castle, expelled the retainers of Douglas, who had taken possession. Nor did the Earl of Angus, with a succour of two hundred horse, manage to reinstate his uncle. Hepburn was in turn ousted by Andrew Foreman, Bishop of Moray, who had obtained the papal bulls for his own appointment, and by bestowing the priory of Coldingham on the brother of Lord Hume, had prevailed upon that nobleman to support him with * The mother of Angus was a daughter of Lord Drummond.
Page 224 224 GA VIN DOUGLAS. ten thousand men-at-arms. Douglas, however, actuated by a spirit of decency which appears to have been rare in his time, withdrew from the disgraceful rivalry. His moderation, nevertheless, seemed likely to go without reward, for the abbacy of Aberbrothock, which he had considered secure, was confirmed to his rival, Archbishop Beaton. Even this was not the last of the poet's troubles just then. In January, 1515, the bishopric of Dunkeld became vacant. Once more the queen named Douglas for preferment; and in this case, by the aid, it is supposed, of her brother Henry VIII., obtained the papal confirmation of her choice. But the Earl of Athole had induced the canons to postulate his brother, Andrew Stewart, and, the Duke of Albany having now arrived from France, Douglas was summoned before the Lords of Council, found guilty of negotiating for benefices at the papal court, and forthwith consigned to prison. The offence with which he was charged was one forbidden by several old Scottish statutes, and the revival of these now sufficiently served Albany's purpose, which was to weaken the queen's party by removing from it one of its most able adherents. For more than twelve months Douglas was confined under charge of his former rival, Hepburn, in the castles of St. Andrews, Dunbar, and Edinburgh, and from some of his letters extant, he appears to have chafed considerably at his imprisonment. The indignity was also deeply felt by his friends. Fortune, however, turned presently with a suddenness characteristic of the times. The imprisonment of so noble a
Page 225 GA VIN DOUGLAS. 225 prelate brought about a certain revulsion of popular feeling in the country. The Pontiff was not slow to threaten with excommunication the troublers of his bishop, and Albany began to fear that, for his severity in this and other matters, he might have to reckon with the queen's brother, Henry VIII. Douglas was accordingly released from imprisonment, reseated as a lord of council, consecrated, first by Archbishop Beaton at Glasgow, and afterwards by the primate, Foreman, at St. Andrews,* and assisted to wrest his episcopal palace from Stewart by force of arms. The poet was now deeply loaded with debt, but he set about the discharge of his duties to his bishopric and the state with diligence and success. He finished the bridge at Dunkeld begun by his predecessor, Bishop Brown; and in May, 1517, he was one of the three ambassadors to France whose mission resulted in the memorable treaty of Rouen. So important was this treaty, which bound Scotland and France in a league of mutual defence against England, that the vacillating Albany, heartily sick of the troubles of his regency, made the signing of it an excuse for visiting his vast estates on the Continent. His absence was the signal for immediate anarchy at home. The Archbishops of St. Andrews and * In I489, when James IV., in one of his accesses of religious feeling, had caused himself to be enrolled as a canon of Glasgow cathedral, an Act of the Scottish Parliament had erected Glasgow into an archbishopric, with the Bishops of Dunkeld, Dunblane, Galloway, and Argyle as suffragans, and the Act had been confirmed by a Bull of Pope Innocent VIII. But the measure had been strongly opposed by Foreman, and he refused to recognise the consecration of Douglas of Glasgow. Q II
Page 226 226 GA VIN DOUGLAS. Glasgow, and the Earls of Arran, Angus, Argyle, and Huntly had been named as a commission of regency, but the power of Angus so overshadowed the others that in 1520 a conspiracy was formed by them to seize him in Edinburgh. The chief of this conspiracy was James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, and he and the chiefs of his faction met in the house of Archbishop Beaton at the foot of Blackfriars Wynd, to arrange the execution of their plot. On the opposite side of the same street stood the palace of the bishops of Dunkeld, and while the conspirators were still deliberating, Douglas was announced. Beaton received his suffragan apart, when the latter tendered an offer from his nephew to retire with his friends from the city if allowed to do so in safety. After urging the keeping of the peace, Douglas reminded the archbishop that it was his duty as a churchman to preserve order. Mediation, however, was vain. The Hamiltons, being the more numerous party, felt sure of their object; and accordingly Beaton made excuses to Douglas, and, protesting that he was ignorant of Arran's intentions, ended his disavowal with the words, "Upon my conscience, I cannot help what is about to happen." As he spoke the archbishop solemnly laid his hand upon his heart, when Douglas heard the clink of mail under the priestly vestment. "My lord," he exclaimed indignantly, "I perceive your conscience is not good, for I hear it clattering" (Angli'e, telling tales). And immediately betaking himself to his nephew, he bade him defend himself like a man. " As for me,"
Page 227 GA VIN DOUGLAS. 227 he said, " I will go to my chamber and pray for you." Angus at once took possession of the High Street, which could then be approached only by steep narrow closes on each side; and when the Hamiltons presently rushed to the attack they found themselves overborne in these narrow entries by the long lances of their opponents. The result was a complete victory for the party of Angus, seventy of the Hamiltons being left dead on the street; and while Home of Wedderburn, coming with eight hundred borderers to assist Angus, burst with sledge-hammers through one of the city gates, Arran and his son fled out of another upon a coal-horse from which they had thrown the load. Archbishop Beaton himself, who had taken an active part in the fight, was pursued to the high altar of the Church of the Blackfriars, and was on the point of being slain, the rochet being torn from his back, when he was saved by the interposition of Gavin Douglas. For many years this fight was remembered in Edinburgh by the significant name of Cleandthe-Causeway. Had Angus, now at the summit of power, been as true to the queen as Gavin Douglas had proved true to him the rest of the poet's days might have been spent in the honourable administration of his diocese. But when Margaret returned from her brother's court, whither she had fled to escape the severity of Albany, she had grave charges to bring against her husband. Not only had he forsaken her when she lay ill with typhus at Morpeth, but he had appropriated her Ettrick Forest rents, worth 4000 merks yearly, and,
Page 228 228 GA VIN DOUGLAS. worst of all, he had been guilty of abducting Lady Jane Stuart, a daughter of the house of Traquair, whom he was keeping at Douglas Castle. The queen's love for her husband was now changed into hate, she meditated a divorce, and in November, 152I, she procured the return of Albany with a strong French armament and ample munitions of war. Before this display of force Angus fled to the Kirk of Steyll, now Ladykirk, in Berwickshire, and despatched Bishop Douglas to the English court with counter charges of infidelity against Margaret. The effort to enlist Henry's interest against his sister entirely failed, and in turn Douglas had the mortification to learn that the Regent had deprived him of his bishopric and other benefices. But the keenest stroke was to come when he heard that Angus, his stronghold of Tantallon having been seized by Albany, had forsaken his own cause, and was treating with the Regent for pardon and permission to retire to France. It is not too much to say that this final blow, striking his most vital sense, the honour of the house of Douglas, broke the poet's heart. A last letter exists written by him from a London inn to Cardinal Wolsey, which reveals his anguish of mind. He writes of himself as a "desolatt and wofull wycht," and refers to "thair ontreuth that causit me labour for the wele of thair Prince, and thair securite, quhilk now has wrocht thair avne confusioun and perpetuall schayme." For some months he remained in London, on intimate terms with Wolsey and Wolsey's friend, Polydore Virgil the historian. Had he lived he might still, despite the intrigues of his rival Beaton,
Page 229 GA VIN DO UGLAS. 229 have re-entered Scotland as Archbishop of St. Andrews; for the primacy presently became vacant by the death of Foreman, and Angus soon returned to the north with greater influence than ever. But the plague struck him down. He died in September, I522, at the house of his friend Lord Dacre, and was buried by his own desire in the Hospital Church of the Savoy, by the side of the Bishop of Leighlin. Of the facts of Douglas's life it is somewhat difficult now to judge, so wide is the difference between the habit of thought of his time and ours. Dr. Merry Ross has blamed the poet for his constant efforts to promote the interests of his family, but the censure seems hardly just. It is never a difficult task to take exception, and it seems only fair to remark of Douglas that while his faults were those of the best men of his time, his virtues were many and were exceptional. In each of his high offices he is known to have scrupulously fulfilled his duty, and the fact remains that with many opportunities of enriching himself, he died poor. The picture of him given, with the intuition of genius, by Sir Walter Scott in "Marmion," seems the fittest and truest. A bishop by the altar stood, A noble lord of Douglas blood, With mitre sheen, and rocquet white; Yet showed his meek and thoughtful eye But little pride of prelacy; More pleased that, in a barbarous age, He gave rude Scotland Virgil's page, Than that beneath his rule he held The bishopric of fair Dunkeld.* *Canto vi., st. ii.
