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J. I ■ ■" SSI 

Multa renafcentur qua jam cecidere Hor. 




By C. Stewart IS? Co. Printers to the Univerfity ; 





v. / 


\Elegiac Sonnet on the death of Alexander the "Third, — 
See Preface to Gloffary.] 


Extract from the Auentures of Sir Gawane, XV 
Speech of Robert the Bruce before the Battle of Ban- 

nockburn $ from Barbour, i 

Legend of St. Serf ; from Wynton's Chronicle, J 
'The King^s Quair ; faid to have been compofed by 

James the First while he was in JLngland, tz 
Song- on Abfence ; fuppofed, by Mr Pinkertqn, to be 

a cpmpofition of J ames th*. First, . 55 

The Houlat, or Danger of Pride , by Holland j 61 
Account of the execution of Sir William Wallace ; 

by Blind Harry, ... 83 

Robert Henryson, ... 87 

■ 'j Prologue to his Fables, 90 

— __— 1 — Wolf and Lamb, . 94 

— — Dog, Wolf, and Sheep, 100 

Twa Mice, . . 107 

■ Robene and Makyne, . 115 

Tejlametit of Crejfeid, 1 57 

9 Bludy Serk, . . 178 

1 Abbay Walk, . . 183 

Refining betwixt Aige and 

Touth, . . . . 186 

Peblis to the Play, . . . • . 129 

Sir Penny, or the Power of Money, . 139 

How a Merchant betray' 'd his Wife, . 

Bala d« 




Bulade of Contradictions, . . 

The Three Deid Powis, . ... 

Perell of Paramours ; by Mersar, . 

Ballade again/I deceitful women, . • 

Ballade againjl the times, 

The Murnifig Maidin, . « - 

William Dunbar, * 

'/ Three Married Women and 





I 9 L 

l 95 




Twa Cummers, 
Dirige to the King {James IV.') 234 
Defired to become a Friar, 240 
Wowing of the King at Dun- 




Ty dings fra the Seffioun, 

— — . Solicitors at Court, 
Golden Terge, . 

Thijlle and Rofe, 

— — Aganis the Solijlars at Court 
Dance in the ^hteen's chamber, 275 

Upon James Doig, wardrobe 

. . 278 

Upon the fame, 

To the King, . 

The Dance, 

nil The Sweirers and the Devil, 

Tejlament of Walter Kennedy, 296 

Fenyet Fryar of Tungland, 304 

Dream of the Abbot of Tung. 

3 I 3 
1 ■ ■ Addrefs to the King, 315 

Prayer that the King were 

John Thomfouti's man, , . 322 




■■■ ■ Lament for the death of the 

Makars, .... 325 

On the War Id's Injlabilitie, 333 

Lament to the King, . 339 

1 Advice to fpend ane's awngudes, 342 

— — — — Ane his awn Enemy, 345 

Quintyne Schaw's Advice to a Courtier, 347 

Kennedy and Dunbar's Fly ting, 1 . 350 

M.y Gudame was a gay Wife, . . 358 

Simmie and his Brother, . . 360 

Kennedy's Inve&ive againji Mouth-thanklefs, 363 

Praife of Aige, . . 365 

Clerk's Advice to Luvars, . . 368 

- Brafh of Wooing, . . 370 

Sir James Inglis's General Satire, . 373 

Gawin Douglas's Pa/ice of Honour, , 385 

. Winter Piece, , 427 

■ Defcription of May, . 433 

■ Strength and lncommodities of 

Lufe, . . . . 445 

■ 1 Satyre on the Tymes, . 451 

-. 1 Extracl from his Eneid, 459 




P. 7. 1. 6. read " Orygynale." 

P. 166. 1. 6. read « Infelicite." 

P. 167. 1. 24. read «• Crefeide." 

P. 168. 1. 21. read " grofe." 

P. 453. 1. 12. read, as in the MS. u at the gangat 
all for gate woll j" or, accordingto the editions, " and 
thay gang at.'* ' 



JL he purpofe of the following Volumes is to prefent a 
more compleat collection of the antient mifcellaneous 
Poetry of Scotland than has hitherto appeared ; and, 
by arranging it chronologically, or according to the 
order of time, to exhibit the progrefs of the Scottifh 
language. This defign might have been compleated 
in two volumes of moderate fize ; but it foon appear- 
ed that three fuch volumes would contain not only all 
that was valuable in our mifcellaneous poetry, but 
fpecimens of the larger works from the moil antient 
production of the Scottifh Mufe to the Union of the 
Crowns in 1603, when the belt Poets began to write 
in the fame dialect with their Southern neighbours. 
An enlarged plan was therefore adopted, and the ori- 
ginal defign, it is hoped, thereby confiderably im- 

The greater part of the antient Scottifh poetry, of 
a mifcellaneous nature, has been handed down to mo- 
dern times in two large manufcript volumes ; one of 
them known by the name of the Maitland ; the other 
by that of the Bannatyne Manufcript. The mod va* 
luable articles in the former were communicated to 


( * ) 

the public by Mr Pinkerton in two vols. 1786; to- 
gether with an excellent biographical lift of Scottifli 
poets. Of George Bannatjne, the compiler of the other 
Manufcript (1568) nothing appears upon record, ex- 
cept that, according to Mr Tjtler, he was one of the 
canons of the cathedral of Murray. The firlt page of 
the book bears, in an old hand, the name of " 'Jacobus 
Foulis, 1623." — that is, I prefume, Sir James Foulis 
of Collington ; whofe brother, George Foulis of Ra- 
vilftone, in 1601 married Jonet Bannatjne, proba- 
bly a daughter or niece of the compiler of the Manu- 
fcript; which, through this connection, may have 
come into the pofleffion of the family of Foulis. In 
1 7 12, Sir William Foulis " gifted it" to William 
Carmichael, advocate, of the Hyndford family ; and 
in 1772, his fon, John Earl of Hyndford prefented it 
to the Advocates' Library of Edinburgh, where it 
now remains* 

The perfon who firft perceived the value of this 
Mifcellany was Allan Ramfay, who in 1724 publifh- 
ed a felection from it under the title of The Ever- 
green. But in that feleclion, the antient language and 
antient manners of his country were but fecondary 
obje£ls with the Editor ; and accordingly his tran- 
fcripts being not only incorrect, but fometimes un- 
faithful, Lord Hailes, in 1770, publiflied in a more 
accurate manner, fiom the fame Manufcript, another 
fele&ion, under the title of " Antient Poems." Both 
thefe publications are now force, and the Editor of 
the prefent collection has been led to think that a new 
Edition of them on the above plan might be accepta- 
ble to the Public. 


( xi ) 

Besides the poems in the publications of -Allan 
Ramfay and Lord Hailes, the lovers of antient poetry 
are now accommodated with a better edition of the 
Works of Sir David Lindfay than has been given to 
the public for thefe two hundred years They will 
likewife find thofe of Alexander Hume of Polwarth, 
'James VI. and many other poems not to be had in 
any fimilar mifcellany. For compleating the Works 
of Dunbar, and for many of the moft valuable articles 
in this chronological feries, the Editor is indebted to 
the Maitland and other collections of Mr Pinkerton, 
who has contributed, in an eminent degree, to excite 
a fpirit of refearch into the antient monuments of 
Scottifh literature; and whofe name, as an hiftorian, 
promifes to defcend to polterity with thofe of Hailes 
and Robertfon, 

The Editor makes no pretenfions to a talent for 
critic il difquifition . neither does he conceive it allow- 
able in any flier of* antient poems to anticipate 
the reader, and by officious and premature obferva- 
tions to deprive him of the pleafure of judging for him- 
felf. All that the nature of his plan requires, is to 
flate in a concile manner the circumftances upon 
which he has formed his judgment with refpect to the 
sera and author of any particular poem, in cafes of 
comparative uncertainty. If, in his attempts to af- 
certain thefe, -t (hall be found that he has not often 
erred ; that he has not omitted any known poem 
which in a peculiar degiee throws light on the (late 
of the language, manners, or t fie of the times, he 
prefumes the chief object of his compilation has been 
attained. From fome late publications, he might in- 

( xii ) 

fieed have added one or two pieces to thofe under the 
reign of James VI. but the merit of thefe pieces 
would not have compenfated for the increafed fize 
and price of the work. 

In a few inftances, fuch as the allegories of the 
Cherry and Slae, Hou/at, at d Palice of Honour^ it 
was found impoffible to print the poems at full 
length, without greatly exceeding the prefcnbed li- 
mits : while, on the other band, the entire omifiion 
of fuch remarkable compofitions would have been 
confidered as a great impeife&ion. It was therefore 
judged expedient to adopt a middle courfe, by omit- 
ting digreffions and redundant pafTages, fo as not ma- 
terially to injure the general fcope or defign of the 
compofition. This, it mud be confefled, is a talk of 
no fmall delicacy ; and punctilious critics will proba- 
bly condemn it as an unwarrantable liberty, which 
upon no occafion ought to be taken. To this the E- 
ditor has to anfwer, that fuch liberties have been ta- 
ken but feldom ; and chiefly with poems of the alle- 
gorical kind: that the alternative was curtailment 
or total rej«£ion ; and that, upon the whole, a judi- 
cious abridgement feemed preferable to mutilated 
quotations. How far he has performed this part of 
his talk with discretion, muft be decided by the pub- 
lic. Perhaps the generality of readers will be of opi- 
nion that the pieces alluded to are ftill fufficiently 
long. u Let us, for a moment," i^fays the late inge- 
nious Mr Headly, on a fimilar occafion,) " recollect 
the fate of Cowley. As the unnatural relilh for tin- 
fel and metaphyfical conceit declined, his bays gradu- 
ally loft their verdure : He was no longer to be found 

( xiii ) 

In the hands of the multitude, and untouched even in 
the clofets of the curious ; — in fliort, the fhades of 
oblivion gathered faff upon him. In confequence, 
however, of an edition in which the mod exceptiona- 
ble parts, (which had operated like a millftone, and 
funk the reft,) were omitted, he has now a dozen 
readers, where before he had fcarce one." If fuch 
be not alfo the fortune of the Cherry and Slae, the 
talk of abridgment has fallen into improper hands. 

In thefe inftances only, or in thofe of palpable mif- 
take, has any liberty been taken with the text of the 
authors. At the fame time, all pofllble regard has 
been had to accuracy j the merit of a work of this 
nature confifting chiefly perhaps in its fidelity. Ano- 
ther principal recommendation, being a moderate 
price, the publiHier of thefe volumes has not thought 
it neceCWy to print them ypdn a fuperfine wire-wove 
hot-preffed paper. He believes, that Sir David Liud- 
fay, " were he now on lyve," would be as well re- 
ceived in a plain fuit of home-fpun gray, as in the 
fuperb mantle of Lyon king at arms. 

The. earlieft production of the Scottish Mufe extant, 
is faid to be a voluminous romance called Sir Triftram, 
by Thomas of Ercildon, or Earlllon, who flourished in 
the reign of Alexander the Third, or towards the 
conclufion of the thirteenth century. A copy of this 
woik, belonging to the Advocates Libr. Edinb. has 
for fome years been in the hands of a gentleman of 
the faculty, who propofes to faV«ur the world with 
an edition of it in due time. If it fhall appear to be 
a genuine "Scottiih produclion of that early period, the 


( xlv ) 

purchafers of this compilation will be fupplied wit% 
a f< w phages as a fpecim$n ; without which, they 
Haig Qt conlider the prefent chronological feries as in- 
compifat. It is reported, however, that the ortho- 
graphy is more modern than that of the Adventures 
of Si' Gavoane ; a fpeeimen of which is fubjoined to 
this preface. 

The publiiher cannot conclude without acknow- 
ledging his obligati >n to Mr George Paton for the ufe 
of tome of the ra' eft volumes which he had occafion 
to confult. The lberaliiy with which this Gentle- 
man communicates his valuable Library, has been 
felt with gratitude by all who have undertaken to e- 
lucidate the aitient hiftory or literature of Scotland. 

For fome othei observations connected with the 
fqbjeft i I thi rdkimea, the reader is referred to the 
pieiace to the Gloffary. 




DAVID II. 134I 1371. 

Androw of Wynton, in 1420, mentions a poet of thi 
ttame of Huchown, (or Hugh,) of the Awle Ryale, 

That cunnand we* in literature, 

He made the gret Gejl of Arthur e % 

And the Awntyre of Guwane ; 

The Piftil als of $wete Sufane. 

He wes curyws in his flyle ; 

Fair of Facund, and fabtile ; 

And ay to plefans of dely te, 

Made in meter meit his dyte. . . 

Of Arthowris gret douchtynes, 
Hys wyrfchype and hys prys pro wes. 
Quhare he and hys rownd tabyl qwyte, 
Wes undone and difcomfyte. 
Huchown lies tretyd curyowflj'-, 
In Geji of Broyttys auld ftory. 
But of his dede and his laft end, 
I fand na wryt couth make that kend. 
Syn I fand nane that thareof ivrate, 
I wyll fay na mare than I wate. 

Apparently this is not the manner in which one would 
fpeak of a cotemporary. On the contrary, we may 
prefume from this pajfage, that Huchown had been 
dead before Wynton began to collebl materials for 
his hiflory, or even before he had arrived at the age 
•f manhood \ which mujl have been about 1375. If fo t 



the great Geft of Broyttys, which in all probability com- 
prehended the adventures of Sir Gawane, may have been 
written early in the fourteenth century ; or, at the lat- 
efl, during the reign of David the Second ; that is be 
tween the years 1341 and 1371. 

A Work f fuch magnitude , and of fo popular a na- 
ture , could not eajily be Irjl. B'rt, of all the romances or 
fragments which have hitherto been difcovered upon that 
fubjeil, there are none which bear fuch evident marks 
of antiquity, and at the fame time have fo much the ap- 
pearance of belonging to fome great work as the two po- 
ems publifhed by Mr Piiikerton, undtr the titles of ;>ir 
Gawane and Sir Galai on, and Gawane and Gologras, 
in his colleclion of " Reprinted Poems, 1792." So un- 
couth is their fly le, (fays Mr. P. ) that they prefent dif. 
fcultiesfuffiient to puzzle the mcfl fkilful commentator, 
or etymologijl." Hence it feems not improbable that thefe 
romances may be fragments of Huchown's " Gret geft 
of Arthur *," or at leafl that they may be co-eval with 
it. There is alfo room for a conjeBure that HlJchown 
(Hugh') miy be the chrijlian name of Clerk of Tra- 

u That made- the overtures of S'r Gawane." 

Dunbar's Lament. 
Or Huchown may be the fame with Sir Hew cf Eglin- 
ton, mentioned in the fame Lament ; in either of which 
cafes, or until fome evidence appear to the contrary, the 
Geft of Arthur may be confdered as a Scottifh 
compofttion, of which Sir Gawane and Sir Galaron is a 
fragment. As fuch, I fhall here infer t a fpecimen, affum- 
ing for its era the reign of David the Second ; although 
the extreme rudenefs of the language might warrant us 
to place it aimofl a century farther back. Upon a flricl 
comparifon', Holland's allegory of The Houlat appears 
conftderably more intelligible ; a circumflance of which 

I was 

©AVID II. 134T — I37I. *V1Z 

1 was not fully aware when the abftratl of that poem, 
{page 62.) was in the prefs. 

It is fcarcely necejf.iry to mention, that Gaynor, or 
Guenever, ivas the wife of King Arthur ; and Sir 
Gawajne, one of the mojl famous knights of the round ta- 
ble. Upon a great hunting expedition, while Mr Gawayne 
is feparated from the rejl of the company, the Ghojl of 
Guenever's mother is reprefented as appearing to him in 
the following manner : 

. I. 

In the tyme of Arthur, an aunter betyddc, 

By the Turnewathelan, as the boke telles ; 

Whan he to Carlele was comen, and conqueror kydd, 

With Dukes and Duffiperes, that with the dere dwelles. 

To hunt at the herdes, that longe had ben hydde, 

On a day thei hem deight to the depe delles j 

To fall of the feniailes in foreft and frydde, 

Fayre by the Firmyfthamis, in frithes and felles. 

Thus to wode arn thei went, the wlonkeft ia wedes, 

Both the Kyng 4 and the Quene : 

And all the doucht; by dene; ( 

Sir Gawayn, gayeft on grene, 

Dame Gaynour he ledes. 

Thus Schir Gawayn, the gay, Gaynour he ledes, 
In a gleterand gide, that glemed full gay, 
With riche ribaynes reidfett, ho fo right redes, 
Rayled with rybees of rial aray. 
Her hode of a herde huwe, that her hede hedes, 
Of pillour, of palwerk, of perre to pay ; 

c Schurde 


Schurde in a fhort cloke, that the rayne fhedesy 

Set over with faffres, fothely to fay. 

With faffres, and fcladynes, fet by the fides. 

Here fadel fette of that ilke, 

Sande with fambutes of filke. 

On a mule whyte as the mylke, 

Gaili flie glides. 

Al in gleterand golde gayly ho glides 
The gates, with Sir Gawayn, bi the grene welle. 
And that barne, on his blonke, with the Quene bides; 
Th.-.t borne was in borgoyne, by boke and by belle. 
He ladde that ladye fo long by the lawe fides, 
Under a lone they light lore by a felle. 
And Arthur, with his Erles, erneftly rides, 
To teche hem to her triftres, the troutlie for to tell. 
To her triftres he hem taught, ho the trouth troweSj, 
Eche lord, withouten lette, 
To an oke he hem fette ; 
With bowe, and with barfelette, 
Under the bowes. 

Under the bowes thei bode, thes barnes fo bolde, 
To byker at thes baraynes, in boukes fo bare. 
There might hatheles in high herdes beholde ; 
Herken huntyng in haft, in holtes fo hare. 
Thei keft of here couples, in cliffes fo colde, 
Conforte her kenettes, to hele hem of care ; 
Thei fel of the femayles ful thik folde : 
With frefch houndes, and fele, thei folowen her fayre. 
With gret queftes, and quelles, 
Both in frith and felles, 
All the deeren in the delles 
Thei durken, and dare. 

©AVID II. T34I — 1371. «lS 


Thei durken the dere, in the dyme fkuwes, 

That, for drede of the deth, droupis the do. 

Thai werray the wylde fwyne, and worchen hem w». 

The huntis thei hallow, in hurftis and huwes ; 

And bluwe rechas ryally thei ran to the ro ; 

They gef to no gamen, that on grounde gruwes : 

The grete grendes, in the grenes, fo gladly thei jjo. 

So gladly thei gon, in greves fo grene. 

The King blew rechas ; 

And folowed fafl on the tras ; 

With many fergeant of mas, 

That folas to fene. 

With folas thei femble, the pruddeft in palle, 
And fuwen to the foveraine, within fchaghes fchene, 
Al but Schir Gawayn, gayeft of all, 
Belenes with Dame Gaynour in greves fo grene. 
Under a lorer ho was light, that lady fo fmall, 
Of box, and of berber, bigged ful bene. 
Fall byfore undre this ferly con fall, 
And this mekel mervaile, that I ihal of menc 
Now wol I of this mervaile mene, if I mote. 
The day wex als dirke, 
As hit were mydnight myrke ; 
Thereof the King was irke j 
And light on his fote. 


Thus to fote ar thei faren, thes frekes unfayn, 

And fleen fro the forefl to the fewe felles ; 

For the fuetand fuawe fuartly hem fuelles. 

There come a Lede of the Lawe, in londe is not to 

And glides to Schir Gawayne, the gates to gayne ; 
Yauland, and yomerand, with many loude yelles, 
Hit yaules, hit yamers, with waymyng wete, 



And feid, with liking fare, 
" I ban the body me bare !. 
** Alas now kmdeles my care ! 
" I gloppe, and 1 grete:" 


Then gloppenet, and grete, Gaynour the gay, 
And feid to Sir Gawen, '« What is thi good rede ?'* 
tc Hit ar the clippes of the fon, I herd a clerk fay." 
And thus he confortes the Quene for his knighthede. 
" bchir Cadoir, bchir Clegor, bchir Coftandyne, Schir, 

" Thes knyghtes arn curtays, by croffe . and by crede, 
" That thus oonly have me laft on my deythe day, 
** With the griuelift Gooft, that ever herd I grede." 

* Of the goo<t,' quod the grome, ' greve you no mare* 
c For I flial fpeke with the fprete, 

* And of the wayes I m\\ wete, 
' What may the bales bete, 

« Of the bodi bare.* 

Bare was the body, and blak to the bone, 
Al biclagged in clay, uucomly cladde. 
Hit waried, hit wayment, as a woman ; 
But on hide, ne on huwe, no heling hit hadde. 
Hit (lemered ; hit ftonayde ; hit ftode as a (tone : 
Hit marred ; hit memered ; hit mufed for madde* 
Agayn the gr fly Gooft Schir Gawayn is gone ; 
He rayked out at a res, for was never drad J 
Drad wa he never, ho fo right redes. 
On the chef of the cholle, 
A pade pk on the polle ; 
With eighen hoiked full holle, 
That gloed as the gledes. 

Al glowed as a glede, the gofte there ho glides, 
Unbeclipped him, with a cloude of cleyng unclere, 



Skeled with ferpentes, all aboute the fides ; 

To tell the todes theron my tongue wer full tere. 

The barne braide9 out t.he bronde, and the body bides, 

Therefor the chevalrous knight changed no chere. 

The houndes highen to the wode, and her hede hides, 

For the grifly good m>de a grym bere : 

The grete greundes wer agail of the grym bere, 

The birdes in the bowes, 

That on the gooft glowes, 

Thai fkryke in the fkowes, 

That hatheles may here. 

Hathelefe might here fo fer into halle, 
How chatered the cholle, the chalous on the eliyne, 
Then comred the Knight, on Crift can he calle, 
4 As thou was crucifized on croys, to clanfe us of fyn, 

* That thou fei me tne fothe, whether thou fhalle, 

* And whi thou walkeft thes wayes the wodes within? 
** I was of figure, and face, fairtft of alle ; 

" Criflehed, and knowen, with King in my kyne j 
" 1 have King in my kyn knowen for kene. 
" God has me geven of his grace, 
f* Fo dre my paynes in this place. 
i( I am comen, in this cace, 
?' To fpeke with your Quenc. 
'* Quene was T fomwile, brighter of browes, 
" Then Berell, or Drangwayn, thes burdes fo bolde ; 
" Of al gamen, or gle, that on grounde growes ; 
" Gretter than Dame Gaynour. of garfon, and golde, 
*' Of palacis, of parkis, of pondis, of plowes ; 
«' Of townis, of touris, of treflbur untolde ; 
" Of callellis, of contreyes, of craggis, of clowes. 
" Now am I caught out of kide to cares' fo colde : 
" Into cave am I caught, and couched in clay. 
V Se, Schir curtays Knight, 

« How 


«' How dolfulle deth has me dight, 
" Lete me onys have a fight 
P Of Gajnour the gay." 

After Gaynour, the gay, Schir Gawayn is gon, 
And to- the body he hes brought, and to the burd$ 

*■' Welcome Waynour ! I wis worthi in won. 
li Lo how delfal deth has thi Dame dight ! 
" I was radder of rode then rofe in the ron ; 
€i My lever, as the lele, lonched on hight. 
" Now am I a gracelefs gaft ; and grifly I gron, 
" With Lucyfer, in a lake, logh am I light. 
c; Take truly tent right nowe by me $ 
Ci For al thi frefch favoure 
*•' Mufe on my mirrour. 
" For King, and Emperour, 
V Thus fhal ye be. 

w Thus deth wil you dight, thare you not doute ; 
" Thereon hertly take hede, while thou art here. 
te Whan thou art richefl; araied, and richeft in thi route, 
u Have pite on the poer, thou art of power. 
" Barnis, and burdis, that ben ye aboute, 
" When thi body is bamed, and brought on a ber, 
" Then lite wyn the light, that now will the loute ; 
u For then the helpes nothing, but holy praier. 
" The praier of poer may purchas the pes : 
u Of that thou yeves at the yete, 
" When thou art fet in thi fete, 
" With all merthis at mete, 
" And dayntes on des. 

" With riche dayntes on des thi drotes art dight ; 
** And I, in danger and doel, in donjon I dwelle ; 
M Naxte, and nedeful, naked on night ; 

«* Ther 

&avid ii. I34 1 — 1 31 t ' axUv 

** Ther folo me a ferde of fendes of helle. 

" They hurle me unhendeley, thai harme me in hight^ 

■* In bras, and in brymfton, I bren as a belle, 

" Was never wrought in this world a wofuller wight. 

** Hit were ful tore any tonge my torment to telle.* 

" Nowc wil I of my torment teL or I go, 

" Thenk hertly on this, 

■* Fonde to mende thi mys. 

" Thou art warned I wys. 

" Bewar be my wo !" 

' Wo is me for thi wo !' quod Waynour, * I wys.* 
' But one thing wold I wite, if thi wil ware. 
' If anyes matens, or mas, might mende thi mys, 
' Or eny meble on molde ; my merthe were the mard 
' If bedis of bifhoppis might bring the to bliffe ; 

* Or coventes in cloiftre might kere the of care. 

* If thou be my moder, grete wonder hit is 

' Thai al thi burly body is, brought to be fo bare.' 

" I bare the of ray body ; what bote is hit I layn? 

" I brak a folempne vow, 

P And no man will hit, but thowe ; 

'* By that token thou trowe 

Si That fothely I fayn." 

4 Say fothely what may ye faven, I wys ; 

* And I fhal make fere men to fingc for thi fake. 
' But the baleful beftis that on thi body is ! 

' Al bledes my ble, thi bones arne fo blake.' 
" That is luf paramour, liftis, and delites, 
«' That has me light, and laft logh in a lake. 
4i Al the welth of the world, that awey wites, 
" With the wilde wermis that worche me wrake. 
" Wrake thei me worchen, Waynour, I wys ! 
*• Were thritty trentales don, 
" Bytwene under and non, 



/' Mi foule focoured with fon, 
" And brought to* the bljs." 

« To blifle bring the the barn e, that bought the on rode ! 
' That was crucifiged on croys and crouned with thorne. 
, e As you was criftened, and crefomed, with candle and 
' Folowed in fouteftone, on frely byforne. 
« Mary the mighti, myldeft of mode, 
' Of whom the blisful barne in Bedlem was borne, 

* Geve me grace that 1 may grete ye with gode ; 

* And mynge ye with matens, and mafles on morne.' 
<k To mende us with mafles grete myfter hit were. 

" For him that ret! on the rode, 
" Gyf faft of thi goode 
<c To folk that fallen the fode, 
" While thou art here." 


* Here hertly my honde. th^s heftes to holde, 

* With a myllion of mafles to make the mynyng. 

' A !' quod Waynour, ' 1 wys yit weten I wolde, 

* What wrathed God moll at thi weting ?' 

<( Pride, with the appurtenance ; as prophets toldc 

c< Bifore the peple, apt in her preching. 

u Hit beres bowes bitter, therof be thou bolde, 

" That mak barnes fo bly to breke his bidding ; 

" But ho his bidding brek, bare thei ben of blys. 

«* But thei be falved of that fare, 

*,* Er thei hepen fare, 

" They mon weten of care, 

u Waynour, I wys." 


* Wyfle me,' qirod Waynour, ' fom wey, if thou woft, 

* What bedis might me bed to the blifle bring.' 

" MekenefTe, and mercy, thes arn the mooft. [king. 
M And fithen have pite" on the poer : that plefes heven 

" Si then 

DAVID II. I34I — 1371. XXV 

f Sithen charite is chef, and then is chafte ; 

41 And then almelTe dede cure al thing. 

*' Thes arn the graceful giftes of the Holy Gofle, 

" That enfpires iche fprete, withoute fpeling. 

!' Of this fpiritual thing fpute thou no mare. 

" Als thou art Quene in thi quert, 

" Hold thes wordes in hert. 

'? Thou fhal leve but a ftert : 

H Hethen ihal thou fare." 


* How Ihal we fare/ quod the Freke, * that fonden to 

• fight, 
' And thus defoulen the folke, on fele king londes, 

* And riches over reymes, withoutten eny right, 

* Wynnen worfhipp in werre, thprgh wightnefle of 

« hondes?' 
f Your King is covetous, I warne the, Schir Knight. 
{' May no man flry him with Itrength, while his whele 

" ftondes. 
*f "VJThan he is in his magefte, mood in his might, 
" He fhal light ful lowe en the fe fondes. 
c< And this chivalrous knight chef fhal thorgh chaunce 
" Falfely fordone in fight, 
" With a wonderful wight, 
*' Shal make lordes to light ; 
" Take witneffe by Fraunce. 

te Fraunce hath haf the frely with your fight wonnen j 
" Freol, and his folke, fey ar they leved. 
" Bretayne, and Burgoyne, al to you bowen, 
u And all the Duffiperes of Fraunce with your dyn 

" deved. 
" Gyan may grete the werre was bigonnen ; 
*' There ar no lordes onlyve in that londe leved. 
" Yet fhal the riche remayns with one be overronen, 
u . And with the Rounde Table the rentes be reved. 

d « Thus 


" Thus fhal a Tyber untrue tymber with terie. 
<f Gete the Schir Gawayn, 
u Turne the to Tufkayn, 
* f For ye fhal lefe Bretayn 
w With a King kene. 

" This Knight fhal be clanly enclofed with a crowne j 
" And at Carlele fhal that comly be crowned as King* 
*' A fege fhal he feche with a feffioun, 
" That myche baret, and bale, to Bretayn fhal bring* 
" Hit fhal in Tufkayn be tolde of the trefoun, 
" And ye fhullen turne ayen for the tything. 
" Ther fhal the Rounde Table lefe the renoune, 
w Befide Ramfey ful rad, at a riding, 
*' In Dorfetfhire fhal dy the doughtefl of alle. 
*' Gete the Schir Gawayn, 
" The boldeft of Bretayn ; 
" In a flake thou fhal be flayne. 
" Sich ferlyes fhul falle ! 

€i Such ferlies fliul fal, withoute eny fable, 
'* Uppon Cornewayle cooft, with a knight kene, 
" Schir Arthur the honeft, avenant, and able, 
w He fhal be wounded, I wys, woyeley I wene. 
" And al the rial rowte of the Rounde Table, 
" Thei fhullen dye on a day, the doughty bydene. 
*' Supprifit with a furget, he beris hit in fable, 
«' With a fauter engreled, of filver full fhene : - 
" He beris hit of fable, fothely to fay. 
" In riche Anhures halle, 
«' The barne playes at the balle, 
'« That ontray fhal you alle, 
" Delfully that day. 

" Have gode day Gaynour, and Gawayn the gode ; 
il I have no lenger to me tidinges to telle. 

« I mote 

JSavid ii. 134* — I 37 I - xtvit 

ic I mote walke on my wey, thorgh this wilde wode, 

u In my wonyng-ftid, in wo for to dwelle. 

" Fore him, that right wisly rofe, and reft on the rode, 

" Thenke on the danger, that I yn dwell. 

" Fede folke, for my fake, that failen the fode ; 

f< And menge me with matens, and maffes in melle. 

" Maffes arn medecynes, to us that bale bides. 

" Us thenke a maffe as fwete, 

" As eny fpice that ever ye yete." 

With a grifly grete, 

The gofte away glides. 


With a grifly grete the gofte awey glides ; 

And goes, with gronyng fore, thorgh the greves grene. 

The wyndes, the weders, the welken unhides ; 

Then unclofed the cloudes, the fon con fliene. 

The King his bugle has blowen, and on the bent bides, 

His fare folke in the frith thei flokken bydene. 

And al the rial route to the Quene rides. 

She fayis hem the felcouthes, that thai hadde yfeene : 

The wife of the weder forwondred they were. 

Prince proudeft in palle, 

Dame Gaynour, and alle, 

Went to Rondoles halle, 

To the fuppere. 

Here are many words and phrafes which fcem to belong rather to 
the beginning than the middle of the fourteenth century ; as bo and bet, 
for fie ; ber for their ; hem for tbem ; none of which can be faid to have 
Been introduced for the fake of alliteration. Neither is it probable that 
they have been fo written in imitation of antient language. The fol- 
lowing lines from the Chronicle of Robert of Brunne, who wrote be- 
tween 1303 and 1338, will enable the reader to form forue conjedure 
with refpeel to the antiquity of Sir Caxvane; 

Gude it is for many thynges 
For to here the dedes of kyuges, 



Whilk were folcs, and whilk were wyfe, 

And whilk of tham couth moll quantyfe ; 

And whilk did wrong, and whilk ryght, 

And whilk mayntened pes and fyght. 

Of thare dedes fall be mifawe, 

In what time, and of what law. . . . 

Fro Brutus to Cadwe lad-res, 

The laft Briton that the land lees, 

All that kind and all the frute, 

That come of Brutus, that, is the Brute, 

After the Bretons, the Inglis cameo, 

The lordfehip of this land that namen, 

When thai firft among the Bretons, 

That now are Inglis, than were Saxons. . . • 

I mad noght for no difours, 

Ne for feggers, no harpours, 

But for the luf of fymple men, 

That ftrange Inglis cannot ken : 

For many it ere that ftrange Inglis, 

In ryme wate never what it is. . . . 

I fee in fong in fedgeyng tale, 

Of Erceldone and Kendale, 

Non tham fays as thai them wroght, 

And in ther laying it femes noght, 

That may thou hete in Sir Trijltem; 

Over geftes it has the fteem, 

Over all that is or was, 

If men it fayd as made Thomas. 

Thay fayd in fo quaynte Inglis, 

That manyone wate not what it i». 

And forfooth I couth nought 

So ftrange Inglis as thai wroght. . . . 

Thefe verfes are not fo obfolete as to be unintelligible ; but in the 
Aumture of Sir Ga-wayn, there are not a few words, and even whole 
lines, which I am unable to explain. Perhaps it ought to have been 
placed before the year 13*0, or under the reign of Alexander III. 





ROBERT II. 137 1— 1390. 

$fbe earliejl fpecimen of the language of the Scottijh Low* 
lands, fo far as hitherto has appeared, is an elegiac 
fonnet on the death of Alexander III. 1285 ,• which 
the reader ivillfnd in the preface to the Gloffury ; and 
it is well worthy of particular attention. But the fir Jl 
genuine work of importance is the Life OF Bruce by 
John Barbour, archdeacon of Aberdeen, who feems 
to have been born about 1326 ; compofed his hifiory in 
1375 ; and died in 1396. "the only edition in which 
the antient orthography is preferved, is that of Mr 
Pinkerton, 1790 ,• printed from a manufcript of 
1489. From that edition the following fpecimen is 


VJuhen the gud King gan thaim le, 
Befor him fwa afjgnjbj^t be, 
Blythjind glad, that thair fayis war 
Rabutjt aponj fccjngijer ; 
A litill quhill he held hyrajlill ; 
Syl^lon^hjsjy^fs ^ e &"* h ys w ^* 

" Lordings, we aucht to loye jand l uff— *N> 
Si Almychty God, that fitts abuff, 

Vol. I. A «. Thrt 


" That fends us fa fayr beginnyng. 

" It is a gret difcomforting 

" Till our fayis, that on this wyfs 

" Sa fone has bene rabutyt twifs. 

f* For quhen thai off thair oft fall her ? 

f* And knaw futhly on quint manner 

t* Thair waward, that wes fa ltout ; 

** And fjne yone othyr joly rout, 

P That I trow off the beft men war 

C( That thai mycht get amang thaim thai 

f* War rabuty t fa fedanly ; 

** I trow, and knawis it fail clerly, 

c( That mony a hart fall waverand be, 

f That femyt er off gret bonnte. 

f And, fra the hart be difcumfyt, 

" The body is not worth a myt. 

u Tharfor I trow that gud ending 

" Sail folow till out begynnyng. 

■* And quheyr I fay not this yow till, 

f For that ye fuld folow my will 

<* To fycht : bot in yow all fall be. 

il For gift yow thinks fpeidfull that we. 

" Fecht ; we fall : and, giff ye will, 

« ( We leve, your liking to fulfill. 

*' I fall confent, on ali kyn wyfs, 

" To do, rycht as ye will dewyfs. 

" Tharfor fiyis off your will planly.'' 

And with a voce than gan thai cry : 

* Gud King ! forowtyn mar delay, 

* To morne slfone as ye fe day, 

* Ordane yow hale for the bataill ; 

« For doute of dede we fall not faill. 

* Na, na payn fall refufyt be, 

« Qnhill we haiff maid our countre fre !* 

Quhen the King had hard fa manlily 
Thai fpak to fechting, and fa hardely, 

ROBERT II. I37I I39O. 3 

In hart gret glaidfchaip gan he ta. 

And faid, " Lordings, fen ye will fua, 

" Schaip we us tharfor in the mornyng, 

" Swa that we, be the fone ryfing, 

" HafF herd mefs , and bufkyt weill 

<l Ilk man intill hys awn efchell, 

tl Without the pailyownys, arayit 

** In bataillis, with baners difplayit. 

" And luk ye na wyfs brek aray. 

** And, as ye luff me, I yow pray 

4i That ilk man for hys awne honour, 

" Purway hym a gud baneour. 

" And, quhen it cumys to the fycht, 

" Ilk man fet hart, will, and mycht, 

•* To ftynt our fayis' mekill prid. 

** On horfs thai will arayit rid ; 

" And cum on yow in full gret hy. 

u Mete thaim with fpers hardely. 

" And think than on the meikill ill, 

u , That thai and thairs has done us till ; 

" And ar in will yeit for to do, 

" Giff thai hafs mycht to cum tharto. 

" And certs me think weill that ye 

*' Forowt abayfing aucht to be 

" Worthy, and off gret waffelags. 

" For we haiff thre gret awantags. 

*' The fyrft is, that we haiff the rycht ; 

u And for the rycht ay God will fycht. 

M The tothyr is, that thai cummyn ar, 

" For lyppynnyng off their gret powar, 

<{ To fek us in our awne land ; 

" And has broucht her, rycht till our hand, 

" Ryches into fa gret quantite, 

'* That the powered off yow fall be 

<( Bath ryche, and mychty tharwithall, 

" Giff that we wyne, as "Weill may fall. 

<« The 


u The thred is, that we for our lyvys, 

*' And for our childre, and for our wywis, 

" And for owr fredome, and for our land, 

•* As ftrenyeit into bataill Hand. 

" And thai, for thair mycht anerly, 

" And for thai lat off us leychtly, 

*' And for thai wald deftroy us all, 

11 Maifs thaim to fycht : bot yeit may fall 

* That thai fall rew thair barganyng. 

** And certs I warne yow off a thing 

*' That happyn thaim, as God forbed 

" That deyt on roid for mankyn heid ! 

" That thai wyn us cpynly, 

" Thai fall off us haf na mercy. 

*' And, fen we knaw thair feloun will, 

*• Methink it fuld accord to fkill, 

,{ To fet ftoutnes agayne felony ; 

u And mak fa gat a juperty. 

*' Quharfor I yow requer, and pray, 

" That with all your mycht, that you may, 

*• Ye prefs yow at the beguining, 

u Bot cowardyfs or abayfing, 

'* To mete thaim at thair fyrfl afiemble 

■' Sa ftoutly that the henmaift tremble. 

" And menys off your gret manheid, 

u Your worfchip, and your douchty dcid ; 

$ And off the joy that we abid, 

" Giff that us fall, as weill may tid. 

" Hap to wencufs this gret bataill. 

" In your handys without fayle 

" Yeber honour, price, and riches ; 

" Fiedome, welth, and blythnes ; 

•* Giff ye contene ye manlily. 

" And the contrar all halyly 

*' Sail fall, giff ye lat cowardyfs 

'* And wykkytnes yow fupprifs. 

<' Ye. 

ROBERT II. 1371 — 139a. 5 

(t Ye mycht haf lewyt into threldome. 
M Bot, for ye yarnyt till haff fredome, 
JP Ye ar affemblyt her with me. 
f Tharfor is nedfull that ye be 
M Worthy and wycht, but abayfing. 
f* And I warne yow weill off a thing ; 
" That mar meyfcheifF may fall us nane, 
" Than in thair handys to be tane : 
** For thai fuld flaw us I wate weill 
" Rycht as thai did my brothyr Nele. 
" Bot quhen I mene ofF your floutnes, 
'f And off the mony gret prowes, 
f That ye haf doyne fa wotthely ; 
" I traift, and trowis fekyrly, 
tf To have phme wiftour in this fycht. 
" For thouch our fayis haff mekill mycht, 
u Thai haf the wrang, and fuccudry, 
" And cowartyfs of fenyowry, 
" Amowys thaim forowtyn mor. 
" Na us thar dreid thaixri, bot befor ; 
H For ftrenth off this place, as ye fe, 
" Sail let us enweronyt to be. 
" And I pray yow als fpecially, 
" Bath mar and les commonaly, 
" That nane off yow for grcdynes 
" Haff ey to tak off thair ryches ; 
" Na prifoners for to ta ; 
M Quhill ye fe thaim contreryt fa, 
" That the feld anerly yowrs be. 
*' And than, at your liking, may ye, 
u Tak all the ryches that thar is. 
" Giff ye will wyrk apon this wyfs, 
" Ye fall haiff wiclour fekyrl) r . 
'* I wate not quhat mar fay fall I. 
" Bot all wate ye quhat honour is : 
" Contene thaim on fie awifs, 

" That 


** That your honour ay favyt be. 
" And Ik hycht her in leaute, 
" Giff ony deys in this bataille, 
" Hys ayr, but ward, releff, or taile, 
" On the fyrft day fall weld ; 
" All be he neuir fa young off eld. 
" Now makys yow redy for to fycht. 
" God help us, that is maift off uiycht ! 
" I rede armyt all nycht that we be, 
" Purwayit in bataill fwa, that we 
" To mete our fayis ay be boune." 
Than anfueryt thai all, with a foune, 
' As ye dewifs all fall be done.' 
Than till thair innys went thai fone ; 
And ordanyt thaim for the fechting. 
Syne affemblyt in the ewynyng, 
And fwa gat all the nycht bad thai, 
Till on the morn that it wes day *, 


* The event of the battle is well known. " On this occafion," 
fays Fabyan, " the Scottes made this ryme." 

Maydens of Englandc, fore may yc morne, 

For your lemmans ye have loft at Bannocky's Burne. 

With a heve a lowe. 
"What ! weneth the king of England 
So foon to have won Scotland ? 

With rumhy lowe ! 

JAMES I. 1405— 1437. 

[It is not known that any Poet Jiourijhed in Scot- 
land during the reign of Robert III. or regency 
of the Dukes of Albany , until about the year 
1420, when Andrew Winton, Prior of the 
Inch of Lechlevcn, compofed his orygnale 
cronykil of Scotland, from Fergus, fon of 
Eric, down to his oiun time. It was firjl pu~ 
blijhed in 1795, in two volumes, royal Bvo, 
The following Legend is a fufficient fpeci- 
men of hit language ; and, it is alfo a fpecimen 
of thofe ahfurd tales which ferved to amufe our 
anceflors in the earlier ages of Chriftianity.~\ 


V^uiien the thrid (Tope) John was dede, 

Sanct Serf fevyn yer helde that itede. 

He was of lif a haly man : 

The kyng's fon of Canaan. 

His fader's landes, of heritage, 

Fel til hym be cleyr lynage, 

And lauchful leil, befor al other, 

That gaf he till his yongar brother. 

All fvvylk. cumbyr he forfuyk ; 

And till haly lif hym tuke. 

God fende hym a fuet angelic 

To giff hym comfort and confell. 

And wyth the angel alfa fail 

Fyrft to # Alexandyre he pad. 



Tyl Conftantynopile fyne he come : 

And to the Cyte (fra thine) of Rome. 

Thar than vakyt the Popis fe : 

And chofyn fyne til it was he. 

Than governyt he that fevyn yere. 

And, quhen thai al ourpaffit wer, 

The angel that his lcdar was 

Syne hym behufit fra Rome to paffe : 

For God ordanyt nocht that he 

Langar in that lande fuld be ; 

Than, on a folempnyt day, 

Or he begouthe to talc his way^ 

He made a predicacion, 

And a folempne fair fermon, 

To the Romanys, that he gert cal 

Befor hym ; and thar at thaim all 

His leif he tuk, but mar delay : 

With thar bleffyng he paft his way. 

And with the angel apon chaunfe 

Fra theyne, throw the realme of Fraunfe j 

Straucht to the fee departande, 

Fra Fraunfe, the kynrik of Inglande. 

Schippen thar he gat reddy ; 

Withe hym a hundyr in company. 

In the fchippis he made entre : 

Syne tuk up fayl and helde the fe. 

Withe wynde at wil and furth he paft, 
In Forthe quhil thai come at the lait. 
And arryvit at Inch Keyth^ 
The ile betwix Kyngorne and Lcitb. 
Of Icolmkyl the abbot than, 
Sanft Adaman that holy man, 
Come til hym ; and thar fermly 
Tvlad fpirituale bandc of company. 


JAMES I. I405— 1437. 9 

And tretit hym to cum in Fyff, 

The tyme til dryf our of his liff. 

Than til Difart he his menyie, 

Of that confail, f urth fende he. 

Syne at Kynneil he come to lande : 

Thar our the watyr he kefl his wande, 

That fuddandly grew in a tre, 

And bare of appilis gret plente. 

And that ftede eftyr ay 

Morglas was callit mony day. 

Syne our the watyr, of purpofe, 

Of Forthe he paflit til Culrqffe. 

Thar he begouthe to rede a grounde, 

Quhar that he thoucht a kyrk to founde. 

Brude, Dargard's fon, in Scotlande 

Kyng our the Peychts than regnande, 

Was movit in gret crewelte 

Agane Sanci Serf, and his menye. 

He fende felon men forthi, 

To fla thaim aldon^ but mercy. 

Bot this kyng ourtakyn was 

Suddandly with gret feiknes : 

And at the prayer fpecyale 

Of SancT: Serf he was made hail. 

The kyng than fel fra that purpoffe ; 

And gaf til Sancl Serf al Culrqffe ; 

With alkyn profits all frely. 

Syne til his prayers devotly 

Hym he commendit, and his Hate ; 

And put away alkyn debate : 

And reffavit with honefte 

Sandt. Serf thar, and his menyie. 

Thar fyrft Sandl Serf tuk his reflet 

To lif on that at he mycht get. 

And thar he broucht up SancT: Mongow> 

That fyne was bifcbope of Glafgu. 

Vol. I. B Syne 


Syne fra Culrojfe he pall evyn 
To the Tnche of Louchlevjn. 
The kyng Brude, of devocion, 
Mad til Sancl Serf donacion, 
Of that Tnche : and he dwelt thar 
Til fevyn yer ourpaffit war. 
In Tulyhothy ane il fprite 
A criftyn-man, that tyme, taryit. 
Of that fpyrit he was than 
Delyverit throw that haly man. 
In Tulycultry til a wif 
Twa fonys he rayftt fra ded to lyf, 

This holy man had a ram, 
That he had fed up of a lam : 
And oyfit hym til folow ay, 
Quherevir he paffit in his way. 
A theyf this fcheppe in Achren ftal ; 
And et hym up in pecis fmalle. 
Quhen SancT: Serf his ram had myfl, 
Quha that it ftal was few that will : 
On prefumpcion nevirtheles 
He that it ftal areflyt was. 
And til SarnSl Serf fyne Was he broucht, 
That fcheipe he faid that he Hal noucht : 
And tharfor for to fwer ane athe, 
He faid that he walde nocht be lay the. 
Bot fone he worth it rede for fchayme ; 
The fcheype thar bletyt in his wayme ! 
Swa was he tayniElyt fchamfully ; 
And at SancT: Serf alkyt mercy. 

In dubbyng of devocion, 
And prayer, he flew a fel dragon. 
Quhar he was flajn that plalfe was ay 
The Dragonys den callyt to this day. 


JAMES I. 1405 1437. II 

Quhil Sancl Serf, in til a ftede, 
Lay eftyr matynys in his bede ; 
The devil come, in foulle intent 
for til fande hym with argument. 
And faid, " Sancl Serf, be thi werk, 
*' I ken thow art a connande clerk." 
Sancl; Serf faid, ' Gif a fwa be ; 

* Foulle vretche quhat is that for the .?' 
The devil faid, " This queflion 

" 1 alk in our colacion. 

" '•■a quhar was God, wkt ye oucht, 

" Befor that hevyn and erde was wroucht ?" 

Sancl Serf faid, ' In hymfelf ftedles 

' Hys Godheide hamprede nevir wes.' 

The devil than alkyt, '« Quhat caufe he hade 

" To mak the creaturs that he made ?" 

To that Sancl Serf anfuerde thar, 

* Of creaturs made he was makar. 
' A makar mycht he nevir be, 

* Bot gif creaturs made had he.' 

The devil aikyt hym, ** Quhy God of noucht 
" His werks al ful gud had wroucht ?" 
Sancl Serf anfuerde, • That Goddis wil 

* Was nevir to mak his werks ill. 

' And als invyus he had beyn feyn ; 

c Gif noucht bot he ful gud had beyn.' 

Sancl Serf the devil aikyt than 

" Quhar made God Adam the fyrfi man ?" 

* In Ebron Adam formyt was,' 

Sancl Serf laid. And til hym Sathanas 
" Quhar was he eft that, for his vice, 
" He was put out of Paradyfe ?" 
Sancl Serf faid, * Quhar he was made.' 
The devil alkyt, " How lang he bade 
" In Paradyfe, eftir his fyn." 

' Sevyn 


' Sevyn hours,' Serf faid, l he bad tharin.* 
" Quhan was Eve made ?" faid Sathanas. 

* In Paradyfe,' Serf faid, ' fcho was.' 
And at Sanft. Serf the devil alkyt than, 
M Quhi God let Adam, the fyrft man, 
M And Eve fynn in paradyfe ?" 
Sancl Serf faid, ' That monywyfe, 

' For God wilt and underftude 

f Thairof fuld cum ful mekyl gude. 

* For Crift tuke flefche, mankynde to wyn, 

* That was to payne put for thar fyn.' 
The devil alkyt, " Quhy mycht not be 
** Al mankynde delyverit fie, 

" Be thaim felf, fet God had nocht 

«' Thaim with his precioufe paffion boucht." 

Saner. Serf faid, ' Thai fell nocht in 

« Be tharfelf into thar fyn. 

« Bot be the fals fuggeftion 

* Of the devil, thar fa fellorn. 

* For that he cheyfit to be born 

* To fauf mankynde, that was forlorn.' 
The devil alkyt at hym than, 

c ' Quhi walde noucht God mak a new man, 
** Mankynde for to dclyver fre ?" 
Sand Serf faid, « That fulde nocht be. 

* It fuffycit weil that mankynde 

* Anys fulde cum of Adamys ftrynde.' 
The devil alkyt u Quhy that ye, 

" Men, ar quyt delyverit fre, 

■f Throw Crift's pafflon precioufe boucht, 

•' And we devils fwa ar noucht." 

Sanft Serf faid, • For that ye 

« Fel throw your awyn iniquyte. 

« And throw ourfelf we nevir fel ; 

« Bot throw your fellon fals confell. 


JAMES I. I405— 1437. 13 

< And for the devillis was noucht wroucht 
f Of brukyl kynde, ye walde noucht 
f Withe ruthe of halt forthynk your fyn, 
« That throw yourfelf ye war fallyn in. 
f Tharfor Criftis paffion 

• Suld noucht be your redempcion.' 
Than fawe the devil that he couth noucht, 
Withe all the wilis that he wroucht, 
Ourcum San£t Serf : he faid than 

He kende hym for a wyfe man. 
Forthi thar he gaf hym quhit, 
For he wan at hym na profyt. 
Sancl Serf faid ' Thow wretche ga 
' Fra this ftede ; and noye na ma 

* Into this ftede, I bid ye.' 
Suddandly thine paffit he : 

Fra that ftede he helde his waye ; 
And nevir was feyn thar to this daye. 

Eftyr al this Sane! Serf pafl 
Weft onto Culrojfe alfa faft. 
And be his ftate that he knew 
That til his endying ner he drew ; 
This wretchit warlde he forfuyk ; 
His fapraments thar al he tuk, 
Withe fchrift, and ful contricion. 
He yalde, withe gude devocion, 
His cors till halowit fepulture : 
And his faulle to the Creatur. 



[In the year 1405, when he was about 13 years 
old, James was taken prifoner by the Engli/h on 
his pajfage to France ; and was not liberated 
until the year 1424. Previous to his departure 

for his own kingdom, he e/poufed a Princejs of the 
Blood-Royal of England, (Lady Jane, daugh- 
ter of the Earl of Somerset, and firjl coufin 
to K. Henry V.) the fubjeci of the following 
allegorical Poem. The fcenery which he de~ 

fcribes in Jlansza nth, cJV. is the Royal Gar- 
dens under the walls of Windfor Cq/lle, the 
place of his confinement. ~\ 


In Ver that full of vertu is and gude, 
Quhen nature firft begyneth hir enprife, 

That quhilum was be cruel froft and nude, 
And fchouris fcharp oppreft in monj wife, 

And Cynthius gyneth to aryfe 

Heigh in the eft, a morrowe foft and fuete, 
Upward his courfe to drive in Ariete. 


* Such is the title of the MS. copy in the Bodleian 
Library at Oxford. Quair is Book. The Prologue and Epi- 
logue are here omitted, a* adding only to the prolixity of the 
Poem. This is the firft ccrrefled copy. 

JAMES I. I405— 1437. 15 


Paffit bot myd-day foure greis ; evin 

Of lentil and brede, his angel vvingis bryt 

He fpred upon the ground, doun fro the hevin, 
That for gladneiTe and frefhneiTe of the fight, 

And with the tiklyng of his hete and light, 
The tender flouris opynit thame and fprad, 
And in thair nature thankit him for glad. 


Not far paffit the irate of innocence 

Bot nere about the nowmer of yehis thre, 
Were it caufit throu hevinly influence 

Of Goddis will, or other cafualtee, . 
Can I not fay, bot out of my contree, 

By thair avife that had of me the cure 

Be fee to pas, tuke I my aventure. 


Purvait of all that was us neceffarye, 

With wynd at will, up airely by the morowe, 
Streight unto fchip, no longere wold we tarye, 

The way we tuke the tyme I tald to forowe, 
With mony fare wele, and San£l Johne to borowe 

Of falowe and frcnde ; and thus with one aflent, 

We pullit up faile and furth our wayis went. 


Upon the wevis weltring to and fro, 
So infortunate was we that fremyt day, 

That maugre plainly quethir We wold or no, 
With ftrong hand, by forfe fchortly to fay, 

Of inymyis taken and led away, 

We weren all, and brot in thaire contree, 
Fortune it fchupe non othir wayis to be, 




Quhare as in ftrayte ward, and in ftrong prifonj 
So fere forth of my lyf the hevy lyne, 

Without confort, in forowe abandoune, 
The fecund filtere lukit hath to tuyne 

Nere by the fpace of yeris twice nyne, 
Till Jupiter his merci lift advert, 
And fend confort in relefche of my fmert. 


Quhare as in ward full oft I wold bewaille 
My dedely lyf, full of peyne and penance, 

Saing ryght thus, quhat have I gilt to faille, 
My fredome in this warld and my plefance ? 

Sen every wight has thereof fuftifance, 
That I behold, and I a creature 
Put from all this, hard is myn aventure ? 


The bird, the befte, the fifch eke in the fee, 

They lyve in fredome everich in his kynd 5 
And I a man, and lakith libertee 

Quhat fall I feyne, quhat refon may I fynd, 
That fortune fuld do lb ? thus in my mynd, 

My folk I wold argewe, bot all for noucht ; 

Was none that myght that on my peynes rought. 


Than wold I fay, Gift God me had devilit 

To lyve my lyf in thraldom thus and pyne, 
Quhat was the caufe that he more me comprifit, 

Than othir folk to 1\ ve in fuch ruyne ? 
I fuffere alone amang the figuris nyne, 

Ane wofull wrache that to no wight may fpede; 

And yit of every lyvis help has nede. 


JAMES t, I405— -1437* *7 


The long dayes and the nyghtis eke* 

I wold bewaille my fortune in this wife. 
For quhich, again diftreffe confort to feke, 

My cuftum was on mornis for to rife 
Airly as day, O happy exercife ! 

By the come I to joye out of turment ! 

Bot now to purpofe of my firft entent. 


Bewallling in my chamber thus ailone, 
Defpeired of all joye and remedye, 

For-tirit of my thoucht and wo-begone, 
And to the wyndow gan I walk in hye, 

To fee the warld and folk that went forbye, 
As for the tyme, though I of mirthis fude 
Mycht have no more, to luke it did me gude. 


Now was there maid fafl by the Touris wall 
A gardyn faire, and in the corneris fet, 

Ane herbere grene, with wandis long and fmall, 
Railit about, and fo with treis fet 

Was all the place, and hawthorn hegis knet, 
That lyf was non, walkying there forbye, 
That mycht within fcarce any wight afpye. 


So thick the beuis and the leves grene 
Befchadit all the allyes that there were, 

And myddis every herbere mycht be fene 
The fcharp grene fuete jenepere, 

Growing fo fair with branches here and there, 
That, as it femyt to a lyf without, 
The bewis fpred the herbere all about. 
Vol. I. C XIV. 



And on the fmall grene twiflis fat 

The ljtil fuete njgtingale, and fong 
So loud and clere, the yrnpnis confecrat 

Of luvis ufe, now foft now lowd among, 
That all the gardynis and the wallis rong 

Rycht of thaire fong ; and on the copill next 

Of thaire fuete armony, and lo the text : 


Worfchippe ye that loveris bene this May, 
For of your blifs the kalendis are begonne, 

And fing with us, Away winter away, 

Come fomer come, the fuete fefon and fonne, 

Awake, for fchame ! that have your hevynis wonne, 
And amouroufly lift up your hedis all, 
Thank lufe that lift you to his merci call. 


Quhen thai this fong had fong a littil thrawe, 
Thai ftent a quhile, and therewith unafraid, 

As I beheld, and keft myn eyen a la we, 

From beugh to beugh, thay hippit and thai plaid, 

And frefchly in thair birdis kynd araid, 

Thaire fatheris new, and fret thame in the fonne, 
And thankit lufe, that had thair makis wonne. 


This was the plane ditie of thaire note, 
And therewith all unto myfelf I thoucht, 

Quhat lyf is this, that makis birdis dote ? 

Quhat may this be, how cummyth it of ought ? 

Qnhat nedith it to be fo dere ybought ? 
It is nothing, trowe I, bot feynit chere, 
And that me lift to counterfeten fherc. 


JAMES I. I405— 1437. 19 


Eft wold I think, O Lord, quhat may this be ? 

That lufe is of fo noble mycht and kynde, 
Lufing his folk, and fuich profperitee 

Is it of him, as we in bukis fynd ? 
May he cure hertis fetten and unbynd ? 

Hath he upon our hertis fuich maiftrye ? 

Or all this is bot fey nit fantafye ? 


For giff he be of fo grete excellence, 

That he of every wight hath cure and charge, 

Quhat have I gilt to him, or doon ofFenfe, 
That I am thrall, and birdis gone at large, 

Sen him to ferve he mycht fet my corage ? s 

And, gif he be not fo, than may I feyne 
Quhat makis folk to jangill of him in veyne ? 


Can I not ellis fynd bot giff that he 

Be lord, and, as a god, may lyve and regne, 

To bynd, and loufe, and maken thrallis free, 
Than wold I pray his blifsful grace benigne, 

To hable me unto his fervice digne, 
And evermore for to be one of tho 
Him trewly for to ferve in wele and wo. 


And therewith kefl I doun myn eye ageyne, 
Quhare as I faw walkyng under the Toure, 

Full fecretely, new cumyn hir to pleyne, 
The faireft or the frefcheft young floure 

That ever 1 fawe, methoucht, before that houre, 
For quhich fodayne abate, anon aftert 
The blude of all my body to my hert. 




And though 1 flood abaifit then a lyte, 

No wonder was , for quhy ? my wittis all 

Were fo ouercome with plefance and delyte, 
Only through latting of myn eyen fall, 

That fudaynly my hert become hir thrall 
For ever ; of free wyll, for of manace 
There was no takyn in hir fuete face. 


And in my hede I drew ryght haflily, 

And eft fones I lent it forth ageyne, 
And faw hir walk that verray womanly, 

With no wight mo, bot only women tueyne. 
Than gan I fludy in myfelf and feyne, 

Ah fuete I are ye a warldly creature, . 

Or hevingly thing in likenefle of nature ? 


Or ar ye god Cupidis owin princefle ? 

And cumyn are to loufe me out of band, 
Or are ye veray Nature the goddefle, 

That have depayntit with your hevinly hand, 
This gardyn full of flouris, as they Hand ? 

Quhat fall I think, allace ! quhat reverence 

Sail I mefter to your excellence ? 


Giff ye a goddefle be, and that ye like 
To do me payne, I may it not aftert ; 

Giff ye be warldly wight, that dooth me fike, 
Quhy left God mak you fo, my dereft hert ! 

To do a fely prifoner thus fmert, 

That lufis you all, and wote of noucht but wo, 
And, therefore, merci fuete ! fen it is fo. 


james I. 1405 — 1437. ar 


Quhen I a lytill thrawe had maid my mone, 
Bewailing myn infortune and my chance, 

Unknawin how or quhat was beil to done, 
So ferre I fallying into lufis dance, 

That fodeynly my wit, my contenance, 

My hert, my will, my nature, and my mynd, 
Was changit clene rycht in ane other kind. 


Of hir array the form gif I fal write, 

Toward her goldin haire, and rich atyre, 

In fretwife couchit with perlis quhite, 
And grete balas lemyng as the fyre, 

With mony ane emerant and faire faphire, 
And on hir hede a chaplet frefch of hewe, 
Of plumys partit rede, and quhite, and blewe. 


Full of quaking fpangis brycht as gold, 
Forgit of fchap like to the amorettis, 

So new, fo frefch, fo pleafant to behold, 
The plumys eke like to the floure jonettis, 

And other of fchap, like to the floure jonettis ; 
And, above all this, there was, wele I wote, 
Beautee eneuch to mak a world to dote. 


About hir neck, quhite as the fayre anmaille, 

A gudelie cheyne of fmall orfeverye, 
Quhare by there hang a ruby, without faille 

Like to ane hert fchapin verily, 
That, as a fperk of lowe fo wantonly 

Semyt birnying upon hir quhite throte. 

Now gif there was gud pertye, God it wote. 




And for to walk that frefche Mayes morowe, 
Ane huke fhe had upon her tifiew quhite, 

That gudcliare had not bene fene to forowe, 
As I fuppofc, and girt fche was alyte ; 

Thus halilyug lowfe for hade, to fuich delyte, 
}c was to fee her youth in gudelihed, 
That for rudenes to fpeke thereof I drede. 


In hir was youth, beautee, with humble aport, 
Bountee, richefie, and womanly faiture, 

God better wote than my pen can report, 
Wiidome, largeffe eftate, and conyng fure 

In every point, fo guydit hir mefure, 

In word, in dede, in fchap, in contenance, 
That nature rnycht no more hir childe auance. 


Throw quhich anon I knew and underftude 
Wele that fche was a warldly creature, 

On quhom to reft myn eye, fo mich gude 
It did my woful hert, I yow allure 

That it was to me joye without mefure, 
And, at the iaft, my luke unto the hevin 
I threw furthwith, and faid thir verfis fevin : 


O Venus clere ! of goddis ftellifyit, 

To quhom I yclde homage and facrifise, 

Fro this day forth your grace be magnifyit, 
That me reflauit have in fuch wife, 

To lyve under your law and lo feruife ; 

Now help me furth, and for your merci lede 
My hert to reft, that deis ncre for drede. 


JAMES I. I4O5—I437. 23 


Quhen I with gude entent this orifon 
lhus endit had, I ftynt a lytili ftound, 

Ar.d eft myn eye full pitoufly adoun 
I kefl, behalding unto hir lytili hound, 

That with his bellis playit on the groiind ; 
Than wold I fay, and figh therewith a lyte, 
Ah ! wele were him that now were iu thy pJytc V 


An othir quhile the lytili nyghtingale, 
That fat upon the twiggis, wold 1 chide, 

And fay, rycht thus, Quhare are thy notis fmale, 
That thou of love has fong this morowe tyde ? 

Seis thou not hir that fittis the befyde ? 

For Venus' fake, the blifsfull goddefle clerc, 
Sing on agane, and mak my Lady chere. 


And eke I pray, for all the paynes grete, 

That, for the love of Proigne, thy filter dere, 

Thou fufFerit quhilom, quhen thy breflis weto 
Were with the teres of thyne eyen clere 

All bludy ronne, that pitee was to here 
The crueltee of that unknychtly dede, 
Quhare was fro the bereft thy maidenhede. 


Lift up thyne hert, and ling with gude entent, 
And in thy notis fuetc the trefon telle, 

That to thy filter trewe and innocent, 

Was kythit by hir hulband falfe and fell, 

For quhois gilt, as it is worthy well, 

Chide thir-luifbandis that are falfe, I fay, 
And bid them mend in the XX deuil way. 




lytill wreich, allace ! maift thou not fe 
Quho corny th yond ? Is it now time to wring ? 

Quhat fory thoucht is fallin upon the ? 

Opyn thy throte ; haftoxv no left to fing ? 
Allace ! fen thou of refon had felyng, 

Now, fwete bird, fay ones to me pepe. 

I dee for wo ; me think thou gynis llepe. 


Haflow no mynde of lufe ? quhare is thy make ? 

Or artow feke, or fmyt with jeloufye ? 
Or is fche dede, or hath fche the forfake ? 

Quhat is the caufe of thy melancolye, 
That thou no more lift inaken melodye ? 

Sluggart, for fchame ! lo here thy golden houre 

That worth were hale all thy lyvis laboure. 


Gif thou fuld fing wele ever in thy lyvc f 
Here is. in fay, the time, and eke the fpace : 

Quhat woftow than ? Sum bird may cum and ftryve 
In fong with the, the maiftry to purchace. 

Suld thou than cefle, it were great fchame, allace 
And here to wyn gree happily for ever •> 
Here is the tyme to fyng, or ellis never. 


1 thoucht eke thus gif I my handis clap, 

Or gif I coft, than will fche flee away ; 
And, gif I hald my pes, than will fche nap ; 

And gif I crye, fche wate not quhat I fay : 
Thus quhat is bell, wate I not be this day, 

Bot blawe wynd, blawe, and do the leuis fchakc, 

That fum tuig may wag, and make hir to wake. 


JAMES T. 1405 1437. 25 


With that anon rycht fche toke up a fang, 
Quhare com anon mo birdis and alight ; 

Bot than to here the mirth was tham amang ; 
Ouer that to, to fee the fuete ficht 

Of hyr ymage, my fpirit was fo light, 

Methoucht I flawe for joye without areft, 
So were my wittis boundin all fo fell. 


And to the nottis of the philomene 

Quhilkis fche fang, the ditee there I maid 
Direct to hir that was my hertis quene, 

Wichoutin quhom no fongis may be glade ; 
And to that fancT: walking in the fchade, 

My bedis thus with humble hert entere, 

Deuocly 1 faid on this manere. 


Quhen fall your merci rew.upon your man, 

Quhois feruice is yet uncouth unto yow, 
Sen quhen ye go, there is not ellis than. 

Bot, hert ! quhere as the body may not throu 
Folow thy hevin ; quho fuld be glad bot thou, 

That fuch a gyde to folow has undertake ? 

Were it throu hell, the way thou noucht forfake. 


And, efter this, the birdis everichone 

Tuke up ane other fang full loud and clere, 

And with a voce faid, Well is vs begone, 
That with our makis are togider here ; 

We proyne and play without dout and dangere, 
All clothit in a foyte full frefch and newe, 
In luffis fervice befy, glad, and trewe. 
Vol. I. D XLVI. 



And ye frefch May, ay mercifull to bridis, 
Now welcum be, ye floure of monethis all, 

For not onely your grace upon us bydis, 
Bot all the war Id to witnes this we call, 

That ftrowit hath fo plainly over all, 

With new frefch fuete and tender grene, 
Our lyf, our luft, our governoure, our quene. 


This was their fang, as femyt me full heye, 
With full mony uncouth fwete note and fchill, 

And there withall that faire vpward hir eye 
Wold caft amang, as it was Goddis will, 

Quhare I micht fe, Handing alone full Hill, 
The faire failure that nature, for maiftrye, 
In hir vifage wroucht had full lufingly. 


And, quhen fche walkit, had a lytill thrawe 

Under the fuete grene bewis bent, 
Hir faire frefch face, as quhite as any fnawe, 

Sche turnyt has, and furth hir wayis went. 
Bot then began myn axis and turment ! 

To fene hir part, and folowe I na mycht ; 

Methoucht the day was turnyt into nycht. 


Than faid I thus, Quharto lyve I laager ? 

Wofullefl wicht, and fubjccl unto peyne : 
Of peyne ? no : God wote ya, for thay no flrangcr 

May wi'rk in ony wicht, I dare wele feyne. 
IIow may this be, that deth and lyf both tueyne ? 

Sail bothe atonis, in a creatute 

Togidder dwell, and turment thus nature ? 


JAMES I. 1405— 1437. 27 


I may not ellis done, bot wepe and waile 
Within thir cald wallis thus ylokin : 

From hensfurth my reft is my travaile ^ 
My drye thirfl with teris fail I flokin, 

And on my felf bene all my harmys wrokin : 
Thus bute is none ; bot Venus, of hir grace, 
Will fehape remede, or do my fpirit pace. 


As Tantalus I travaile, ay buteles 

That ever ylike hailith at the well 
Water to draw, with buket bottemlefs, 

And may not fpede, quhois penance is ane hell , 
So by myfelf this tale I may well telle, 

For unto hir that herith not I pleyne, 

Thus like to him my travaile is in veyne* 


So fore thus fighit I with myfelf allone, 
That turnyt is my ftrength' in febilnefle, 

My wele in wo, my frendis all in fone, 
My lyf in deth, my lycht into dirknefs, 

My hope in feere, in dout my fekirnefle ; 

Sen fche is gone, and God mote hir conuoye, 
That me may gyde fro turment and to joye. 


The long day thus gan, I prye and poure 
Till Phebus endit had his bemes brycht, 

And bad go farewele every lef and floure j 
This is to fay, approch gan the nycht, 

And Efperus his lampis gan to licht, 

Quhen in the wyndow, ftill as any ftone, 
I bade at lenth, and, kneeling, maid my mone. 




So lang till evin for lak of mycht and mynd, 
For wepit and for-pleynit piteoufly, 

Ourfet fo forrow had bothe hert and mynd, 
That to the cold ilone my hede on wrye 

I laid, and lenit, amaifit verily ! 

H ilf-fleping and half fuoun, in fuch a wife, 
And quhat i met I will you now deuife. 


Methoucht that thus all fodeynly a lyt, 
In at the wyndow come quhare that I leaf, 

Of quhich the chambere wyndow fchone full bryt, 
And all my body fo it hath ouerwent, 

That of my ficht the vertew hale 1 .blent, 
And that with all a voce unto me faid, 
I bring the comfort and hele, be not affrayde. 


And furth anon it paffit fodeynly, 

Quhere it come in, the rycht way ageyne, 
And fone methoucht furth at the dure in hye 

I went my weye, was nathing me ageyne, 
And haftily, by bothe the armes tueyne, 

I was arailit up into the aire, 

Clippit in a cloude of cryftall clere and faire. 


Afcending vpward ay fro fpere to fpere, 

Throuch aire and watere and the hote fyre, 

Till that I come vnto the circle clere 

Off Signifere, quhare fair brycht and fchere 

The fignis fchone^ and *' In the glad empire 
Off blifsful Venus !" ane cryit now 
So fudaynly, almoft 1 will not how. 


JAMES I. I4C5—I437. 29 


Off quhich the place, quhen I com there nye, 

Was all methoucht of chriftal floais wroucht, 
And to the port I liftit was in hye, 

Quhare fodaynly. as quho fais at a thoucht, 
It opnyt, and I was anon inbroucht 

Within a chamber, a large rowrn and faire, -. 

And there I fand of people grete repaire. 


This is to feyne, that prefent in that place, 

Methoucht I faw of every nacion 
Loueris that endit thaire lyiis fpace 

In lovis fervice, mony a my lion 
Of quhois chancis maid is ruencion 

In diverfe bukis quho thame lift to fe, 

And therefore here thaire namys lat I be. 


The quhois aventure and grete laboure 
Abone their hedis writen there I fand, 

Th:s :s to feyne martris, and confeffoure, 
Ech in his ftage, and his make in his hand ; 

And therewith all thir peple fawe I {land, 
With mony a folempt contenance, 
After as lufe thame lykit to auance. 


Off gude folkis that faire in lufe befell 
There faw I fitt in order ; by thame one 

With bed fa hore y and with thame ilude gu de will 
To talk and play ; and after that anon 

Baiyde thame and next, there faw I gone 
Curage, amang the frefche folkis yong, 
And with thame playit full merily, and fong. 




And in ane other ftage, endlong the wall, 
There faw I Hand in capis wyde and lang 

A full grete nowmer, but thaire hudis all 
Wift I not why, atoure thair eyen hang, 

And ay to thame come Repentance amang, 
And maid thame chere degyfit in his wede, 
And downward efter that yit I take hede. 


Rycht ouer thwert the chamber was there drawe 
A treveffe thin and quhite, all of plefance, 

The quhich behynd Handing there, I fawe 
A warld of folk, and by thaire contenance 

Thair hertis fcmyt full of difplefance, 
With billis in thaire handis of one aflent, 
Vnto the judge thaire playntis to prefent. 


And there withall apperit vnto me 

A voce, and faid, Tak hede, man, and behold : 
Yonder there thou feis the hieft rlage and gree 

Of agit folk, with hedis hore and olde ; 
Yone were the folk that never change wold 

In lufe, but trewly fervit him alway, 

In every age, vnto thaire ending day. 


For fro the time that thai could vnderiland 
The exercife of lufis craft and cure, 

Was non on lyve that toke fo much on hand 
For lufis fake, nor langer did endure 

In lufis fervice ; for. man, I the allure, 
CKihen thay of youth reiTavit had the fill, 
Yit in thaire age thame lakkit no gude will. 


james r. 1405— 1437. 3 t 


Here bene alfo of fuich as in counfailis, 
And all thare dedis were to Venus trewe ; 

Here bene the Princis faucht the grete batailis, 
In mynd of quhom ar maid the bukis newe ; 

Here bene the poetis that the fciencis knewe, 

Throwout the warld, of lufe in thair fuete layes, 
Such as Ovide and Omere in thair dayes. 


And efter thame down in the next ftage, 
There, as thou feis, the yong folkis pleye : 

Lo ! thefe were thay that, in thaire myddill age, 
Servandis were to lufe in mony weye, 

And diverfely happenit for to deye F 

Sum forrowfully for wanting of thaire makis, 
And fum in armes for thaire ladyes fakis. 


And other eke by other diuerfe chance, 

As happin folk all day, as ye may fe ; 
Sum for difpaire, without recoverance ; 

Sum for defyre, furmounting thaire degree ; 
Sum for difpite, and other inmytee j 

Sum for vnkyndnefs, without a quhy ; 

Sum for to mock, and fum for jeloufye. 


And efter this, vpon yone ftage doun, 
Tho that thou feis ftand in capis wyde ; 

Yone were quhilum folk of religion, 

That from the warld thaire governance did hide, 

And frely fervit lufe on every fyde, 

In fetret with thair" bodvis and thaire gudis, 
And lo ! quhy fo, thai hingen d-oun thair hudis. 




For though that thai were hardy at affayy 
And did him fervice quhilum prively, 

Yit to the warldis eye it femyt nay, 
So was thaire fervice half cowardly, 

And for thay firft forfuke him opynly, 
And efter that thereof had repenting, - 
For fchame thaire hudis oure thaire eyen theyhyng. 


And feis thou now yone multitude on rawe, 
Standing behynd yone travefle of delyte, 

Sum bene of thame that haldin were full lawc, 
And take by frendis, nothing thay to wyte, 

In youth from lufe, into the cloiftere quite, 
And for that caufe are cummyn recounfilit, 
On thame to pley^e that fo thame had begilit. 


And othir bene amongis thame alfo, 

I hat cummyn are to Court on lufe to pleyne, 

For he thair bodyes had beftouit fo, 

Quhare bothe thaire hertes bruckt there ageync, 

For quhich in all thaire dayes foth to feyne, 
Quhen other lyvit in joye and plefance, 
Thaire lyf was noucht bot care and repentance. 


And quhare thaire hertis gevin were and fet, 
Were copilt with other that could not accord ; 

Thus were thai wranged that did no forfet, 
De-parting thame that never wold difcord, 

Oft yong ladies faire, and mony lord, 

That thus by maiftry were fro thaire chofe dryve, 
Full ready were thaire playntis there to gyve. 


James i. 1405^1437. 33 


And other alfo I fawe compleynyng there 
Vpon fortune and hir grete variance, 

That quhere in love fo well they coplit were 
With thair fuete makis coplit in plefance, 

So fodeynly maid thair difTeverance, 

And tuke thame of this warldis companye, 
Withoutin caufe there was non other quhy : 


And in a chiere of eflate befyde, 

With wingis bright, all plumy t, bot his face, 
There favv I fitt the blynd god Cupide 

With bow in hand that bent full redy was, 
And by him hang thre arowis in a cafe, 

Off quhich the hedis grundyn were full rycht, 

Off diverfe metalis forgit fair and bf ycht. 


And with the firfl that hedit is of gold, 
He fmytis foft, and that has efy cure ; 

The fecund was of diver, mony fold 

Wers than the firfl, and harder aventure ; 

The third of ftele is fchot without recure ; 
And on his long yallow lokkis fchene, 
A chaplet had he all of levis grene. 


And in a retrete lytill of compas, 

Depeyntit all with fighis wonder fad, 

Not fuich fighis as hertis doith manace, 
Bot fuich as dooth lufaris to be glad, 

Fond I Venus vpon hir bed, that had 

A mantill caft ouer hir fchuldris quhite : 

Thus clothit was the goddeffe of delyte. 




Stude at the dure Fair calling hir vfchere, 
That coude bis office doon in eonyng wife. 

And Secretee hir thrifty chamberere, 
That bely was in tyme to do feruife ; " 

And othir mo that I cannot avife. 

And on hir hede of rede rofis full fuete, 

A chapellet fche had, faire, frefch, and mete.' 


With quaking hert aftonate of that fight, 
Unethis will I, quhat that I fold feyne ; 

Eot at the laft febily as I mycht, 

With my handis on bothe my kneis tueyne,- 

There I begouth my caris to compleyne, 
With ane humble and lamentable chere 
Thus falute I that goddefs brycht and clere. 


Hye Quene of Lufe ! fterre of benevolence \ 
Pitoufe princeffe, and planet merciable ! 

Appefare of malice and violence ! 

By vei tew pure of your afpe&is hable, 

V. to your grace lat now bene acceptable 
My pure requeft, that can no forthir gone 
To feken help, bot vnto yow allone ! 


As ye that bene the focoure and fuete well 

Off remedye, of carefull hertes cure, 
And in the huge weltering wavis fell 

Off lufis rage, blifsfull havim and fure, 
O anker and trige, of oure gude aventure, 

Ye have your man with his gude will conqueft ; 

Merci, thexefore, and bring his hert to reft ! 


JAMES I. 1 405—1 437. 35 


Ye knaw the caufe of all my peynes fmert 
Bet than myfelf, and all myn auenture 

Ye may conueye, and, as yow lift, conuert 
The hardeft heit that formyt hath nature, 

Sen in your handis all hale lyith my cure. 
Have pitee now, O brycht blifsfull goddeffe, 
Off your pure man, and rew on his diftreiTe ! 


And though I was vnto your lawis ftrange. 

By ignorance, and not by felonye, 
And that your grace now likit hath to change 

My hert, fo ferven you perpetualye, 
Forgiue all this, and fchapith remedye, 

To fauen me of your benigne grace, 

Or do me fteruen furthwith in this place. 


And with the ftremis of your percyng lycht, 

Conuoy my hert, that is fo wo-begone, 
Ageyne vnto that fuete hevinly fight, 

That I, within the wal^is -cald as ftone, 
So fuetly faw on inorow walk, and gone 

Law in the gardyn rycht tofore mine eye. 

Now, merci, Quene ! and do me not to deye, 


Thir wordis faid, my fpirit in difpaire 
A quhile I ftynt, abiding efter grace, 

And therewith all hir criflall eyen faire 
She keft afyde, and efter that a fpace, 

Benignely fche turnyt has hir face 
Towardis me full plefantly conueide, 
And vnto me rycht in this uife fche feide : 




Yong man, the caufe of all thyne inward forowe 

Is not vnknawin to my deite, 
And thy requefl bothe nowe and eke to forowe, 

Quhen thou firft maid profeffion to me, 
Sen of my grace I have infpirit the 

To knawe my lawe, contynew furth, for oft, 

There as I mynt full fore, I fmyte bot foft. 


Paciently thou tak thyne auenture, 

This will my fon Cupide, and fo will I. 

He can the ftroke, to me langis the cure 
Quhen I fe tyme ; and therefore truely 

Abyde, and feme, and lat gude hope the gye t 
Bot for I have thy forehede here pent, 
I will the fchewe the more of myn entent. 


This is to fay, though it to me pertene 

In lufis lawe the feptre to governe, 
That the effe&is of my bemis fchene 

Has thair afpeclis by ordynance eterne, 
With otheris bynd ; and mynes to difcerne, 

Quhilum in thingis bothe to cum and gone, 

That langis not to me to writh allone. 


As in thyne awin cafe now may thou fe, * 
For quhy, lo throu otheris influence, 

Thy perfone flandis not in libertee. 

Quharfore, though I geve the benevolence, 

It flandis not yit in myn advertence, 
Till certeyne courfe endit be and ronne, 
Quhillof trew feruis thow havehir grace y-wonne. 


JAMES I. I405— 1437. 37 


And yit, confidering the nakitneffe 

Bothe of thy wit, thy perfone, and thy mycht, 
It is no match, of thyne vnworthinefie 

To hir hie birth, eftate, and beautee brycht, 
Als like ye bene, as day is to the nycht, 

Or fek-cloth is unto fyne cremefye, 

Or doken foule to the frefche dayefye. 


Vnlike the mone is to the fonne fchene, 

Eke Januarye is like vnto May, 
Vnlike the cukkow to the phylomene ; 

Thaire tavartis are not bothe maid of aray j 
Vnlike the crow is to the papejay, 

Vnlike, in goldfmythis werk, a fifchis eye 

To pere with peril, or maked be fo heye. 


As I have faid, vnto me belangith. 

Specially the cure of thy feknefTe, 
Bot now thy matere fo in balance hangith, 

That it requireth, to thy fekerneffe, 
The help of other mo that bene goddes 

And have in thame the menes and the lore, 

In this mater to fchorten with thy fore. 


And for thou fall fe wele that I entend, 
Vnto thy help thy welefare to prefer ue, 

The ftreight weye thy fpirit will I fend 
To the goddeffe that clepit is My nerve, 

And fe that thou hir heftis well conferve, 
For in this cafe fche may be thy fupplye, 
And put thy hert in reft als well as I. 




Bot for the way is vncouth vnto the, 

There as hir dwelling is, and hir fojurne, 

I will that gudhope feruand tc the be, 
Youie aliens frende, to let the to mum, 

Be thy condyt and gyde till thou rtturne, 
And hir befech, that fche will in thy nede 
Hir counfelle geve to thy welefare and fped«. 


And that fche will, as langith hir office, 
Be thy gude lady, help and counfeiloure, 

And to the fchewe hir rype and gude auife, 

Throw quhich thou may be procefle and laboure, 

Atteyne vnto that glad and goldyn floure, 

That thou wald have fo fayn with all thy hart, 
And fbrthirmore fen thou hir fervand art. 


Quhen thou defcendis doun to ground ageyne, 

Say to the men, that there bene refident, 
How long think thay to (land in my difdeync, 

That in my lawis bene fo negligent, 
From day to day, and lift thame not repent, 

Bot breken loufe and walken at thaire large ? 

Now is none that thereof gevis charge. 


Say on than, Quhare is becummyn for fchame 

The fongis new, the frefch carolis and dance, 
The lufty lyf, the mony change of game, 

The frefche aray, . the lufty contenance, 
The befy awayte, the hertly obferuance 

That quhilum was amongis thame fo ryf ? 

Bid thame repent in tyme, and mend thaire lyf. 


JAMES I. I405— 1437. 3J 


Or I fall, with my fader old Saturne, 
And with alhale oure hevinly alliance, 

Oure glad afpe&is from thame writhe and turne, 
That all the warld fall waile thaire governance, 

Bid thame betjme, that thai haue repentance, 
And thaire hertis hale lenew my lawe, 
And I my hand fro beting fall withdrawe. 


This is to fay, contynew in my feruife, 

Worfchip my law, and my name magnifye, 

That am your hevin and your paradife, 
And 1 your comfort here fall multiplye, 

And, for youre meryt here perpetualye, 
RefTaue I fall your faulis of my grace, 
To lyve with me as goddis in this place. 


With humble thank, and all the reverence 
That feble wit and conyng may atteyne, 

I tuke my leve ; and from hir prefence 
Gude Hope and I togider both tueyne 

Departit are, ard fchortly for to feyne 
He hath me led redy way is rycht 
Vnto Minerve's Palace, faire and brycht. 


Quhare as I fand, full redy at the yate, 
The tnaijier pdrtare, callit Patience, 

That frely lete vs in, vnqueftionate, 

And there we fawe the perfyt excellence, 

The feignoreye, the ftate, the reuerence, 

The ftrenth, the beautee, and the ordour digne, 
Off hir court -riall, noble and benigne. 




And ftraught vnto the prefence fodeynly 
Off dame Minerue, the pacient goddeffe, 

Gude Hope my gyde led me redily, 

To quhom anon, with dredefull humylneflfc 

Off my cummyng, the caufe I gan expreffe, 
And all the proceffe hole, vnto the end, 
Off Venus charge, as likit her to fend. 


Off quhich rycht thus hir anfuere was in bref : 
My fon, I have wele herd, and vnderftondj 

Be thy reherfe, the mater of thy gref, 
And thy requeft to procure, and to fond 

Off thy penance fum comfort at my hond, 
Be counfele of thy lady Venus clere, 
To be with hir thyne help in this matere. 


Bot in this cafe thou fall well knawe and witt, 
Thou may thy hert ground on fuich a. wife, 

That thy laboure will be bot lytill quit, 
And thou may fet it in otherwife, 

That wil be to the grete worfchip and prife ; 
And gif thou durft Vnto that way enclync, 
I will the geve my lore and difcipline. 


Lo, my gude fon, this is als much to feyne, 

As gif thy lufe be fet all uterly 
Of nyce luft, thy travail is in veyne, 

And fo the end fall turne of thy folye 
To payne and repentance, lo wate thou quhy ? 

Gif the ne lift on lufe thy vertew fet, 

Vertu fall be the caufe of thy forfet. 


JAMES I. I405 1437. 41 


Tak him before in all thy gouernance, 
That in his hand the ftere has of you all, 

And pray vnto his hye purveyance, 

Thy lufe to gye, and on him traifl and call, 

That corner-itone, and ground is of the wall, 
That failis not, and truft, withoutin drede, 
Vnto thy purpofe fone he fall the lede. 


For lo, the werk that firfl is foundit fure, 
May better bere apace and hyare be 

Than otherwife, and langere fall endure 
Be mony fald, this may thy refon fee, 

And ftronger to defend aduerfitce ; 

Ground thy werk, therefore, upon the ftone, 
And thy defire fall forthward with the gone. 


Be trewe, and meke, and ftedfaft in thy thoucht, 

And diligent her merci to procure. 
Not onely in thy,word, for word is noucht, 

Bot gif thy werk and all thy befy cure 
Accord thereto, and vtrid be mefure, 

The place, the houre, the maner, and the wife, 

Gif mercy fall admitten thy fervife. 


All thing has tyme, thus fais Ecclejiajle ; 

And wele is him that his tyme will abit : 
Abyde thy tyme ; for he that can bot haftc 

Can not of hap, the wife man it writ ; 
And oft gud fortune flourith with gude wit : 

Qubarefore, gif thou will be well fortunyt, 

Lat wifedom ay to thy will be junyt. 

Vol. I. F CX. 



Bot there be mony of fo brukill fort, 

That feynis treuth in lufe for a quhile, 
And fetten all thaire wittis and difport, 

The fely innocent woman to begyle ; 
And fo to wynne thaire luftis with a wile ; 

Suich feynit treuth is all bot trechorye, 

Vnder the vmbre of ypocrifye. 


For as the foulere quhiftlith in his throte, 

Diuerfely to counterfete the bird, 
And fej'nis mony a fuete and ftrange note, 

That in the bulk for his defate is hid, 
Till fche be faft lok in his net amyd, 
" Rycht fo the feator, the falfe theif, I fay, 

With fuete treafon oft wynith thus his pray. 


Fy on all fuch ! fy on thaire doubilneffe ! 

Fy on thaire luft, and beitly appetite ! 
Thaire wolfis hertis, in lambis likneffe ; 

Thaire thoughtis blak, hid vnder wordis quhite 
Fy on thaire labour ! fy on thaire delyte ! 

That feynen outward all to hir honour, 

And in thair hert her worfhip wold denour. 


So hard it is to truften now on dayes 

The warld, it is fo double and inconftant, 

Off quhich the futh is hid be mony affayes ; 
More pitee is ; for quhich the remanant 

That menen well, and are not variant, 
For otheris gilt are fufpecl: of vntreuth, 
And hyndrit oft, and treuely that is reuth. 


JAMES I. 1405—1437. 43 


Bot, gif the hert be gronndit ferm and liable 

In Goddis law, thy purpofe to atteyne, 
Thy labour is to me agreable, 

And my full help with counfele trew and pleyne, 
I wjII the fchewe, and this is the certeyne ; 

Opyn thy hert, therefore, and lat me fee 

Gif thy remede be pertynent to me. 


Madame, quod I, fen it is your plefance 
That I declare the kynd of my loving, 

Treuely and gude, withoutin variance, 
/ lufe that flour abufe all other thing, 

And wold bene he, that to hir worfchipping 
Mycht ought availe, be him KSwXjlarf on rude. 
And nowthir fpare for trauaile, lyf, nor gude. 


And, forthirmore, as touching the nature 
Off my luling, to worfchip or to blame, 

I darre wele fay, and therein me aiTure, 
For ony gold that ony wight can name, 

Wald I be he that fuld of hir gude fame 
Be blamischere in ony point or wyfe, 
For welc nor wo, quhill my lyf may fuffife. 


This is the effect trewly of myn entent, 

Touching the fuete that fmertis me fo fore, 

GifF this be faynt, I can it not repent, 

Allthough my lyf fuld forfaut be therefore : 

Blifsfull princeiTe ! I can f eye you no more, 
B t fo delire. my wiltls dooth compace 
More joy in erth, kep'e. I noucht bot your grace. 




Defire, quod fche, I nyl it not deny, 

So thou it ground and fet in criilin wife ;, 

And therefore, fon, opjn thy hert playnly. 
Madame, quod I, trew withoutin fantife, 

That day fall I neuer vp rife, 

For my delyte to couate the plefance 
That may hir worfchip putten in balance. 


For our all thing, lo this were my gladnefTe, 
To fene the frefche beautee of hir face ; 

And gif it mycht deferue be proccffe, 

For my grete lufe and treuth to ftond in grace, 

Hir worfchip fauf, lo here the blisfull cace 
That I wold afk, and thereto attend, 
For my moll joye vnto my lyfis end. 


Now wele, quod fche, and fen that it is fo, 
That in vertew thy lufe is fet with treuth, 

To helpen the I will be one of tho 

From hensforth, and hertly without fleuth, 

Off thy diftrefle and excefle to have reuth, 
That has thy hert, I will pray full faire, 
That fortune be no more thereto contraire. 


For futh it is that all ye creatures, 

Quhich vnder vs beneth have your dwellyng, 
Reflauen diuerfely your auenturis, 

Off quhich the cure and principal melling 
Apperit is withoutin repellyng, 

Onely to hir that has the cuttis two 

In hand, both of your wele and of your wo. 


JAMES I. I405— 1437. 45 


And how fo be, that fum clerkis trete, 
That all your chance caufit is tofore, 

Jleigh in the hevin, by quhois effe&is grete, 
Ye movit are to wrething lefs or more, 

Quhare in the warld, thus calling that therefore, 
Fortune, and fo that the diveriitee 
Off thaire werking fuld caufe neceffitee. 


Bot other clerkis halden that the man, 
Has in himfelf the chofe and libertee 

To caufe his awin fortune, how, or quhan, 
That him beft left, and no neceffitee 

Was in the hevin at his nativitee ; 

Bot yit the thingis happin in commune, 
Efter purpofe, fo cleping thame fortune. . >. 


And quhare a perfone has tofore knawing 

Off it that is to fall purpofely, 
Lo fortune is bot wayke in fuch a thing, 

Thou may wele wit, and here enfample quhy, 
To God it is the fir ft caufe onely 

OiFeuery thing, there may no fortune fall, * 

And quhy ? for he foreknawin is of all. 


And therefore thus I fay to this fentence, 
Fortune is moft and ftrangeft euermore, 

Quhare, Jefte foreknawing or intelligence 
Is in the man, and /one of wit or lore, 

Sen thou art wayke and feble, lo, therefore, 
The more thou art in dangere, and commune 
With hir, that clerkis clepen fo fortune. 




Bot for the fake, and at the reuerence 
Off Veuus clere, as I the faid tofore, 

I have of thy diltreffe compacience, 

And in confort and relefche of thy fore, 

The fehewit here myn avife therefore, 

Pray fortune help ; for fuich vnlikely thing 
Full oft about fche fodeynly dooth bring. 


Now go thy way, and haue gude mynd upon 
Quhat I have faid, in way of thy dochyne : 

I fall, Madame, quod I, and rycht anon 
I tuke my leve, als draught as ony lyne 

Within a beme, that fro the contree dy vine, 
Sche percyng throw the firmament extendit, 
To ground ageyne my fpirit is defcendit. 


Qnhare in a lufty plane tuke I my way, 

Eiidlang a ryuer, plcfand to behold, 
E.nbi iudin all with frefche flouris gay, 

Quhare throu the grauel, brycht as ony gold, 
The cnital water ran fo clere and cold, 

That in myn ere maid contynualy, 

A maner foun mellit with armony r . 


That full of lytill fifchis by the biym, 

Now here now there, with bakkis blewe as lede, 
Lap and playit. a id in a rout can fwym 

..rattily, and drcflit tbame to fpiede 
Thai re curall fynis, as the ruby rede, 

That i,q the fonne on thaire fcalis brycht, 
As gellerant ay glittcrit in my fight. 


JAMIS I. 1405—1437. -4? 


And by this ilke ryucr fyde alawe 

Ane hyeway farid i like to bene, 
On quhich, on euery fyde, a long rawe 

Off trees faw I full of levis grene, 
That full of fruyte deli table were to fe'ne ; 

And alfo, as it come vnto my mynd, 

Of beftis fa we I mony diuerfe kynd. 


The lyon king and his fere lyoneffe, 
The pantere like vnto the fmaragdync, 

The ly till fquerell full of befynefle, 

The flawe afTe, the druggare belle of pyne, 

The nyce ape, the werely porpapyne, 
The percyug lynx, the lufare vnicorn, 
That voidis venym with his euoure heme. 


There fawe I dreffe him, new out of hant, 

The fere tigcre full of felony, 
The dromydare, the ftandcr oliphant, 

The wyly fox, the wedouis inemye, 
The clymbare gayte, the elk for alblallrye, 

The herknere bore, the holfum grey for hortii, 

The haire alio, that oft gooth to the wortis. 


The bug-ill draware by his hornis gvete, 

The mavtrik fable, the foynzce, and mony mo, 

The chalk quhite ermyn, tippit as the jete, 
The riail hert, the conyng, and the ro, 

The wolf, that of the murthir not fay ho, 
The lefty beuer, and the ravin bare, 
For chamelot, the camel full of hare. 




With many ane othir befte diverfe and ftrange, 
That cummyth not as now vnto my mynd ; 

Bot now to purpofe ftraught furth the range, 
I held away oure hailing in my mynd, 

From quhens I come, and quhare that I fuld fynd 
Fortune, the goddefTe unto quhom in hye 
Gude hope j my gyde, has led mc fedeynly. 


And at the laft behalding thus afyde, 
A round place wallit have 1 found, 

In myddis quhare eftfone I have fpide 

Fortune, the goddejfe, hufing on the ground, 

And rycht befor hir fete, of compas round, 
A quheley on quhich clevering I fye, 
A multitude of folk before myn eye. 


And ane furcote fche werit long that tyde, 
That femyt to me of diverfe hewis, 

Quhilum thus, quhen fche wald turn afyde, 
Stude this goddefs of fortune,"^ 

A chapellet with mony frefch anewis 

Sche had upon hir hede, and with this hong 
A mantill on hir fchuldries large and long. 


That furrit was with ermyn full quhite, 

Degoutit with the felf in fpottis blake, 
And quhilum in hir chere thus aljte 

Louring fche was, and thus fone it wold flake, 
And fodeynly a-maner fmylyng make 

And fche were glad, at one contenance 

Sche held not, bot ay in. variance. 


JAMES I. I405— 1437. 49 


And vnderneth the quhele fawe I there 

Ane vglv pit, depe as ony helle, 
That to behald thereon I quoke for fere ; 

Bot a thing herd I, that quho therein fell, 
Com no more vp agane tidingis to telle ; 

Off quhich, aflonait of that ferefull fycht, 

I ne will quhat to done, fo was I fricht. 


Bot for to fe the fudayn weltering 

Of that ilk quhele that floppare was to hold, 
It femyt vnto my wit a ftrong thing, 

So mony I fawe that than clumben wold, 
And failit foting, and to ground were rold ; 

And othir eke that fat above on hye, 

Were overthrawe in twinklyng of ane eye. 


And on the quhele was lytill void fpace, 
Wele nere oure flraught fro lawe to hye, 

And they were ware that long fat in place, 
So tolter quhilum did fche it to wreye, 

There was bot clymbe and rycht downward hye, 
And fum were eke that fallyng had fore, 
There for to clymbe, thair cor age was no more. 


I fawe alfo, that quhere fum were flungin, 
Be quhirlyng of the quhele vnto the ground, 

Full fudaynly fche hath vp ythrungin, 

And fet theme on agane full fauf and found, 

And ever I fawe a new fwarm abound, 
That to clymbe vpward upon the quhele, 
Inftede of thame that mycht no langer rele. 
Vol. I G CXUI. 



And at the laft, in prefence of thame all 
That {rude about, fche clepit me be name, 

And therewith upon kneis gan I fall 

Full fodaynly hailfing, abaift for fchame ; 

A:)d, fmylyng thus, fche faid to me in game, 
Quhat dois thou here ? quho has the hider fe 
Say on anon, and tell me thyne entent. 


I fe wele. by thy chere and contenance, 
There is fum thing that lyis the on hert ; 

It ftant not with the as thou wald, perchance. 
Madame, quod I, for lufe is all the fmert 

That euer I fele endlang and ouerthwert ; 

Help of your grace me, wofull wrechet wight, 
Sen me to cure ye powere have and mycht. 


Quhat help, quod fche, wold thou that I ordeyne, 

To bring the vnto thy hertis defire ? 
Madame, quod I, bot that your grace dedyne, 

Of your grete mycht, my wittis to infpire, 
To win the well, that flokin may the fyre 

In quhich I birn : Ah, goddefs fortunate ! 

Help now my game that is in poynt to mate. 


Off mate ! quod fche ; a verray fely wretch 
I fe wele, by thy dedely coloure pale j 

Thou art to feble of thyfelf to ftreche 
Vpon my quhele, to clymbe or to hale, 

Withoutin help ; for thou has fund in ftale 
This mony day withoutin werdis wele, 
And wantis now thy veray hertis hele. 


james i. 14^5— x 437- 5 l 


Welc maiftow be a wretchit man callit, *■ 

That wantis the confort t-hat fuld thy hert glade, 

And has all thing within thy hert ftallit, . 
That may thy youth oppreffen or defade ; 

Though thy begynyng hath bene retrograde 
Be froward oppofyt quharetill ; afpert 
Now fall thai turn, and luke on the dert. 


And therewith all vnto the quhele in hye 

Sche hath me led, and bad me lere to clymbe, 
Vpon the quhich I fteppit fudaynly ; 

Now hald thy grippis, quod fche, for thy tyme, 
An houre and more it rynis ouer prime 

To count the hole ; the half is nere away ; 

Spend wele, therefore, the remanant of the day. 


Enfample (quod fche) tak of this tofore, 
That fro my quhele be rolli't as a ball, 

For the nature of it is euermore 

After an hicht to vale, and geve a fall, 

Thus quhen me likith vp or down to fall. 
Farewele, quod fche, and by the ere me toke 
So erneftly, that therewith all 1 woke. 


O befy gofte, ay flikering to and fro, 

That never art in quiet nor in reft, 
Till thou cam to that place that thou cam fro, 

Quhich is thy firft and verray proper neft ; 
From day to day fo fore here artow dreft, 

That with thy flefche ay walking art in trouble, 

And fleping eke of pyne, fo has thou double. 




Couert myfelf all this mene I to loke, 
Thought that my fpirit vexit was tofore, 

In fuenyng, alTone as ever I woke, 
By XX fold it was in trouble more, 

Be thinking me with fighing hert and fore, 
That nane other thingis bot dremes had. 
Nor fekernes my fpirit with to glad. 


And therewith fone I dreffit me to ryfe, 

Fulfild of thoucht, pyne, and aduerfitee, 
And to myfelf I faid in this wife, 

Quhat lyf is this ? quhare hath my fpirit be ? 
A ! merci, Lord ! quhat will ye do with me ? 

Is this of my forethoucht impreffion ? 

Or is it from the hevin a vifion ? 


And gif ye goddis of youre purviance 
; Have fchewit this for my reconforting, 

In relefche of my futicufe penance, 
I yow befeke full truely of this thing, 

That of your grace I mycht have more takenyng, 
Gif it fal be, as in my flepe before 
Ye fchewit have : and forth withoutin more. 


In bye vnto the wyndow gan I walk, 
Moving within my fpirit of this fight, 

Quhare fodeynly a turture t quhitt as calk, 
So evinly vpon my hand gan lycht, 

And vnto me fche turnyt hir, full rycht, 
Offquham the chere in hir birdis aport 
Gave me in hert kalendis of confort, 


JAMES I. I405— T437. 53 


This fair bird rycht in hir bill gan hold 
Of redjeroffieris, with thair Jlalkis grene, 

A fair branche, quhare written was with gold. 
On eury lift, wicht branchis brycht and fchene, 

In compas fair full plefandly to fene, 

A thine fentence> quhich, as I can deuife 
And have in mynd, faid rycht on this wife. 


" Aw ale I awake! I bring, lufar, I bring 

The flewis glad, that blifsfull ben and furc 
Of thy confort ; now lauch, and play, and fing, 

That art bend fo glad an auenture : 
Fore in the hevyn decretit is thy cure." 

And vnto me the flouris fair did prefent ; 

With wyrigis fpred hir wayis furth fche went. 


Quhilk vp anon I tuke, and as I gefle, 
Ane hundreth tymes, jor I forthir went, 

I have it red, with hertfull glaidneffe, 

And half with hope and half with dred it hent, 

And at my beddis hed, with gude entent, 
I have it fair pynit vp, and this 
Firft takyn was of all my help and bliffc. 


The quhich treuly efter day be day, 
That all my wittis inaiftn't had tofore, 

Quhich he ofTerth, the paynis did away ; 
And fchortly, fo wele fortune has hir bore, 

To quomkin, treuly day by day, my lore 
To my larges, that I am cum ac^ayn 
To bliile with hir that is my fovirane. 




To rekjn of every thing the circumftance, 
As happint me quhen lefieren gan my fore, 

Of my rancoure and wofull chance, 
It war to long, 1 lat it be tharefore. 

And thus this jfouris I can feye no more, 
So hertly has vnto my help aclendit, 
That from the deth hir man fche has defendit. 


Go litill tretife, nakit of eloquence, 
Caufing fimplefs and poueitee to wit, 

And pray the reder to have pacience 
Of thy defaute, and to fupporten it, 

Of his gudneffe thy brukilnefle to knytt, 
And his tong for to ruele and to Here, 
That thy defautis helit may bene here. 


Vnto impunis of my maifleris dere, 

Goivere and Chaucere, that on the fleppis fatt 

Of rethorike, quhill thai were lyvand here, 
Superlatiue as poetis laureate, 

In moralitee and eloquence ornate, 
I recommend my buk in lynis feven, 
And eke thair faulis vnto the bliile of hevin, 


EXPLICIT, zic, zic. 

Quod "jacobus Primus Scotorum Rex lllujlrijfimus. 




\PirJl Publi/hed in 1786, from the Maitland 
Collection in the Pepyjian Library at Cam- 
bridge, by Mr PlNKERTON ; who fuppofes it to 
be the Jong beginning with Yas fen, mentioned as 
a compofition of James I. by Majok, in bis 
De Gestis Scotorum. Mr Ritson, in his 
Efjay on Scottijh Song, appears to coincide 
with this opinion. The jirjl line in the Manu- 
fcript, according to Mr Pirrkerton's account t is 
mutilated, andjlands thus, 

" fen that eyen that works my welfair." 

Mr Ritfon thinks, that Major might, by mif- 
take, have written Yt fen, injlead of Sen yt. 
It is here given in the way Mr Pinker ton fup- 
pofes it ought to be read, as it feems to agree 
better with the abrupt clofe of 

" Ha, now my mufe !" 

James 1. is faid to have written many fongs 

Major fays " piuri?ni ;" the language of this is, 
evidently \ very ancient, and not unlike that of 
King's Qhair j there is, therefore, fome proba- 
bility that it may be the Jong mentioned hy Ma- 
jor ; or, at leaf, co-eval with James I.J 

JL as ! fen the eyne that workis my welfair 
Dois no moir on me glance, 
A thoufand fiches, with fuelling fobbis fair, 
Dois throw my bowels lance. 
I die y aiming ; 
I leif pyning ; 
Woe dois encres ; 
I wax witles. 
O findering, O woful doleance ! 



The day quhen as the fair pairtit me fra, 

Plefour left me alfo. 
When that from her I finderit was away, 
Mifchance me hint but ho. 
I waxit wan, 
The fame hour than ; 
Sorow fenfyne 
Dois ft ill me pyne 
O that gud nicht hes caufit mekil wo : 

Evin as men may the turtil trew perfaif, 

Once having loft hir feir, 
On the dry brainche, ay faithful to the graif, 
Bewayling perfeveir. 
So my defy re, 
Kindlit in fyre, 
Dois foir lament 
My luif abfent. 
O God, gif amour be ane paine to beir I 

Never in fomer the hait canicular day 

So hote with beamis brint, 
As dois that fyre, quhilk, me devoring ay, 
Hes faul and bodie tint. 
And never a dairt 
So perced my hatrt, 
As dois the bowt 
Quhilk luif me fchot. 
O god Cupid, gif better be thy dint f 

As he that fwimmis the moir he ettil faft, 

And to the fchoire intend, 
The moir his febil furie, throw windis blaft, 
Is bakwart maid to wend. 
So wars be day 
My greif growis ay. 


JAMES I. 1405—1437. ff 

The moir I am hurte, 
The moir I fturte. 
O cruel love, bot deid thow hes none end ! 

The faithful mefiinger, quhilk is the nicht, 

To luifars langorous, 
Augments my woe ; and als the dayis licht 
Maks me more dolorous. 
The day I dwyne, 
The nicht I pyne ; 
Evin eikis my forow 
Wors then the Morow. 
O God, in love gif I be malhourous ! 

And gif that neid to flumbir me conftraine^ 

Faint throuch melancolie, 
Unrefl: dois ^quikly) walkin me agane 
To mufe my miferie. 
Quhatevir chance 
Dois me outrance, 
Saif fals thinking 
In fueit dteming. 
O dreame maift fueit, gif it war not a lie j 

In cairful bed full oft, in myne intent, 

To tuitche I do appear 
Now fyde, now breift, now fueit, now redolent; 
Of that fueit bodye deir. 
I ftretche my hand, 
In vain ernand ; 
My luif is far, 
And not found nar. 
O fcorne of luifars Cupid blind art heir ! 

Syne quhen the morning, (with hir mantil grein) 
Opinis the dayis face, 
Vol. II. H With 


With Phebus' licht the cairful thochtjs dcin 
Renewis thair woful raicc. 
My fyrie raige 
Dois then aggrage : 
My foir torment 
Dois moir augment. 
O gif abfence be paine in luifis caice T 

So mony ftarris ar nocht in nichtis fein ; 

Nor in drawing colouris : 
Nor fcipping froggis, amid the medow grein j 
As I thocht of dolouris. 
Noy upon noy 
Marks to deftroy 
My woful lyfe, 
Fechting in ftryfe'. 
O gif unhap be found in paramottris ! 

The Day, befoir the fuddane Nichtis chaice, 

Dois not fo fuiftlie go ; 
Nor hare, befoir the ernand grewheund's face, 
With fpeid is careit fo ;■ 
As I, with paine 
For luif of ane, 
Without remeid 
Rin to the deid. 
O God, gif dekl be end of mekil woe ! 

goddis hiche ! gif in the hevin be found 
Sum band of amitie, 

1 yow befeik be movit with my wound ; 

And have fum juft pi tie. 
My proper lyfe 
I hate as ftryfe. 
I me forfaik 


JAMES I. I405—I437. J9 

For other's faik. 
■O gif luif caufis ftrange inamitie ! 

Ha now, my Mufe ! my foucy, and my cair I 

Leif of thy lamenting. 
Ceis to complane of mifchap pny mair. 
End now. I ceis to fing. 
He that can plaine 
Dois thoill leifl paine. 
Soir ar the hairtis 
But playnt that fmartis. 
JSilence to dolour is ane nourishing. 


JAMES II. 1437—1460, 


[Ibis allegorical Poem, apparently a fatyre on 
James II. by a partisan of the Houje of Dou- 
glas, was firfl publijhed in 1792, from tbe Ban- 
natyne Manuscript in tbe Advocates Library 
of Edinburgh, by Mr Pinkerton. Holland, 
tbe author , has mentioned different circumflances 
•which afcertain with precijion the time when it 
was written. He dates it from Ternoway, 
the feat of the Earls of Moray, and fays, 

" Thus for a Dow of Dunbar drew I this dyte 

" Dowit with a Douglas, and baith were they Dowis." 

*Ihe Lady here meant, is Mary Dunbar, who 
brought that Earldom to her hufband, Archi- 
bald Douglas, a younger fon of James, Se- 
venth Earl of Douglas. 'The author, in a Jl 'range 
tedious digrefjion {here omitted) concerning tbe 
armorial bearings, green tree, \3c. of Douglas, 
mentions the four branches ; by which he cer- 
tainly means 1. James, Eighth Earl of Dou- 
glas ; 2. Archibald, Earl of Moray ; 3. 
Hugh, Earl of Ormond ; 4. John, Lord Balve- 
nie. Ln 1450, the favour and power of the Earl 
o/*Douglas began to fail ; in 1452, he was Jlain 
}y the King ; in 1453, Moray was forced into 

exile 1 


exile ; in 1455, all the brothers were attainted ; 
Moray was Jlain in battle again/l his sovereign ; 
and his brother Ormond was, at the fame time, 
taken and beheaded. The poem, then, mujl have 
been written before the attainder ■, and after the 
Houfe of Douglas had lojl the King's favour ; 
probably in 1453. fyf. { ^ e * 'oulat, or Owl, in 
this fatyrical fable, is meant James II. whofe 
face was fomewhat deformed by a fiery rednefs 
in one of his cheeks. The Jlyle, even for that 
time, is particularly uncouth, from the conjlant 
alliteration and confequent necefjity of ujing old 
and uncommon words. The metrical romance of 
Sir Gawane, by Clerk of Tranent, written 
probably about this time, and in the fame ai lite- 
rat he meafure, is fill more barbarous and unin- 
telligible. The reader will be quite fatisfied 
with the Houlat at a fpecimen of this counter- 
feit language, formed more for the pufpofe of 
found thanfenfe.^ 


In the middis of Maii, at morne, as I went 
Throw mirth markit, on mold till a grene meid, 
The blemis blytheft of blee fro the fone blent, 
That all brychnit about the bordouris on breid. 
With alkin herbis fo ffair that war in erd lent 
The feildis flowryfchit : and fretfull of fairhead, 
So foft was the feafons our fovrane doun fent, 
Throw the greabill gift off his godheid, 
That all was amiable ower the air and the erd. 
Thus throw the clifts fo clere 
Above, but fallow or fere, 
I walkit till a riweir 
That ryallye rered. 


JAMES II. I437 — 1460. €5 


^his riche rywer down ran, but refting or rove, 
Throw a foreft on fauld, that ferlye was fair. 
All the brayis of that buyrne buir brenchis above ; 
And birdis blyitheft of ble on bloiTomes bair. 
The land lony was and lie, with lyking and love, 
And for to lende by that lak thocht me levare, 
Becaufs that thir hertis in herdis coud hove ; 
Pranfand and pridyeand, be pair and be pare, 
Thus fat I in folace, fekrelye and fuire, 
Content of the fare firth, 
Mekle mare of the mirth ; 
Als was blyith of the birth, 
That the ground buire. 


The birth that the ground bure wasbrondyn inbredis, 
With gerfs gay as the gold, and granis of grace, 
Mendis and medicine for all menis (neidis ;) 
Help till hert, and till hurt, helefull it was. 
Under the circle folar thir fanourous fedis 
Were nurifl be dame Nature, that nobill maiftres. 
Bot all thair namys to nyum as now it nocht nedis ; 
It wer prolixit and lang, and lenthing of fpace. 
And I haif mekle matter in metir to glofs, 
Of ane uthir fentence , 
And waik is my eloquence. 
Thairfoir in haift will I hence 
To the purpofe. 


Of that purpoia in that place, be pryme of the day, 
I hard a peteous appeill, with a pure mane, 
Sowlpit in forow, that fadly could fay, 
** Woes me wreche ! in this warld wilfum of wane, 

« With 


" With mair murnyng in mynd, than I mene may, 
" Rowpit rewchfully roulk in a rud rane." 
Off that ferly onfold I fell in affray ; 
Nyrar that noyis in neft I nycht anane, 

I faw a houlat in hailt, under aae holyng, 
Lukand the lak throw, 

And faw his awin fhadow, 
At the quhilk he culd grow,' 
And maid a gowling. 


He gret gryflie grym, and gaif a grit youle, 
Hydand and bydand with churlich chere. 
«' Quhy is my fate," quoth the fyle, " faffeint fo foule ? 
" My forme and my fetherin unfrenlie, but feir j 
" My neb is nytherit as a nob ; I am but ane oule. 
" Againis natur in the nycht I waik into weir. 
" I dar do nocht in the day bot droup as a doule J 
" Nocht for fhame of my fhaip in pert till appeir. 
" Thus all the foulis, for my filth, lies me at feid ; 

II That be I fene in thair ficht 
*' To luke out on day lycht, 

'* Sum will me dolefully dycht, 
*' Sum ding me to my deid. 


" Sum bird will bay at my beke, andfum will me byte; 
" Sum fkirp me with fcorne, fum fkyrine at myn e. 
** I fee be my fhaddow my fhap hes the wyte. 
■• Quhame fall I blemeinthisbreth,abcfum that Ibe? 
*' Is none bot dame Natur I bid not to wyte 
** Or to accufs, in this caufs, in cais that I de. 
" Bot quha fall make me amendisof hir worth amyte, 
'* That this hes maid on the mold a monfler of me ? 
«• I will appeill to the Paip, and pafs to him plane ; 
" For happiu that his Halynace, 

« Throw 

JAMES II. I437 1460. 65 

** Throw prayer, may purchace 
" To reforme my foule face ; 
" Aad than wer I fane. 


** Fane wald (I ken), quoth the fyle, or I furth fure, 

*' Quha is fader of all foule, paftour and Paip ? 

•' That is the plefand Pacok, pretious and pure, 

" Couftant and kirklyk, under his cleir kaip ; 

<c Myterk, as the maner is, manfuiet and demure ; 

•' Schrowd in his fcheneweid, and fchane in his fchaip ; 

'* Sad in his fandthude, fickerly and fure. 

" I will go to that guid, his grace for to graip." 

Off that boure I was blyeth ; and baid to behald. 

The Hozvlat, violent of vyce, 

Raikit under the ryce, 

To the Pacok of pryce, 

That was Pape cald. 


Beffoir the Paip quhen that puir prefent him had, 

With fit courtaiTye, as he coud, on knees he fell ; 

Said, " Ave Rabye ! Be the rude, I am rycht rade 

<J To behald your Halynes, or my taill tell. 

" I may nocht fuflife to fe your San&itude fad." 

The Paip wyiflie, I wis, of worfchip the well, 

Gawe him his braid bennefoun ; and balelie him bade, 

That he fuld fpeanlie fpeik, and fpair nocht to fpell. 

" I com to fpeir," quoth the fpreit, " into fpeciall, 

" Ouhy I am formit fa foull ; 

'* Ay to yout and to youll, 

" As ane horuble oull, 

" Ougfum owir all? 

Vol I. I IX. 



" I am nycherit ane oule thus be Nature, 

u Lykar a fulle, than a foull, in figure and face ; 

* Byflym of all birdis, that evir bodye bure, 
" Without caws or crjme kend in this cace. 

ft I have appeillit to jour prefence, pretious and puir, 

" To alk help into haift at jour Holynace, 

" That ye wald crje upoun Chrift, that all hes in cuir, 

" To fchape me ane fchand bird in a fchort fpace. 

" And to accufe Nature, this is no waj. 

" Thus throw jour Haljnes maj je 

" Make a fair foull of me j 

" Or ellis dreidles I dee, 

" Or mj end daj." 


* Off thj deid,' quoth the Paip, * pitie I hawe ; 
' Bot of Nature to plejne it is pariell. 

' I can nocht faj fuddanlie, fo me Chrift fawe, 
' Bot I fall call mj cardinallis, and mj counfell. 
' Patriarkis and prophetis, oure lerit all the lawe, 
' Thai fal be femblit full fone, that thow fe fall.' 
He callit on his Cubiculare within his conclawe 
That was the proper Pape, proud in his apparrell: 
Bad fend for his fecretare, and his fele fone, 
That was the 'Turture treweft 
Ferme, fakhfull, and feft, 
That bure that office honeft ; 
And enterit but hone. 


The Paip commandit, but hone, to wrjt in all landis, 
Be the faid fecretare, that the fele jemyt, 
For all ftaitis of kirk, that under Chrift ftandis, 
To femble till his fummondis, as it weill femjt. 


JAMES II. 1437— 1460. 67 

The trew Turture has tane with the titgandis, 
Done dewly his dett as the dere demyt : 
Sjne beljve fend the lettres into fere landis, 
With the Swallow fo fwift in fpeanle exprerait, 
The Papis herald at poynt into prefent ; 
For he is furthward to flee, 
And ay will haif enteree 
In hous, and in hall hee, 
To tell his entent. 


Quhat fall I tell ony mair of thir materis ? 

Bot thir lordis belyve thir lettres hes tane, 

RefTavit thame with reverence, to reid as efferis ; 

And richelye the heraldis rewardit ilk. ane. 

Than bulk thai but blin ; monye bewfckeris 

Graithis thame, but growching, that gait for to gane. 

All the ftaitis of kirk out of fteid fteris . 

And I fall note you richt now thair namis in ane. 

How thai apperit to the Paip, and prefent thame ay ; 

Fair farrand, and free, 

In ane guidlye degree, 

And manlyke ; as thocht me 

In middis of May *. 


Confefs cleir can I nocht, nor kyth all the cas, 
The kynd of thair cunnyng, thir comparges eke ; 
The manere, nor the multitude fomonyt than was. 
All fe foull, and fede foull, was nocht for to feke» 
Thir ar no foulis of ref, nor of rethnas, 
Bot manfuete, but malice, mandrit and meke, 
And all apperit to the Paip, in that ilk place, 


* Here follows a verbofe enumeration of the birds in the character of 
Bilhops, Abbots, Monks, &c. The names, common. 


Salufl his fanctitude with fpirituall fpeke. 
The Pape gaif his benefon, and bliffit thame all. 
Quhen thai war rank it on tawis 
Off thair wing, the haill cawis 
Was faid into fchort fawis, 
As ye here fall. 


The Pape faid to the Oule, " Propone thine appeie, 

M Thy lamentabill langage, as lyke the beft." 

1 I am defcernint of the foul, with faltis full fcle, 

' Be nature nycherit ane oule noy quhar in nefl, 

* Wrech of all wrechis, fra wirfchip and wele ; 

(All this tretye lies he tald be times inteft.) 

' It nedis nocht to renew all my unhele, 

' Sen it was menit to your mynd, and maid manifeuV 

Bot to the poynt pietous he prait the Pape 

To call the clergye with cure 

And fe gif that Nature 

Mycin reforme his figure 

In a fair fchaip. 


Than fairly the Fader thir foulis he frainyt 

Off thair cunfele in that cais, fen that the rycht knew ; 

Gyff thaYthe Houlat mycht help, that wasfo hard panyt. 

And thai verelye avilit, full of vertewe, 

The mater, the manner, and how it remanyt ; 

The circumftance, and the ftait, all coude thai argewe. 

Monye alleageance lele, in lede nocht to laneit, 

Off Aristotle, and all men, fchairplye thai fchewe. 

The prelatis thair apperance proponit gecerall. 

Sum faid to, fum fra ; 

Sum nay, and fum ya. 

Baith pro and contra 

Thus argewe thai all. 


JAMES II. I437 — 1460, 69 


Thus argewe thai erniftlye wone offis ; 

And fyn to the famyn forfuth thai alien t hole ; 

That fen it nychlit Nature, Chair aliens maiftris, 

Thai coud uocht trete but ententof the feirperaie'. 

Thairfore thai counfele the Pape to wryte on this wys, 

To the achil Emprour, fouerane in fale, 

Till addrefs to that diete, to deme hia avis, 

With Dukis, and with digne Lordis, cterreil in dale, 

Erlis of anceftry, and uthir ynewe. 

So that Spirituale State 

And the fee ul a re cordate^ 

Mycht all gang in a gate 

Tendir and trewe. 


The trew Nurture, and traift, as I heire tald, 

"VVrate thir lettres at lenth, leleft in lede ; 

Syne throw the Papis pretext planelye thame yald 

To the Sivallcw fo fwift, harrald in hede, 

To ettill to the Emproure, of anceftry aid. 

He wald nocht fpare for to fpring on a hind fpede : 

Fand him in Babilonis tour, with bernis fa bald, 

Gruell kingis with crouns, and ducks but drede, 

He gave thir lordis * belyve the lettres to lnke ; 

Quhilk the riche Emproure, 

And all other in the houre 

ReflTavit with honour, 

Bayth Princis, and Duke. 


Quhen thai confavit had the ore, and t"he credence, 
Be the herald in hall hufe thai nocht ellts, 


* Birds of prey, as temporal Lords. 


Bot bownis out of Babilon with all obedience, 

Sekis our the fait fee, fro the fouth fellis, 

Enteris in Europ y free but offence, 

Waillis wylie the wayis, be woddis and wellis, 

Till thai approch to the Pape in his prefence, 

At the foirfaid trifle quhar the trete tellis. 

Thai fand him in a forreft, frelye and fare. 

The Paip, and the Patriarkis, the Prelattis, I will, 

Welcomit thatne wyflie, but weir, 

With haly farmondis feir, 

Pardoun, and piayeir, 

And blythly thame blifl. 


The bliffit Paip in the place prayd thame ilk ane 

To remane to the meit, at the midday ; 

And thay grantit that gud, but gruching, to gane : 

Than to ane wortheleth wane went thay thair way : 

Paffit to a palice of price plefand allane, 

Was ere&it ryelly, ryke of array, 

Pantit and apparalit prowdly in pane, 

Sylit femely with filk, futhly to fay. 

Braid burdis, and benkis, our beld with bancouris of 

Cled our with clene claithis, 
Raylit full of richis, 
The efrefl wes the areflis 
That ye fe fchold. 


All thus thay move to the meit : and the Marfchalc 
Gart bring watter to wefche, of a well cleir ; 
Thar wes the Falcone fo fair, frely but faile 
Bad bernis burdis upbred, with a blyth chere. 
The Paip pafl to his place, in his pontificale, 
The athil Emprour annon nycht him neir. 


JAMES II. I437 — I46o. 71* 

Kings, and Patrearkis, kend with Cardynnallis all, 
Addreffit thame to that defs, and Dukis fo deir. 
Bifchopis, Baronis, to the burd, and Marchonis of 

michtis ; 
Erlis of honoris, 
Abbottis of ordoris, 
Proveftis and Prions, 
And many kene knychtis. 


Denis, and digneteis as are demit, 

Schtiferis, and Sqyeris, and Bachelaris blyth : 

I prefs nocht all to report ; ye hard thame exprimit. 

Bot all wer marchellit to meit, mekly and myth : 

Syne fervit femely in fale, forfuth as it femit, 

With all curers of coft that cukis coud kyth. 

In flefche tyme, quhen the fifche wer away flcmit, 

Quha was Stewart bot the Stork, ftalwart and ftyth : 

Syne all the lentren but les, and the lang rede, 

And als in the advent, 

The So/and ftewart was fent ; 

For he coud fra the firmament 

Fang the fifche deid. 


The Boy tour callit was Cuke, that him weil kend 

In craftis of the kifchin, cofilyk of curis. 

Mony fauouris fawce with fewans he fend, 

And confe&ionnis of forfs that phefick furth furis. 

Mony mair meitis, gife I fall mak end, 

It neidis not to renew all thair naturis j 

Quhair fit ftaitis will fleir, thair flyle till oftend, 

Ye wait all welth and worfchip daily induris. 

Syne, at the middis of the meit, in come the Menflral- 

The Mavifs and the Merle fingis 



O/iflisy and Stirlingis ; 

The blyth Lark that begynis, 

And the Nychingallis, 


And thair notis in ane, gif I rycht nevin, 

Were of Mary ihe myld •, the maner I wifs ; 

'* Hale temple of the tiinite, crownit in hevin ! 

" Hale muder of oui makar, and medecyn of mifs ! 

" Hale friite and falve for the fynnis fevin ! 

u Hale but of e, barret and beld of our blifs ! 

'* Hale granefull of grace that growis fo evin ! 

° Ferme our feid to the fet quhar thy fone is, 

*' Haill lady of all ladies, lichteft of leiue ! 

" Haill chalin of cheftite ! 

" Haill charbuncle of cherite ! 

" Haill ! Bliflit mot tliou be 

" For thy barne feine. 


" Haill bliflit throch the bodwird of With angellis ! 

*' Haill princes that expleitis all profetls pure ! 

** Haill blyther of the Bapteift, within thy bowellis, 

*' Of Elizabeth thy aunt, aganis nature ! 

" Haill fpritrous moft fpecifeit with the fpirituallis ! 

<4 Haill ordanit or ordane, and ay to indure ! 

tl Haill oure hope, and oure help, quhen that harme 

ailis ! 
*' Haile altarc of Ena in ane briture ! 
<l Haile well of our weilfair ! We wait nocht of ellis ; 
<£ Bot all comittis the, 
** Saull, and lyfe, Ladye : 
"Now, for thy fruyte, mak us free 
*• Fra feindis that fellis, 


JAMES II. 1437 1460. 73 


** Fra thy gree to this ground lat thy grace glyde ! 

" As thow art gran tare thairof, and the gevare ; 

" Now fovrane quhair thow fittis, be thy fonis fyde, 

" Send fum fuccor doun fone to the fynnare ! 

" The feind is our felloun fa, in the we confyde, 

"■ Thou moder of all mercye, and the menare. 

" For ws wappit in wo in this warld wyde, 

" To thy fone male thy mane and thy makar. 

" Now ladye luke to the lede that ye fo lele luifts, 

" Thow fekir crone of Salomon, 

" Thow worthy wand of Aaron, 

t( Thow joyis flece of 'Jedron, 

" Us help the tahufis !" 


All thus our Ladye thai lofe, with lyking and lift, 

Menftralis, and muficians, mo than I mene may. 

The Pfa/try, the Citbolis, the foft atharift, 

The Cronde, and the mony cordis, the gythomis gay ; 

The rote, and the 'recordour, the ribus, the rift, 

The trumps and the taburn, the tympaae but tray j 

The lilt pype y and the lute, the cithill andjift, 

The duljate, and the dulfacordis, Xhzfchalin of affay ; 

The amyable organis ufxt full oft ; 

Clarions loud knellis, 

Portatibis, and bellis. 

Cymbaellonis in the cellis, 

That found is fo oft. 


Quhen thai had fangin, and faid, foftly a fchoure ; 

And plaid as of paradyfs it a poynt ware ; 

In come japane the *$a, as a Jugloure, 

With caitis, and with cantelis, a quynt caryaje. 

Vol. I. K He 


He gart thame fee, as it femyt, in famin houre, 
Hunting at herdis, in holtis fo haire ; 
Soune failand on the fee fchippis of toure ; 
Bernis batalland on burd, brym as a bare ; 
He coud caiye the coup of the kingis des, 
Syne leve in the ftede 
Bot a blak bunwede : 
He coud of a henis hede 
Mak a man mes. 


He gart the Emproure trow, and trewlye behald. 

That the Corncraih^ the pundare at hand, 

Had poyndit all his pris hors in a poynd fald, 

Becaus thai eite of the corn in the kirkland. 

He could wirk windaris, quhat way that he wald ; 

Mak a gray gus a gold garland, 

A lang fpere of a bittill for a berne bald, 

Noblis of nutfchellis, and filver of fand. 

Thus jowkit with juxters the janglane jfa. 

Fair ladyis in ringis, 

Knychtis in caralyngis, 

Bayth danfis and fingis ; 

It femyt as fa. 


Sa come the Ruke with a rerde, and a ranc roch, 

A Bard out of Irland with banochadee ! 

Said, gluntow guk dynydrach hula mifchty doch ; 

Reke hir a rug of the roll, or fcho fall ryve the. 

Mifch makmory ach much momitir moch loch ; 

Set her doun, gif her drink ; quhat deill aylis ye ? 

Dermyn, Donned, Dochardy droch ; 

Thir ar the Ireland Kingis of the Erchrye. 

O Knewlyn, Conoquhor, Gregre Al'Grane; 

The Chenachy ) the Charfchach, 


JAMES II. I437— 1460. 75 

The Benefchene, the Ballach, 
The Krekrye, the Corach, 
Scho kennis thame ilkane. 


Monje lefingis he maid ; wat lat for no man 
To fpeke quhill he fpokin had, fparet no thingis. 
The Dene Rural, the Ravin, reprevit him than, 
Bad him his lefingis leue befoir thai Lordingis. 
The bard wes branewod, and bitterlye coud ban, 
" Thou corby meflinger," quoth he, ** with forow now 

fingis ; 
" Thow ifchit out of Noyis ark, and to the erd wan, 
*' Tareit as tratour and brocht na tadingis ; 
" I fall riwe the Ravyn, bayth guttis and gall." 
Than the Dene Rurall worth rede, 
Sail for fchame of the ftede ; 
The bard held a grit plede 
In the hie hall.' 


In come twa flyrand Fulis with a fond fair, 

The tuquheit, and the gukkit gowk, and yede hiddie 

giddie ; 
Rwifchit bayth to the Bard, and ruggit his hare j 
Callit him thris thevis nek, to thraw in a widdie. 
Than fylit him fra the foirtop to the fute thare. 
The Bard fmaddit lyke a fmaik fmokit in a fmiddie : 
Ran faft to the dur, and gaif a grit raire ; 
Socht watter to wefch him thairout in ane ydy. 
The Lordis leuch upoun loft, and lyking thai had, 
That the Bard was fo let. 
The Folis fend in the net, 
And monye mowis at mete 
On the fluir maid. 




Syne for -a figonale of frutt thai flrave in the fiede , 

The tuquheit gird to the gowk, and gaif him a fall, 

RaiiF his taill fra his hcid, with a rache pleid ; 

The gowk gat up agane in the grit hall, 

Tuc the tuquheit be the tope, and owirtirllit his heid, 

Flang him flat in the fyre, fedderia and all. 

He cryit, ** AUace," with a rair, *< revin is my reid ! 

t( I am ungretiouflye gorrit bayth guttis and gall." 

Yit he lopd fra ye low bycht in lyne. 

Quhen thai had remyllis raucht, 

Thai foirthocht that thai facht ; 

.Kiffit fyne, and facht, 

And fatt doun fyne. 


All thus thir achilles in hall herlie remanit, 

With all welthis at wifs, and worfchip to waill : 

The Pape beginnis to grace, as greablie ganit ; 

Wifch with thir wirchypis, and went to counfale. 

The puir Howlattis appele compleitlie was plauit, 

His fait and foull forme, unfrelie but fale ;■ 

For the quhilk thir Lordis in lede nocht to lane it, 

He befocht of focour, as fovrane in faile, 

That thai wald pray Nature his prefent to renew ; 

For it was hale his behefte, 

At thair alleris requefte, 

Mycht dame Nature arefte 

Of him for to rewe. 


Than rewit thir ryallis of that rach man, 

Bayth Spirituale and Temporale, that kennit the cas ; 

And, conliderand the caus, concludit in ane, 

That thai wald Nature befeke, of hir grit grace, 


JAMES II. I437 1460. 57 

To difcend that faim hour as thair Sovrane, 

At thair alleris inftance, in that ilk place. 

The Pape and the Patriarkis, the Prelatis ilk ane, 

Thus pray thai as penitent ; and all that thair was. 

Quhair throw dame Nature the traift difcendit that 

At thair hale inftance , 
Quham thai reffawe with reverance 
And bowfura obeyfance, 
As Goddcs, and gyde. 


" It neides nocht," quoth Nature, ** to renew ocht 

" Oif your intent in this tj'dc, or for this to tell ; 

" I waitt your will, and quhat way ye wald that 1 

4< wrocht 
'** To reafoun the Houlat, of faltis full fell. 
" It fall be done at ye deme, drede ye ryclit nocht : 
" I confent in this cais to your counfell. 
" Sen myfelf for your fake hidder lies focht. 
" Ye fall be fpecialye fped, or I mair fpell. 
" Now ilk foull of the firth a feddir fall ta, 
" And let the Houlat, fen ye 
" Of him hes pitie ; 
t( And I fall gar thame famyn be 
et To grow or I ga. 


Than ilka foull o' his facht a fether has tane, 
And let the Houlat in hafte, hurthy but hone. 
Dame Nature the nobilleft nychit in ane ; 
For fo ferm this fetheren, and dochly hes done ; 
Girt it ground, and grow gaylye and gane, 
On the famin Houlat, femely and fone. 
Than was the fchand of his fchaip, and his fchroud 



Off all coloure, maift clere beldit abone ; 

The faireft foull of the firth, and hendeft of hewis 5 

So clene, and fo colourike, 

That no bird was him lyke 

Fro Byron to Berivike t 

Under the bewis. 


Thus was Houlat in herd hcrdly at hichr, 

Floure of all foulis, throw fetheris fo faire, 

He iukit to his licame lemyt fo lycht, 

So proper plefand of prent, proud to repaire. 

He thocht maid on the mold makles of mycht, 

As Sovrane him awin felf, throw beautie he baire^ 

Contitulate with the Pape our princis, I plicht ; 

Sy hielie he hyit him in Luciferis laire, 

That all the foulis of the firth he defoulit fyne. 

Thus lete he no man his pere ; 

Gif ony nygh wald him nere, 

He bad thame rebaldis orere, 

With a ruyne. 


' The Paip, and the Patriarkis, princis of prow, 
' I am cum of thair blud, be coufingage knawin. 

* So fair is my fetherin I haif no fallow ; 

* My fchrcud and my fchene were fchyre to the fchaw- 

All birdis he rebawkit, that wald him nocht bow ; 
In breth as a battell wrycht full of boft blawin, 
With unlowable latis nocht till allow, 
Thus vitiit he the Valantene thraly and thrawinj 
That all the foulis with affent affemblit agane, 
And plenyeit to Nature 
Off this intollirable injure ; 


JAMES II. I437 — 1460. 79 

How the Houlat him bure 
So he, arid fo hautane. 


So pompeous, impertinax, and reproviatle, 

In exceffis our arrogant thir birdis ilkane 

Befocht Natur to ceifs that infufferable, 

That with that Lady allyt lewch her allane. 

** My firft making," quoth fcho, " was unamendable, 

u Thocht I alterit, as ye all afkit in ane. 

" Yit fall I preif you to pleifs, for it is poffible. 

Seho callit the Houlat in haift, that was fo hautane, 

" Thy pryd," quoth the Princes, u approchis our he, 

" Lyke Lucifer in efiait, 

'* And for thow art fo elait, 

" As the Evangelift wrait, 

" Thow fall law be. 


w The rent, and the riches, that thow in rang, 

" Wes of uthir all, and nocht of thyne awin ; 

" Now ilk fowll his awin feudir fall againe fang; 

" And make the catyve of kynd, to thy feif knawin.'* 

As fcho hes demyt thay haif done thraly in thrang. 

Thairwith dame Natur hcs to the hevin drawin : 

Afcendit fone, in my ficht, with placenceand fang, 

And ilk foule tuke the flicht : aiid, fchortly to fchawin, 

Held hame to thair hant, and to thair harbry, 

Quhair thay wer wont to rcmane, 

All thir gudly and gane .• 

And thair lenit allane 

The Houlat, and I. 


Than this Houlat hideous of hair and of hyde, 
Put u*iL fia poverty to prifs, and princes awin peir -, 



Syne degradit fra grace, for his grit pryd,. 

Bannyt bittirly his birth belfully in beir. 

He welterit, he wrythit, he wareit the tyd, 

That he \ves wrocht in this warld wofull in weir. 

He criplit, he cryngit, he carefully cried, 

He folpit, and forrowit, in fichingis feir. 

He faid, u Allace I am loft, latheft of all, 

u Byfym in bale bell ; 

«* I may be fimple heireft 

" That pryd yit nevir left. 

(i His feir, but a fall. 


" I coud nocht won into welth wreth wayeft, 

" I wes fo wantoun in will, my werdis ar wan , 

** Thus for my hicht I am hurt and harmit in haift, 

" Carfull and catife for craft that I can. 

' Quhen I wes of hevit as heir all thill hieft, 

u Fra rewll, reflfon, and rycht redles I ran. 

■* Thairfoir I ly in the lymb, lympet the lathaift ; 

'* Now mek your mirrour he me, all manner of man, 

" Ye princis, prelettis of pryd for ponnyis and prow, 

" That pullis the pure ay\ 

u Ye fall fing as 1 fay, 

" All your welth will away, 

'* Thus a werne yow. 


tl Think how bair thow wes borne, and bair ay will 

" be, 
" For ocht that fedis of thy felf, in ony fefon. 
" Thy cud, thy claithis, thy coift, cumis nocht of the, 
'« Bot of the frutt of the erd, and Gods fufron. 
*' Quhen ilka thing hes tne awin, futhly we fe, 
** J'hy nakit corfs bot of rlay and foule carion, 
u Hatit, and hades j quhairof art thow he ? 

" We 

JAMES II. I437 14&5. 8l 

** We cum pure, we gang pure, bath King and Comon. 
" Bot thow rewll the richtoufs, thy crowne fall ourere.'* 
Thus faid the Houlat on hicht. 
Now God, for thy grit micht, 
Set our faulis in ficht 
Off Sanctis fo feire ! 


Thus for a Dow of Dunbar drew I this dyte, 

Dowit with a Dowglas ; and baith were thay Doivis :, 

In the forrefl foirfaid, frely perfyte, 

Of 'Terivay, tendir and tryd, quhofo treft trowis. 

Wer my wit as my will, than fuld I weill wryte : 

Bot gif lak in my leid, that nocht till all owis, 

Ye wife, for your wirfchip, wryth me no wyte. 

Now blyth ws the blift barne, that all berne bowis : 

He len ws lyking and lyfe evirleftand ! 

In mirthfull moneth of May 

In middis of Murray^ 

Thus in a tyme, be Ternway t 

Hapnit Holland. 


Vol. I. L The 


[Johannes Major, in his hijiory of Scotland,, fays, 
" in the time of ray infancy, Henry, who was blind 
from his birth, compofed a book confiding entirely 
of the atchieveraents of William Wallace. By- 
reciting his hiftories before princes and great men, 
he earned his food and raiment. " Major was borrf 
in 1446 ; and in Dunbar's lament for the death of 
the Makars, or Poets, Blind Harry comes after 
Holland and Clerk of 'Tranent. Therefore, we 
may Juppofe the detached hi/lorical pieces of this 've- 
nerable minjlrel, to have been connected together fome 
time between 1456 and 1460. The only ancient ma- 
nufcript copy that has reached our time, is that in 
the Advocates Library of Edinburgh, written in 
1488 by a John Ramsay ; who alfo tranfcribed, in 
the following year, Barbour's life of Bruce, now 
in the fame Library. To thofe readers who are not 
inclined to dip into the hi/lory itfelf which cele- 
brate r, as Lord Hailes obferves, the acliont that 
Wallace did not perform, as well as thofe which he 
did, the folloiving extract willfhew affuredly the true 
fate of the living language in Henry's time ; for, 
confidering his ftuation as a wandering mendicant, 
we mujl fuppofe he wrote his popular Jlories in a 
language that was univerfally undcrflood ; and there 
is no ground for fufpeBing that Ramsay ufed any 
freedoms either in altering or amending (whatever he 
might do in arranging) Henry's Work.] 



Kjn Wednyfday, the fals Sothroune furth brocht, 
Till martyr him as thai befor had wrocht. 
Rycht futh it is, a martyr Wallace was, 
Als Oflwald, Edmunt, Edwart, and Thomas, 
Of men in armes led hym a full gret rout. 
With a bald fpreit gud Wallace blent about ; 
A preyft he afkyt, for God that deit on tre. 
King Edwart than commandyt hys clerge, 
And faid, I charge, on payn off lofs of lyff, 
Nane be fa bald yon tyrand for to fchreiffj 
He has rong lang in contrar my hienace. 

A blyft Byfchop fone prefent in that place 
OffCanterbeiy he than was rychtwyfs Lord, 
Agayn the King he maid this rycht record : 
And myfelff fall her hys confeffioun, 
Gyff I haif mycht in contrar off thi croun j 
An you throw force will flop me off this thing, 
I vow to God, quhilk is my rychtwyfs King, 
That all Ingland I fall enterdyt, 
And male it knawn yow ar ane herretyk. 
The facrement of kyrk I fall hym geyff ; 
Syn tak the chos, to fhrive or lat hym leyff. 
It war mar weill, in worfchip off thi croun 
To kep fie ane in lyk in thi bandoun, 
Than all the land and gud that yow has refyd ; 
Bot cowartyfs ye ay fra honour drefyd. 
You has lyff rongyn in wrangis deid, 
That fall be feyn on ye, or on thi feid. 



The King gart charge thai fuld the Byfchop ta, 
Bot fad Lordys confellyt to lat hjm ga. 
All Inglifmen fayd, that hys defyr was rycht. « 
To Wallace than he rakyt in thair fycht, 
And fadly herd his confeflioun till ane end. 
Humbly to God hys fpreit he thar commend ; 
Lawly hym fhrift with harry devotioun. 
Apon hys kneis, and faid ane oryfoun. 
Hys leyff he tuk, and to Weft Monaftyr raid. 
The lok-men, than thai bur Wallace, but baid 
On till a place hys martyrdome to tak 
For till hys ded he wald na forthyr mak. 
Fra the fyrft nycht he was tane in Scotland, 
Thai kepyt hym intill that famyn band. 
Na thing he had that fuld haiff doyn hym gud, 
Bot Inglifmen hym feruit off carnaill fud. 
Hys warldly lyff defyrd the fuftenance, 
Thocht he it gat in conirar of plefanee. 
Thai thretty dayis hys band thai durft nccht flaik, 
Quhill he was boundyn on a fkamyll of ayk, 
With yrn chenzies that was bath ftark and keyn. 

A clerk thai fet to her quhat he wald meyn. 
Yow Scott, he faid, that gret wrang has don, 
Thi fatell hour, you feis, approches fon ; 
Yow fuld in mynd remembyr thi myfdeid, 
That clerkis may, quhen thai thair pfalmis reid 
For Cryftin faullis that makis thaim to pray 
In thair nowmyr yow may be ane off thai ; 
For now yow feis on forfs yow mon decefs. 

Than Wallace faid, for all thi roid raherfs 
Yow has na charge, fuppofs that I did myfs, 
Yon bl) ft Byfchop has hecht I fall haiff blyfs ; 
And trew I weill, that God fall it admyt, 
Thi febyll words fall nocht my confciens fmit. 


JAMES II. I437 1460. 8j 

Comfort I haiff off way that I fuld gang ; 
Maift payn I byd from being her our lang. 

Than faid this clerk, our King afft fend ye till, 
Yow mycht haifF had all Scotland at thi will, 
To hald offhym ; and ceflyt of thi ftryff, 
So as a Lord rongyn furth all thi lyff. 

Than Wallace faid, you fpekis off mychty thing. 
Had I leflyt, and gottyn my rychtwyfs King 
Fra worthi Bruce had refavit hys croun, 
I thocht haiff maid Ingland hys bandoun ; 
So uttraly it fuld beyn at hys will, 
Quhat pleffyt hym, to fauff thi King or fpill. 

Weill, faid this clerk, than yow repentis nocht 
Off wykkednefs yow has a felloune thocht j 
Is nayn in warld that has fa many flane ; 
Tharfor till afk, me think yow fuld be bane, 
Grace off our King, and fyn at hys barnage. 

Than Wallace fmyl'd a litill at hys langage. 
I grant, he faid, part Inglifmen I flew 
In my quarrel, me thocht nocht halff enew. 
1 movyt na wer, bot to wyn our awin. 
Thi fruftyr words dois nocht bot taris me, 
I the commaund on Godd's halff lat me be. 

A Schyrreff gart this clerk fone fra hym pafs ; 
Rycht as thai durft thai grant quhat he wald afs. 
A pfaltyr buk Wallace had on hym evir 
Fra his child-heid fra it wald nocht diffevyr ; 
Better he trowit in viage for to fpeid ; 
Bot than he was difpulyeid off hys weid. 
This grace he aft at Lord Clyffurd that Knycht, 
To lat hym haiff hys pfaltyr buk in fycht ; 
He geit a preyft it oppyn befor hym hauk!, 



Quhill thai to hym had done all that thai wauld. 
Stedfaft he red, for ocht thai did hym thar ; 
Feill Sothroune faid, that Wallace feld na fayr. 
Gud devotioun fa was hys begynnyng, 
Conteynd tharwith, and fair was hys endyng, 
Quhill fpech and fpreit all at once can fayr 
To leftand blyfs, we trow, for evir mair. 



JT — the only other Poet known to have flourifhed in this 
reign, and the fir/l clajjical writer of tnifcellaneous 
Poetry in Scotland. In the Harleyan Library is a 
manufcript copy of Henrtson's Fables, dated 1575 ; 
wherein he is flyled Schoolmq/ler of Dunfermling. 
Lord Hailes fuppofes his office to have been Precep- 
tor of youth in the Benedictine convent of that place ; 

perhaps what was then called Profeffor of Art and 
fury. 'The cera of his writing may be afcertained 

from a variety of concurring circumjlances. Dun- 
bar, in his Lament for the death of the Poets, men- 
tions them pretty nearly in chronological order. Hen- 
Ryson comes after Holland, Clerk of Tranent , 
and Blind Harry; and mufl have been dead for 

fome time before the Lament was written ; for the 

Jlanza, fucceeding that in which he is mentioned ', runs 
thus : 

" Ami Death has now tane, lajl of aw, 
The gentle Stoho and Quentene Schaw." 

Dunbar's Poem occurs in a mifcellaneous collection, 
(the very firfl production, it is believed, of the Scot- 
tijh Prejs,) imprentit at Edinburgh in 1508, by 
Walter Chepman, and Andrew Millar ; and 
may have been written about 1505. Suppo/e Hen- 
RYSON to have died ten years before, at the age of 
feventy, his birth will be brought to 1425, and he 
might begin to write about 1450. In conformity 
with this fuppojition, we find Henryson, in his fable 
ef the Dog, Wolf and Sheep, mentioning the " Pefii- 
lence" as having been jufil then,fent by the Almighty 
for a punifhment of the fins of the people : This plague 



happened in 1456, as appears from AB 57 of James 

II. pajfed in that year, for preventing its farther 
ravages — Alfo again, in his fable of the Lyon and 
Moufe, there appears, according to Lord Hailes, 
an allujion to the revenge taken on Robert HI. by 
Dunbar, Earl of March ; and on James I. by Sir 
Robert Graham, as recent events. James II. was 
at variance with the formidable Houfe of Dou- 
glas, from 1451 to 1455 ; and Henryson, in the 
conclujion of this fable, exprefsly warns him that re- 
vengeful men 

" Wait alway amendis for till get ; 

For hurt men wrytis in the marble ftane 
More till expone, as now, I lat allane ; 
Bot King and Lord may weill wit quhat I mene. 
Figure heirof aft tymes has been fene." 

Thefe lines could not apply to the minority of James 

III. Probably, indeed, the whole of Henry son's 
Fables were written nearly about the fame time ; that 
is, from 1450 to 1460, when he was not far advanced 
in years. In one of them he fpeaks thus of Science : 

" Weill war the man of all uthir, that mocht 
All his lyfe dayis in perfyte ftudy wair 
To get fcience ; for him neidit na mair." 

• In the Chartulary of Dunfermline, Mr Robert 
Henryson of For del is witnefs in a charter to Pa- 
trick Baron, of the lands of Spit tlefi 'eld, anno 1478. 
It is not now known whether this Robert Henryson 
and the Poet be the fame perfon, but appearances are 
rather in favour offuch a fuppofition. The eflate of 
For del, during the life of this Robert, was, it fcems, 
under wad-fet ; and in Henryson's Poem of the Ab- 
bay Walk, beginning thus : 

" Alone as I went up and down 

In ane Abbay was fair to fee," &.c. 

(doub tlefs 

JAMES II. 1437 — 1460. 89 

{doubtlefs written about the fame time) we find him 
thus lamenting the inconjlancy of Fortune : 

Job was maift riche, in writ we findj 
Thobe moft full of cheritie ; 
Job woux pure, and Thobe blynd, 
Baith tempit with adverfite. . . • ; 

Thy gold and all thy gudis gay, 
Quhan fortune lyft will fra' the fall. 
Sen thou fie famples feis ilk day, 
Obey and thank thy God of all. . . 

Thoch thou be lord attoiir the laifj 
And eftirwart maid bound and thrall, 
Ane pure begger, with flcryp and llaifF, 
Obey and thank thy God of all." . . 

Thefe lines have much the appearance of being compof- 
• ed by a per/on who had feen better days. Bejides t it 
was not until the year 1 494 that the Scottijh legifla- 
ture paffed an Aft ordaining the Barons and Free- 
holders to put their eldejl fons to the grammar fchool. 
Whence it may be inferred that nofuch cuflom prevail- 
ed about 1460 or 1470 ; Of courfe it feems rather im- 
probable that the fon of R. Henryfon of Fordel, a 
gentleman in reduced circumflances \ Jhould about that 
time be educated for the bar. Jet we learn from 
Douglas's Baronage , that James (jhe fon of Robert) 
Henryfon, " having been bred to the law, became 
King's Advocate in 1494, andfoon afterwards fuflicc 
Clerk: 'That in 1508 he obtained a charter of the lands 
of Straitton. and in 1510 and 15H redeemed the 
lands of Fordel" All this might indeed happen, not- 
withflanding the unfortunate ftuation of the family 
eflate when young Henryfon was purfuing hisfludies : 
But the coincidence of name, time, and place, forms an 
Vol. I. M objeBion 


objeBion which is not eafily removed. If they wer6 
not the fame per/on, we may at leafi fuppofe that 
Henryfon the poet was allied to the family of For- 

Of the fame name we find various literary perfons 
about the middle of the next century. In 1534, Hen- 
ry Henryfon, majler of the high fchool of Edinburgh, 
is accufed of the Protejlant herefy ; and in 1566, Ed- 
ward Henryfcm, DoBor of Laws , and an Extraordi- 
nary Lord of SeJJion, is one of the Qommiffioners ap- 
pointed to fuperintend the frjl publication of the Scottijh 
Atls of Parliament from James I. A. D. 1424, to- 
that period ; commonly called the Black Acls - r with 
the privilege of being the fole vender for ten years. 
Several others are mentioned by Dempfter. 

Henryfon's Fables were printed at Edinburgh in 
16a I ,• but it is not known that a ftngle copy of the 
book is now in exijlence. MS. copies are preferved t 
however, in the Harleian and Advocates Library. 
This, and the following, are feleBed, chiefly becaufe 
they are charaBeriflic of the fate of Scotland in the 
fifteenth century. The Prologue deferves particular' 


In rnyddis of June, that joly fueit feflbun, 

Quhen that fair Phebus, with his beamis brycht, 
Had dryit up the dew fra daill and down, 
And all the land maid with his lemys lycht j 
In a morning, betwene mid-day and nycht, 


JAMES II. I437— 1460. pi 

I raifs and put all fleuth and fleep on fyde, 
Ontill a wod I went allone, but gyd. 