Page 230 230 GA VIN DOUGLAS. Of Douglas's longest original work, "The Palice of Honour," no manuscript is known to exist. The earliest texts are an edition printed in London about I553 by William Copland, and an Edinburgh edition of 1579. The latter was reprinted at Perth in 1787, and by Pinkerton in 1792, before its reproduction in facsimile by the Bannatyne Club in I827. The poem of "King Hart" and some verses by Douglas on " Conscience" are contained in the Maitland MS. (I555-I585) in the Pepysian Library at Cambridge, and the former was printed by Pinkerton in his Ancient Scottish Poems in 1786. No fewer than five MSS. of the translation of the lEneid have come down to modern times. Of these, one in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, written about 1525, claims to be the "first correck coppy nixt eftir the Translatioun wryttin be Master Matho Geddes" the Bishop's chaplain, and it has some marginal notes in Douglas's own writing. The Elphynstoun MS., used by Mr. Small, and the Ruthven MS., which belonged to the ill-fated Earl of Gowrie, are in the University Library, Edinburgh. There is a manuscript at Lambeth Palace, and one is preserved in the library of the Marquis of Bath at Longleate, Wilts. The first printed edition was a mutilated one by William Copland in 1553; there was the famous Edinburgh folio edited by Thomas Ruddiman in 1710; and in 1839, upon the basis of the Cambridge MS., was produced the sumptuous edition of the Bannatyne Club. The first complete edition of the poet's works, in four volumes, was edited in an entirely
Page 231 GA VIN DOUGLAS. 231 satisfactory manner by Mr. John Small, M.A., in i874. "The Palice of Honour" is an allegorical composition in the fashion of Douglas's time, a Gothic structure, as Dr. Irving says, in which " ancient and modern usages, classical and Christian subjects, are almost constantly blended together, and a nymph of Calliope's train expounds the scheme of human redemption." The poet in a garden, of a May morning, falls into a swoon and sees pass him in succession the courts of Minerva, Diana, and Venus. Venus has him seized and is about to condemn him for contumely, when the court of the Muses arrives, and upon Calliope's intercession and his own composition of a lay in praise of the goddess of love he is set free. In the Muses' train he visits the Castalian fount, hears recited the long roll of the deeds of ancient heroes, and at last reaches the mountain on whose summit glitters the magic palace. Close to the summit he finds his path crossed by a fearful ditch, deep as Hell, wherein, amid boiling pitch, brimstone and lead, welter those wretches who have been tempted from pursuit of honour by pleasure and sloth. Carried across by his guardian nymph, he is shown a vision first of the storm-tossed world, then of the wonderful Palace of Honour, and again, in Venus' mirror, the most remarkable actions recorded in history. The inhabitants of the Palace are next passed in review-those who during their lives have followed the laws of truth, fidelity, and valour. The nymph then conducts him to a delightful and wonderful garden, but in attempting to gain access by
Page 232 232 GAI VIzN DO UGL,IS. the bridge of a single tree, he falls into the moat and awakes. The composition is in a strictly conventional vein, hardly ever rising above the level of laboured prose, though the verse is full of sweetness, with an occasional vigorous touch, and there is throughout an exuberant if somewhat diffuse richness of detail. It must remain chiefly remarkable as proof of the wide classical learning of its author. /There seems ample room for the belief, moreover, that Bunyan got from the " Palice of Honour" a large part of the suggestion of his Pigrrim's Progress.) "King Hart," though in the same conventional vein of allegory, exhibits riper powers than Douglas's earlier work. So vivid, indeed, sometimes become the circumstances and characters that the reader forgets the allegory, and catches fire at the story itself. The narrative is full of action, the personifications are natural and real as life, and the plot has strong human interest, while the allegory is original, consistent throughout, and forcible. In all respects this must be reckoned a greater performance than its more famous sister piece. As a study of the growth and decline of an emotion it will, behind its archaic method, bear comparison with some of the best analytical novel-writing of the present day. But the work to which Douglas must owe his enduring fame is his latest and longest, the translation of Virgil's 1Eneid. Here he was away from the fatal atmosphere of convention; the nature of the task set a bound to his discursive bent; and amid the variety of the great epic he struck at last upon the true
Page 233 GA VINV DOUGLAS. 233 medium for his genius. His was the earliest metrical translation of a classic into the English or Scottish language, and its appearance, marking the dawn of the Renaissance in the north, gave the first sign that the middle ages were past. From the intrinsic beauty and worth of the performance, notwithstanding the antique language in which it appears, this must continue to rank among the greatest translations of the Augustan poet. It is true that here and there Douglas reads certain anachronisms into the classic, the Sybil becomes a nun, AEneas a "gentle baron," and so on, while at times, in portraits of men and women and in descriptions of nature, he is tempted to add deft touches of his own; but the work is that of one who knew the original language thoroughly, and who brought to its rendering an ample and richly varied phraseology of his own. Douglas's Eneid was the first work which carried Scottish literary influence to the south of the Tweed, and its immediate result was the Earl of Surrey's translation of the second and fourth books of the JEneid into English. It is a testimony to the excellence of the Scottish poet's work that Surrey embodied in his version many expressions and even whole lines of the northern translator. To each of the twelve books of the zEneid, and to the additional book by Mapheus Vegius of the fifteenth century, which he included, Douglas wrote an appropriate prologue, and it is in these prologues that his finest work is seen. Here the Scottish genius for natural description appears. The colour, says Mr. Stopford Brooke, is superb, while of the landscape
Page 234 234 GAVIN DOUGLAS of the poet he adds, "there is nothing like it in England till Thomson's Seasons, and Thomson was a Scotchman." Mr. Small, drawing attention to "the dreary picture of winter in the seventh prologue, the glowing description of May in the twelfth, and the beauties of an evening in June in the thirteenth," gives it as his opinion that in these are to be found "descriptive passages equal, if not superior, to any which exist in the whole range of Scottish poetry." Here are lively touches of fancy, and rural imagery homely and real, and here, at his truest and best, Douglas touches home to the heart of poetry when he speaks with his own lips of the things that his own eyes saw. The translation was made by Douglas at the request of his cousin Lord Sinclair, and at its conclusion he bade farewell to poetryAnd will direct my labours euermoir Vnto the common welth and Goddis gloir. What he might have done in the nine remaining years of his life, had his resolution and his fortunes been different, it is idle to imagine. What he has done assures him, if not, indeed, a "monument more lasting than brass," at least a laurel that will live as long as the great deeds which have given lustre to the Douglas name. In "The Court of Venus," written about I560, Rolland describes himBischope and als ane honest Oratour, Profound Poet and perfite Philosophour; Into his days abone all buir the bell, In sic practikis all vtheris did precell.
Page 235 HONOUR. The "ballad," curious for its plethora of rhymes, withi which " The Palice of Honour" concludes. HIE 'Honour! sweit heuinlie flour degestt', grave. Gem verteous, maist precious, gudliest; For hie renoun thou art guerdoun conding2, 2 condign, fit. Of worschip kend3 the glorious end and rest, 3 Of worthascerBut4 quhome in richt na worthie wicht may lest. 4 Without. Thy greit puissance may maist auance all thing, 5 poor folk to And powerall to mekill auaill5 sone bring, much consequence. I the requeir, sen thow but peir art best, That efter this in thy hie blis we ring. 6 reign. Of grace thy face in euerie place sa schynis That sweit all spreit baith heid and feit inclynis Thy gloir afoir for till imploir remeid. He docht7 richt nocht, quhilk8 out of thocht th6 tynis9! 8 who. 9 loses. Thy name but blame, and royal fame, diuine is; Thow port, at schort,I0 of our comfort and reid"e, n.short. Till bring all thing till glaiding efter deid; 2 diminishes, All wicht but sicht of thy greit micht ay crynis2, shrinks. ' 3 shining one. 0 schenel3.' I mene14 nane may sustene thy feid15. 14 bemoan. '5 feud.
Page 236 236 GA VIN DOUGLAS. Haill, rois maist chois til clois thy fois greit micht! Haill, stone quhilk schone vpon the throne of licht! Vertew, quhais trew sweit dew ouirthrew al vice, x Was always each day Was ay ilk day gar' say the way of licht, causing. Amend, offend, and send our end ay richt! Thow stant, ordant as sanct, of grant maist wise degree,prize. Till be supplie2, and the hie gre3 of price. 4 Extend thee Delite the tite me quite of site to dicht4, soon to wipe me quit of For I apply schortlie to thy deuise. shame. ty~ie
Page 237 KING HART. [King Hart, personifying the heart of man, is represented in the pride of youth, guarded in his seemly castle by the five senses, and attended by a court of youthful qualities, such as Strength and Wantonness.] KING HART into his cumlie castell strang Closit about with craft and meikill vre', much labour. So semlie wes he set his folk amang That he no dout had of misaventure; So proudlie wes he polist, plane and pure, With youthheid and his lustie levis grene, So fair, so fresche, so liklie to endure, And als so blyth as bird in symmer schene. For wes he never yit with schouris schot2, 2assailed.t Nor yet ourrun with rouk3 or ony rayne: 3 over-run with moisture. In all his lusty lecam4 nocht ane spot, 4 his fair body. Na never had experience into payne; Bot alway into lyking, nocht to layne5, n peasureh, t. Onlie to love and verrie gentilnes not to lie. He wes inclynit cleinlie to remane And wonn6 vnder the wyng of Wantownness. 6dwell. [Close by stands the delightful palace of Dame Pleasance, and one day surrounded by her handmaids, Beauty, Kindness, Mirth, and others, she appears with all her forces near the castle of King Hart. Alarm is brought by the watchmen to the hall where the king is sitting, whereupon]
Page 238 238 GA VIN DOUGLAS. hooked. Youthheid vpstart and cleikit1 on his cloik, 2broidered. Was browdin2 all with lustie levis grene; 3 soak, rest. "Ryse, Fresche Delyte! lat nocht this mater soke3; We will go se quhat may this muster mene. 4share. So weill we sall ws it cope4 betwene, Thair sail nothing pas away vnspyit; 5 Afterwards. Syn5 sail we tell the king as we have sene, And thar sail nothing trewlie be denyit." Youthheid furth past, and raid on Innocence, Ane mylk-quhyt steid that ambilit as the wynd; And Fresche Delyt raid on Benevolence, 6abide. Throw-out the meid that wald nocht byd6 behind. The bernes bricht almost had maid thame blind That fra fresche Bewtie spred vnder the cloude. 7 made way. To hir thay socht7, and sone thai culd hir find; No saw thai nane never wes half sa proude. 8 barons. The bernis8 both wes basit of the sicht, 9 marred in mood, disconcerted. And out of mesour marrit in thair mude9: uron white steeds As spreitles folkis on blonkis hvffit on hicht"0 paused on high. Both in ane studie starand still thai stude. went. Fayr-Calling freschlie on hir wayis yuid" And both thair reynyeis cleikit in hir handis, 2 mad. Syn to hir castell raid as scho war woude2, And festnit vp thir folkis in Venus' bandis. [Other messengers whom the king sends out are captured in turn, and at last he himself, exasperated, issues forth to fight. Pleasance then arranges her troops in order of battle, and, defeating and wounding the king, casts him into a dungeon in her palace. Here his malady is made worse by the fact that from his dungeon he can see and hear the mirth in the queen's hall. Meanwhile Jealousy and Prodigality are his attendants].