Sueit was the fmell of flouris quhyt and reid, 

The noyis of birdis rycht delitious ; 
The bewis brod blwmyt abone my heid, 

The grund growand with grams gratious ; 

Of all pleafans that place was plenteous 
With fueit odours and birdis armonie, 
The mornyng myld my mirth was mair for thy. 


The rofeis reid arrayit rone and ryfs, 

The primrofe and the purpure viola - f 
To heir it was a poynt of paradyfs, 

Sic myrth the mavyfs and the merle cowth ma. 

The bloflbms blyth brak up on bank and bra, 
The fmell of herbis, and of foulis the cry, 
Contending quha fuld have the victory. 


Me to conferf then fra the fonnis heit, 

Under the fhaddow of an awthorn greene, 

I lenyt down amangft the flouris fueit, 

Syne maid a crofs and clofit baith myne ein. 
On fleep I fell amang the bewis bene, 

And, in my dreme, me thocht come throw the fchaw 

The faireft man before that eir I faw. 


His goun was of a claith als quhyt as mylk, 
His chymers wer of chamelet purpure brown 3 

His hude of ikarlet, bordowrit with filk, 
In heckle wyfs, untill his girdle down. 
His bonat round wes of the auld faffoun ; 



His heid was quhyt, his ein wes grene and gray, 
With lokar hair, quhilkour his fhulderis lay. 


A row of paper in his hand he bair ; 

A fwanis pen ftickand under his eir ; 
An ynkhorn, with pretty gilt pennair, 

A bag of filk all at his belt he weir. 

Thus wes he gudlie graithet in his geir. 
Of Mature large, and with a feirful face ; 
Evin quhair I lay he come a flurdy pace ; 


And faid, God-fpeid, my fone ; and I was faine 
Of that couth word, and of his company. 

With reverence I faluft him agane, 

Wekoin, fader j and he fat down me by. 
Difpleifs you not, my gude maifter, thocht I 

Demand your birth, your facultie and name ; 

Quhy ye com her, or quhair ye dwell at hame. 


My fone, faid he, I am of gentle blude ; 

My natall land is Rome, withouttin nay ; 
And in that town firft to the fcoullis yude, 

And fcience (ther) ftudiet mony a day. 

And now my winning is in hevin for ay : 
Efope I hecht ; my wry ting and my wark 
Is couth and kend to mony cunnand clerk. 


O maifter Efope, poet laureat, 

Got wat ye are full deir welcum to me j 

Ar yc not he that all thir fabels wrate, 
Quhilk in effeft, fuppois they fenyeit be, 
Are full of prudens and moralitie ? 


JAMES II. I437— 1460. 93 

Fair fone, faid he, I am that famyin man, 
God wait gif that my hairt was merry than. 


I faid, Efop, my maifler venerable, 

I you befeik, hairtlie for cheritie, 
Ye wald dedane to tell a pritty fable, 

Concludand with a gude moralitie. 

Shakand his heid, he faid, my fone lat be ; 
For quhat is worth to tell a fenyet tale, 
Quhen haill preaching may nothing now availl. 


Now in this warld me thinks that few or nanc 

Till Godis word that has devotioun j 
The eir is deif, the hairt is hard as ftane j 

Now oppen fyn, without corre&ioun, 

The e enclynand to the eird ay doun ; 
Swa rouftit is the warld with canker blak, 
That my taillis may littel fuccour mak. 


Yit gentel fir, faid I, for my requeifl— 
Not to difpleifs your fader heid, 1 pray 

Under the figur of fum brutal beift 
A moral fable ye wad dedane to fay. 
Quha waift nor I may leir, and beir away 

Somthing, thairby herafter may avail. 

I grant, quo he, and thus began a taill. 



A C re wall Wolf, revanus and fell, 
Upone a tyme paft till a revere, 
Difcending fra a rock, out of a well, 
To flaik his thirft drank of the watter cleir . 
Sa, upone cais, a filly Lame come neir, 
Bot of this Wolf the Lame nothing he wift, 
And in the ftreme lapit to cule his thrift. 

Thus drank thay baith, bot nocht of ane intent ; 
The Wolfis thocht wes all in wicketnefs : 
The fijly Lame, meik and innocent, 
Upone the revir, by in ane uthir place, 
Beneth the Wolf, he drank in ane littill fpace, 
Quhill him thocht gude, prefoumyng thair none ill ; 
The Wolf this faw, and carpand come him till. 

With girnand teith, and angry auftie luke, 
Said to the Lamb, Thou catyve wrechit thing, 
How durft thou be fo bald to fyle this bruke, 
Quhair I fuld drink, with thy fowll flavering ? 
It wer almous the for till draw and hing, 
That fuld prefome, with flinkand lippis will, 
To hurt my drink, and this fair wattir fpill. 

The filly Lamb, quakand for verry dreid, 
On kneis fell, and faid, Sir, with your leif, 
Suppois I dar nocht fay thairof ye leid ; 
Bot, be my faule, I wait ye carr nocht preifc, 
That I did ony thing quhilk fuld yow greif . 
Ye wait alfo your accufatioun 
Felyeis fra trewth, and contrair till reffown. 


JAMES II. 1437 — 1460. 95 

Thocht I can nocht, nature will me defend, 
And of the deid perfyt experience : 
All hevinly thing mone of the felf difcend, 
Bot gif fum thing on fers mak refiftence ; 
Thane may the ftreme be na wayis mak offens, 
Na ryn bakwart : I drank beneth you far ; 
Ergo, for me, your drink is nevir the war. 

Alfo my lippis, fen that I was a lame, 

Touchit no thing that was contagius ; 

Bot fowkit mylk fra pawpis of my dame, 

Rycht naturall, fweit, and delicious. 

Weill, quoth the Wolf, thy languige outragius,, 

Cumis of kynd ; fa your fader befoir 

Held me at bait als with boftis and fchoir. 

He wexit me ; and than I cowth him warne, 
Within a yeir, and I brukit my heid, 
So I fnld be wrokin on him, or his bairne j 
For his exorbitant and thrawwart pleid, 
Thow fall doutles, for his deidis, be deid. 
i 1 Sir, it is wrang, that for the faderis gilt, 
" The faikles fone fall poneift be, and fpilt. 

" Haif ye nocht hard quhat haly fcriptour fais, 
" Dytit with the mowth of God Almycht, 
" Off his awin deid ilk man fal beir the pais, 
" As pyne for fyn, reward for werkis rycht : 
*' For my trefpafs quhy fuld my fone haif plycht ? 
" Quha did the mifs lat thame fufleine the paine/' 
Ya, quoth the Wolf, yet plyis thow agane; 

I latt ye witt, quhen the fader offendis, 
Will cheris none of his fucceflioun ; 
And of his bairnis may weill be tane amendis 
Unto the nynt degre defcending doun. 
The fadir thocht to mak a Itrang pufown, 

$6 eimoNKLE of Scottish tcetrt. 

And with his mowth into my wattir fpew. 
Sir, quoth the Lamb, tha twa ar nowys trew. 

The law fayis, and ye will undirftand, 
Thair fuld no man, for wrang, no violens, 
His adverfar puneis at his awin hand, 
Without procefs of law in audiens ; 
Quhilk fuld haif leif to mak lawchfull defens ; 
And thairupon fummon peremptourly 
For to propone, and contra, and reply. 

Set me a lawfull court : I fall compeir 
Befoir the Lion, lord and leill Juftys ; 
And, be my hand, I oblis me, rycht heir, 
That I fall byd ane unfufpecr. aflys. 
This is the way, this is the jufteft wyfs : 
Ye fuld proceed thairfoir, and fummonds mak 
Agane that day, to gif reflbun and tak. 

Ha, quoth the Wolf, wald thow intrufs reffoun, 
Quhair wrang and reif fuld dwell in properte ? 
That is a poynt of oppin fals treflbun, 
For to gar rewth remane with creweltie. 
Be Goddis wondis, fals tratour, thow fall de 
For thy trefpas, and for thy faderis als. 
With that annone he hint him be the hals. 

The filly lame mycht do no thing bot blait ; 
Sone wes he heidit ; the Waif wold do no grace 
Syne drank his blud, and of his flefch can eit, 
Till he wes fow ; fyne went away apace. 
Of this murthour quhat fall I fay, allace ! 
Was this no rewth ? was this nocht grit pete ? 
To heir this filly lame but gilt thus de. 


james ir. 1437 — x 4^« 97 


The pure peple this Lamb may fignify, 
As male-men, merchandis, and pure laborers, 
Off quhome the lyfe is half a purgatory, 
To wyn with lawty leving as effeiris. 
The Wolf betakynis fals extorteneiris, 
And opprefiburis of pure men, as we fe, 
Be violens, be craft, or futelte. 

Thre kynd of wolffis in the warld now ringis : 
The firfl ar fals pervertaris of the lawis, 
Quhilk undir poleit termes falfet myngis, 
Leitand that all wer gofpell that thay fchawis .* 
Bot for a bud the trew men he ourthrawis, 
Smorand the rycht, garrand the wrang proceid. 
Off fie wolffis hell- fyre fall be thair meid. 

Ane uthir kynd of wolffis ievanus 

Ar mychty men, haifand anouch plente ; 

Quhilk ar fo gredy and fo cowatus, 

Thay will nocht thoill in peax ane pure man be, 

Suppois that he, and his houfhald, fuld dc 

For fait of fude ; thairof thay gif no rak, 

Bot our his heid his maling thay wilj tak. 

O man ! but mychty, quhat is in thy thocht ? 
War than a wolf, and thow cowth underftand ; 
Thow hes eneuch ; the pure hufband hes nocht 
Bot cote and crufe, upone a clout of land. 
For Goddis aw, how dar thow tak on hand, 
And thou in berne and byre fo bene and big, 
To put him fra his tak, and gar him thig ? 

O man of law ! lat be thy futelte, 
With wys jympis, and frawdis interkat, 

Vol. I. N And 


And think that God, of his divinite,. 

The wrang, the rycht, and all thy worlds wate ; 

For preyer, piyce, for he nor law eftait, 

Of fals querrell fe thou mak no defens ; 

Hald with the rycht, hurt nocht thy confciens. 

The third wolf is men of heretege ; 
As lordis, that hes landis be Godis lane, 
And fettis to the maillaris a willage, 
For prayer, pryce, and the gerfum tane ; 
Syne vexis him or half the term be gane, 
With pykit querells, for to mak him fane 
To flitt, or pay the gerfum new agane. 

His hors, his meir, he mone len to the laird, 
To dring and draw, in court and cariege ; 
His fervand, or himfelf, may nocht be fpard, 
To fwynk or fweit, withouttin meit or wage: 
Lo, as he ftandis in lawbour and boundage, 
That fkantly may he purches. by his maill, 
To leif upone dry breid and wattir kaill. 

Hes thow no rewth to gar thy tennent fueit 

Into thy lawbour. full faynt with hungry wame ? 

And fyne hes littill gude to drink or eit, 

Or his menye, at evin qUhen he cumis hame : 

Thow fuld be rad for richtous Godis blame j 

For it cryis vengeance to the hevin fo he, 

To gar a pure man wirk, but meit or fe. 

O thow, grit lord, that hes riches and rent, 

Be nocht a Wolf thus to devoir the pure ; 

Think, that no thing crewall nor violent 

May in this warld pcrpetualy indure. 

This is a fentens futh, I yow allure ; 

For till opprefs thow fall haif als grit pane, 

A» thow the pure anis with thy hand had flaine. 

* God 

JAMES II. I437 — 1460. 99 

God keip the Lame, that is, the innocent, 
Fra Wolffis bjt, I mene extorteneiris •, 
God grant that wrangus men of fals intent, 
Be manifeft, and puneift as effeiris j 
And God, as thow all richtous prayer heiris, 
Mot faif our King, and gif him hairt and hand, 
All fie wolffis to benneifs of this land. 



[This Jingular performance, fays Lord Hailes, con? 
tains the form of procefs before the ancient ecclejiajli- 
cal court, and will fuggefl to Lawyers fome ideas that 
they will not find in books. The fummons or writ is 
ijfued in the name of the Wolf, before whom the caufe 
was to be tried at a lawlefs hour, when the fun was 
down. The Wolf having been declined by the defen- 
der, he appoints the parties to chufe arbiters, who 
might judge of the declinator. Had the Wolf judged 
of the declinator, an appeal might have lain to afu- 
perior court ; but no appeal lay from the judgment of 
the arbiters •,• for parties cannot appeal from their 
own deed. It is remarkable that the whole fatyre of 
the fable is aimed at the ecclejiajlical judge, whereas 
the application is to the civil. Henrtson, probably, 
flood more in awe of the court fpiritual than of the 
temporal. §>uery — Why is the Fox here called Law- 
rence, and flill in Scotland Tod-laury ? Pairtlefs 
means impartial ,• borch, bail ; bud, reward ; breid f 
a loaf, a pittance of provifon at Jlated times. ~] 

.lLsope a taill putis in memorie, 

How that a Dog, becaus that he wes pure, 

Callit a Scheip unto the Confiftory, 

A certane breid of him for to recure. 

A frawdfull Wolf was juge that tyme, and bure 

Au&oritie and jurifdi&ioun ; 

And on the Scheip fent furth a ftrait fummoun. 


james ii. 1437 — Mw< *&t 

For by the ufe and courfe of commoun ftyle, 

On this maner maid his citatioun : 

l t per me, Wolf, pairtles of frawd or gyle, 

Undir the painis of fufpenfiourt, 

And gret curling and maledi&ioun, 

Sir Scheip I chairge ye ftraitly to compefrj 

And anfueir till a Dog befoir me heir. 

Sir Corby Rawin was maid a procitour, 

Quilk pyket hes full mony fchepis ee* ; 

His chairge hes tane, and on the lettir bure, 

Summond the Scheip befoir the Wolf, that he 

Perimptourly, within tha dayis thre, 

Compeir undir the panis in this bill, 

And heir qnhat burry Dog wald fay him till. 

This fummond maid befoir witnefs eneWj 

The Revin has till his office weill affeird, 

Endoriit hes his writ, and on he flew : 

The filly Scheip durft. lay no mowth till erd, 

Till fcho befoir that awfull juge apperd, 

Be hour of caus quhilk that court ufit thane, 

Quhen Efperus to fchaw his face began. 

The Fox wes clerk and notar in that caus ; 
The Gled, the Grip up at the bar couth Hand 
As advocatis expert in to the lawis, 
The Doigis ply togidder tuk on hand, 
Quilk wer confident ftret into ane band, 
Agane the Scheip to procure the fentens ; 
Thocht it wei fals, they haif no confcience. 

The clerk callit the Scheip, and he wes thair ; 
The advocattis on this wys can propone : 
A certane breid, worth fyve fchillingis and mair, 
Thow aw this Dog, of quilk the ternae is gone. 
Of hir awin heid, but advocat allone, 



Awyfilly gaif anfwer in that cais : 

Heir 1 dccljne the juge, the tyme, and place- 

This is my caus and motive in effect : 
The law fayis, it is rycht perilous 
Till interply befoir a juge fufpecl: ; 
And thou, Sir Wolf, hes ay bene odius 
To me, with thyne tuikis revenus, 
Hes ffaine full mony kynifmen of myne ; 
Thairfoir as juge fufpedt, I the declyne. 

And fchortly, of this court the members all, 

JBayth afTeflbris, clerke, and advocat, 

To me, and myne, ar ennemeis immortall, 

And ay hes bene, as mony fcheiphird watt ; 

This place, as for the tyme, is feriat, 

In quhilk no jugeis fuld fit in confiftory 

So lait at evin ; I yow accus for thy. 

Quhen that the juge on this wyfe wes accufit, • 
He bad the parteis cheis, with one affent, 
Twa arbi tours, as in the law is ufit, 
For to diflyd and gife arbitrement, 
Quiddir the Scheip fuld byd in jugement 
Befoir the Wolf : and fwa thay did but weir, 
Of quhome the names eftir ye fall heir. 

The Beir, the Brok, this mater tuk on hand 
For to dinyd, gife this exceptioun 
Wes of na ftrenth, or lawchtfully mycht Hand : 
And thairupoun, as jugeis, they fat down, 
And held a lang quhyle difputatioun, 
Seikand full mony decretals of the law, 
And glofis als, the veritie to knaw. 

Off Civil mony volum thay rewoll, 
The codys and digeftis new and aid } 


JAMES II. I437 — 1460. I03 

Prowe and contra ft rait argument thay refoll, 
Sum a doctryne, and fome another hald ; 
For prjs, nor prayer, trow ye, thay wald fald, 
Bot held the text, and gloifs of the decreis, 
As trew jugeis, I fchrew thame that leis. 

Schortly to mak ane end of this debait, 
The arbitroris fummar and de plane, 
The fentens gaif, and proces fulminat, 
The Scheip fuld pas befoir the Wolf agane, 
And end his pleid : than was he nothing fane ; 
For fra thair fentens he mycht nowayis appeill ; 
On clerkis doid, gife this fentence be leill. 

The Scheip agane befoir the Wolf derenyeit, 

But advocat, abafitly can ftand. 

Up rais the Dog, and on the Scheip thus pleyneit ; 

To the a fowme I payit befoir hand 

For certane breid ; thairto a borch I fand, 

That wrangufly the Scheip held fra him breid, 

And he denyit ; and fo began the pleid. 

Thus quhen the Scheip this ftryfe had conteftat, 
The jugfeis into the caus furth cowth proceid : 
Laureuce the a£tis and the proces wrait, 
And fone the ply unto the end thay fpeid. 
This curat court corruptit all for meid, 
Agane gud fayth, gud law, and conference j 
For this fals Dog pronuncit the fentence. 

And it to put in executioun, 

The Wolf chargeit the Scheip, without delay, 

Uudir the pane of interdixHtioun, 

The fowme of filver, or the breid, to pay. 

Off this fentens, allais ! quhat fall we fay ? 

Quhilk dampnit hes the filly innocent, 

And ut to wrangus jugement. 



The Scheip, dreidand moir perfecutioun, 
Obejit the fentence ; and cowth tak 
His way untill a merchand in the toun, 
A-id fald his fleifs that he bur an his bak ; 
Syne bocht the breid, and to the dog can mak 
Reddy payment, as he foirjugeit was ; 
3Makit and bair, fyne to the feild cowth pas. 


This filly Scheip may prefent the figure 
Of pure eommounis, that daylie ar oppreft 
Be terrane men, that fettis all thair cure, 
With fals menys, to mak a wrang conqueift, 
In howp this prefent lyfe fall evir left : 
Bot all begyld, thay will in fchort tyme end, 
And eftir deid, to crewall panis wend. 

This Wolf I likin unto a fcheref flout, 
Quhilk byis a forfalt at the kingis hand, 
And hes with him a curfit aflyis about, 
And dytis all the pure men up-of-land, 
And fra the crowner lay on thame his wand ; 
Suppois he be als true as was San£t Johne, 
Slane fall thay be, or with the juge compone. 

This Revin I likin till a fals crownar, 

Quhilk hes a porteous of the endytment, 

And paflis furth befoir the jullice air, 

All mifdoaris to bring till jugement : 

But luke gife he be of a trew intent, 

To fkraip out Johne, and wryt in Will of wait, 

And fo a bud at bayth the parteis fkat. 

Of this fals Tod, becaus I fpak befoir, 
And of this Gled, quhat thay mycht fignify, 

JAMES II. 1437— 1460. I5 -> 

Of thair natuiyas now I fpeik no mcir : 
Bot of the Scheip, and of his cairfull cry, 
I fall l-ehers ; for as I paffit by 
Quhair that he lay, on caifs I lukit down, 
And hard him mak this lamentatioun. 

Allace ! quoth he, this curfit Confiflory, 

In middis now of wintir it is maid, 

Quhen Boreas, with blaftis bitterly, 

With frawart froftis, the flouris down can faid ; 

Gn bankis bair now may I mak nobaid : 

And with that wird intill a corf he crap, 

jb'ra hair weddir, and froftis, him to hap. 

Quakand for cald and murnyngis foir amang, 

Keft up his ene unto the hevins hicht, 

And faid, O Lord, quhy flypis thou fo lang ? 

Waik, and defcerne my caufs, groundit in right , 

Luk how I am, be frawd, maiftry, and flycht, 

Pelit, full bair ; and fo is mony one 

Now in this warld, rycht wondir wo-begone. 

Se how the curilt fyn of cuvatys 

Exylit hes bayth lufe, lawty, and law ; 

Now few or nane will execute jmtice j 

In fait of quhome the pure man is ourthraw 

The verity, albeid the juges knaw, 

Thay ar fo blindit with afFectioun, 

But dveid, for meid, thay thoill the rycht go doun. 

Se thou nocht, Lord, this warld ourturnit is, 
As quha wald chenge gud gold in leid or tyn ; 
The pure is pelit, the lord may do no mifs ; 
Now fymony is haldin for no fyn : 
'Now is he blyth with okir can mofr wyn, 
Gentreis is flane, and pety is ago ; 
Allace ! Lord God, quhy tholis thou it fo ? 

Vol. I. Thou 


Thou tholis this, hot for our grit offens, 
Thou fendis us truble and plaigis foir, 
As hungir, derth, wer, and the peftilens ; 
Bot few amendis thair lyfe : now thairfoir 
We pure peple, as now may do no moir 
Bot pray to the, fen we are thus oppreft 
In to this erd, Grant us in hevin gud reft. 



[This Fable is written with much naivete ; and y being 

the very Jirjl example of that manner in the Scotti/b 

language, is eminently curious. It is here for the 

firfl time given corretlly from the Bannatyne M. S-] 

JLLsoPE, myne autour, makis mentioun 
Of tvva myifs ; and they war fiflers deir ; 
Off quhom the elder dwelt in borrowftown ; 
The yonger wend up-on-land, weil neir 
Rycht folitair ; quhyle under buik and breirj 
Quhyle in the corn, in uther menys fchacht, 
As outlawis dois that levis on ylin wacht- 

The rurall moufs into the winter tyde 
Had hungar, cauld, and tholit grit diflrefs ; 
The tothir moufs that in the burgh can byde 
Was gilt brother, and made ane free burgefs. 
Tol-free alfwa, but cuftom, mair or lefs, 
And freedom had to ga quhair eir fche lift 
Amang the cheifs and meill, in ark and kilt. 

Ane tyme quhen fcho was full, and on fute fure, 
Scho tuk in mynd her fifter up-on-land, 
And langit for her cheir, and her welfair, 
And fe quhat lyfe fcho led under the wand : 
Earefute allane, with pykftaff in her hand, 
As pure pilgrim, fcho paflit out of town, 
To feik her fifter, baith our daill and down; ' 



Throw mon y vvilfum wayis couth: fcho walk, 
Throw mure and mofs, throwout bank, bufk, and 

Fva fur to fur, cryand fra balk to balk, 
Cum furth to me, mvne fueit fifter deir ! 
Cry peip anis — with that the moufe couth heir, 
And knew her voce, as kynnifmen will do 
By verry kind ; and furth fcho came her to; 

Their hairtly cheir, Lord God ! gif ye had feen, 
Was kyind quhen thir lifters twa wer met, 
Quhilk that oft fyfs was fchawin thame betwene ; 
For quhyles thai leuch, and quhyles for joy thay 

Quhyles kifiit fueit, and quhyles in armis plet. 
And thus they fure, quhill fobirt was their meid, 
Then fute for fute onto thair chalmer yeid. 

As I hard fay, it was a fimpte wane 

Off fog and feme, full maikly was it maid, 

A filly fcheill under a yerd-faft ftane, 

Of quhilk the entry was not hie nor bred : 

And in the fame thai went hot mair abaid, 

"V/ithoutten fyre or candell burnand bricht, 

For commonly fie pykers lykes not lycht. 

Quhen they war lugit thus, thir filly myfs, 

The yungeft fifter until her butrie hyied, 

Brought forth nuttis, and peifs, inftead of fpyfs ; 

Gif that was weilfarn doit, on thame befyd. 

This burgefs moufs permyngit full of pryd, 

Than faid, fifter, is this your daily fude ? 

Quhy not, quod fcho, think ye this mefs not gude ? 

Na, be my faul, me think it but a fkorn ; 

Ma dame, quod fche, ye be the mair to blame ; 

My moder faid, after that we wer born, 


JAMES II. I437 — x 4^°. %80 

That ye and I lay baith within her wame ; 
I kep the rjcht auld cuftom of my dame, 
And of my fyre, lyvand in povertie, 
For landis haif we nane of propertie. 

My fair fitter, quod fcho, haif me excufit ; 

This rude dyet and I can not accord ; 

With tender meit my ftomach ay is ufit ; 

For quhy, I fair as weill as ony lord ; 

Thir widderit peifs and nuttis, or thai be bord, 

Will brek my teith, and mak my mouth full fklender, 

Quhilk ufit wer befor to meit mair tender. 

Weill, weill fifter, than quoth the rural moufs, 
Gif that ye pleifs fie things as ye fe heir, 
Baith meit and drink, and arbourie and houfe, 
Sail be your awin — will ye remain all yeir, 
Ye fall it haif, with blyth and hairtly cheir ^ 
And that fuld make the mefTes that are rude, 
Amang frieudis richt tendir, fueit and gude. 

Quhat plefans is in feifts feir dilicate, 

The quhilk ar given with a gloumand brow ; 

A gentle heart is better recreate 

With blyth ufage than feith to him a cow ; 

Ane Modicum is better, yeill allow* 

Sae that gude-will be carver at the defs, 

Than a thrawn vult, and mony a fpycie mefs. 

For all this moral exhortatioun, 

The burges mous had little will to fing, 

But hevely fcho keft her vifage doun, 

For all the daintys fcho couth till her bring ; 

Yit at the laft fcho faid, half in hiething, 

Sifter, this vittell and your vyal feift 

May weill fuffice for fie a rural beift. 



Let be this hole, and cum unto my place, 

I fall you fchaw, by gude experience, 

That my Glide Fridays better than your Pafe y 

And a dim licking worth your hale expence j 

Houfes I haif enow of grit defence, 

Of cat, nor fall, nor trap, I haif nae dreid. - 

I grant, quod fche, convinced, and furth they ye id. 

In flcugry-ay throw ranked gras and corn, 

And wonder Hie prively throw they creip ; 
The eldeft was the gyde, and went beforrt, 
The yunger to her wayis tuke gude keip ; 
On nicht they ran, and on the day did fleip, 
Till on a morning, or the Lav rock fang, 
They land the toun, and blythly in couth gang. 

Not far frae thyne, on till a worthy wane, 

This burges brocht them fune quhair they fould be; 

Without God-fpeid, — thair herboury was tane 

Intill a fpence, wher vittel was plenty, 

Baith cheis and butter on lang fkelfs richt hie, 

With fiih and flem enough, baith frcfh and fait, 

And pokkis full of grots, baith meil and malt. 

After, quhen they difpofit wer to dyne, 
Withouten grace they wufh and went to meit, 
On every dim that cuikmen can divyne, 
Muttone and beif ftrikin out in tellies grit ; 
Ane Lordis fair thus can they counterfitt, 
Except ane thing, — they drank the watter cleir 
Infleid of wyne, but yit they made gude cheir. 

With blyth upcaft and merry countenance, 

The elder fiftex then fpeird at her gelt, 

Gif that fcho thocht be refon differance 

Betwixt that chalmer and her fary neft. 

Yea dame, quoth fcho ; but how lang will this.left ? 


JAMES II. I437— 1460. m 

For eyirmair I wate, and langer to. 

Gif that be trew, ye ar at eife, quoth fcho. 

To eik the cheir, in plenty furth fcho brocht 

A plate cf grottis, and a difb of meil, 

A threfe of caiks, I trow fcho fpairt them nocht, 

Habundantlie about her for to deill ; 

Furmage full fyne fcho brocht infteid of geil, 

A quhyte candle out of a coffer' flaw, 

Infteid of fpyce, to creifli thair teith with a. 

Thus made thej mirry, quhyle they micht nae mair, 

And hail yule I hail ! they cryit up on hie ; 

But after joy aftentymes comes cair, 

And trouble after grit profperitie : 

Thus as they fat in all thair folitie, 

The fpenfar came with keis in his hand, 

Opent the dore, and them at dinner fand. 

They tarriet not to wafti, as I fuppofe, 

But on to gae, quha micht the formoft win ; 

The burges had a hole, and in fcho goes, 

Her lifter had nae place to hyde her in ; 

To fe that filly mous it was grit fin, 

Sae difalait and will of all gude reid, 

For very feir fcho fell in fwoun, neir deid. 

But as God wald, it fell a happy cafe, 
The fpenfar had nae laifar for to byde, 
Nowthir to force, to feik, nor fkar, nor chaifs, 
But on he went, and keft the dore upwyde. 
This burges moufs his pafage weil has fpyd, 
Out of her hole fcho came, and cryt on be, 
How ! fair lifter, cry peip, quhair eir thou be. 

The rural mous lay flattings on the ground, 
And for the deid fcho was full dreidand, 



For till her heart ftrak mony waefull ftound, 
As in a fever trymlin fute and hand ; 
And when her lifter in fie plicht her fand, 
For very pitie fcho began to greit ; 
Syne comfort gaif, with words as huny fwek. 

Quhy ly ye thus ? Ryfe up my filler deir, 

Cum to your meit, this perell is owre-paft ; 

The uther anfwert, with a hevy cheir, 

I may nocht eit, fae fair I am agaft : 

Lever I had this fourtie dayis fall, 

With wafter kail, or gnaw beinis and peis, 

Then all your feilt with this dreid and difleifs. 

With fair tretie, yit gart fcho her ryfe ; 
To burde they went, and on togither fat ; 
But lkantly had they drunken anes or twice, 
Quhen in came Gib Hunter, our joly cat, 
A id bad God-fpeid — The burges up than gat, 
And till her hole fcho fled as fyre of flint ; 
Badrans the uther be the back has hint, 

Frae fute to futp Ihe keft her to and frae, 
Quhyle up, quhyle doun, als cant as ony kid ; 
Quhyle wald Ihe let her ryn under the flrae, 
Quhyle wald flie wink and play with her, buk-hid : 
Thus to the filly mous grit harm Ihe did ; 
Quhyle at the lad, throw fair fortune and hap, 
Betwixt the dreffour and the wall fcho crap. 

Syne up in hafte behind the pannaling, 

Sae hie fcho clam, that Gilbert might not get her, 

And be the cluks craftylie can hing, 

Till he was gane, her cheir was all the better. 

Syne down fcho lap, quhen ther was nane to let her. 

Then on the burges mous loud couth flie cry, 

Fairweil lifter, heir I thy feifl defy. 


James ii. 1437 — 1460. 113 

Thy mangery is myngit all with cair, 

Thy gyfe is gud, thy gane-full four as gall ; 

The fafhion of thy feris is but fair, 

So fall thou find heirefterwart may fall. 

I thank yone courtyne, and yone parpane wall, 

Of my dcfenfs now fra yon crewell beift ; 

Almichty God, keip me fra fie a feift. 

Wer I into the place that I cam frae^ 
For weil nor wae I fould neir cum again." 
With that fcho tuke her leif, and furth can gae, 
Quhyle throw the corn, quhyle throw the plain, 
Quhen fcho was furth and frie, fche was rycht fain^ 
And merrylie linkit unto the mure, 
I cannot tell how afterwart fcho fure. 

But I hard fyne file paffit to her den, 

As warm as wow, fuppofe it was not grit, 

Full beinly ftuffit was baith butt and ben, 

With peis, and nuts, and beins, and ry and quheltj 

When eir fcho lykt fcho had eneiich of meit, 

In quiet and eife, withouten dreid, 

But till her lifter's feift nae mair fhe yeid. 


Freindis, heir may ye find, will ye tak heid, 

In this fable a gud moralitie. 

As fitchis myngit ar with noble feid, 

So intermellit is adverfitie 

With erdly joy ; fo that no ftait is fre 

Without truble and fum vexatioun ; 

And namely thay that clymis up mod he, 

And nocht content of fmall poflefiioun. 

Bliffit be fymple lyfe, withouttin dreid ; 
Bliflit be fobir feift in quiete ; 

Vol. I. P Quha 


Quha lies enuche, of no moir hes he neid, 
Thocht it be littill into quant«te. 
Grit habowndance, and blind profperite., 
Oft tymis maks ane evill conclufioun ; 
The fueteft lyfe, thairfoir, in this cuntre, 
Is of fickernefs, with fmall poffeffioun. 

O wantoun man ! quhilk ufis for to feid 
Thy warae, and makis it a God to be, 
Luke to thyfelf, I warne the weill, on deid ; 
The cat cummis, and to the moufs hewis <?. 
Quhat dois availl thy feift and reyelte, 
With dreidfull hairt and tribulatioun ? 
Thairfoir beft thing in erd, I fay, for me, 
Is mirry hairt, with fmall poffeffioun. 

Thy awin fyre, freind, thocht it be bot a gleid. 
It warmis weill, and is worth gold to the : 
And Salamone fayis, and ye will reid, 
Under the bevm I can nocht bettir fS y 
'Then ay he blyth, and leifin honejie ; 
Quhairfoir I may conclud be this reflbnn,. 
Of erdly joy it beiris moid degre, 
Blythnefs in hairt, with fmall poffeffioun. 

%* St. r. 1. 6. " in iiihen fcbaucht" probably means " of others 

aucht or property." Or, it may mean " fkaith," from the Anglo-faxon 
fcbeatbt, damage, lofs ; and " waucht," in the next line, will then be 
waith, waif, i. e. goods not claimed, wreck. 

Page 113. St. 1. &.c. This ftanza U omitted in the Evergnc*. The 
meaning of the 2d and 3d lines feerm to be, " The face of ycur affair* 
is good, but your mouthful, or meal, is bitter, from the dangers with 
which you are furrounded ; and the deportment of your companions is 
deceitful, as you foon will find to your coft." " Parpane" is partition. 

Page 114. St. laft. " — - gleid." Not a temporary blaze, as Lord 
Hailes explains it, but a fmall fire. " You will find yourfelf comforta- 
ble by the fide of your own fire, though it be a fmall one " The word 
is (till common in this fenfe. 



\This beautiful illuf ration of the apophthegm , (t He that 
will not when he may, lhall not when he would," 
has been preferred in the Bannatyne M. S. and is 
there afcribed to Henryson. Not tofpeak of its po- 
etical merit, it is curious as being the frjl, and per- 
haps fill the bef paforal poem in the Scotti/h lan- 
guage. It appears alfo to be the ear lief example of the 
ballad fanza, and of an eafy harmonious verffica- 
tion ; nearly indeed without an in/lance of mif-placed 
emphafis from beginning to end. RoBENE AND Ma- 
kyne was frf printed by Ram say in the Ever- 
green, and afterwards by Lord Hailes ; not 
without freedoms being ufed with it by both Edi- 
tors. It is here given verbatim from the ancient 
M. 5,] 



obene fat on gud grene hill, 

Keipand a flok of fie, 
Mirry Makyne faid him till, 

Robene, thow rew on me ; 
I haif the luvit lowd and ftill, 

Thir yeiris two or thre ; 
My dale in dern bot gif thow dill, 

Doutles bot dreid I de. 


Robene anfwerit, Be the rude, 
Na thing of lufe I knaw, 



Bot keipis my fcheip undir yone wud, 

Lo quhair thay raik on raw- 
Quhat hes marrit the in thy mudc, 

Makyne, to me thow fchaw ; 
Or quhat is luve, or to be lude ? 

Faine wald I leir that law. 


At luvis lair gife thow will leir, 

Tak thair ane A, B, C ; 
Be kynd, courtas, and fair of feir, 

Wyfe, hardy, and fie. 
Se that no denger do the deir, 

Quhat dule in dern thow dre ; 
Preifs the with pane at all poweir, 

Be patient and previe. 


Robene anfwerit her agane, 

I wait nocht quhat is luve, 
Bot I haif mervell incertaine, 

Quhat makis the this wanrufe ; 
The weddir is fair, and 1 am fane, 

My fcheip go is haill aboif, 
And we wald play us in this plane, 

Thay wald us bayth reproif. 


Robene, tak tent unto my taill, 

And wirk all as I reid, 
And thow fall haif my hairt all haill, 

Eik and my madinheid. 
Sen God fendis bute for baill, 

And for murning remeid, 
T dern with the ; bot gif I daill, 

Dowbtles I am bot deid. 


JAMES II. I437 I 4^ c '. XI J 


Makyne, to morne this ilk. a tyde, 

And ye will meit me heir, 
Perventure my fcheip ma gang befyd A 

Quhyll we haif liggit full neir ; 
Bot maugre haif I, and I byd, 

Fra they begin to fteir ; 
Quhat lyis on hairt I will nocht hyd j 

Makyne, than mak gud cheir. 


Robene, thou reivis me roifs and reft, 

I luve bot the allone. 
Makyne, adew, the fone gois weft, 

The day is neirhaud gone. 
Robene, in dule I am fo dreft, ' 

That lufe will be my bone. 
Ga lufe, Makyne, quhair evir thou lift, 

For leman I lue none. 


Robene, I ftand in lie a ftyle 

I ficht, and that full fair. 
Makyne, 1 haif bene heir this quyle, 

At hame God gif I wair. 
My hinny, Robene, talk ane quhyle, 

Gif thou wilt do na mair. 
Makyne, fum uthir man begyle, 

For hamewart I will fair. 


Robene on his wayis went, 

As licht as leif of tre ; 
Makyne murnit in her intent, 

And trowd him nevir to fc. 



Robene brayd attour the bent ; 

Than Makyne cryit on hie, 
Now ma thow fing, for I am fchent ! 

Quhat alis lufe with me ? 


Makyne went hame withouttin faill, 

Full werry eftir cowth weip : 
Than Robene in a ful-fair daill 

AfTemblit all his fcheip. 
Be that fum parte of Makyne's ail 

Out-throw his hairt cowd creip ; 
He followit hir fail thair till affaill, 

And till her tuke gude keep. 


Abyd, abyd, thou fair Makyne, 

A word for ony thing ; 
For all my luve it fall be thyne, 

Withouttin departing. 
All haill ! thy harte for till haif rnyne, 

Is all my cuvating ; 
My fcheip to morn, quhill houris nyne, 

Will neid of no keping. 


Robene, thou hes hard foung and fay, 

In geftis and floreis auld, 
The man that will not quhen he may> 

Sail haif nocht quhen he wald. 
I pray to Jefu every day, 

Mot eik thair cairis cauld, 
That firft preiflis with the to play, 

Be firth, forreft, or fawld. 


JAMES II. I437 — 1460. II9 


Makyne, the nicht is foft and dry, 

The wedder is vvarme and fair, 
And the grene woud rycht neir us by 

To walk attour all quhair : 
Thair ma na janglour us efpy, 

That is to lufe contrair ; 
Thair in, Makyne, bath ye and I, 

Unfeae we ma repair. 


Robene, that warld is all away, 

And quyt brocht till ane end, 
And nevir again thereto perfay, 

Sail it be as thou wend ; 
For of my pane thou maide it play, 

And all in vane 1 fpend : 
As thou lies done, fa fall I fay, 

Murne on, I think to mend. 


Makyne, the howp of all my heill, 

My hairt on the is fett, 
And evir mair to the be leill, 

Quliile I may leif but lett ; 
Nevir to faill, as utheris faill, 

Quhat grace that evir I gett. 
Robene, with the I will not deill ; 

Adew, for thus we mett. 


Makyne went hame blyth anewche, 

Attoure the holtis hair ; 
Robene murnit, and Makyne lewche ; 

Scho fang, he fichit fair : 



And fo left him, bayth wo and wreuch, 

In dolour and in cair, 
Kepand his hird under a huche, 

Amang the holtis hair. 

* * St. 1. 1. a. Flock of Jit. Fie or fa, means here fheep, from the An- 
glo-Saxon Feeb, cattle. Hailes. 

St. 1. 1. 7- " My dulc in dern bot gi/tbotv dill." The word dill, daill, 
ieill, meant Jbare. The fenfe is, " Unlefs thou fbare my fecret woe ;" 
i. e. unlefs you return love for lovtf. H. 

St. a. 1. 4. " Raik on raw." Roam or extend themfelves in a row ; 
as the manner of fheep is while pafturing. A Jteef-raii, and a Jbcep- 
toali, are fynonymous. H. 

St. 3. 1. 3. " Fair of feir." The word fdr has various fignification* ; 
as, fear, companion, countenance. I think that it is here taken in the 
fignification laft mentioned. The word iv^fe in the next line mult be 
pronounced as a diffyllable ; and the word lardy, like the French bardi, 
with the accent on the laft fyllable. H. 

.. k 6. " Qubat dulc in dern tbtrw dre ** Whatever forrow or 
diftrefs you may endure in fecret. The w< rd drc is flill ufed with us ; 
as, «• It is ill to die." " To drc penance," &c. H. 

St. 4. 1. 4. *' Qnhat makis the this xvanrvfe." The A. S. privative 
is vcait, and rcw is order : fo that the word means diforder. What is it 
that occafions fuch difturbance in your mind ? H. 

■ i 1. 7. 8. Were we to amufe curie Ives in the plain, while the 

fheep roam on the fide of the hill, they would be neglected, and that 
n>.gle<3 would turn to our reproach. — To fuppofe that the fheep them- 
felves wouid cenfurc, is an idea too refined for the limited apprehen- 
fions of Robene. H. » 

St. 5. 1. 7. " Idem -with the, bot gif I daill." We watch together ; 
we arc alone , unlefs I fhare of your ravour, 1 am loft. — This feems to 
b; the import of the expreffion. H. 

St. 9. 1. 5. " Robene brayd attour tbe bent." Haftily traverfed the 
ground overgrown with rufhes, or coarfe grafs. The expreffion in 
Englifh which moft nearly refembles this, is, " Strode along the brake." 

Sr 16. 1. 8. " Amangis the holtis hair." It is rafiy gair in the 
Evergreen ; for no better rtafon, than that holtis hair was in 1. a. of the, and that the publifher faw an impropriety in the repetition. If 
I nuftake not, Loltit bair means tbe bleak uplands. There feems no fenfe 
ia boary ivoodt t which is the literal interpretation ci the phrafe. H. 



\A variety of opinions prevails with regard to the 
author, or authors of thefe two Poems. "The only copy 
of Peblis at the play, that has been handed down 
from ancient to modern times, is that in the Maitland 
Colle&ion ; and no author's name is mentioned. But 
Major in his hi/lory of Scotland celebrates James I. as 
a compofer of Scottiffj Songs, and particularly mentions 
h plea f ant and ingenious fong beginning, At Beltayne. 
And Dr Percy, the difcov'erer of Peblis at the Play, 
happening to remark that it began with the fame two 
words, immediately pronounced it to be the fong afcribed 
hy Major to James I. ; and it was foon after publifhed 
as fuch by Mr Pinkerton— Mr Tytler is inclined to 
concur in this opinion, chiefly becaufe the language re- 
fembles that of Christ's kirk on the Green. 

Of Christ's Kirk, two ancient copies have been pre- 
served § one in the MaitlanD M. S., having no au- 
thor's name ; and another in the Bannatyne M. S., 
with this fubfcription, " Quod King JaMEs the I." Mr 
Tytler relies implicitly on this authority. Mr Pin- 
kerton gives the poem to James I. from the flyle being 
fimilar to Peblis Play : " / do not found" fays he, " on 
" the authority of the Bannatyne M. S- for in the 
** next poem, fave one, it palpably puts James the I. for 
•' James the IV. or perhaps V." Bifhop Gibson, 
however, and others after him, have pubhfjed this poem 
as the work of James V. but without any authority 
whatever. And lqjlly f the learned and accurate Lord 

Vol. I. Q^, 


Hailes, in his Notes on the flatutes of James I. take* 
occajion to offer the following remarks on this fubjetl : 

** Upon the fuppajition that James I. was the author 
tf of Chrift's Kirk on the Green, there will he found 
" in that poem feveral fevere farcafms again/l the Scot- 
" tijh Commons for their unfkilfulnefs in the art of 
•' archery ; the following pajfage is the mofl charaSfer- 
" iflical : 

" A yaip young man, &c." Stanza nth. 

" 'The reader will obferve that I fpeak doubtfully of 
" James I. being the author of Chrift's Kirk on the 
" Green. Allan Ramsay, in his edition in 1724, fays 
" that ' it is taken from an old manufcript colleclion of 
"poems written {50 years ago, where it is found that 
" James, the firfl of that name. King of Scots, was the 
** author ; thought to be wrote while that brave and 
** learned prince was unfortunately kept prifoner in Eng- 
" land by Henry V.' The authority of a M. S. writ- 
" ten about 1570, more than a century after the death 
" of James I., proves nothing. Both Bellenden and 
" Major report that James I. wrote verfes. Major 
f has preferred the firfl words of fame of his poems ; 
" (only two-, At Beltane, and Yas fen ;) but neither of 
" them fay any thing of Chrift's Kirk on the Green ; 
" which, however, was a great and voluminous work for 
*' thofe days. That James I. wrote this poem during 
" his captivity, ("or even after it, his Lordfliip might 
" have added,^) is exceedingly improbable. Educated 
"from his early youth in England, he could not be ac~ 
" quainted with the manners of the Scottifh Commons, 
" nor with the language of the vulgar. The nth line, 
" where mention is made of Peblis at the Play, feems to 
0t relate to a more modern (era than that of James I. 

" Bifhop 

JAMES II. I437— 1460. 12 3 

{t Bijhop Gibson, in his edition in 1691, and the pu- 
" blijher of Gavin Douglas's Virgil in 17 10, attri- 
4i Bute the poem to James V." 

Here it mujl be ohferved, that Major wrote his his- 
tory near a hundred years after the time of James I. ; 
therefore, his ipfe dixit can no more of certain the author 
of At Beltayne, than the Bannatyne Manufcript can 
afcertain the author q/Chrift's Kirk. Bejides, it might 
eqfily happen that more than one fong or poemjhouldbe- > 
gin with thefe two words j for At Beltayne means 
V On May-day." 

If then, the authority of the Bannatyne M. S. proves 
nothing with regard to the author o/"Chrift's Kirk, and 
z/*Peblis Play, may, or may not be the fong afcribcd by 
Majors James I., the quejiion as to the author of 
both poems is yet undecided. In conformity, however, 
with the opinions of Mr Tytler and Mr Pinkerton, 
itfhallhere be taken for granted that they were written 
Igy the fame perfon. 

Had Lord Hailes written thefe Notes after the dif 
tovery and publication of Peblis Play, it is highly pro- 
bable he would hav£ obferved fame internal marks of its 
having been compofed either in, or very foon after the 
year 1457. For the *joth AB of J AMES II. made in 
that year, contains the following regulations refpetling 
womens apparel : •* That the wives and daughters of 
" men living in burr owes and of landwart, fould not 
t( wear fumptuous claithing, but be abuilzied in manner 
" correfpondent to thair eflait : that is to fay, on their 
** heads Jhort curchies, with little hudet, as are ufed in 
" Flanders, England, and uther cuntrus ; and that na 
f< woman come to kirk nor mercat with her face muffal- 
" ed or covered, thatjhe may not be kend, under pain of 

<« efcheit 


*' efcheit of the curchieP Now, the fecond and thh'ct 
flanzas of the poem feem ohvioujly to refer to this ve- 
ry curious AB. One of the maidens y when drejjing for 
Beltayne fair, or May -day, is reprefented as being a- 
fraid to fuffer the ends of her tippet or neck-curchie to 
hang down, or even to be tied behind her back ; Jhe af- 
fo complains of being fun-burnt, from want of muffal- 
ing, or a proper covering for her face : And we find 
another young woman propojing, in obedience to this 
flatute, to provide herfelf with a hude ; an article of 
dr eft, from the particular manner in which it is defer ib 
ed in the AB of Parliament* certainly then unknown in 
Scotland. If therefore, thefe two Jlanxas have any 
meaning at all, it mujl be in allufion to this AB ; no o- 
ther of our fumptuary laws, in any fubfequent period, 
defcending tofuch minute particulars. And, if Scotland, 
at that time, could boajl of a poet who had any talent 
for ridicule, accompanied with a turn for cbfervation 
of public affairs, thefe two Jlanzas of Peblis Play are 
cxaBly what might be expeBed from his pen on fuch an 
occafon ; with the fear, however, of fuch a decifve 
Prince as James II. before his eyes. 

There is no neceffity for fuppofng with Lord Hailes 
that the word ** Play" muji refer to fome eera, compa- 
ratively modern. The 'word, at that time, certainly 
■meant any kind of merry-making. And accordingly, we 
find from flanza gth, that the play alluded to in the ti- 
tle or burthen, was no other than the fports of May- 
day. Be/ides, three other plays were then commonly 
performed at fairs, viz. Robin Hude, Little John, and 
the Abbot of Un-reafon : all of whi-ch, in the courfe of 
time, became nuifances ; for, by AB 61 of Queen Mary, 
diino 1555, they were prohibited under fevere penalties } 
particularly, " gif ony women, or uthers, r.bout fummer 
\ ( tt'ee'if fingis and makis perturbation tv the $$4t€ett4 lieges 

" in 

JAMES II. I437 1460. 125 

*' in burrcwesor landivart towns, the women perturbatours, 
%t for Jkuifrie of money, or other-wife, fall be taken, handled, 
u and put upon the cuck-fules of the towne, £jV." Any of 
thfe games performed at Beltane Fair, would naturally be 
called Peblis Play. // was then the great, and only hiring 
day for Jcrvants in that quarter of the country : the fair 
at Selkirk in March, and that at Hawick in May, not ha- 
ving been eflablijhed, even in 1599^ as appears from an E- 
dinburgh kalendar for that year, " prentit by Robert 


More particularly as to Christ's Kirk, (which, by the 
bye, was the name of the monajlery o/*Red Fryars at Pe- 
blis,) it appears evidently from fanza ifl to have been writ- 
ten after the other poem, but probably within a year or two, 
The one poem ferns partly, intended to ridicule the fumptuary 
flatute above mentioned ; and it is natural to imagine that 
the other might be occafoned by, or have fame aUufwn to Acf 
6\ of the fame Parliament 1457. James I. in 14*4, 
and 1425, had pnjfed two Acls recommending the prac- 
tice of archery, but both of them were exprejfed in very ge- 
neral terms ; an J on that account were probably not much 
attended to. But thiifatute of 14 57 goes into a particular 
detail, and enr.cls, " That fute ball and golf e be utterly cry- 
" ed down ; that the bono- marks be made ; at ilk paroche 
** a pair of buttes ; that ilk man fchut f.vfchottes af the 
(t leaf, under the pain of them that c 11 mm is not, at the leaf 

" iwa 

In January. Glafgow. — February, none, — March, St Mananis, Dunbar- 
<on, Langton, Weft Weniyfs. — Sprit, none. — May, Peebles, Kinnocbar. 
— Jum, Lauder, St Johnftoun. — July Linlithgow, Pittcnweem, Cupar 
in Fife, Lanark, Auld Roxburgh. — Avguft, Innerleithen, St Andrews, 
Dunbarton, Selkirk, Dunblane, Dundee, Linlithgow, Kincairn of Neil 
St Johnftoun. — September, Striviling, Dundee, Jedburgh, Craii!, Linlith- 
gow, Haddington, Lcflie, Air. — Qdiber , Aiton in the Mers, Peebles 
Lauder, Kinrofs, Rugland. — November, Edinburgh, Falkland, Dunbar, 
Cupar in Fife, ritmikon, Dunfeitniing, St Andrews, St Johnftoun, Pee- 
bles, Chirnfide.— J)eitrr.b:r, Aberdeen, Wiil \Vcwyf». 


" twa pennies, to be given to them that cummis to the bow~' 
te marks, to drink. And that there be a bower and afied- 
w gear in ilk towne ; and that the toivne fhall furnifh them 
" with fuffcient Jlitff and graithy after as neids them ts 
u ferve the cuntrie. tefc." Before the pajfing of this Acl t 
•where the penalty is altered from a wedder to twa pennies, 
it would appear that archerie was not commonly, if at allufed 
by the peafantry of Scotland at their merty makings ; even 
the bow-marks, appointed by former Acls, had never yet been 
Jet up. At any rate, they feem not to have been originally 
intended for the common people, but for fuch, as could afford 
to pay the fine of a wedder in cafe of ab fence. 

A farther proof of this may be drawn from AB $6, an- 
no 1456, which ordains, " that all manner of men, betwixt 
* K fextie and fexteene, be reddie te come to the bordures and 
" defend the land, quhen any wittering cummis of the in- 
" cumming of a great Englifh hoaji. But that na puir 
" man y nor unarmed be charged to come to anie raides in 
" England. And that ilk man that his gudes extendis to 
Cl twentie marks, (at that time about ten pounds Eng- 
* lifti money), be bodin at leajl with a jack, (a coat of 
" mail in form of a doublet,) with fleeveSy (armour.) 
" to the hand, or fplents. and ane pricked hat, a fiuord and 
u a buckler, a bow and a fchaijfe, (quiver,) gif he can 
'* get it ; and gif he cannot, to have an axe and ane terge, 
" Zsfc.''' Probably it was foon found that bows and arrows 
were not to be got, even by the wealthy yeomen ; and that cir- 
cum fiance, no doubt, produced in the following year, Act 64, 
which ordains that there fhould be a bower and fedgear in 
ilk head town of the fchire, &C. Before this time, there- 
fore, it is very improbable that fuch a poem as Christ's Kirk 
could be at all compofed , particularly, with a view, as Mr 
TYTLER contends, to encourage the praclice of Archery by 
force of ridicule. For, what poffible effecl could a fiu 
good-natured farcaftm contained in any poem produce among 


james ii. 1437 — 1460. 127 

a barbarous peafantry, who could neither read nor writ? — 
feventy years even before an A3' was made, ordaining burins 
*nd freeholders offubfiance, to put their eldefl (not alt their') 
fons to grammar fchools ; and near a hundred years before 
printed books were known in the counti y ? No fuch poems 
could at that time be written fur the ufe of the common peo- 
ple. But now. that the ufe of fire-arms was beginning to 
be knowfiy a fatyrical poet might conceive archery, and this 
Acl of Parliament refpe cling it, to be Jubjecls proper enough 
for a little innocent ridicule. He mighty however, think it 
advifable to conceal his name. 

Here a circumflance is worthy of notict, that the 
name of James I. is not recorded among other Scottifb 
poets, either by Dunbar in his Lament for the Death of 
the Makers ; or by Gawin Douglas in his Palace of 
Honour ; or David Lindsay in his Fapingo. Tet we 
cannot fuppofe thefe poets to have been unacquainted with the 
poems under confi deration. Lindsay knew at leajl one of 
them ; for in his interlude of Humanitie and Senfualitie, 
he makes Solace mention the burthen, 

My purchefs is not worth ane prene, 
I may fing Peblis on the Green. 

Probably they believed them to be the compofttions of fome 9- 
ther perfon. One might alfo have expebled to findfome al- 
lufion to them in the works of King James VI. if he had 
known them to be the produclions of his ancejlor. 

Thus there feems not to be ajhadow of proof that either of 
thefe two poems was written by James I. — On the contra- 
ry i they bear evident marks of having been written about 
14 J7 -1 460, which is the principal point to be afcertained. 
And this brings the queflion, as to the true author, into nar- 
row bounds. Only four poets, of whofe works we now have 
any knowledge, fiutrijhed about that time: Holland* 



Clerk of Tranent, Blind Harry, and Henryson* 
The bare mention of thefe names mufl immediately lead the 
attention of any one converfant in ancient Scottj/h poetry U 
the fatyrical and facetious Henryson, the only one of the 
four {and indeed, the only poet luho had hitherto appeared 
in Scotland} in the leajl qualified to write fuch poems ; — 
*' afabulijl" fays a modern hijiorian of Scotland, " lukofe 
•* fables are not unworthy of Esop or of Phaedrus ; a 
" pafioral poet ivho wrote in an infinitely truer tajle than 
** that of the contemporary Italians ; whofe Robene and 
*' Makyne alone is fujficient to rank him very high among 
** the mrfl eminent pnjloral poets of the mojl illujlrious po- 
* ( ctical ages?'' 

To that pnjloral in particular, thefe two poems bear a con' 
fiderable refemblance in naivete of manner, and fmoothnefs 
«f verification — very rare qualities at that time. They\ 
moreover, contain a variety of words and phrafes that are 
almofi peculiar to Henryson ; for example, lyre was like 
the lily, occurs in the Tejlament of Crejfeid, where we a/fo 
find " fire of flint, fhill, &c." Janglour, in a particular 
fenfe, in Robene and Makyne ; hofleit, difponed, with 
bales beit, firth and forreft, in Age and youth ; he him 
(J. e. himfclf) avyfit, in the Poem againjl the Tatlers ; fey- 
jnen, or fiemen for Jhepherds, in Robene and Makyne ; 
heme and byre, in the Wolf and Lamb, &c. 

Laflly, if Henryson thought it neceffary or prudent to 
conceal his name as the author, we may almofi be afjurcd 
that his fori the Lord Juftice Clerk would not divulge it ; 
or, indeed, give any countenance to poems that had the leaf 
tendency either to ridicule the laws of the country, or to damp 
the ardour for voluntary exercife of arms. But this gallant 
lawyer, with his eldejl fon, lofing their lives in the battle of 
Flowden in 1513, with them, ptjfibly, all knowledge of the 
true author might be lojl."} 



*$he twofirfl words of this poem feem equivalent to ie On 
May day." Major reports about 1520, that a Jong, 
beginning with the fame mark of time, was written by 
James I. The only antient copy of Peblis to the Play 
appears anonymously in the Maitland MS. ; although, 
on other occajions, the tranfcriber is remarkably careful 
in fubjoining the names of the reputed authors , and had 
alfo the very befl means of information. I therefore 
fufpetl it is not the fong mentioned by Major ; or, even 
although it were, that he was mis-informed with refpeB 
to the author. Itfeems rather, from internal evidence, 
to have been written fame time after the year 1457, as 
fhall be more particularly mentioned in the notes. 


XIlT Beltane, quhen ilk bodie bownis 

To Peblis to the Play, 

To heir the fingin and the foundis, 

The folace, futh to fay ; 

Be firth and forreft furth they found j 

Thay graythit tham full gay ; 

God wait that wald they do that flound, 

For it was their feift day, 

Thay faid. 
Of Peblis to the play. 

All the wenchis of the weft 
War up or the cok crew ; 
For reiling thair micht na man reft, 
For garray, and for glew ; 
Ane faid my curches ar nocht preft ; 
Than anfwerit Meg full blew, 

Vol. I R To 


To get an hude, I hald it bell ; 
Be Goddis faull that is true, 

Quod fcho, &c, 


$he tuik the tippet be the end, 
To lat it hing fcho leit not ; 
Quod arte, thy bak fall beir ane bend 
In faith, quod fhe, we meit not. 
Scho was fo guckit, and fo gend, 
That day ane byt fcho eit nocht ; 
Than fpak hir fallowis that hir kend. 
Be ftill, my joy, and greit not 

Now, &c« 


Evir allace, than faid fcho, 

Am I nocht cleirlie tynt ? 

I dar nocht cum yon mercat to, 

I am fo evil fone-brint. 

Amang yon merchands Maj-drejlfo t 

Marie ! I fall anis mynt — 

Stand of far, and keik thaim to ; 

As I at hame was wynt, 

Quod fcho, &c. 


Hop-Calye, and Cardronow 
Gaderit out thik-fald, 
With Hey and How rohumbelovj ; 
The young folis were full bald. 
The bygpyp blew, and thai out threw 
Out of the townis untald. 

Lord fie ane fchout was thame amang, 

Quhen thai were our the wald 
r Thair weft, &c, 


jamus n. 1437— J 46o. I 3 I 


Ane young man itert in to that fteid, 
Als cant as ony colt, . 

Ane birkin hat upon his held, 
With ane bow and ane bolt ; 
Said, mirrie madinis, think not lang ; 
The wedder is fair and fmolt. 
He cleikit up ane hie ruf fang, 
Th air Jure ane man to the holt, 

Quod he, See. 


Thay had nocht gane half of the gait 
Quhen the madinis come upon thame, 

til • c i_* r •*. 

11k ane man gait his conlait, 
How at thai wald difpone thame : 
Ane faid, The faireft fallis me, 
Tak ye the laif and'fone thame. 
Ane uther faid, Wys me ' lat be 
On Twee ell fyd ; and on thame 

Swyth, &.c. 

. VIII. 

Than he to ga, and fcho to ga, 
And never ane bad abyd you : 
Ane winklot fell and her taill np ; 
Wow, quod Malkin, hyd yow ; 
Quhat neidis you to maik it fua ? 
Yon man will not ourryd you. 
Ar ye owr gude, quod fcho, I fay, 
To lat thame gang befayd yow 

Yonder, &c. 

Than thai come to the town endis 
Withouttin more delai, 



He befoir, and fcho befoir, 

To fee quha was maift gay. 

All that lukit thame upon 

Leuche fad at thair array : 

Sum faid that thai were merkat folk ; 

Sum faid the Quene of May 

Was cumit, &.c. 


Than thai to the taverne hous 
With meikle oly prance ; 
Ane fpak wi wourdis wonder crous, 
A done with ane mifchance ! 
Braid up the burde, he byddis, tyt ; 
We ar all in ane trance — 
Se that our napre be quhyt, 
For we will dyn and daunce, 

Thair out, &e. 


Ay as the gudwyf brocht in, 

Ane fcorit upon the wauch. 

Ane bad pay, ane ither faid, nay, 

Byd quhill we rakin our lauch. 

The gud wyf faid, Have ye na dreid j 

Ye fall pay at ye aucht. 

Ane young man flart upon his feit, 

And he began to lauche 

For heydin, &c. 


Ke gat ane trincheour in his hand, 
And he began to compt ; 
Ilk man twa and ane happenie, 
To pay thus we war wount. 
Ane uther ftert upon his feit, 


james ii. 1437 — 14^°« *33 

And faid thow art our blunt 
To tak fie office upoun haud ; 
Be God thow fervite ane dunt 

Of me, 8cc. 


Ane dunt, quod he, quhat dewil is that ? ' 
Be God yow dar not du'd. 
He flert till ane broggit ftauf, 
Wincheand as he war woode. 
All that hous was in an reirde ; 
Ane cryit, * The halie rude ! 
* Help us Lord upon this erde 
' That thair be fpilt no blude, 

* Heirin, &c. 


Thay thrang out at the dure at anis 

Withouttin ony reddin ; 

Gilbert in ane guttar glayde, 

He gat na better beddin. 

Thair wes not ane of thame that day 

Wald do ane utheris biddin. 

Thai 1 by lay thre and threttie fum, 

Thrunland in ane midding 

Off draff, &c. 


Ane cadgear on the mercat gait 

Hard thame bargane begin ; 

He gaiff ane fchout, his wyff came out ; 

Scantlie fcho micht ourhye him : 

He held, fcho drew, for duft that day 

Micht na man fe ane ftyme 

To red thame, &c. 




He ftert to his greit gray meir, 
And of he tumblit the creilis. 
Alace, quod fcho, hald our gude man : 
And on hir knees fcho knelis. 
Abjd, quod fcho ; why nay, quod he, 
In till his ftirrapis he lap ; 
The girding brak, and he flew of, 
And upftart bayth his heilis 

At anis, &c. 


His wyf came out, and gaif ane fchout, 

And be the fute fcho gat him ; 

All bedirtin drew him out ; 

Lord God ! richt weil that fat him ! 

He faid, Quhair is yon culroun knaif ? 

Quod fcho, I reid ye lat him 

Gang hame his gaites. Be God, quod he, 

I fall anis have at him 

Yit, &c. 


Ye fylit me, fy for fchame ! quod fcho : 

Se as ye have dreft me ; 

How feil ye, fchir ? *' Has my girdin brak ? 

*' Quhat meikle devil may left me ! — 

** I wait nocht weil quhat it wes — 

** My awin gray meir that keft me ; 

«' Or gif I wes forfochtin faynt, 

" And fyn lay doun to reft me 

" Yonder, &c." 


Be that the bargan was all playit 
The ftringis ftert out of thair nokks ; 


JAMES II. I437 — 1460. I35 

Sevin-fum that the tulye maid, 

Lay gruffling in the ftokks. 

John Jakfoun of the Nether-warde 

Had lever have giffin an ox, 

Or he had cuming in that cumpanie, 

He fware be Goddifokkis, 

And mannis bayth, &c. 


With that Will Swane come fueitand out, 

Ane meikle miller man ; 

Gif I fall dance, have donn ; lat fe — 

Blaw up the bagpyp than, 

The fchamon's dance I mon begin ; 

I trow it fall not pane. 

So hevelie he hochit about 

To fe him, Lord, as thai ran 

That tyd, &c. 


Thay gadderit out of the toun 
And neirar him thai dreuche ; 
Ane bade gif the daunfaris rowme, 
Will Swane makis wounder teuche. 
Than all the wenfchis, Te he ! thai playit ; 
But, lord, as Will Young leuche ! 
Gude goffip, come hyne your gaitis, 
For we have daunfit aneuche 

At anis, Sec. 


Sa ferflie fyr heit wes the day, 
His face began to frekill. 
Than Tifbe tuik him by the hand, 
(Wes new cuming fra the heckill) 
Allace, quod fcho, quhat fall 1 do ? 



And our doure hes na flekill. 
And fcho to ga as hir taill brynt ; 
And all the cairlis to kekill 

At hir, &c. 


The pyper faid, Now I begin 
To tyre for playing to you ; 
Bot yit T have gottin nathing 
For all my pyping to you j 
Thre happenis for half ane day 
And that will not undo you ; 
And gif ye will gif me richt nocht, 
The meikill dewill gang wi you, 

Quod he, &c. 


Be that the daunfing wes all done, 

Thair leif tuik les and mair ; 

Quhen the winklottis and the wowarris twynit 

To fe it was hart fair. 

Wat Atkin faid to fair Ales, 

My bird, now weill-a-fayr ! 

The dewil a wourde than fcho might fpeik 

Bet fwownit, that fweit-of-fwair, 

For kyndnes, &c. 


He fippilit lyk ane faderles fole ; 
And faid, " Be dill, my fweit thing! 
« Be the Halyrud of Peblis 
' I may nocht reft for greting.' 
He quhiffillit, and he pypit bayth, 
To mak hir blyth that inciting: 


JAMES II. I437 — 1460. 137 

My hony hart how fayis the fang, 
* Thair fall be mirth at oar meting 

Tit, XSc. 


Be that t he fone was fettand faft , 

And neir done wes the day : 

Thair men micht heir fchukin of fchaftes 

Quhen that thai went thair way. 

Had thair bein mair made of this fang, 

Mair fuld I to yow fay. 

At Beltane ilka bodie bownd 

To Peblis to the Play. 

This poem, after having been attributed to James the Firft by fuoh 
eminent writers as Dr. Percy, Mr. Pinkerton, and Mr. Ritfon, cannor 
be afligned to a different author, or to a later reign, without pointing 
out the grounds upon which that judgment ha? been formed. Firft, then, 
Lord Hailes, in his " Obfervations on the Statutes of "James the Firft" 
remarks that the phrafeof " Peblis to the play" has a reference to a later 
period than that of James the Firft : And moreover, that this prince, 
" educated from his early youth in England, could not be acquainted 
with the manners of the Scottifh commons, or with the language of the 
vulgar." To me, I confefs, this argument appears almoft conclufive. 
But there are two other objections which feem alfo of confiderable 
weight. The firft of them arifes from the mention which is made of 
curcbies and budes in the fccond ftanza of the poem. By the 70th Stat, 
of James the Second, A. D. 1457, it is enacted, that " the wives and 
daughters of men living in burrowes, and of landwart, fould not wear 
fumptuous clahhing, but fould be abuilzied in manner correfpondcnt 
to thair eftait ; that is to fay, on their heads fhort curcbies with little 
budes, fuch as are ufed in Flanders, England, and uther countries," &c. 
From this it may be inferred that curcbies and budes were either not 
known, or not commonly ufed by " landwart" girls in Scotland, before 
the date of this Act. The word curcbie does not appear in the gloffa- 
ries to the more antient Scottifh poecs. The other objection is, that 
the poem feems not to agree with Major's defcription of it. His words 
are: " In vernacula lingua artificiofifiimus compofitor ; cujus codices 
p'.urimi, et cantileiise, memoriter adhuc apud Scotos inter primos ha- 
VoL. I. S btntur- 


bentur. Artificiofam cantilenam (compofuit) yas fen, &c. et jucundum 
artificiofumque ilium cantam At Beltayn quern alii de Dalkeith et Gargeii 
mutare ftuduerunt, quia in arce aut camera claufus fervabatur, in qua 
rnulier cum niatre habitabat." From this we may gather that the Sub- 
ject of the poem At Beltayne was the confinement of a perfon, otherwife 
there would not have been that.correfpondence becween the original 
and the parodies which Major particularly fpecifies. 1 he occafion or 
Subject of the parodies, he feems to fay, was " by reafon of his having 
beenfhut up in a toiver or chamber in -which a ivoman refided iviih her mo- 
ther." Surely this paffage cannot allude to " Peblis at the Play," which 
contains, no fuch circumftance ; and which, therefore, appears to be a 
different poem from that which Major attributes to James the Firft. 
He alfo mentions it, not as a " libdlus 1 * or " codex" (words which he 
ufes in the fame paffage) but as a " cantus" or fong ; with the defini- 
tion of which it does not feem to correfpond. ChrifVs Kirk on the green 
(of nearly the fame length) is called by Lord Hailes " a great and vo- 
luminous work for thofe days." Sir David Lindfay, indeed, in T540, men- 
tions the finging of Peblis on the greene; and it is not unlikely that the 
feats of Sir William Wallace may alfo have been fung ; but yet they 
would not come under the defcription of a cantus or cantilena It may 
laftly be added, that the verfification is much fmoother than that of any 
Scottifh poetry antecedent to the rime of Henryson ; and that a re- 
semblance may be traced between " At Beltayne" and fome of that po- 
et's corr.pofuions. It appears, therefore, not urdikely thit this poem 
may have been written foon after the above mentioned Sumptuary law 
was enacted; or about 1457 — 1460. Although, at the fame time, I 
fufpcct that Time will difcover the true sera to be about eighty years 
later ; that is, towards the end of the reign of James the Fifth. If it 
had been one of thofe performances of James the Firft which frill were 
popular in the time of Major, the author of the Complaint of Scotland 
could fcarcely have omitted to mention it, either in his lift of Scottifh 
fongs or metrical fiories. But upon the fuppofirion that it was com- 
pofel by a contemporary of Wedderburn or Sir Jame8 Inglis, the omif- 
fior. of At Beltane is no matter of furprlfe. 

Attention has here been paid to the corrections furnifhed by Mr. 
Pinkerton, p. 452 of lhe Maitland Poems. Alfo in St. 4. 1. 5. " Maj- 
dreft fo" has been adopted inftead of my drats do ; in St. 10. 1. 5. " he 
byddis, tyt," for (he hydes tytj; in St. 18. 1. 5. " nocht" is Supplied ; 
and in St. 24. 1. 6. " weill-a-fair," i. e. farewell, is put for -will I fayr. 
The reader may find various conjectures about thei ward Beltane in the 



Extracted from Warton's Hi/lory of Englijh poetry, 
where it is given as one of the earliej} fpecimens of al- 
legorical hurlefque ; the Manufcript appearing, (as 
Warton fays,) to be as old as the reign of Henry the 
Sixth. The poem is fo full of Scottijh words and 
phrafes, that 1 have not the leaf doubt of its being en- 
titled to a place in this feries of Scottijh poetry . Ano- 
ther poem on the fame fubjetl feems to belong to the 
reign of Queen Mary. 


In eirth thair is a littill thing 
Quhilk ringis as a rich king, 

Quhair he is lent in land ; 
Schyr Penny is hi3 naim calde, 
He maikis baith young and aide 

Bow untill his hand. 

Paipis, Kingis, and Empriouris, 
Bifchoppis, Abbottis, and Priowris, 

Perfon, Preift, and Knyght, 
Dukes, Erlis, and ilk Barowne, 
To ferf him ar thay full bowne, 

Baith be day and nyght. 




Schyr Penny chaunges mannis mode, 
And garris thame oft do doun thair hode, 

And to ryfe him againe ; 
Men honoris him with greit revrence, 
Makkis full mekill obedience 

Untill that lytill fwaine. 
In Kingis court is it no bote 
Aganis Schyr Penny for to mote, 

Sa mekill is he of might ; 
He is fa witty and fa ftrang, 
That be it neuer fa mekill wrang> 

He will mak it richt. 

With Penny may men wemen till, 
Be thai neuer fo ft range of will, 

So oft may it be fene ; 
Lang with him will thai noght chide, 
For he may gar thame trayl fide 

In gude ikarlet and greene. 
He may by baith hevyn and hell, 
And ilka thing that is to fell, 

In erth lies he fwilk grace : 
He may lefe and he may bind, 
The pouer ar ay put behind, 

Quhair he cumis in place. 
Quhen he beginnis him to mell, 
He maikis meke that ayre was Fell, 

And waik that bald lies bene ; 
All the neids full fune ar fped, 
Baith withoutten brugh and wed, 

Quhare Penny gais betuene. 


JAMES II. I437 — 1460. J4JL 


The dommys-men he mai's fa blind, 
That he may nocht the right find 

Ne the futh to fie j 
For to gif dome, thame is full laith, 
Thairwith to maik Schyr Penny wraith, 

Full deir with thame is he. 
Thare ftrife was, Penny maikis pefe, 
Of all angers he may relefe, 

In ]ande quhair he will leinde ; 
Of fais may he maik freindis fad, 
Of counfail thay may neuer be rad, 

That may half him to freind. 
•That Syre is fet on heich deifs, 
And fervit with many rich meifg 

At the he burde ; 
The mair he is to men plentie, 
The mair yernit alwai is he, 

And halden deir in hurde, 
He maikis mony be foirfworne, 
And fum lyf and faul forlorne, 

Him to get and win ; 
Other God will thai non have, 
Bot that lytill round knave, 

Thair baillis for to blin. 

Of him haillie thair hairtis fett, 
Him for to luf will thay nocht lett, 

Nowther for gude ne ill ; 
He may baith lend and gyf, 
He may gar baith fla and lyf, 

Baith be frith and fell. 




Penny is ane gude fellaw, 

Men welcumes him in deid and faw, 

Cum he neuer fa oft ; 
He is nocht welcumit as a geft, 
But euermoir fervit with thebefr, 
And made to fit* full foft. 
Quhofo is fted in ony neid, 
With Schyr Penny mai thai fpeid, 

Howfoeir thay betyde ; 
He that Schyr Penny is withall, 
Sail have his will in ftede and flail, 
Quhen other ar fett on fyde. 
Schyr Penny garris in rich wede 
Full monie go and ryde on flede 

In this werld wyde : 
In ilka gamen, and ilka play, 
The maiflerie is given ay 
To Penny for his pryde. 

Schyr Penny o'er all gets the grie, 
Baith in borough and citie v 

In caftell and in towre j 
Withoutten owther fpere or fchelde ? 
Is he the beft in frith and felde, 
And ftalwarthefl in ftowre. 
In ilka place the futhe is fene, 
Schyr Penny is ouer all bidene, 

Maillermoft in mode ; 
And all is als he will cummand ; 
Againis his ftevyn dar no man ftand, 
Kowther by land ne flode. 


JAMES II. I437 1461?. 145 


Schyr Penny may full raekill availe 
To thame that hes neid of counfaile, 

Als fene is in aflyze ; 
He lenkethes lyfe, and faves fra deid ; 
Bot lufe it nocht ouer weill, I reid, 
For fin of covaityfe. 

If thou have happ trefore to win, 
Delight the noght to mekill thairin, 

Na nything thareof be ; 
But fpend it als weill as thow can, 
So that thow lufe baith God and man 
In perfyte charitie. 

God grant us grace with hert and will, 
The gudes that he has given us till 

Wele and wyfelie to fpend, 
And fo our lyves heir for to lede, . 
That we may have his blis to medc, 
Ever withoutten end. 

Words and phrafesthat feem to belong to the Scoftifh rather thin to 
the Englifh dialed are ; Sr. I. (aid and a}ds. St. 5. fide, i. e. hanging 
low down. St. b.fwilk, fuch. St. 7. bald, bold. St. %. mats, (Warton, 
tnafc, which he explains " monks,") makes ; and laltb or lath for loth. 
Sr. 9. rad, afraid of wanting. St. 10. deifs or defe, high feat ; xe>nid x 
(Wart.) yearned. St. II. baillis or bales to blin, to caufe their forrow « 
to ceafe ; (according to Warton, to blind their eyes.) St. 12. by frith 
and fell, in improved and in wafte parts of the country ; (Warton fays, 
•* by fea and land.") St. 15. ilia, every. Sr. 16. frith or felde, as be- 
fore. St. 18. covaityfe, covetoufnefs. St. 19. nything for iriddcring, nig- 
gardly, fparing; according to Warton, carcleff. 