Page 239 KING HART. 239 Discretioun wes as than bot young of age, He sleipit with Lust quhair-euer he micht him find: And he agane wes crabbit at the page. Ane ladill full of luif, stude him behind, He swakit in his ene' and maid him blinde. dashed into his eyes. [Business, Noble Bearing, and Disport strive to make interest with Dame Pleasance, but, laughing, she bids them attend their master. Presently, however, the imprisoned courtiers of King Hart make fatal interest with one of the queen's handmaids.] This wourthy King in presoun thus culd ly With all his folk, and culd thair nane out brek. Full oft thai kan vpone Dame Pietie cry, " Fair thing! cum doun a quhyle and with ws speik.2 A further, Cum! farar2 way ye micht your harmes wreik3 another. 3 your hurts Than thus to murdour ws that yoldin ar. avenge. Wald ye ws rew, quhair-euir we micht our reik4 4 reach over, attain to. We suld men be to yow for euirmare." Than answert Danger and said, "That were grete doute, A madin sweit amang sa mony men To cum alane, but5 folk war hir about; s unless. 6 a trick I could That is ane craft myself culd never ken6." nevertake cognizance of. With that scho ran vnto the Lady kene7; 7 intrepid. Kneland, "Madame," scho said, "keip Pietie fast! Sythen8 scho ask, no licence to her len9. Although 9 lend. May scho wyn'0 out scho will play yow a cast"." o get. [Alas! then came a night when Danger slept.] The dure on chare it stude; all wes on sleip; And Pietie doun the stair full sone is past. This Bissines hes sene, and gave gud keip2; 12 heed. Dame Pietie hes he hintI3 in armeis fast. 13 seized.
Page 240 240 GAVIN DO UGLAS. He callit on Lust, and he come at the last; caused. His bandis gart' he birst in peces smale: Dame Pietie wes gritlie feirit and agast. Be that wes Confort croppin in our the wall. [King Hart and his court, set free, proceed to storm the palace, and at last the queen, reduced to straits, throws herself upon his courtesy.] So sweit ane swell as straik vnto his hart Quhen that he saw Dame Plesance at his will. 2 make me not. I yeild me, schir! and do me nocht2 to smart!" 3 I saved your The fayr Quene said vpone this wyss him till. (life), though "I sauf youris, suppois it be no skill3. it be no argument. All that I haue, and all that myne may be, With all my hairt I offer heir yow till, And askis nocht bot ye be trew till me." Till that [quhilk] Loue, Desyre, and Lust devysit Thus fair Dame Plesance sweitlie can assent. Than suddandlie Schir Hart him now disgysit, 4 ere ever he stretched. On gat his amouris clok or euer he stent4. Freschlie to feist thir amouris folk ar went. 5as messenger. Blythnes wes first brocht bodwarde5 to the hall: Dame Chastite, that selie innocent, 6 went mad, and For wo yeid wode, and flaw out ourS the wall. flew out over. The lustie Quene, scho sat in midaes the deiss Befoir hir stude the nobill wourthy King. 7 messes. Servit thai war of mony diuerss meiss7, 89 quick. Full sawriss sweit and swyth9 thai culd thame bring. 9 quickly.
Page 241 KIN G HART.7 241 Thus thai maid ane [richt] mirrie marschalling; Bewtie and Loue ane hait burdel hes begun; a hot tussle. In wirschip of that lustie feist so ding2 2 worthy. Dame Plesance has gart perce Dame Venus' tun. [The second canto paints a sadder picture. Seven years of wedded bliss have flown, when one morning a stranger, Age, knocks at the gate.] 3 that. At morrowing tyde, quhen at3 the sone so schene4 fair. Out raschit5 had his bemis frome the sky, sdashed. Ane auld gude-man befoir the yet6 was sene, 6gate. Apone ane steid that raid full easalie. He rappit at the yet, but courtaslie, 7 the donjonYit at the straik the grit dungeoun can din7; tower resounded. Syne at the last he schowted fellonlie8, 8 violently. And bad thame rys, and said he wald cum in. Sone Wantownnes come to the wall abone9, 9 above. And cryit our-", "Quhat folk are ye thair out?" "Iover. "My name is Age," said he agane full sone, " May thow nocht heir? Langar how I culd schout!" "What war your will?" "I will come in, but dout." "Now God forbid! In fayth ye cum nocht heir! Rin on thy way, [or] thow sall beir ane route", I"blow. And say the portar he is wonder sweir2." 2oltinate y. [At this news the courtiers begin to take flight. Youthheid is the first to go; and here, says Merry Ross, "even allegory cannot chill the tenderness of the king's farewell."] r3 Since thou "Sen thou man pas 3, fair Youthheid, wa is me! 3 must go. Thow wes my freynd, and maid me gude seruice. Fra thow be went never so blyth to be I mak ane vow, [al]thocht that it be nyceI4. 14 foolish. R II
Page 242 242 GA VIN DOUGLAS. I prize. Of all blythnes thy bodie beiris the pryce'. 3 ere thou go. To warisoun2 I gif the, or thow ga3, 4 with skill. This fresche visar, wes payntit at devyce4. 6 take. My lust5 alway with the se that thow ta6. "For saik of the I will no colour reid Nor lusty quhyte vpone my bodie beir, 7till. Bot blak and gray; alway, quhill7 I be deid, I will none vther wantoun wedis weir. 8 hurt. Fayr-weill, my freynd! Thow did me never deir8. Vnwelcum Age, thow come agane my will! I lat the wit I micht the weill forbeir. 9 without argu. ment, i.e. in. Thy warisoun suld be [richt] small but skill9." deed. [After Age enter Conscience, Reason, and Wit. Reason removes the film from the eyes of Discretion, and reads aloud the conditions of his own service.] Ressoun rais vp, and in his rollis he brocht. "Gif I sall say, the sentence sall be plane; loaught.thee Do never the thing that ever may scayth the ochti~; snare. Keip mesour and trouth, for thairin lyes na trayne". Discretioun suld ay with King Hart remane. Thir vthir young folk-seruandis ar bot fulis. 2 makes. Experience mais12 Knawlege now agane, 13 children. And barnis"3 young suld lerne at auld mennis sculis. 14 tastes. "Quha gustis14 sweit, and feld nevir of the sowre, 15 seasoning. Quhat can [he] say? How may he seasoun15 juge? Quha sittis hate, and feld nevir cauld ane hour, s6 outside under * the lodge. Quhat wedder is thairout vnder the luge6
Page 243 KING HA RT. 243 How suld he wit'? That war ane mervale huge! know. To by richt blew2, that nevir ane hew had sene! 'To buytrue blue. Ane servand be, that nevir had sene ane fuge3! 3bundle. Suppois it ryme it accordis nocht all clene. "To wiss4 the richt and to disvse the wrang, 4 understand. 5 that choose to That is my scule to all that list to leyr5." learn. to [But as the lighter courtiers, Strength, Worth in War, and the rest, depart, Dame Pleasance herself grows cold to the king, his caresses become irksome, and at last she bids him farewell. Then King Hart returns to his own castle, kept by Heaviness. Here, before long, he is besieged by the forces of Decrepitude, led by Headache, Cough, and Palsy; and finally, being mortally wounded, he prepares for death by making his will and testament.]
Page 244 DIDO'S HUNTING PARTY. From the Fourth Book of the AEneid. BE this the queyn with havy thochtis onsound In every vane nurisis the greyn wound. Smyttin so deip with the blynd fyre of lufe,, Hir trublit mynd gan fro all rest remufe. Compasing the gret prowes of Enee, Thegreat worth The large wirschip feill syse' remembris sche many times. ' Of his lynage and folkis; for ay present 2 imprinted. Deip in hir breist so wes his figur prent2 And all his wordis fixt, that, for besy thocht, 3 might. None eis hir membris nor quyete suffir mocht3. 4 Eneas. Sum-tyme the quene Enee4 with hir did leid 5 place, steading. Throw-out the wallis onto euery steid5, The tresour all and riches of Sydony Schawing to him; and offerit all reddy The cetie of Cartage at his commandment. Begyn scho wald to tell furth hir intent, And in the myd word stop and hald hir still And quhen the evin coyme it wes hir will 6erstwhile. To seik wayis hym to feist, as sche did air6, And, half myndles, agane sche langis sair
Page 245 DIDO'S HUNTING PARTY. 245 For tyll inquyre and heir the sege of Troy, And in a stair' behaldis hym for joy. gaze. Eftir all wes voydit, and the lycht of day Ay mair and mair the mone quenchit away, And the declyning of the sternis brycht2 2 the bright stars. To sleip and rest perswadis euery wycht, Within her chalmer allane scho langis sair, And thocht all waist for lak of hir lufair. Amyd ane woid bed scho hir laid adoun, And of him absent thinkis scho heris the soun3; 3 sound. His voce scho heris, and him behaldis sche, Thocht4 he, God wait, fer from her presence be. 4 Though. And sum-tyme wald scho Ascanius, the page, Caucht5 in the figur of his faderis ymage sCatch. And in hir bosum brace, gif scho tharby The luif vntellable mycht swyk6 or satisfy. 6 assuage. The werk and wallis begovn ar nocht upbrocht; The younkeris deidis of armes exercis nocht; Nodir7 fortreis nor turratis suir of weir8 8 sure turrets of war. Now graith9 thai mair; for all the werk, but weir, 9prepare. Cessis and is stoppit, baith of pynnakles hye And byg towris, semyt to ryse in the skye.* Furth of the see, with this, the dawing springis. As Plebus rais, fast to the yettis thringis'IO O eagerly to the The chois galandis, and huntmen thaim besyde With ralis and with nettis strang and wyde And hunting speris stif with hedis braid. * Each book of the..Eneid was divided by Douglas into chapters, and the two passages above, descriptive of Dido's passion, are included from the first and second chapters of Book IV. as introducing the incidents of the hunt in chapter four.
Page 246 246 GA VIN DOUGLAS. From Massylyne horsmen thik thiddir raid, With rynning hundis, a full huge sort, tarrying at the Noblis of Cartage, hovand at the port', gate. The quene awatis that lang in chalmer dwellis. Hir fers steid stude stamping, reddy ellis, 2champing. Rungeand2 the fomy goldin bitt jingling, Of goldin pall wrocht his riche harnissing. And scho, at last, of palice ischit out, 3company. With huge menze3 walking hir about; 4embroidered. Lappit in ane brusit4 mantill of Sydony, 5twisted. With gold and perle the bordour all bewry5, 6 quiver. Hingand by hir syde the cais6 with arrowis ground; Hir brycht tressis envolupit war and wound 7 coif, hood. Intill a kuafe7 of fyne gold wyrin threid; purple attire. The goldin buttoun claspit hir purpour weid8. And furth scho passit with all hir company. 9 gatheredabout. The Troiane peple forgadderit9 by and by Joly and glaid the fresche Ascanius ying; Bot first of all, most gudlie, hym-self, thar king 0 without doubt. Enee, gan entir in falloschip, but doutr", " joined. And vnto thaim adionyt" his large rowt. Lyk quhen Apollo list depart or ga Furth of his wintring realm of Lisia And leif the flude Exanthus for a quhile, 2 visit. To vesy"2 Delos his moderis land and ile, Renewand ringis and dancis, mony a rowt, Mixt togiddir, his altaris standing abowt, The peple of Crete and thaim of Driopes And eik the payntit folkis Agathirces, 13 guise, manner. Schowtand on ther gise'3 with clamour and vocis hie,
Page 247 DIDO'S HUNTING PARTY. 247 Apon thi top, Mont Cynthus, walkis he, His wavand haris, sum-tyme, doing down thring' d thronging With a soft garland of lawrere2 sweit smelling, 2 laurel. And wmquhile3 thaim gan balmyng and anoynt 3 formerly. And into gold addres at full gude poynt4; 4 in good order. His grundin dartis clattering by his syde, Als fresch, als lusty5 did Eneas ryde, 5 desirable. With als gret bewtie in his lordlie face. And eftir thai ar cumin to the chace, Amang the montanis in the wild forrest, The ryning hundis of cuplis sone thai kest, 6 over the dells And our the clewis and the holtis belyf6 and the woods quickly. The wild bestis dovn to the daill thai drive. Lo, ther the rais7, rynning swyft as fyre, 7roes. Drevin from the hychtis8 brekkis out at the swyre9. hlgghtse Ane-vther part, syne'~ yonder mycht thow see Iopresently. The hirdis of hartis, with ther heidis hie, Ourspynnerand" with swyft cours the plane vaill, " fleeting over. The hepe of dust wpstouring12 at thair taill, I2upstorming. Fleand the hundis, leiffand the hie montanis. And Ascanyus, the child, amyde the planis, Joyus and blyth, his stertlingI3 steid to assay, 13 restless. Now makkis his renk14 yondir, and now this way, 14 course. Now prekis furth by thir and now by thaim%5, 5 btheseand Langing, amang faynt frayit'6 beistis vntame, 6 affrighted. The fomy bair doun from the hillis hycht, Or the dun lyon discend recontir he mycht. In the meyn-quhile the hevinnis all about With fellon noyis gan to rummyll and rowt 7; 17 roar.
Page 248 248 GAVIN DOUGLAS. blast. A bub' of weddir followit in the taill, 2mixed. Thik schour of rane myddillit' full of haill. 3 scattersfarand The Tyrian menye skalis wydequhair3 And all the galandis of Troy fled heir and thair, And eik with thaim the yong Ascanius, Nevo to King Dardane and to Venus. 4 places. For feir to diuers stedis4 throw the feildis 5 creersand Thai seik to haldis, housis, hirnis, and beildis5. 6 suddenly. The riveris rudlie ruschit our hillis bedene6. Within a cave is enterit Dido queyn, And eik the Troiane duke, all thaim allane, By aventure as thai eschewit the rane. Erth, the first modir, maid a takin of wo, 7 marriage- And eik of wedlok the pronuba7 Juno, 8 the air showed And of thair cupling wittering schew the air8; knowledge. 9 lightning. The flamb of fyreflaucht9 lychtnyt heir and thar, xo without lies, in truth.'n And on the hillis hie toppes, but les10, named. Sat murnyng nymphis, hait" Oreades. This was the foremast day of hir glaidnes And first morow of hir wofull distres; fashion. For nother the fassoun" nor the maner sche Attendis now, nor fame, ne honestie, Nor from thens-furthwart Dido ony moir Musis on luif, secret, as of befoir, 13 calls. Bot clepis'3 it spousage, and with that fair name Clokit and hyd hir cryme of oppyne schame.
Page 249 WINTER. Prologue to the Seventh Book of the -Eneid. As brycht Phebus, schene souerane', hevynnis e, The opposit held of his chymmis hie2, Cleir schynand bemys, and goldin symmeris hew, In lattoun3 colour altering haill4 of new, Kithing no syng5 of heyt be his visage, So neir approchit he his wynter staige; Redy he was to entir the thrid morne In cloudy skyis vndir Capricorne. All-thocht6 he be the hart and lamp of hevin Forfeblit wolx his lemand giltly lewyne7 Throw the declyning of his large round speir. The frosty regioun ringis8 of the yeir, The tyme and sessoune bitter cald and paill, Thai schort days that clerkis clepe brumaill. Quhen brym9 blastis of the northyne artT0 Ourquhelmit had Neptunus in his cart, And all to schaik the levis of the treis, The rageand storm ourwalterand wally seis", Reveris ran reid on spait" with watteir broune, And burnis hurlis all thair bankis downe, And landbrist rumland rudely wyth sic beir'3, I shining sovereign. 2 mansions high. 3 mixed metal, prob. brass. 4 wholly. 5 Showing no sign. 6 Although. 7 Very feeble waxed his glowing gilded levin. 8 reigns. 9 fierce. Io direction. 1 over-riding wavy seas. 12 flood. I3 breakers rumbling with such noise.