"This poem was publijhed by Mr Ritfon in his " Antient 
Popular Poetry," 1 791, from a MS. in the public 
library at Cambridge, (written apparently about the 
reign ©/"Edward IV.) and from the language and ortho- 
graphy , pronounced to be ofScottiJh, or at leaf of North 
country extraclion. This I confder as a fufficient au- 
thority for afjigning to it a place in this collection of 
Scotti/h poetry. But as the orthography may have 
fuffered fome alteration in the hands of the JLnglifh 
compiler of the MS. I have here ventured, as in the 
preceding article, to ufe the Quh in/lead of Wh ; as 
alfo her for hur ; I (pronoun) for Y ; a/id in one in- 
flance where it was required by the rhyme, aid for 
old. Whether it may thus agree better with a frag- 
ment of the fame poem in a MS. of Henry the Sixth's 
time in the Britifh Mufeum, (Bib. Har. 5396,) can 
eqfily be afcertained. 

J^YSTENYTH, lordyngyS, I you pray, 
How a merchand dyd hys wyfe betray, 
Bothe be day and be nyght, 
Yf ye will herkyn aryght. 
Thys fonge ys of a merchand of thys cuntr<r ; 
That had a wyfe feyre and free ; 
The merchand had a full gode wyfe, 
Sche louyd hym trewly as her lyfe, 


JAMES II. 1437— 1460. J45 

Quhat that euyr he to her fayde, 
Euyr fche held her wele apayde : 
The merchand, that was fo gay, 
By another woman he lay ; 
He boght her gownys of grete pryce, 
Furryd with menyvere and with gryfi^ 
To her hedd ryall atyre, 
As any lady myght defyre. 
Hys wyfe, that was fo trewe as Hon, 
He wolde ware no thyng upon : 
That was foly be my fay, 
That fayrenes fchulde tru loue betray. 
So hyt happenyd, as he wolde, 
The merchand ouer the fee he fchulde; 
To hys leman ys he gane, 
Leue at her for to tane j 
With clappyng and with kyffyng fwete, 
Quhen they fchulde parte bothe dyd they wepe. 
Tyll hys wyfe ys he gan, 
Leue at her then hath he tan ; 
Dame, he feyde, be goddys are, 
' Haft any money thou woldyft ware ? 
Quhan I come beyonde the fee 
That I myzt the bye fome ryche drewre\ 
Syr, fche feyde, as Cryft me faue, 
Ye haue all that euyr I haue ; 
Ye fchall haue a peny here, 
As ye ar my trewe feie, 
Bye ye me a penyworth of wytt, 
And in youre hert kepe wele hyt. 
Styll ftode the merchand tho, 
Lothe he was the peny to forgo, 
Certen fothe, as I yow fay, 
He put hyt in hys puree and yede hys way. 
A full gode wynde god hath hym fende, 
Yn Fraunce hyt can hym brynge j 

Vol. I. T A 



A full gode fchypp arrayed he 

Wyth merchaundyce and fpycere. 

Certen fothe, or he wolde refte, 

He boght hys lemman of the belle, 

He boght her bedys, brochys and ryngys, 

Nowchys of golde, and many feyre thyngys : 

He boght her perry to her hedd, 

Of fafurs and of rubyes redd ; 

Hys wyfe, that was fo trew as Hon, 

He wolde ware nothyng upon : 

That was foly be my fay, 

That fayrenes fchulde trew loue betray. 

Quhen he had boght all that he wolde, 

The raerchand ouyr the fee he fchulde. 

The merchandys man to hys mayfter dyd fpeke, 

Oure dameys peny let us not forgete. 

The merchand fwpre, be feynt Anne, 

Yyt was that a lewde bargan, 

To bye owre daine a penyvvorth of wytt, 

In all Frauuce I can not fynde hyt. 

* An' olde man in the halle ftode, 

The merchandys fpeche he underyode ; 

The olde man to the merchand can fay, 

A worde of counfell I yow pray, 

And I fchall felle yow a penyworth of wyt, 

Yf ye take gode hede to hyt : 

Tell me, merchand, be thy lyfe, 

Quhethyr hafte thou a leman or a wyfe ? 

Syr, I have bothe, as have I refte, 

But my paramour loue I befle. 

Then feyde the olde man, withowten were, 

Do now as I teche the here ; 

Qubcn thou corny ft ouyr the falte fome, 

Olde clothys then do the upon, 

To thy lemman that thou goo, 

And telle her of all thy woo ; 


James ii. 1437 — 1460. i47 

(5yke fore, do as, I the fay, 

And telle her all thy gode ys lofte away, 

Thy fchyp ys drownyd in the fom, 

And all thy god ys lofte the from ; 

Quhan thou hafte tolde her foo, 

Then to thy weddyd wyfe thou go ; 

Quhedyr helpytH the better yn thy nede, 

Dwelle with her, as Cryfte the fpede. 

The merchand feyde, wele muft thou fare, 

Have here thy peny, I have my ware. 

Quhen he come ouer the falte fome, 

Olde clothys he dyd hym upon, 

Hys lemman lokyd forthe and on hym fee, . 

And feyde to her maydyn, how lykyth the ? 

My love ys comyn fro beyonde the fee, 

Come hedur, and fee hym wyth thyn eye, 

The maydyn feyde, be my fay, 

He ys yn a febull array. 

Go down, maydyn, in to the halle, 

Yf thou mete the march and wythalle, 

And yf he fpyrre aftyr me, 

Say, thou fawe me wyth non eye ; 

Yf he wyll algatys wytt, 

Say in my chaumbyr I lye fore fyke, 

Out of hyt I may not wynne, 

To fpeke wyth none ende of my kynne, 

Nother wyth hym nor wyth none other, 

Thowe he were myn own brother. , 

Alias ! feyde the maydyn,' why fey ye foo ? 

Thynke how he helpyed yow owt of moche wo, 

Fyrft when ye mett, wyth owt lefynge, 

Youre gode was not worthe xx. milling, 

Now hyt ys worthe four hundred pownde,' 

Of golde and fyluyr that ys rounde j 

Gode ys but a lante lone, 

Some tyme men haue hyt, and fome tyme none ; 



Thogh all hys gode be gon hym froo, 

Neuyr forfake hym in hys woo. 

Go downe, maydyn, as I bydd the, 

Thou fchalt no langer ellys dwelle wyth me. 

The maydyn wente in to the halle, 

There fche met the merchand wythall. 

Quhere ys my lemman ? quhere ys fche ? 

Quhy wyll fche not come fpeke wyth me ? 

Syr, I do the wele to wy tt , 

Yn hyr chaumbyr fche lyeth full fyke, 

Out of hy t fche may not Wynne, 

To fpeke wyth non ende of her kynne, 

Nother wyth yow nor wyth non other, 

Thowe ye were her owne brother. 

Maydyn, to my lemman that thou go, 

And telle her my gode ys lofle me fro ; 

My fchyp ys drownyd in the fom, 

And all my gode ys lofte me from j 

A gentylman have I flawe, 

I dar not abyde the londys lawe ; 

Pray her, as fche louyth me dere, 

As I have ben to her a trewe fere, 

To kepe me preuy in her chaumbyr, 

That the kyngys baylyes take me neuyr. 

Into the chaumbyr the maydyn ys gon, 

Thys tale fche tolde her dame anone. 

In to the halle, maydyn, wynde thou downe,- 

And bydd hym owt of my halle to goon, 

Or I fchall fend in to the towne, 

And make the kyngys baylyes to come ; 

I fwere, be god of grete renown, 

I wyll neuyr harbur the kyngys feloun. 

The maydyn wente in to the halle, 

And thus fche tolde the merchand alle ; 

The merchand fawe none other fpede, 

He toke hys leve, and forthe he yede. 


JAMES II. I437— .1460. *49 

Lyftenyth, lordyngys, curtes and hende, 
For yit ys the better fytt behynde. 

[the second fit.} 

Lystenyth, lordyngys, great and fmall : 

The merchand ys now to hys own halle ; 

Of hys comyng hys wyfe was fayne, 

Anone fche come hym agayne. 

Hufbonde, fche feyde, welcome ye be, 

How haue ye farde beyonde the fee ? 

Dame, he feyde, be Goddys are, 

All full febyll hath be my fare ; 

All the gode that euer was thyn and myny 

Hyt ys lofte be feynt Martyn ; 

In a ftorme I was beftadde, 

Was I neuyr halfe fo fore adrad. 

I thanke hyt god, for fo I may, 

That euyr I fkapyd on lyve away ; 

My fchyp ys drownyd in the fom, 

And all my gode ys lofte me from ; 

A gentylman haue I flawe, 

I may not abyde the londys lawe ; 

I pray the, as thou louefl me dere, 

As thou art my trewe weddyd fere, 

In thy chaumber thou woldeft kepe me dern. 

Syr, fche feyde, no man fchall me warne : 

Be ftylle, hufbonde, fygh not fo fore, 

He that hathe thy gode may fende the more ; 

Thowe all thy gode be fro the goo, 

I wyll neuyr forfake the in thy woo ; 

1 fchall go to the kyng and to the quene, 

And knele before them on my kneen, 

There to knele and neuyr to cefe, 

Tyl of the kyng I haue getyn thy pees : 

I can 


I can bake, brewe, carde and fpynne, 

My maydenys and I can fylvyr wynne, 

Euyr quhyll I am thy wyfe, 

To maynten the a trewe mannys lyfe. 

Certen fothe, as I yow fay, 

All nyght be hys wyfe he lay. 

On the morne, or he forthe yede, 

He kafte on hym a ryall wede, , 

And beftrode a full gode ftede, 

And to hys lemmans hows he yede. 

Hys lemman lokyd forthe and on hym fee, 

As he come rydyng ouyr the lee, 

Sche put on her a garment of palle, 

And mett the merchand in the halle ; 

Twyes or thfyes, or euyr he wyfte, 

Trewly fche had hym kyfte. 

Syr, fche feyde, be feynt John, 

Ye were neuyr halfe fo welcome home; 

Sche was a fchrewe, as haue I hele, 

There fc!e currayed fauell well. 

Dame, he feyde, be feynt John, 

Yit ar not we at oon ; 

Hyt was tolde me beyonde the fee, 

Thou hafte another lemman then me. 

All the gode that was thyn and myne, 

Thou hafte geuyn hym, be feynt Martyh. 

Syr, as Cryfte bryng me fro bale, 

Sche lyeth falfely that, tolde the that tale -} 

Hyt was thy wyfe, that olde trate, 

That neuyr gode worde by me fpake ; 

Were fche dedd (god lene hyt wolde !) 

Of the haue all my wylle I fchulde ; 

Erly, late, lowde and ftylle, 

Of the fchulde I haue all my wylle : 

Ye fchall fee, fo mufte I the, 

That fche lycth falfely on BjA 


JAMES II. I43—I460. %$f 

Sche leyde a canvas on the flore, 

Longe and large, ftyfFe and ftore ; 

Sche leyde theron, wythowten lyte, 

Fyfty fchetys wafchen whyte, 

Pecys of fyluyr, mafers of golde ; 

The merchand (lode hyt to beholde : 

He put hyt in a wyde fakk, 

And leyde hyt on the hors bakk ; 

He bad hys chylde go bely ve, 

And lede thys home to my wyve. 

The chylde on hys way ys gon, 

The merchande come aftyr anon ; 

He cafte the pakkdowne in the flore> 

iLonge and large, ftyf and ftore. 

As hyt lay on the grounde, 

Hyt was wele worthe cccc powndc : 

They on dedyn the mouth aryght, 

There they fawe a ryall fyght. 

Syr, fayde hys wyfe, be the rode, 

Quhere had ye all thys ryall gode ? 

Dame, he fayde, be goddys are, 

Here ys thy penyworth of ware. 

Yf thou thynke hyt not wele befett, 

Gyf hyt another can be ware hyt bett j 

All thys wyth thy peny boght I, 

And therefore I gyf hyt the frely ; 

Do wyth all quhat fo euyr ye lyfte, f 

1 wyll neuyr afke yow accowntys, be Cry fie. 

The merchandys wyfe to hym can fay, 

Quhy come ye home in fo febull array ? 

Then fayde the merchand, fone ageyn, 

Wyfe, for to affay the in certeyn ; 

For at my lemman was X before, 

And fche by me fett lytyll ftore, 

And fche louyd bettyr my gode then me, 

And fo wyfe dydd neuyr ve. 



To telle hys wyfe then he began, 

All that gode he had takyn fro hys lemman 

And all was becaufe of thy peny, 

Therfore I gyf hyt the frely ; 

And I gyf god a vowe thys how re, 

I wyll neuyr more have paramowre, 

But the, myn own derlyng and wyfe, 

Wyth the wyll I lede my lyfe. 

Thus the merchandys care began to kele, 

He lefte hys folye euery dele, 

And leuyd in clennefle and honefte ; 

I pray God that fo do we. 

God that ys of grete renownej 

Saue all the gode folke of thys towne : 

Jefu, as thou art heuyn kynge, 

To the blys of heuyn owre foules brynge. 



\_It does not appear that any other exijiing poem, which 
could ferve either to illujlrate the manners of the time y 
or to mark the Jlate of the living language, can with 
certainty be placed under this reign. ''The tedious me- 
trical romance of Gawan and Gologras, fuppofed 
to have been written about this period by Clerk of 
Tranent, would not anfwer either of thefe purpofes. 
The ancient copy of it t however, (printed in 1508,) 
concludes with this ballad, which we may, therefore, 
prefume had been accounted a produBion of the fame 
author. In other refpeBs, it is but of little value. 
After the ballad, nve have this imprimatur : " Heir 
endys the knightly tale of Gologras and Gawane, 
in the fouth gait of Edinburgh, be Walter Chepman 
and Androw Millar the viii day of Aprile the yhere 
of God M,ccccc and viii y her is.' 1 The romance may 
he feen in Mr Pinkerton's "Scotifh Poems, reprint* 
ed from fcarce editions, 3 vols, 1792."] 

JL Hingis in kynde defyris thingis lyke ; 
Bot difcontrair hatis ewiry thing : 
Sauf onely mankinde can nevir wele lyke> 
Bot gif he have a latioufe lyving. 
Flefhly defyre, and gaftely nurifching, 
Intill a perfone all famyn to be wrought ; 
Water and fyre togeder in kyndelyng, 
It may wele ryme, bot it accordis nought. 
Vol. I. U 


A man at one for to ferve lordis twayn, 

The quhilk be baith contrair in opynion ; 

To plefe thame bath, and purches no difdayn, 

Talk with that ane, and with the tothir rown : 

Be trew to both, without tuigh of trefon, 

Tell hym of hym the thing that nevir was wrought .; 

To bring all this to gude conclufion, 

It may wele ryme, bot it accordis nought. 

To have a gall, clepit a gentill dow ; 

To be my frende, and geve me falie counfaill ; 

To brek my hede, and fyne put on a how j 

To be a prefle, and formeft in bataill ; 

To ly in bed, and ftrang caftell aflaill ; 

To be a marchand, quhare na gude may be bought J 

To have a trew wyf with a wanton taile, 

It may wele ryme, bot it accordis- nought. 

To be of no conyng, and knaw the herbe ; 
To carp langage that non may undirftand ; 
A fule to have a veray wife proverbe ; 
Al fre born barne of hir that is a bonde ; 
Qhpouible thingis to tak on hond ; 
'lo big a caftell, or the ground be wrought ; 
T« geve a dome be law that may nocht ftond ; 
It may wele ryme, bot it accordis nought. 

A w'regh to were a nobill fcarlet goun ; 
A badlyng, furryng parfillit wele with fable .; 
A gude hufyWyf ay rynnyng in the toun ; 
A childe to thryve quhilk is unchaftiable. 
To be content, and lightly changeable ; 
To have in daynte thing that newir doucght ; 
A Rome-rynnar without lefing or fable ; 
It may wele ryme, bot itf^ccordis nought. 

JAMES II. 1437 — 146'©. , 155 

A myghty king intill a pore region ; 
Ane hafty wit, and hye thingis to devife ; 
Meke almoufe dede, and falfe detraction ; 
Knyghtly manhede, and fchamefull paradife ; 
A hevynly hell, a poynefull paradife ; 
A haly doctour with a lecheroufe thought ; 
To wirk on hede, fyne efter tak avife ; 
4t may wele ryme ; bot it accordis nought. 

A gilty tong colourit with eloquence ; 

A falfe entend within and dilTavable ; 

A blyth vifage with frendely apperence * 

A cruell hert invioufe and vengeable ; 

A gentill horfe intill a nakit liable ; 

A mery fang, the hert with forow fought ; 

To feme thir all, and mak thame fufficiable, 

It may wele ryme, bot it accoi'dis nought. 

Frely to fpend, and full of covatife ; 
To feke burgeons out of ane aid dry flok j 
A gay temple without dyvine fervice j 
A birdies cage ; a key withoutyn lok ; 
A toun fchip ay ryding in a rok ; 
A myghty bifchop in a cointre of nought ; 
A wantoun hird, and a wele reulit flok ; 
It may wele ryme, bot it accordis naught. 



JAMES III. 1460— 1488. 


as a continuation of Chaucer's Troilus and 

Creseide. It was Jirjl printed in Chaucer's 
Works in 1532, and then feparately by Charteris 
at Edinburgh in I59I) with the Author's name and 
dejignation. 'The language is, doubtlefs, an imitation of 
Chaucer ,• but Jlill, in general, it is Scottijh ; and 
therefore the Poem is entitled to a place in this feries, 
efpecially as it poffeffes dijlinguijhable merits and has 
not before appeared in any Collection of Scottijh Poe- 

Jt\. doly fefotin till a cairfull dyte 
Shuld correfponde and be equivalent ; 
Rycht fo it was quhan I began to wryte 
This tragedy, the weder rycht fervent, 
Quhan Aries in middis of the Lent 
Schowris of haile gan fro the north difcende, 
That fcantly fro the cold I mycht me defende. 

Yet nerthelefle within mine orature 

I flode, quhan Titan had his bemis brycht 

Withdrawin doun, and fkylid undir cure, 

And faire Venus the beaute of the nycht, 

Upraife, and fette unto the wefte ful rycht 

Her goldin face, in oppofitioun 

Of god Phoebus, diredte difcending doun. 



Throuchout the glafle her bemis braft fo faire 

That I mycht fe on ever y fide me by, 

The northrin winde hath purified the aire, 

And fhedde his mifty cloudis fro the flue, 

The frofte frefit, the blaftis bittirly 

Fro pole Artike cam whilking loud and (hill, 

And caufit me remove agenil my will ; 

For I truftit that Venus, Lovis quene, 
To quhom fumtime T hicht obedience, 
My fadit hert of love fhe would make grene, 
And thareupon with humbii reverence 
I thoucht to praie her hie magnificence, 
But for grete colde as than I lettid was, 
And in my chambre to the fyre gan pas. 

Thouch love be hote, yet in a man of age 
It kyndlith nat fo fone as in youthed, 
Of quhom the blude is flowing in a rage, 
And in the olde the corage dul and ded, 
Of quhiche the fire outwarde is belt remed : 
To helpe by phifike quher that natur failed, 
I am experte, for bothe I have aflailed. 

I maid the fyre and bekit me aboute, 
Than toke a drinke my fpirites to comforte, 
And armit me weil fra the colde theroute : 
To cutte the wintir nycht and mak it ihorte 
I toke a quere, and lefte al othir fporte, 
Wrytin by worthy Chaucer glorious 
Of faire Crefeide and lufty Troilus : 

And thare I founde aftir that Diomede 
R.ecevit had that lady brycht of hewe, 
How Troilus nere out of his witte abrede, 
And wept full fair, with vifage pale of hewe 
For quhich wanhope his tcris gan renewe, 


james m. 1460 — 1488. 155 

Qtihile Efperus rejoyfit him againe ; 

Thus quhile in joie he lived and quhile in paine. 

Of her beheft he had grete comforting, 
Truftand to Troie that me wald mak retour,. 
Quhiche he defirit moft of al erdly thing, 
For quhy ! fhe was his onely paramour ; 
But quhan he fawe paffit baith day and hour 
Of her gaincome, in forowe gan oppreffe 
His woful herte in cair and hevinefle. 

Of his diftrefie me nedith nat reherfe, 
For worthy Chaucer in that fame boke 
In gudely termis and in joly verfe 
Compilit hath his caris, quho will loke : 
To break my flepe anothir quere I toke, 
In quhich I founde the fatal defliny 
Of faire Crefeide, quhich endit wretchidly. 

Quho wote if all that Chancer wrate was trewe ? 
Nor I wote nat gif this narracion 
Be authorifed, or forpit of the newe 
Of fome poete by his invencion, 
Made to reporte the lamentacion 
And wofull ende of this lufty Crefeide, 
And qnhat diftrefle flie was in or me deide, 

Quhan Diomede had al his appetite 

And more fulfillit of this faire lady, 

Upon anothir fette was his delite, 

And fende to her a libel repudy, 

And hei excludit fra his company; 

Than defolate /lie walkit up and doun, 

As fome men faine in the courte as commoim, 

O faire Crefeide ! the floure and A per fe 

Of Troie and Grece, how were thou fortunate 



To change in filthe al thy feminite, 
And be with flefhly luft fo maculate, 
And go amang the Grekes erly and late 
So giglot-like, takand thy foule plefaunce ! 
I have pite the mould fall fuche mifchaunce. 

Yet nerthelefle, quhat er men deme or fay 

In fcornful langage of thy brutilneffe, 

I fliall excufe, as ferforth as I may, 

Thy womanhed, thy wifedome, and fairneffe, 

The quhich Fortoun hath put to fuche diftreffe, 

As her plefit, and nothing throughe the gilte 

Of the, through wickid langage to be fpilte. 

This faire lady, on this wife deftitute 

Of al comforte and confalatioun, 

Rycht prively, without felo'wfhip or refute", 

Difhevelid, paffit out of the toun 

A mile or twa unto a manlioun 

Bildit ful gaie, quhere her fathir Calchas 

Quhich than among the Grekis dwelland was. 

Quhan her he faw, the caus he gan enquire 

Of her cuming : ihe faid, fighand ful fore, 

For Diomede had gottin his deiire 

He woxe wery, and would of me no more. 

Quod Calchas, Douchtir ! wepe nat thou therfore, 

Paravinture al comith for the beft : 

Welcum ; to me thou art ful dere a geft. 

This olde Calchas, aftir the lawe was tho, 
Was kepir of the temple as a preifte 
In quhiche Venus and her fonne Cupido 
Were honourit, and his chainbre was neift, 
To quhich Crefeide with bale enewed in breifl 
Ufit to pafle, her prayirs for to faie, 
Quhile at the laft upon a, folempne daie-, 


JAMES III. I460 — 1488. l6l 

As cuftome was, the peple ferre and nere, 
Befor the none, unto the tempil went 
With facrifice devout in ther tnanere ; 
But ftil Crefeide, hevy in her intent, 
Into the church wald not herfelf prefent, 
For givand of the peple' any deming 
Of her expulfe fro Diomede the King, 

But paffit into ane fecrete oratore, 
Quhepe fhe micht wepe her wo full defliny ; 
Behinde her bak fhe clofit faft the dore, 
And on her kneis bare fel doun in hie j 
Upon Venus and Cupide angirly 
She cryit out, and fayit in this wife, 
Alas that er I made you facrifife ! 

Ye gaif me anis a divine refponfaile 

That I fhuld be the floure of luve in Troie ; 

Now am I made ane unworthy outwaile, 

And al in cair tranflatit is my joie : 

Quho fhal me gide ? quho fhal me now convoie, 

Sithe I fra Diomede and nobil Tioilus 

Am clene excludit, abje£t, odious ? 

O falfe Cupide ! non is to wite bot thow, 
And the mothir of Love, that bhnde goddace ; 
Ye caufit me undirftande alwaie and trow 
The fede of luve was fowin on my face, 
And aie grewe grene thorouch your fople grace ; 
But now, alas ! that fede with froft is flaine, 
And I fro luvirs lefte and al forlaine. 

Quhan this was faid,doun in an extafy, 
Ravifhit in fpirite^ in ane dreme fhe fel, 
And by apperaunce herde quhere fhe did lie 
Cupide the King tingand a filvir bel, 
Quhich men micht here fro hevin into hel, 
Vol. I X At 


At quhofe founde before Cupide aperes 
The fevin planets difcending fro %he fpheres, 

Quhiche hath powir of al thing generabil, 
To rewl and Mere by their grit influens 
Wedir and winde, and courfe variabil. 
And firft of al Saturne gave his fentens, 
Quhiche gave to Cupide litil reverens, 
But as ane boiftous chorle in his manere 
Came crabbitly with auftrine luke and chere. 

His face frounfit, his lyre was lyk the lede, 
His tethe chattrit, and fhiveret with the chin, 
His ejin droupit, quhole fonkin in his hede, 
Out at his nofe the'mildrop fall gan rin, 
With lippis blew, and chekis lene and thin, 
The ifeickils that fro his hair doune hang 
"VYas woncir grete, and as ane fpere was lang ^ 

Attour his belte his liart lockis laie 
Feltrit unfaire, or-fret with froftis hore, 
His garmond and his gite ful gay of graie, 
His widret wede fio him the winde out wore, 
Ane bouftous bowe within his hande he bore, 
Undir his girdle a fafhe of felone flains 
Fedrit with iie and heidit with halftains. 

Than Jupiter rycht faire and amiabil 4 

God of the fterris in the firmament, 

And norice to al thing generabil, 

Fro his fathir Saturne farre difFerentt 

With burly face, and browis brycht and brent, 

Upon his heid ane garlonde wondris gaie 

Of flouris faire, as it had ben in Maie ; 

His voce was clere, as criftal was his eien„ 
As goldin wier fo glittrand was his ha,re, 


JAMES III. 1460 — I4§S. i63 

His garment and his gite ful gaie of grene, 

With goldin Mis gilte on every gate, 

A burly brand about His middle' he bare, 

And in' his richt hand he had a groundin fpere^ 

Of his fathir the wrothe fro us to bere. 

Neift aftir him cum Mars, the god of ire, 
Of flrife, debate, and all difcencioun, 
To chide and fight als fierfe als ony fire, 
In harde harneffe, hewmonde and habergioiin, 
And on his haunch a roufty fel fauchoun, 
And in his hande he had a roufty fworde, 
Writhing his face, with mony angry wofde j 

Schaking his brande before Cupide he come, 

With red vifage and grifly glowing eien, 

And at his mouth a blubbir ftode of fome, 

Like to ane bore quhetting his tufkis kenc, 

Rycht tulfurelike but teriiperaunce in tene, 

An home he blewe with mony bouftous bragge, 

Quhiche al this world with warre hath made to waggc , 

Than faire Phcebus, lanterne and lainpe of lichtj 

Of man and beft both frute and nonfiling, 

Tendir norice, and banifhir of nicht, 

And of the worlde caufand by his muving 

And influence life in al erdly thing, 

Without comforte of quhom of force to noucht 

Mud go dyin all that this warld hath wroucht. 

As king royall he rode upon a chare, 

The quhiche Phaeton fumtime gidet unrycht. 

The brychtnefie of his face quhan it was bare 

Non mycht beholde for perling of his fichtj 

This goldin carte with fyry bemis brycht 

Foure yokit fledis ful different of hewe 

Bot baite or tyring through the fpheris drew. 



The firft was fore, with mane as red as rofe, 
Callit Eoye in the orient ; 
The feconde ftede to name hicht Ethiofe, 
Quhitely and pale, and fomdele afcendent j 
The third Pyrois, richt hote and fervent ; 
The fourth was'blak, and callit Phlegone ; 
Quhich rollith Phoebus doun into the fe. 

Venus was thare prefent, that goddes gay, 
Her fonnis quarrel to defende, and mak 
Her owne complaint, cladde in a nice aray, 
The one halfe grene, th' othir halfe fable blak, 
Quhite hair as gold, kembit and fhed abak; 
Bot in her face femit grete variaunce, 
Quhiles parfite truth, and quhilis inconftaunce. 

Undir fmiland fhe was diffimulate, 
Provocative with blirkis amorous, 
And fodainly changit and alterate, 
Angry as ony ferpent venomous, 
Rycht pungitive with wordis odious ; 
Thus variaunt fhe was ; quho lift tak kepe, 
With one eye lauch and with the othir wepe, 

In tokening that al flefhely paramour, 
Quhich Venus hath in rule and govirnaunce, 
Is fumtyme fwete, fumtyme bittir and four, 
Rycht unliable, and ful of variaunce, 
Minglit with careful joye and falfe plefaunce, 
Now hette, now calde, now blyth, now ful of wo, 
Now grene as lefe, now widrit and ago. 

With boke in hand than cum Mercurius, 
Richt eloquent and ful of rethorie, 
With polit termis and delicious, 
With penne and inke to reporte al redie, 
Settand fongis and fingand merily, 


JAMES III. I460— 1488. jf$ 

His hair was red heclit attour his croun, 
Like til ane poete of the olde laffoun. 

Boxis he bare with fine elecluares 
And fugrit firopes for digeftion, 
Spicis belongand to the potiquares, 
With mony halfum fwcte confeftion, 
Dodlor in phifike, cledde in fcarlet goun, 
And furrid weil, as fuche one oucht to be, 
Honefl and gude, and not ane worde couth lie. 

Neift after him cum Lady Cynthia 
The lafle of al, and fvviftift in her fph&re, 
Of colour blak, bulkit with hornis twa, . 
And in the nycht fhe liflith beft t' apere, 
Hawe as the leed, of colour nothing clere, 
For al the light fhe borroweth at her brother 
Titan, for of her felfe me hath non other. 

Her gite was gray and ful of fpottis blak, 

And on her breift ane cairle paintit ful even, 

Bering a bufhe of thornis on his bak, 

Quhich for his theft micht clime no ner the heven. 

Thus quhen thei gadrit wer tha goddis feven, 

Mercurius thei chofet with one aflent 

To be fore-fpekir in the parliment. 

Quho had ben there and likand for to here 
His faconde tonge and termis exquifite, 
Of iethorike the pra&ike he mycht lere, 
In brefe fermon ane preignant fentence write v 
Before Cupide, valing his cappe a lite, 
Speris the caufe of that vocacioun, 
And he anon fhewde his entencioun. 

Lo, quod Cupide, quho wol blafpheme the name 
Of his owne god either in worde or dede 



To al goddis he doeth bothe loffe and fhame, 

And fhould haif bittir painis to his mede ; 

I faie this bj yondir wretche Crefeide, 

The quhiche throuch me was fomtime flour of Iuvd ; 

Me, and my mothir fhe ftately can repruve, 

Say and of her gret infelicte 

I was the caufe, and my mothir Venus 

She callet a blinde goddes and micht not fe, 

With fclalindir and defame injurious ; 

Thus her livand unclene and lechirous 

She wald retorte on me and on my muther, 

To quhom I fhewde my grace above all uther* 

And fithe ye ar al fevin deficate 

Participant of divine fapience, 

This gret injury done to our hich eftate 

Me thinke with paine we fhuld make recompence ( 

Was ner to goddis done fuche violence ; 

As wel for you as for my felfe I faie, 

Therefore go help to revenge I you praie. 

Merciirius to Cupide gave anfwere, 
And faid, Sir king, my counfaile is that ye 
Referre you to the hyift planet here, 
And tak to him the lowifl of degre, 
The paine of Crefeide for to modifie, 
As god Satume with him tak Cynthia. 
I am content (quod he) to tak thei twa. 

Than thus procedit Satume and the Mone, 
Quhan thei the matir ripely had digeft, 
For the difpite to Cupide that fhe' had done. 
And to Venus opin and manifeft, 
In al her life with pain to be opreft, 
And tufment fare, with fikeneffe incurable, 
And to al luvirs be abhominable. 


JAMES III. I460 — 1488. 167 

This doleful fentence Saturne toke in hande, 
And paffit cjoun quhere cairful Crefeide laic, 
And on her hed he laide a frofty wande, 
Than laufully on this wife gan he faie ; 
Thy grete fairnefie and al thy beauty gaie, 
Thy wanton blude, and eke thy goldin hair, 
Here I exclude fra the for evirmair ; 

I change thy mirthe into melancoly, 
Quhiche is the mothir of al penuvenefle, 
Thy moiflir and thy hete to colde and dry, 
Thine infolence, thy plaie and wantonnefle, 
To grete difefe ; thy pompe and thy richefie 
Into mortal nede and grete penurie ; 
Thou fuffre fha!t, and as ane beggir die. 

O cruil Saturne ! frowart and angrie, 

Harde is thy dome and to malicious ; 

Of faife Crefeide quhy hall thou na mercie, 

Q_uhiche was fo fwete, gentill, and amorous ? 

Withdrawe thy fentence and be gracious, 

As you were nere ; fo fhewith throuch thy dedc 

Ane wrekeful fentence giyin on Crefeide. 

T'^-an Cynthia, quhan Saturne paft awaie, 
Out of her fete difcendit doun fcelyve, 
And red ane bill o nrefeide where (he laie, 
Containand this fentens diflmitive, 
Fra hele of body hei*e I the deprive, 
And to thy fikeneffe fhal be no recure, 
But in dolour thy dayis to endure ; 

Thy criftal eyen myngit with blud I mak, 
Thy voce fo clere unplefaunt, har, and hace> 
Thy luftie lyre orfpred with fpottis blak, 
And lumpis hawe apperand in thy face, 
Quhere thou comift eche man iliall fiie the place , 



Thus fhalt thou go beggand fra hous to hous 
With cuppe and clappir, like ane Lazarous. 

This dolie dreme, this ugly vifioun, 
Broucht till an cnde, Creieide fra it awoke, 
And all that couxte and convocacioun 
Vanifhit awaie ; than rafe fhe up and toke 
Ane polifliit glaffe, and her fhadowe couth loke. 
And quhan fhe fawe' her vifage fo deformate 
If fhe in herte were wo I n'ote, God wate. 

Weping ful fore, Lo ! quhat it is (quod (he) 
With frowart langage for to muve and Here 
Our crabbit goddes ! and fo is fene on me ; 
My blafphemand now haif I boucht ful dere, 
All yerdly joie and mirthe I fet arere ; 
Alas this daie, alas this vvoful tide, 
Quhan I began with my goddis to chide ! 

By this was faied ane childe cam fra the hal 
To warn Crefeide the fuppir was redie, 
Firft knockit at the dore, and eft couth call, 
Madame, your fathir biddith you cum in hie, 
He hath marveile fo long on grofe ye lie, 
And faith your bedis beth to long fomdelc ; 
The goddis wote all your entent lull wele. 

Quod fhe, Faire child, go to my fathir dere, 
And praie him cum to fpeke with rne anon. 
And fo he did, and faied, Douchtir, quhat chere ? 
Alas ! (quod (he) fathir, my mirthe is gone. 
How fo ? (quod he) and ihe gan all expone 
As I have told, the vengeaunce and the wrak 
For her trefpas Cupide on her couth tak. 

He lukit on her ugly lepir's face, 

The quhiche before was quhite as lily flour, 


jiMtS III. I460 I4S8. <6j 

Wringand his handis oftimis faied Alace 
That he had leif it to fe that wofull hour ! 
For he knewe weil that thare was na focour 
To her fikneffe, and that doublit his pain : 
Thus was thare cair enow betwixt 'hem twain* 

Quhan thei togidir moUrnit had full lang, 
Quod Crefeide, Fathir, I would not be kende, 
Therfore in fecrete wyfe je let me gang 
To yon hofpitill at the toun'is ende, 
And thidir fum mete for charite me fende 
To live upon, for all mirth in this yerth 
Is fra me gone, foche is my wickid werth. 

Quhan in a mantill and a bevir hat, 
With cuppe and clappir, wondir privily 
He openet a fecrete gate, and out therat 
Conveyit her that na man fhuld efpie, 
Thare to a village halfe a mile therebie 
Deliveret her in at the fpittill hous, 
And daily fente her part of his almous. 

Sum knew her weil, and fum had na knowlege' 
Of her, bicaufe fhe was fa deformate, 
With bilis blak orfpred in her vifage, 
And her faire colour fadit and alt'erate ; 
Yet thei prefumit for her hie regrate 
And ftill murning ihe was of noble kin, 
With bittir will thare thei tokin her in. 

The daie paffit, and Phoebus went to reft, 
The cloudis blak orwhelid all the fkie, 
God wote if Crefeide were a forowfull geil, 
Seing that uncouth fare and herborie ; 
Bot mete or drinke ihe dreffit her to lie 
In a darke cornir of the hous alane, 
And on this wife wepin Ihe made her mane, 

Vol. I. Y Here 


Here followetJj the Complaint of Crefeide. 

O foppe of forowe Tonkin into cair ! 

O caitife Crefeide now and ev innate ! 

Gon is thy joie and al thj mirthe in yerth ; 

Of all blythneffe now art thou blak and bare ; 

There is na falve that helpin raaie thy fare \ 

Fell is thy fortune, wickid is thy werthe, 

Thy bliffe is banifhit, and thy bale unberde ; 

Undir the grete, God gif I gravin were, 

Quher men of Grece nor yit of Troie micht here | 

Quhere is thy chambir wantonly befene, 
With burly bed and blankits broudit bene, 
Spicis and wine to thy colatioun, 
The cuppis all of gold and filver fhene, 
Thy fwete metis fervit in platis clene, 
With favere fauce of a gude fafhoun, 
Thy gai garmontes with mony gudely goun, 
Thy plefaunt laune pinnid with goldin pene ? 
All is arere thy grete roiall renoun. 

Quhere is thy gardein with thy grecis gane, 
And freflie flouris, qivhich the quene Floraie 
Had paintit plefauntly in every plane, 
Quhere thou were wont full meiily in Maie 
To walke, and, tak the dewe by it was daie, 
And here the merle and mavife mony ane, 
With ladies faire in carolland to gane, 
And fe ther roiall renkis in ther rate ? 

This lepir loge tak for thy gudely boure, 
And for thy bed tak now a bunche of flro, 
For wailid wine and metis thou had tho 
Tak moulid bred, pirate and fidir foure : 
Bot cuppe and clappir, is all now ego. 


JAMES III. I460 1488. 171 

My clere voce and my courtly carolling 

Is ranke as roke, full hidous, har and hace, 

JDefprmit is the figure of my face, 

To luke on it no peple hath liking, 

So fped in fight, I faie with fare fiching 

Lyand amang the lepir folke, Alace ! 

Q ladies faire of Troie and Grece ! attende 

My freile fortoun, mine infelicite, 

My grete mifchefe quhich na man can amend, 

And in your minde ane mirrour mak of me, 

As I am now paravinture that ye, 

For al your micht, may cum to the fame ende 

Or ellis worfe, if any worfe maie be ; 

Beware thareforc, approchith nere your ende. 

Noucht is your fairnehe but a fadyng floure, 
Noucht is your famous laude and hie honour 
But winde inflate in uthir mennis eres, 
Your rofand redde to roting fhall retoure, 
Exemple mak of me in your memoure, 
Quhich of fuche thingis wofull witnes beres, 
Al welth in yerth as wynd awaie it weres ; 
JBewair tharefore, approchith nere your hour- 

Thus chidand with her drerie defline 
Weipand fhe woke the nicht fra ende to ende : 
But all in vain ; her dole, her cakfull crie, 
Micht not remede, nor yit he,r murnyng mend ; 
Ane lepir ladie rafe and to her wende, 
And faied, Quhy fpurnift thou again the wall 
To fle thy felf, and mende nathing at all ? 

Sith that thy weipand but doublith thy wo, 
I counfaile the mak vertue of a nede, 
Go lerne to clappe thy clappir to and fro, 
And lerne aftir the lawe of lepers lede. 



Thare Was no bote, but forthwith than fhe yede 
Tra place to place, quhile cald and hungir fare 
Compellit her to be a ranke beggare. 

That fame tyme of Troie the garnifoun, 
Quhiche had the cheftain worthy Troilus 
Throuch jeoperdy of warre had ftrikjn doun 
Knichtis of Grece in nombir marveilous, 
"With grette triumphe and laude victorious 
Agane to Troie richt roially thei rode 
The waie quher Crefeide with the lepirs (lode. 

Seing that com pan ie cum with a ft even 
Thei gaif a crie, and fhoke cuppis, Gode fpede, 
Worthie lordis ! for Godd'is luve of heren 
To us lepirs part of your almofe dede ! 
Than to her crie noble Troilus tuk hede, 
Havyng pite, ner by the place gan pas 
Quhere Crefeide fat, not wetand that fhe was. 

Than upon him fhe kefl up bothe her eyen, 
And with ane blinke it cum intill his thoucht 
That he fumtyme her face before had fein, 
But fhe was in foche plicht he knew her nouchr, 
Yit than her luk into his minde he broucht, 
The fwete vifage and amorous blenking 
Of faire Crefeide, fumtyme his own derling. 

Xa wondir was fuppofe in mind that he. 
Tuke her figur fo fone ; and lo ! now quhy 
The ydea of ane thing in cais maie be 
So depe emprentit in the fantafie 
That it deludith the wittes outwardly, 
And fo apperith in forme and like eftait 
Within the minde as it was figurat. 

JAMES III. I460 — 1488. I73 

Ane fperke of luve than til his hert couth fpryng, 

And kindilit his body in ane fire 

With hote fevir, in fwette, and trembilyng 

Him tuke, quhile he was redie to exfpire j 

To here his fhelde his hreft begon to tire, 

Within a quhile he changit mony ane hewe, 

And nertheles not ane anuthir knewe. 

For knychtly pite and memoriell 
Of faire Crefeide ane girdill gan he take, 
A purfe of goJde, and mony ane gaie Jewell, 
And in the lkirte of Crefeide doun gan fhake, 
J han rade awaic, and not ane worde he fpake, 
Pealife in hcrte, quhile he cam to the toune, 
And for grete cair oft fith al-mofte fell doune. 

The lepre folke to Crefeide than couth draw, 

To fe the equall diftrabucioun 

Of the almofe ; but quhan the golde they fawc 

Eche on to uthir privily gan roun, 

And faied, Yon lorde hath mare afFectioun, 

Hower it be, unto this Lazarous 

Than to us al, we knewe by his almous. 

Quhat lorde is yon, ^quod fhe}, have ye no feje, 

That doeth to us fo grete humanite ? 

Yes, quod a lepre man, 1 knowe him wele, 

Tr oilus it is, a knicht gentil and f/e. 

Quhan Crefeide undirftude that it was he, 

Stiflir than frele there lierte ane birtir ftound 

Throuchout hir he it, and fell doune to the ground 

Quhan ihe, orcome with fichand fare and fad, 
With mony ane care full crie and cald atone, 
Now is my breft with ftormie ftoundis ftad, 
"Wrappit in w r o, oh w T retchfull will of on ! 
'l*han fell in fwoun oft or Ihe would tone. 



And evir in her fwouning cried ihe thus, 

falfe Crefeide, and true knicht Troiius ! 

Thy luve, thy laude, and all thy gentilnefle, 

1 comptit fmal in my profperite, 
So effiatit I was in wantonnefle, 

And clambe upon the fickle whele fo hie, 
All faithe and luve I promittit to the 
Was in its felf fikill and furious ; 

falfe Crefeide, and true knicht Troilu^ ! 

For luve of me thou kept thy continuance 

Honeft and chaft in converfacion ; 

Of all women piotedtour and defence 

Thou were, and helpit ther opinion : 

My minde on fleihly foule affe&ion 

Was enclynit to luftis lecherous ; 

Fie, falfe Crefeide ! O true knicht Troiius ! 

Luvirs, beware, and tak gude hede about 
Quhom that ye luve, for quhan ye fuffre pain 

1 let you wit there is richt fewe throuchout 
Quhom ye maie truft to haif true luve again ; 
Prove quhan you woll, your labour is in vain ; 
Therfore I red ye tak them as ye fynde, 

For thei are fad as wedircocke in wynde 

Bicaufe 1 knowe the grete unftabilneiTe, 
Brittle as glafs, unto my felfe I faie, 
Truftand in uthir as grete brutilneffe, 
As inconftaunt, and as untrew of faie ; 
Thouch fum be trew I wot richt few ar thei : 
Who findith truthe, let him his lady rufe j 
None but my felf as now I woll accufe. 

Quhan this was fayd, with papir {he fat doun, 
And in this manir made her Teftament : 


JAMES III. I460 — 1488. I?3 

Here I bequeth. my corfe and carioun 
With wormis and with todis to be rent, 
My cuppe, my clappir, and mine ornament, 
And all my gold, thefe lepre folke flial haif, 
Quhan I am dedde to burie me in graif. 

This ioiall ring, fet with this rubie redde, 
Quhiche Troilus in dowrie to me fende, 
To him again I leve it quhan I am dedde, 
To make my cairful deth unto him kende : 
Thus I conclude fhortly and make an ende ; 
My fp'rit I leve to Diane, quheve me dwelles, 
To walke with her in waft wodis and welles. 

O Diomede ! thou haft bothe broche and berfe 
Quhiche Troilus gave me in tokining 

Of his true luve And with that worde me fwelt. 

And fone a lepirman tuke off the ring, 
Than buriet her withoutin tarying. 
To Troilus forthwith the ring he bare, 
And of Crefeide the deth he gan declare. 

Quhan he had herd her gTete infirmite, 

Her legacie, and lamentacionn, 

And how fbe endit in fuch poverte, 

He fwelte for wo, and fell doune in a fwoun, 

For forowe his herte to braft was boun, 

Siching full fadly faied I can no more, 

She was untrue, and wo is me therfore. 

Sum faith he made a tombe of marble graie, 
And wrote her name and fuperfcripcioun, 
And laid it on her grave wheras fhe laie, 
In golden lettirs, conteining this refoun ; 
Lo ! faire ladies, Crefeide of Troie toun, 
Sumtyme comptit the floure of womanhed, 
Uridir this ftane, late lepir, lyith dedde ! ' 



Now worthy women, in this balade fhort, 
Made for your worfbip and inflruction,, 
Of charite I monilhe and exhorte, 
Mynge not your luve with fals difcepcion, 
Bere in your ininde this fore conclufion 
Of faire Crefeide, as I have faied before ; 
Sith ihe is dedde ITpeke of her no more. 

P. 169. St. a. With cup and clapper. Henrysone probably defcrioe? 
here the manner of begging ufed by leprous perfons in his own time. 
Leprofy was then, and long had been a very common difeafe in Scot- 
land. So far back as the middle of the 12th century, we find, from the 
Burrow laws, cap. 64. that hofpitals for the reception of perfons afflicted 
with that malady, were common, we may fuppofe, in all the larger 
towns. " Gif ony man dwelland in the King's Burgh is ftricken with 
" leprotic, he fell be put into the hofpital of that Burgh ; and gif he has 
c c nathing to Lve upon, the burgeffes fall make a collection of twenty 
" millings for tueit and claith to him. Lepper folke fall not gang fra 
" dure to dure, but fall fit at the ports of the burgh, and feik almes 
» : (■with cup and clapper) fra them that paffes in and forth. Na man 
within burgh fall be fa bauld as to harbcre an lepper man, under ane 
*♦ full amerciament." James F. Act 106, anno 1427, ordains that 
" Na lepper folke fit to thig, (beg), nouther in kirk nor kirk-yard, nor" 
«• uther place within the burrowes, bat at their awin hofpital, or at the 
" port of the townc." Lord Hailes has the following Notes on this 

'« A<a." 

" The general rendezvous of beggars ufed to be in the kirk- yard*. 
Concerning thiscultom, aremaikable paffage occurs in JExz as Sylvius, 
WJloria de Euro/a, c. 46. Ulud nobis in Scotia miraculum reprefenta- 
tum eft ; nam pauperes pasne nudos ad templa mendicantes, acceptis la- 
pidibus eleniofy ta gratia d.ttis, l.Ttos abiiffe confpeximus: id genus la- 
pidis, live fuiphurca live alia pingui materia pracditum, pro ligno, quo 
regio nuda eft, comburitur." 

^neas Sylvius came to Scotland as the Pope's legate in the reign 
of James 1. It is plain from this paffage, that coals were in ufe to be 
diftributcd to the poor at the church doors; but how, at that period, 
Scotland fhciiM have Keen confi^-red as deflitutc of wood, is hard to 


JAMES III. I460 $488. 1 77 

explain. His hiftorian Gibkllinus fpcaks more cautioufly. " De Sco- 
tia hsc relatu digna invenit,— terram magna ex parte arboribus caren- 

Tn flat. 40. of Robert III. anno 1386, it is faid that " corrupt fwine or 
" falmon brought to the market, fal be taken by the Baillies, and in- 
" continent fall be fent to the lepper folke ; and gif there be na lepper 
" folke, they fall be deftroyed alluterlie." The feeding of leprous per- 
fons with corrupted fwine's flefh, may feem ftrange ; and yet, at this 
day, after the improvements of 40x3 years, meat unfit for the market is, 
in fome parts of the kingdom, condemned, and fent to feed the poor. 

%* It is to be obferved.that Henryson follows Chaucer's ftory of 
Troilus and Creflida, and not that of Homer or any other ancient au- 

Vol. I. Z THE 


— Preferved in the Bannatyne M. S. with the fub- 
fcription qjjod MR. R. henrici. It is worthy of no- 
tice, from its being one of our earlieft fpecimens of 
the Ballad Stanza ; and alfo of fmooth verjification 
a quality which Henrysone poffeffed in a fuperlative 
degree, at a period when it was almofl a phenomenon 
to write verfes of any kind. In the preceding poem, 
we find our author fpeaking of himfelf as an nged 
man. From the moral turn of this, and the others 
that follow, we may fuppofe them to he his latefl per- 
formances, written probably when this mofl ingenious 
and accompli/hed pcrfon had approached his feventieth. 


J. his hundir yeir I have been tald, 
Thair was a worthy King ; 
Dukis, Erles, and Barronis bald, 
He had at his bidding. 
The Lord was anceane, and aid, 
And fixty yeiris cowth ring ; 
He had a dochter, fair to fald, 
A lufty lady ying. 


Off all fairheid fcho bur the flour ; 
And eik her fadris air : 
Off lufty laitis, and he honour ; 
Meik, botand debonair. 


james m. 1460—1488. 

Scho wynnit in a bigly bour ; 
On fold wcs nane fa fair 
Princis luvit her peramour, 
In cuntreis our all quhair. 


Thair dwelt a lyt befyde the King 
A fowll Gyane of ane ; 
Stollin he hes the lady ying, 
Away with hir is gane. 
And keft hir in his dungering, 
Quhair licht fcho micht fe nane. 
Hungir and cauld, and grit thrifting, 
Scho fand into hir wame. 


He wes the loUthliefl on to luk 
That on the grund mycht gang : 
His nailis wes lyk ane hellis cruk, 
Thairwith fyve quarteris lang. 
Thair wes nane that he ourtuk, 
In rycht or yit in wrang, 
Bot all in fchondir he thame fchuk j 
The Gyane wes fo flrang. 


He held the lady day and nycht, 

Within his deip dungeoun ; 

He wald nocht gif of hir a licht 

For gold nor yit ranfoun. 

Bot gif the King mycht get a Knycht, 

To fecht with his perfoun, 

To fecht with him, both day and nycht, 

Quhill ane wer dungin doun. 




The King gart feik bath fer and nere, 

Beth be the fe and land, 

Off ony knjcht gife he micht heir, 

Wald fecht with that Gyand. 

A worthy prince, that had na peir, 

Hes tane the deid on hand, 

For the luve of the lady cleir ; 

And held full trew connand. 


That prince cotne proudly to the toun^* 

Of that Gyane to heir ; 

And faucht with him, his awin perfoun, 

And tuke him prefonier. 

And keft him in his awin dungeoun, 

Allane withouttin feir, 

With hungir, cauld, and confufioun, 

As full Weill worthy weir. 


Syne brak the bour, had hame the bricht, 

Unto hir fadir he. 

Sa evil wondit was the knycht, 

That he behuvit to de. 

Unlufum was his lynkome dicht j 

His fark was all bludy ; 

In all the warld was nair a wicht 

So petious for to fe. ( 


The lady murnyt, and maid grit mane, 
With all her mekle micht : 
" I lufit nevir lufe, bot ane, 
« That dolfull now is dicht ! 

« God 

jaMes lit. I46d-—I488. 181 

M God fen my lyfe wer fra me tane, 
*' Or I had fene yone iicht ; 
'* Or ellis in begging evir begane, 
•' Furth with yone curtafs knycht." 


He faid, ' Fair lady now mone I 
' De, treftly ye me trow, 

* Tak ye my fark that is bludyj 
3 And hing it forrow you. 

* Firft think on it, and fyne on me, 

* Quhen men cumis yow to wow.' 
The lady faid. " Be Mary fre, 

*' Thairto I mak a vow." 


Quhen that fcho lukit to the ferk, 

Scho thocht on the perfoun : 

And prayit for him with all her harte, 

That lowfd her of bandoun, 

Quhair fcho was wont to fit full merk 

In that deip dungeouh. 

And ever quhill fcho wes in quert, 

That wafs hir a lefioun, 


So weill the lady luvit the Knycht, 
That no man wald fcho tak. 
Sa fuld we do our God of micht 
That did all for us mak ; 
Quhilk fullely to deid wes dicht, 
For finfull manis faik. 
Sa fuld we do, both day and nycht, 
With prayaiis to him mak. 




This King is lyk the Trinitie 

Baith in hevin and heir. 

The manis faule to the lady : 

The Gyane to Lucefcir. 

The Knycht to Chryft, that deit on tre, 

And coft our fynnis deir : 

The pit to hell, with panis fell ; 

The fyn to the woweir. 


The lady was woud, but fcho faid nay^ 
With men that wald hir wed ; 
Sa fuld we wryth all fyn away, 
That in our breift is bred. 
I pray to Jefu Chryft verrey 
For us his blud that bled, 
To be our help on domyfday, 
Quhair lawis ar ftrontly led. 


The faule is Goddis dochtir deir, 
And eik his handewerk, 
That was betrafit with Lucifeir, 
Quhafittis in hell, full merk. 
Borrowit with Chryftis angell cleir, 
Hend men ! will ye nocht herk ? 
For his lufe that bocht us fa deir, , 
Think on the Bludy Serk ! 

St. 8 1. 5. Lynlome dkht. In the M . S. llhame, certainly an error of 
the tranfcriber for lynkome, linen ; " his linen was rendered unlufum." 
The word occurs no where elfe but in ChrijTs Kirk on the Grene; an ad- 
ditional prefurription that the two poems were written by the fame per- 
fon. A refemblance can eafily be traced. Compare St. 2- of this with 
St. 2. of the other; St. 4. with St. 19. ; Sc. II. with St. 17., &c. The 
alliteration would require thib phrafe to be lyncamc licit, and probably 
Henryson wrote it fo. 



- Preferred in both the Bannatyne and Mait- 
LAND ManufcriptSy but fubfcribed only in the former. 
Lord Hailes gives this title to the poem from a like 
title of a popular poem, mentioned by Wedderburn 
(not Sir James InglisJ in his " Complaint of Scot' 
land," a clajjical compofition in Scottijh profe printed 
in 1549. Probably this is the very poem there call- 
ed the " Cheapcl Walk." In Jlanza >jth Henry- 
sone applies to the Divinity what Chaucer fays of 
love in his tl Cuckowe and Nightingale."'} 

" For he can maken of lowe herds hie, 
And of hie lowe." 

Forfome other obfervatiom on this poem fee p. 88 &c. 


XjLllone as I went up and doun 
In ane abbay was fair to fe, 
Thinkand quhat confolatioun 
Was bell in all adverfitie , 
On caifs I keft on fyd myne ee, 
And faw this writtin on a "wall, 
In quhat eftait, man, that thow be, 
Obey, and thank thy God of all. 


Thy kindome and thy grit empyre, 
Thy tyaltie, nor riche array, 
Sail nocht endeur at thy defire, 
Bot, as the wind, will wend away ; 



Thy gold, and all thy gudis gay, 
Quheh fortoun lift will fra the fall : 
Sen thou fie fampillis feis ilk day, 
Obey, and thank thy God of all. 


Job wes maift riche, in writ we find, 
Thobe maift full of cheritie ; 
Job woux pure, and Thobe blynd, 
Baith tempit with adverfitie. 
Sen blindnes wes infirmitie, 
And povertie wes naturall ; 
Rycht patiently bath he and he 
Qbeyit, and thankit God of all. 


Thocht thow be blind, or haif ane halt, 
Or in thy face deformit ill, 
Sa it cum nocht throw thy defalt, 
Ka man fuld the repreif by Ikill. 
Blame nocht thy Lord, fa is his will ; 
Spurn nocht thy fute againis the wall ; 
Bot with meik haitt, and prayer ftill, 
Obey, and thank thy God of all. 


God of his juftice mon correct., 
And of his mercy petie haif ; 
He is ane judge, to nane fufpecl, 
To pUneis fynfull man and faif. 
Thocht thow be lord attour the laif, 
And eftirwart maid bound and thrall, 
Ane pure begger, with ikrip and ftaiff, 
Obey, and thank thy God of all. 


JAMES HI. I460 1488. 185 

VI. - 

This changeing, and grit variance, 

OIF erdly ftaitis up and doun, 

Comes nowder throw fortoun nor chance, 

As fum men favis, without reflbwa : 

Bot be the grit provifioun 

Of God aboif that rewll the fall ; 

Thairfoir evir thow make the boun 

To obey, and thank thy God of all. 


In welth be meik, heich not thyfelf ; 
Be glaid in wofull povertie ; 
Thy powir, and thy warldis pelf, 
Is nocht bot verry vanitie. 
Remembir him that deit on tre, 
For thy faik taiftit the bittir gall ; 
Quha heis law hairtis, and lawis he, 
Obey, and thank thy God of all, 

Vol. I. A a the 





[Copies of this Moral Dialogue are preferred in both 
the MAITLAND and Bannatyne Manufcripts. The 
variations, as noted by Mr Pinkerton, are not in- 
conjiderable, and have therefore been carefully attend- 
ed to."] 


vJuhen fair Flora, the godes of the flowris, 
Baith firth and fieldis fo frefchely had ouifret 
And perly droppis of the balmy fchowris 
All woddis grene had with thair water wet ; 
Muvard allone, in mornjng myld, I met 
A merry man, that all of mirth cowth mene, 
Singand the fang that richt fweetly was fett i 

yowth be glaid into thy flowris grene. 


1 luckit fuith a litill me befoir 

And faw a cat ire on ane club cumand, 
With cheikis lene, and lyart lokis hoir : 
His ene wes how, his voce wes hers, norland, 
Wallowit and wan, and waik as ony wand j 
Ane bill he beure upoun his breift abone, 
In letteris leill bm lyis, with this legand, 
O yowth thy flowris fedis ferly fone. 


James iii. 1460— .1488. 187 


This yung man lap upoun the land full licht 
And mervell mekle of his makdome maid. 
Waddin I am, quoth he, and wounder wicht, 
With bran as bair, and breift burly and braid ; 
Na growine on ground my guerdon may degraid, 
Nor of my pith may pair, wirth haif a prene ; 
My face is fair, my fegour will not faid ; 

yowth be glaid into thy flowris grene. 


This fenyiour fang, bot with a fober flevin, 
Schakand his berd, he faid, My bairne, lat be ; 

1 was within thir fextie years and fevin 
Ane freik on feld, als frank, forfy and fre ; 
Als glaid, als gay, ais ying, als yaip as yie : 
But now tha dayis ourdrevin ar and done ; 
Luke thow my laikly luking, gif I lie ; 

O yowth thy flowris fadis ferly fone. 


This merry man of mirth yit muvit mair : 
My corps is clene, without corruptioun ; 
Myfelf is found fra feiknefs and fra fair ; 
My wittis fy ve in deW proportioun : 
My curage is of clene complexioun ; 
My hairt is haill, my levar, and my fplene 5. 
To reid thy foil then I haif no reifoun : 
O yowth be glaid into thy flowris grene. 


The bevar hoir faid to this birly berne, 
This breif thow fall abyd fone, be thow bald J 
Thy flait, thy ftrenth, thocht it be flark and flerne 
The feveris fell, and eild fall gar the faid 5 



Thy corps fall cling, thy curage fall wa"x cald, 
Thy helth fall hynck, and tak a hurt, but hone ; 
Thy wittis fyve fall vaneis, thocht thow not wald : 
O yowth, thy flowris fadis fellone fone. 


Ane uthir vers yit this yung man couth fing : 
At luvis layr a quhyle I think to leit, 
In court to cramp, clenely in my clething, 
And luke amangis thir lufly ladeis fueit ; 
Of mariage to mell, with mowthis meit, 
In fecreit place, quhair we ma not be fene, 
"With birdis blyth in bonre my bailis to beit j 
O yowth be glaid into thy flowris grene. 


This ancient man gaif anfwer angrelie : 

For thy cramping thow fait baith cruke and cowre ; 

Thy flefchely luft the fait alfo defy, 

And pane fall the put fra all paramour : 

Than will no bird be blyth of the in boure ; 

Quhen thy manheid fall mynifh as the mone ; 

Than fall thow fay gif that my fang be feur : 

O yowth be glaid into thy flowris grene. 

This gaylyart grutchit and began to grief 

And on, full fone, he went his wayis bot wene ; 

This lene auld man luthe not, but tuk his leif, 

And I abayd under the levis grene : 

Of tha fedullis the futhe quhan I had fene, 

Of trewth, methocht, thay triumphit in thair tone ; 

O yowth be glaid into thy flowris grene : 

O yowth the flowris fadis fellone fone. 


JAMES III. 146c — 1488. 1S9 

St. 3. 1. 5. Crozvlne from groine, hanging lip, discontent. Guerdon, 
reward, recompence. " No worldly vexation fhall prevent me from 
uijoying the pleafures of youth." 

St. 4. Ane frelh on feld. In Cbrijlt Kirh on the Grene, we have 
" Freiks to the felds than flokkit." 
Gawin Douglas ufes the word once, 

" Ha, W3lJ thou fecht, quod the f.-eik." 
Jt fecms to have the fame Signification as brave had in the days at 
Brantome ; or tall man, m'the days of Sh akespeare. Tiie on'jr re- 
mains of the woid in modern Englifh are, freak, a whim ; and freaii/b, 
capricious. H. 

S-. 6. This brcif, probably ought to be bairfb, that is " bnrthen,"' the 
fame word thac occurs in Cbrijii Kirk on the Grene, St. J 8. Thi-* load of 
wretchedness (hall foon bt your fate, however vigorous you may be ar 

Thy be! lb fall byni, an £ tab a hurt, but bone. Thy heilth Shall inconti- 
nently V.afte away, nor will there be any relief or intermifTion frofn CiS- 
eafe. Hynk is from the Ang. Sax. bigan, fefHnare ; hence to bit: but 
bone means " without ho.". Mr Ruddiman obferves, that 1 ' hone," 
is, met. gr. for bo, an interjection, commanding to defift. It was ufed 
by the judge of the lifts, in the days of chivalry, when he ordered the. 
champions to ceafc frooi combat. In French tola, or bo la. Bassom- 
pierre relates, that when Charles I. and he were talking wa mly, 
Buckingham Slept in and tried, *' Je mets I bola entre vous deux"' 
Herein this petulant minifter affsmed the character of j-idge of the iiics 
between his mafler and ^n ambafTidor. H. 

St 7. With bird'u blyth in boure my bailit to bat. Birde is ufed in CbaTT- 
cf r for a millrefs. In an old Scotrifh fong, <l Burd Ifobel" means a 
young lady caller Isabella. Burd is flill ufed as an appellation of 
complacency by Superiors to women of lower degree L/lerfar in his 
" Perell of Paramours" Speaks of " birdis bricht in bowris," by which 
he mean«, ycung women in their chambers. Bailis belt, abate mv firts; 
fo fa\s Lord Kaii.e3, hut erroneously It prob.ibiy means the very 
reverfe, to help. increaSe, or rouSc my amorous lite. To beit the fre, 
is an expreffion flill quite common. 

Three other pieces by Henrysonf have been published by Lo».d 
Hailes, but being of inferior merit, it would be ufclefsto rtjinnt their, 
efpecialry as they are without Notes. 



The Moral of his fable (the trite one) of the Msufs and Frog, de - 
fervesj however, to be kept in remembrance : 

My bruder, gif thow wil tak advertens, 

Till this fabill, thow may perfaif and fc, 

It palfis far alkynd of peftilens, ~~- 

A wicket mynd, with wirdis fair and flc : 

Be war thairfor, quhom with thow fellowis the ; 

For thow war better beir of {lane the barrow ; 

Or fueitand, dig and delf quhill thow may drc, 
Than to be machit with a wicket marrow. 

A fa!s intent, undir a fair pretence, 
Has cawfit mony innocentis to d£; 
Grit folly is, thairfor, to gif credence 
Our fone to all that fpeikis fair to the. 
A filkand tong, a hairtof crewelte, 
Smytis mair foir than ony fchot of arrow. 
Bruder, gif thow be vyis, I red the fie, 
Na mach the with a frawart fenyeit marrow. 

I warn the al=, it is grit negligence, 

To bind the faft quhair thow was frank and fre { 

Fra thow be bund, thow may mak na defens 

To faif thy lyf, or yit in libertie. 

This ftmpil counfale, bruder, tak at me, 

And it to conn perqueer fe nocht thow tarrow ; 

Better bot ftryfe to leif allone in le, v 

Than to be machit with a wicket marrow. 

Here, then, we take leave of " Gude Maifter Robert Henrt- 
sovne." He probably died about 1490; and that he continued to 
rhvmc to the laft, appears from an anecdote recorded by Sir F. Kymas- 
toun. All phyficiaii9 (fays he) having given him over, there came an 
old woman unto him who was held a witch, and affced him whether he 
would he cured ; to whom he faid, Very willingly. Then, quod fhe, 
there is a Willey tree :n the lower end of your Orchard, and if you 
will go and walk but thiice about it, and thrice repeat thefe words, 
Willey tree, willey tree, take away this flux from me, you fhall prc- 
fently be cured. He told her, that being extreme weak and faint, it 
was impoffible ; but, pointing to an oaken table in the room, afked her 
if it would not do as well to give three knocks upon it, and thrice re- 
peat thefc words, 

Oaken burde, oaken burde 
Gar me ***** ane hard ****. 
The woman feeing herfclf derided, ran out of thchoufe, and Henrysoh 
died in a quarter of an hour. 



- In the Maitlakd M. S. afcribed to Henryson, in 
the Bannatyne to Patrick Johnstoun. The fancy 

of introducing three death's-heads' is odd ; and the 
more Jo, becaufe they all /peak at once, The fenti- 
ments are fuch as the contemplation of mortality na- 
turally produces. If likenefs inferred imita:.'-<v t 
Shakespeare, in thefcene of the grave-diggers, mi?ht 
he fuppofed to have copied from Patrick Johnstoln, 
an ohfcure vetffer, of whom he never heard.l 


\J sinfull man ! into this mortall fe, 
Quhilk is the vaill of mournyng and of cair - 
With gaiftly ficht, behold our heidis thre, 
Oure holkit eine, oure peilit powis bair. 
As ye ar now, into this warld we wair, 
Als frefche, als fair, als lufly to behald ; 
Quhan tliow Jukis on this futh exemplair, 
Off thy felf, man, thow may be richt unbahL 


for futh it is, that every man mortall 
Mon fufFer deid, and de, that lyfe has tane ; 
Na erdly ftait aganis deid ma prevail^ ; 
The hour of deth and place is uncertane, 
Quhilk is referrit to the hie God allane : 
Herefoir haif mynd of deth, that thow mon dy ; 
This fair exampill to fe quotidiane, 
Sowld caufe all men fro wicket vycis flie ? 



O wantone ycwth ! als frcfcbe as lufty May, 
Fared of flowris, renewit quhyt and reid, 
Behald our heidis, O lufty gallauds gay ! 
Full laithly thus fall ly thy lufty heid, 
Hulkit and how, and wallowit as the weid, 
Thy crampland hair, and eik thy criftall ene ; 
Full eairfuliy conclud fall dulefull deid, 
Thy example heir be us it may be fene. 


O ladeis quhyt in claithis corrufcant, 
Poleift with perle, and mony pretius ftane j 
With palpis quhyt, and hals elegant, 
Sirculit with gold and fapheris mony ane ; 
Your fingearis final 1, quhyt as quhailis bane, 
Arrayit with ringis, and mony rubeis reid j 
As we ly thus, fo fall ye ly ilk ane, 
With peilit powis, and holkit thus your heid. 


O wofull pryd ! the rute of all diftrefs, 
With humill hairt upoun our powis pens : 
Man, for thy mifs, alk mercy with meiknefs ; 
Againis deid na man may mak defens. 
The emperor, for all his excellens, 
King and quene, and eik all erdly ftait, 
Peure and riche, fall be but differens, 
Turnit in as, and thus in erd tranflait. 


This queftioun quha can obfolve lat fee, 
Quhat phifnamour, or perfyt palmefter, 
Quha was fareft, or fowleil of us thre ? 
Or quhilk of us of kin was gentillar, 
Or maift excellent in fcience or in lare, 
In art, mufic, or in aftronomye ? 


JAMES HI. I460— 1488. 19$ 

Heir fould be your ftudy and repair, 

And think, as thus, all your heidis mon be. 


O febill aige ! drawand neir the dait 

<Df duly deid, and hes thy dayis compleit, 

Behald our heidis with murning and regrait ; 

Fall on thy kneis, afk grace at God greit, 

With orifonis, and haly falmis fweit, 

Befeikand him on the to haif mercy, 

Now of our faulis bydand the decreit 

Of his Godheid, quhen he fall call and try. 


Als we exhort, that every man mortal], 

For his faik that maid all thingis of nocht, 

For our fawlis to pray in generall, 

To Jefu Chryil, of hevyn and erd the king, 

That throuch his blude we may ay leif and ring, 

With the hie Fader be eternitie, 

The Sone alfwa, the Haly Gaifl conding, 

Thre knit in ane be perfyt unitie. 

St. 4. Pearl. The Scottifh pearls were much efteemed iji ancient 
times. Nicolas, prior of Worckster, thus writes to Eadmer, Eleci 
of St Andrews, in the reisrn of Alexander I. anno 1120. " Prasterea, 
" rogo, et valde obfecro, ut margaritas Candidas quantum poteris mini 
" acquiras. Uniones etiam, quofcunque grpffiffimos adquirere pores, 
" faltem quatuor, mihi adquiri per te magnopere poftulo._ Si alitrr 
" non vales, faltem a rege, qui in hac re omnium bominum ditijptnum ejl, 
*' pro munere expete." * I entreat you to let me have as many of the 
" faireft pearh as you can procure. In particular, 1 defire four of the 
" largeft fort. If you cannot procure them otherwife, of: tlem in a pre- 
" fertt from the King, ivl/o, I know, has a moji abundavt /?ure." Whar- 
Vol. F. E b ton'« 


ton's Anglia Sacra. Among the jewels which Henry V. loft, when 
his camp was plundered at Agincoun, there is mention made of ♦* una 
ferula Scotia," Rtmer's Ftedera. James I. made a prefent of one pearl 
to Eneas Sylvius, the Pope's Legate. Boece fays, " Nee vcro mini- 
" mi funt pretii quos noftra fert regio uniones : fplendefcentem enim 
" fere candorem referunt, optime orbiculati laevefque, ac magnitudine 
rx interdum unguis minimi manus digiti excedentes, quantum et nos 
« quando habuimus"" H. 



— A Poet of "whom no other compofition novo remains ; 
or, at leajl, is known. He is mentioned by Dunbar, 
and by Sir David Lindsay ; by the former thus, 
in his " Lament for the death of the Makars j" 

** That did in lufe fo lyflie wryte 

So fchort, fo quick, of fentens hie." 
His name is introduced before that of HenrYson ; 
but there feems no reafon to place him earlier than this 
reign. In the Bann. M. S. the poem is fubfcribed f 
" Quod Mersar."3 


x\llace ! fo fobir is the micht 
Of wemen for to mak debait, 
Incontrair mennis fubtell flicht, 
Quhilk ar fulfillit with diflait ; 
With trefione fo intoxicait 
Are mennis mowthis at all ouris, 
Quhome in to treft no woman wait ; 
Sic perrell ljis in paramouris. 


Sum fueris that he luvis fo weill, 
That he will de without remeid, 
Bot gife that hehir freindfchip feill, 
That garris him fie langour leid ; 
And thocht he haif no dout of fpeid, 
Yet will he fich and fchaw grit fchouris, 
As he wald flerfe in to that fteid j 
Sic perrell lies in paramouris. 




Athis to fuere, and giftis to hecht, 
Moir than he has thretty fold, 
And for hir honour for to fccht, 
Quhill that his blude becummis cola. 
Bot fra fcho to his willis yold, 
Adew, fair weill thir fomer flouris, 
All grows in glafs that femit gold ; 
Sic perrell Lyis in paramouris. 


Than turnis he his faill annone, 
And paffis to ane uthir port j 
Thocht fcho be nevir fo wo-begone, 
Hir cairis cauld ar his confort. 
Heirfoir I pray in termys fchort, 
Chryft keip thir birdis bricht in bowris, 
Fra fals luvaris, and thair refort j 
Sic perrell lyis in paramouris. 



•.from the Edinburgh printed ColleEtion 1 508; intro- 
duced here as a counter-part to the preceding Ballad, 
and apparently co-eval with it.~\ 

JL/Evise, prowes, and eke humilitee, 

That maidenis have in euerich wyfe, 

Tranfmovit is in ferpentis crueltee, 

Fra thay in warld be weddit wyth thir wyis. 

No manis wit to wonder may fuffice 

Quhare ar becumyn thir maidenis myld of mude ? 

Of all this wyfis that non are found gude. 

O maidynhede of virtue nobileft, 
Flnrifching in joy, and perfyte lawlynes ! 
O wyf hede wariit of wyis wickitefl, 
Moder of vice, and hertis hye diftreffe ! 
The caufe caufing of ruyne, as 1 gefle, 
That all this warld has brocht to confufion 
Begonnyn was throu thy perfwafion. 

Enfample is how thyne iniquitee 
Ourcumyn has wyfedom, and ftrenth of hand ; 
Be Salomon the firft may provit be, 
Wifeft, but were, in warld that was- lyfand, 
llis grete wifedome mycht not agayn the ftand ; 
Thou gert hym err into his latter elde, 
Declyne his God, and to the Mawmentis jreld. 



Sampson the ftrongeft that ewir was borne 
Off manly forfe throu the diftroit was, 
Both his eyne blyndit, and eke forlorn. 
David that flew the gyant Golyas , 
And mony mo, the quhilk I have na fpace 
Foi to reherfe, for lak of tyme and wit, 
And for grete labour tharfore I mon ourfett. 

Thou devillis member, thou ciirfit homycide, 

Thou tigir tene, fulfild of birnyng fyre, 

Thou fchryne fecrete of ftynkand doke, and pride, 

Thou cocatras, that with ficht of thy ire 

Affrayit has full mony a gudely fyre, 

That eftward in warld had newir plefance, 

Grete God I pray to take on the" vengeance. 

In maidynhede fen was oure firft remede, 
And fra the hevyn oure haly fader fent 
The fecund perfone, his fone, in a Godhede, 
To tak mankynde upon the maidyn gent, 
Clene of hir corfe, and clenar of entent, 
That bure the baine quhilk couerit us fra care 
Scho being virgyn clenar than fcho was are. 

Grete was the lull that thou had for to fang 
The frute vetit, throu thy falle counfailing 
Thou gert mankynde confeht to do that wrang, 
Declyne his God, and brek his hie bidding, 
As haly write beris futhfaft witnefling. 
Tharfor thou fro the joy of paradife, 
And th)'ne oispring, was banyfl for thy vice. 



-from the Edinburgh Colle&ion 1 508. It feems to 
point unequivocally to the feeble Reign of James III/] 

V_/F ferlyis of this grete confufion 

I wald fum clerk of conyng wald declerde ; 

Quhat gerris this warld be turnyt up-fo-doun ; 

Thare is na faithfull f alines found in erd. 

Now ar noucht thre may traiftly trow the ferde : 

Welth is away, and wit is worthin wrynkis : 

Now fele is forow, this is a wofull werde, 

Sen want of wyfe men makis fulis to fit on binkis. 