Page 250 250 GA VIN DOUGLAS. So loud ne rummist wyld lioun or beir. dolphins (sea- Fludis monstreis, sic as meirswyne or quhailis' swine)orwhales. 2send down. For the tempest law in the deip devallyis2. Mars occident, retrograide in his speir, Provocand stryff, regnit as lord that yeir. Rany Orioune wyth his stormy face Bewalit of the schipman by his rays, 3 Untoward. Frawart3 Saturne, chill of complexioune, Throw quhais aspect derth and infectioune Bene causit oft, and mortale pestilens, 4 the degrees of his ascent. Went progressiue the greis of his ascens4; And lusty Hebe, Junois douchtir gay, 5 spoiled. Stud spulyeit5 of hir office and array. soaked in water The soill ysowpit into wattir wak6, moist. 7 mists. The firmament ourkest with rokis7 blak, 8dun grew. The ground fadyt, and fauch wolx8 all the feildis, 9 covered smooth Montayne toppis sleikit wyth snaw ourheildis9 with snow. On raggit rolkis of hard harsk quhyne stane 0 Shone.y With frosyne frontis cauld clynty clewis schane"M. Bewtie wes lost, and barrand schew the landis With frostis haire ourfret the feildis standis. it blasts. Soure bittir bubbis" and the schowris snell" "2 piercing. Semyt on the sward ane similitude of hell, Reducyng to our mynd, in every steid, Goustly schaddois of eild and grisly deid, '3 Thick foggy shadows Thik drumly scuggis dirknit'3 so the hevyne. darkened. 4 threw*. Dym skyis oft furth warpitI4 feirfull levyne, 15 cruel blasts. Flaggis of fyir, and mony felloun flaweI5, 6 showers. Scharp soppis'6 of sleit and of the snypand'7 snawe. '7 biting. is dreary. The dowy'8 dichis war all donk and wait, t9flooded with The law vaille flodderit all wyth spait'9 torrent.
Page 251 WINTER. 251 The plane streits and every hie way Full of fluschis, doubbis, myre, and clay. Laggerit leys wallowit1 farnys schewe, withered. Broune muris kithit thair wysnit2 mossy hewe, Shwedtheir withered. Bank, bra, and boddum3 blanschit wolx and bair, 3 bottom. For gurll4 weddir growyt bestis haire. 4 stormy. The wynd maid wayfe5 the reid weyd on the dyk; s wave. Bedovin in donkis deyp wes every syk6. 6rill. Our craggis and the front of rochis seyre7 7 many. Hang gret isch-schoklis lang as ony spere. The grund stude barrand, widderit, dosk, and gray; Herbis, flouris, and gersis wallowit away8. 8 grasses withered away. Woddis, forestis, wyth nakyt bewis blout9, 9 boughs bare. Stud strypyt of thair weyd in every hout-~, Io wood (holt). So bustuysly" Boreas his bugill blew, r rudely. The deyr full dern'I dovn in the dalis drew. I2secretly. Smal byrdis, flokand throw thik ronnis'3 thrang, I3 shrubs. In chyrmyng and with cheping'4 changit thair sang, '4tittering ad Sekand hidlis and hirnys'5 thaim to hyde '5 hiding-places and corners. Fra feirfull thudis of the tempestuus tyde. The wattir lynnis routtis'6, and euery lynde'7 i6 roare '7 lime-tree. Quhyslyt and brayt of the swouchand'8 wynde. Is soughing. Puire laboraris and byssy husband men Went wayt and wery draglyt in the fcn. The silly scheip and thair lytill hyrd gromis Lurkis vndir le of bankis, wodys, and bromys; And wthir dantitI9 gretar bestial i9 daunted. Within thair stabillis sesyt20 into stall, 20 secured. Sic as mulis, horsis, oxin, and ky21, 2 kine. Fed tuskit baris, and fat swyne in sty, Sustenit war by mannis gouernance
Page 252 252 GA lV DO UGLAS. On hervist and on symmeris purviance. far and near. wh2 2 shrill. WidequhairI with fors so Eolus schouttis schyll2 In this congelit sessioune scharp and chyll, 3 cool. The callour3 air, penetrative and puire, 4 Dazing, stupe. Dasyng4 the bluide in every creature, 5 genial hot fires. Maid seik warm stovis and beyne fyris hoyt5, 6 under-vest. In double garmont cled and wyly-coyt6, Wyth mychty drink and meytis confortive, Agayne the storme wyntre for to strive. 7 Refreshed. Repaterit7 weill and by the chymnay beykyt8 8 basked. 9 stretched. At evin be tyme dovne a bed I me streikit9, 10 wrapped. Warpit0~ my heid, kest on claythis thrinfauld, For till expell the perrellus peirsand cauld. - then prepared. I crocit me, syne bownit" for to sleip 12 heed. Quhair, lemand throw the glas, I did tak keip'2 Latonia, the lang irksum nycht, 13 glances. Hir subtell blenkis13 sched and wattry lycht Full hie wp quhyrlyt in hir regioune, Till Phebus rycht in oppositioune, Into the Crab hir propir mansioune draw, Haldand the hycht allthocht the son went law. Hornit Hebawde, quhilk clepe we the nycht owle, Within hir caverne hard I schout and yowle. 14 distorted. Laithlie of forme, wyth crukit camschow'4 beik, '5 horrible. Vgsum15 to heir was hir wyld elriche 6 screik. 16 uncanny. The wyld geis claking eik by nychtis tyde 7 Over. Attoure17 the citie fleand hard I glyde. Is grave, deep. On slummyr I slaid full sad'8, and slepit sownd Quhill the oriyont wpwart gan rebound.
Page 253 WINTER. 253 Phebus' crownit byrd, the nychtis orloger, Clappand his wyngis thryse had crawin cleir. Approching nelr the greiking' of the day, I graying, dawn. Wythin my bed I waikynnit quhair I lay. So fast declinis Synthea the mone, And kais keklis2 on the ruiff abone3. daws cackle. 3 above. Palamedes byrdis crouping in the sky, Fleand on randoune4 schapin lik ane Y, 4 in flight. And as ane trumpat rang thair vocis soun, Quhais cryis bene prognosticatioun Off wyndy blastis and ventositeis. Fast by my chalmir, in heych wysnit treis5, high withered trees. The soir gled6 quhislis loud wyth mony ane pew, 6 sorrelhawk. Quhairby the day was dawin, weil I knew. Bad beit the fyire, and the candill alycht, Syne blissit me, and, in my wedis dycht, Ane schot-wyndo7 vnschet a lytill on char, 7 Awnroected Persawit the mornyng bla, wan, and har8, s livid,wan, and grey. Wyth cloudy gum and rak9 ourquhelmit the air, 9 mist and cloud. The soulye stythlie hasart, rowch, and hair"~, ro Ted, misty, Branchis brattlyng, and blayknit schew the brays", and geray. " bleak appeared With hyrstis harsk of waggand wyndilstrays2, the hills. 12 bare spots The dew-droppis congelyt on stybill and rynd, rough with' wagging dried And scharp hailstanis, mortfundit13 of kynd, grasses. 13 cold as death. Hoppand on the thak and on the causay'4 by. 14 thatch and The schot I clossit and drew inwart in hy'5, 5 inhaste. Chiverand for cauld, the sessoun was so snell, Schup'6 with hait flambe to fleme17 the fresyng fell, 6addressed me '7 drive away. And as I bownit'8 me to the fyre me by 18addressed. Bayth wp and downe the hous I did aspy, And seand Virgill on ane lettrune'9 stand, I9 writing table.
Page 254 254 GAVIN DOUGLAS. seized. To writ anone I hynt' ane pen in hand, For till performe the poet grave and sad, 2 ere then. Quham sa fer furth, or than2, begun I had, 3 became annoyed some-And wolx ennoyit sum-deyll3 in my hart, what. Thair restit vncompleittit so gret ane part, And til myself I said in guid effect, 4 must. "Thow man4 draw forth, the yok lyis on thi nek." Wythin my mynd compasing thocht I so, "Na-thing is done quhill ocht remanis to do." 5chance. For byssines quhilk occurrit on cace5 6 Overturned. Ourvoluit6 I this volume lay ane space, choseg. And, thocht7 I wery was, me lyst8 nocht tyre, 9 to leave over. Full laith to leve our9 werk swa in the myre, 1o stop. Or yit to stynt'0 for byttir storme or rane. Heyr I assayit to yok our pleuch agane, "one-fold, And, as I culd, with afauld" diligence honest. This nixt buike following of profund sentence Has thus begoune in the chyll wyntir cauld, 2ot-fieldand Quhen frostis days ourfret bayth fyrth and fauld" in-field.
Page 255 MORNING IN MAY. Prologue to the Twelfth Book of the -Eneid.* DYONEA, nycht hyrd, and wach of day, The starnis chasit of the hevin away, Dame Cynthea dovn rolling in the see, And Venus lost the bewte of hir e, Fleand eschamyt within Cylenyus cave. withdrew. Mars onbydrew' for all his grundin glave2, 2 sharpened Nor frawart3 Saturn, from his mortall speyr, 3 untoward. Durst langar in the firmament appeir, Bot stall abak yond in his regioun far, Behynd the circulat warld of Jupiter. Nycthemyne, affrayit of the lycht, Went vndir covert, for gone was the nycht, As fresch Aurora, to mychty Tythone spous, Ischit of hir safron bed and evir4 hous 4 ivory. In crammysin5 cled and granit violat, 5 cramoisie,crim. With sanguyne cape and selvage purpurat6, 6 purple edge. Onschot the windois of hyr large hall, Spred all wyth rosys and full of balm ryall, And eik the hevinly portis crystallyne * In i752 two English versions of this prologue appeared, one in the Scots' Magazine by Jerome Stone, schoolmaster of Dunkeld, and another by Francis Fawkes. Of the latter, Mr. Small quotes two fine passages in his introduction to Douglas. Warton also gives a prose paraphrase of the prologue in his History of English Poetry.
Page 256 256 GA VIN DOUGLAS. Opened up Vpwarpis braid', the warld to illumyn. The twinkling stremowris of the orient 2 sprays streaks. Sched purpour sprangis2 with gold and asure ment, 4 rampart. Persand the sabill barmkyn4 nocturnall, s screen wall. Bet doun the skyis dowdy mantill wall5. Eous the steid with ruby hamis reid Abuf the seyis lyftis furth his heid 6 sorrel, reddish. Of cullour soyr6, and sum-deill brovn as berry, For to alichtyn and glaid our emyspery, 7 nostrils. The flambe owtbrastyng at his neys-thyrlys7. Sa fast Phaeton wyth the quhip him quhirlys To roll Apollo his faderis goldin chair That schrowdyth all the hevynnis and the ayr, 8 Till. Quhill8 schortly, with the blesand torch of day, Habited. Abilyeit9 in his lemand'0 fresch array, 2o flaming. Furth of hys palyce ryall ischyt Phebus Wyth goldin crovn and vissage gloryus, Crysp hairis, brycht as chrysolite or topace, For quhais hew mycht nane behald his face, The fyry sparkis brastyng fra his ene To purge the ayr and gylt the tendyr grene, pouring out. Defundand" from hys sege12 etheriall I2 seat. 13 heavenly. Glaid influent aspectis celicall13 Before his regale hie magnificens '4 incense. Mysty vapour vpspringand, sweit as sens14, I luds. In smoky soppis'5 of donk dewis wak'6 17 Moist whole- Moich hailsum stovis ourheildand the slak17. some vapours covering the The aureat fanys'8 of hys trone souerane valley. Ix The golden With glytrand glans ourspred the occiane, vanes. The large fludis lemand all of lycht 9 glance. Bot with a blenk19 of his supernale sycht.
Page 257 MIORNING IN MA Y. 257 For to behald, it was a gloir to se The stabillit' wyndis and the cawmyt see2, stilled. 2 calmed sea. The soft sessoun, the firmament serene, The lowne3 illumynat air, the fyrth amene, 3still. The syluer-scalit fyschis on the greit4 4sand. Ourthwort5 cleir stremis sprynkland6 for the heyt, 5 dthnart. Wyth fynnis schynand brovn as synopar7, 7 cinnabar. And chyssell talis, stowrand8 heyr and thar. 8storming. The new cullour alychtnyng all the landis, Forgane thir stannyris9 schane the beryall strandis, 9 Opposite this gravel. Quhill the reflex of the diurnal bemis The bene bonkis"~ kest ful of variant glemis, 1o The pleasant banks. And lusty Flora did hir blomis spreid Vnder the feit of Phebus sulyart" steid. I glittering. The swardit soyll enbrovd with selcouth" hewis I2strange. Wod and forest obumbrat13 with thar bewis, 13 shadowed. Quhois blissfull branchis, porturat on the grund, With schaddois schene schew rochis rubycund. Towris, turattis, kyrnellis'4, pynnaclis hie -4battlements. Of kirkis, castellis, and ilkeI5 fair cite, 5 each. Stude payntit, euery fyall, fane, and stage'6, tower, vane Apon the plane grund by thar awin vmbrage. Of Eolus north blastis havand no dreyd, The sulyeI7 spred hyr braid bosum on breid, 17 soil. Zephyrus' confortabill inspiratioun For till ressaue law in hyr barm'8 adoun. I8 bosom. The cornis croppis19 and the beris new brerd20 tops. 20 leaf. Wyth glaidsum garmond revesting the erd, So thik the plantis sprang in euery pece The feyldis ferleis21 of thar fructuus flece. 21 marvel. Byssy dame Ceres and provd Pryapus, S II
Page 258 258 GA VIN DOUGLAS. Reiosyng of the planis plenteus, i Furnished. Plenyst' sa plesand and maist propirly By nature nurist wondir nobilly. On the fertill skyrt lappis of the ground, 2 Stretching broad. Streking on breid2 ondyr the cirkill rovnd, 3 pleasant. The variant vestur of the venust3 vaill 4 turfyfur. Schrowdis the scherald fur4, and euery faill5 5 sward. 6 leaves. Ourfret with fulyeis6 of figuris full diuers 7 dispersed, pThe spray bysprent with spryngand sproutis dispers7. For callour humour on the dewy nycht, 8 Restoring. Rendryng8 sum place the gers9 pilis thar hycht 9 grasses. Als far as catal, the lang symmeris day, Had in thar pastur eyt and knyp away; And blisfull blossummis in the blomyt yard Submittis thar hedis in the yong sonnis salfgard. 10 rampart. Ive levis rank ourspred the barmkinla wall, The blomyt hawthorn cled his pikis all. 1 buds. Furth of fresch burgionis" the wyne-grapis ying Endlang the treilyeis dyd on twystis hing. 2 locked. The lowkyt12 buttonis on the gemmyt treis Ourspredand leyvis of naturis tapestreis; Soft gresy verdour eftir balmy schowris On curland stalkis smyling to thar flowris. Behaldand thame sa mony diuers new, 4 dark brown Sum pers'3, sum paill, sum burnet 4, and sum blew, (brunette). '5 grey. Sum grece ', sum gowlisi6, sum purpour, sum sangwane, i6 rose-red. Blanchit or brovne, fawchI7 yallow mony ane, 17 reddish. '8 degree. Sum hevynly cullorit in celestiall grei8, s9 deep wavy sea. Sum wattry hewit as the haw wally see'9, 20 divided. And sum depart20 in freklys red and quhyte, Sum brycht as gold with aureat levis lyte,
Page 259 MORNING IN MA Y. 259 The dasy dyd on breid hir crownell' smaill, spread abroad her coronet. And euery flour onlappit2 in the daill, 2unfolded. 3 In rank grass In battill gyrs burgionys the banwart3 wyld, buds the banewort. The clavyr, catcluke, and the cammamyld; The flour-de-lice furth spred his hevinly hew, Flour dammes4, and columby blank and blew; 4 damask rose. Seyr5 downis smaill on dent-de-lion sprang, sMany. The ying grene blomyt straberry levis amang. 7 6 Dainty gillyGymp gerraflouris6 thar royn7 levys vnschet, flowers.y 7 vermilion. Fresche prymros, and the purpour violet. 7 vermilion. The roys knoppis, tetand8 furth thar heyd, rose-knobs peeping. Gan chyp, and kyth9 thar vermel lippis red; 9 show. Crysp scarlet levis sum scheddand, baith attanis Kest fragrant smell amyd from goldin granis. Hevinly lylleis, with lokerand"M toppis quhyte, io curling. Oppynnit and schew thar creistis redymyte", 1 ornate. The balmy vapour from thar sylkyn croppis Distylland hailsum sugurat hunny droppis; And syluer schakaris"2 gan fra levis hyng 1 teh hnging Wyth crystal sprayngis'3 on the verdour ying: 13 sprays. The plane pulderyt'4 with semely settis'5 sovnd, is hoots. Bedyit 6, full of dewy peirlis rovnd, 6 dipped in water. So that ilk burgioun, syon 7, herb, and flour 17 each bud, shoot. Wolx all enbalmyt of the fresch liquour, IB float. And bathit halt did in dulce humouris fleit'8, Quharof the beis wrocht thar hunny sweit, By michty Phebus operatiounis In sappy subtell exalatiounis. Forgane'9 the cummyn of this prince potent 19 Against. Redolent odour vp from rutis sprent20, 20sprang. Hailsum of smell as ony spicery,
Page 260 260 GA VIN DOUGLAS. Tryakle, droggis, or electuary, I(F. savon). Seroppis, sewane', sugour, and synamome, 2 pomade (for Precyus invnctment, salve, or fragrant pome2, merly made n from apples Aromatik gummis, or ony fyne potioun, and lemons). Must, myr, aloes, or confectioun; Ane paradice it semyt to draw neyr 3 These cheerful Thyr galyart3 gardyngis and ilke greyn herbere4. 4 each green arbour. Maist amyabill walxis the amerant medis. bulrushes. Swannys swouchis5 throw-out the rysp6 and redis, 7Overall these Our al thir lowys7 and the fludis gray lakes. Seeking by Seyrsand by kynd8 a place quhar thai suld lay. nature. stir. Phebus red fowle hys corall creist can steyr9, o stretching. Oft streking"I furth hys hekkyll, crawand cleir, x the plants and Amyd the wortis and the rutis gent" the delicate roots. Pykland"2 his meyt in alleis quhar he went, Hys wifis, Toppa and Pertelok, hym by, 3 practises. As byrd al tyme that hantisI3 bygamy. 14 peacock. The payntit povne 4, pasand with plomys gym15, '5 neat. Kest vp his taill, a provd plesand quheil rym, 6 Dressed in Yschrowdryt in hys fedrammei6 brycht and schene, his feather covering. Schapand17 the prent of Argus' hundreth ene. 17 Portraying. Is brushwood. Amang the brounis18 of the olyve twestis'9 19 branches. t2 Many. Seyr20 small fowlis wirkand crafty nestis 2 oaks. Endlang the hedgeis thyk and on rank akis2", 22mates. Ilk byrd reiosyng with thar myrthfull makis22. 23 windows. In corneris and cleir fenystaris23 of glas Full byssely Aragne wevand was, To knit hyr nettis and hir wobbys sle, 24 midge. Tharwith to caucht the myghe24 and littill fle. 25upstirs. So dusty puldyr vpstowris25 in euery streyt,.6 Till the crow. Quhill corby26 gaspyt for the fervent heyt.