That tyme quhen (rang) the lovit king Saturnus, 
For gudely governance this warld was goldin cald ; 
For untreuth we wate noucht quhare to it turnis. 
The tyme that Octovian the monarch could hald, 
Our all wes pes, wele fet as hertis wald ; 
Than regnyt reule, and refon held hjs rynks. 
Now lakkis prudence ; nobilitee is thralde, 
Sen want of wyfe men makis fulis to lit on binkis. 

Arestotill for his moralitee, 

Austyn, or Ambrose for dyvine fcripturc ; 

Quha can placebo, and noucht half dirige, 

That pra&ik for to pike, and pill the pure ; 

He fall cum in, and thay Hand at the dure. 

For warldly wynfik walkis, quhen wyfar wynkis : 

Wit takis na worfchip, lie is the aventure, 

Sen want of wyfe men. makis fulis to fit on binkis. 



Now, but defenfe, rycht lyis all defolate, 
Rjcht na refon, under na rufe has reft. 
Youth is but raddour, and age is obftynate, 
Mycht but mercy, the pore ar all opprefl. 
Lerit folk fuld tech the peple of the bell, 
Thouch lare be lytill, fer lefle in tham finkis. 
It may noucht be this warld ay thus fuld left, 
That want of wyfe men makis fulis to fit on binkis. 

For now is exilde all aid noble corage, 

Lautee, lufe, and liberalitee. 

Now is ftabilitee fundyn in na ftage, 

Nor digeft cpunfele wyth fad maturitee. 

Peas is away all in perplexitee ; 

Prudence, and policy, are banyft our al brinkis. 

This warld is ver fa may it callit be, 

That want of wyfe men makis fulis fit on binkis. 

Quhare is the balance of juft and equitee ? 

Nothir.meryt is preifit, na punyfl is trefpas. 

All ledis lyvis lawles at libertee, 

Nouch reulit be refon, mare than ox, or afie. 

Gude faith is flemyt, worthin fraillar than glas 5 

Trew lufe is lorn, and lautee haldis no lynkis ; 

Sic gouemance I call noucht a faffe, 

Sen want of wyfe men makis fulis fit on binkis. 

O Lord of Lordis ! God and Governour ! 

Makar, aud movar, bath of mare and lefle ! 

Quais power wifedome and honoure 

Is infynite, fal be, and ewirwas wes, 

As in the principall mencio 1 of the mefle, 

All thir fayd thingis reform as thou bell thinkis, 

Quhilk ar degradit for pare pi tee redrefie, 

Sen want of wyfe men maids' fulis lit on binkis. 



[It is impofjible to afcertain with precifion the ara of 
the ancient amatory Ballads ; hut the language of this 
is evidently very old, and refembles Henryson's 
more than that of Dunbar, or any other Poet of 
the Reign of James IV. It is mentioned under the 
title of " Still under the levis gvene" in the lifl of 
Songs given by Wedderburne, {in his " Complaint 
of Scotland" 1549^) who 'does not feem to bring dow?i 
that lifl any lower than the ti??ie of James IV. — and 
it has been preferved in the Mai TL and Manufcript, 

u This capital piece? fays Mr Pinkertqn, " nar- 
rated with exquifite fmplicity and beauty , is a hind of 
rival of the Ephefian Matron ; and, for the age in 
which it was ivritten, is almofl miraculous. The 
iender pathos is finely recommended by an excellent 
cadence. An age 'that produced this might produce 
almofl any perfe&ion in poetry ." And, perhaps, it 
may be added, that no Poet of that age was equal to 
the tufk but one who could produce fueh a poem as 
•• Robene and Makyne." With thefc two beautiful 
compojitions , not one ■poem of Dunbar has (he leafl 
affinity. ~] 

OTILL under the levis grene, 

This hinder day, I went alone : 

I hard ane may fair murne, and meyne ; 

To the king of love fcho maid hir mone. 

Scho fychit fely foir ; 

Vol. I. C c Said 


Said • Lord, I luif thi lore ; 

* Mair wo dreit never woman one. 

' O langfum lyfe, and thow war gone, 
\ Than fuld I murne no moir !' 

As rid gold-wyir fchynit hir hair ; 
And all in grene the may fcho frlaid. 
Ane bent bow in hir hand fcho bair ; 
Undir hir belt war arrowis braid. 
I followit on that fre, 
That femelie wes to fe. 
Withe dill murning hir mone fcho maid. 
That bird under a bank fcho baid, 
And lenit to ane tre. 

* Wanweird !' fcho faid, * Quhat have I wrocht, 
' That on me kytht hes all this cair ? 

' Trew lufe fo deir I have the bocht I 

* Certis fo fall I do na mair. 
' Sen that I go begyld 

* With ane that fay the has fyld. 

' That gars me of- fyis fich full fair ; 

* And walk amang the holtis hair, 
\ Within the woddis wyld. 

c This grit difefe for luif I dre 

* Thair is no toung can tell the wo ! 
« I lufe the luif, that lufes not me ; 

' I may not mend — but murning mo. 
< Quhill God fend fum remeid, 
' Throw deftany, or deid. 
' I am his freind — and he my fo. 
' My fueit, alace ! quhy dois he fo ? 

* I wrocht him never na feid ! 

* Withoutin fevn I wes his freynd, 

« In word, and wark. Grit God it wait ! 

' Quhair 

JAMES III. I460 — 1488. 203 

c Quhair he wes placitj thair lift I leynd, 
' Doand him fervice ayr and late. 
He kepand eftir fyne 

* Till his honour and myne. 

* Bot now he gais ane uther gait ; 
' And hes no e to my eftait ; 

* Quhilk dois me all this pyne. 

' It dois me pyne that I may prufe, 

* That makis me thus murning mo. 
' My luif he lufes ane uther lufe — 

* Alas, fweithart ! Quhy does he fo ? 
' Quhy fould he me forfaik— . 

' Have mercie on his maik ! — 

' Thairfoir my hart will bird in two. 

* And thus, walking with da and ro> 

* My leif now heir I taik.' 

Than wepit fcho, luftie in weyd ; 
And on hir wayis can fcho went. 
In hy eftir that heynd I yeyd, 
And in my armis culd hir hent. 
And faid, " Fayr lady at this tyde, 
" With leif ye man abyde. 
" And tell me quho yow hidder fent ? 
" Or quhy ye beir your bow fo bent 
tS To fla our deir of pryde ? 

" In waithman weid fen I yow find 

*' In this wod walkand your alone, 

*' Your mylk-quhyte handis we fall bind 

" Quhill that the blude birft fra the bone. 

" Chairgeand yow to preifoun, 

" To the king's deip dungeoun. 

** Thai may ken be your fedderit flane 

" Ye have bene mony beiftis bane, 

t{ Upon thir bentis broun." 



That fre anfvverd with fayr afeir, 

And faid, ' Schir, mercie for your mycht ! 

Thus man I bow and arrowis beir, 

Becaus I am ane baneift wycht. 

So will I be full lang. 

For God's luif lat me gang ; 

And heir to yow my treuth I plyehr, 

That I fall, nowder day nor nycht, 

No wyld bsift wait with wrang. 

Thoch I walk in this foreft fre, 

With bow, and cik with fedderit flane, 

It is weill mair than dayis thre, 

And meit or drink yit faw I nane. 

Thoch I had never fie neid 

My felfe to wyn my breid, 

Your deir may walk, fchir, thair alane j 

Yet wes I nevir na beiftis bane. 

I may not fe thame bleid. 

Sen that I never did yow ill, 

It wer no Ikill ye did me Ikayth. 

Your deir may walk cmhairevir thai will : 

I wyn my meit with na fie waithe. 

I do bot litil wrang, 

Bot gif I flouris fang. 

Gif that ye trow not in my aythe, 

Tak heir my bow and arrowis baythe, 

And lat my awin felfe gang.' 

e I fay your bow and arrowis bricht ! — 
( I bid not have thame, be Sanft Bryd j 
' Bot ye man reft with me all nycht, 

* All nakit fieipand be my fyd." 
I will not do that fyn ! 

Leif yow this warld to wyn !' — 

• Ye ar fo haill, of hew and hyd, 

« Luif 

)am£s Jit. 1460 — 1488. i&f 

" Luif hes me fangit iu this tyd. 
u I may not fra yow twyn." 

Than lukit fcho to me, and leuch j— . 
And faid, • Sic luf I rid yow layne. 

* Albeid ye mak it never fa teuch, 
' To me your labour is in vane. 

*■ Wer I out of your fycht, 

* The fpace of halfe a nycht, 

' Suppois ye faw me ncVer agane — 

1 Luif hes yow ftreinyeit with litle paitie j 

' Thairto my treuth I plycht.' 

I faid, w My fueit, forfuythe I fall 

" For ever luif yow, and no mo. 

'• Thoch uthers luif, and leif, with all ; 

" Maift certanlie I do not fo. 

" I do yow trew luif hecht, 

" Be all thi bewty bricht ! 

** Ye ar fo fair be not my fo ! 

•' Ye fall have fyn and ye me flo 

" Thus throw ane fuddan fycht." 

« That I yow 11a, that God forfcheild ! 
' Quhat have I done, or faid, yow till ? 

* I wes not wont wapyns to weild — 

* Bot am ane woman — gif ye will. 

* That fuirlie feiris yow, 
' And ye not me, I trow. 

* Thairfor, gude fchir, tak in none iXl : 
' Sail never berne gar breif the bill 

* At bidding me to bow* 

* Into this wode ay walk I fall, 

4 Ledand my lyf as woful wycht ; 
' Heir I forfaik bayth bour and hall, 
' And all thir bygings that are brycht ! 


1 My bed is maid full cauld, 

* With beiftis bryme and bauld 

■ That gars me fay, bayth day and nycht t 
c Alace that even the toung fould hecht 
« That hart thocht not to bauld l r 

Thir words out throw my hart fo went 
That neir I wepit for hir wo. 
But thairto wald I not confent ; 
And faid that it fould not be fo. 
Into my armis fwythe 
Embrafit I that blythe. 
Sayand, " Sweit hart, of harmis ho ! ' 
" Found fall I never this foreft fro, 
" Quhill ye me comfort kyth. 

Than knelit I befoir that cleir ; 
And meiklie could hir mercie craif. 
That femelie than, with fobir cheir. 
Me of hir gudlines forgaif. 
It wes no neid, I wys, 
To bid us uther kys ; 
Thair mycht no hairts mair joy refaif, 
Nor ather culd of uther haif. 
Thus brocht wer we to blys. 

*„• There does not appear any other Scottifh Poem, Ballad, or Song 
that could with certainty, or even probability, be placed under the reign 
of James III. 

In the Bannattnx M- S. the copy of Dunbar's " Lament for the 
death of the Potts" as publi&ed by Allan Ramsay and by Lord 
Hailes, contains this line, in the ftauza where the name of Robert 
HenrtTson is recorded, 

" In Dunfermling he has tane Brown." 


JAMES III. 1460 — 1488. 207 

And Lord Haiies givrs from the Bannattnk M. S. the following 
extract of a Poem fubfcribed Brown, whom his Lordfhip fuppofes to 
be the Poec mentioned by Dunbar : 

Ye men of kirk that care hes tane 
Of fawlis, for to wetche and keip, 
Ye will be tynt, and ye tyne ane, 
In your defalt, of Goddis fcheip ; 
Be walkand ay that ye nocht fleip, 
Luke that your bow be reddy bent, 
The wolf about your flok will leip, 
Ye mon make compt at jugement. 

Be gude of lyfe, and biffie ay 
Your gud examples for to fchaw, 
Stark in the faith, and luk allway 
That na mar cry me unto you knaw. 
Let ay your deid follow your faw, 
And to this taill ye tak gud tent 

ISayxveil, tot do-weil is nocht worth a ftraW 
For you to fchaw in jugement. 

But thefe lines feem to belong to a later period, — probably after the 
New Teftament had been tranflated. Befides, there are two other an- 
cient copies of Dunbar's Lament, one in the Maitland M. S. and a- 
nother in the Edinburgh Collection of Poems 1508, printed, doubtlefs, 
under the eye of Dunbar himfelf, in both of which the above line runs 
thus : 

" In Dunfermling he has done roune 
Gud Mr Robert Henryfoune," &c. 

So that the name Brown in the Bannatyne M. S. muft be an er- 
ror of the tranferiber. 

With due deference to the opinion of fuch an exquifite judge as Mr 
Pinkerton, the competitions of Dean David Steil are to be placed 
Jower down in this feries, for reafons there to be offered. 


JAMES IV. 1488— 15 13, 

Warton, in his hi/lory of JLngli/h poetry, remarks, that 
the latter part of the fifteenth century was " adorned 
by a few Scottijh writers with a degree of fentiment 
and fpirit, a command of phrafeology , and a fertility 
of imagination, not to be found in any Engli/h poet 
Jince Chaucer and Lydgate." Be/ides Henryfon, who 
wrctt -chiefly in the preceding reigns, the perfons here 
alluded to are William Dunbar and Gawin Douglas, 
two of the greatejl poets that Scotland has produced, 
Dunbar feems to have rejided chiefly in Ed'mburgh ; 
but the place of his birth has not hitherto been afcer- 
tained ; there being no ground for ajjigning that honour 
to Sal ton in Eajl Lothian, as flhall more particularly 
be fhewn in a note fuhjoined to his " Flyting" with 
Kennedy. From various poffages in his works, it ap- 
pears that he was born about 1455 » ^ a ^ ' n ^ s voxtnger 
years he was a travelling noviciate of the Francifcatt 
order; that he returned from the Continent, and began 
to write about the year 1 490 / and that ks died aboui 
1520. Mr Pinkerton places his birth about ten year? 
later ; but the date here ajfumed feems nearer the truth, 
from the following circumflances : Douglas, in his Pa- 
lice of Honour, written in 1501, mentions Dunbar 
*• as yet undead ;" an expreffion which implies that he 
had pa/l the flower of his age. and agrees better with 
the age of 46 than 36 : And in our poet's Lament for 
the death of the Makars, we fee, (as Lord Hailes cb- 
ferves,) the once gay Dunbar, now advanced in years, 
deprived of his joyous companions, and probably juflled 
out of court by other wits, younger and more fajhiona- 
ble. Jhis Lament was printed by Miller and Chapman 
in 1508 ; and may have been written forfte years before 
that time \ or when Dunbar was about the age of 50 ; 
Vol. I. D d which 

aid Chronicle of Scottish poetry. 

which corref ponds better than the age of 40 with the toni 
or tenor of the poem. Although our poet lived in 
habits of familiarity with James the Fourth, and fre- 
quently in his ftnaller pieces addreffes him as an humble 
fupplicant for fome ecclefiajlical benefice, it does not appear 
that he ever fucceeded. After the death of the King., it 
is probable that he attached himfelf more to the party of 
the Duke of Albany than to that of the §h/een and the 
Karl of Angus y and that his hopes were compleatly blafted 
when the Regent finally retired to France. 

Dunbar's principal works are two ** firiiing fpecimens 
of allegorical invention," viz. The Thiftle and Rofe, and 
Golden Terge ; but as the order of time is here adopted 
for the rule of arrangement, it ferns neceffary to give pre- 
cedence to his tale of The two married women and the 
widow, as being probably one of his youthful performan- 
ces. Trots admirable tale has been preferved both in the" 
Maitland Collection and in that q/*Miilar and Chapman 
1508. In thefe are found a few fight variations, which 
have been properly attended to in this edition. 


U pon the Midfumer ewen, mirrieft of nichtis, 
I muvit furth alane, quhen as midnicht wes paft, 
Befyd ane gudlie grene garth full of gay fiouris, 
Hegeit, of ane huge hicht, with hawthorne treeis ; 
Quhairon ane bird on ane branche fo bird out hirnotis 
That nevir ane bly thf uller bird was on the beuche hard, 
Quhat throw the fugarat found of hir fang glaid, 
And throw the favour fanative of the fueit flouris, 
I drew in derne to the dyke to dirken efter myrthis ; 
The dew donkit the dail, and dynnit the feulis. 
I hard, under ane holyn hewmlie grein hewit, 
Ane hie fneiche, at my hand, with hautand wcmrdis. 


JAMlES IV. I488 — I5I3. ' 211 


With tbat mhajfi to the hege fo hard I inthrang 
That I was heildit with hawthorne and with heynd 

leveis : 
Throw pykis of the plet thorne I prefandlie luikit, 
Gif ony perfoun wald approche within that plefand 

garding ; 
I faw thre gay ladeis lit in ane grene arbeur, 
All grathit into garlaneis of frefche gudelie flouris ; 
So glitterit as the gowd wer thair glorious gilt trelfis,. 
Quhil all the greffis did gleme of the glaid hewis ; 
Kemmit was thair cleir hair, and curioivflie fched 
Attour thair fchoulderis doun, fchyre fchyning full 

bricht ; 
With kurches, caflin thame abone, of krifp cleir and 

Thair mantillis grein war as the grefs that grew in 

May fefoun ; 
Faftnit with thair quhyt fingaris about thair fair fydis. 
OfFferliful fyne favour war thair faces meik» 
All full of flurift fairheid, as flourjs in June, 
Quhyt, feimlie, and foft, as the fweet lillies j 
New upfpred upon fpray as new fpynift rofe. 
Arrayit ryallie about with mony riche wardonr, 
That Nature, full nobilie, annamilit fine with flouris 
Of alkin hewis under hewin, that ony heynd knew, 
Fragrant, all full of frefche odour fyneft of fmell. 
Ane marbre tabile coverit wes befoir thai thre ladeis, 
With ryche copjs as I wys full of ryche wynis. 

And of thir fair-loukes quhyte tua weddit war with 

Ane wes ane wedo w, I will, wantoun of laitis. 
And, as thai talkit at the tabil of mony taill funde, 
Thay wauchit at the wicht wyne, and warit out wour- 




And fyne thai fpak more fpedelie, and fparit no mate- 


Bewrie, faid the wedo, ye weddit werren yjng, 
Quhat mirth ye fand in maryage, fen ye war menis 

wyffis : 
Reveil gif ye rewit that rakles conditioun. 
Or gif that ever ye luffit leyd upon lyfe mair 
Nor quhame that ye your faythe hes feftnit to for ever. 
Or gif ye think, had ye chois, that ye wald cheis better » 
Think ye it nocht ane blift band that bindis Co faft 
That none unto it adew may fay bot the deithe lane ? 

Than fpak ane lufty belyf, with luftie effeiris, 
It, that ye call the bJift band that bindis fo faft 
Is bair of blis, and baleful, and greit barrat wirk ! 
Ye fpeir, had I fre chois, gjif I wald cheis better ? 
Chenyeis ay ar to efchew ; and changes are fweit. 
Sic curfit chance till efchew had I my chois anis, 
Out of the chanyeis of ane churle I fcaip fuld for ever. 
God gif matrimony wer made to mell for ane yeir, 
It war bot monftrous to be mair bot gif our mindij 

It is againe the law of luif, of kynd, and of nature, 
Togidder hairtis to flreine, that ftryvis with uthar. 
Birdis hes ane better law na bernis be meikil, 
That ilk yeir, with new joy, joyis ane maik ; 
And fangis thame ane freihe feyr, unfulyeit, and con* 

ftant ; 
And lattis thair fukert feyris flie quhair thai pleis. 
Chryft gif fie ane confuetude war in this erth holdin 
Than weil war us wemen, that ever we may be fre, 
We fuld have feiris as frefche to fang quhen we wald, 
And gif all larbaris thair leveis, quhan thai lak curage. 
Myfelf fuld be full femlie with filkis array it j 
Gymp, jolie, and gent, richt joyous, and gentryce, 
t fuld at faris be found, new facis to fpy ; 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 213 

At playis, and preichings, and pilgrimages greit, 
To fchaw my renoun royaly, quhair preis wasof folk; 
To manifeft my makdome to multitude of pepil, 
And blaw my bewtie on breid, quhair bernis war mo- 

That I micht chois, and be chofin, and change quhen 

me lykit. 
Than fuld I wail ane full weil, our all the wyde realme, 
That fuld my womanheid weild the lang winter nicht. 
And quhen I gottin had ane grume, ganeft of uther, 
Yaip, and ying, in the yok ane yeir for to draw ; 
Fra I had preveit his picht the firft plefand month, 
Than I fuld caft me to keik in kirk, and in market, 
And all the cuntrie about, kingis court, and uther, 
Quhair I ane g all an d micht get aganis the next yeir, 
For to perfurneis furch the werk quhen faikeit the 

A forky fere, ay furthwart, and forfy in draucht ; 
Nothir febil, nor fant, nor fulyeit in labour j 
Bot als frefche of his forme, as flouris in May : 
For all the fruit fuld I fang thoch he the flour-burge- 


1 have ane wallidrag, ane worm, ane auld wobat carle, 
A waiftit wolroun, na worthe bot wourdis to clatter ; 
Ane bumbart, ane dron-bee, ane bag full of fleume, 
Ane fcabbit fkarth, ane fcorpion, ane fcutarde behind : 
To fee him fcart his awin flsyn grit feunner I think. 
Quhen kiflis me that carybald, than kyndillis all my 

forow ; 
As brifs of ane brym bair his berd is als flifF, 
Bot foft and foupil as the lilk is his fary lume. 
He may weil to the fyn affent, bot fakles is his deidis. 
And gory is his tua grym ene gladderit all about, 
And gorgit lyk twa guttaris that wer with glar flop- 
pit ; 



Bot quhen that glourand gaiit grippis me about, 
Than think I hiddowus Mahoune hes me in armes : 
Than ma na fynyne me fave fra that aula* Sathane ; 
For thoch I wefh me all cleine, fra the croun downe, 
He will my corfe all beclip and clap me to his breift. 
Quhan fchaifien is that auld fhak with ane fch arp ra- 

He fchowis on me his fchewal mouth, and fcheddis my 

lippis ; 
And with hard hurchepn fkyn fa heclis he my cheikis, 
That as a glemand jrleid glowis my chaftis ; 
I fchrenk for the fcharp ltound, but fchout dar I not, 
For fchore of that auld fchrew, fchame him betyde ! 
The luif blenkis of that bogil, fra his bleirit ene, 
As Belzebub had on me blent, abafit my fpreit 
And quhen the my on me fmirks with his fmaik fmoet 
He fipillis Iyk ane farfy aver, that flyris on ane fillok. 
Quhen that the found of his faw fynkis in my eiris, 
Than ay renewis my noy ; or he be neir cumand, 
Quhen I heir nemmyt his name, than mak I nyne 

To keip me fra the commerance of that carle mangit ; 
That full of elduring is, and anger, and all ewil thewis. 
I dar nocht luik to my luif for that lene gib ; 
He is fa full of jelofy, ard ingyne fals ; 
Ever imagining in mynd materis of ewill, 
Comparand and caftand caftis ane thoufand 
How he fall tak me with ane trane atryft of ane uther. 
I dar nocht keik to the knaip that the cop fillis, 
For eldning of that auld ihrew, that ever on ewill 

For he is waiftit, and worne fra Venus' werkis ; 
And may not beit wourth ane bein in bed of my myf- 

He trows that young folk iyerne yeild for he gane is. 
Bot I may yuik all this yeir, or his yerde help ; 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 21$ 

And quhan that carybauld carle wald clyme on my 

Than am I dangerus, and daue, and dour of my will. 
Yeit leit I never that larbar my leggis ga betwene, 
To fyle my flefche, na fummil me, without a fee gret. 

And thoch his pen puirlie me payis into bed, 
His purs payis richlie in recompens after : 
For er he clim on my corfe, that carybauld foxlane, 
I have conditioun of ane curchef krifp, or {ilk 9 
Ane gown of engranit clayth, richt gaylie furrit ; 
Ane ring with ane ryal ftane ; or uther ryche juell. 
Or reft of his roufty raid, thoch he were redewmyod 
For all the buddis of John Blunt, quhen he abone clymis 
Methink the baid deir aboucht, fa bawth ar his wer- 

And thus I fell him folace, thoch I it four think. 
Fra fie a fyre God you faif, my fueit fillers deir ! 

Quhen that the feitnlie had faid hir fentence to end, 
Than all thay leuche upon loft, with latis full mirry; 
And ra ucht-the cop round about full of ryche wynis ; 
And ralyeit lang, or thay wald reft, with ryatus 

The wedo to the tother wlonk warpit thir wordis : 
Now, fayr filter, fallis yow but fenyeing to tell, 
Sen men firft with matrimonie yow menkit in kirk, 
How have ye fame be' your fayth ? Confes us the 

That band to blis, or to ban, quhilk yow beft thinkis j 
Or yow the lyk lyf to leyd into leil fpoufage. 
And fyne myfelf you exame on the famen wyfe ; 
And I fall fay furth the futh, diflembland na word. 

The pleifand faid, I proteft the treuth gif I fchaw, 



That of your tounges ye be traifl. The uther tu& 

"With- that fprang up her fpreit be an fpan heichar. 
To fpeik, quoth fche, I fall nocht fpair ; thair is no 

fpy neir. 
I fall ane iagment reweil fra the rute of my hairt ; 
A rouft that is fo ranklit quhil ryfi s my ftomak ; 
Now fall the byll all out brift, that beild hes bein 

lang | 
For it to beir on my breill is burden our hevie : 
I fall the venum avoyd with ane vent large ; 
And me affuage of that fwalme, that fuellit was greit. 
My hufband was ane huremafter, the hugeafl in erd : 
Thairfoir I hait him with my hairt, fo help me our 

He was ane young man richt yaip, but not in yowthis 

fiouris ; 
For he is fadit full far, and feiblit of ftrenth. 
lie was aue flurriffing frefche within thir few yeirs ; 
Rot he is failyet full far, and fulyeit in labour. 
He hes bein lichour fa lang quhil loft his nature s 
His lumc is waxit larbar, and lyis into fwowne. 
Was never fugeorne war fet na on that fnail tyrit , 
For efter fewen owks reftit will nocht rap anis. 
lie hes bene waiftit upon wemen, or he me wyf chei- 

And in adulterie, in my tyme, I haif him tane oft. 
And yet he is als brankand with bonet on fyde, 
And blenkand to the brichteft that in the burgh duels ; 
Als courtiie of his cleything, and kemmingof his hair, 
As he that is mair valyeant into Venus chalmer. 
He femis to be fumthing wourth, that fyphir in bour, 
He luikis as he watd luvit be, thoch he be lytil of va- 
He dois as ane dotit dog that dams on all buffis ; 
He lifts his leg upon loft, tho' he nocht lift to pifche. 


JAMES IV. I488 — 15 13. 217 

He hes ane luik without luft, and lyfe without en- 

He hes ane forme without force, and faffioun but ver- 

tew ; 

And fair wourdis but effeft, all fruftar of deidis. 

He is for ladeis in luif ane richt luftie ihadow. 

Bot into derne, at the deid, he fall be droup funding. 

He railyes, and maks rippet with ryatus wourdis, 

Ay ruling him of his rardis, and rageing in chalmer j 

Bot God wait quhat I think quhen he fo thra fpeikis . 

And how it fettis him fo fyd to fege of lie materis. 

Bot gif himfelf, of fum ewin, micht ane fa amang 

Bot he nocht ane is, bot nane of nature's ponellouris, 
$che that has ane auld man nocht all is begylit : 
He is at Venus' werkis na war nor he femis. 
I weind I had chofin ane jeme, and I have ane geit got- 

tin ; 
He had the gleyming of gold, and was bot glas fundin 
Thoch men be fers, weil I find, fra failje thair curage, 
Thair is bot oldnyng or anger thair hairtis within. 

Ye fpeik of birdis on beuch : of blis may thai fing, 
^That, on SancT: Valentine's day, ar vakandis ilk yeir. 
Had I that plefand prevelege to part quhan me lykit j 
To change, and ay to cheis agane j than, Chaftitie, a- 

dew ! 
Than fuld I have ane frefche feir to fang in my armis: 
To hald ane freik, quhil he fant, may folie be callit. 
Upon lie materis I mus at midnicht full aft ; 
And murnis fo in my mynd, I murdres myfelf in kair. 
Than ly I walkand for wa, and welteris about : 
Waryand of my wickit kin, that me away call — 
To lie ane crandoun but curage that knyt my clere 

beawtie ! 
And thair fo mony kein knichtis this kynrik within : 
Vol. I. E e Than 


Than think I on a feimlier, the futh for to tell, 
Na is our fjr be fie fewin. With that 1 £ch oft. 
Than he full tenderlie dois turne to me his tume per- 

And, with ane yoldin yerd, dois yok me in armes : 
And fayis ' My foverane fweit thing, quhy fleip ye 

' nocht better ? 

* Me think thair haldis yow ane heit, as ye fum harme 

■ ailit.' 
Quoth I, * My hinny, hald abak ; and handle me nocht 
« fair. 

* Ane haefhe hes happenit haftelie at my hairt rute.'- 
With that I feim for to fwoun, thoch I no fwerf tak : 
And thus befweik I that fwane, with my fweit wourds, 
I cad on him a crabbit e : and quhen the cleir day is^ 

And leitis it is ane luif blenk, quhen he about gleymis, 
I turne it in ane tendir luik, that I in tene waryat ; 
And him he haldis hamelie, with bartlie fmyling. 

I wald ane tendir peronall that micht no put thole ; 
That hathit men with hard geir, for hurtyng of flefche j 
Had my gude man to hir gaift : for I dar God fueir, 
She fuld nocht ftert for his ftraik ane ftray breid of 

And fyne I wald that ilk band, that ye fa blift call, 
Had band him fo to that bricht, quhil his bak werkit : 
■ And I war abeid brocht with berne that me lykit j 
Trow, that bird of my blis fuld ane burde want. 

Anone quhen this aimable had endit her fpeche, 
Loud lauchand the laif allowit her meikill. 
Thir gay wyffis maid game amang the grene leiffis ; 
Thai drank and did away dule under derne bewis. 
Thai fuppit at the fueit wyne, thai fwan-quhyt of 
hewis ; 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 11$ 

Bot all the pertliar in plane thai put out thair voceis. 

Than faid the wedo, I wis thair is no way uther : 
Now tydis me for to talk. My taill it is nixt. 
God my fpreit now infpyrej and my fpeiche quicken, 
And fend me fentence to fay, fubftantious and nobill ! 
Sa my preiching may pers your perverfl hartis : 
And mak yow meikar to men in maneris and condi- 

I fchaw you fifteris into fchryft, I was ane fchrew e- 

ver j 
Bot I was fcherie in my fchroude, and (hew me inno- 
And thoch I dour was, and daue ; diipitous, and bauld , 
I was diffemblit fubtelie in ane fan&is liknes. 
I femit fobir, and fueit, and fempil without fraude ; 
Bot I couth fextie defave that fubtiHar war haldia. 

Onto my leftbun ye lith, and leir at me wit. 

Gif ye nocht lift be foir forleit with lofengeris un* 

Be conftant in your governance, and counterfeit gud 

maneris : 
Thoch ye be kene^ and inconftantj and cruel of mynd j 
Thoch ye as tygaris be terne, be tretabil in luif. 
And be as turtouris in your talk, tho' ye have taillis 

brukill ; 
Be dragounis bayth and dowis, ay in doubill forme ; 
And quhen it neidis you anone note bayth thair 

Be aimabil with humil face, as angels apperand ; 
And with ane terrible tail be llangand as edderis. 
Be of your luik lyk innocentis, thoch ye have ewil 

Be courtlie ay in claything, and coftlie arrayit. 



That hurtis yow not wourthe ane hen. Yourhufband 
payis for all. 

Twa hufbands I have had, that held me bayth deyr ; 
Thoch I defpytit thame agane, thay fpyit nathing. 
Ane was ane hair hachart, that hoftit out fleume ; 
I haitit him lyk ane hund, thoch I it hid previe. 
With kiffing, and with clapping, I gart the carle fon ; 
Weil couth I keyr his cruik bak, and keme his cowit 

nodil ; 
And with ane bukkie in my cheik bo on him behind ; 
And with ane bek gang about and blier his auld ene ; 
And with ane kynd countenance kys his krynd chiek: 
Into my mynd makand mokis at that mad .fader, 
Trowand me with trew luif to treyt him fo faire. 
This couth I do without dule, and no difeis tak ; 
Bot ay mirrie in my mynd, and mefchefous of cheyr, 
I had ane luftyar leyd, my luft for to floken ; 
That couth be fecreit and fure, and ay faif my renoun : 
And few bot at certan tymes, and in fecreit places. 
Ay quhan the auld did me anger with akwart wour- 

Apon the galand for to goif it glaidit me agane, 

I had fie wit that for wo weipit I bot litel ; 

Bot leit the fueit ay the four to gude feffoun bring, 

Quhen that the chuf wad me chyde, with gyrnand 

I wald him chuk, cheik and chyn, and chereis him fo 

That his cheif chymmis had the wift to my fone, 
Suppois the churle wes gone chaift, or the child was 

As wyfe woman ay I wrocht, and nocht as wode fule ; 
For mair with wylis I wan na rertuoufnes of hand is- 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. Sii 

Syne mareit I ane marchand, michtie of gudis. 

He was ane man of myd-eild, and of meyn ftatour ; 

Bot we na fallowis war in freyndfchip, nor blude, 

In fredome, nor furthbeiring, na fayrnes of perfoun, 

Quhilk ay the fule did forget, for febilnes of knaw- 

Bot I fo oft thocht him on quhill angerit his hart. 

And quhilnm 1 put furth my voce, and pedder him 
callit ; 

I wald richt twitchandly in talk be : I was twys ma- 

For endit was my innocence with my aid hufband ; 

I was appeirand to be pairt within perfyt eild. 

Sua fayis the curat of our kirk, that knew me full 

He is our famous to be fals, that fair wourthy prelot j 
I fall be layth to let him lie, quhill I may luik fucht. 
I gar the butchman obey j thair was na bute ellis. 
He maid me richt hie reverance, fra he me richt knew : 
For, tho I fay it myfelf, the feveranis wes meikle 
Betwix his baftarde blude, and my birth nobill, 
That page wes never of lie pryce for to prefume anis 
Unto my perfoun to be peir, had pitie nooht grantit. 
Bot mercie into womanheid is ane grit vertew ! 
For never bot in ane gentil hart is generit ony reuth. 
I held ay grein into his mynd that I of grace tuik 

him ; 
And that he culd ken himfelf I curteflie him lierit. 
He durft fit anis my fummonds ; for fecond charge, 
He was ay reddie for to ryn ; fo f ayd he was for blame. 
Bot ay my will was the war of womanlie nature ; 
The mair he loutit for my luif, the lefs of him I rakit. 
And eik this is ane farlie thing, or I him faith gaif 
I had fie favour to that freik, and feid fyne for evir. 


Quhen I the cure had all clein ; and him ourcumiri 

haill ; 
I crew abone that crawdoun, as cok that was viftor. 
Quhen I him faw fubjectit, and fet at my bidding, 
That I him lichtleit as ane loune \ and laithit his ma- 

Than wox I fo unmerciful, to martyr him I thocht ; 
For, as ane beift, I broddit him to all boyis labour : 
I wald have rydden him to Rome, with ane raip in his 

War nocht ruffill of my renoun, and rumour of pepil* 
And yit hatrent I hid within my hart all ; 
Bot quhillis it hapit fo huge, quhil it befid out. 
Yet tuk I never the wifp clein out of my Wyd throt, 
Quhill I ocht wantit of my wil, or quhat I Wald de- 

Bot qnhan* I feverit had the fyr of fubftance in erde ; 
And gottin his biggings to my barne, and his borow-* 

landis ; 
Than with ane flew ftert out the floppel of my hals : 
That he all fiunneift of that Hound, as of ane fteil wa- 

Than wald I, after lang froft, fa fane have bein wro- 

That I to flyt was als fers as ane fell dragoun: 
I had for flattering of that fule fenyet fo lang, 
My evidentis of herytage or thai war all felit, 
My breift that was greit beild, and bowden was fa 

That neir my barrat out brifl or the band making. 
Bot quhen my billis and my bauthles was all braid fe» 

I wald na langer beir on brydil, bot braid up my heid : 
Thair micht na mollat mak me moy, nor hald my 

mouth in ; 
1 gar the reinyes rak, and ryf into fchundyr. 

1 maid- 

JAMES IV. 1488-^-1513. 213 

I maid that wyf-carl to wirk all wemtnenis werkis ; 
And kid all manlie materis, and menfk in this erde : 
Than faid I to my cummeris, in confale about, 
* See how I cabeld yon cowt with ane kein brydil ! 
« The capill, that the crelis kuyft in the caff middin, 
t Sa courtlafslie the carte drawis, and keanis no plungc- 

' He is nocht fkeych, nor yet fkeir, na fkippis nocht on 

1 fyde.' 
And thus the fcorne and the Ikaith fcapit he nother. 

He was na glaidfum gaift for ane gay lady : 
Tharfor I gat him again, that ganyt him better ; 
He wes a grit goldit man, and of gudis riche. 
I leit him be my lumbart to lous all my mifleris 5 
And he was fane for to fang fre me that fayr office : 
And, thocht my favouris to find throw his fell gift is.. 
He graythit me in gay filk, and gudelie arrayis ; 
In gounis of ingraint clayth, and greit goldin chenyeis. 
In ringis ryallie fet with ryche rubie ftanis j 
Quhill all helie rais my renoun amang the rude peipil. 
Bot I full craftelie did keip thai courtlie weidis 
Quhill efter deid of that drowp, that dochf not in chal- 

Thoch he of all my clathis maid cofl and expens, 
Ane uther fall the wirfhip have, that weilds me efter. 
And thoch I lyjdt him bot lytil, yet for the luif of u- 

I wald me prein plefandlie in precious wedis, 
That luffaris micht upon me luik, and young luflie 

That I held mair in dayntie, and deirar be full mekill, 
Na him, that dreflit me fa denk. Full doytit was his 

Ouhan he was beriet out of hand, to hee up my ho* 




And payntit me as pacok, proudeft of fedderis, 

I him mifkend, be Cryil ; and cukkald him maid. 

I him fprleit as ane lad, and laithit him mekil : 

I thocht myfelf ane papingay, and him ane pluchit 

And thus euforfit he his fa, and fortifyt my ftrenth j 
And maid ane ftalwart itaff to ftrack himfelf doune. 

Bot of ane bourd into bed I fall yow breif yit. 

Quhan he ane haill yeir was haint, and him behuvit 

And I wes layth to be loppin with fie ane lob aver, 

Als lang as he was on loft, I luikit on him never ; 

And leit never in my thocht that he my thing percit ; 

Bot ay in mind ane uther man imaginit that I had ; 

Or ells I had never mirrie bein of that mirthlefs raid, 

Quhen I that grome geldit had of gudis, and of. na- 

Methocht him grafles onto goif, fa me God help. 

Quhen he had warit all on me his welth, and his fub- 

Methocht his wit wes quyt went away with the laif ; 

And fo I did him difpys, I fpittit quhen I faw him, 

That fuperexpendit ewil of fpreit, fpulyeit of all ver- 

For, Weil ye wit wyffis, that he that wantis ryebes, 

And valeandnes in Venus play, he is full vyl haldin j 

Full frufter is his frefch array, and fairnes of per- 

All is bot fruitles his efFeir, and failyes at the upwith. 

I bufkit up my barnis lyk barounis fonnis, 
And maid his fulis ; (of the fry of his firft wyf.) 
I baneift fra my bounds his brether ilkane : 
His freyndis as my fay is I had at feid ever ; 
Be this ye beleif may I lufit nocht himfelf ; 


James iv. 1488 — 151 3. 225 

For never I lykit ane leid that langit till his bluid. 
And yit thir wyfe men wait that all wyfis ewil 
Ar kend with thair conditiouns, and knawin with the 

Deid is now that divyr, and dollyne in erde. 
With him deit all my dule, and my drery thochtis. 
Now done is my dullie nicht ; my day is upfpringin, 
Adew dolour ! Adew ! My daynte now beginnis. 
Now ame I ane wedow I wys ; and weil am at eis. 
I weip as I war woful, bot weil is me for ever : 
I bufk as I war bailful, bot blyth is my hart : 
My mothe makis murning, and my mynd lauchis. 
My clokis thai ar cairful in colour of fabil ; 
But courtlie and curious is my corps thairunder. 
I droup with ane deid luik in my dule habite, 
As with mannis dail I done had for dayis of my lyf. 

Quhen that I go to the kirk, cled in cairweids, 

As fox in ane lambis fleife feinye 1 my cheir : 

Than lay I furth my bricht buik in breid on my knc, 

With mony luftie letter illuminit with gold j 

And drawis my clouk fordwart our my face quhyt, 

That I may fpy, unfpyit, ane fpace be my fyde. 

Full oft I blenk by my buke, and blinnis of devo- 

To fe quhat berne is bell brannit, or braided in fchul- 

Or forgeit is maift forflie, to furneis ane bankat 
In Venus chalmer, valiantlie withouttin vane rufe. 
As the new mone all pale, oppreflit with change, 
Kythis quhillis hir cleir face throw cluddis of fabill^ 
So keik I throw my clouks, and caftis kynd Jukis 
To knychtis, and to clerkis, and to courtlie perfouns. 
Quhen freyndis of my hufbandis beholds me on far, 
Vol. I. F f I havf 


I have my wattir fponge for wa, within my wide clo- 

Than wring I it full wylelie, and weitis my cheikis ; 
With that watteris my ein, and welteris doun teiris. 
Than fay they all, that fittis about, * Se ye nocht, a- 

lace ! 
' Yon luftles leid fo lilelie fcho luffit hir hufband ! 
' Yone is a pete to emprent in a princes hart, 
' That fie ane perle of plefaunce fuld yon pain drie !' 
I fane me as I war ane fanct, and femis ane angel ; 
At language of lichorie I leit as I war crabbit : 
I fich, without fair harte, or feiknes in bodie ; 
According to my fabill weid I maun have fad mane- 

Or thai will fee all the futh. For, certis, we wemen 
We fet us all fra the fichte to fyle men of treuth : 
We dule for na evil deidis fa it be derne halden. 
Wyfe wemen hes wayis, and wounderful gydingis, 
With greit ingyne to begaik thair jeleous hufbandis : 
And quietlie with fie craft gydis our materis, 
That, under Chryft, no creature kennis of our doingis. 
Bot folk ane cure may miflcuke, that knawlegis wan- 

tis ; 
And hes no colouris for to cover thair awin kyndlie 

faltis ; 
And dois as thir damifellis, for derne doytit luf 
That dogonis haldis in dawte, and delis with thame fa 

J ang, 
Quhill all the cuntre knaw thair kyndnes of fayth. 
Fayth hes ane fair name, bot faint faris better. 
Fy on hir that can nocht fenye hir awin fame to fave ! 
Yet am I wys in fie wark, and was all my tyme ; 
Thoch I want wit in wardlines, I wylis have in luif : 
As ony happie woman hes that is of hie blude. 
Hutit be the halok lafs ane hundreth yeir of eild 
Quha is cald to Venus' werkis, and to fueit plefour ! 

I have 

JAMES IV. I4S8 1513- 227 

1 have ane fecreit fervand, richt fobir of his bung, 

That me fupp'ortis of fie nedis, quhen I a fyne mak. 

Thoch he be fempil to the ficht, he has ane tung fa- 
ker ; 

Full mony femlyar fege war fervice dois mak. 

Thoch I have cayr under clouk the cher day to the 

Yet I have folace under fark quhil the fone rys. 

Yet am } haldea ane halie wyfe our all the haill 
fchyre ; 

I am fo peteous to the pure, quhen thair is perfouns 
many ; 

In pafiing of pilgramage I pryd me full meikill ; 

Mair for the preis of the pepil, nor ony pardouu win- 

BoJ yet me think the belt bourd, quhen barounis and 

And uther bacheluris, blyth blumyng in youth, 
And all my lufaris leill, my lugeing perfewis. 
Sum fillis me wyne wantounlie, with weil fayr and 

Sum rownys : fum railyeis : and fum reidis ballatis ; 
Sum raveis full rudelie with riatus fpeche : 
Sum plenis ; and fum prayis : fum prayfis my bewte. 
Sum kiffis me j fum clappis me j fum kyndnefs me pro- 

Sum karvis to me curtaflie ; fum me the cope gevis : 
Sum ftalwardlie fteppis ben, with ane flout curage, 
And ane fliff ftandand thing ftavis in my neif. 
And mony blenkis ben our that but our fktis, 
That may nocht, for the thik thrang, thryf as thai 

But with my fair calling, I comfort them all ; 
For he that fittis me nixt, I nip on his fyngar ; 

I ferve 



I ferve him on the tother fide on the famyn faflbun ; 

And he that behind me fittis, hard on him I lene ; 

And him befoir me, with my fute faft on his I tramp ; 

And to the bernis fer but fweit blenkis I call. 

To every man in fpecial I fpeik fum wourdis, 

Sa wyflie, and fa womanlie, quhil warmis thair har- 

Thair is no levand leid fa law of degre 

That fall me luif unlufit ; I am fo luik hartit. 

And gif his luft be fo lent to my lyre quhyt, 

That he be loft or with me lig, his lyf fall have no dan- 

I am fo merciful in mynd, and menis all wichtis, 

My fillie faul fall be fauf, quhen fall not all jugeis. 

Ladeis leyjr_thjr_j£Jloiins ; and be nocht lams fundin. 

This is the legeant of my lyfe, thoch latyne it be nane, 

Quhen endit had hir ornat fpeche this eloquent wedo, 
Loud than leuch all the laif, and lovit hir mekle. 
And faid, " Thai fuld exemple tak of hir fovrane 

** teiching : 
il And wirk after hir wourdis that woman was fa pru- 

• dent." 
Than culed thai thair mouthis with comfortable drin- 

kis ; 
And p arpit full cummerlyke, with cop gqlngjioand. 

Thus draif thai our that deir nicht with danteis full 

noble. ,/, 

Quhill that the day did updaw, and dew donkit flou- 

ris. ' 

The morrow my Id was and meik ; the mavis did fing, 
And all removit the mift, and the meid fmellit ; 
Silver fchouris doun fchuik, as the fchein criftell : 
And birdis fchoutit in the fchaw with thair fchill no- 



JAMES IV. 1488—1513. 22$ 

The goldin glitterand gleme fo glaidit thair Jhai ttis, 
Thai maid ane gloreus gle amang the grene bewis. 
The foft fouth of the fwyre, and found of the ftremes, 
The fweit favour of the fwairde, and ringing of fewlis, 
Micht confort any creature of the kyn of Adam j 
And kyndil agane his curage, though it war cauld flok- 



Than rais thir royal rofis, in thair riche wedis, 
And raikit hame to thair reft, throw the rys blumels. 
And I all prevelie paft to ane plefand arbeir, 
And with my pen did report thair paftyme mofl mir- 

Ye auditours mod honorabill, that eris lies giffin 
Pnto this unkouth adventure, quhilk airlie me hap- 

Of thir thre wantoun wyffis, that I have writtin heir, 
Quhilk wald ye waill to your wyf, gif ye fulcl wed 

ane ? 

%* The reader will here perceive a greater appearance of antiquity 
than in many of the preceding poems ; but this is owing folely to the al- 
literation, and corifrquent ufe of old and uncommon words. The verfc 
approaches near to the Latin heroic meafure; and feems to be the ear- 
lieft example of blank veife in the Scottifh language. It requires to be 
read in the fame manner as Holland's Howlat, and p< filbly may have 
been written to the meafute of fome mniical chaunt or tune. Another 
Angularity in the ci;:fttuclion of this kind of verfe wa«, that three or 
more words in each line fhnnki begin with one letter, and thefe letters 
have been (tyled iitcrx canar* ■> but not always with good xeifon, for 
the mulical accent fomctknes fall* fyllabically upon none of them. 

For elegance of defcripticn, and knowledge of life, this tale is certain- 
ly equal to any of Chaucet ; unfortunately, it has alfo that feature of 
Chaucer's tales, his immodefty, which would have excluded it from this 
collection, had not the tale been eminently curious as a picture of the 
times; when vice i c ;. i-.i s to have " ilalked about in naked deformity." 

P, sir. 


P. 210.I 4. Hawthorn irels. Compare the defcription of a garden 
in • ■ <. poena Kin^t <$>ujir by Juries I. In the preceding line, gartb, 
from th? i r . ■ ;fie<. an indofxrt j torn which the ward garden, 1 he 

hawthorn hedges that fur: >und«d th* rays] garvien at Wtnolbr were in- 
terfperfecl wirh juii'per. in line iltb, Dunbar mention* the bolyn, or 
hoi'y, a btuutiful tree that anciently was, .and is now, frequent in Scot- 
land, where it grows to gre-t fize in the woods. As fuch it is mention- 
ed in the Life of Wallace. 

L. 9. Dirien efter myrtbh. Probably " to hide myfelf in obfeurity 
after a merry day." Dynnlt, in the M. S. is dynit, with the end of the 
y turned up backwards. Mr Pinkerton puts it dynarit, to Ggnify fid, 
Tho copy in the printed collection 1508, wants fome leaves at the be- 

P. ail. 1. 9. So glitter'tt at the goivd, &.C Compare with Henry- 
fon's defcription of a ladies drefs, p. 151, and that of James the I. in his 
^uair, p. 21. A fine defcription of the drefs of a lady of rank alib oc r 
curs in Lindfay's hiftory of Squire Meldrum : 

Her kirtle was of fcarlet reid : 
Or gold ane garland on her head, 
D coired with ennamelyne : 
Belt, and brotches of filver fyne. 
Of yallow taffetie was her farke, 
B'garyed all with broderi te wark> 
Right craftelic with gold and fiik. 

K.rifp mult fignify cambric or fine linen. 

P. 211. 1. 23. Arrayit ryallie, &c. " They fat in an arbour which w^s 
furrounded with many a rich plot of flowers of every hue and deli- 
cious fmell." 

P. 211. 1. 31. IVlouls. Mr Pit kerton does not offer any conjecture 
•with rtfpedt to the meaning of this word ; nor is there any word fimi- 
jar to it in Ruddiman's Gloffary to Douglas's Virgil. But Ltuie occurs 
in Chaucer, and Mr Tyrrwhit fuppofes it may be formed from, or fy- 
nonimous to lo-wt, lot el, &c. ; fignifying an idle fellow. Here it may 
be uftd for gofiip, or talkative woman. 

P. 113. 1.21. Flour-burgeon. Though the meaning of burgeon be clear, 
namely a bud, yet that of the line is not very apparent. Perhaps, f*ys 
IVIr Pinkerton, it is, " For though he difplayed but the flower of youth, 
yet I fhould gather fruit of him." May it not rather be, " I would 
gather the ivbole of the fruit, although the bloffuiua flounfhed in the 
higheft profufion." 

In the next four lines we have a tolerable famplc of thofe opprobrious 
epithets with w"hich the old Scottifh language fecms to have abounded. 


James iv. 1488 — 15 13. 431 

Mr Pinkerton puts the following among the -words not undtrfaod ; -wobaf, 
ivolroun, carybuld,Jkartb. The laft certainly means, " a fomething nei- 
ther male nor female," the woiv bein^ ft ill in common ufe among 
fhepherds. Wobat, or wobtit, may be -wobcyd, -web-ey'd, the eye cover- 
ed with a web or film. Carybald, is perhaps from knarry-bald ; knarry 
means " full of bard knots," and therefore this epithet may fignity, 
" Bald pate covered with excrefcencies," as frequently is the cafe with 
old people. Wolroun rvarjfit, probably may be a -well-run, or ftreamtec 
of a well, parched or dried up -well, in fome patts of Scotland, being 
Commonly pronounced -well. 

P. 3i 8. 1. 32. Allvwjt, commended, or praifed. When a perfon ap- 
proved of what was laid or done by another, the common pbrafe in 
Scotland, even lately, was al lo-w, or " I lo-w" equivalent to well faid, 
or well done. 

P. 220. 1. 32. Clymmls, in Ruddiman's Gloflary, is Lovfet, but here it 
fecms to have fome other meaning. Can it be, His favourite or con- 
flant theme was expreffiens of fondnefs for my fon ? A few lines before 
this, the word di/eii means fimply uneafmefs. 

P. 224. 1. 11. Farfy a-uer, a poor horfe having that difeafe called " the 
farfey." Aver and tappul, or cafil, were fynonymous. The firft is ftill 
ufed occafionally ; and A-venar, in old Englifh, is hofller. 

P. 226. 1. 27. Dogonis. Doguin, Fr. is whelp. Does this mean lap-dogs, 
or followers ? P. It feems to be fome cant term for paramours. 

Quha is cauld, &.c. This line is neither in the M. S. nor ancient 
printed copy, but is fupplied by Mr Pinkerton, as being nrcefiary to the 
fenfe. P. 227 and 228 prefent us with a moil curious picture of a routs 
in the reign of James IV. 



- — by Dunbar, is found in both the ancient Manufcripts t 
but with fever al variations which have here been at- 
tended to. It prefents us with a curious piclure from 
the life t in the burlefque flyle of the Flemi/h painters. ~\ 

AvYCHT airlie on Am Wede'nefday, 
Drynkand the wync fatt cummeris tway ; 
The tane couth to the tother complene ; 
Graneand and fuppand can fcho fay, 
This lang Lentrune has maid me lene. 

Befyd the fyr, quhair that fcho fatt, 
God wait gif fcho was grit and fatt ; 
Yet to be febil fcho did her fene, 
And ay fcho faid, lat's preif of that, 
That Lentrune fall nocht mak us lene. 

My fair fueit cummer, quod the tother, 
Ye tak that nigartnefs of your muther, 
All wyne to teft fcho wald difdene 
Bot mavafie, fcho bad nane uther 
That Lentrune fuld nocht mak her lene. 

Cummer, be blythe bayth evin and morrow, 
And let your hufband dre the forrow, 
Fra our lang fading you refrene 
Thocht ye fuld bayth beg and borrow 
That Lentrune fuld nocht mak you lene. 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 233 

Your counfale, cummer, is gud quod fcho 
All is to teme him that I do, 
In bed he is nocht worthe ane bene j 
Fill fou the cop, and drynk me to * 
That Lentrune fall nocht mak us lene. 

Of wjne out of ane choppyne ftoup 

Thai drank thre quartis foup and foup, 

Sic drouth and thrift was them betwene j . 

Bot than to mend thai had gud houp 

That Lentrune fuld nocht mak them lencJ 

St. 3. 1. 2. &c. The Mait. M. S. reads 

Ye tak that migarnefs, &c. 
Ill wyne to teft, &c. 

Mavajie, Fr. Malmfey. It mult here mean fome inferior fort ef 

Vol. I. (3 g Dunbar's 


" 'This performance" fays Lord Hailes, " is a bold 
" and profane parody of the litanies of the church of 
" Rome. Protejlants cannot be fully fenfble of its 
" irreligious nature. Had James V. retained the 
" leafl appearance of devotion, no poet durjt have ad- 
* dreffed him in fuch a Jlyle. Tet Lesley extols 
" JaMES for his ardent zeal again/l heretics" 

"The King whom Dun BAR here addrej/es, cannot fure- 
ly he James V. hut James IV. Lord Hailes, on 
another occaJion,fays that Dunbar's Lament for the 
Death of the Poets mujl have been written when he 
was far advanced in years. His Lordjhip did not 
then know that the Lament was printed fo early as 
1508, and written probably fome years before, let us 
fippofe in 1505, that is, about the 50th year of the 
Poet's age. If this poem was addreffed to James V. 
the King mufl have been then at leaf twenty or twen- 
ty-five years old, and the age of Dunbar would thus 
be about 75, or 80, which is contrary to every pro- 
bability ; the pieces written by Dunbar in his latter 
years, being entirely of a religious or moral cafl. 

Spottiswood, in his Hiftory of Religious Houfes, 
fays that James IV. ufed, efpecially in lent time, to 
become Francifcan Monk at Stirling, where be found- 
ed a convent for that order in 1494. "This poem 
might probably be written a few years afterwards g 
as alfo the fubfequent one, which informs us that it had 
been recommended to Dunbar, perhaps from high au- 

JAMES IV. I488 — 1 5 13. 235 

thority, that he Jhquld become a Friar of this the 
King's favourite order. The life or charaEier of a 
Monk, however, not being to his liking, the propofal 
was rejecled. His views, at that time, were higher : 

— — ga bring to me ane Bifchop's weid 
Gif ever thow wald my faul gaid unto hevin. 

Great mujl have been the Poet's humiliation when 
in old age he thus addreffes the King .: 

I wes in yowth on nureis kne 
" Dandely, Bifchop, dandely." 
And when that age now do is me greif, 
Ane femple Vicar I may nocht be. 

And again, on another occajion, 

Greit abbais grayth I nill to gadder, 
Bot ane kirk, fcant coverit with hadder, 
For I of lytil wald be fane, &c. 

Even this, it does not appear, that he ever obtained. 

W e that ar heir in Heaven's glory, 
To you that ar in purgatory, 
Commends us on our hearty ways, 
I mene we folk in paradyce, 
In Edinbrugh with all mirrynefs, 
To you in Stirvling in diftrefs, 
Quhair nowther pleafance nor delyt is. 
For pity this epiilell wrytis. 

O ye hermits and hankeriaidlis, 

That takis your penance at your tables. 

And eitis nocht meit reiterative. 



Nor drink no wyne confortative, 
But ale and that is thin and fmall. 
With few courfes into your hall, 
Bot company of Lords or Knychts, 
Or ony uther guidly wichts, 
Solitar walkand your alone, 
Seing naething but ftock or Hone 
Out of your painfull purgatory, 
To bring you to the blefs of glory : 
Of Edinbrugh the mirry toun 
We fall begin a cairfull foun, 
Ane dregy kynd, devout and meik, 
The bleft abune we fall befeik 
You to delyvir out of your noy, 
And bring you fune to Edinbrugh's joy, 
Thair to be mirry amang your freiri s, 
And fae the dregy thus begins- 


The fader, the fon, and haly gaift, 
The mirthfull Mary, virgin chaft, 
Of angels all the orders nyne, 
And all the heavenly court divyne, 
Sune bring ye frae the pyne and wae 
Of Stirvling, ilka court mans fae, 
Again to Edinbrugh's joy and blifs, 
Quhair worfchip, wealth and weilfair is, 
Play, pleafance, and eik honefly, 
Say ye amen, for Charity. 

Refponfio, tu autem Domine, 

Tak confolation in your pain 
In tribulation, tak confolation, 
Out of vexation cum hame again, 
Tak confolation in your pain. 

JAMES IV. I488 15 13. 23^ 

Jube Dom. benedicite. 

Out of diftrefs of Stirvling toun 

To Edinbrugh blefs, God mak ye boun. 

lectio 11. 

Patriarchs, prophets and apoftles deir, 
Virgins, confeffouris, martyris cleir, 
And all the feat celeftiall, 
Devoutly we upon them call, 
That fune out of your painis fell, 
Ye may in Heaven heir with us dwell , 
, To eat cran, pertrick, fwan, and pliver, 
And every fifch that fwyms in river, 
To drink with us the new frefch wyne 
That grew upon the river Ryne, 
Frefch fragrant Clarits out of France, 
Of Angiers and of Orliance, 
With mony comforts of grit dainty, 
Say ye Amen, for charity. 

Refponjio, tu autem Dom. 

God and Sancl Jeil heir yon convoy 
Baith fune and weil, God and Sancl Jeil, 
To fonce and feil, folace and joy, 
God and Sanft Jeil heir you convoy, 
Out of Stirvlings painis fell, 
In Edinbrugh joy, fune mot ye dwell. 


We pray to all the faints in Heaven, 
That ar abune the ftarnis feven, 
You to bring out of your penance, 
That ye may fune fing, play and daunce 
In Edinbrugh heir, and mak gude cheir, 
Quher wealth and weilfare is bot weir ; 



And I that do your pains difcryve 

Intend to vifTy you bely ve, 

In defart not with you to dwell, 

But as the angel faint Gabriell 

Dois go betwein, frae Heaven's glory, 

To them that at in purgatory, 

Sum confolation them to give, 

Quhyle they in tribulation live, 

And«fchaw them, quhen thair pains ar paft. 

They fall cum up to Heaven at laft ; 

IHou nane deferves to haif fweitnefs, 
That nevir taftit bittternefs ; 
And therfor hou fuld ye confidder 
Of Edinbrugh's blefs, quhen you cum bidder 
But gif ye taftit had befoir 
Of Stirvling toun, the painis foir, 
And therefore tak in patience 
Your penance and your abftinence, 
And ye fall cum or yule begin 
Into the blefs that we ar in ; 
Quhilk grant we pray to all on hy. 
Say ye Amen, for charity. 

Refponf. tu autem Dotn. 

Cum hame and dwell nae mair in Stirvling^ 
Frae hydious hell cum hame and dwell, 
Quhair fifch to fell ar nane but fpirrling, 
Cum hame and dwell nae mair in Stirvling. 

Et ne nos inducas in temptationem de Stirvling, 

Sed libera nos a malo ilhus. 

Requiem Edinburgi dona Us, Domtne, 

Et lux ipjius luce at Us ; 

A porta trijlici* de Stirvling, 

Orna y Domine, animas et corpora eorum : 

Credo gujlare Jlatim vinum Edinburgi, 


James iv. 1488 — 15 13. 339 

In villa viventium, 
Requiefcant Edinburgi. Amen". 

Deus, quijuflos in cortte humiles 

Ex omnium eorum iribuldtione liberare dignatus es f 

Libera J "amnios tuos dpud villam Stirvling verfitnttfj 

A pcenis i$ triftitiis ejufdem t 

Et ad Edinburgi gaudia eos perdutat t 

Ut requiefcat Stirvling. Amem 



\See introduBion to the preceding poem, p. 234. It 
has been urged as an argument againft the antiquity 
of that fine ballad, The Flowers of the Foreft, that 
preachings were unknown till the reformation. This, 
however, is a mijlake. In this poem we find Dunbar 
hoafiing of his having preached in the pulpit at Can- 
terbury ; and David Lindsay, in his Papingo, writ- 
ten in iS$Q,fays t 

War nocht the prechlng of the beggyng freris, 
Tint war the faith amang the fecularis. 

The preaching Friars had been infiituted in the thir- 
teenth century, with the intention of refioring that du- 
ty, often negletled by the fuperior clergy, and of op- 
posing the popular preaching of the Lollards. Preach- 
ings are mentioned by Chaucer in the Wife of Bath's 
Prologue, and in the Second Merchants Tale afcribed 
to him ; alfo by Dunbar in his tale of the Twa Ma- 
jriit wemen and the wedo, p. 213. 


1 his nytht hefoir the da wing cleir 
Methocht Sancl Francis did to me appeir, 
With ane religious habite in his hand, 
And faid, In this go cleith the my fervand, 
Refufe the warld, for thow mon be a freir. 


With him and with his habelt bayth I Ikarrir, 
Like to ane man that with a gaifl wes marrit : 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 24I 

Methocht on bed he layid it me abone ; 

Bot on the flure delyverly and fone 

I lap thairfra, and nevir wald cum nar it. 


Quoth he, quhy (karris thow at fhis holy weid ? 
Cloith the tharin, for weir it thow mpft neid \ 
Thow that hes lang done Venus lawis teiche, 
Sail now be freir, and in this habeit preiche : 
Delay it nocht, it mon be done but drei d. 


Quoth I, San<3: Francis, loving be the till, 
And mot thow be of thy gude will 
To me, that of thy clayis ar fo kynd ; 
Bot thame to weir it nevir c pme_in my myn d : 
Sweet confeflbur, thow tak it nocht in ill. 


In haly legend is have I hard allevin, 
Ma fan&is of bifchoppis, nor freiris, be fie fevin ; 
Of full few freiris that has bene fanctis I reid j 
Quhairfoir ga bring to me ane bifchopis weid ? 
Gife evir thow wald my faule gaid unto hevin. 


My brethir oft hes maid the fupplicatiouns, 
Be epiflillis, fermonis, and relatiounis, 
To tak this habeit ; bot thow did poftpone ; 
Bu{ forder procefs cum on ; thairfoir anone 
All circumftance put by and excufationis. 


Gif evir my fortoun wes to be a freir, 
The dait thairof is pad full mony a yeir 5 
For into every lufty toun and place, 

Vol. I. H h Oft 


Off all Yngland, from Berwick to Calice, 
1 haif into thy habeit maid gud cheir. 

/ VIII. 

In freiris weid full fairly haif I fleifchit, 

In it haif I in pulpet gone and preichit 

In Derntoun kirk, and eik in Canterberry ; 

In it I paft at Dover our the ferry, 

Throw Piccardy, and thair tl>e peple teichit. 


Als lang as I did beir the freiris ftyle, 
In me, God wait, wes mony wiink and wyle; 
In me wes falfet with every wicht to flatter, 
Quhilk mycht be flemit with na haly watter ; 
I wes ay reddy all men to begyle. 


This freir that did Sanc"t Francis thair appeir, 
Ane fieind he wes in liknes of ane freir ; 
He vaneift away with ftynk and fyrrie fmowk ; 
With him methocht all the houfe end he towk, 
And I awoik as wy that wes in weir. - 



[This is certainly ajlrange production coming from the 
pen of a candidate for church preferment, hut it is 
attributed to D UNBAR in both of the ancient Manii* 
fcripts. - 

Hijiorians inform us that the piety or fuperftition of 
jAMfcs IV. was not more violent than his difpojitioti 
to amorous fin ; that he ufed frequently to travel, dif- 
guifed and unknown through a great part of his king- 
dom, and to lodge in the hovels of the meanejt of his 
fubjecls ; partly, no doubt, with a view of gratify* 
ing his propenfity to vague and fugitive amours* 
" While the people enjoyed his equitable and projpe- 
rous government, they feem to h ive fmiled at his ir- 
regularities.'' 1 Even the daughters of the nobles 
yielded to his attratlions of perfon and rank. By 
Mary Boyd, daughter of Archibald Boyd of Bon- 
fhaw, he had iffue, Alexander, Archbifhop of St. 
Andrews, and Catharine, wedded to the Earl of 
Morton ; by Jean Kennedy, daughter of the Earl 
of Cassilis, he had James, Earl of Murray ; by 
Margaret, daughter of Lord Drummond, he had 
Margaret, wedded to the heir of Huntley ; and 
by Isabel Stuart, daughter of the Earl of Bu- 
chan, he had Jean, married to Malcolm, Lord 




L His hinder nicht in Dunfermeling,. 
To me wes tauld ane wonder thing, 
That lait ane Tod wes with ane Lame, 
And with hir playit, and mait gud game ; 

Syne till his breift did hir imbrace, 
And wald haif rydden hir lyk ane ram, 

And that methocht ane ferly cafe. 


He brairt hir bonny bodie fweit, 

And halfl hir with his forder feit, 

Syne fchuke his tail with whindge and yelp j 

And todlit with hir lyke ane quhelp, 

Then lourit on growf, and aikit grace ; 
And ay the Lame cryd, lady help, 

And that methocht ane ferly cafe. 


The Tod was nowthir lein nor fcowryj 
He wes ane lufty reid-haird Lowry, 
Ane lang taild beiil and grit withall ; 
The filly Lame was all to fmall, 

To fie ane tribbel to hald ane bafe : 
Scho fled him not. fair mot hir fall, 

And that methocht ane ferly cafe. 

The Tod wes reid, the Lame wes quhyte, 
Scho wes ane morfell of delyte ; 
He luvit nae yowis auld, teuch and fldender, 
Becaufe this Lame wes yung and tender. 


JAMES IV. I488 — 15 13. 245 

He ran upon hir with a race, 
And fcho fchup nevir till defend hir, 
And this methocht ane ferly cafe. 


He grippit hir about the weft, 
And handilt hir as he had heft ; 
This innocent that neir trefpaft, 
Tuke heart thoch fcho wes handilt faft, 

And lute him kifs hir lufty face : 
His girnand gams hir nocht agaft, 

And that methocht ane ferly cafe, 


He held hir till him be the hals, 
And fpak full fair thocht he wes fals J 
Syne faid and fwore to hir be God, 
That he fuld not twich hir piein-cod. 

The filly thing trow'd him, allace ! 
The Lame gaif creddance to the Tod, 

And that methocht ane ferly cafe. 


I will nae leifings put in verfe, 
Lyke as fum janglers do reherfe ; 
But be quhat manner they wer mard, 
Quhen licht wes out and dores were bard ; 

I wate not gif he gaif hir grace 5 
But all the hollis wer ftoppit hard, 

And that methocht ane ferly cafe. 


Quhen men dois fleit in joy maift far, 
Sune cummis wae or they be war, 
Quhen carpand wer thir twa maift croufs^ 
The wowf he ombefet the houfe, 



Upon the Tod to male ane chace : 
The Lame than cheipit lyke ane moufe, 
And that methoch ane ferlj cafe. 

. IX. 

Throw hyddowis howling of the wowf, 
This wylie Tod plat doun on growf j 
And in the filly Lames flcin, 
He crap as far as he micht win, 

And hid him thair ane weill lang fpace j 
The yowis befyde they made nae din, 

A,*d that methocht ane ferly cafe. * 


Qiihen of the Tod wes hard no peip, 
The wowf went all had bene aflvip ; 
And quhyle the Tod had llriken ten, 
The wowf he dreft him to his den, 

Proteftand for the fecond place : 
And this report I with my pen, 

How at Dunfeimling fell the cafe. 



k ''this poem is in both the ancient Manufcripts, and mujl 
allude to the old Court of SeJJion, created in 14251 re- 
gulated anew in 1457, and apparently abolijhed in 
1503, at leaf in fome degree, by the in/lit ution of the 
Lords of Daily Councils who, in/lead of fitting by 
Terms or Seffions, were ordained to Jit continually, to 
decide on all civil matters, isfc. To thit permanent 
Court, the title of THE SESSION does not feem quite 
applica 7 «e ; and the College of jfii/lice, in its prefent 
form, was not inflituted until 1532, about ten years 
after the death of Dunbar. We maj/ therefore f up- 
pofe 'the poem to have been written about the year 
1500. The Lords of SeJJion then conffled of com- 
mittees of members of the Parliamentary EJlates, 
who fat by turns. One of the regulations of 1 457 is 
curious : " As tuitching the expences of the J aid Jud- 
ges, the Lordes of the three ejlaites thinks that the 
Lordes of Seflion, of their awin benevolence, Jould 
bear thair awin cojlis, confidering the Jhortnefs of the 
time of thair fitting, the quhilk is but for tie days, and 
peradventure, in fevin yeire not to come again to 
them.'* They were, however, allowed a fhare of fome 
trifling fries for offences, that feemingly did not affect 
life or limb.^ 


XA.NE murelandis man of uplandis mak, 
At hame thus to his nychbour fpak, 



Quhatjidings, goflep ? peax or weir ? 

The tother rounit in his eir, 

I tell yOw this under confeffioun, 

Bat laitly lichtit of my meir, 

I come of Edinburgh fra the feffioun. 


Quhat tydinjgi^hard^y^Xhair, Iprayyow ? 
The tother anfwerit, I fall fay yow ; 

Eeip this all fecreit, gentill brother, 
Is na man thair that treftis ane uther : 
Ane common doer of tranfgreffioun, 
Of innocent folkis prevenis a futher : 
Sic tydings hard I at the feffioun. 


Sum with his fallow rownis him to pleis 

That wald for anger byt aff his neis. 

His fa fum by the oxtar leidis ; 

Sum patteris with his mowth on beids, 

That hes his mynd all on oppreffioun ; 

Sum beckis full law, and fchawis bair heidis^ 

Wald luke full heich war not the feffioun. 


§um bidand the law, layis land in wed j 
Sum fuperfpendit gois to his bed ; 
Sum fpeidis, for he in court hes meins j 
Snva. of partialitie complenis, 
How feid and favour flemis difcretioun ; 
Sum fpeikis full fair, and falfsly fenis : 
Sic thingis hard I at the feffioun. 


Sum cafts fummondis, and fum exceptis ; 
Sum {land befyd and ikaild law keppis j 


JAMES IV. I488 1 5 13. 249 

Sum is continarit, fum wins, fum tynes J 
Sum makis him mirry at th$ wyn^s ; 
Sum is put out of his poffeffioun ; 
Sum herreit, and on credens dynis : 
Sic tydipgs hard I at the feffioun. 


Sum fweiris, and forfaikis God ; 

Sum in ane lamb-fkin is ane tod ; 

Sum in his tung his kyndnefs turfis ; 

Sum cuttis throattis, and fum cuttis purfis ; 

Sum gois to gallows with proceflioun ; 

Sum fains the fait, and fum thame curfis : 

Sic tydingis hard I at the feffioun. 


Religious men of divers placis 

Cum thair to wow, and fe fair faces ; 

Baith Carmelitis and Cordilleris 

Cumis thair to genner and get ma freiris, 

And ar unmindfull of thair profeffioun ; 

The yunger at the eldair lei r is : 

Sic tydings hard I at the feffioun. 


Thair cumis yung monkis of het complexioun, 

Of devoit mynd, luve, and afFe&ioun ; 

And in the courte thair proude flefche dantis, 

Full fader-lyk, with pechis and pantis j 

Thay ar fo hummill of inteiceffioun, 

All mercifull wemen thair errand grantis : 

Sic tydings hard I at the feffioun. 

Vol. I. I i St. 3, 


St. 3. 1. I. " Sum with hisfaflczo rownis him to plcis." One wlm- 
pers in a familiar infinuating manner to his companion, or the perfun 
next him. Hailes. 

St. 3. 1. 4. " Sum patteris with his mowth on beids." One mutters 
his prayers, and tells his beads over. Pitter-patter is an expreflion ftil' 
ufed by the vulgar ; it is in allufion to the cuftom of muttering fater- 
r.ofiers. H. 

St. 4.I. I. " Sum lidand the la-w layis land in vied" One mortga- 
ges his eftate while his fuit is depending. H. 

1. 5. " How feid and favour femis difcretioun." How enmity 

and favour banifh difcernment. H. 

St. 5. This ftanza will be both intelligible and entertaining to thofe 
who are acquainted with the forms of procedure in the court of feffion ; 
to thofe who are not, a commentary would be nearly as obfeureas the 
text. H. 

1 ' . 3. ' 4 Sum is canilnarity The Bann. MS. reads concludit. 

St. 6. 1. 6. - Sum fains the fait, and fum thame curGs." Some blefs, 
others curfe the judges. Lords ef the feat, for judges of the court of 
feffion, is ufed in act S3- parliament 5. James V. and is an expreflion 
ftill remembered by the vulgar. H. 

St, 7. 1. 3. " Baith Carmelitis and Cordilleris." In order to point 
this fatyre more keenly, the author has fele&ed his examples of inconti- 
nency from the feverer orders of regular clergy. H. 

Allan Ramfay, in his Evergreen, has added two ftanzas, which are 
not only modern, but alfo, as it would feem, fitiricully aimed at indi- 
viduals. Speaking of the great number of unemployed advocates, ho 

■ But weil I wate, ane of ilk ten 

«• Micht very weil gane all the feffioun." 

He did not advert, that at the inftitution of the college of juftice, there 
were no more than eight advocates in all; Aft 64 parliament 5. James 
V. H. 

In the time of the old Court, the number was probably ftill fmaller. 



[Written by D unbar, probably about the fame timt 
with the preceding poem. ~\ 


J. hir ladys fair, that mak repair, 

And at the court are kend , 
In three days thair, they will do mair, 

Ane matter for till end, 
Than ther gudemen will do in ten, 

For any craft they can, 
Sae weil they ken, what time and quhen^ 

jfhair manes they fuld mak than. 


With little noy they can convoy 

A matter finally, 
Richt myld and moy, and keip it coy, 

On evens quietly } 
They do no mifs, but gif they kifs. 

And keips collation ; 
Quhat reck of this, thair matter is 

Brocht to conclusion. 


Wit ye weil, they haif grit feil, 

And mater to folift, 
Treft as the fteil, fyne neir a deil, 

i^hen they come hame is mill. 



Thir lairds they are, methink richt far, 

Sic ladies behalden to, 
That fae weil dar gae to the bar, 

Quhen there is ocht to do. 


Therefore I reid, gif ye haif pleid, 

Or matter into pley, 
To mak reme id, fend in your fteid 

Your ladys graitht up gay ; 
They can deffend, even to the end, 

And matters forth exprefs ; 
Suppofe they fpend, it is unkend, 

Thair geir is nocht the lefs. 


In quiet place, thocht they have fpace, 

Within lefs nor twa houis, 
They can percafe, purchace fum grace, 

At the compofitours ; 
Thair compofition but fufpicioun 

Thair finally is endit, 
With expedition, full remiffiourt 

Thair feals then are to pendit. 


AH hale almoft they make the coll, 

With fober recompence, 
Richt little loft, they get indorft, 

All hale their evidence, 
Sic ladys wyfe, they are to pryze, 

So fay the verity, 
Sae can devyfe, and nOne fupjpryfe 

Thamo nor thair honefty. 