Page 261 IMORNING Ai MA V2Y. 26I Vnder the bewys beyn' in lusty valis, pleasant Within fermans' and parkis cloys of palys, 2enclosures. 3 bold bucks The bustuus bukkis rakis3 furth on raw; range. Heyrdis of hertis throw the the thyk wod schaw, Baith the brokettis4 and with brayd burnyst tyndis; 4 two-year-olds. The sprutlyt5 calvys sowkand the reid hyndis, 5 speckled. The yong fownis followand the dun dayis, Kyddis skippand throw ronnis6 eftir rayis. 6brushwood. In lyssouris7 and on leys littill lammis 7 pastures. Full tait and trig socht8 bletand to thar dammis. 8 tight and neat, made their way. Tydy ky lowys9, veilys by thame rynnis; 9kine low. All snog and slekyt worth thir bestis skynnis. On salt stremis wolx Doryda and Thetis; By rynnand strandis Nymphis and Naedes, Syk as we clepe ~ wenchis and damysellis, name e In gresy gravis" wandrand by spring wellis, In grassy groves. Of blomyt branchis and flowris quhite and rede Plettand thar lusty chaiplettis for thar hede. Sum sing sangis, dansis ledys, and rovndis12, "2round(dances). Wyth vocis schill13, quhill all the daill resovndis. 3 clear. Quharso thai walk into thar caraling For amorus lays doith all the rochis ryng. Ane sang, "The schip salis our the salt fame Will bring thir merchandis and my lemman hame!" Sum other singis, "I wil be blyth and lycht, Myne hart is lent apon sa gudly wycht!" And thochtfull luffaris rowmys to and fro, To leis'4 thar pane and plene15 thar joly wo 4 ose.rth '5 pour forth. Eftyr thar gys'6, now singand, now in sorow, i6 After their guise. With hartis pensyve, the lang symmeris morow. Sum ballettis lyst endyte of his lady,
Page 262 262 GA VN DO UGLAS. entirely. Sum levis in hoip, and sum aluterly' Disparyt is, and sa quyte owt of grace; His purgatory he fyndis in euery place. 2 flatter and feign. To pleis his luife sum thocht to flat and fene2, 3 ractise. Sum to hant3 bawdry and onlesum mene4; 4 unlawful means. Sum rownys5 to hys fallow, thame betwene, 5 whispers. 6 stolen pleasure Hys mery stouth and pastans6 lait yistrene. and pastime. Smyland sayis ane, "I couth in previte 7 jest. Schaw the a bowrd7." "Ha, quhat be that?" quod he. "Quhat thing?-That moste be secret," sayd the tother. "Gude Lord! mysbeleif ye your verray brother?" 8 whit. "Na, neuyr a deill8, bot harkis quhat I wald; Thou mon be prevy." "Lo, my hand vphald!" " Than sal thou walk at evin." Quod he, "Quhiddyr?" 9 such. "In sik9 a place heyr west, we bayth togiddyr, To latter. Quhar scho so freschly sang this hyndir'~ nycht; Do chois the ane and I sal quynch the lycht." "laughed. "I sal be thar, I hope," quod he, and lewch"; "Ya, now I knaw the mater weill enewch." Thus oft dywulgat is this schamefull play, Na-thing according to our hailsum May, Bot rathyr contagius and infective, And repugnant that sessoun nutrytive 12 tickles. Quhen new curage kytlis2 all gentill hartis, '3 Seeig Seand throu kynd3 ilk thyng springis and revertis. nature. Dame Naturis menstralis, on that other part, '4 melody. ue direction. Thayr blyssfull bay14 entonyng euery artI5, 6amend, abate. To beyti6 thar amouris of thar nychtis baill17, 17 sorrow. The merll, the mavys, and the nychtingale i8 burst. With mery notis myrthfully furth brest18,
Page 263 [MO'NING IN MA Y. 263 Enforsing thame quha mycht do clynk it best. The cowschet crowdis and pirkis on the rys'; The styrlyng changis diuers stevynnys nys2; The sparrow chyrmis in the wallis clyft; Goldspynk and lyntquhyte fordynnand the lyft3; The gukgo galis4, and so quytteris5 the quaill, Quhill ryveris rerdyt6 schawis and euery vaill, And tender twystis7 trymlyt on the treis For byrdis sang and bemyng of the beis; In wrablis dulce' of hevynly armonyis The larkis, lowd releschand9 in the skyis, Lovys thar legel~ with tonys curyus Baith to Dame Natur and the fresch Venus, Rendryng hie lawdis in thar obseruance, Quhais suguryt throtis mayd glayd hartis dans; And al small fowlys singis on the spray. " Welcum, the lord of lycht and lamp of day! Welcum, fostyr of tendir herbys grene! Welcum, quyknar of florist flowris schene! Welcum, support of euery rute and vane"! Welcum, confort of alkynd fruyt and grane! Welcum, the byrdis beyld"2 apon the breyr! Welcum, maister and rewlar of the yeyr! Welcum, weilfar of husbandis at the plewis! Welcum, reparar of woddis, treis, and bewis13; Welcum, depayntar of the blomyt medis! Welcum, the lyfe of euery thing that spredis! Welcum, stourour'4 of alkynd bestiall! Welcum be thi brycht bemys, glading all! Welcum celestiall myrrour and aspy, Atteching15 all that hantis'6 sluggardy!" The ring-dove coos and perches on the twigs. 2 delicate sounds. 3 make the heaven resound. 4 calls. 5 twitters. 6 made murmurous. 7 twigs. 8 warbles sweet. 9 letting go (their song). lo Praise their liege. II fibre. 12 shelter. 13 boughs. 14 bestirrer, ruler. 15 Reproving. I6 practise.
Page 264 264 GA VIN DOUGLAS. And with this word, in chalmer quhair I lay, The nynt morow of fresche, temperat May, shirt. On fut I sprent' into my bayr sark2, 3 tedious. Wilfull for till compleyt my langsum3 wark Twichand the lattyr buke of Dan Virgill, Quhilk me had tareyt al to lang a quhile, 4 i.e. the sun. And to behald the cummyng of this kyng4 That was sa welcum tyll all warldly thyng, With sic tryumphe and pompos curage glayd, 5 mansions. Than of his souerane chymmis5, as is sayd, Newly arissyn in hys estayt ryall, 6 without clock. That, by hys hew, but orleger6 or dyall, I knew it was past four houris of day, And thocht I wald na langar ly in May 7 sluggard. Les Phebus suld me losanger7 attaynt. 8:erethen. For Progne had or than8 sung hyr complaynt, And eik hir dreidful systir Philomene Hir lais endit, and in woddis grerie 9 SeeAgs 38. Hyd hir-selvin, eschamyt of hyr chance9; Quair, p. 38. And Esacus completis his pennance In riveris, fludis, and on euery laik; And Peristera byddis luffaris awaik. "Do serve my lady Venus heyr with me! Lern thus to mak your obseruance," quod she. "Into myne hartis ladeis sweit presens 10 bow. Behaldis how I beingel" and do reuerens." Hir nek scho wrinklis, trasing mony fold, With plomis glitterand, asur apon gold, Rendring a cullour betwix grene and blew In purpour glans of hevinly variant hew. I meyn our awin native bird, gentill dow,
Page 265 MORNING IN MAY. 265 Syngand in hyr kynd "I come hidder to wow," So pryklyng hyr grene curage for to crowd' coo. In amorus voce and wowar soundis lowd, That, for the dynning of hir wanton cry, I irkyt of my bed and mycht nocht ly, Bot gan me blys, syne in my wedis dres, And, for it was ayr morow, or tyme of mes2, 2 tear moasrs I hynt a scriptour3 and my pen furth tuike. 3 seize a pencaSyne thus begouth of irgill the twelt buike. Syne thus begouth of Virgill the twelt buike.
Page 266 EVENING AND MORNING IN JUNE. From " The Prolozg- of the Threttene Buik of Eneados ekit to Virgill be Mapheus Vegius." TOWART the evin, amyd the summyris heyt, Quhen in the Crab Appollo held his sete, Duryng the joyous moneth tyme of June, As gone neir was the day, and suppar done, I quickly. I walkit furth abowt the feildis tyte' 2 Which then. Quhilkis tho2 replenist stude full of delyte, With herbis, cornis, catale, and frute treis, 3 store. Plente of stoyr3, byrdis and byssy beis 4 green. In amerant4 medis fleand est and west, Eftir laubour to tak the nychtis rest. 5 glancedon the And as I blynkyt on the lift5 me by, 6 became. All byrnand reid gan walxin6 the evin sky; 7 all, whole. The son, enfyrit haill7 as to my sycht, Quhirlit about his ball with bemis brycht, Declynand fast towart the north in deyd; And fyry Phlegon, his dym nychtis steid, 8 dipped, Dowkyt8 his heid sa deip in fludis gray plunged. That Phebus rollis doun vnder hell away, And Esperus in the west wyth bemis brycht Vpspringis, as for-ridar of the nycht. 9meadows. Amyd the hawchis9 and euery lusty vaill
Page 267 EVENING AND MORNING IN JUNE. 267 The recent dew begynnis doun to scaill', To meys2 the byrnyng quhar the son had schine, Quhilk tho was to the neddir warld decline. At euery pilis, point and cornis croppis4 The techrys stude as lemand beriall droppis5 And on the hailsum herbis clene, but wedis6, Lyke crystall knoppis7 or small siluer bedis. I scatter. 2 allay. 3 hair's. 4 tips. 5 The dew stood like burning beryl drops. 6 freefromweeds. 7 knobs. The lycht begouth to quynkill out and faill, The day to dyrkyn8, decline, and devaill9; daesend. The gummis'~ rysis, doun fallis the donk rym", Iomists. I dank rime. Baith heyr and thair scuggis12 and schaddois dym. 2 clouds. Vpgois the bak13 wyth hir pelit14 ledderyn flycht; baked. The lark discendis from the skyis hycht, Singand hyr compling sang15 eftyr hyr gys6, 5 even-sog. To tak hyr rest, at matyn hour to rys. Owt our the swyre'7 swymmis the soppis'8 of mist, i7 gorge. The nycht furthspred hyr cloke with sabill lyst'9, 9 edge. That all the bewtie of the fructuus feyld Was wyth the erthis vmbrage clene ourheild"2. 2 covered ov Bath man and beste, fyrth2, flude, and woddis wild 2 pasture-lan er. id. Involuit in the schaddois warrin sild2. Still war the fowlis fleis23 in the ayr, All stoyr24 and catall seysit25 in thair lair, And euery thing, quharso thame likis best, Bownis26 to tak the hailsum nychtis rest Eftir the day's laubour and the heyt. Closs warrin all and at thar soft quyet, But sterage27 or removing, he or sche, Ouder28 best, byrd, fysch, fowle, by land or se; And schortlie euery thing that dois repare 22 were hidden. 23 Silent were the birds' flights. 24 store. 25 secured. 26 Makes ready. 27 Without stir. 28 Either.
Page 268 268 GA VIN DOUGLAS. In firth or feyld, flude, forest, erth, or ayr, I stunted shrubs. Or in the scroggis' or the buskis ronk, Lakis, inarrasis, or thir pulis donk, 2 lies. Astabillit liggis2 still to slepe, and restis; Be the small birdis syttand on thar nestis; 3 restless. The litill midgeis, and the vrusum3 fleyis, 4 ants. Laboryus emmotis4, and the byssy beyis, Als weill the wild as the taym bestiall, And euery othir thingis gret and small, 5 except. Owtak5 the mery nychtgaill, Philomene, 6from theheart. That on the thorn sat syngand fra the splene6. Quhais myrthfull notis langing for to heyr, 7 laurel. Ontill a garth vndir a greyn lawrer7 8 seat. I walk onon and in a sege8 down sat, Now musand apon this and now on that. I se the poill and eik the Ursis brycht, And hornyt Lucyne, castand bot dym lycht Becaus the symmyr skyis schayn sa cleyr: Goldin Venus, the mastres of the yeir, And gentill Jove, with hir participate, Thar bewtuus bemis sched in blyth estayt; That schortly, thar as I was lenyt doun, For nychtis silens, and this byrdis sovn, On sleip I slaid. [In a dream Mapheus Vegius, author of the additional book appended to the work of Virgil, appears to the poet and induces him, partly by argument, partly by twenty blows with a cudgel, to include that book in his translation.] And I for feir awoik, 9 glanced. And blent9 abowt to the north-est weill far, Saw gentill Jubar schynand, the day star,
Page 269 EVENING AND MORNING IN JUNE. 269 And Chiron, clepit the sing' of Sagittary, I called the sign. That walkis the symmirris nycht, to bed gan cary. Yondyr dovn dwynis2 the evin sky away, 2wanes, declines. And vpspryngis the brycht dawing of day Intill ane other place nocht far in sundir, That to behald was plesans and half wondir, Furth quynching gan the starris, one be one, That now is left bot Lucifer allone. And forthirmore, to blason this new day, Quha mycht discrive3 the byrdis blyssfull bay4? describe. Belyve5 on weyng the bissy lark vpsprang 5 Immediately. To salus6 the blyth morrow with hir sang. 6 salute. Sone our the feildis schinis the lycht cleyr, Welcum to pilgrym baith and lauborer. 7 Quickly on his Tyte on his hynis gaif the greif7 a cry, hinds gave the "Awaik on fut, go till our husbandry!" steward. And the hird callis furth apon his page, "Do drive the catell to thar pasturage!" The hynnis wyfe clepis8 vp Katheryn and Gill; s calls. "Ya, dame," sayd thai, God wait9, wyth a gude will. 9 God knows. The dewy grene, pulderitT" with daseis gay, Iopowdered. Schew on the sward a cullour dapill gray; The mysty vapouris springand vp full sweit, Maist confortabill to glaid all mannis spreit; Tharto, thir byrdis singis in the schawis", " coverts As menstralis playng, "The joly day now dawis!" William Hodge &' Co., Printers, Glasgow.
Page [unnumbered] ABBOTSFORD SERIES OF THE SCOTTISH POETS. EDITED BY GEORGE EYRE-TODD. Bound in cloth, crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. each volume. A limited number of copies printed on large antique paper, Roxburgh binding, price 5s. nett. THIS series is intended to reproduce in popular form the best Works of the Scottish Poets, from the earliest times onwards; and it is hoped within a moderate number of volumes to furnish a comprehensive library of the Poetry of Scotland. No liberties whatever are taken with the texts, which are edited from the best editions, and furnished with necessary introductions and glossaries. The first two volumes of the series are now ready:EARLY SCOTTISH POETRY: Thomas the Rhymer, John Barbour, Androw of Wyntoun, and Henry the Minstrel. MEDIEVAL SCOTTISH POETRY: James I. of Scotland, Robert Henryson, William Dunbar, and Gavin Douglas. The following volumes are in preparation: — SCOTTISH POETRY OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY: Sir David Lyndsay, John Bellenden, Sir Richard Maitland, James V., Alexander Scot, and Alexander Montgomery. SCOTTISH BALLAD POETRY: The best historical, legendary, and imaginative ballads of Scotland. The particulars of succeeding volumes wZill be afterz ards announced.
Page [unnumbered] EARLY SCOTTISH POETRY. PRESS OPINIONS. A good service is being done to Scottish literature by Mr. Eyre-Todd in his " Abbotsford Series" of reprints. His introductory essays show learning, insight, and critical ability, while the discrimination exercised in his treatment of the text is excellent.-Daily Chronicle. Should possess great interest for all lovers of poetry. The volume fills what appears to be a gap in the rank of our published books of to-day.Grapihic. What Mr. Eyre-Todd has undertaken has been carried out in a manner deserving of the highest praise. Such a beginning promises well for this "Abbotsford Series," which, when the volumes already announced have appeared, will have gone a long way towards supplying a "comprehensive library of the Poetry of Scotland."-Glasgow Herald. The "get-up " of the book is tasteful in the highest degree, and the type is superb. If the succeeding volumes prove as satisfactory as this, we shall have for the first time a good anthology of Scottish Poetry.-Quiz. The selections made by the editor from the works of Thomas the Rhymer, John Barbour, Androw of Wyntoun, and Henry the Minstrel are excellent....This first volume will be welcomed as a praiseworthy effort to open up what is to all but scholars a new field of literary interest.-British Weekly. Mr. Eyre-Todd is to be praised alike for the quality and the limited quantity of his editing.... In appearance the book is in every way worthy of a classical reprint.-Anti-facobin.... We have nothing but praise for the scholarly way in which Mr. Eyre-Todd has edited the present volume;... his brief biographical and analytical notes of each poet to the reader are models of clear, concise criticism.-N.B. Daily Mail. It is a gratifying sign of the interest still taken in our early poetry that an attempt is made in so praiseworthy a form as this to attract a wider circle of readers to their study... Everyone who has the best interests of literature at heart will wish them success.-Scotsman. A most praiseworthy enterprise.-Glasgow Evening Times. The selections are well chosen, and the connecting matter is succinct... Mr. Eyre-Todd has done his work with integrity.-Literary Op5inion. This first volume is admirable in itself, and promises well for the volumes which are to follow. The "Abbotsford Series" deserves.success, and we have no doubt success will be attained.-Modern Church. Everyone must give a hearty welcome to this new venture to bring the best portions of Scottish Poetry within the reach of all. We hope not a few teachers will have the courage to introduce one of the volumes into their higher classes alongside of Chaucer, who has hitherto been dominant, much to the loss of our home literature.-Aberdeen Journal. It is just the book to send at Christmas to the Scot abroad.-Dumbarton Herald. The selections have been made with discrimination.-National Observer. The selections are excellent.-Bookman. Mr. Eyre-Todd's work is thoroughly well done.-Dundee Advertiser. GLASGOW: WILLIAM HODGE & CO.