// will not afford much entertainment to thofe who, in 
ancient poems, feek for the manners of a remote age ; 
but it is rich in defcription and allegory, and appears 
to have been much admired in the days of its author* 
By it Sir David Lindsay ejlimates the poetical me* 
rit of Dunbar, 

— " Who langage had at lerge 

As may be feen into his Goldeti 'Tergei" 

It is found in both of the Ancient Manufcripts, and 
alfo in Miller and Chepman's Mifcellany 1508, 
printed in the author's life- time, and probably under 
his own infpe&ion. This curious Mifcellany was un- 
known to the former puhli/hers.~j 


avicht as the fterne of day begouth to fchyne, 
Quhen gone to bed was Vefper and Lucyne, 
I raife, and by ane rofere did me reft ; 
Upfprang the goldyn candill matutine, 
With cleir depurit bemys chriftallyne, 
Glading the mery fowlis in thair neft, 
Of Phoebus wes in purpour cape reveft ; 
tJpraife the lark , the hevenis menftral fyne 
In May intill a morrow mirthfulleft. 


Full angelyk thir birdis fang thair houris 
Within thair courtyngis grene, into thair bouris> 



Apperrellit quhite and reid, with blumys fweit ; 
Ennamelit wes the feild with all cullouri s, 
The perlie droppis fchuke in filver fchouris ; 
Quhyle all in balme did branche and levis fleit. 
To pairt fra Phoebus did Aurora greit ; 
Hir crillall teiris I faw hing on the flouris, 
Quhilk he for lufe all drank up with his heit. 


For mirth of Ma y, with Ikippis and with hoppis, 
The birdis fang upon the tendir croppis, 
With curious note, as Venus chapell-clarks. 
The rofis yung, new fpreiding of their knoppis, 
Were powderit bricht with hevinly berial droppis, 
Throw bemis rede, burnin g as ruby fparkis ; 
The Ikyis rang for fchoutyng of_the larkis, 
The purpour hevin our-fcailit in filver floppis, 
Owregilt the treis, branchis, lef, and barkis. 


Doun throu the ryce ane revir ran with ftremis 

So luflely agayn the lykand lemys, 

That all the lake as lamp did leme of licht, 

Quhilk fliaddowit all about with twynkline glerais ; 

The bewis baithit war in fecund bemis, 

Throu the reflex of Phoebus vifage brvcht. 

On every fyde the hegies raife on hicht : 

The bank wes grene, the bruke wes full of bremys,- 

The ftanneris cleir as ftern in froily nych t. 


The cryftall air, the fapher firmament, 

The ruby Ikyis of the orient, 

Keft berial bemis on emerant bewis grene, 

The rofy garth depaynt and redolent 

With purpour, azure, gold, and goulis gent, 


JAMES IV. I488— .1513. Zj$ 

Arr&yit wes be Dame Flora the Quene 
Sa nobilly, that joy wes for to fene. 
The roch agane the rivir, refplendent 
As low, enlumynit all the levis fchene. 


Quhat throu the mery foulys armony, 

And throu the ryveris found rycht ran me by, 

On Florayis mantill I ilepit as I lay ; 

Quhair fone into my dremes fantafy 

I faw approche agane the orient iky, 

An faill, as quhyte as blofiom upon fpray, 

Wyth mall of gold, bricht as the flerne of day. 

Quhilk tendit to the land full lufkly, 

As falcoun fwift defyroufe of bir pray. 


And hard on burd into the blumyt medls, 
Amang the grene rifpis and the redis, 
Arryvit fcho quhairfro anon thair lands ; 
Ane hundreth ladeis luftie intill weids, 
As frefche as flouris that in May upfpredis, 
In ki'r tills gren e, withoutyn kell or bandis. 
Thair bricht hairis hang gleting on the ftrandis 
In trefiis cleir, wyppit with goldin threidis, 
With papis quhyt, and middills fmall as wands. 


pifcryve I wald, bot quho cowth weill endyte 

How all the fieldis, with thair lilleis quhyte, 

Depaint war bricht, quhilk to the hevyn did glcte : 

Noucht thou, Omer, als fair as thou coud wryte. 

For all thy ornat ftylis fo perfyte ; 

Nor yit thou, Tullius, quhois lippis fwete 

Of rethorike did intill termis fleit ; 



Your aureat tongis baith bene all to lyte, 
For to compyle that paiadyfe compleit. 


Thair faw I Nature, and Dame Venus Quene, 

The frefche Aurora, and Lady Flora fchene, 

Juno, Latona, and Proferpina, 

Dyane the goddes chaift of woddis grene, 

My Lady Clio, that help of Makaris bene, 

Thetes, Pallas, and prudent Minerva, 

Fair faynit Fortoun, and lemand Lucina, 

Thir michty Quenis with crownis mycht be fene 

With bemis blyth, bricht as Lucifera. 


Thair faw I May, of myrthfull monethis Quene, 
Betwixt Apryle and June, hir fifteris fchejoe, 
Within the gardyne walkand up and doun 
Quham of the fouhs gladdith all bedene ; 
$cho was full tendir in her yeeris grene. 
Thair faw I Nature prefent her a goun, 
JRich to behald, and nobil of renoun, 
Of every hew undir the hevin that bene 
Depaynt, and broud be gude proportioun. 


Full luftily thir ladyes all in fere 
Enterit within this park of maift plefere, 
Quhair that I lay ourhelit with levis ronk ; 
The mery fowlis, blifsfulleft of chere, 
Saluft Nature, methocht, on thair manere, 
And every bloine on brenche, and eke on bonk, 
Opnyt and fpred thair balmy levin donk, 
Full low enclyneyng to thair Quene full cleir, 
Quhame of thair noble norifing thay thonk. 


JAMES IV. I488— 1 5 ij. l$j 

xir. f 

Syne to Dame Flora, on the famyn wyis, 
They faluft, and thay thank, a thoufand fyis ; 
And to Dame Venus, Luvis michty quene, 
They fan g ball etis ofluye ? as wajrthe gyis, 
With amoious nottis lufty to devyis ; 
As thay that had luye in thair hairtis grene 
Thair hony throttis openit fro the fplene, 
With werbills fwete did pers the hevinly fkyes^ 
Quhyll loud refounit the firmament ferene. 


Ane uthir court thair faw I consequent, 
Cupeid the King, wyth bow in hand y-bent, 
And dredeful arrowis grundyn fcharp and fquair; 
Thair faw I Mars, the god armipotent 
Awfull and fterne, ftrong and corpolent. 
Thair faw I crabbit Saturne, aid and haire, 
His luke wes lyk for to perturb the air. 
Thair wes Mercurius, wife and eloquent^ 
Of rethorik that fand the flouris fair. 


Thair wes the god of gardynis Priapus, 

Thair wes the god of wildernes Phanus, 

And Janus> god of entree delytable ; 

Thair was the god of fludis, Neptunus ; 

Thair was the god of windis, Eolus, 

With variahd luke, like rycht ane lord unliable j 

Thair was Bachus, the gladder of the table j 

Thair was Pluto, the elrich incubus, 

In cloke of grene, his court ufit nofable. 


And eyjry one of thir in grene array it, 
On herp or lute full merely thai playit, 

Vol, ii Kk And 


And fang ballettis with michty nottis cleir : 
Ladeis to daunfe full fobirly aflayit, 
Endland the lufty rjver fo thay mayit, 
Thair obfervance rycht hevynly wes to heir ; 
Than crap I throw the levis, and drew neir, 
Quhair that 1 was rycht fudaynly affrayir, 
All throw a luke quhilk I haif boucht full deir% 


And fchortly for to fpeke, be Luvis Quene 
I was efpyit, fcho bad hir archeris kene 
Go me arreft ; and thay no tyme delayit ; 
Than ladeis fair lete fall thair mantils grene. 
With bowis and bag, in treffit hairis fchene, 
All fudaynly thay had a felde arrayit ; 
And yit rycht gretly was I noucht affrayit ; 
The pairty was fo plefand for to fene, 
A woundir lufty bikkar me affayit. 


And firfl of all, with bow in hand ybent, 

Come Dame Bewtee, richt as fcho wald me fchent ; 

Syne follow: t all her damofalls yfeir, 

With mony divers awfull inftrument. 

Unto the pres fair Having with hir went ; 

Syne Portrature, Plefance, and lufty Cheir. 

Than come Reflbun, with fchelde of gold fo cleir, 

In plate and maille, as Mars armipotent, 

Defendit me that noble chevellere. 


Syne tender Youth come wyth hir virgyns ying, 
Grene Innocence, and ftiame-full Abafing, 
And quaking Drede, with humyll Obedience ; 
The Golden Terge harmyt thay nothing j 
Curage in thame wes nocht begonne to fpring : 


JAMES IV. 1488 — 15 13. 259 

Full foire.thay dred to do a violence. 
Swete Womanheid 1 faw cum in prefence, 
Of Artilye a warld fcho did inbring, 
Svirvit with ladeis full of reverence. 


Scho led with hir Nurtour and Lawlines, 
Contenence, Pacience, Gudfame, and Stedfaftnes, 
Difcretioun, Gentrife. and Confiderans, 
Levefull Cumpany, and Honeft Befynes, 
Benigne Luke, Myld Cheir, and Sobirnes. 
All thir bure ganyeis to do me greevance ; 
Bot Reflbun bure the Terge with fik conftance j 
Thair fcharp affayes might do no dures, 
To me for all thair awfull ordy vance. 


Unto the pres purfewit hie Degre, 
Hir followit ay Eftait and Dignitie, 
Comparifoun, Honor, and Nobill Arrey, 
Will, Wantonnes, Renown, and Libertee, 
Richeffe, Fredome, and eik Nobilitee ; 
Wit ye thay did thair baner hye difplay, 
A cloud of arowis as hayle-fchour loufit thay^ 
And fchott quhill waiftit wes thair artely e g 
Syne went abak reboytit of thair pray. 


Quhen Venus had perfavit this rebute, 
Diflymilance fcho bad go mak perfute, 
At all powere to perfe the Goldyn Terge j 
And fcho that was of doubilnes the rute, 
Alkit her chois of archciiis in refute. 
Venus the beft bad her go wale at lerge, 
-Scho tuke Prefens plicht ankers of the berge, 



And Fair callyng, that weill a flayn coud fd iutc 
And Cherriffing for to compleit hir charge. 


Dame Hamelynes fcho tuke in cumpany, 

That hardy was, and heynd in archery, "^ / ?' * 

And broucht Dame Bewty to the felde agane ; 

With all the choife of Venus chevalry 

They come, and bikkerit unabafitly ; 

The jhour of arrow is rapjjit on as raine, 

Periloufe Prefens, that mony fyre lies flaine f 

The battell brocht on . bordour hard us by, 

The fait was all the farar futh to fayn. 


Thik was the fchott of grundyn dartis kene ; 

Bot RefToun, with the Scheld of Gold fo fchcne, 

Warly defendit quhofevir aflayit : 

The aw_fullJtour he manly did fuftene, 

Quhill Prefens keft ane puldir in his ene, 

And than as drunkin man he all for-vayit ; 

Qahen he wes blynd the fule with him thay playit, 

And baneift him amang the bewis grene ; 

That fory ficht me fuddanly affray it. 


Than was I woundit till the deth wele neir, 

And yoldin as ane wofull prifoneir 

To Lady Bewty, in a moment fpace. 

Methocht fcho femit luftyar of cheir, 

After that RefToun tynt had his ene cjeir, 

Than of befoir, and lufliare of face : 

Quhy was thou blindit, RefToun ? quhy, allace ! 

And gert ane hell my paradyfe appeir, 

And mercy feme quhair that I fand no grace. 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. l6l 


Diffimulance was befy me to fyle, . 
And Fair Calling did oft apon me fmyle, 
And Cheriffing me fed with wordis fair ; 
New Acquentance embrafit me a quhyle, 
And favoryt me quhyll men micht ga ane myle, 
Syne tuk her leif, I faw hir nevir mair : 
Than faw I Dengir toward me repair, ' 
I cowth efchew hir prefens be no wyle, 
On fyde fcho lukit with ane fremyt fare. 


And at the lafl deperting c'oud hir drefle, 

And me deliverit unto Hevynes 

For to remane, and fcho in cure me tuke ; 

Be this the lord of wyndis, with wodenefs 

God Eolus his bowgill blew I gefs ; 

That with the blaft the levis all to fchuke, 

And fudaynly in the'fpace of a luke 

All wes hyne went, thair wes bot wildirnefs, 

Thair wes no moir bot birdis bank and bruke, 


In twynckHng of ane ee to fchip thay went, 
And fwyth up faill unto the top thay ftent, 
And with fwift courfe attour the flude thay frak ; 
Thay fyrit gunnis with powder violent, 
Till that the reik raife to the firmament, 
The rockis all refounyt with the rak, 
For rede it femyt that the rane-bow brak ; 
With fpreit affrayit apoun my feit I fprent 
Amangis the clewis, fa cairfull wes the crak. 


And as I did awake of this fweving, 
The joyfull birdis merily did fing 



For mirth of Phebus tendir bemis fchene ; 
Sweit war the vapouris, foft the morrowing, 
Hailfum the vaill, depaynt with flouris ying, 
The air attemperit fobir and amene ; 
In quhyt and reid was all the felde befene, 
Throw Naluris nobill frefch annameling, 
In mirthfull May, of every moneth Quene. 


O reverend Chaucere, rofe of Rethoris all, 
As in oure toug ane flour imperial, 
That raife in Britane evir, quha reidis richt, 
Thou beris of makaris the tryumph jyall, 
Thy frefche annamallit termes celicall ; 
This mater coud illumynit have full brycht ; 
Was thou noucht of our inglifch all the lycht, 
Surmounting every tong terreftriall, 
Als fer as Mayis morrow dois midnycht ! 


morale Gower, and Lydgait laureat, 
Your fugarit lipjpis, and tongis aureat, 
Bene to our eiris caufe of grit delyte : 
Your angel mouthis moft mellifluate, 
Our rude langage hes cleir illumynat, 
And fair ourgilt our fpeche, that imperfyte 
Stude, or your goldin pennis fchup to wryt 
This yle befoir wes bair, and diflblate 

Of rethorik, or lufty frefche indyte. 


Thou litill quair be evir obedient, 
Humyll, fubje£t, and femple of intent, 
Befoir the face of every conning wicht, 

1 knaw quhat thou of rethoric may fpent, 
Of all hir lufty roifis redolent, 


James iv. 1488 — 1 J13. 263 

Is nane into thy gerland fett on hicht ; 
Efchame tharof, and draw the out of iicht : 
Rude is thy weid, defteynit, bair, and rent, 
Wele aucht thou be affeirit of the licht. 

St. 29. Every one mufl admit the juftice of the panegyric here in- 
troduced on Chaucer, who was indeed a prodigy, 

O reverend ChaOsere, rofe of rethouris all, &c. 
Was thou nocht of our inglifch all the licht ! 

From this paflage we find that Dunbar called the language in which 
he wrote Englijh ; in oppofition to the Irifb, as fpoken in the Highlands 
of Scotland, which was then called Scotti/b. Sir David Lindsay ufes 
the fame erpreffion when fpeaking of Gavin Douglas. 

— — " In our ingttt rhetorick the rofe." 

The phrafe is therefore mifinterpreted by Lord Hailes, who fays 
that Dunbar, from ufing it, " feems to have looked upon himfelf as an 
Anglo-Saxon, becaufe he was born in Eaft Lothian." The colloquial 
language of the low-lands of Scotland was not diftinguiihed by the title 
of S cottish , till a cohVfHon of poems, fome of them of that defcrip- 
tion, was pubiifhed by James Watfon in 1706-9-II. ;— apparently the 
firft poetical Mifcellany printed in Scotland after that of Millar and 
ChepMan in 1508 — a period of two hundred years! 

St. 30. And has our-gilt our fpeiche, Sec Nothing, (fays Lord 
Hailes.) diftinguifhes the genius of the En^lifh language fo much as 
its general naturalization of foreigners. DrVden, in the reign of 
Charles II. printed the following words as pure French, new'y im- 
ported. Amour, billet-doux, caprice, chagrin, converfation, double entendre ', 
embarajfed, fatigue, figure, foible, gallant, good graces, grimace, incendiary, le- 
'jee, maltreated, rallied, repartee, ridicule, tender, tour ; with ieveral others, 
which arc now confidered as natives., 



["this is a poem of acknowledged merit : Every reader 
will remember Mr Langhorne's encomiu?n : 

'• Time ftill fpares the Thifile and the Rofe." 

It was occajioned by the nuptials of James IV. King 
of Scots, and Margaret Tudor, the eldejl daughter 
©/"Henry Vil. King of England : An event on which 
the fate of the two nations has turned tht oughout eve± 
ry fuccteding' age ; to it we owe the union of the 
crowns, the union of the kingdoms, and the Protefiant 

^The poem was finifhed, as Dunbar himfelf informs 
us % on the gth of May, 1 503, near three months before 
the arrival of the §>ueen in Scotland. She was the 
pattonefs of Poetry at its early dawn with us. Stkw- 
art, in his poem called Lerges, lerges, thus grateful" 
ly fpeais,fanza to. 

f Grit God releif Margaret our Qucne, 
*' For and fcho war as fcho hes bene, 

** Schcwald be lerger of lufray 
*' Than all the laif that I of mene, 

" For lerges of this new-yeir day."]] 


v^uhen Merche wes with variand windis paffc,- 
And Appryll had with hir filver fhouris, 
Tane leif at nature, with ane orient blaft, 
And lufty May, that muddir is of flouris, 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1 5 13. 265 

Had maid the birdis to begyn thair houris, 
Amang the tendir odouris reid and quhyt, 
Quhois harmony to heir it wes delyt. 


In bed at morrow, fleiping as I lay, 
Methocht Aurora, with her criitall ene, 
In at the window lukit by the day, 
And hailit me, with vifage paile and grene ; 
On quhois hand a lark fang fro the fplene, 
Awal k luvaris out of your flemering, 
Se how the lufty morrow dois upfpring. 


Methocht frefche May befoir my bed upflude, 
In weid depaynt of mony diverfe hew, 
Sober, benyng, and full of manfuetude, 
In bright atteir of floiiris forgit new, 
Hevinly of color, quhyt, reid, brown, and bleWj 
Balmit in dew, and gilt with Phebus bemys ; 
Quhyl all the houfe illumynit of her lemys. 


Slugart, fcho faid, awalk >annone for fchame, 

And in my honor fumthing thoW go wrytr; 

The lark hes done the mirry day proclame, 

To rais up luvaris with comfort and delyt, 

Yet nocht increfs thy curage to indyt, 

Quhois hairt fumtyme hes glaid and blifsfull bene, 

Sangis to mak undir the levis grene. 


Quhairto, quoth I, fall I upryfe at morrow, 
For in this May few birdis herd I ling ; 
Thay haif moir caufe to weip and plane their forrow ; 
Vol. I. L I Thy 


Thy air it is nocht holfum nor benyng ; 
Lord Eolus dois in thy feflbne ring : 
So bufteous ar the blaftis of his home, 
Amang thy be wis to walk I haif forborne. 


With that this lady fobirly did fmyll, 
And faid, Uprife, and do thy observance * 
Thou did promyt, in Mayis lirfty quhyle, 
For to difcryve the Rofe of moft plefance. 
Oo fe the birdis how thay fing and dance, 
Illumynit our "with orient fkyis brycht, 
Anamyllit richely with new afur lycht. 


Quhen this wes faid, departit fcho this quene, 
And enterit in a lufty gardyng gent j 
And than methocht full heftely befene, 
In ferk and mantill after her I went 
Into this garth moft dulce and redolent, 
Of herb and flour, and tendir plantis fweit, 
And grene levis doing of dew down fleit. 


The purpoui fone, with tendir bemys reid, 
In orient bricht as angell did appeir, 
Throw goldin fkyis putting up his heid, 
Quhois gilt treffis fchone fo wondir cleir, 
That all the world tuke comfort, fer and neir, 
To luke upone his fiefche and blifsfull face, 
Doing all fable fro the Hevyhis chace. 


And as the blifsfull foune of cherarehy 
The foulis fung throu comfort of the lycht ; 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1 5 13. ZCJ 

The burdis did with oppin vocis cry 
To luvaris fo, Away thow duly nicht, 
And welcum day that conafortis every wicht ; 
Hail May, hail Flora, hail Aurora fchene, 
Hail princes Nature, hail Venus, Luvis quene. 


Dame Nature gaif ane inhibitioun thair 
To fers Neptunus, and Eolus the bauld, 
Nocht to perturb the wattir nor the air, 
And that no fchouris and no blaftis cawld 
Effray fuld flouris nor fowlis on the fauld : 
Scho bad eik Juno, goddes of the &y, 
That fcho the hevin fuld keip amene and dry. 


Scho ordaind eik that every bird and beift 
Befoir her Hienes fuld annone compeir, 
And every flour of vertew, moll and leift, 
And every herb be feild baith fer and neir, 
As they had wont in May fro yeir to yeir, 
To hir thair makar to mak obediens. 
Full law inclynand with all due jeverens. 


With that annone fcho fend the fwyift ro 
To bring in beiftis of all conditioun j 
The reftles fwallow eommandit fcho alfo 
To fetch all foull of fmall and greit renown ; 
And to gar flouris compeir of .all faflbun, 
Full craftely conjurit fcho the yarrow, 
Quhilk did forth fwirk as fwift as ony arrow. 


All prefent wer in twynkling of ane ee, 

Baith beift, and bird, and flour, befoir the Queue. 




At firft the Ljone, gretaft of degre, 
Was callit thair ; and he molt fair to fene, 
With a full hardy countenance and kene, 
Befoir Dame Nature come, and did inclyne, 
With vifage bauld, and courage leonyne, 


This awfull beift full terrible of cheir, 
Perfing of luke, and ftout of countenance, 
Rycht ftrpng of corpes, of faflbun fair, but feir, 
Lufty of fliaip, lyeht of deliverance, 
Reid of his cullour, as the ruby glance, 
In feild of gold he ftude full mychtely, 
With floure-de-lycis firculit luftely. 


This lady liftit up his cluvis cleir, 
And leit him liftly lene upone hir kne, 
And crownit him with dyademe full deir, 
Of raydous ftonis, moll ryall for to fe ; 
Saying, The King of Beiftis mak I the, 
And the proteftor cheif in wodds and fchawis, 
To thy leigis go furth, and keip the lawis. 


Exerce juflice with mercy and confciens, 
And lat no fmall beift fuffir fkaith na fcornis 
Of greit beiftis that bene of moir puifence : 
Do law alyk to aipis and unicornis, 
And lat no bowgle with his bufteous hornis 
The meik pluch-ox opprefs, for all his pryd, 
Bot in the yok go peciable him befyd. 


Quhen this was faid, with noyis and foun of joy 
All kynd of beiftis into thair degr6 

JAMES IV. I488 — I 5 13. 2G9 

At onis cryit laud, Vive le Roy, 

And till his feit fell with humilite j 

And all thay maid him homege and fewte ; 

And he did thame reffaif with princely laitis, 

Quhois noble yre is Prpteir Proftratis. 


Syne crownit fcho the Egle King of Fowlis, 

And as fteill dertis fcherpit fcho his pennis, 

And bad him be als juft to awppis and owlis, 

As unto pakpkkis, papingais, or crenis, 

And mak ae law for wicht fowlis and for wrenni*, 

And lat no fowll of ravjne do efFray, 

Nor birdis devoir, bot his awin pray, 


Than callit fcho all flouris that grew on feild, 
Difcryving all thair faffiouns and effeirs ; 
Upon the awfull Thrissil'l fcho beheld, 
And faw him keipit with a bufche of fpeiris ; 
Confidering him fo able for the weiris, 
A radius crown of rubies fcho him gaif, 
And faid, in feild go furth, and fend the laif. 


And fen thou art a King, thou be difcreit ; 
Herb without vertew thow hald nocht of pryce 
As herb of vertew and of odor fweit ; 
And lat no nettill vyle, and full of vyce, 
Hir fallow to the gudly flour-de-lyce ; 
Nor lat no wyld weid full of churlifhnefs 
Compair her till the lilleis nobilnefs. 


Nor hald no udir flour in fie denty 

As the frefche Rose, of cullor reid and quhyt : 



For gif thou dois, hurt is thyne honefty ; 
Confiddering that no flour is fo perfyt, 
So full of vertew, plefans, and delyt, 
So full of blifsfull angelik bewty, 
Imperial birth, honour, and dignite. 


Than to the Rose fcho turnit hir vifage, 

And faid, O lufly dochtir moft benyng, 

Aboif the lilly luftrare of lynage, 

Fro the ftok jyall ryfing frefche and ying, 

But ony fpo£ or macull doing fpring ; 

Cum bloume of joy with jemmis to be cround, 

For our the laif thy bewty is renound. 


A coftly crown, with clarefeid flonis bricht, 

This cumly Quene did on hir heid inclofe, 

Quhyll aU the land illumynit of the lycht j 

Quhairfoir methocht the flouris did rejoiie» 

Crying at anis, Haill be thou richefl Rofe, 

Haill hairbis Empryce, haill frefcheft Queue of flouris^ 

To the be glory and honour at all houria. 


Than all the birdis fong with voce on hicht, 
Quhois mirthfull foun wes marvellus to heir ; 
The mavys fang, Haill Rofe moft riche and richt, 
That dois upflureifs under Phebus fpheir ! 
Haill plant of youth, haill Princes dochtir deir, 
Haill blofome breking out of the blud royall, 
Quhois pretius vertew is imperial. 


The merle fcho fang, Haill Rofe of moft delyt, 
Haill of all fluris quene and foveiane. 


jAMtS IV. I488 — IjiS. 2ji 

The lark fcho fang, Haill Rofe both reid and ouhvt, 
Moft pleafand flour, of michty coullors twane. 
The nichtingaill fong, Haill Naturis fufFragene 
In bcwty, nuitour, and everj nobilnefs, 
In riche array, renown, and gentilnefs. 


The Common voce upraife of burdis fmall 
Upon this wys, O bliffit be the hour 
That thou wes chofiu to be our principal! j 
Welcome to be our Princes of honour, 
Our perle, our plefans, and our paramour, 
Our peace, our play, our plane felicite j 
Chryft the conferf frome all adverfite\ 


Than all the burdis fong with fie a fchout 
That I anone awoilk guhair that I lay, 
And With a braid 1 turnit me about 
To fe this court j bot all wer went away : 
Then up I leinyt, halflinges in affrey, 
Callt to my Mufe, and for my fubject chois 
To ling the Ryel Thriffill and the Rofe. 

St. 1. 1. T. a Quhen Merche wes with wri-end windis paft." 

Allan Ramsay, not attending to the rules, or rather to the licence, 
of Scottish profoay, changed the e*prefiion into 

" Quhen Merche with variand winds was over-pad." 

This may be a better line than what Dunbar could make ; but it is 
the bufinefs of a pubHfher to fet forth other mens works, not his owe* , 

— — 1. a. •• Appryle." This word is to be pronounced as a truTyl- 
labie. The Scots ftill pronounce April thus, Aftril; Lat. Aprilit. Pof- 
fibly Donbak. wrote Afrilis, as in the very firfl line of his matter, 

St. ft. 


St. 1. 1. 4. " Thair Louris." Hours, biuret, means their matin's or 
mcrning-onfons. Chaucer has made a full choir of birds: p. 570. 
Urie's edition, 

" On May-day when the lark begin to ryte, 
" To Matins went the lufty nightingal, &c." 

la the E-vcrgrecn, Donjah's verfe is turned thus : " Begin by timous 
houts ;" which is both profaic, and wide of the fenfe of the poet. 

St. a. 1. 5. " Fro tlu fplene!" From the fplene, or, as we would now 
fay, from the heart, afliduoufiy, ardently. It appears to have been * 
falhionable phrafe in the 16th century, but is now forgotten. 

St. 7. 1. 7. " Doing of dew down fleit ;' € i, e. quickly dropping 

St. 9. 1, r. "And as the Miff all fine of cberarcby." Inftead of ofcbe. 
rarchy, the Evergreen has, " orave up the fky." " The blifsfull fone of 
cherarchy," means the thankfgiving of the angels, in allufion to Job 
xxxviii. the holy fhout of the hod angelical. 

St. 10. 1. 4. " No fJiour'u." The word " fibturis," muft be pro- 
nounced as a triffy liable, Scbo u-ris. In the Evergreen ther<: is fubfli- 


" That nowther blafhy fhower, nor hlafts mair cauld." 

A line adapted to modern profody, making fibouris from three fylla. 
bles, and llaftii from two, to become one J adding blafhy, a fuperfluoua 
epithet, and mail-, an unmeaning comparative. 

St. 12. 1. 6. " Full craftely conjurit fcho the yarrow." The yarrow 
is Achillea, or Millefolium, vu]g^l\yf/ieefwort. I know no reafon (or fe- 
lecling this plant to go on the mtfijge to all flowers, but that its name 
has been fuppofed to be derived from airoto, being held a remedy for 
fleffc wounds infli&ed by that weapon. The poet, in apology for per- 
iomiy'mg fneefwort, htrt added, u full craftily conjurit (<. ho." A ridicu- 
lous enough example of the ratio ultima vatum, the 0EO2 Alio MH- 

St. 13. 1. 7. " And courage leonyne.'" Allan Ramsay obferveS> 
M this perhapa may be fm.led at ; but there is as much to laugh at in the 
modern phrafe, of one's looking like himfelf." I cannot admit, as a 
fufficient apology for an old phrafe, that a newer one equally abfurd is 
ftill employed. Indeed the expreffion cturage leonyne, ufed of a lion, has 
nothing at which *■ one may fmile," unlets that one be of the vulgar, 
who judge of language without learning, and deride what they do not 
■underlland. The expreffion means no more, than " with a heart fuch 
as befits a lion." In old French, courage means cocur. Thus courage fe. 
rninine, would, from analogy, mean the tender fenfibility which befits 
the nature of woman. 

St. 14 

V ! JAMES IV. I4S8 15 13. 473 

St. 14. The manner of blazoning the Scottifh arms is ingenious and 

St. 17. I. 7. " Quhois noble yre is proUir projlratis" This obfcure 
eiprefiion was not underftood by Allan Ramsay. In place of it he 
1:j.% happily enough, fubftituted " his greitnes mitigates." There is, 
juohably, fonie error in the MS. From thg word projlrat'/s being ufed, 
a very intelligent gentleman concludes, that the paffige, however cor- 
rupted, has an al ufion to the manly fentimentof Virgil, parcere fubjcc- 
tii : Thus expreffed in the motto of an illuftrious family, " Eft nobilis 
ira Ieonis." 

St. 21. This is an ingenious exhortation to conjugal fidelity, drawn 
from the high birth, beauty, and virtues of the Princefs Margaret. 

St. 22. 1. 3. " Aboif the lllly. luftrare of lynage." Of more noble 
lineage than the lilly. He prefers Tudor to Valois ; for there can be no 
doubt that the lilly means France. 

St. 25. 1. 4. " Of michty coullors tivane" The white of York, and 
the red of I.ancafter. The medal of James I. is well known : " Rafas 
Henricus,r^<t Jacobus;" Evelyn of medals,, p. 102. May there never 
be occaCcn to add, " As quis cotuordet animos ?" 

St. 27. The conclufion of this ftanza is taken from Allan Ramsay* 
who caught the fpirit of Dunbar, which Dunbar himfelf feems to 
have let efcape, by his bald and profaic conclufion. 

" And thus I wret as ye haifhard to forrow, 
" Of lufty May upone the nynt morrow." 

A conclufion worfe, if worfe may be, than the lines of Ben Ton son 
%o Sir Kenelm Digby : 

" JVitncfs thy victory gained at Scanderoon, 
** Upon thy by:ih day the eleventh of June ." 

Vol. I. Mm 



[This poem has been handed down in the Maitland MS. 
collection, and prefents us with a curious piclure of the 
Court of James IV. probably after his marriage. 
" Advocats in chaumer," are pretty wives, concern- 
ing whom fee p. 251.] 

.Be divers wayis and operatiouns 

Men mak s in cour t thair foliftatiouns. 

Sum be fervice , and diligence : 

Sum be continual refidence : 

On fubftance fum men dois abyde, 

Quhill fortoun do for thame provyde. 

Sum rings. Sum dance s. Sum tell ftoryis. 

Sum lait at ewin brings in the moryis. 

Sum flj^ds. Sum fenyeis : and fum flatters. 

Sum playjsjhe fuil, and all owt clatters. 

Sum man, mufand be the waw , 

Luiks as he mycht nocht do at aw. 

Sum ftandis in a nuik, and rownes : 

For covatyce ane uthair neir fwowne s. 

Sum beris as^ he wald ga wud 

For h' it defyr of warlds gud. 

Sum at the aiefs levis all devotioun. 

And bvfy labours for promotion. 

Sum hes thair advocatts in chaumir, 

And ttiks thamefelf thairoff no glawmir. 

My fempilnes, amang the laifF, 
Wait of na way, fa God me faif, 
Bot, with ane humble cheir and face, 
Referrs me to the kyngis grace. 
Methink his gracious contenance 
In ryches my fufheiance. 



XfTbis piece feems evidently not meant for broad day ', hut 
a mere poefie de fociete. The third Jlanza, and a fuh- 

fequent line, give us odd ideas of the court of Que EN 
Margaret ; hut certainly they are mere faljitie, of 
buffoonery to make the perfons ridiculous. Miss 
Musgrave was probably an Englijh Lady, the name 
not being Scottijh. Dunbar hints that his love for 
her was the talk of the court, and his praifes do not 
confute it. This cir cunt/lance, with his appearance in 
a dance at court ,Jhews that the poet was a perfon of 

fome confequence, or ejlimation. The Queen's Dog t 
(without doubt,) is DoiG, her wardrobe-keeper, 
whom we find hitched into rime in the two fubfeauent 


Ochir John Sinclair begowth to dance, 
For he wes new cum out of France . 
For ony thing that he do micht, 
His an futt jeid aj owr hycht, 
And to the tother would not gree. 
Quoth ane, ' Tak up the Quenis knycht.' 
A mirrear dance micht na man fee. 

Than cam in Maiftir Robert Schaw : 
He lukit as he culd lern them a ; 
Bot ay his an futt did waver j 



He ftackerit lyke ane flrummal aver 
Hop-fchakelit abone the knee. 
To feik fra Stirling to Stranaver 
A mirrear dance micht na man fee. 

Than cam in the maifter Almafer, 

Ane homelty-jomelty juffler, 

Lyke a ftirk ftackarand in the ry : 

His hippis gaff mony heddous cry. 

John Bute the fule faid * Wowes me ! 

' He is bedirtin. Fy ! O fy !' 

A mirrear dance micht na man fee. 

Than cam in Dunbar the mackar ; • 
On all the flure thair was nane frackar, 
And thair he dauncet the Dirry-duntoun : 
He hoped, lyk a piller wantoun j 
(For luff of Mufgraeffe men fulis me.) 
He trippet quhill he tuir his pantoun. 
A mirrear dance micht na man fee. 

Than cam in Maeftris Mufgraeffe : 
Scho mycht haff lernit all the laeffe. 
Quhen I faw hir fa trimlye dance, 
Hir gud conwoy and contenance 5 
Than for hir faek I wiffit to be 
The grytaft erle, or duke, in France. 
A mirrear dance micht na man fee. 

Than cam in dame Doutebour : 
God waitt giff that fcho lukit four ! 
Scho maid fie morgeounis with hir hippis, 
For Jauter nane mycht hald thair lippis. 
Quhen fcho was danceand biflilye, 
Ane blaft of wind foun fra hir flippis. 
A mirrear dance micht na man fee. 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 177 

Quhen thair wes cum in fyve or fax, 
The Quenis Dog begouth to rax. 
And of his band he maid a bred ; 
And to the dancing foun he him med. 
How nrafterlyk about yeid he ! 
He flimiket lyk a tjk, fum faid. 
A mirrear dance micht na man fee. 

St. 2. Hop fcbakelif • the two fore-legs fattened together. Thephrafc 
is £1 ill corr.mon. 

St. 4. He hoped lyk a piller ; feems equivalent to Doll Common's 

' Falstaff. The rogue fled from me like quick Clver. 
* Doll. Aj% and thou fol!o.vedft him like a cburcb.' 

Pantoun hjlipper or pump. 

St. 7. And of bit band be maid a bred 1 perhaps means, " And tied 
his neckcloth with a bow or fiip-knot." Mr Pinkerton, however, 
puts this down as a pafiage not ur.derftood. 



— - feemingly becaufe he had f erupted to deliver to Dun- 
bar a doublet, or fuit of clothes _ivhich had been or- 
dered him by the ^ueen.~\ 


Jl HE wardiaipper of Venus' bour 
To giff a doublet he is als doure, 
As it war off ane futc fyd frog. 
Madame, ye heff a dangerous Dog. 

Qnhen that I fchaw to him your marki?jr 
He rums to me agane and barkis, 
As he war wurriand ane hog. 
Madame, ye heff a dangerous Dog. 

Quhen that I fchaw to him your wrytin, 
He girnis that I am 'red for by tin : 
I wuld he had ane havy clog ! 
Madame, ye heff a dangerous Dog. 

Quhen that I fpeik to him friendlyk, 
He barkis lyke ane midding t^ke 
War chafand catel thro a bog. 
Madame, ye heff a dangerous Dog. 

He is ane maftyf, mekle of mycht, 
To keip your wardrip ovir nicht 
Fra the grit fowdan Gogvnagog. 
Madame, ye heff a dangerous Dog. 

He is our mekil to be your meffoun, 
Madame I red you get a les on ; 
His gangarris all your chalmers fchog. 
Madame, ye heff a dangerous Dog. 




KJ gracious princes guid and fair ! 
Do weill to James your wardraipair ; 
Quhais f aythfu l brudermaift freiud 1 am. 
He is no Do? : he is a lam. 

Thoch I in ballat did with him bourde, 
In malice fpak I never a word : 
Bot all, Madame, to do you gam. 
He is no Doo- ; he is a lam. 

o ' 

Your hienes cannot get ane meter 
To keip your wardreip ; nor difcreter 
To rewle your robbis, and dres the fam. 
He is no Dog ; he is a lam. 

The wyfF, that he had in his innys f 
That with the tangs wald birs his fchynnis, 
I wald fcho drount war in a dam. 
He is no Dog ; he is a lam. 

The wyf that wald him kuckald mak, 
I wald fcho war, bayth fyde and bak, 
Weill batterit with ane barrow tram. 
He is no Dog ; he is a lam. 

He hes fo weill done me obey 
Ourtill all thing, thairfoir I pray 
That nevir dolour mak him dram. 
He is no Dog ; he is a lam. 



£ "this addrefs appears to have been written while the 
Poet was yet in the praclice of " fettiug himfeif to, 
fing and dance." Lord Hailes conjeBures the mean- 
ing of the firjl line to be t " A divine hand has vifited 
me with the pains of poverty." — the phrafe y " fil- 
ver forrow," feeming to imply the anguijh arijing 
from the want of ready money. Our fore -father s> in 
. their meal for making faints , were pleafed to make a 
Sanct Salvatour. 

"We may fuppofe this to be one of the earliefl of Dun- 
bar's addreffcs to James* IV. as it contains no requefi 
for a benefice. Hitherto he probably thought himfclf 
fecure of promotion.'] 


Oanct Salvatour fend filver forrow 
It grevis me both evin and morrow, 
Chafing fra me all cheritie ; 
It makis me all blythnes to borrow t 
My panefull purs fo priclis me. 


Quhen I wald blythlie ballattis breif, 
Langour thairto givis me no leif •, 
Did nocht g ud how p my hart uphie, 
My verry corps for cair wald cleif ; 
My panefull purs fo priclis me. 


JAMES IV. 1405 15 13. 


Quhen J fett me to fing of dance, 
Or go I to plefand parlance, 
Than paufing of penuritie 
Revis that fra my rememberance ; 
My panefull purs fo priclis me. 


Quhen men that hes purfes in tone, 
PafTes to drynk or to disjone, 
Than mon I keip ane ,gravetie, 
And fay that I will fail quhill none ? 
My panefull purs fo priclis me. 


My purs is maid of lie ane fkin, 
Thair will na corfes byd it within ; 
•Strait as fra the feynd thay fie, 
Quha evir tyne, quha evir win ; 
My panefull purs fo priclis me, 


Had I ane man of ony natioun, 
Culd mak on it ane conjuratioun, 
To gar fiiver ay in it be, 
The devill fuld haif no dominatioun 
With pyne to gar it prickill me. 


I haif inquyrit in mony a place, 
For help and confort in this cace, 
And all men fay is, my Lord, that ye 
Can befr remeid for this malice, 
That with fie panis prickills me. 

Vol. I. Nn 



[The drawing of this piBure is bold, and the figures welt 
grouped. ^ I do not recolleB, (Lord oh- 
ferves^) ever to have feen the feven deadly fins paint- 
ed by a more majlerly pencil than that of Dunbar. 
His defigns certainly excel the explanatory peacocks 
and ferpents of Callot." In fever al paffages, the 
poem appears to have fome fatyrical allujion to real 
life ; its precife date may he afcertained, being that 
year of the reign of James IV. when Lent began on^ 
the l6th February.'] 


- 4 

\j¥ Februar the fiftene nycht, 
Richt lang befoir the dayis lycht, 

I lay intill a trance ; 
And than I faw baith heviu and hell, 
Methocht amangis the feyndis fell, 

Mahoun gart cry ane dance , 
Of fhrewis that wer never fchrevin, 
Againft the feift of Fafternis evin, 

To mak thair obftrvance ; 
He bad gallands ga giaith a gyis, 
And cait up gamountis in the fkyis, 

As varlats dois in Fiance. 


Lat fe, quoth he, now quha beginis : 
With that the fowll fevin deidly finis 
Begowth to leip atanis. 


JAMES IV. I488 I5I3. 283 

Arid flrft of all in dance wes Pryd, 
With hair tollit bak, bonet on fyd, 

Lyk to mak vaiflie wanis ; 
And round about him as a quheill, 
Hang all in riimpillis to the heill, 

His heich cot for thd nanis. 
Mony proud trumpour with him>trippit ; 
Throw Ikaldan fjre aj as they fldppit, 

They girnd with hyddous granis. 


Heilie Harlottis in hawtane'wyis 
Come in with mony findrie gyis, 

Bot yet luche nevir Mahoun, 
Quhill preiftis cum with bair fcheviri nekks, 
Than all the feynds lewche, and maid gekks, 

Black-belly and Bawfy-Brown. 


Than Trt come in with fturt and flryfe .; 
His hand wes ay upoun his knyfe, 

He brandeiil lyk a beir ; 
Boftaris, braggaris, and barganeris, 
Eftir him paffit into pairis, 

All bodin in feir of weir. 
In jakkis, flryppis, and borinetiig o£fteill r 
T hair leg gjs wer chenyiet to the heill, 

Frawart wes thair affeir ; 
Sum upoun uder with brandis beft, 
Sum jagit utheris to the heft, 

With knyvis that fcherp Coud fcheir. 


Next in the dance followit Invy f 
Fild full of feid and fellony, 
Hid malice and difpvte. 


For pryvie haterit that trato ur trymlit, - • ; 
Him followit mony freik diitymlir, 

With fenyeit wordis quhyte ; 
And flattereris into rcenis facts, 
And back-byttaris in fecreit placis, 

To ley that had delyte, 
With rownaris of fals lefingis ; 
Allace ! that courtis of noble kingis, 

Of thame can nevir be quyte. 


TsText him in dans come Cuvatyce, 
Rute of all evill, and grund of vyce, 

That nevir cowd be content ; 
Catyvis, wrechis, and Ockeraris, 
Hud-pykis, hurdars, and gadderaris, 

All with that Warlo went : 
Out of thair throttis they fhot on udder 
Hett moitin gold, methocht, a fudder 

As fyjre-flaucht maift fervent ; 
Ay as thay Jumit thame of fchot, 
Feynds filt thame well up to tha. thrott, 

With gold of all kynd prent. 


Syne Sweirnes, at the fecound bidding, 
Com lyk a fow out of a midding, 

Full flepy wes his grunyie. 
Mony fweir bumbard belly-huddroun, 
Mony flute daw, and flepy duddroun, 

Him fervit ay with founyie. 
He drew thame furth intill a chenyie, 
And Belliall, with a brydill renyie, 

Evir lafcht thame on the lunyie. 
In dance thay war fo flaw of feit, 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 285 

The j gaif thame in the fyre a heir, 

And maid them quicker of couayie. 


Than Lichery^ that lathly corfs, 
Cam berand lyk a bagit horfs, 

And Idilnefs did him leid ; 
Thair wes with him an ugly fcrr, 
And mony ftinkand fowll tramort, 

That had in fyn bene deid : 
Quhen thay wer enterit in the daunce, 
Thay wer full ftrengc of countenance, 

Lyk turkas burnand reid ; 

All led thay uddir by the t , 

Suppoifs thay fyckit with thair a , 

It mycht be na remeid. 


Than the fowll monftir Glutteny % 
Of wame unfafiable and gredy, - 

To dance fyn did him drefs ; 
Him followet mony foull drunckhart, 
With can and collep, Copland quart, 

In furffet and excefs. 
Full mony a waiftlefs wally- drag, 
With waimis unweildable, did furth wag, 

In creifche that did increfs. 
Drynk, ay thay cryit, with mony a gaip j 
The feynds gave them hait leid to laip, 

Thair lovery wes na lefs. 


Na menftralls playit to thame but dowt, 
For gle-men thair wer haldin out, 

Be day, and eik by nycht ; 
Except a menftrall that flew a man ; 



Sa till his heretage he wan, 

And entirt be breif of richt. 


Than cryd Mahoun for a Heleand Padyane : 
Sjn ran a feynd to fetch Makfadyane, 

Far nor thwart in a nuke; 
Be he the Corienoch had done fchout, 
Erfche men fo gadderit him about, 

In hell grit rume thay tuke : 
Thae tarmegantis, with tag and tatter, 
Full lond in Erfch e begowt to clatter, 

And rowp lvk revin and ruk e. 
The dcvill fa devit wes with thair yell, 
That inthe depefl pot of frfi!], 

He fmorit thame with fmuke. 

St.. r. I. 6. " Mahoun" According to Mattb. Parts, p 189. 16 
an. 1236, Mabo is the fame with Mahomet. I)u Cange, voc Mabum, 
has quoted various paiTages from the old French poetF, which he thinks 
proves this. A more direct proof is to be found in the fragment of a 
Fairy tale, in the Bann. MS. where the following lines occur : 

M The carling now for difpyte, 

" Is mareit with Maohomyte, 
" Senfyne the cokkis of Crawmound crew nevir a day, 
•* For dule of that devillifh deme was with Maboun mareit," Sec, 

Here Maboun and Mabomet are evidently fynonymoue. It would feem 
that the Franks hearing the Saracens fwear by their prophet, imagined 
him to be fome evil fpirit which they worfhipped : Hence all over the 
weftern world Maboun came to be an appellation of the devil. Hailes. 

I. y. " Sbrewi that wer never fchrevin." Accurfed perfoni 
who had never made confefiion to the prieft, nor of confequeuce obtain- 
ed abfolution. 

— — 1. 10. " Gallands ga graltb a gyis." Gallants prepare a malic. 
The exhibitions of gyfarts are ftill known in Scotland, being the fame 
with the Chriftmas mummery of the Englilh. In Scotland, even till 
the beginning of this century, maOcers were admitted into any fafhion- 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 


able family, if the perfon who introduced them was known, and became 
anfwerable for the behaviour of his companions. Dancing with the 
maikers enfued. — This, probably, was the promifcuous dancing, the fub- 
jedi of many a fad declamation, borrowed from Prynne, and other 
writers of that fort. 

L 13. " Gamounlis." Gambade, crurum jaUatio, of the neweft 

French fafhions. 

St. a. 1. 4. •• And frji of all in dance wes Pryd." Pride properly 
takes place of all the other deadly fins. By that fin fell the angeis.— 
He is defcribed in the ceremony-habit of thofe times, in his bonnet and 
gown, his hair loofely thrown back, his cap awry ; his beich-coat cafoqui, 
or gown, induftrioufly made to fall down to his feet in ample folds. 
Line 6th is obicure. 

1. IO. " Trumpour." There is no word in Englifh that ap- 
proaches fo nearly to the fenfe of this as the vulgar one, rattle jkull. 1% 
(he Low Dutch, tromp is a rattle ; trompen, to rattle. It is more imme- 
diately derived from the French, trempour, when underflood as that 
whereby one is deceived ; for the context will not admit of our undcr- 
ftanJmg it in the fenfe of an active cheat.' 

St. 3. 1. 1. " Hc'rfie Harlottis on howtane wyis." This is a bold 
line, if it implies, as I think it does, " Holy whores in haughty guile." 

1.6. " Black-Idly and Bawfy- Brown." Popular names of cer- 
tain fpirits. Baivfy-Bio-ivn feems to be I he Englifh Robin Gootllellow, 
known in Scotland by the name of Broivnla. In the Bannatyne 
JV1S. p. 104. among ether fpirits there occurs, 

" Browny als that can play know 

" Behind the claith with mony mow." 

St. 4. !. 4. " Boflaris, braggaris, apd bargancris." Huffers, (or 
tlireatners,) boaflcrs, and they who pick quarre'f. 

— — 1. 6. " All budin in fcir of ivcir." Literally, all arrayed in fea- 
ture of war. " Bodin ami /eir afwttr. are both in the fiatutc-book. Sir 
David Lindsay thus fpeaks of the flatc of Scotland during the mino- 
rity of Jaues-V. 

" Opprtflion did fa loud his htigil hlaw, 

" That uane duifl tiJe but into feir of weir.'' 

i. e. His horn fb loudly did opprtflion blow, 

That none durft journey but in martial ftjew. 

■ 1. 7- " l n jakfcis, (hyppis, and bontietis of ftcill." With fiiorf. 
coats of mail, and fleet head-pieces. Siiyppis may fignify Jlirrups. It 
is oidly joined writ armour. 

1.8. " Thair.lcggk wer chenyiet to the beil!." Probably 

their legs were all covered with iron net-work. 

St. <;, 


St. 5.1. 10. " With rowniris of fals lefingis." Rounders or whim- 
perers of falfe injurious reports. Dunbar, with a generous indignation, 
laments that the gates of princes were not fliut againft the plague of 
fuch vermin. 

St. 6. 1. 6. " All with that Warlo went." " Warloch" is dill ufed 
f>r a male witch or magician. See 1 ri in his additions to Junius, voc. 
Warlo~b Hud J>yis, was ufed in ti at ag- ^r ^ mifer. 

1 8. " \ f udder or Jidder." It '* properly 128 lb. weight, but 

here it is ufed for any indefinite great quiiuity. 

St. 7.I.4- " Mony fweir bumhard belly-huddroun." Siieir, lazy, 
fltiggim. In modern 1 nguage, the tonfequence only is ufed ; for Jkveir 
means unwilling. Bumbard: The meaning of this word is to be tound 
in Pierce Ploughman, p. 24. p. 2. quoted by Skinner. " And who fo 
bummed thereof, oought it thereafter, a gallon for a grote." Skinner 
fays ""Vioetur fx contextu, qnicunque earn cerevifiam guftavit v vel 
" q:iicut"q<ie earn appetiit feu concupivit " Hence bummard, bumbard, 
bumpard, mufl be a trier or a tafier, " Celui qui goute." A drummer 
will be found to have a like Cgnification ; he who drinks often in fmall 
quantities. " Belly -buddroun.'" The word buddroun is flill ufed f<Mf 
♦» a flovenljr difordcrly perfon," 

1. 5. " Mony flute daw, and flepy duddroun." Slute, Jle-wtb, 

flothful. Datv, idle, ufelcfs, creature. G. Douglas fays, Prologue to 
Mafhjeus's fupplement, p. 452. 1. 23. 

" I wyl not be anc datv, I wyl not flcip." 

" Duddroun." Probably it means a ghoft, from A. S. dydrun\ha. Phan- 
tafmata. See Benson Vocabular'mm Anglo-Saxonkum. 

1. 6. " Him fervit ay with founyit." Attended on him with 


1. 12. " Quicker of counye." Quicker of cunning or apprehen- 

fjon, or, perhaps, quicker of coin, of circulation or courfe. The law of 
the meafuie which Dunbar ufes, required that the 3d, 6th, 9th, and 
1 2th lin^s of each ftanza fhould rhyme together. This has fettered the 
poet, and obliged him to ufe feveral expreffion3, not becaufe they were 
the apteft,but becaufe they anfwered the meafure beft. 

- St. 8. 1. 2. ■ Berand lyk a bagit horfs." Neighing like a ftone horfe. 
The meaning of the Fr. baguette i» weil known. 

1. j. " Tramort." Dead body, corpfe. 

1. 9. " Lyk turias burnand reid." Like red-hot pincers ? 

St. 9. 1. 7. " Full mony a tvaijilefs tutlly drag." Wally-dragle is a 
word ftill ufed for the weakeft biid in the Deft, or the wr.akeft chicken 
in the ftock. It feems corrupted from •wallnvit dreg, a withered outcaft, 


JAMES IV. I488 — 15 13. 289 

and thence by an eafy metonymy, fignifies aoy thing ufelefs or unpro- 

St. 9. 1. la. " Thair lo-uery wes na lefs." Their defire was not di. 
minifhed ; their thirft was infatiable. 

St. to. 1. 2. " Glemen." Glee-men, or minftrels. See Piercy's 
Dijfertation on minjtrels, wherein many curious illuftrations of Britiih an- 
tiquities are to be found. 

; I. 6. " And entirt be breif of richt." Was admitted to the pof- 

feflion of his inheritance in hell by the Brew de reclo. 

St. 1 r. This whole ftanza is employed in fatyrizing the Highland- 
ers. Such was the illiberal practice of former times ! 

■ 1. a. " Macfadyane." Mahoun having expreffed his defire 
to fee an Highland pageant, a fiend hailed to fetch Macfadyane. I lup- 
pofe this name was chofen by the poet as one of the harfheft that occur- 
red to him. In the Bannatvne MS. there is a poem by Captain 
Montgomery, the elegant author of The Cherry and the Slae, which 
begins thus : 

" Finlay Macconnoquhy ful Macfadyan. 

The reft of the poem is equally illiberal and fcurrilous, and {hews how 
poor, how very poor, genius appears, when its competitions are debafed 
to the meaneft prejudices of the meaneft vulgar. 

1. 4. " Be he the Correnoek had done fchout." As Toon as he 

had made the cry of diftrefs, or what in old French is called a ('aide. So 
in the ballad of the Battle of Harlaw. St, 1. 1. 7. •» Cryand the Cory- 
noch on hie." 

— — 1, 7. " Thae tarmegantis." See an account of the word terma- 
gant in Lye's edition of Junius, That article, however, might have 
been more ample. I fufpedt that Dunbar meant another word than 
termagant, or, " heathenilh crew." The Ptarmigan is a fpecies of wild- 
fowl well known in the Highlands of Scotland, and is called in our fla- 
tnte-book termigant—- Dunbar may h>vc likened the Highlanders to a 
flock of their country birds; the context favours this interpretation, and 
thus his illiberal raillery like that of Effex calves, Hampfhire hogs, 
Middlefex mungrils, Norfolk dumplings, W<dch goats, &c, and his wit 
will be upon a footing with that of Cleveland. 

« ■■ when the Scots deceafe, 

" Hell, like their nation, feeds on barnacles : 
" A Scot, when from the gallows-tree got loofe, 
" Falls into Styx, and turns a folarid goefc. 

Vol. I. O o the 


{From the Bann. MS. compared with the Variations in 
the MAITLAND MS. The copy publifloed by Allan 
Ramsay in the Evergreen, is altered from the origi- 
nal in almojl every line. Injlead of the Jimple bur- 
den, he has inferted many lively repartees on the De- 
vil's part, and Jbme times has made him /peak again/1 
his own interejly as injlanza 13th. 

t( Quoth Nick thoult get far lefs with me." 

It is remarkable that many of the oaths that fell un- 
der the lafh of Dunbar's fatire, are a&ually recited 
in the 16th Acl of Queen Mary, 1551, "Devil 
flick, cummer, (i. e. cum over, or our,) gore, roift, 
or rieve them." Penalties are inflicled by that flat - 
ute on the ufers offuch oaths : hi particular it is pro- 
vided, that, ane Prelate of Kirk, Earle, or Lord % 
*' Jhall, for the fir ft offence, be fined in twelve pen- 
nies, and for the fourth fault, be banifhed or commit- 
ted to prifon during a complete year, and ft k- like of 
all uther ejlaites, after their qualitie ; and wemen to 
be weyed and confideted conform to their bloude and 


1 his nycht in fleip I was agaft, 
Methocht the devill wes tempand fail 
The people with aithis of crewaltie, 
Sayand, as throw the merkat he paft, 
Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 


JAMES IV. I488— 15 13. 29I 


Methocht as he went throw the way, 
Ane preift fweirit braid, be God verey, 
Quhilk at the alter reffavit he ; 
Thow art my tlerk, the devill can fay, 
Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 


The court man be Chryftis woundis did fweir 
He wald ferve Satan for fevin yeir 
For fair claithis, and gold plentie. 
The devil faid, " Thairc's fum for geir 
Wald God renunce to dwell with me." 

/ IV. 

Ane merchand* his geir as he did fell, 
Renuncit his part of hevin and hell ; 
The devill faid, Welcum mot thow be, 
Thou fall be merchand for my fell, 
Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 


Ane goldfmith faid, The gold's fa fyne 

That all the warkmanfchip I tyne ; 

The femd rejTaif me gif I lie ; 

Think on, quoth the devill, that thow art mine, 

Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 


Ane tailyor faid, In all this toun, 
Be thair ane better fhappin gown, 
I gif me to the feynd all fre j 
Gramercy, tailyor, faid Mahoun, 
Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 




Ane f outt ar faid, In gud efFek, 

Nor I be hangit be the nek, 

Gife bettir butis of ledder ma be ; 

Fy, quoth the fejnd, thou fawris of blek, 

Oa clenge the clene, and cum to me. 


Ane baxftar faid, I foifaik God, 

And all his werkis, evih and od, 

Gif fairar breid neidis to be ; 

The devill luche, and on him cowth nod, 

With thy licht leves cum thou to me. 


The flefchour fweiris be Godis woundis, 
Cam never fie beif into thair boundis, 
Aud fatter muttoun cannot be. 
Fals ! quoth the feynd, and till him roundis ; 
Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 


The maltman fay is, I God forfaik, 
And that the devill of hell me taik, 
Gif ony bettir malt may be, 
And of this kill I haif inlaik. 
Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 


Ane browftar fwore the malf wes ill, 
Baith reid and reikit on the kill, 
That it will be na aill for me, 
Ane boll will not fex gallonis fill ; 
Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1 5 13. 293 


Be Godis bluid, quoth the taverneir, 

There is lie wyne in my felleir 

Hes never cum in this cuntrie. 

Tut, quoth the devill, thou fells our deir 

With thy fals mett \ cum doune to me. 


The fmith fwoir be rude and raip, 
Intill a gallowis mot I gaip, 
Gif I ten dayis wan pennies thre, 
For with that craft I can nocht thraip - r 
Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 


Ane menftiall faid, The feind me ryfe, 
Gif I do ocht but drynk and fwyfe. 
The devill faid, Than I counfal the, 
Exerce that craft in all thy lyfe, 
Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 


Ane dyfour faid, with words of ftryfe, 
The devill mot ftik him with a knyfe, 
But he keft up fair fyffis thre ; 
The devill faid, Endit is thy life, 
Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 


Ane theif faid, 111 that evir I chaip, 
Nor ane ftark widdy gar me gaip, 
But I in hell for geir wald be ; 
The devill faid, Welcum in a raip, 
Renunce thy God, and cum to me. 

xvn. . 



The fifche-wyffis flet, and fwoir with grainis, 
And to the fejnd fauld flefche and banis ; 
Sa did the hukftars haillilie ; 
The devill faid, Welcum all at ainis, 
Renunce jour God, and cum to me. 


The reft of craftis grete aithis fwair 
Thair wark and craft had na compeir j 
Ilk ane into their qualitie. 
The devill fpak thane withouten mair, 
Renunce your God, and cum to me. 


To ban and fweir na ftaits flude aw ; 
Man or woman, grit or fma. 
Ryche and puir, nor the clargie. 
The devill faid than, Of comoun la, 
All men-fworne folk maun cum to me. 

I have never been able to difcover, fays Lord Hailes, from what 
caufe our anceftors became fo monftroufly addicted to profane fwearing- 
Tom Brown fome where ufes, " fwear like a Scotfman," as a prover- 
bial expreffion. There certainly mud be a tradition upon the continent^ 
that the inhabitants of the whole ifland were apt to fwear in common 
convcrfation ; for in Holland, the children, when tiny fee any Britifh 
people, fay, ■ there come the G—damt" and the Portuguefe, when 
they acquire a fmattering of Englifh, fay, " How do you do, Jack > 

G— damn you." Queen Elisabeth was a common fwearer. Au- 

BERY LE Maurier, in his Mcmoires de la Holland/, p. 31 3. o!)ferve9 
that Queen Elisabeth did not pronounce French properly; for that 
fhe faid, Maa foi, and faar Dieu. This, by the way, is one proof, a- 
mong many others, that, in the i6:h century, the Englifh made more 
ufe of the open a, than they do now. Had Queer. Elisabeth lived in 
the piefent age, fhe would have been more apt to fay, mat and per. 
There is another example of this kind in Walpole's Noble Autbon, 
art. Effex. «« The Qiiecn dawned." 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513- 295 

Brantome fays, that the French were taught fwearing by the Spa- 
niards. The mpdern French oaths are generally of the Gafcogpe dia- 
lect, introduced by Henrt IV. H. 

St. r. 1. 3. « Aithis of trrwaltie ,-" that is, in the words of the ftat- 
ute juft quoted, grievous oaths. In vulgar Englifh, bloody is ftill ufed in 
afimilar fenfe. 

St. 3. 1. r. " Ane preift fweirit braid." The fcandalous oath here 
alluded to, as peculiar to the clergy, and to butchers, ftanza 9. is much 
ufed in Germany. The French alfo ufe it, but politely minced down , 
as is their practice in fwearing. 

St. 4. 1. 2. " His part of hevin and hell." Allan Ramsay took 
the trouble to make fenfe of this oath, by printing, for, inftcad of and. 

St. 7, " Ane foivtar faid," &c. From this and other paffagcs in 
Dunbar's poems, it appears that he had, a ftrange antipathy at {hoe- 
makers. The oaths which he appropriates to the fhoemakers may not 
have fo much of the ban ton of infidelity as thofe of the churchmen and 
butchers. They are, however, lefa exceptionable, being no more than 
" ifackins ;" and, " may I be hanged elfe." 

St. 10. This ftanza is aimed at the extortion of maltmakers, who 
took a profit of fix /killings on the boll of barley. This would be in- 
credible, were it not proved by act 29. par. 4. James V. which limits 
their profit to tivo fhillings on the boll. 

St. 13. 1. 4. " For with that craft I can nocht tbraip." The fenfe 
of this line is obfcure. I apprehend that it means, in demanding high 
or exorbitant prices- for my woik, I cannot threap, affirm, or perfift, as 
other artificers do ; for every cuftomcr knows the juft price of riiy work, 
coyfifting folely of horfe-fhoes and plough-irons. It 1? probable that 
thtoughout the country men were aftricted or thirled to the fmith's 
fhop of the barony, as much as to the mill ; fo that the complaint of the 
fmith, concerning the fmall gains of his profefiion, is to be confidered as 
highly affected. Poffibly tbraip rmy be the fame as thrive. 

St. 15. " Ane dyfour faid," Sec. In a difpute at play, a gameirer 
fwore, that he had thrown three fixes with fhree dice. This is the 
higheft throw known excepting that of St Gkislain, who playing ar 
gaicft the devil threw /evens. 

St. 16. 1. 1. " 111 that evir I chaip." The MS. inftead of ill has God. 
The word chaip is ufed for efcape. So that the fenfe is, " I will not de- 
fift from my vocation till I be hanged. 



£D unbar, in this fingular performance ; represents his co- 
temporary Kennedy, the Poet, under the characler 
of a drunken gracelefs fcholar. The alternate lines 
are compofed of Jhreds of the breviary, mixed with 
what we call Dog- Latin, and the French Latin de 
cuifine. Stanzas 13th and iqtb contain a bold ridi- 
cule of the funeral ceremonies ufed in the Komifb 
church. The poem appears in Millar and Chep- 
man's printed Mifcellany 1508, and may have been 
written about 1506. The Lord mentioned by Dun- 
Par as the chief of the name of Kennedy, cannot, 
therefore, as Lord Hailes fuppofes, be the Second* 
but the First Earl of Caffilis, who was Jlain at 
Flowden in 1 51 3. It feems probable .that Kennedy 
was yet alive when Dunbar wrote this fatire, and 
therefore it is placed before the ** Lament for the 
Death of the Poets," where his name is mentioned by 
Dunbar, feemingly for the fir Jl time with tendernefs, 
now that their bickerings were at an ehd.~\ 


J. Master Walter Kennedy, 
A cunno quando fum vocatus, 
Begotten with fum incuby, 
Or with fum freir infatuatus ,- 
In faith 1 can nocht tell redely, 
Unde aut ubifui natus, 
Bot in truth I tiow trewly, 
^uodfum dyabolus incarnatus. 


JAMES IT. Id88— 15 13. 299 


Cum nihil Jit certius morfe. 

We mon all de quhen we haif done ; 

Nefcimus quando, vel qua forte, 

Nor blynd allane wait of the mone. 

Ego patior in pecJore, 

This nicht I mycht nocht fleip a wink ; 

Licet eeger in corpore, , 

Yet wald my mouth be wett with drink. 


Nunc condo tejiamentum meum t 

I leif my faule for evirmair, 

Per omnipotentem Deum, 

Into my lordis wyne cellar : 

Semper ibi ad remanendum 

Quhill domifday ; without diffiver 

Bonum vinum ad bibendum 

With fweit Cuthbeit that lufit me nevir. 


Ipfe eft dulcis ad amandum. 

He wuld oft ban me in his breth, 

De t mihi modo ad potandum. 

And Iforgaif him laith and wreth. 

Quia in cellario cum cervi/ia, 

I had lever ly baith air and lait, 

Nudus folus in camifia, 

Than in my lordis bed of ftait. 


Ane barrel bung ay at my bofum, 
Of warldly gude I bad na mair } 
Corpus meum ebriofum 
I leif onto the toun of Air ; 
Vol. I. Pp In 


In ane draff midding evir and ay, 
Ut ibifepeliri que am, 
Quhair drink and draff may ilka day 
Be cafTyn fuper faciem meam. 


I leif my hairt that nevir wes ficker, 

Bedfemper variabiles 

That evermair wald flow and nicker, 

Confortimeo jfacobo \Lee^\ 

Thoch I wald bind it with a wicker, 

Verum Deum renui ; 

Bot and Ihecht to tume a bicker . 

Hoc pa Bum femper tenui. 


Syne leif I the beft aucht I bocht, 
§>uod eft Latinum propter caupe, 
To heid of kin i but I waite nocht, 
SQuis eft Me, than fchro my fkaupe. 
I callit my Lord my heid, but hiddill, 
Sed nulli alii hoc dixerunt. 
We wer als fib as feif and riddill, 
In unajilva quce creverunt. 


Omnia mea folatia 

They wer bot lefingis all and ane, 

Cum omnifraude etfallacia. 

I leive the maifter of Sand Anthane 

Guillimo Gray, fine gratia, 

Myne awne deir cufine, as I wene, 

Qui nunquam fabric at mendacia, 

But auhen the Holene growis grene. 


JAMES IV. 1488 — 1 51 3. 299 


My fenyeing, and my fals wynyng, 

Relinquo faljis fratribus ; 

For that is Goddis awin bidding, 

DiJ par/it , dedit pauperibus. 

For mennis faulis thai fay and ling, 

Metientes pro muneribus ; 

Now God give thaime ane evill ending . 

Pro fuis pravis operibus. 


To Jok the fule, my foly fre 

Lego poji corpus fepultum ; 

In faith I am mair fule than he, 

Licet ojlendo bonum vultum. 

Of corne and cattell, gold and fee, 

Ipfe habet valde multum, 

And yit he bleiris my lordis ee, 

Fingendo eum fore Jlultum. 


To Maifter Johney Clerk fyne, 

Do et lego intime 

Gods braid malefone, and myne ; 

Nam ipfe efl caufa mortis mece. 

Wer I a doig and he a fwyne, 

Multi mirantur fuper me, 

Bot 1 fould gar that lurdoun quhyne, 

Scribendo denies fne D. 


Refduum omnium bonorum 
For to difpone my lord fal haif, 
Cum tutela puerorum, 
Adie, Kittie, and all the laif. 



In faith I will na langer raif, 
Pro fepultura or dins 
On the new gyfe, fa God me faif, 
Nonficut more folito. 

In die mece fepultura, 
I will have nane but our awin gang, 
Kt duos rujlicos de rure 
Berand ane barrell on a ftang, 
Drinkand and playand cop-out ; evin 
Sicut egomet folebam, 
Singand and gieitand with hie ftevin, 
Potum meum cumjletu mifcebam. 


I will no preiftis for me fing, 

Dies ille, dies irce ; 

Nor yet na bellis for me ring, 

Sicut femper folet fieri ; 

But a bag-pyp to play a fpring, 

Et unum ale-wifp ante me ; 

Infteid of torchis, for to bring 

Quatuor lagenas cervijice, 

Within the g raif to fett, fit thing, 

In modum cruris juxta me t 

To fie the feyndis, than hardely fing 

De terra tu plafmafli me. 

This mingling of fentcntes from the Breviary, with verfes in the vul- 
gar language, founds very ftrange to modern ears, but our forefathers 
fcem not to have perceived its impropriety. In a rare and curious book, 
intitled, " A detection of egregious impoflures," by Samuel Harj- 
n r. r, afterwards Archbifhop of York, a ludicrous example of the kind 
occurs : " Out of thefe is fhaped as the true idea of a witch, an old 
" weather-beaten crcanne, having her chinne and her knees meeting 

• for 

JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 3*P 

■ for age, walking like a bow, leaning on a (haft, hollow eyed, un- 

" toothed, furrowed on her face, having her lips trembling with the 

m palfy, going mumbling in the ftreetes, one that hath forgotten her 

*' fater-nojler, and yet hath a fhrewd tengue in her head, to call a drab, 

*' a drab. If fhce have learned of an old wife in a chimnies end, Pax, 

" max, fax, for a fpell ; or can fay Sir John of Grantam'scurfe, for the 

" Miller's eeles that were flolne, 

" All you that have ftolne the Miller's eeles, 

Laudate Domino de calit ; 
" And all they that have confented thereto, 
Benedicamus Domino. 
" Why then, ho! beware, look about you, my neighbours," &c 

St. 4. 1. 4. " Laitb ?Lnd ivretb." Let him but give me drink, and f 
forgive both his difgufts and his anger. 

I. 8. " My Lordis bed of Jlait." The bed in the principal bed- 
chamber, called "the chawmyr of dice," i. e. chambre au dait, having a 

St. j. I. %. " Of warldly gude I bad na mair." I prayed or wifhed 
for no other worldly goods. 

■ ■ 1 1. 5 . " Draff midding." After having configned his foul ta 
the wine-cellar, he orders his body to be laid on a heap of brewer's 

St. 6. 1. 4. " Conforti meo Jaeobo." So it is written in the MS. ; but 
thecorrefpondent wo#d, -variabile, looks as if it fhould be facobo Lee, or 
perhaps Wyllie. It has been fuggefted to me, that jtcabili is. the better 
reading. " To my playfom confort." The reft of the franza means,- 
notwithflanding my mult folemn vows, I denied or difobeyed God ; but 
w hen I made a vow to empty a pot, I religioufly obferved it. H. 

St. 7. 1. 1. « Tbebrfl aucht I bodrt." In the Law-Latin of that age, 
" Melius averium de conqueftv." 

— — 1. 2. " <%uod efl Latinum propter caupe." Propter caupe, By 
way of caupes. Skene, De verborum figiiifteatiotie, fays, *» Caupes, calpes 
u in Galloway and Carritl, quhairof mention is maid in the ades of 
" parliament, James IV. p. a. c. 18 19. fignifies ane gift, quilk an man 
•' in his awin lifetime, and liege pouftie, gives to his maifter, or to onie 
" uther man, that is greateft in power aad aurhorkie, and fpecially to 
'• the bead and chiife of the cldnn, for his maintenance and protection." 

1. 4. " Than febro myjiawpe ;" i. e. Then " fhrew my fcalp." 

Curfe my head, or, may evil light on my head. 

1. 5. " I callit my Lord, my held, bot biudill." I privately 

called the Earl of Caffilis my chief, as being chief of the name of Ken-' 
xeby. H. — Bat hiddill feems rather to mean, openly. 


St. 7. 


St. 7. 1. 7. " We wer als/A as/«/and riddill," We were as nearly 
related as fieves of different bores and finenefs, made of wood from the 
fame foreft. 

St. 8. 1. 4. ■ The maifter of Sant Antbane" The preceptor of St, 
Anthony's hofpital. The order of St. Anthony had only one monafte- 
ry in Scotland, at Leith, now called the South Kirk ; Spottiswood's 
Religious boufes in Scotland, C. 3. 

St. 9. 1. I. " My falfe wynyng." To -wetne, is to lament ; hence 
the word tvbine : as if he had faid, «'• I leave my hypocritical whining 
" to the knavifh friars, qui conducli plarant in future" 

St. ic. 1. I. " To Jok the fule." In the family of every perfon of 
diftin&ion, there was a jefter maintained, generally a compoEtion of 
knave and fool. Pitscottie fays, Hiflory of James V. « ( The Lords 
•« difcharged all his old officers, and put new in their {leads ; that is to 
" fay, treafurer, comptroller, fecretary, Mr Macer, Mr Houfehold, cap- 
« per, carver, Mr Stabler, Mr Hnnter, Mr Falconer, Mr Porter, and z 
*• fool called John Maciilrie." 

In Scotland the veftiges of this fort of eftablifhment ftill remain. 

In thofe days it was the cuftom for men to aflume, or receive, names 
from their offices. Hence, D. Dempfter, or Doomfter ; i. e. he who 
publifhes the doom or fentence; until lately, the executioner. A. Scif- 
far, B. Tindor, C. Textor, D. Molendinariu-, and many more of the 
fame nature in our old chartularies. There is a curious inftance of this 
cufloni in Hijloria Ingulpbi, p. 103. Anno 1091.— W. Barbour qui ve- 
niens coram conventu, juramentum praeftitit quod fidus et fidelis nobis 
foret : recitavimHfque tunc illi officium fuum ; fcilicet radet totum con- 
ventual in ordine fuo, abfque aliqua perfonarum acceptatione," &c. 
Thus alfo among the leaders of the Kentifh rebellion, in the reign of 
Richard II. of England there were Tom Tyler, Wat Miller, Hob 
Carter. Their names are elfewhere recited in a manner fomewhat dif- 
ferent : Thomas Baker, Wat Tyler, called Jack Straw, Jack Miller 
Jack Carter. Ma Home fays, that the populace was " headed by the 
mofl audacious and criminal of their affociates, who had affumed the 
feigned names of Wat Tyler. &c. by which they were fond of denoting 
their mean origin." We have feen from Knyghton that this Wat 
Tyler was al(6 denominated Jack Straw. Thofe eminent perfonages 
had 'namci, and therefore were obliged to diftinguifh tbemfelves by 
defer ^tioDs, arifir.g from their refpec"live profeffions: Jack Straw ap- 
pears to have been the only feigned appellation, or nom de guerre. Ano- 
ther example of furnames, offumed from particular occupations occurs 
in RrMra's Fce.lern. Among the minftrels of Henry V. of England* 
there occur Peut. Tiomjier, Richard Pyper, Snyth Fydelcr, &c This cuf- 
tom prevailed in Fngland down to the times of Camden. " In every 
place we fee the youth very commonly called by the ram« of their oc- 
cupation;, as John Baker, &c." Remains, p. 14-. 

St. XS. 

JAMES IV. I488 — 1 513. 303 

St. IT. This ftanza is obfcure, becaufe we are not acquainted with 
JMaiftcr Johnie Clerk. He was, probably, an ignorant practitioner in 
phytic, who took upon him to prefcribe in Latin without understanding 
the language. Such a perfon prefcribing for the teeth, might lay, R. 
'• ad euranios entet ;" catching at an imperfect found, as the ignorant: 
univerfally do : a trifling circumftance of this kind was fufficicnt to point 
the fatire of the poet at Maifter Johnie Clerk. 

St. 13. 1. 6. ■ With lie ftcvin" So it ftands in the Mait. MS. and 
in the edition 1508, fignifying « with a loud voice." The Bann. MS* 
reads erroneoufly, " tbefevin" 

After ftanza 5th in the Mait. MS. we find thefe four lines ; fecm- 
ingly an interpolation : 

Their wald I be bereit methink ; 
Or beir my bodie ad tabtrmam, 
Quheir I may feil the favour of drynk, 
Syn fyng for me rtquitm tternam. 

St 14. 1. ir, " Than bardtly fing." Then ng harHHy, or with con- 



\\About this time (i 503-7) a certain Italian came into 
Scotland, who pretended to great knowledge in Alche- 
my, and gave the King hopes of being put in pofftfjion 
of the philofophers Jlone. It is f aid, that the King 
collated him to the Ahhay of Tungland in Galloway. 
This fellow was a cheat at firjl, hut, by no very un- 
common gradation, he rofe to be an enthufiafl. He 
made unto himfelf wings, and engaged to fly to France 
from the walls of Stirling caflle ; he tried the expe- 
riment, fell, and broke his thigh bone. Bishop Les- 
ley has given an ample account of the feats of this 
extraordinary perfonage, and likened him to Simon 
Magus : there is, however, this difference between the 
Jiories, that the fanatic Italian did attempt to fly, 
whereas the adventure of Simon Magus is a flupid, 
inconjiflent, impojjible fable. Lesley fays that the 
Abbot of "Tungland thus accounted for his misfor- 

- tune : l< My wings, faid he, were compofed of vari- 
ous feathers ; among them were the feathers of dung- 
hill fowls ; and they, by a certain fort of fympathy, 
were attracted towards the dunghill; whereas, bad 
my wvngs been compofed of the feathers of eagles a- 
lone, the fame fympathy would have attratled them 
into the region of air.'* A fit apology during the 
reign o/*fympathies and antipathies ! The preferment 
of this adventurer feems to have roufed the indigna* 
tion ©/"Dunbar, — who was then alfo a declared can- 
didate for fome appointment in the Churcb.~] 


JAMES IV. I488 — 15 13. 305 


I\S young Aurore with chryftall haile, 
Iu orient fchewed her vifage paile, 
A fwenyng fwyth did me affaile 

Of fonis of Sathanis feid ; 
Methocht a Turk of Tartary 
Cum throw the boundis of Barbary, 
And lay forloppin in Lombardy, 

Full long in wachman's weid. 


Fra baptafing for to efchew, 
Thair a religious man he flew, 
And cled him in his abeit new, 

For he cowth wryte and reid. 
Quhen kend was his diflimulance, 
And all his cu rfit gove rnance, 
For feir he fled, and come in France, 

With litill of Lumbard leid. 


To be a leiche he fenyt him thair ; 
Quhilk mony a man might rew evirmair ; 
For he left nowthir fick nor fair 

Unflane, or he hyne yeid : 
Vane-organis he full clenely carvit ; 
Quheri of his ftraik fae mony ftarvit, 
Dreid he had gottin quhat he defaivit, 

He fled away gude fpeid. 


In Scotland than, t he narreit way , 
He come, his cunnin g till aflayy 
To fum man thair it was no play 

The preving of his fciens. 
In pottingry he wrocht grit pyne, 
Vol. I. Q^q He 


He murdreift mony in medecyne ; 
The Jow was of a grit engyne, 
And generit was of gyans. 


In leichecraft he was homecyd, 
He wald haif for a nycht to byd 
A haiknay and the hurtraan's hyd, 

So meikle he was of myance. 
His yrins was rude as ony rawchtir, 
Quhaire he leit blude it was no lawchtir. 
Full mony inftrument for flawchtir 

"Was in his garde vyance. 


He cowth gif cure of laxatife 

Wald gar a wicht horfe want his lyfe j 

Quha evir aflayd it, man or wyfe, 

Thair hippis yied hiddy-giddy. 
His praclikis never war put to preif, 
Bot fuddane deid or grit mifchief. 
He had purgatioun to mak a theif 

To die without a widdy. 


Unto no mefs preffit this prelat, 
For found of facring bell nor fkellat, 
As blackfmyth bruikit was his pellatt 

For battring at the ftudy. 
Thocht he come hame a new maid channoun R 
He had difpenfit with matynis cannoun, 
On him come nowthir ftole nor fannoun 

For frauking of the fmydy. 


Methocht feir faffonis he aflailyeit 
To mak the guintefiance, and failyeit j 


JAM"ES IV. I488 — 1513. Z°1 

And quhen he faw that nocht availyeit, 

A fedrene on he tuke : 
And fchupe in Turky for to fhe ; 
And quhen that he did mont on hie, 
All fowill ferleit quhat he fowld be, 

That evir did on him luke. 


Sum held he had bene Dedalus, 
Sum the Menatair marvelus, 
And fum Martis fmyth Vulcanus t 

And fum Saturnus kuke. 
And evir the cufchettis at him tuggit, 
The rukis him rent* the ravynis him druggit. 
The hudit-crawis his hair furth ruggit, 

The hevin he micht not bruke. 

x. • 

The myttaine and Saint Martynis fowle 
Wend he had bene the hornit howle, 
Thay fet upon him with a yowle, 

And gaif him dynt for dynt. 
The golk, the gormaw, and the gled, 
Beft him with buffets quhill he bled ; 
The fpar-halk to the fpring him fped 

Als fers as fyre of flynt. 


The tarfall gaif him tug for tug, 
A ftanchell hang in ilka lug, 
The pyot furth his pennis did rug, 

The flork ftraik ay but ftint } 
The biflart bifly but rebuik, 
Scho was fo cleverus of her cluik, 
His lugs he micht not langer bruk» f 

Scho held thame at ane hint, 



xi r. 

Thik was the clud of kayis and crawis, 
Of marleyonis, mittanis, and of mawis, 
That bikkrit at his herd with blawis, 

In battell him abowt. 
Thay nybbillit him with noyis and cry, 
The rerd of thame raife to the Iky, 
And evir he cryit on Fortoun, Fy, 

His lyfe was into dowt. 


The ja him fkrippit with a flcryke, 
And ikornit him as it was lyk ; 
The egill ftrong at him did flryke, 

And raucht him, mony a rout : 
For feir unkennandly he cawkit, 
Quhill all his pennis war drownd and drawkit, 
He maid a hundreth nolt all hawkit, 
Beneath him with a fpowt. 


He fcheure his fedderene that was fchene, 
And flippit out of it full clene, 
And in a myre, up to the ene, 

Amang the glar did glyd. 
The fowlis all at the fedrem dang 
As at a monfter thame amang, 
Quhyl all the pennis of it owtfprang 

Intill the air full wyde. 


He at the plunge lay evir mair 
Sa lang as any ravin did rair ; 
The crawis him focht with cryis of cair 
In every fchaw befyde. 

■ Had 

JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 309 

Had he reveild bene to tho ruikis, 
Thay had him revin with thair cluikis. 
Thre dayis in dub araang the dukis 
He did with dirt him hyde. 


The air was dirkit with the fowlis 

That come with yawmeris, and with yowlis, 

With fkryking, ikryming, and with fcowlis, 

To tak him in the tyde. 

I walknit with noyis and fchowte, 

So hiddowis beir was me abowte. 

Senfyne I curft that cankirit rowte 

> Quhair evir I go or rydej 

St. 1. 1. 3. " A fivening fivyth did me aflaile." A vifion fuddenly 
came upon me. 

1. 5. " A Turk of Tartary" The Turks were firft known b? 

the name of Tartars, from the country out of which they iffued. There 
is a cuiious account of the Turks in the Chronicle of Melros, much in 
the form of a Newfpaper. 

Here let me obferve, in paffing, that the origin of Newfpapers is 
probably to be afcribed to the circular letters from the Pope to thi 
clergy, or from the generals of the different religious orders to their 
conventual brethren. Anciently thofe Newfpapers were occafional and 
rare; but now things are changed. 13 Evening Pofts make a Maga- 
zine, 12 Magazines make a Regifter, and, it is fuppofed, 20 Regifters 
may make a Hiftory. H. 

— — 1. 7. " Forloppin." Fer-loivpen, a fugitive or vagabond. 

— — 1. 8. " In ivachmans weid." In the drefs of a ftrolleror wan- 
derer. Waif pronounced ivaff, is ajlray. The Englifh flill pronounce 
cb as jf, faff for locb. 

St. 2. 1. 1. " Fra baptafing for to efchew." To avoid being bap. 
tized ; for had he been difcovcred, he would have been made a flave, 
or, by way of alternative, forced to profefs Chriftianity. 

1. 4. " For he cowth wryte and reid." The meaning is, as he 

could read and write, he was able to pafs for a frier under the habit 
which he had aflumed. 

1. 8. " With litill of Lumbard but." Either " with fmall 



knowledge of the Italian language," or " wi-h a little or a (mattering 
of Italian literature," or " with fame knowledge of the Lombard buii- 
nefs of a broker." 

St. 3. 1. 4. « Or he byneyeid." Before he went from thence. 

— — 1. 5. • Vane organis he full clenely carvit." Seems to mean 
the veins of the head ; and then the fenie will be, He was dextrous in 
bleeding at the veins of the head. This is commonly performed by 
cupping-glaffes, which no doubt would be confidered in Scotland as a 
curious operation. 

— — 1. 6. « Of his ftraik fae mony ftatvit." When fo many died 
by his ftroke. The word flraik, or ftrote, feems to confirm the notion* 
that cupping-glaffes are here meant. Starvh is a word (till preferved 
in Englifh, implying a violent death by hunger. To/tarvc of cold, is ftill 
a Scottifh expreffion, from the wordjlorten, to die. 

St. 4. 1. 5. " In pottingry he wrocht grit pyne." Acting in the cha- 
racter of apothecary he did much mifchief. The poet diftinguifhes the 
three branches of the healing art all joined in this cmpyric, '« Pottingry 
medecyne, and leiche-craft." Leicbe, is phyfician. 

1. 7. ' This Joiv." Not this Jew, but this juggler or magi- 
cian. The words to jo-wk, to deceive, and joivkcry-paivkry, juggling 
tricks, are (till in ufe. 

In the Bann. MS. p. 136. there is a fragment of a fort of fairy tale, 
where " Scho is the Quene of Joivis t means, fhe is the queen of ma- 

St, 5. 1. 2* 3. " He wald haif for a nycht to byd, 

" A hacknay and the hurtman's hyd." 

His fees were fo exorbitant, that one night's attendance coft a horfe, 
the moft fumptuous of prefents in thofe days, and the flcin of the pa- 
tient ; ftill alluding, as it would feem, to the manner in which the monn- 
. tebank applied his cupping- glajTes. Hyd may, however, mean bidden 
treafure. or board. H. 

— — — 1. 4. " So meikle he was olmyancc" Probably corrupted from 
mtient. It means expedients for gain. 

— — 1. j. " His yrint was rude as ony rawchtir." Hi* chirurgical 
inftruments were like thofe ufed in torture. Ungrammatical phrafeSj 
fuch as " yrins was," are very frequent in this collection. 

1. 8. u Gardrvyance." Literally garde de wiande, or cupboard ; 

but here it implies his cabinet. The gloffary fubjoined to the Evergreen, 
ridiculoufly enough explains it to be a cafe of infrumentt. 

In this ftanza and the following, the poet defcribes his hero bufied in 
the laboratory. " This dignitary of the church," fays he, " never chofe 
to go to mafs, although warned by the holy bell, or (kellat. (This 
name is ftill given to a fort of rattle which criers ufe.) Hi»fkin. with 
beating at the anvil, was befouled like a blackfmith's;" the MS. reads 
briukit, probably an error of the tranferiber for bnukit, I e. ftreaked with 


JAMES IV. I488 I5I3. 311 

black and brown. " Although a new made canon, he difobeyed the ec- 
clefiaftical law, which requires perfons of that ft.ition to fay matins. He 
neither put on Jiole nor fanon, (ftola and manipulus, or fudarium, parts 
of the veftments of an officiating pried,) left they fhould have been 
defiled with che fnioke of his laboratory." 

St. 8. 1. t. " To mak the quintejfance and failyeit." Of alchemy and 
its royal bubbles, there is a good account in a tract by J. F. Buddeus. 
" An alchemifa fint in republica tolerandi ;" Halts Saxonum, 1 7 12, l2tno. 
This tract contains a curious anecdote, which appears to have a free cir- 
culation in Germany. § 3. Martin Delrio, 1. 1. Difq. Mag. c. 5. 9. 
4. fayi, that " there was formerly a law in England againfl any perfon 
esercifing the practice of Alchynr.y, without 3 licence from the King, 
under pain of death. But Henry IV. of the fame kingdom propofed 
a contrary law, enacting by four ediils, that all and Angular his fubjects 
fhould beftow their utmoft attention in preparing the philofophers flone, 
to relieve the commonwealth of debt. And a pleafant reafon is given 
for inducing the clergy to devote themfelves to the ftudy of the trans- 
mutation of metals viz. that as they -were able to change bread and wine in- 
to the body and blood of Chrijl, they ivould eajdy convert the bafer metals into 
gtld. Jo. Pettus, an Englifhman, mentions thele edicts in his Fodinit 
mincralibus, or, the hiflory, laws, and places of the chief mines and mi- 
neral works in England, p. 1. c. 27. from whom George Paschjus 
relates them in his book de in-ventis nov-antiquis, c. 6. p. 332. who alfo 
brings the teftimony of MorrhoOus to the fame purpofe, Be tranfmuta- 
titne metallorum, § 12. p 287. who, enquiring into the above fa«it, was 
told by the keeper of the public records, that the original document was 
ftill extant in the archive V. The four acts of parliament, H. 4. recom- 
mending the ftudy of alchemy, in order to pay the national debt, would 
be a curious acceffion to the ftatute-book. James IV. of Scotland was 
a profeffed admirer of alchemy In a letter from him to Mr James 
Inglis, epift. reg. Scot, v, r. p. 1 19. he fays, " We have thankfully re- 
ceived your letter, by which you inform us that you are in pofkffion of 
the abftrufe books of the found philfopby ; which, as certain mod deferv. 
ing perfons have begged them of you, you with difficulty prefervc for 
cur ufe, having heard that ive are addiEled to the ftudy of that art." H. 

— — 1. 4. " Afedrene on he tukr." After having in vain attempted 
to make the grand elixir, he put on wings ; fedrem or fedderome, is fea- 

1. 5. " Andfchupe in Tuiky for to fie." Shaped his courfe, cr 

prepared hiuifelf to fly back into the land of the Turks, which the poet 
has thought proper to n-prefent as the native country of this friar. 

St. 9. &c. The author has introduced the names of many different 
fowls. Inflead of cumbering the gloffary with the explication of a mul- 
titude of words which occur but once, 1 will explain them here as well 
as I am able. CleJ, fparhaH, tarfal,ftanchel, bijart, marlyen, mitlane, are 



all 'ifFerent kinds of hawks. Py*t, magpie; era-wh- common crows ; 
tnarvis, mew; gormcrw, cormorant; Jtayis, jack-daws ; ja jay; egill, 
eagle ; hornet hoivle, great horned owl ; rukit, rooks ; St Martinis fuivl, 
the marten or irnrtlei, ^hich is fuppofed f o leave thi»- country about St 
Martin's day in the beginning of winter ; cufcbtttis, is ring-doves ; but 
from the company they are placed in, may be underftood of chouctte, 
common owl. H. 

St. to. I. 7. " To ihcfpring him fped." Betook himfelf haftily to 
his fp ring or flight. 

St. 11. 1.8. " Scho held them at a hynt." Literally, held them by a 
hold, i. e. held them faft. 

St. 13. 1. 1. " Siriffit with a ftxyke." The word Jhrippit fignifies 
to make mouths in fign of derifion. 

1. 5. " Unkennandly he cawkit." Unknowingly he bewrayed 

himfelf. The MS. reads uncunnandly. 

— — 1. 7. " Hawkit." Horned cattle are called batviit when they 
have ftreaks of white on their IkiD, and particularly on their foreheads. 




J-JUciNA fchynyng in filence of the riicht, 
The hevin being all full of ft emis bqcht, 
To bed I went j bbt thair I tuke no reft, 
With havy thocht I wes fo foir oppreft, 
That fair I langit eftir dayis licht. 


Of Fortoun I compleinit hevely, 
That fcho to me ftude fo contraroufly ; 
And at the laft quheri 1 had turny^ oft 
For werines, on me an Hummer foft 
Come, with ane dreming, and a fantefy. 


Methocht Deme Fortoun, with ane fremit chen", 
Stude me beforne, and faid on this maneir : 
Thow fuffir me to work gif thow do Weill, 
And preifs the nocht to ftryfe aganis my quheill, 
Quhilk every wardly thing dois turne and fteir. 

■ _ 

Full mony ane man I turne into the hicht, 

And maks als mony full law to doun licht. 

Up on my ftaigis or that thow afcend, 

Treift weill thy trouble neir is at ane end, 

Seing thir taiknis, quhairfoir thow mark them richt; 

Thy trublit gaift fall neir moir be degeft, 
Nor thow into no benefice polfeft, 
Quhill that ane abbot him cleith in earnis penhis* 
And ne up in the air amangis the crennis, 
And als ane falcone fair fro eift to weft. 

Vol. I. R r IV. 



He fall afcend as ane horreble grephoun, 
Him meit fall in the air ane fcho dragoun ; 
Thir terrible monfteris fall togidder thrift, 
And in the cludis gett the Antechrift, 
Quhill all the air infcck of their pufoun. 


Undir Saturnus fyrie regioun 
Symone Magus fall meit him, and Mahoun ; 
And Merlyne at the mone fall hym be bydand, 
And Jonet the widow on ane beffome rydand, 
Of wichis with an windrous gaiefoun ; 


And fyne thay fall difcend with reik and fyre, 
And preiche in erth the Antechryft's impyre. 
Be than it fall be neir this warld's end. 
With that this lady foue fra me did wend. 
Sleipand and walkand wes fruftrat my defyre. 


Quhen I awoke my dreme it wes fo nyce, 
Fra every wicht I hid it as a vyce ; 
Quhill I hard tell be mony futhfafl wy 
Fie wald an abbot up into the fky, 
And all his fetherine maid wes at devycc. 


Within my hairt confort I tuke full fone, 

Adew, quoth I, my drery dayis are done. . 

Full weill I wift to me wald nevir cum thrift, 

Quhill that twa monis wer fene up in the lift, 

Or quhill an abbot flew aboif the mone. 
— ■ " 



f_ In this addrefs, and feveral others of inferior note, we 
find Dun bar foliciting earnefily for a benefice, which 

now feems to have been the utmoji of his wijhes. In 
fome of thefe he eomplains grievoufly of the unequal 

difiribution of ' ecclefiaflical good things : 

Of benefyce, at everie feift, 

Quha monyaft has maks maift requeifl ; 

Ryche befoir puir fpraids ay thair net ; u q 

Quha nothing hes can nothing get 

Sum fwallis fwan, fum fwallis duik, 
And I Hand faftand in a nuik ; . . . . 

Schir, quhidder is it merit mair 
To gif him drynk that thriftis fair ; 
Or fyll ane fu man quhyll he brift, 
And lat his fallow dye for thrift ? 

Feift of benefyce, repeatedly mentioned by Dunbar, 
means " vacation of a benefice,'' according to Mr 
PiNKERTON. It feems rather to have been fome u hie 
feafil of fanEl in glory ^ as Dunbar exprejjes it m 
one of thefe addreffes. In this f the $th fian-za alh- 
gorically, and the 6th more diretlly accufe the King 
of an injurious partiality to foreigners. From the na- 
ture of the allegory, it would appear -that the feath- 
erene and good fortune of the Abbot of Tungland 
were filill frefih in the poet's tecolletlion — -we'may 
therefore fuppofe this addrefs to have been ivritten 
foon after the preferment of thai juggling foreign cr.~\ 



. I. 

Ochir, yit remembir as of befoir, 
How that my yowth is done forloir 
In your fervice with pane and greif, 
Gud confciens cryis, reward thairfoir j 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 


Your clerkis ar fervit all about, 
And I do lyk ane reid halk fchout, 
To cum to lure that hes no leif, 
Quhair my plumyis begynis to mout ; 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 


Foryett is ay the falconis kynd ; 
But evir the myttane is hard in mynd ; 
Oft quhon the gled dois peirtrikkis preif, 
The gentill goifhalk gois undynd ; 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 


The pyet with hir pairtie cot, 
Fenyeis to fing the nychtingalis not ; 
Bot fcho can nevir the corchat cleif, 
For harflines of hir carlich throt ; 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif* 


Ay fareft faderis hes farreft fowlis ; 
Suppois thay haif no fang bot youlis, 
In filver caigis thay fit bot grief; 
Kynd natyve ncft doi: clek bot owlis ; 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 


james rv. 1488 — 1513. 317 


O gentill egill, how may this be, 
That of all fowlis dois heeft fle ; 
Your legis quhy will ye nocht releif, 
And chereis eftir thair degre ? 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif, 


Quhen fervit is all udir man, 
Gentill and femple of every clan, 
Ralph Colyar's kyn, and Johne the reif, 
Nathing I get, nor conqueis can ; 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 


Thocht I in cour t be maid refus, 

And naif few vertewis for to rus ; 

Yet am I cumin of Adame and Eif, ; , 

And fane wald leif as uderis dois : 

Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif- 


Or 1 fuld leif in lie mifchance, 
Gif it to God war no grevance, 
To be a pyk-thank I wald preif, 
For thay on warld wantis no plefans j 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 


In fum parte on my felf I plenye ; . 
Quhen udir folkis dois flattir m;d fenye, 
Allace ! I can bot ballattis breif, 
Sic bairnheid leidis my brydill renye ; 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif, 




I g rant rn yfervice is bot licht ; 
Thairfoir of mercy, and nocht of richt, 
I afk you, Schir, no man to greif, 
Sum medecyne gife that ye micht ; 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 


May nane remeid my malady 
Sa weill as ye , Schir, yeraly ; 
For with a benefice ye may preif 
Gif that I mend nocht heflely ; 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 


I wes in yowth, on nureis kne, 
Call'd dandely, Bifchop, dandely ! 
And quhen that ege now dois me greif, 
Ane femple vicar I can nocht be ; 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 


Jok that wes wont to keip the ftirkis, 
Can now draw him ane cleik of kirkis, 
With ane fals cairt into his fleif, 
Worth all my ballattis undir the birkis j 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 


Twa curis or thre hes upolandis Michell, 
With difpenfatiouns in a kjnitchell ; 
Thocht he fra nolt had new tane leif 
He play is with totum, and I with nichell ; 
Excefs of thccht dois me mifcheif. 


JAMES IV. I488 1513. 319 


How fuld I leif that is nocht landit, 
Nor yit with benefice am blandit ; 
I fay nocht, Schir, you to repreif, 
Bot doutles I ga rycht neir hand it ; 
Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 



As faulis into purgatorie, 

Leving in pane and houp of glorie ; 

So is myfelf ye may belief, 

In howp, Schir, of your adjutory ; 

Excefs of thocht dois me mifcheif. 

St. a. 1. 3. " To cum to lure that hes no leif." Who is not permit- 
ted to come to lure, or to his matter's hand ; A term of falconry. 

St. 3. 1. 3. " Oft quhon the gled dois pe irti -iliis preif." Often when 
the gled feeds upon partridges. The Eann. MS. reads erroneoufly, 
" Of quhome the gled dois prcttihii preif. " 

St. 4. 1. 3. " The corchat cleif." Divide a crochet. A term of mu- 

St. 5. The meaning is this, " Faireft fowls have always fan-eft fea- 
thers, although they fcream inftead of finging : They fit at eafe in ca- 
ges of filver, but in our own home-bred neft, nothing is hatched buc 

St. 7. 1. 3. " Rauf Colyar's kyn, and Johne the reif." Ralph Collier, 
fays Lord Hailes, is a robber of no name, " caret quia -vate" 
Thi3, however, is not ftrictly true, a popular fong or ballad under the 
name of Ralph Colyer, being mentioned by Wedeerburn in his 
" Complaint of Scotland, 154.8" It feems now to be loft. Johne the 
reif, or Johny Armftrong, is immortalized in popular ballads. Buchan- 
an fays, 1. 14. c. 39. " Johannes Armiftrangius, princeps unius factio- 
nis latronum— fracta gula periit ; — cum Angli fuerint ejus morte vche- 
menter lxtati,ut qui gravi hofte liberati effent." Wretched is the ftate 
of princes, their moft laudable actions cannot efcape unblamed. Buch- 
anan obliquely cenfures James V. for this great act of public juftice, 
becaufe the Englifh rejoiced at the death of a robber, formidable to the 
snemies of his country, as well as to his country. Armstrong, after 



having infefted the borders for many year-,, was executed in 1S 2 9- Mi* 
name, therefore, muft have been well known in Scotland about the end 
of the reign of James IV. or this John might be quite a different per- 

St. 8. 1. 2. " And haif few vortewis for to rus." Have few good 
qualities, for which I may applaud niyfelf. 

1. 3. 4. " Yet am I cumin," &.c. As if he had faid, 

'• Yet, come of Adam and of Eve, 
" I wlfh to thrive as ethers do." 

Sc 9. 1. 3. " To be a fyk-tbaak I walJ preif." I would attempt to 
turn fpy, informer, or tale-bearer. 

St. 10. 1. 4. " Sic baircheid leidis my brydc'l renye." Such child- 
ifh employment leads me aflray in my courfe to preferment. Literally, 
fach an infant leads me as with bridle rein?. The Bank. MS. errone- 
ously has hidJ'n. 

St. 12. Indeed yon, Sir, en beft cure my difeafe : be flow a benefice 
□pun me, and fee whether thai will not recover me at once. 

St. 13. When I Was an infant, my nurfe dandling me on her knees, 
called me bifhop, and yet, ftricken as I am in yL'ars, I have not attained 
to a curacy. — A lingular argument for obtaining preferment, . and a 
reafon no kfs lingular for repining at the waiit of preferment ! The 
prognoftications of nurfes and goffips have been more fortunate in other 
cafes than in that of poor Eunbar. Bifhnp Duppa fays of Arciibifhop 
Spottiswood, " he was no fooner brought into the world, but a re- 
markable pajfagc accompanied it ; for among the reft that were ptefent, 
not ordinary goffipers, but women of good note, there was one among 
them, who in a fober, though in a prophetic Jit, taking the child in her 
arms, called aloud to the reft, in thefe or the like terms, You may all ve- 
ry ivcll rejoice at the birth of this child, for he tvill become the prop and pillar 
of this church, and the main and chief injlrumcnt in the defending it. From 
wli3t principle this prediction came, or boiv Jbe -zvas thus irfpired, I will 
not fearch into ;" Life of Arcbbifhop Spottiswood, p. 2. Were it not 
too prefumptuous, I would attempt to fearch into what the Bifhop fo 
reverently touches. — A child was born to a Prefbyterian minifter ; one 
of the goflipers, of good note indeed, but (till a golliper, cried out, " Be 
blych, cummcris, we haif gottin a lad-bairn ; 1 warrant he will be a bra 
minifter bclyve." Such is the very Cmple goffiping ftory, when diveft- 
cd of rhetorical ornaments. H. 

St. 14. Jot, formerly a keeper of bullocks and heifer?, makes a hawl 
of benefices, by means of fecret calumny and falfe fuggeflion, of more 

" Than all my lays beneath the birchen fhade." 

St. is. 

james iv. 1488 — ^513. 321 

St. 15. 1: a. " With difpenfatiouns bund in a initcicll." Probably the 
fame &%fatcbcll. With a wa!let-ful of dil'penfations, for incapacity, noru 
refidtna, &c. 

St. 15. 1. 4. " He playis with totum, and I with jHebtiL" Alluding 
to that game of chance calleJ T totum, exploded from the facility of per- 
verting icto deceit, See Rabelais, 1. 1. c. %%. and the notes to the 
words, '« pille, nade, jb. que* (ore." '• 

St. 16. 1. 4. " Botdoutles I ga rycht neir hand it." I do not pre- 
fume to cenfure your Majefty's conduct, but furely I go near to. cen- 
Ture it. 

P. S. Add to note on St. 7. Gawin Douglas, in his " Pallet of 
Honour" written in 1501, mentions the fame two perforages among 
other fictitious or mock-heroes of former times, fuch as Goivmacmorne, 
Fyn Mac Cowl, (Ossian's heroes,) Robene Hude, Hay of Naucbton, Crw- 
ielble and his fow, Gilbert with the white hind, &c. 

*' I faw Raf Coilyear with his thrawin brow, 

" Craibit Jobne the Reif, and auld Coiu&elbi's fow,' &c. 



The original of this proverbial exprejjion was probably 
Joan Thomson's man : Man, in Scotland, Signifying 
either Hufband or Servant. Colvnxe, in his Scot- 
ti£b. Hudibras, /ays, 

«■ We read in greateft warrior's lives, 

** They oft were ruled by their wives. 

" So the imperious Roxalan, 

" Made the great Turk Johne Thomforis man.' 1 * 

'The intent, therefore, of the poem it, u That the 
King were ruled by the Queen" Margaret, Queen 
of James IV. had, in all likelihood, promifed Dun- 
bar her ajjijlance in procuring him a benefice ; but he 
found that her influence with the King was not very 
flrong, and wrote this poem in confequence.~\ 

Ochir, for your Grace, bayth nicht and day, 

Richt hartlie on my kneis I pray, 

With all devotioun that I can, 

4 God gif ye war Johne Thbmfounis man ! 

For wir it fo, than weill war me ; 
But benefice I wald nocht be. 
My hard fortoun wer endit than. 
God gif ye war Johne Thomfounis man ! 

Than wald fum reuth within yow reft 

For faik o f hir, faireft and beft 

In Bartane fyn hir tyme began. 

God gif ye war Johne Thomfounis man ! 


James iv. i<i88 — 15 13. 3C3 

For it micht hurt in no degre 
That on, fo fair and gude as fche, 
Throw hir vertew fie worfchip wan, 
As yow to mak Johne Thomfousis man. 

I wald gif all that ever I have 

To that conditioun, fa God me faif, 

That he had vowit to the fwan, 

Ane yeir to be Johne Thomfounis man. 

The merfy of tha t ^fweit m eik ros 
Suld faft yow thairtill I fuppois ; 
Quhois pykes throw me fo reuthles ran. 
God gif ye war Johne Thomfounis man ! 

My advocat, bayth fair and fueit, 
And the hale rowfing of my fpreir, 
Wald fpeid into my erands than ; 
And ye war anis Johne Thomfounis man. 

Ever quhen T think yow hard or dour, 
Or merciles in my fuccour, 
Than pi ay I God, and fvveit Sanft An, 
* Gif that ye war Johne Thomfounis man ! 

St. 3. Li Bartane ; that is, in Britain, for fo the okl Scottifh pom 
fpell ir. 

St. J. " That ye had vowif to the fwan." The ftanza containing 
this line is quoted from the Mait. MS. hy Mr Ttrwhytt in his ex- 
rellent Gioffary to Chaucer ; who there adduces a Angular inflance 01 
this vow from Mattiuw of Weftininfter. When Edward III. was 
fttting out on his laft expedition to Scotland 1306, a feftival was heli, 
3t which " Allati funt in pompatica gloria duo cvgni, vel olores, ante re- 
" gem, phalcrati retibus aureis, vel fiftulis deaurati', defiderabilc fpec- 
a taculutn inttientihus. Quibus vifis, Rex •voium wait Deo caii tt cyg»h 
«' fe prnfjcifci in Scotiam." In the days of chivalry, it w as cufromsry 
for the Knights to make vows to God over a roafted fwan, peacf»cjr, 
pheafant., heron, cr other bird ; and thefe vow were held to be invio- 
.Uble. The bird was afterwards carried 10 the table. 



In the 6th ftanza, Dunbar ventures, without ambiguity, to exprefs 
the deep imprefllon which the charms of the Queen had made upon his 
heart. Such was the freedom both of fpecch and manners of that age ! 
But the moft extraordinary inflance, is his addrcfs to the farr.e Queen 
at a Fafrenis-tvin, in the Mait. MS. The burden, although fome- 
times a little varied in the expreffion, ends throughout with the word 
" pedis" and cannot now be repeated without difguft. 

Sum of your men fie curage hed, 
Dame Venus' fyte fa hatde thame (led, 
Thai brak up dtirris, and raef up lokkis, 
To get ane pamprette on ane pled, 
Th%t thai mycht, &c 

Sum that war ryatus as rammis, 
Ate now maid tame lyk ony tammis, 
And fettin doun lyk far) e crokkis ; 
And hes forfaiken all fie gammis 
That men calls, &c. 

Sum, thocht thamfelfcs {lark lyk gyanus, 
Are row maid waek lyk willy wands; 
With fchir.nis fhsrp and fmall lyk rokkis, 
And gottin thair br.k in baith thair hands, 
For ower oft, &c 

This feems to be the earliefc mention of Lues Venerea by the Scot* 
tlfh poets. The firft ieeds of it nsuft have been f«wn in Scotland in, or 
before I497. And it was then believed to be epidemical. On Sept. 
Zld. of that year, the Privy Council fent the Magiftratts of Edinburgh 
the following order : " That all maner of perf ns within the fredome 
a of this burgh, quhilk ar inft&ir, cr hes bene infefiit of the faid con- 
"■ izgioxs plague callit the grand- go:e, devoyd, red and pafs fur th of this 
" town, and compeir up<un the iandisof l,eith,at ten hours befoir none, 
" and thair Jhall thai have and lynd boatis redie in the bavifi, ordaint 
" to thame be the officers of this burgh, reddeiy furneift with victuals 
u to have.thetn to the Inch, (the liland of,) and there to re- 
'■ mane quhill God prcvyde for thair heahh. And that all uthcr per- 
" fous quhilk take upon them to hale the faid conraigious ii.firmitie, 
" fail devoyd and pafs with them ; fua that nane of thir perfoni q <hilk 
" take fie cure upoun thame, ufe the fair.yn cure within th:« burgh." 
The penalty of contraveption, either by the diieafed or their phyficiar.*, 
was " brynning on the cheik with the marking irn.-, that thai may be 
" kenni'. in tyme to cum ; and thairaftir,gif ony of thanic remains, that 
• thai fall be banift but favour." Hence it appears that this difeafe 
was. known in Ldn. burgh within five years after tic difcovtry of A- 
^ncri:a In th? above mentioned poem, it is once called '.lie Sper.vupodit. 



iPrinted from the copy in Millar and Chepman's 
Mifcellany 1508, compared with thofe of the Bannt. 
and Mait. Manufcripts. ** "This general elegy? 
fays Lord Hailes, " has not the fpirit of fame of 
the earlier compoftions of Dunbar. The folemn 
burden ferves to Jhezu under what imprejjions it was 
compofed by the aged poet, — deprived, we may fup- 
pofe, of his joyous companions ; and probably joflled 
out of court by other wits , younger and more fafhion- 
able. It is far, however, from being defitute of po- 
etical effeB. He mentions the names, and mourns the 
death of no lefs than twenty-three Scottifh poets ; of 
about twelve of whom, not a fngle memorial now re- 
main* ; or, at leaf, is known. Their fate is like that 
of thofe writers in the Auguflan age whom Ovid ce- 

" Ponticus Heroo, Baffus quoqueclarus Jambo, 
• — — magnique Rabirius oris." 

All that is known relative to the others^ has either 
been alrcadf mentioned, or will be found in the notes 
fub joined to this poem. It is rtmnrkahle that Dun- 
Bar does not record the name of James the First as 
a poet /] 



that in heill wes and glaichiefs, 
Am trublit now with grit feikm'.fs, 
Andf'eblit with inflrmitie ; 
'Tincr mortis ccnturhat me. 

1 1, 



Oar plefans heir is all vane glory, 
This falfe warld is bot tranfitory, 
The flefche is bruckle. the feynd is fi e ; 
Timor mortis conturhat me. 


The ft ait of man dois chainge and vary, 
Now found, now feik, now blyth, now fary, 
Now dan fan d mirry , nowvJyjc_tojdie ; 
Timor mortis conturhat me. 


No ftait in erd heir ftandis ficke r ; 
As with the wind wnvis the wicker, 
So waivis this warlds vanitie ; 
Timor mortis conturhat me. 


On to the ded gois all eflaitis, 
Princis, prelottis, and poteftaitis, 
Bayth riche and pur of all degre j 
Timor mortis conturhat me. 


He takis the knychtis into the feiid, 
Anarmyt undir helme and fcheild, 
Wiclor he is at all mellic ; 
Timor mortis conturhat me. 


That flrang unmercifull tyrand 
Taks, on the mod< ris breift fowkand. 
The bab, fall i -■ ' - ?tie; 

Timor mortis conturhat me. 


JAMES IV. I488 — ^1513. 327 


He taikis the campioun in the flour, 
The c apita ne clofit in the toux, 
The lad j in bour full of b ewtie ; 
Timor mortis conturhat me. 


He fparis no lord for his puifcence, 
Na clerk for his intelligence ; 
His awfull flraik may no man Ac ; 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


Art magicianis and aftrologgis, 
Rethoris, logicianis. theologgis, 
Thame helpis no conclufionis fie ; 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


In medicyne the mofl praflitianis, 
l^eichis , farn gianU^andjlUifigianis, 
Thamefelf fra deth ma not fupple ; 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


I fee the Makkaris amang the laif 

Play is heir thair pageant, fyne gois to graif, 

Spairit is nocht thair facultie j 

Timor mortis conturbat me. 


He hes done petuouflie devour, 
The Noble Chawfer of Makaris flowlf, 
The monk of Berry, and Gowyr, all thrc \ 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 




The gude Schir Hew of EglintouD, 
Etrik, Heryot, and Wyntoun, 
He hes tane out of this cuntrie s 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


That fcorpioun fell hes done infek 
Maifter Johne Clerk, and James AfHek, 
Fra balat making and trigide ; 
Timor mortis conturbat me. . 


Holland and Barbour he has berevit ■ 
Allace ! that he nocht with us Ievit 
Schir Mungo Lockhart of the Lee ; 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


Clerk of Tranent eik he hes tane, 
That made the auntris of Gawane , 
Schir Gilbert Hay endit he3 he ; 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


He hes Blind Hary and Sandy Traill 
Slane with his fchour of mortall haill, 
Quhilk Patrik Johnftoun mycht nought fle : 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


He hes reft Merfar his endyte, 

That did in luve fo lyfly wryte, 

So fchort, fo quyk, of fentens hie ; 

Timor mortis conturbat me. 


JAMES IV. 1488 Ij;l3. 32p 


He hes tane Rowll of Aberdene, 
And gentill Rowll of Corftorphyn ; 
Twa bettir fallowis did no man fie ; 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


In Dunferroling he hes done roune 
With Maifter Robert Henrifoun ; 
Schir Johne the Ros enbraift hes he j 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


And he hes now tane, laft of aw, 
The gentill Stobo and Quintyne Schaw, 
Of quhome all wichtis hes pete j 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


Gud Maifter Walter Kennedy, 
In poynt of dede lyis veraly, 
Gret reuth it wer t hatjo fuld be ; 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


Sen he hes all my brether tang, 
He will naught let me leif ajane, 
Onforfe I man his nyxt pray be ; 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 


Sen for the ded remeid is none, 
Bell is that we for dede difpone, 
Eftir our dede that leif may we ; 
Timor mortis conturbat me. 

Vol. I. Tt St. 8. 


St. 8. 1. t- *« In the four." In the duft of war. Sec glofary to 
Douglas's Vrgil, v. Stoure. Sir George Mackenzie obferves, 
Pleadings before the fuf rente courts of {Scotland, p. 1 7. V Sometimes our 
fiery temper has made us, for hade, exprefs feveral words into one, as 
four, for duf in motion" This obfer vation, now become an axiom with 
us, affords a ftriking example of national prejudices : for the Englifli 
duf, reflects motion as well as reft, and the Scottifh/o«r, reft as well 89 

1. 2. " The capitane clofit in the touir." By captane is meant, 

governor of a fortified place, as captain of Norham, of Berwick, of Ca- 

St. 14. 1. 1. " Schir Hew of Eglin-toun." Wintodn, in his 
Chronicle mentions a Hucheon of the Aule Ryall who wrote the roman- 
ces of " Arthur" and •• Gawan " and the Epiftle of Susawna. 
Huchetn being the old Scottifh mode ot Hetii or Hugh, a fufpicion arifes 
that this poet is the Schir Hew here mentioned. 

I. a. " Wintoun." Andrew Winton composed a Chronicle 

Original in Scottifh metre. See page 7. 

St. 15. 1 2. " Clerk." In the Bann. MS. arc two poems fub- 
fcribed " Clerk." One, or both of them will be found near the end 
of this reign. 

— — 1. J. " Trigide." It would feem, that in the language of 
thofe times, tragedy meant any moral defcriptive poem. Thus in 
a poem by Rowll, (fee next page.) 

" This tragedy i$ callit, but drcid 
" Rtivl'u curfing, quha will it reid." 

The poem here called a tragedy, is an invective againft thofe who de- 
fraud the clergy of their dues, and has no refemblance to any fort cf 
dramatic compoCtion. The name of tragedy, for a dramatic compofi. 
tion, was not known in England before the reign of Henkt VIII. See 
PtRCEY, Origin of the Englijbfage, p. JO. 

St. 16. 1. X. " Holland." Author of a poem called the Hoivtat. 
Seep .61. 

— — I. t. " Barbour." John Barbour, Archdeacon of Aber- 
deen, drew up the ads cf Robert I. in Scottifh metre. See p. 1. 

— — 1. 3. " Schir Mungo Lockhart of the Lee." Ido not find thi9 
name in the family of Lee, one of the moil ancient and honourable in 
Scotland. I fufpelc that the perfon here meant has been fome prieft, 
officiating in a chapel belonging to that family. Everyone knows that 
Sir was the common appellation of l'ecular priefts, the Pope's knights, as 
they were vulgarly denominated. Jrl 

St. l J i 

J4ME* iv. 1488—1513, 33I 

St. 17. 1. 2. " That made the auntris of Gawani." Perckt, 
in his EJfay en the ancient metrical romances, p. 2$, 36. mentions three dif- 
ferent poems of the adventures of Sir Gawane. From the fpelling of 
the fpecimens which he exhibits, I incline to think that all the three 
were compelled by Englilhrnen. H. See p. 6l. and l$ ?. Sir Gaw- 
ane was the hero of many a romantic tale; and his character was as 
well known, and as diftinctly marked among our anct.lors, as Homer's 
heroes were among the Greeks. 

■ 1. 3. Schir Gilbert Hat was chamberlain to Charles 
VII. of France ; and, in 1456, translated from French into Scottim, the 
book of Bonet, prior of Salon, upon Battles. From this teftimony of 
Dunbar, it appears that Sir Gilbert alfo wrote poems; but his fub- 
fcription does not occur in any of the ancient collections. 

St. 18. i. 1. *< Blind Hart." A popular poet, who celebrated the 
actions of Wallace. See p. 82. 

1. 3. " Patrick Johkstoun." One poem intitled, lie 

''re dcid po-wit, is afcribed to him. See p. 191. 

St. 19. 1. 1. " Mersar." See his poem, intitled, PerrM in Para' 
tnourt, p. 195. 

St. ao. 1. 1. " Rowll." There is a poem in the Ban**. MS. called, 
Sowlfs curfmg. The following paflage in it determines the *ra at 
which he lived. 

. " and now of Rome that beiris the" rod, 

" Undir the hevin to lowfe and bind, 
" Paip Alexander." 

The Pontiff here meant muft have been the virtuous Alexander VI, 
who was Divine Vice-gerent, from 1492 to 1,503.— Ljndesat alfo men- 
tions Rowll ; but there is no diftinguifhing between the two poets of 
that name. 

Rowll's invective being a iolitary memorial, it would be hard to 
rejefl it entirely. Take therefore the following fpccimrn : 

Devyne power of micbtis maid, 
Of Fader, Sone, and Haly ghaift ; 
Jefu Chryft, and his appoftiilis ; 
Petir, Paull, and his difappilis, 
And all the power under God, 
And now of Rome that beiris the rod, 
Undir the hevin to lowfe and bind, 
Paip Alexander that we do fynd 
With that power that Peter gaif ! 
Gudis braid malefone mot thay haif, 
And all the blude about thair hairt, 
Blak be thair hour, blak be thair pairf, 
Tor fy ve fat geife of Schir John: Ro-wtth, 



With capons, hennis, and uthcr fowllis ; 

Baith the haldaris and confeilaris, 

Reffcttaris, and the previe ftcilaris ! 

And he that faulis faiffes, and dammis, 

Bekith the devill thair guttis, and gammis, 

Thair toung, thair teith, thair hands, thair feit, 

And all thair body hai'l compleit, 

That brak his yard and flail his frutt, 

And raif his erbis up be the rute ; 

His quheit, his aitis, his peifs, his beir 

In ftowk or ftak ; to do hira deir 

In barn, in houfs, in kill or mill, 

Except it had been his awin will : 

His wow, his lamb, his cheis, his ftirk, 

Or ony teynds of haly kirk 

Now curlit and wareit be thair werd 
Quhyll thiy be levand on this erd ; - 
Hunger, fturt, and tribulation, 
And never to be without vexation. ...... 

The panefull gravel and the gutt, 
The gulfoch that thay nevir be bur, 
The fkranyolis, and the grit glengor. 
Thehairfchott lippis them before, &c. &c. 

This tragedy is callk, but drei 

RotuIU curfing, quha will it reid. 

£>uod Rowll.' 

St. 41. 1. I. " Hesdone roune" has rounded, or whifpered in the ear, 
The Bann. MS. reads " has tane Brown." And Lord Hailes ob- 
ferv.s, that in the fame MS. thrre is a poem of a judgement to come, by 
Waiter Brown, probably the pctfon here meant. See p. ao6. 

■ 1. %. " With Mr Robert Henrysoun;" an excellent poet. 
See p. 87. &c. 

— — 1. 3. " Schir Johne the Ros." To this perfon Dunbar ad~- 
drefles his invective agairft Kennedy. The diftinclion of Sir, probably 
relates to his ecclefiaftical character. It fecms uncertain whether Iios was 
his name, or only the place of his refideuce. 

St. 2J. 1. 4. " Quintene Schaw." Some notice will be found of 
Tiim towards the end of this reign; alfo of Kennedy, mentioned in the 
23d ftanza. 

%* In the above poem " watch le thair werd," is, execrated be their 
fate. Gulfoch is, jaundice. Strattyolis , ftrangury. Glengor, lues ven. 
See p. 344. 

Throughout the whole of Millar and Chetman's copy of Dun- 
bar's Lament, the cppnlativc and is printed et. 

on the world's instability. 

[Preferved in the Mait. MS. " It w," fays Mr Pin- 
KERTON, " a well written poem, though beginning 
with a morality r , and ending with a petition for a be- 
neficed Of the objeB in view the poet fays t 

11 It cumis by King, it cumis be $hie?ie t 
11 But ay fie fpace is us betwene," &c. 

And in the next Jlanza, 

n It micht have cumtnun in fchortar quhyl 
" Fra Calyecot, and the new fund Tie" Sec. 

That is " from America," difcovered in 1492. Thefe 
exprefjions fhew clearly that the poem mufl have been 
written about this time. America would not be call- 
ed the new fund Yle after the marriage of James V. 

™ 1537 3 


J[ his waverand warldis wretch idnes, 
The failyand and fruitles biffines, 
The mifpent tyme, the fervice vaine, 
For to confidder is ane pane. 

The flydant joy, the glaidnes fchorr, 
The fenyeid luif, the fals conforr, 
The fueit abayd, the flichtful tranc. 
For to confidder is ane pane. 

The fugurit mouthis, with myndis thairfra ; 
The figurit fpeiche, with faceis tua ; 



The plefand toungis, with harts unplanc, 
For to confidder is ane pane. 

The labour loft, and leil fervice ; 
The lang availl on hi; mil wyfe, 
And the lytill rewarde agane. 
For to confidder is ane pane. 

Nocht I fay all be this cuntre, 
France, Ingland, Ireland, Almane, 
Bot all be 1 talie, and Spane, 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

The change of warld fra weill to wo ; 
The honourable ufe is all ago 
In hall and bour, in burgh and plaiJe ; 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

Beleif dois hyp, traifl dois nocht tarie ± 
Office dois flit, and courtis dois varie; 
Purpo js do is change, as wynd or rane ; 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

Gud rewl is banift our the bordour, 
And rangit rings, bot ony ordour, 
With reird of rebalds, and of fwane j 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

The pepil fo wickit ar of feiris, 
The frutles erde all witnes beiris, 
The ayr infectit and prophane ; 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

The temporale ftait to gryp and gather 
The fone difheris wald the father, 
And as ane dyvour wald him deraane ; 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 


james iv. X488r- 1513. 33$ 

Kirkmen fo halle ar and gude, 
That on their confcience rowne and rude, 
May turn audit oxin and ane wane ; 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

I knaw nocht how the kirk is gydit, 
Bot benefices ar nocht leil devydit ; 
Sum men hes fevin, and I nocht ane. 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

And fum, unworthy to brouk ane ftall, 
Wald clym to be ane cardinall : 
Ane bifchopric may nocht him gane* 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

Unwourthy I, amang the laif, 
Ane kirk dois cr_aif, and nane can have ; 
Sum with ane thraif playis pafiage plane, 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

It cumis be king, it cumis be quene ; 
Bot ay fie fpace is us betwene, 
That nane can fhut it with ane flane. 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

It micht have cummin in fchortar quhyl 
Fra Calyecot, and the new fund Yle, 
The partis of tranfmeridiane. 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

It micht be this, had it bein kynd, 
Cummin out of the deferts of Ynde, 
Our all the grit fe oceane. 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

It micht have cummin out of all ayrtis } 
Fra Paris, and the orient partis ; 



And fra the Ylis of Aphrycane. 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

It is fo lang in cuming me till, 
I dreid that it be quhyt gane will j 
Or bakwart it is turnit agane. 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

Upon the heid of it is hecht 
Bayth unicornis, and crowns of wecht : 
Quhen it dois cum all men dois frane. 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

I wait it is for me provydit; 

Bot fa done tyrfum it is to byd it. 

It breiks my hairt, and burfts my brane. 

Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

Greit abbais grayth I nill to gather, 
Bot ane kirk fcant coverit with hadripr ; 
For I of lytil wald be fane. 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

And for my curis in findrie place, 
With help, Schir, of your nobil grace. 
My fillie faule fall never be flane j 
Na for fie fyn to fuffer pane. 

Experience dois me fo infpyr 
Of this fals failyeand warld I tyre, 
That evermore flittis lyk ane phane. 
Quhilk to confidder is ane pane. 

The formeft hoip yit that I have 

In all this warld, fa God me fave, 

Is in Your Grace, bayth crop and grayne. 

Ouhilk is ane leefing of my pane. 


JAMES IV. I488— 1 513. S31 

P. 534. St. a. " Nocht I fay alt be this cuntre" &c. I do not confine 
rhy obfervatiort to this country, but It extends to France : &c. nay to Ita- 
ly and Spain. P. 

St. 5. * Ribalds" that is, fcoundrels. •' Roy des Ribaux, c'etoit 

autrefois une qualite d' un homme fuivant la cour, dontla fnn&ion etoit 
de faire fortir de la cour, ou de la fuite du Roy, tous les fripons, mal- 
faiteurs, et gens fans aveu." Glojaire du Roman de la Ro/e, 1735. 

P- 335' St. r. " May turn aucht oxin and ane wane." The MS. 
and Mr Pinkerton's copy read, no doubt erroneoufly, opin instead o£ 
toxin. The meaning is palpable, " May turn a waggon drawn by eight 
oxen." Little ufe feems then to have been made of horfes by the huf- 
bandmen. In the days of James I. eight oxen were ufed in a plough: 
Act 81. anno 1426 ordains that " ilk man teilland with a pleuch of 
" aucht oxen, fall faw at the leaft flk year, (i. e. befidcs oats and bar- 
«' ley,) a firlot of quheate, half a firlot of pesfe, and foUrty beanes, un- 
♦* derthe paine of ten millings to the Barronne of the land." Here the 
41ft Act of the fame King alfo deferves notice." " It is ordained that 
«' ilk man of fimple eftaitc, that fuld be of reafon labourers, have outher 
" halfe ane oxe in the pleuch, or elfe delve ilk day feven fine of length, 
«' and feven fute of breadth, under the paine of halfe ane oxe to the 
" King." This fbture, fays Lord Hau es, maybe interpreted in a 
confident and probable manner, if we read U half an oxen pleugh" m- 
ftead of " half an ox in the plcugb.'* For it may be obferved that the 
original records of the ltatutes of James I. are loft; and that we are 
pofTeffed of nothing moic than a tranfeript, into which errors may have 
crept by the carelefsnefs or ignorance of tranfenbersi IF this interpre- 
tation be true, the Act of James I. will be found to be no more than 
a ratification oi the law of Alexander II. c. r. § 3. Anno 1214. " All 
" hufbandmen, qsha hes leffe nor four kye, albeit they can nocht la- 
•' bour and teill land t yit with hand and fute they fall delve the land, 
u and faw as mcikiil as they may, for fuftenation of the life of them 

" and thers. Muirover, quha hes mae nor foUre kye, fall take land 

" fra their maifters, and fall labour it be telling and fawing. And gif 
" he neglects to doe this, his maifter fall take for an amends, (or fine,) 
" ane kow and ane fcheip : and theirafter fall compell him to doe aga- 
" nis his will, quhilk he wald not doe with his will." 

, ' St. 3. 1 he tranfition to the poet's own cafe is arch. In the 
next ftanza, " Ane bifhopric may nocht him gane, fignifies " may not 
avail, or be of any ufe to him." 

■■ St. 6. The new fund Tie, muft be America by eminence, difco- 
vered by Chriftophcr Colon, Aug. 149a. The family name was Co- 

VOL. I. U U . tOMBO 


j.ombo originally; but Chriftopher leaving his country, changed it to 
Colon, and he always figns it fo ; as did his brother and all his family. 
See his life by his fon Don Fernando. 

P. 235. St. 2. " Bayth unicornis, and crovms of wicht." Thefe are 
coins; the firft Scottifh, the latter French. James III. was the firft 
who coined unicorns, or gold coins damped with an unicorn. Sec 
Pinker-ton's Effay on Medals, App. No. III. In a preceding poem 
by Dun bah, page 281. Stanza jth, crojfes alfo are ceins. 



[From the Mait. MS. The lines are here tranjpofed, 
fo as to make the Jirji, fecond, and fourth to rhime, 

according to Dunbar's ufual praclice. " It is en of- 
feBing piece" fays Mr Pinkerton, " though upon a 
poor allegory /" and probably has been written near 

the end of the reign of James IV.] 


S HIR , lat it neir in towne be tald 
That I fould be ane owtlir hald. 

Suppois I war ane aid yaid aver, 

Schott furth our cleuchs to fquifhe the clevk, 

I wald at Youl be houfit and flald 

And get the ftrenth of awftrene bayvar. 

Schir lat it neir in towne be tald. 

I am ane auld hors, as ye knaw, 
That er in duil dois drup and draw. 
To fang the fog be firthe and fald 
Gryt court hors puts me fra the flaw. 
Schir lat it neir in towne be tald. 

I hef run lang, furth in the feild, 
On paftours that ar plaine and peld ; 
My boks are fptuning he and bauldj 
I mycht be now tane in for eild. 
Schir lat it neir in towne be tald; 



My maine is turnit into quhyt, 
And thai r of ye hef all the wyt. 
I gat bot grefs, grype gi'f I wald, 
When uthir hors hed bran to byt : 
Schir neir in towne be tald. 

Exord. 1. 1. " Ane otvtlir held," confidered as an «ut-tyer, or negleeV 
ed perfon. The word fignifies literally, a horfe, or horned beaft that is 
npt houfed during the winter. The MS. reads bozvllis, which (eem» 

St. 1. " Ane auld yaid aver." An old workout horfe ; yaid or yedt 
fignifying gone ; fpent or wafted. «' Tofquiflie the elevir" can be noth- 
ing elfe but to mumble or feed upon foft grafs.'fuch as clover. The 
MS. read* tlcvis, which neither rimes with aver-, nor can be explained. 
" And get the ihenthe of anvjirene bayvtf, or ajlrenc bayard" i. C. '* of & 
fpirited horfe." The MS. reads, " And hed the ftrCnthis of all ftrene 
Levis," apparently nonfenfc, 

St. 3. " My boh are fpruning he and bauld," probably means " My 
corner teeth are growing long apd bare." 

St. 4. 1. 2. ♦« And thairofye hef all the wyt." Ic is remarkable that 
molt of the addreffes to James IV. and V. in this collection partake 
more of the nature of fatire or reproof, than of panegyric. In a frag- 
ment which Mr Pinkerton calls Dunbar's Complaint, the author 
fpeaks of thefe whom the King had been pleafed to prefer to. him, with 
fupreme indignation and contempt ; 

Men of vertew and cunnirg 
Of wir, and wyfdome in gyding 
Thai nccht can in this court conqiiyfg 
For lawte, luif, nor lang (eryyfs; 
Bot fowl jow, jourdane-heidtd jevels 
Covvktns, henfcis, and culroun kevels. .... 
Druncarts, dyfours, dyvours, drevels ? 
Mifgydit membeis of the devels, 
Ewill horrible monfteris, fals and fowl. 
Sum caufis clcik till hirri ane cowl, 
Ane gryt«convent fra fyn to 'tyce, 
And he himfell exampil of vyce, 
Enterand for dcrne ar,d not devotioun, 
The dcvel is gled of his promotioun. ' 
And him that gaits ane perfonage, 
Thinks it a prefent for a page, 


JAMES IV. I488 — 15 13. 341 

And on no wayls content is he, 

My Lord quhill that he callit be. 

The Jerit fon of Eric or Lord, 

Upon this ruffie to remord, 

That with auld callings hes him bred. 

His erands for to ryn and red, 

Seeing his odius ignorance, 

Put on ane prelottis contenanc» ; 

And far above him fet at tabel, 

That wont wes for to muk the ftabel ; . . 

Ane pyk-thank in a prelqtts chayfe, 

With his wawil feit and virrok tais. .... 

And evir mair as he dois rys, 

Aid nobles of bluid he dors difprys, 

And helpis for to hald thame downe, 

That thai rys neir to his renowne. 

Thairfoir, O Prjnce maid by and abil ! 

Be op this mater merciabil 3 Sec, &c. 



Preferred in both of the ancient Manufcripts. The 
advice to be liberal, as commonly happens in fuch ca- 
fes, exhorts to profujion ; in vitium virtus. Ano- 
ther poem by Dunbar on the fame fubjetl has the 
following exprejjion, which ought to be kept in remem- 
brance, as containing more good fenfe thanfome entire 
fyjlems of ethics : 

f* Thoch all the werth that euir had levand wycht 
te Wer onlie thyne, no raoir thy pairt dois fall, 
" Bot meit diink, clais, and of the laif a ficht, 
" Yit to the juge thow fall gif compt of all." 

In modern language DUNBAR probably would have 
expreffed himfelf thus : 

What riches gives us, let us then explore j . 
Meat, drink, and cloaths j what elfe ? ajight of more'. 


JVIan, fen thy lyfe is ay in weir, 

And deid is evir drawand neir, 

Thy time unficker and the place, 

Man ! fpend thy gude quhil thow hes fpace. 


Thow may to-day haif gude to fpend, 
And heftely to-morne fra it wend, 
And leif ane uthir thy baggis to brais ; 
Man ! fpend thy gude quhil thow hes fpace. 


JAMBS IT. 148&— r"5$3fc 343- 


Gif it be thyne, thy felf it ufts, 

Gif it be not, thow it refufis ; 

Ane uthir of it the profeit hes j 

Man ! fpend thy gude < thow hes fpace, 


Cjuhile thow hes fpace,- fe thow difpone, 
That for thy geir, quhen thow art gone, 
No wieht ane uder flay or chace ; 
Man ! fpend thy gude quhil thow hes fpace. 


Sum all his dayis dryvis our in vane, 
Ay gadderand geir with forrow and pane, 
And nevir is glaid at Yule nor Pais ; 
Man ! fpend thy gude quhil thow hes fpace, 


Syne cams ane uder glaid of his forrow, 
That for him prayit no evin nor morrow, 
And fangis it all with mirry face ; 
Man ! fpend thy gude quhil thow hes fpace. 


Sum grit gud gaddefis, and ay it fpairis, 
And efter him thair cumis yung airis, 
That his auld thrift fettis on ane ace ! 
Man ! fpend thy gude quhil thow hes fpace. 


It is all thyne that thow heir fpends, 

And nocht all that on th£ depends, 

Bot his to fpend it that hes grace ; 

Man ! fpend thy gude quhil thow hes fpace. 




Luk how the bairne dois to the rhuder, 

And tak example be nane udder^ 

That it nocht eftir be thy cace ; 

Man ! fpend thy gude quhil thow hes fpace, 


.» « 
Treft nocht ane uther will do the' to, 

It that thyfelf wald nevir do ; 

For gif thow dois, ftrenge is the cace i 

Man ! fpend thy gude quhil thow hes fpacc 

St. 7. 1. 3. « That his auld thrift fettis on ace." This age is not to 
be told what " feittis oh ane ace" implies. It may be more ncccfTwy 
to explain the phrafe *' auld thrift." It is wealth accumulated by the 
fucceffive frugality of his aneeftors. 

St. 9. and 10. The words in thefe two fhnzas are plain, but the 
meaning obfeure. The fenfr is probably this : The child draws milk 
from its mothei's breaft, but gives nothing in rerurn. In like manner 
do not expect that another will do for you, that which you would ne- 
ver do for yourfelf. H. The meaning fcems rather to be : As an ii>- 
fant fubfifts entirely upon the milk which it draws from its mother's 
breaft, fo your heir will probably fpend all ihe wealth which you leave 
to him, before 1 he thinks of any otht r means of fhbfiftence. It will theii 
be impoffible for him to make you enjoy after death, that which you 
could not enjoy while you was in life. 



£ <{ The third flan%a of this poem? fays LoRp Hailes, 
contains an allegory of pleafures lawful and forbid- 
den, and will not bear a particular explanation* 
" Fleis of Spenye/' are cantharides. This circum- 

filance gives us an HIGH idea of the elegance and refine- 
ment of our forefathers" Or, the phrafe may here 

fignify metaphorically, the «' Spenyie difeis," men- 
tioned in a former poem p. 234.3 


JLIE that hes gold and grit richefs. 
And may be into myrrinefs, 
And dois gladnefs fra him expell, 
And lcvis daylie in diftrefs, 
He wii kis forro w to him fell. 


He that may be but fturt or ftryfe. 
And leif an.e lulty plefand lyfe, 
Ard fyne with mareige dois him mell. 
And weddis with ane wicket wyfe, 
He wirkis forrow to him fell. 


He that hes for his awin gainyie 
Ane pltfand prop, bot mank or mennye, 
And fhuttis fyne at an uncow fchell, 
And is forfairn with the fleis of Spenyie, 
He wirkis forrow to him fell. 


And he that with gud lyfe and trewth, 
But variance or uder flewth, 

Vol. I. Xx Dois 




Dois evir mair with ane maifter dwell, 
That nevir of him will haif no rewth, 
We wirkis forrow to him fell. 


Now all this tyme let us be mirry, 
And fet nocht by this warld a chirry ; 
Now quhyll thair is gude wyne to fell, 
He that dois on dry breid wirry, 
I gif him to the devill of hell. 

St. 5. 1. 3. " Now quhyll thair hgude vuyne to fell." Great care vu 
taken in thofe days that the Urges fhould drink no wine but what was 
both good and cheap. In the Reign of James III. 1482, it was 
ordained by Parliament that " na man fail tak upon hand to mix or 
corrupt wine, under pain of death." Alfo, in the Reign of Queen Mary, 
anno is 51, " for fa meikle as the wines that are commonly fold by ta- 
verneirs are mixt with auld corrupt wines, or with water, to the greit 
appearand danger and feiknefs of the buyers, and greit perelle of the 
faulis of the fellars, it is enacted, that na manner of taverneirs fall tak 
upon hand to make onie Cc mixtion, under the paine of cfcheiting all 
and Cndrie thair wines, and tinfell of thair freedome for evir. Alfo, 
that na taverneir fall tak upon hand to bye onie wines at onie dearer 
prices nor tweutie pounde the tar. of Burdeaute wine, and the Rachel 
wine for fextene pounde the tun, and that nane of them fell the famin 
of onie dearer price nor ten pennies the pint (or Englifh half-gallon) 
of Burdeaux wine, and the Rachel wine for aucht pennies the pynt" 
The fame wines coming in by the Weft feas are ordained to be fold at 
aucht pennies and fex pennies the Scotch pint, that i9, 4a. and 3d. per 
quart bottle. At that time rhe Scottifh penny was about one-fourth of 
the Englifh penny. The reader cannot, however", form a oorred judg- 
ment of thefe prices, unlefs he know the value of fome other articles at 
the fame period. The next ftatute of that Parliament, ann» T551, fixes 
thus the prices of wild and tame fowls, &c. : The cran at five (hillings ; 
the fwan, five (hillings; the wild gufe, twa (hillings; the claik, (barnacle,) 
quink, and rute, (bittern,) auchteen pennies the peecc; plover, and 
fmall mure fowle, four pennies ; black cock, and gray-hen, fex pennies; 
the doufane of powtts, twelve pennies ; the quhaip, (curlew.) fex pen- 
nies ; the cunning, twelve pennies ; the wooddc-cocke, four pennies ; 
the doufane of lavrockes, and uthir fmall birds, four pennies ; thefnipe, 
and quailzie, twa pennies ; the tame gufe, fe^teen pennies ; the capone, 
twelve pennies ; hen and pultrie, aucht pennies j the chicken, four pen- 
nies ; the gryfc, auchteen pennies. 



- ah allegory ajjimulaiing a fate to a Jhip, after the 
example of Horace $ and preferred in the MaIT. 
MS. The author of this folitary memorial feems to 
have been a native of Ayr Jhire t and to have died a- 
bout 1500-1505 ; fdr, Dunbar in his " Lament," 
mentions him as recently dead. As a poet he is alfo 
recorded with applaufe by Sir David Lindsay in the 
u Complaint of the Papingo," and by Gavin Dou- 
glas in his " Palice of Honour." By this lajl, and 
in one or -two infantes by Dunbar, he is called 
Quintyne, withbut any addition. Kennedy, in his 
inveclive againft Dunbar, fpeaks of him as his rela» 
tion, and fometimes calls him his " Commif^ar. ,, 

If we may believe the account of Scottish Writers 
given by Dempster, and after him by Mackenzie, 
" In the troublefome times of the Bruce and BauoLj 
ts there flourijhed a famous poet, called QtJiNTYNE, 
" who went over to France, and lived at Paris, 
tf where he wrote and publiihed, in elegant verfe, 
u Querela de Patriae miferia, 1511." If Quin- 
TYNE wrote that elegant poem in the times of the 
Bruce and Baliol, and lived to publifb. it in 15 11, 
he might vie in longevity with the celebrated Johan- 
nes a temporibus.1 




Ouppois the courte yow cheir and tretis, 
And Fortoun on you fchynis and beiis, 
I rid yow than, war lufe I war le ! 
Suppois ye fole betwix twa fcheittis y 
Utheris has falit als weil as ye. 

Gif changes the wynd, on force ye mon 
Bolyn, huke. haik, and fcheld hald on. 
Thairfoir bewar with ane fcharpe blawar s 
Gif ye be wys avyfe heiron ; 
And fet your fale a litle lawar. 

For gif ye hauld your fale ouir ftrek, 
Thair may cum bubbis ye not fufpek ; 
Thair may cum contrair ye not knaw } 
Thair may cum ftormes and caus a lek j 
That ye man cap by wynd and waw. 

And tho' the air be fair, and ftormles, 
Yit thair hauld not your fale ouir pres : 
For of hie landis thair may cum flaggis, 
At Saint Tabbis Heid, and Buchan Nes, 
And ryve your foir-faill all in raggis. 

Be thou vexit, and at undir, 
Your freinds will fra and on yow wondir. 
Thairfoir bewar with our hie lands, 
Sic flags may fall, fuppois a hundir 
War yow to help thai have no hands. 

Dreid this danger, gud freind and brudir, 
And tak example befoir of uther. 
Knaw courtis, and wynd, has oftfys vareif. 
Keip Weill your cours, and rewle your rudir ; 
And think with kingis ye ar not mareit. 

St. 1. 

j^m£s iv. 1488-— 1513. 349 

St. T. War lufe ! -war le ! evidently, fea terms. Sole, foil. 

St. 2. Bclyn feems equivalent to tofs; bolja flu&ns. Goth. — Hail i» 
anchor, it is fuppofed. Hak, unco prtbendcie Goth. Hake is ahidi ; 
•bnka, defiderc, conquiefcere. 

Sr. J. *' That ye man cap by ivynd and tvaiv." Thefc you muii en- 
counter from the wmus and waves. 

St. 4. Slagcrh, in another ftanza^a^-x, feems from _/?*£, -calidiu, z c«s» 
ning blaft. 




[Walter Kennedy, fometimes by mijlahe Andrew, 
from Dunbar's account feems to have been a native 
of Carrick, and to have rejided at Ayr, which he 
tails " hame." He mujl have been a poet of conjide- 
rable repute, though few of his works be now extant. 
They are only the two fatires on Dunbar in their 
*' Fljting," an " Invective againft Mouth-thank- 
lefs," and " The Prais of aige." 

The Fly ting between Dunbar and Kennedy appears 
to have taken place foon after Dunbar's return from 
the Continent. It is in many places obfcure, in many 
more utterly unintelligible. " / incline to think" 
fays Lord Hailes, " that this altercation, which 
for fcurrility is unexampled, may have been a play of 
illiberal fancy , without any real quarrel between the 
antagonifls. 'This idea is confirmed by the affe&ion- 
ate manner in which Dunbar fpeaks of Kennedy 
and '^uintene Schaw in his Lament for the 
death of the Poets." Be that as it may, the entire 
poems cannot now be read with patience. Some parts 
of them, however, are curious, and probably contain 
fome authentic particulars of the hi/lory and external 
appearance of the two rival bards. Ihe firfl four- 
teen fianzas are printed from the Bank. MS. The 
remaining eleven, from MlLLAR and Chepman's Mif- 
cellany 1508.] 


JAMES IT. 1488— 1513, 3;f 


Ochir Johnc the Ros, 

Ane thing ther Is compyld 

In generale, be Kennedie and Quinting, 
(Quhilk has themfelf aboif the fternis ftyld ;) 

But had thay maid of manace ony mynting 

In fpecial, fie ftryfe fuld ryfs bot ftynting, 
Howbeit with boft thair breiftis wer als bendit 
As Lucifer, that fra the Hevin difcendit; 

Hell fould not hyd thair harnis fra harm hynting. 


The eard fuld trymble, firmament fuld fchaik, 

And all the air in vennom fuddane ftink, 
And all the devillis of hell for redour quaik 

To heir quhat I fuld wryt with pen and ink ; 

For and I fiyt, fum fege for fchame fuld fink, 
The fe fuld birn, the mone fould thoill eclipis, 
Roches fuld ryve, the warld fuld hald nae gvipis ; 

Sa loud of cair the fewan bell fuld clink. 


D;eid, dirtfail dearch, that thow has difobeyt 
My coufin ^umtine t and my Commiflar. 

Fantaliick fule, treft weil thow fall be fieyt, 
Ignorant elf, ape, owl, yiregular, 
Skaldit Ikaitbird and common ikandclair ; 

Wanfukkit funling, that Nature maid ane Yrle, 
Baith John the Rofs and thow fall fqueil and ikirle, 

Gif eir I heir ocht of jour making mair. 




*brul t»H 

Erfch brybour baird, vyle beggar with thy brattis, 

C-2S^oitcir! Kennedie, cowart of kynd, 
Ill-fart and dryit, as Den/men on the rattis, 

Lyke as the gledds had on thy gule fnowt dynd ; 

Thow purport; for to undo our Lord Chief 
In Paiflay, with ane poyfon that wes fell, 

For quhilk, brybour, yit fall thow thoill a breif j 
Pelor, I fall it preif on thee my fell. 

V. ftSXftU ai 

Or thow durft move thy mynd malitious, 

Thow faw the fail abone my heid updraw ; 
But Eolus full woid, and Neptunus, 

Mirk and monclefs, was met with wind and waw, 

And mony hundreth myle hyne coud us blaw 
By Holand, Seland, and the Northway coaft, 

In defertis, quhair we wer famift aw ; 
Tit cum I hame, fals baird, to lay thy boift. 


Forworthin fule, of all the warld refafe, ' **** 

Quhat ferly is thocht thow rejoyce to flyte ? 
Sic eloquence as they in Erfchry ufe, 

In fie is fet thy thrawarf.appityte j 

Thow has full litle fell of fair indyte, 
I haif on me ane pair of Loivthiane hipps, 

Sail fairer Inglis mak, and mair parfyte, 
Than thow can blabber with thy Carrik lipps. 


Comerwald crawdon, na man compts the a kerfs ; 
Sweir fwapit fwanky fwyne, keppar ay for fwaitis 


JAMES IV. 1488—1513. 353 

Thy Commiffar ®>uintyne bids the cum kis his eLLSj 
He luvis not fie a loun forlane of laits ; 
He fays, thow fkaiffs and begs mair beir and aits; 

Nor ony criple in Carrik land about : 

Uther Dure beggars and thow ar at debates, 

Decripit callings on Kennedie cry out. 


Matter enneuch I haif* I neid not fenyie, 

Thocht thow, foul trumper, has upon me lied j 

Corrupt carrion, he fall I cry thy fenyie ; 

Thinkis thow not hou thow came in grit neid ? 
Greitand in Gallaway y lyke to ane gallow breidj 

Ramand and rolpand, beggand koy and ox, 
I faw thee there into thy wathmans weid, 
Quhilk wes not worth ane pair of auld gray focks. 


Erfch Katherene with thy polk, breik and rilling, 

Thow and thy Quean as greidy gleds ye gang 
With polks to mill, and begs baith meil and fchilling^ 

Thair is but lyfs and lang nails you amang ; 

Foul heggerbald, for hens this will ye hang ; 
Thow has ane prelus face to play with lammis ; 

Ane thoufand kids wer they in falds full ftrang, 
Thy limmerfull luke wald fley them and thair dammit 


Intill a glen thow has, out of repair, 

Ane laithly luge that wes the lipper mennis, 
With thee ane foutars wyfe, of blifs als bair, 

And lyk twa (talkers fleils in cocks and hens ; 

Thow plukks the poltre, fcho pulls of the pennis. 
All Karrik cryis, God gif this dowf be drownd ; 

And quhen thow heirs ane gufe cry irt the glens, 
Thow thinkft it fweiter than fewand bell of found. 

Vol. I. Y y XI, 



Thow held the burch lang with ane borrowit gown, 

And an caprowfy barkit all with fweit ; 
And quhen the ladis faw thee fae like a foun, 

They bickert the with mony bae and bleit. 

Now upola-ad thow leives on rubbit quhiet, 
Oft for ane caufs thy burdclaith neids na fpredding,- 

For thow has nowther for to drink or eit, 
But like a berdlefs bard that had na bedding. 

XI F. 

Straitgibhons air, that nevir owreftrade ane horfs, 

Blae berfute beirne, in bair tyme wes thow borne - 9 
Thow bringis the CarriJe clay to Edinburgh corfs, 

Upon thy botingis hobland hard as home ; 

Stra wifp» hingis out quhair that the wattis arworne, 
Cum thow agane to fkar us with thy ftrais, 

We fall gar fkale our fculis all the to fcorn, 
And ltane thee up the cawfy quhair thow gaes. 


Of Edinburgh the boy is as beis OTit thraws, 

And cryis out ay, Heir cuins our awin quier clerk ; 
Then fleis thow lyk ane houlat chieft. with craws, 

Quhyll all the bichis at thy botings bark. 

Then carlings cryis, Keip curches in the merk, 
Our gallowis gaipis, lo quhair ane gracelefs gais : 

Ane uthir fays, I fe him want a fark, 
I reid ye, cummer, tak in your lynning clais. 


Then rins thow doun the gate, with gild of boys, 
And all the town tykes hingand at thy heils ; 

Of lads and lowns ther ryfeis fie ane noyis, 

Quhyll reifyrs rynnis away with cart and quheils, 


JAMES IV. I488— I 513. 355 

And cadgers avers caflis bayth coals and creilis ; 
For rerd of thee, and rattling of thy butis- 

Fifche-wyves cry fy, and caft down Hulls and fkeils, 
Sum clalhes thee, fum eloddis thee on the cutis. 



Infenfuate fow, cefs fais Eujlales air, 

And knaw, kene fcald I hald of Alathyu, 

And gar me not the caufe lang to declair, 
Of thy curft kin Deulber and his Allia 1 

. Cum to the corfs on kneis and mak a crya, 

Confefs thy cryme, hald Kennedie thy king, 

And with ane hawthorn fcourge thyfelf and dyng, 

Thus drie thy pennaunce deliquijii quia. 


Fas to my Commifare and be conteit, 

Cour before him on kneis, and cum in will j 

And fyne ger Stobo for thy lyf proteft : 

Renunce thy rymis, baith ban and birn thy bill, 
Heve to the hevyn thy hands, and hald thee ftil!. 

Do thow not thus, brigane, thow fall be brynt 
With pik, tar, fyre, gun-poldre and lynt, 

On Arthuris-fete, or on ane hyar hyll. 


I ambulate of Pemafo the mountayn, 

Infpyrit with Mercury fra his goldyn fpere, 
And dulcely drunk of eloquence the fountayne, 

Quhen purifit with froft, and flowand cleir ; 

And thow cum fule in Merche or Februere , 
There till ane pule and drunk the padok rod. 

That gerris the ryme in termes to thy glod, 
And blaberis that noyis mennis eiis to here. 




Thow lufis nane Erfche elf, I underftand, 
But it fuld be all true Scottifmennis lede j 

It was the firft gud langage of this land, 

And Scota it caufit to multyplie and fprede, 
Quhill Corfpatrick that we of treflbn rede, 

Thy fore-fader, made Erfche and Erfchemen thin, 

Throu his treafon brocht Inglis rumplis in, 

Sa wald thyfell, micht thow to him fucceed. 



Quhairas thow fays, that I ftall hennis and lamms ; 

I let thee wit I haif land, ftore and ftakkis ; 
Thow wald be fain to gnaw, lad with thy gamms, 

Under my burde-fmoch, banis behynd dogs bakkis. 

Thow has a tome purfe, I haif baith ftedis andtakkis j 
Thow tint cultur, I haif coulter and pleuch ; 

i^or fubftance and geir, thow has a widdy teuch, 
On mount talconn y about thy crag to rax. 


And yit mount Talconn gallows is owre fair, 

For to be fylde with lie ane frutles face ; 
Cum hame and hyng on our gallowis of Ayr ; 

To eard thee under it, 1 fall purchafe grace ; 

To eit thy flefh the dogs fall haif nae fpace. 
The ravens fall ryve naething but thy tung rutes ; 

For thow lie malice of thy mafter mutes, 
It is weil fet that thow fie barat brace. 


A fmall fynance amang thy freinds thow beggit, 

To flanche the florm wyth haly muldis, thow lofte : 

Thow failit to get a dowcar for to dregg it ; 
It lyes clofit in ane clout on Seland coail, 


james iv. 1488— 1 513. 357/ 

Sic reule gerris the be fervit with cald roft, 
And fit unfoupit oft beyond the fey, ~~ , "~ J ~ 

Cryant Caritas, at duris, amore Dei> 
Barefute, brekeles, and all in duddis updoft. 


In Ingland, owl, fald be thyne habitacione ; 

Homage to Edward Langfhanks made thy kin j 
In Dunbar thai refaivit him thy fals nacione : 

They fuld be exylt Scotland, mair and myn. 

Ane ftark gallows, a widdy and a pin, 
The heid poynt of thy elders armis are ; 

Written abune in poyfie, Hang Dunbar, 
Quartered draw , and make^tEat furname thin. 


I am the kings blude, his trew and fpecial clerk. 

That nevir yit ymaginit his offenfc, 
Conflant in myn allegeance, word, and wark, • 

Only dependand on his excellence, 

Traiftand to have of his magnificence, 
Gwerdoun, reward, and benefice bedene, 

Quhen that the ravins fall ryve out baith thyne ene, 
And on the rattis fall be thy refidence., 

XXIV nt ' 

Fra Ettrick foreft furthward to Drumfrefe, 

Thow beggit with a pardon in all kirks, 
Collapis, cruddis, meil, grotis, gryce, and geis, 

And undermcht quhyle flail thow flaigs and flirks. 

Becaufe that Scotland of thy begging irks, 
Thow fchaips in France to be a knicht of the felde ; 

Thow has thy clam fhellis and thy burdoun kelde, 
Unhoneft ways all, wolron, that thow wirkis. 



Ane benefice quha wald gyfe fie ane belle ; 

Bot gif it war to gyngle Judas bellis, 
Tak thee a fid ill or a floyte and jeft, 

Undought thow art, ordainyt to nocht ellis ; 

Thy cloutit cloke, thy ikyrp and thy clam-fchellis, 
Cleke on thy corfs, and fare on into France, 

And cum thow neir again but a mifchance ; 
The feynd fare wyth the forthward our the fellis. 

St. 10. 1. I. « On Mount Falconn." So it Hands difUn&ly ifl Mil- 
lar and Chepman's Mifcellany 1508 ; and Faltoneia the Bann. MS. 
But Allan Ram sat in his Evergreen thought proper to change it to 
Mount Saltone ; and Lord Hailes happening to overlook this falfc 
reading, was led to fix upon Saltan in Eafl Lothian as the place of Dun- 
bar's birth or refidencc. Mr Pinkerton, partly from contempt 
of the poem, fell into the fame miftake. The truth is, there is no 
ground for any fuch fuppofition ; nor is there a Angle paffage in all 
Dunbar's works that can lead us to afcertain the county to which he 
belonged. It appears that he often, if not chiefly, refided in Edin- 
burgh ; and probably that was the only reafon he had for boafting that 
he wore " ane pair of Lowthiane hipps." There is, however, a proba- 
bility that he belonged to the county of Fife. Upon the forfeiture of 
Dunbar, Earl of March, anno 1434, the barony of KHcenptbar, or Kin- 
tiebar, in Fife, (probably becanfe it did not hold of the crown,) wasfuf- 
fered to remain with the family, who continued in the pofleffion of it 
until the reign of Queen Mary. Kennedy lays cxprefsly that Dun- 
bar was of the tin of that family. Falkland being fituated very near to 
the Lowmond hills, one of them may have been drftinguifhed, at leaft in 
poetical language, by the name of Falkland Mount ; and in thofe days it 
was alfo natural enough that there fhould be a gallows in the vicinity of 
a royal refidence. Thus the true reading of the paffage may be Falkland 
Mount ; by corruption Fclcann, or Falconn. 

Moreover, in Millar and Chepman's Mifcellany ijo8, we find 
the following ludicrous ballad, which probably alludes to Dunbak, 
from the circumftance of its being placed in the midft of a number of 
potms by, or relative to him. It may be a competition of Kennedy. 

My gudame wes a gay wif, bot fcho wes ryght gend ; 
Scho duelt fer into Fyfe apon Falklann fellis ; 
Thai callit her kynd Kittok, quhafa hir Weill kend ; 
Scho wes like a caldrone cruke, cler under kellys. 


James nr. 1488— 15 13. 3$$- 

Thai threpit that fcho deit of thrift ; and maid a gudc end. 

Eftir hir dede fcho dredit nought in hcvin for to duell : 

.And fa to hevin the hieway ireidles fcho wend, 

Yit fcho wandn't, and yeid by to ane elriche Welt. 

Scho met thar, as I wene, 

Ane afk rydand on a fnaill, 

And cryit, " Our-tane fallow, haill !" 

And raid ane incbe behind the taill, 

Till it wes neir evin. 

Sa fcho had hap to be horfit to hir herbry ; 

Ate ane ailhous neir, it nyghttit thaim thare. 

Scho deit of thrift in this Warld, that gert hir be fo drf, 

Scho neuer eit, bot drank our mefure and-mair. 

Scho flepit quhill the morne at none, and rais airly, 

And to the yectis of hevin fa ft can the wif fair, 

And by San& Petir, at the yet, feho flail prevely. 

God and faw hir lattin in, and lewch his hert fair. 

And thar, yeris fevin, 

Scho levit a gud lif ; 

And wes our ladyis hen- wif ; 

And held San& Peter at ftrif, 

Ay quhill fcho wes in hevin. 

Scho lukit out on a day, and thoght ryght lang,' 

To fe the ailhous befide, intill ane evill hour ; 

And out of hevin the hie gait conth the wif gang, 

For to get hir ane frefche drink, the aill of hevin wes fouV. 

Scho come agane to hevinis yet, quhen the bell rang, 

Saint Petir hat hir with a club, quhill a grete ciour 

Rais in hir heid, becaus the wif yeid wrang. 

Than to the ailhous agane fcho ran, the pycharis to pour ; 

And for to brew, and baik. 

Frendis, I pray yow hcrt fully, 

Gif yc be thrifty, or dry, . 

Drink with my guddame, as ye ga by, 

Anys for my faik. 

It may alfo be added, that probably there never was a gallows at Sal- 
tan ; and certainly there is neither hill nor mount. 

Stanza 24th and 25th. In thefe ftanzas Kennedy paints his antago- 
nift in the drefs and accoutrements of the antient $>uxJH*narii, or beg- 
ging friars. In the Bann. MS. there is a poem called " Symmyt and 
bh Bruder" wheTe the fame particulars are enumerated with greater 
minutenefs. " It is obfeure," fays LofcD Hailes, " but fecms to im- 
port that thefe two perfons were what is turned qu*fiionarii in the 
Scottifh canons 1x4* and iao6." The narrative appears imperfect, and 



like " Chrifts Kirk on the Greene," ends in a fcuffle, but the dclcnp- 
live part of the poem is worthy of notice : 


Thair is na ftorjr that I of heir, 

Of yobne nor Robene Hudt, 
Nor yit of Wallace w:cht but weir, 

That we think half fa gude 
As of thir Palmars twa but peir. 

To heir how thay conclude. 
Into begging I trow fyve yeir 

In Santi- Andre s thay ftude 

Bayth Symmye and his Brtsdcr. 

Thocht thay war wicht, I watrand you, 

Thay had no will to wirk : 
Thay maid them burdowns nocht to bovt t 

Twa bewis of the birk ; 
Weil ftobbit with fteil, 1 trow, 

To ftik into the mirk ; 
Bot fen thair bairds grew on thair mow, 

Thay faw nevir the kirk 

Nowr Symmye nowr his Bruder. 

Syne fchnpe thame np, to Iowp owr lejfsi 

Twa tabartis of the tartane ; 
Thay comptit nocht what thair clowtis wes— 

Quhan lewit thaim on, in certain : 
Syne clampit up San<5t Peter's keif?, 

Bot ot ane auld reid gartane : 
San& Jameis fchrlls on the tothir fyd fhei* 

As pretty as ony partane 

On Symmye and his Bruder. 

Thus quhan thay had reddit the raggis, 

To roume ihay wer infpyrit; 
Tuk up thair taipis, and all thair taggis, 

Fure furth as thay war fyrit ; 
And ay the eldift bure the baggis 

Quhan that the yungifl; tyrit ; 
Tuk counfall at Kirkeiv craggis, 

Than hame as thay war hyrit 

Cum Symmye and his Bruder. 


JAMES IV. I488 — 15 13. 361 

Than held th*y houfs, as men me tells, > »jtil 

And fpendit of their fcis; 
Quhen meit was went, thay flew owr fells 

As biffy as ony bei*. 
Syne clengit thay SanA Jameis fcbells 

And pecis of palm treis : 
To fee quha bell the pardoun fpells, 

I lenrew thame that ay feifs 

: Botlauchtcr, 

Ouod Symmye to his Bruder. . „, 

Quhen thay wox welthfnl in thair winning, 

Thay puft thame up in pryd ; 
But quhen that Symmye evit in finning, 

His Bruder wald haif ane bryd ; 
Hir wedoheid fra the begynniner 

Was neir ane moncth tyd ;, 

Tak witnefs of thame befyd 

Ilk ane, 

Bayth Symmye and his Bruder. 
j j j 

TL !• .1. ...11 v i n • 1 , 

The earns thay thikkit faft in cluds, 

Agane the man was mareit, • >\ 

With breid and beif, and uthir buds, 

Syne to the kirk thame kareit; 
But or thay twynd him and his dudis, 

The tyme of none was tareit. 
Wa worth this wedding, fo/* by thir rudis 

The meit is all milkureit 

To day ! 
Quod Symmye to his Bruder. 

The canon refpe&ing thefe qtiuflienarii, (or as they 3Te fbmetimes 
called Eleemcfynarum qua/lores, and predicaUres^) runs in thefe words : 
«« Quoniam quidam quaflionarii variis illufionibus animas fimplicis po- 
puli feducunt, ftatuimus," &c. that is, " As certain Queftionaries, by 
various deceits, fedi*ce the minds of the unfufpefting people, we ordain, 
that when any Queftionary comes to a church, the minifler of that 
church (hall, on the fame day, rcligioufly explain to his parifhionersthe 
bufinefs of the faid Qu^flionary, according to the regulations contained 
in the letters of the Pope and of the Diocefan ; fo that he (hall in no- 
wife exceed the tenor of the faid letters. But upon no other day in that 
year {hall he on any account admit the fame Queftionary into that 
church on the fame bufinefs. We further ordain it to be ftrictly ob- 
served, that from the beginning of Lent to Eafter, the contribution for 
the building of the church of Glafgow, on all Sundays and Holiday, 

Vol. I. Zz flull 


fliall be faithfully and -diligently propofed to the parifhioners in all 
churches after Mafs, and the indulgence granted to the contributors to 
that building, which we command to be fet up in writing in every 
church, fliall be openly and diftinduy explained to the parifhioners in the 
vulgar tongue ; and that their alms, and the effects of thofe who die 
inteftate, and likewife all pious legacies, according to the cuftom hither- 
to approved of, (hall be faithfully collected, and given without diminu- 
tion to the deacons of the places in the neat eft chapter ; and that within 
the faid period no one fliall admit folicitations for other contributions in 
parochial churches". 

In the Cbrtiutlt of Mtlro/e, John Bifhop of Glafgow is faid to have 
built the cathedral church in 1136, and Joceunc is faid to have re- 
built it in 1197. But we learn from this Canon, that fifty years »ftejr 
the death of Jocbline, the building was not completed-* 


— i 


NE agit man twyce fourty yeirs, 
Aftir the haly days of Yule, 

I hard him fay amang the freirs, 
Of order gray, makand grit dule, 
Richt as he war a furious fule ; 

Oft-tymes he ficht, and faid alace ! 
Be Chryft, my cair ma nevir cule, 

That evir I fervt Mouth-thanklefs. 


Throch ignorance, and folly, youth, 

My preterit tyme I wald neir fpair, 
Plefance to put into that mouth, 

Till aige faid, fule, lat be thy fare ; 

And now my heid is quhyt and lair, 
For feiding of that fowmart face, 

Quhairfor I murn baith late and air, 
That evir I fervt Mouth-thanklefs. 


Gold and filver that I micht get 

Brotches, beifands, robbis, and rings, 
Frely to gif, I wald nocht let, 

To pleife the mulls attour all things. 

Rycht as the fwan for forrow fings, 
Befoir her deid ane litill fpace, 

Rycht fa do I, and my hands wrings, 
That evir I fervt Mouth-thanklefs. 




Bettir it were ane man to ferve 

With worfchip, and honour, under ane fheild, 
Nor her to pleis, thocht thou fuld fterve, 

That will not luke on the in eild, 

Fra that thou has na hair to heild 
Thy heid frae harming that it hes, 

Quhen pen and purfe and all ar peild, 
Tak then a meifs of Mouth-thanklefs. 


And in example it may be fene, 

The grund of truth quha underftude, 
Frae in ane bag thou beir thyne ene, 

Thou gets na grace but for thy gude ; 

At Venus clofet, to conclude, 
Call ye not this ane cankerit cafe : 

Now God help and the haly rude, 
And keip all men frae Mouth-thanklefs, 


O brukil youth in tyme behald, 

And in thy heart thir wordis graif, 

Or thy complexion gadder cald, 
Amend thy wifs, thy felf to faif, 
The hevynis blifs gif thou wald haif, 

And of thy gilt remit and grace. 
All this I hard an auld man raif, 

After the Yule of Mouth-thanklefs. 





/xt matyne houre, in midis of the nicht, 
Walkeit of fleip, I faw befyd me fone, 
Ane aigit man, feim it fextie yeiris be ficht, 
This fentence fett, and fong it in gud tone ; 
O thrjn-fold, and eterne God in trone ! 
To be content and lufe the I haif caus, 
That my licht yowtheid is our pad and done ; 
Honor with aige to every vertew drawis. 


Grene yowth. to aige thow mon obey and bow* 
Thy fulis lufl leftis fkant ane May ; 
That than wes witt, is naturall foly now, 
Warldy witt, honor, riches, or frefche array ; 
Deny the devill, dreid deid and domifday, 
For all fall be accufit, as thow knawis j 
Bleflit be God, my yowtheid is away ; 
Honor with aige to every vertew drawis. 


O bittir yowth ! that femit delicious j 

O fweteft aige ! that fumtyme femit foure ; 

O rekles yowth ! hie, hait, and vicious ; 

O haly aige ! fulfillit with honoure ; 

O flowand yowth ! frutles and fedand flour, 

Contrair to confcience, ley th to luf gud lawis, 

Of all vane gloir the lanthorne and mirroure ; 

Honor with aige till every vertew drawis. 




This warld is fett for to diflaive us evin ; 
Pryde is the nett, and covetece is the trane ; 
For na reward, except the joy of hevin, 
Wald I be yung into this warld agane. 
The fchip of fayth, tempeftous winds and rane 
Of Lollerdry, dryvand in the fey hir blawis j 
My yowth is gane, and I am glaid and fane, 
Honor with aige to every vertew drawis. 


Law, luve, and lawtie, gravin law thay ly ; 
Diffimulance hes borrowit confcience clayis ; 
Writ, wax, and felis ar no wayis fet by ; 
Flattery is foftent baith with freinds and fayis. 
The fone, to bruik it that his fader hais, 
Wald fe him deid ; Sathanas fie feid fawis : 
Yowtheid, adew, ane of my mortall fais, 
Honor with aige to every vertew drawis. 


St. 4. — — " Tempeft6us winds and rane 
« Of LolLrdly dryvand." 

Kennedy, from this expreffion, appears to have been a zealous par- 
tifan of what was termed the oldfa'Ub ; whereas the poets his cotempo- 
raries were either lukewarm in thair religious tenets, or inclined to the 
tiirw opinions. The name of Lollard is well known both on the conti- 
nent and in Britain. The derivation is faid to be from the German 
/alien, in allufion to the drawling unifon which they appear to have af- 
fected in their prayers and religious hymns. When the Lollards were 
firft difcovcred in England, the Bifhops were at a lofs how to defcribe 
their tenets. In 1387, Henry, Bifhop of Worcefter informed his cler- 
gy that they were " followers of Mahomet." Some of their cenclufions 
or tenets, as prcfented by themfelves to Parliament in the reign of 
Richard II. are expreffed with a Cngular naivety. Thns, agalnft the 
cthbacy of the clergy, it is faid " Delicata cibaria virorum ecclefiafli- 
corum, volunt habere naturalem purgationem, vel pejurcm."— That 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 367 

were holy water as efficacious as is pretended, it would be a cure for all 
fores, the contrary whereof experience teaches : — And again, if all the 
inftruments of the paffion, fuch as the nails and the fpear are to be ve- 
nerated, the lips of Judas Ifcariot, could they be procured, would prove 
excellent relics. The recantation of one William Dfnot, a Lollard, 
made in 1396 before the Archbifhop of York, contains the following 
expreffions: " I fwere to God, and to all his fayntis upon this holy goi- 
pell, that fro this day forward I Jball •worfiip ymages with praying, and 
offering unto them in the worfchop of the layntis, that they be mad« 
after ; and alfo I fhall be buxum to the lawes of haly chirche ; and alfo 
1 fhall (land to your declaration (as to) ivbieb is herefy or errour, and 
do thereafter." 

It is generally held, that in England before the days of Henry IV. 
heretics were not capitally convicted. But the horrid writ anno 1401, 
in Rimer's Fcedera, ordains the heretic " igni committi, et in eodem 
igne realiter comburi." It was not enough to pafs through the fire to 
Moloch: Holy Church required an un-equivocal burning. In Scotland, 
anno 1407, during the regency of Robert Duke of Albany, the clergy, 
for the firft time, ventured on the experiment of burning a heretic : 
And it is remarkable that this firft victim of holy feverity was an Eng- 
liihman, by name James Resby ; — " propter certas conclufioncs, qua- 
rum prima eft, Papa defatlo non ejl Cbrijii vicarius j Nullui eft Papa, net 
Qkrifii vicarius, nift fit fanclus : de talibus et pejoribus tenuit XL. conclufwna 
cujus libri adbuc rcjiant curiofeftrvanturfcr LoiARDOS in Scotia." fonL 



£pUNBAR, in his " Lament for the death of the Ma- 
kers," Jlanza i$tb, mentions a MaiSter Johns 
Clerk as having been taken by death 

" Fra ballat making and trigide." 

And in the Bann MS. we find this and the fucceeding 
poem, with the fignature, $>uod Clerk. Their file 
zV quite- different from that of Clerk, the author of 
•f Sir Gawane." It is therefore probable that they 
are compactions of the fame Maister Johne ; as 
we ean hardly fuppofe that before the year 1568, {the 
date of the Bann. MS.) there had been a THIRD poet 
of the fame name.^ 

Jl ain wald I luye T bot quhair about, 
Thair is fo mony luvaris thairout, 
That thair is left no place to me j 
Quhairoff I levit haif in dowt, 
Gif I fowld luve, or lat it be. 

Sa mony ar thair ladeis treitis, 
With triumphand amoros balletis ; 
And dois thair bewties pryfs fo he, 
That I find nocht but daft confaitis 
To fay of luve — Bot lat it be. 

Sum thinks his lady luftieft ; 
Sum haldis his lady for the befl j 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 369 

Slim fayis his luve is A per fe ,• 
Bot fum, forfuth, ar fo oppreft 
With luve, war bettir lat it be. 

Sum for his ladyis luve lyes feik, 
Suppois fcho compt it nocht a leik ; 
And fum drowpes down as he wald die ; 
Sum ftreykis down a threid bair cheik 
For luve, war bettir lat it be. 

Sum luvis lang, and lyes behind ; 

Sum luvis, and freindfhip can nocht fynd ; 

Sum feftnit is, and ma not fle ; 

Sum led is lyk the belly-blynd 

With luve, war bettir lat it be. 

Thoch luve be grene in gud curaige, 
And be difficill till aflwaige, 
The end of it is miferie. 
Mifgovernit youth makis gowfty aige, 
Forbeir ye mot, and lat it be. 

Bot quha and fytly wald imprent, 
Sowld find his luve maift permanent, 
Luve God, thy prince, and freind y all thr e, 
Treit weill thyfelf, and fland content, 
And lat all uthir luvaris be. 


Vol. I* A a a ane BrtASfl 



In fecret place this hinder nicht, 

I heard a bairn fay till a bricht, 

My hinny, my howp, my heart, my heily 

1 haif been lang your luivar leil, 

And can of you get comfort nane ; 
How lang will ye with danger deil ? 

Yebiekmy heart, my bony ane. 


Quod he, my heart,, fweit as the hinny", 
Sen that I bora was of my minny, 
I nevir wouit an uther but you ; 
My wame is of your luve fa fbu, 

That as a ghaift I glowr and giane,. 
I trymbil fa ye wadna trow, 

Ye brek my heart, my bony ane. 


Tehei, quod fcho, and gaif ane gawf, 
Be ftill my cowfyne. and my cawf, 
My new fpaind howphyn frae the fouk, 
And all the blythnefs of my bouk, 

My fwanky fweet, faif thee alane 
Na leid haif I luivd all this owk ; 

Fow leis me on that graceles gane. 


Quod he, my claver, my curledody, 
My hinnyfopps, my fweit poffody, 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 371 

Be not owre bowftrous to your billy, 
Be warm Jier tit, not ill willy ; 

Your hals as whyt as quhalis bane, 
Gars rife on loft my quilly-lilKe ; 

Ye brek my heart, my bony ane. 


Quod fcho, my clip, my unfpaynd lam, 
With mithers milk yit in your gam, 
My belly-hudi om, my hurle-bawfy, 
My honneyguks, my filler tawfy, 

Your pleins wad perfs a heart of flane j 
Tak comfort, my greit headit gawfy ; 

Fou leis me on your gracelefs gane. 


Quod he, my kid, my capercalyeane, 
My bony bab with the ruch brilyeane, 
My tender girdil, my wally gowdy, 
My tirly mirly, my fowdy mowdy, 

Quhen that our mouths do meit in ane, 
My Hang dois cork in with your towdy ; 

Ye brek my heart, my bony ane. 


Quod fcho, then tak me be the hand, 
Welcom my golk of Maryland, 
My chirry and ray maiklefs mynyeon, 
My fucker fweit as ony unyeon, 

My ftrummil ftirk yit now to fpane, 
I am applyd to your opinyion j 

Fou leis me on that graceles gane. 


He gaif till hir ane aple-rnby ; 
Gramerce, quod fcho, my kind cowhubby ! 



Syne thay twa till a play began, 
Quhilk that they call the dirrydan. 

Quhile baith thair fancies met in ane, 
O wow ! quoth (he, quhair will ye man, 

Leil leis me on lhat graceles gane. 


The Maitiamq MS. afcribes this poem to Donbab, 




- Attributed in the Bann. MS. to Dunbar ; in the 
Maitland, with more appearance of truth, to Sir 
James Inglis ; the conJlniBion offianza, and divi- 

fon of meafure being conjiderably different fro?n the 
manner o/" Dunbar. James Inglis, (or English,^ 
denominated Sir becaufe he was a dignified priejl, ap- 
pears from authentic documents, to have been Secretary 
to Queen Margaret, and afterwards Abbot of 
Cujrofs. We muji alfo fuppofe him to be the per f on 
to whom James IV. addrejfes a letter on the fubJeSi 
of Alchemy ; fee page 311 of this Volun\e. Sir 
David Lindsay in his " Teftament of the Papingo," 
written in 1530, commemorates him thus : 

?' Quho can fay more than Schir James Englifli fays 
" In balletis, fairies, and in pleafaunt plaies ! 
t( Redd in cunnyng, in pra&yck rycht prudent ; 
*' But Culrofs hath his pen made impotent.'* 

He was murdered in March 153*, by the Baron of 
Tulliallan, who foon after fujfered decapitation for 
the crime. It has been already remarked that Dun- 
bar muji have died about, or foon after 1520. Con- 
fequently the fir Jl line of flan%a tenth cannot allude to 
the College of Juftice, injlituted in 1532, hut to the 
Lords of Daily Council, appointed in 1503 / and 
thus the poem , whether by Sir James Inglis, or by 
Dunbar, muji have been written between 1 503 and 
1 5 13, when agreeable to Jlanza fourteenth, the good 
people of Scotland had an opportunity of reviling both 
a King and §hteen. Lord Hailf.s feems, therefore, 
erroneous in his chronology of this poem, lie fays it 



mfift have been written after the marriage of James 
V. in 1538 ; that is, about feven years after the death 
of Sir James Inglis, or feventeeh after the death of 
Dunbar ; and we have no right to afcribe it to any 
other perfon. Of the other " Balletis, fairies, an4 
plays" mentioned by Sir David LlNDSAT, not a vef. 
tige is now known.'} 



"evorit with dreim, devifing in my fluiriber, 
How that this realme, with nobillis out of number 
Gydit, provydit fa mony years hes bene ; 
And now fie hunger, fie cowartis . and fie cumber, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


£ic pryd with prellattis, fo few till preiche and pray, 
Sic hant of harlottis with thame, bayth nicht and day. 
That fowld haif ay thair God afore thair ene, 
So nice array, fo ltrange to thair abbay, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


So mony preiftis cled up in fecular weid, 
With blaring breiftis calling thair claiths on breid, 
It is no need to tell of quhome I mene, 
Sa few to reid the dargey, and the beid, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


So mony maifleris, fo mony guckit clerkis, 
So mony weftaris, to God and all his warkis, 
So fyry fparkis, of difpyt fro the fplene, 


JAMES IV. I488— 1 513, ||| 

Sic lofin farkis, fo mony glengour markis, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


So mony lords, fo mony naturall fules, 
That bettir aceordis to play thame at the trulis, 
Nor ftanche the dulis that commons dois fuftene $" 
New tane fra fculis, fo mony anis and mulis, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


Sa meikle treflbne, fa mony partial fawis, 
Sa littill reflone, to help the common cawis, 
That all the lawis ar not fet by ane bene ; 
Sic fenyiet flaw is, fa mony waft it wawis, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


Sa mony theivis and murderts weil kend, 
Sa grit releivis of lords thame to defend, 
Becauis they fpend the pelf thame bet wen e ; 
Sa few till wend this mifcheif till amend, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


This to corre£t, they fchow with mony crakkis, 
But littil efFecl of fpeir or battar ax, 
Quhen curage lakkis the corfs that fould mak kene ; 
Sa mony jakkis, and brattis on beggaris bakkis, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


Sic vant of wouflours with hairtis in findrie ftatures, 
Sic brallaris and bofteris, degenerait fra their natures, 
And fie regratouris, the pure men to prevene ; 



Sa mony traytouris, fa mony rubeatouris, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 

Sa mony jugeis and lords now maid of late ; 
Sa fmall refugeis the pure man to debait ; 
Sa mony eft ate, for commoun weil fa quhene? 
Owre all the gait, fa mony thevis fa tait, 
Within this land was nevii hard nor fene. 


Sa mony ane fentence retreitit, for to win 
Geir and acquentarrce, or kyndnefs of thair kin ; 
Thay-think no fin, quhair proffeit cumis betwene ; 
Sa mony a gin, to haifl thame to the pin, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 

XI I. 

Sic knavis and crakkaris, to play at carts and dyce, 
Sic halland-fcheckaris, quhilk at Cowkelbyis gryce, 
Are haldin of pryce, when lvjjjaris do convene, 
Sic itore of vyce, fa mony wittis unwyfe, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


Sa mony merchandis, fa mony aythis fworne, 
Sic pure tenandis, fie courfing evin and morn, 
Quhilk flayis the corn, and frucl: that growis grene : 
Sic fkaith and fcorne, fa mony paitlattis worne, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


Sa mony rackettis, fa mony ketche-pillaris ; 

Sic ballisj fie nachettis, and fie tutivillaris, 

And fie evil-willaris to fpeik of King and Quene, 



james iv. 1488— 1513. 377 

Sic pudding-fillaris, defcending doun fronl miliaria, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


Sic farthingaillis on flaggis als fatt as quhailis, 
Sic faceit lyk fules with hattis that littil availis j 
And fie fowill tailis to fweip the caufay clene, 
The duft upfkaillis, mony fillok with faik falis, 
Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 


Sa mony ane Kittie, drefl up with goldin chenye ; 

Of Satan's feinye fie arte unfell menye 

With apill-renyeis ay fhaWand thair femblance fchene. 

Sa few witty, that weil can fabillis fenyie, 

Within this land was nevir hard nor fene. 

St. a. 1. I. " Prellatis, fo few till prciche and pray." For illuflration 
•f this charge, fee preface to Archbifliop Hamilton's Catecbifm 1553, 
&nd the firft book of Knox's Hiftory. 

— — 1. 2. ** Sic hant of harlottis with thame bayth nicht and day.'* 
Lord Hailes, miflaking the chronology of this poem, had an op- 
portunity of introducing the following curious commentary on this 
line. David Bethune, Abbot of Aberbrothock in 1525, afterwards 
Archbifliop of St Andrew's, and a Cardinal under the title of Sanfli 
Stepbani in Coelio Monte, had three baftards legitimated in one day ; Rec 
b. 26. No. 330. William Stewart, Bifhop of Aberdeen, from 153* 
to 1545, had a baflard fon legitimated ; ibid. b. 28. No. 360. Willi- 
am Chisolme, Bifhop of Dumblane, from 1527 to 1564, gave great 
portions to his baflard fon and two baflard daughters ; Keith, Catalogue 
of Scottifh Bifhops, p. 105. Alexander Stewart, Bifhop of Moray, 
from 1527 to 1534* had a baflard daughter legitimated ; Rec. b. 30. 
No. 116. : and a baflard fon legitimated; ibid. b. 30. No. 374. But 
they were all excelled by Patrick Hepburn, Bifhop of Moray, from 
1535 until the Reformation, for he had fivt baflard fons all legitimated 
in one day; ibid. b. 30. No. 585.: and two baflard daughters, b. 30. 
No. 572. Such were the goodly fruits of clerical celibacy ! They among 
the reformed who looked back to Rome, always revered the pure poli- 
tic celibacy of that church. 

Vol. I. B b b St. 2, 


St. 2. 1. 4- " So Grange to thair abbay." The practice of holding 
benefices in commendam, became prevalent under the reign of James IV. 
Of this there are various examples in Epifiolce Reg. Sett. vol. I. From 
that period until the Reformation, benefices were, by a fhort-fighted 
policy, heaped on the relations or the retainers of the nobility: mean- 
time, learning, morals, and even difcipline, were neglected. A clergy 
without knowledge and without virtue, could neither withstand the 
affaults of innovators, nor maintain authoiity over the minds of the 

St. 3. 1 1. '« Cled up in fecular weid." This affectation of wearing 
the drefs of laymen was very ancient. The Scottiih Canon XI. annu 
114a, ordains, " That the Clergy fhall be decently arrayed, both in the 
ftate of their minds, and in the drefs of their perfons; that they Ihall 
not wear red, or green, or tartan attire, nor doathes remarkable for 
their fhortnefs. Vicars too, and priefts, fhall have their garments clofe 
above ; they fhall wear a fuitable tonfure, left they offend the fight of 
beholders, to whom they mould be a pattern and example. But if they 
fhall refute to amend when admonifhed by the Ordinaries, they fhall be 
fufpended from their office," &c. 

St. 4. 1. 1. " So mony maiferis, fo mony guelit " clerkis." So many 
matters of arts among the clergy, and yet fuch general ignorance. Guilt 
gozvd is properly the enckow. 

1 3. " Of difpyt fro the fplene." From the fpleen ; and the 

fenfe of the expreffion feems to be, fo thoroughly infolent and over- 

1. 4. « Lofin farks." So many loft fhirts; fuch petty larceny ? 

" Glergour markis." Luis venerea indicia. 

St. $. 1. %. " To play thame at the trulis." This is obfenre. Trouil % 
in the dialect of Poitou, means a fpindle : fo that to play at the trulis, 
may imply to hold the diftaff, to amufe one felf in female occupations. 

St. 6. 1. t. " Sa mony partial /aiuei. u So many partial fentences or 

1. 4. " Sic fenyet fiatois" Poffibly pretended defects in the 

title-deeds of eftates, ufed as an engine of oppreffion ; or it may mean 
falfe tales in general. 

St. 8. 1. 1. —3. The Nobles loudly declared their refolutions to reme- 
dy this grievance ; but they are like cowards, who arm while they dare 
not fight. 

St. 9. 1. I. " Vant of locvfere." A wofter is ufed in Pierce Ploiuman 
for a tbrafo, or milet gioriofus. It is the fame as ioa/Itr. In modern 
Englifh, b and w are often reciprocal letters. 

1. 3. " Regratourit." Engroffers and foreftallers ; of whofe 

offences, moftly imaginary, the ia both kingdoms is full. 


james iv. 1488 — 1513. • 379 

St. 10. 1. %. " Sa fmall refugeb the pure man to debait." As if he 
had faid, " Such little quirks to lay the poor man low." Refuge, in 
Cotgnw, is faid to be demurrer. 

1. 3. - For common weil fa quhene." So few zealous for the 

public good. We ftill ufe tuhcent in the fenfe of a few. 

i. 4. " Sa mony thevis fa tail." Probably tate, tyte, ready and 

expedite in every highway : So many active thieves. 

St. II. 1. 1. ** Sa mony ane fentencc rttreitlt for to win," &c. So 
many judgements reverfed in order to obtain money, or the friendfhip 
and patronage of the parties. 

I. 4. M Haift thame to the pin." So many devices to forward 

their preferment. Pin is point or pinnacle. 

St 12. 1. 2. w Sic balland-fcbeckaris." From builkns, rags, and Jhalers ; 
a word ftill ufed to exprefs 1 beggarly knave. . 

' I. a. " Quhilk at Cowielbyis gryce." This alludes to a popu- 
lar poem preferved in the Bann. MS. One Cowkelbe had a black 
/ow which he fold for three pennies. He loft one of thofe pennies ; it 
was found by a perfon who purchafed a pig with it. A very numerous 
company was invited to feaft upon this pig. The guefts are enumerat- 
ed m the tale. It would be tirefome to mention them ; they are, in ge- 
neral, wicked, lewd, and diforderly perfons ot every degree. The lift 
is thus doled up, 

" And twa lerit men thairhy, 

.'• Schir Ochir, and Schir Simony." 

which, as I underftand it, would be thus exprefTed in modern language: 
•' And alfo two learned perfonages, the Reverend Da. Usurv, and the 
Reverend Dr Simony." 

The poem is tedious, and as to verfification, below contempt. It 
contains, however, fome curious particulars concerning the manners of 
the vulgar; and muft be of confiderable antiquity. Gawin Douglas, 
in his Palue of Honour, written in 1501, mentions it among other re- 
nowned hiftories, fuch as Robene Hude, Ralph Colyear, Fyn MacCovi!, 
&c. that were recited by the ancient bards tor the entertainment of our 
forefathers. The following lift of the fafhionqblc dances may be accep- 
table to the Mufical Antiquary : 

Than all the menftralis, attonis, 
Blew up and playit for the nonis, 
Shepherdis, nolt-herdis, 
And fwynherdis out-gerdis. 
Ane led the daDs and began, 
Play us foly Lemman ; 
Sum trottit Iras andtrevafi, 
Sum balterit The Bafs ; 
Sum Perdelly, fum Trolly lully. 



Sum Cok crate thoixi quhill day % 
Ttoys-bani, and Terivay. 
Sum Ltncolmc, fum LinJfay, 
Sum Lemman, dawis it no cht day ; 
Sum Be yon tvode-ftde fingis, 
Sum Lait lait on evinnyngh ; 
Sum movit moil Mai revill, 
Sum Symontfonnis of Qubynfcll ; 
Sum Maijler Pier de Conyate ; 
And udir fum in confaite 
At lcfer dreffit to dans 
Sum Our-futt, fum Our-brant. 
Sum Rujly bully with a bck, 
And eviry noce in udiris nek; 
Sum the Tane of Tartary, 
Sum the Soldan of Surry. 
Than all arrayit in a ring, 
Danfit My deir darlyng. 

The reader will now understand who they were, 

■ " quhilk at Cowkelbyis gryce 
u Are halden of pryce, when lymaris do convene." 

Limmer is fuppofed to mean mungrill. It is here underftood of every 
worthlefs perfon. In the modern Scottifh language, it is fuppofed to 
mean a loofe woman ; and indeed, if Lye's derivation of the word in 
his additions to Jomvs be right, that was its original and proper figni- 

St. 13. 1. 2. " Sic curftng even and morn." Such conftant courCng 
or hunting with greyhounds, as appears from the context. 

— — 1. 4. " Sa mony paitlattis worne." Parpailautty pat telet, parte- 
lot, is a woman's ruff. In page 324 of this volume, line 11, the word 
pamprette ought probably to be parplet, or partelot, a word ufed by 
Gavin Doiclas; corrupted apparently from Chaucer's popelote, 
which Tyrrwhitt fays may be confidered as a diminutive of the 
French ptuple, or the Latin pupula, a puppet ; or as a corruption of pa- 
pellot, a butterfly ; in either fenfe Signifying a young wench, comptula, 
delicatula. Pamprette might, however, be formed to fignify a baccha- 
nalian nymph, from the French pampre, decked with vine leaves. 

St. 14. 1. 1. " Sa mony ractetth." Chaucer, Teflament of love, p. 
<8». ufes the phrafe, " playing raiet," for being inconftant. If the 
word is here taken in that fenfe, the meaning is, fo much inconftancy 
either in private life, or in political principles. 

— — 1. r. " Sa mony ketcbe-plllarh." Probably a corruption of the 
French gafpilfar, a fpendthrift Mait. MS. reads taitbaris and gillaris t 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 381 

which from the Ang. Sax. and Ifl. may Ggnify oftentatiotu and clamo- 
rous talkers. 

St. 14. 1. 1. " NattcttU." A nacqutt, in French, is a lad who marks 
at tennis. It is now ufed for an infignificant perfon. 

— — 1. 4. « futivillaris" Junius in etymol. voc. Tromperies, has the 
following note : " Res nihili, things of no -worth, olim titivilitia puto dic- 
ta ; prout antiquis titi-vilitierum nomen denotabat fila pmrida, quae de 
colo cadunt, plurefque id genus res vilifiimas, quas proborum mercimo- 
niorum loco fimplicioribus obtrudunt impoftores." 

Among the other guefts at Cockelbe's feaft, there is a tuttivillus. 
This {hews how loofc our orthography was while there were few books, 
and men fpelt by the ear. 

1. 4. " Sic pudding-fillars defcending doun from tnillarh" 

Such gluttons defcended of miliars, feems to be perfonal fatire, and, at 
this diftance of time, inexplicable. H, Probably the poet had in his 
eye the following ftory, related by Winton. 

Dunkan be nay me, intil Scotlande, 
Sex wyntir ful was kyng regnande. 
He gat tua fonnys of lauchful bede ; 
Yit nevirtheles, in his youtheide, 
As he paft apon a day, 
Intil huntyng hym to play, 
With honeft cowrt and company, 
On his gamyn al thouchty, 
The liable, and the fetis fet ; 
Hymfelf with bow, and brcflet ; 
Fra flak til hil, our holme and hicht, 
He travalit al day, quhil the nycht 
Hym partit fra his company. 
Than was he wil of herbery, 
Yit nevirtheles, fwa waverand wil, 
He hapnyt to cum to the myl 
Of Fortevyat the myller, 
That hym reffavit, on gud maner, 
Til met, and drynk, and til herbery ; 
And fervit hym richt curtafly. 

Thi3 myllar had a douchtyr fayr, - 
That to the kyng had oft repayr. 
That til her fadyr difpleyflit noucht \ 
To be relevit for that he tboucht. 
Of that repayr bathe he and fcho, 
His wil the bettyr was tharto : 
§a fcho broucht hym a preffande, 
That fcho trowit til hym pleyfande. 
Hir, and hir prefande, thankfully 
He reffavit, and curtafly. 



And char he cheyfit that woman 
To be fra thyne hij luffi .eman. 
That ilk ny'rht, that the kyng 
Tiik nth themyller th ; < reftyng, 
Into bede withe hir he. lay, 
And gat on ltir a fon or day ; _ 

That was Malcolm of Scotlande, 
Tharefter crownyt kyng regn*nde. 

St. 15. 1. 1. " Sic farthippfalhs." From the Fr. verdugalle, a corrup. 
tlon u. vertu-garde, a hoop petticoat. It wih icrcely he believed in this 
age. that in the laft, the city ladies reformed th^ir heieditary far? v 'rig- 
ales, after the Scottifh fafhion. In a comeuy called Eafl-wari H*e, 
Act 1. Doosley's Collection of old plays, vol. 4. p. 155. 157. " En- 
ter Foldavy, a French tailor, with a Scottifh farthingale and a French 
fall in his arms." Mildred fays, " Tailor Poldavy, prythee 6t, fit it« 
Is this a right Scot ? Does it clip clofe ? and bear up round ?" 

I. I. " On jlaggis." On flanks as fac as the fides of a whale. 

1. a. " Hattis fiat little avail" Of little avail, or little worth, 

according to the Scottifh idiom, means more than a negative ; not ufe- 
lefs, but highly cenfurable. This line probably alludes to the drefs of 
tht women, who covered their faces in fuch a manner as to call for the 
fage interpofition of the lcgiflature; Act 70. James II. That ftatute 
provides, " That no woman cum to kirk nor mercac (into places of 
public refort) with her face muffaled or covered, that fcho may not be 
kend." See p. 123 of this vol. 

This Act of Parliament to the contrary notwithstanding, the ladies 
continued muffaled during three reigns. In the days of James V. SiK 
David Lindsat thus cenfures them. 

Quhen thay go to quyet places, 

" I thame excufe to hide thair faces, 
" Quhen thay wald make collatioun 
" With onie luftk compattyeoun ; 
" Bot in the kirk and market-places, 
" I think thay fuld not hide thdr faces.'' 

— - — 1. 3. * And Gc/oul tailis to fweip the caufy clene." The enor- 
mity of long trains was provided againft by the fame ftatute of James 
II. " That na woman wear tailes unfit in length." The legiflature 
has not determined what tails were fit in length ; that perhaps may be 
gathered from a mandate iffued by a Papal legate in Germany to the 
nations under his care : " Tht veils likewife of worm n, which were al- 
lowed them as a token of modclly, but which are now, by their folly, 
grown into an article of lafcivioufi: fs and luxury; and the immoderate 
length of their petticoats and cloaks, by which »^ey fweep the duft, 
fhall be reftrained to a moderate lcngtl , as bee mi. s he modefty of the 
fex, by fentence of excommunication," Tranfcribcd from a MS. of the 


JAMES IV. 148'$— 1 5 13. 383 

14th century by L udewig, Reliq. diplem . torn. 2. p 441. This man- 
date docs not precifely aicerrahi tlic orthodox ftancUrd of pettic ; 
but as it excommunicates the " tailes to fwepe the oufy clene," .tad 
fays that the moderate ufe of petticoats, for modefty'. fake, is to >e ju 
doited, it may be concluded, that ladies who covered their feet wtare" 
fufficiently conformifts: an inch or two lefs might be ii:?modeftv, aa 
inch or two moiv might be vanity. 

what .ffedls fallowed from this provifional fentence »f excommuni- 
cation, I have not learnt : certain it is, that the Scottifh Act ox Partta- 
ment agauift 'ong tails, was equally fruitlefs with that .gainft mSffaJ- 
ing; for in the reign of James V Six David Lindsav wrote a.lonjr 
poem, called, " An fupplication diredttc from Sir David Linbksat 
of the Mont, Knicht, to the Kingis Grace, in contemptiouti of fydc 

St. 15. 1. 3. " Fillok.'^ I cannot explain this better than in the words 
of Horace. 

«* Quae, velut latis equa trima campis, 
" Ludit exultim, metuitque tangi 
" Nuptiarum expers, et adhuc protervo 
M Cruda marito." 

St. 16. 1. 1. " Sa mony ane Kittle dreft up with goldin chenye." 
As if he had faid, " So many whores with golden <hains adorned." 
Sometimes Kittle feems to import a giddy young woman, though not 
difLIute. It is nor uncommon to ufe che caufe for the effecl. 

——1. 2. " Ot Satan's feinye, fie ane unfell menye." In words 
derived from the French, ending with what is called the * mute, our an- 
ceftors were wont to give the e ftronger found than wht the French 
did. The Dutch are lliil diftinguiflied for this, pronunciation. Thus 
they pronounce eaurte faille, as if it was written courteb paiHeb, and be- 
fogne' carogne, nearly *«, if they were written befogna, carogna. In like 
manuer w<*, from foigne, chaine, falne, (Lat. fanietj compofed foinye 
chenye fulnye, or fenye. The fame word in the fame fenfe occurs, Dun- 
bar's Invective, flanza 8. 1. 3. Upon the fame principle, dotufy peiris 
Jauze paires. See Scot's Jutting, ftanza 2 1. 2. The learned gloflator 
on Gavin Douglas is at a lofs what to make ot the word fen in the 
defcription of harpies. 

" Bot the vile bellyis of thay curfit fchrewis, 
" Haboundis of fen maifl abhominabill. 

He fays " It may be an error both in print and MS. for fent, fmell." 
It is, in truth, nothing but the Frenchyi/Vir or fames abridged, z%fenye\% 
the fame word extended. tlnfell 13 from the Ang. Sax. unfaelig, un- 
happy. The Goitticfel and unfel fignify good and bad. 



The meaning then of ftanza 16. 1. 4. is, " Such an unhallowed com' 
pany fprung from the corruption of Satan." 

It has been fuggefled, that fcinye in our old language means fymd- 
This interpretation makes good fenfe, and is confirmed by Knox, p. 63. 
The reader will determine whether it or the other contains the moft 
probable fenfe of the paffage. 

St. 16. 1. 3. " With ttpill-renytis ay fliawand thair femblance fchene." 
/Lpill-rtnyrit, firings of an.ber-beads. The French phrafe *• f>»mmi 
J'ambre* means an amber head, in fhape and colour like an apple. By 
analogy or imitation, the word a fill, or apple, feems to have had the 
fame fenfe with us. 

The fafhion of wearing amber necklaces, by degrees, went down a- 
mong the lower fort of people in Scotland ; it is now almoft exploded 
even among them. I fuppofe fome future age will be to fetk among 
the vulgar for the definition of cardinal: and cafueine, while curches 
(tenvre-cbtf) and plaids again cover the head and fhoulders of a woman 
of fafhion. 

It ought to have been mentioned in the introduction to this poem, 
that Sir James Inglis, in a charter dated 9th Sept. J527, is deDgncd 
Chancellor of the Royal Chapel of Stirling. 



*The only remaining Poet of this reign, wLofe name 
and works are known, is Gavin Douglas, the third 
Jon of Archibald, the fifth Earl of Angus. He was 
horn in 147 5 ,• was Reclor of the church of Hawick in 
I496 ; and in < 509 Dean of the collegiate church of St 
Giles, Edinburgh. By the ^ueen Regent, who had 
married his nephew the Earl of Angus, he was recdm- 
mended in 1514 ft) the Ahhay of Aherhrothwick, and al- 
fo to the fee of St. Andrews ; hut, partly by violence, and 
partly by intrigue, he was difappointed of both. He 
ivas next prefented to the fee of Dunkeld ; and a re- 
conciliation at lafl taking place between the ®>ueen and 
the Earl of Angus on the one part, and the Regent Al- 
bany on the other, Gavin Douglas entered into pof- 
fejjion of the Bifhopric in 15 16. The particulars of his 
public life form a conjiderable portion of the Scottiflj 
hijlory from 1514*0 1 5 2 2, when he died of the plague 
at London. 

His works now extant are, "The Palace of Honour," 
compofed in 1501, and a " Tranflation o" Virgil's 
Eneid,' ? fini/hed in 1513 ; both of them fir J] printed at 
London in 1553. An allegorical poem called King 
Hart is alfo afcribed to him in the M ait land Collec- 
tion of poems. His other works, fuppofed now to be 
lofil, are, i. A tranflation of Ovid's Book " De Re- 
meriio Amoris." 2. Corncdise Sacrae. 3. Aurese 

Vol. I. Ccc THE 


[The author, in a vijion, finds himfelf in a wildernefs, 
where he fees troops of perfons travelling to the Pa- 
lace of Honour. He joins himfelf to the train of the 
M.ufes, and in their company proceeds to the happy 
place. In his lafl adventure he feems to allude to the 
law of Celibacy. The habitation of the honourable 
ladies is furrounded by a deep ditch, over which is a 
narrow bridge, fuppofed to reprefent the ceremony of 
marriage. Upon his attempting to pafs over by this 
bridge, he falls into the water , and awakes from his 



This allegorical poem, Hie many other modern fables^ 
is liable to the charge of prolixity. In particular, it 
is overloaded, according to the pratlice of that time, 
with tedious regiflers of clafjical names, to fhow that 
the author had not gone to fchool for nothing. Mofl 
ofthefe are here left out : alfo, two or three godly pa- 
rabolical digrejfions ,• it is hoped, without injury tq 
the poem.'} 


v<uhen paill Aurora with face lamentabili 
Her ruffet mantill bordeiit all with fabill, 
Lappit about, be hevinly circumflance, 
The tender bed and aires honorabill 
Of Flora quene till flowris amiabill, 
In May I rais to do my obfervance : 
And entevit in a gardyne of plefance 
With fol depaint, as Paradice dele&abil, 
And blifsfull bewis, with ulomed varyance. 


JAMES IV. I488—I513. 387 


Sa craftily dame Flora had ouir fret 

Hir hevinly bed, powderit with mony a fet 

Of ruby, topas, perle and emerant ; 

With balmy dew, bathit and keyndlie wet ; 

Quhill vapours hote, richt frefche and weil ybet, 

Dulce of odour, of flour maift fragrant, 

The filver dropis on dafies diftillant : 

Quhilk verdour branches ouir the alars yet, 

With fmoky fence the myflis reflecTtanC 

The fr agran d flowris bloumand in thair feis, 

Ouirfpred the levis of natures tapeflries ; 

Abone the quhilk with hevinly harmonies 

The birdis fat on twiftis and on greis, 

Melodioufly makand thair kyndlie gleis, 

Whaife fchill nottis foidinned all the lkyis. 

Of repurcuft air the echo cryis ; 
Amang the branches of the blomit tries, 

And on the laurers filver droppis lyis. 

Quhill that I rowmed in that Paradice, 
Replenifchit, and full of all delice, 
Out of the fey Eolus alift his heid, 
I mene the hors whilk drawis at device 
The afliltrie and goldin chair of price 
Of Tytan ; whilk at morrow feemis reid ; 
The new colour that all the nicht lay deid 
Is reflorit. Baith fowllis, flowris, and rice, 
Recomfort was, throw Phebus gudlyheid. 

The dafy and the maryguld unlappit, 
Quhilks all the nicht lay with their levis happit, 
Thame to referve fra rewmes pungitive. 
The umbrate trees that Tytan about wappit 
War portrait, and on the eirth yfchappit, 



Be goldin bemis viuificative 

Quhais amene heit is raaift reftorative. 

The grefhoppers amangis the vergers gnappit, 

And beis wrocht material for thair hyve. 

Richt hailfome was the feffoun of the yeir, 
Phebus farth yet depured bemis clear, 
Maift nutritive till all things vegetant. 
God Eolus of wind lift nocht appear, 
Nor auld Saturne with his mortal fpeir, 
And bad afpeft contrair till evrie plant. 
Neptunus nold within that palice hant. 
The beriall itremis rynning, men micht heir, 
By bankis grene with glancis variant. 

For till behald that hevinly place complete, 
The purgit air with new engenderit heit, 
The fol enbroued with colour ure, and (tone ; 
The tender grene, the balmy droppis fweit, 
Sa rejoycit and comfort was my fpreit, 
I not was it a vifion or fantone. 
Amyd the bufkis rowming myne alone, 
Within that garth, of all plefance repleit, 
A voice I hard preclair as Phebus fchone, 

Singand, O May ! thow mirrour of folefs, 
Maternall moneth, lady and maiitres, 
Till evrie thing adown refpirature, 
Thyne hevinlie werk and worthie craftinefs 
The fmall herbis conftranis till incres. 
O verray ground till werking of nature ! 
Quhais hie curage and aflucurat cure 
Caufis the eirth his fruits till expres, 
Diffundant grace oa everie creature. 



JAMES IV. 1488 — 1513. 389 


Thy gudly lore, cunning incomparabill, 
Dantis the favage beiftis maifl unftabill, 
And expellis all that nature infeilis. 
The knoppit fyonis with levis agreeabill, 
For till revert and burgione ar maid abill. 
Thy mirth refrefches byrdis in thair neftis, 
Quhilkis the to praife and nature neuer reftis : 
Confeffand yow maift potent and lowabill 
Amang the brownis of the olive twiftis. 

In the is rute and agment of curage, 
In the enforces Martis vaffalage j 
In the is amorous lufe and harmonie, 
With incrementis frefche in luflie age. 
Quha that conftrainit ar in luifis rage, 
Addrefland them with observance airlie, 

Weill auchtis the till glore and magrufie 

And with that wordT raized my vifage 
Soir affrayit ; half in an frenefie. 

O Nature Quene ! and O ye lufly May ! 
Quod I thon, How lang fall I thus foruay 
Quilk yow and Venus in this garth defervis ? 
Recounfel me out of this greit affray, 
That I may ling yow laudis day be day, 
Ye that all mundane creatures prefervis 
Comfort your man that in this fanton ftervis, 
With fpreit arraifit and everie wit away, 
Quaiking for feir, baith pulfis, vane, and nervis. 

My fatal wei rd, my febill wit I warjr, 
My defie heid quhome lake of brane gart vary, 
And not fuftene fo amiabill a foun. 
With eiy courage, febill flrenthis fary, 
Bounand me hame, and lift na lunger tary, 



Out of the air come ane impreffioun, 
Throw whais licht in extafie or fwoun, 
Amyd the virgultis, all intill a fary, 
As feminine fa febilit fell I down. 

And wilh that gleme fa defyt was my micht, 
Quhill thair remanit nouther voice nor ficht, 
Breith, motion, nor heiring natural, 
Saw never man fo faynt a levand wicht ; 
And na ferly, for ouir excelland licht 
Corruptis the witt, and garris the blude awaill 
Untill the hart, thocht it na danger aill ; 
Quhen it is fmorit, memberis wirkis not richt, 
The dreidfull terrour fwa did me aflaill. 

Yet at the laft, I not how lang a fpace, 
A lytle heit appeirit in my face , 
Whilk had to foir been paiil and voyde of blude. 
Thon in my fwoun I met a ferly cace ; 
I thoucht me fet within a defert place 
Amyd a forreft, by a hyddeous flude 
"With gryfly fifche ; and fchortly till conclude, 
I fall difcryve, as God will give me grace, 
Myne vifioun in rural termis rude. 

Bydand the deid thus in my extafie, 
Ane dyn I hard approaching fall me by, 
Quhilk movit fra the plage Septentrionall, 
As heird of beaflis ftamping with loud cry. 
Bot than God wait, how affrayit was I ! 
Traiftand to be ftranglit with beftiall. 
Amid a ftock richt privelie I flail, 
Quhair luikand out anon I did efpy 
Ane luftie rout of behefl rationall, 


JAMES rV. I488—I513. 39* 


Of Ladyis fair, and guidlie men arrayit 

In conftant weid, that weill my fpreitis payit ; 

With degeft mind, quhairin all wit aboundit, 

Full foberlie their haiknayis thay affayit. 

Efter, the faitis auld (and nocht forwayit) 

Their hie prudence fchaw furth, and naithing roundit, 

With gude efFeir - y quhairat the wod refoundit. 

In fteidfaft ordour, to vefie unaffrait, 

Thay ryding furth, with ftabilnefs ygroundit. 

Amiddis quhom born in ane goldin chair, 
Ouirfret with perle, and ftains maift. preclair, 
That c^a^wJu) was by haiknayis all milk quhite, 
Was fet Minerve, as lyllie fweit of fwair, 
In purpour rob, hemmit with gold ilk gair, 
Quhilk gemmit clafpis clofed all perfite. 
A diademe maift plefandlie polite, 
Set on the treffis of her giltin hair, 
And in her hand a fcepter of delyte. 

Syne nixt hir raid in granate violat 
Twolf Damifellis, ilk ane on thair eftait, 
Quhilks femit of her counfell maift fecre. 
And nixt them was a luftie rout, God wait, 
Lords, Ladys, and mony fair Prelatt, 
Baith born of hie eftait, and law degre ; 
Furth with thair Quene, thay all by paflit me. 
Ane efie pai s, thay ryding furth the gait, 
And I abaid alone within the tre. 

Sine ladyis come with luftie gilten treffis, 
In habit wilde maift like till forftereffis ; 
Amiddis quhom heich on ane eliphant, 
In figne that iho in chaftitie increffis, 
Raid Diane that Ladyis hartis dreilis 



Till be ftabill, and na way inconftant. 
God wait that nane of thame is variant ! 
All chaift and trew virginity profeflis, 
I not ; bot few I faw with Diane hant. 

My daifit heid, fordullit difiele, 
I raifit up. half in ane lithargie, 
As dois ane cative ydrunkin, in fleip. 
And fa appeirit to my fantafie, 
A fchynand licht out of the northeift Iky, 
The whilk with cure to heir I did tak keip. 
Proportion founding dulceft, hard I peip, 
In mufick number, full of harmony, 
Diftant x>n far was carit be the deip. 

Sa dulce, fa fweit, and fa melodious, 
That everie wicht thairwith micht be joyous, 
Bot I and catives dullit in difpair. 
For quhen a man is wraith or furious, 
Melancholick for wo, or tedious, 
Than till him is all plefance maift contrair : 
And femblablie, than fa did with me fair ; 
This melodie intonit hevinlie thus, 
For profound wo, conftrainit me mak cair. 

And murnand thus, as ane maift wofull wicht, 
Of the maift plefant court I had a licht, 
In warld adoun fen Adam was creat. 
Quhat fang, quhat joy, quhat harmony, quhat licht ! 
Quhat mirthfull folace, plefance all at richt ! 
Quhat frefche bewtie, quhat excelland eftate ! 
Quliat fweit vocis, quhat wordis fuggurait ! 
Quhat fair debaitis, quhat luifsum ladyis bricht ! 
Quhat luftie gnllandis did on thair fervice wait ! 


james iv. 1488— 1513. 39S 

Quhat gudlie paftance and quhat minftrellfie ? 
Quhat game thay maid, in faith not tell can I, 
Thocht I had profound wit angelicall-. 
The hevenlie foundis of thair harmonie, 
Hes dynnit fa my drerie fantaue, 
Baith wit and reflbun half is loift of all. 
Yet (as I knaw) als lichtlie fay I fall, 
That angellike and godlie company- 
Till fe, me thocht a thing celeftiall. 

Proceidand furth was draw ane chariote, 
Be courfouris twelf, trappit in grene velvote, 
Of fine gold wer junctures and harnaffingis — - 
The lymnaris wer of burnifhit gold God wote, 
Baith aixtre and quheillis of gold I hote. 
Of goldin cord wer lyamis, and the ftringis 
Feftinnit conjunct in maflle goldin ringis ; 
Evor haims convenient for fie note, 
And raw filk brechamis ouir thair halfis hingi$. 

The bodie of the cairt of evor bone, 
With crifolitis and mony precious ftone 
Was all ouirfret, in dew proportioun, 
Like fternis in the firmament quhilks fchone, 
Reparrellit was that Godlike plefand one, 
Tyldit abone, and to the eirth adoun, 
In richefl claith of gold of purpure brdun j 
But fas, nor uther frenyies, had it none, 
SaifF claith of gold anamillit, all faifioun. 

Quhair fra dependant hang thair megir bellis — . 
Sum round, fum thraw, in found the quhilks excellis, 
All wer of gold of Araby maift fine, 
Quhilks with the wind concordandlie fa knellis 
That to be glaid thair found all wicht compellis^ 

Vol. I. Ddd The, 


The harmonie was fa melodious fine, 
In mannis voice and inftrument devine, 
Quhairfa thay went it feemit nathing ellis 
Bot ierarchies of angellis, ordours nine. 

Amid the chair fulfillit of plefance, 
Ane lady fat at quhais obeyfance, 
Was all that rout : and wonder is to heir 
Of her excelland luftie countenance 
Her hie bewtie quhilk maift to avance 
Precellis all, thayr may be na compeir. 
For like Phebus, in heift of his fpheir, 
Hir bewtie fchane, caftand fa greit ane glance^ 
All fairheid it oppreft baith far and neir. 

Scho was peirlefs of fchap and portraiture, 
In her had nature finifchit hir cure, 
As for gude havingis thair was nane bot fcho # 
And hir array was fa fine and fa pure, 
That quhairof was hir robe I am not fure, 
For nocht bot perle and ftanis micht I fee. 
Of quhom the brightnefs of hir hie bewtie 
For to behald, my ficht micht not indure, 
Mair nor the bricht fone may the bakkis ee. 

Hir hair as gold or topafis was hewit, 
Quha hir beheld, hir bewtie ay renewit. 
On heid fho had a creft of dyamantis. 
Thair was na wicht that gat a ficht efchewit, 
War he never fa conftant or waill thewit, 
Na he was woundit, and him hir feruant grantis. 
That hevinlie wicht, hir criftall ene fa dantis, 
For blenkis fweit nane paflit unperfewit, 
Bot gif he wer preferuit as thir fan&is. 


james iv. X488—*-i5i3i 395 

I wondert fair and fall in mind did flair, 
Quhat creature that micht be that was fa fair, 
Of fa peirlefs excellant womanheid. 
And farlyand thus I faw within the chair 
Quhair that a man was fet with lymmis fquair, 
His bodie weill entailyeit everie fteid ; 
He bair a bow with dartis haw as leid ; 
His claithing was als grene as ane huntair : 
3ot he forfuith had na eine in his heid. 

I underftude be fignes perfavabill 
That was Cupyd the God maift diflavabillj 
The lady, Venus, his mother, a Goddes ; 
I knew that was the court fa variabill, 
Of eirdly lufe quhilk fendill ftandis ftabill, 
Bot yet thair mirth and folace neuerthelefs 
In mufick tone and menflrallie expres 
Sa craftilie ; With curage agreabill 
Hard neuer wicht fie melodie I ges. 

Accompanyit luflie yonkeirs withail, 
Frefche ladyis fang in voice virgineall, 
Concordis fweit, divers entoned reportis, 
Proportionis fine, with found celeftiall, 
Duplat, triplat, diatefferiall^ 
Sefque altera, and dccupla refortis, 
Diapafon of mony fundry fortis, 
War foung, and playit be feir cunning menflrali 
On lufe, ballatis with mony fair difportis. 

In modulation hard I play and fing 
Faburdoun, prickfang, difcant, countering, 
Cant organe, figuratioun, and gemmell ; 
On croud, lute, harp, with mony gudlie fpring, 
Schalmes, clariounis, portatives, hard I ring, 



Mon ycord, organe, tjrjjipane, and cymbell ; 
Sjtholl, pfalterie,and voices fvveet as bell, 
Soft relefchingis in dulce delivering, 
Fraclionis divide, at reft, or clois compel!. 

Na mair I underftude thair numbers fine, 
Be God, than dois of Greik a fwine, 
Saif that me think fvveit foundis gude to heir. 
Na mair heiron my labour will I tyne, 
Na mair I will thir werbillis fweit define, 
How that thair mufick tones war mair cleir 
And dulcer than the moving of the fpheir, 
Or Orpheus harp of Thrace with found divine, 
Glaskeriane maid na noyis compeir. 

Thay condifcend fa weill in ane accord, 
That by na joint thair foundis bene difcord, 
In everie key thay werren fa expert. 
Of thair array gif I fuld mak record, 
Luftie fpringaldis arid mony gudlie lord, 
Tender younglingis with pieteous virgin hart. 
Elder ladyis knew mair of luftis art. 
Divers uthers quhilks me not lift remord, 
Quhais lakkeft weid was filkis ouirbroudert. 

In veftures quent of mony findrie gyfe, 
I faw all claith of gold men might devife, 
Purpour colour, punik, and fcarlote hewis, 
Velvot robbi3 maid with the grand aflyfe, 
Dames fatyne, begaryit mony wife, 
CramefTie fatine veluot enbroude in divers rewis, 
Satine figures champit with flouiis and bewis, 
DamisHure, tere-pyle quhairon thair lyis, 
Peirle Oipany quhilkevrie itait renewis. 


james iv. 1488 — 1513. ' 397 


Thair riche entyre maiit peirles to behald 

My wit can not difcrive howbeit I wald. 

Mony entrappit fleid with filkis feir, 

Mony pattrell nervit with gold I tald, 

Full mony new gilt, harnaiing not aid, 

On mony palfray luifsum Ladyis cleir. 

And nixt the chair I faw formefl appeir, 

Upon a bardit cuifer flout and bald, 

Mars, God of ftrife enarmit in birneifl geir. 

Everie invafibill wapon on him he bair, 

His luik was grym, his bodie large and fquair, 

His lymmis weill entailyiet to be ftrang, 

His neck was greit, a fpan lenth weill or mair, 

His vifage braid, with crifp broun cuiland hair, 

Of ftature not ouir greit, nor yet ouir lang. 

Behaldand Venus, O ye my lufe ! (he fang.) 

And fcho agane, with dallyance fa fair. 

Hir knicht him cleipis, quhair fa he ryde or gang. 

Of gudlie folk in everie rank and age, 
With blenkis fweir frefche luftie grene curage, 
And dalyance thay riding furth in feir, 
Sum levis in hope, and fum in greit thirlage 
Sum in difpair, fum findis his panis fwage. 
Garlandis of flouris and rois chaipletis feir, 
Thay bair on heid ; and famin fang fa cleir, 
Quhill that thair mirth commovit my curage, 
Till fing this lay quhilk followand ye may heir. 
f Conftrainit hart ! belappit in diftres, 
I Groundit in wo, and full of hevines, 
I Complane thy panefull cairis infinite, 

* Bewaill this warldis frail unfteidfaunefs^ 
Havand regrait, fen gain is thy gladnes, 

* And 


And all thy folace returnit in difpite, 
O cative thrall involupit in defpyte, 
Confes thy fatall wofull wretchednefs, 
Devide in twane and furth diffound all tyte 
Aggrevance greit in miferable indyte. 

My cruell fate fubjettit to pennance 
Predeftinate, fa void of all plefance, 
Hes everie greif amid my hart ingrave, 
The Aide inconftant deflenie or chance^ 
Unequallie dois hing in thair balance, 
My demerites and greit dolour I have, 
This purgatorie redoublis all the lave, 
Ilk wicht hes fum weilfair at obeyfance, 
Saif me, byfning, that may na grace refave, 
Deid the addres, and do me to my grave. 

Wo worth lie ftrang misfortune anoyous, 
Quhilk hes oppreft my fpreits maift joyous, 
Wo worth this warldis freuch felicitie, 
Wo worth my fervent difeis dolorous, 
Wo worth the wicht that is not piteous, 
Quhair the trefpaflbur penitent thay fe. 
Wo worth this deid that daylie dois me die, 
Wo worth Cupyd, and wo worth fals Venus, 
Wo worth thame baith, ay waryit rnot thay be, 
Wo worth thair court and c urfit^deft enie. 

Loud as I mocht, in dolour all deftrenyiet, 
This lay I fang, and not ane letter fenyeit. 
Thon faw 1 Venus on hir lip did bite. 
And all the court in hafte thair horfis renyeit, 
Proclamand loude, Quhair is yone poid that plenyeit, 
Quhilk deith defervis, comittand fie defpite ? 
Fra tre to trc thay feirching but refpite, 


james iv. 1488— 1513. 399 

Quhill ane me fand, quhilk faid and greit difdenyeit, 
Avant villane ! thow reclus imperfite. 

-— " XLiV. 

All in ane fevir, out of my mufkane bowr, 

On kneis I crap, and law for feir did lowre. 

Than all the court on me thair heidis fchuik ; 

Sum glowmand grim, fum girnand with vifage fowre ; 

Sum in the nek gave me feil dyntis dowre. 

Pluck at the craw, thay cryit, deplome the ruik ; 

Pulland my hair, with blek my face they bruik j 

Sk'rymmorie Fery gave me mony a clowre, 

For chyppynutie ful oft my chaftis quuik. 

With pane torment, thus in thair tenefull play, 
Till Venus bound, thay led me furth the way, 
Quhilk than was fet amid a goldin chair ; 
And fa confoundit into that fell affray, 
As that I micht confidder thair array. 
Me thocht the field ouirfpred with carpettis fair 
(Quhilk was to foir brint, barrane, vile and bair) 
Wox maift plefand, bot all (the fuith to fay) 
Micht nocht ameis my grevous panefull fair. 

Enthronit fat Mars, Cupyd, and Venus : 
Thon rais ane clerk was cleipit Varius, 
Me till accufen as of a deidlie crime, 
And he begouth and red ane dittay thus : 
Thou wickit cative, wod and furious, 
Prefumpteouflie now at this prefent time 
My lady hes blafphemit in thy rime. 
Hir fone, hir felf, and hir court amoious, 
For till betrai g, awaitit heir fen Prime. 

Now, God thow wait, me thocht my fortune fey t 
With quaikand voce, and hart cald as a key, 
On knelsui kneillit and mercy culd imploir, 



Submittand me, but ony langer pley, 
Venus mandate and plefure to obey. 
Grace was denyit, and my travell forloir, 
For fcho gave charge to proceed as befoir. 
Than Varius fpak richt ftoutlie me to fley, 
Injoynand f Hence till afk grace ony moir. 

He demandit my anfwer, Quhat 1 faid ? 
Than as I mocht with curage all mifmaid, 
Fra time I underftude na mair fupplie, 
Sair abaifit, belive I thus out-braid : 
Set of thir pointis of crime now on me laid, 
I may be quite guiltlefs in veritie : 
Yit firft agane the Judge quhilk heer I fe, 
This inordinate court, and proces quaid, 
I will object, for caufes twa or thre: 

Inclynand law (quod I) with piteous face, 
I me defend, Madame, pleis it your grace. 
Say on, (quod fcho), Than faid I thus but mair ; 
Madame ye may noe fit into this cace, 
For Ladyis may be judges in na place. 
And mairattour I am na feculair, 
A fpirituall man (thocht I be void of lair) 
Cleipit I am, and aucht my lives fpace 
To be remit till my Judge ordinair. 

I yow bezeik, Madam, with biffie cure 
Till give ane gracious interlocuture, 
On thir exceptiones now proponit lait. 
Thane fuddenlie Venus (I you aflure) 
Deliverit fone r and with a voice fo Mure, 
Anfwerit thus, Thow fubteil fmy, God wait, 
Quhat wenis thow to degraid my hie eftait, 
3\le to decline as Judge, curd creature ? 
It beis not fa, the game gais uth er_gait. 


JAMES IT. I488— 1 513. 461 


As we the find, thow fall thoill Judgement, 

Nocht of a clerk we fe the reprefenf, 

Saif onlie falfet and disfaithfull taillis. 

Firil quhen thow come with hart and haill intent^ 

Thow the fubmittit to my commandement. 

Now now thairof methink to fone thow faillis* 

I wene na thing but follie that the aillis. 

Ye clerkis bene in fubtell wordis quent, 

And in the deid als fchairp as ony fnaillis. 

Ye bene the men beywrayis my commandis, 
Ye bene the men difturbis my fervandis, 
Ye bene the men with wickit wordis feill, 
Quilk blafphemis frefche luftie young gallandis* 
That in my fervice and retinew ftandis. 
Ye bene the men that cleipis yow fa leill, 
With fallis beheft quhill ye your purpois fteill, 
Sine ye forfweir baith bodie, treuth, and handis,. 
Ye bene fa fals ye can na word conceill. 

Have done (quod fcho) Schir Varius, alfwyth 
Do write the fentenc e ; lat this cative kyth 
Gif our power may demen his mifdeid. 
Than God thow wait gif that my fpreit was blyth ! 
The feverous hew intill my face did myith 
All my mal-eis ; for fwa the horribill dreid. 
Haill me ouir fet, I micht not fay my creid : 
For feir and wo within my fldn I wryith, 
I micht not pray forfuith thocht I had neid. 

Yet of my deith I fet not half ane fle^ 
For greit effeer me thocht na pane to die •, 
But fair Idr ed m e for fome uther jaip, 
That Venus fuld, throw her fubtillitie, 
Intill fum byfning beift transfigurat me, 

Vol. I. E e e As 


As in a beir, a bair, ane oule, ane aip ; 
I traiftit fa for till have bene mifchaip, 
That oft I wald my hand behald to fe 
Gif it alterit, and oft my vifage graip. 

Lo thus amid this hard perplexetie, 
Awaitand ever quhat moment I fuld die, 
Or than fum new transfiguratioun. 
He quhilk that is eternal veritie, 
The glorious Lord, ringand in perfounis thre, 
Provydit he3 for my falvatioun, 
Be fom good fpreitis revelatioun, 
Quhilk interceffioun maid I traift for me, 
I foryet all imaginatioun. 

All haill my dreid I tho foryet in hy, 
And all my wo, bot yet I wift not quhy, 
Save that I had fome hope till be relevit. 
I raifit than my vifage hjjjftelie, 
And with a blenk anone I did efpy, 
A luik ficht quhilk nocht my hart engrevit : 
Ane hevinlie rout out throw the wod efchevit 
Of quhome the bountie gif I not deny, 
Uneth may be intill ane fcripture brewit. 

With lawreir crownit in robbis fide all new, 
Of a faffoun and all of fteidfaft hew, 
Arrayit weill ane court I faw come neir, 
Of wife digeft eloquent fathers trew, 
And plefand lady is quhilks frefche bewtie fchew, 
Singand foftlie full fweit on thair maner 
On Poet wife, all divers vcrfis feir, 
Hiftoryis greit in Latine toung, and Grew, 
With frefche indite and foundis gude to heir. 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 403 


And futn of thame ad Lyram plajit and fang 

Sa plefand verfe quhill all the roches rang ; 

Metir Saphik, and alfo Elygie. 

Thair inftrumentis allmaifl war fidillis lang, 

But with a firing quhilk never a wreifl yeid wrang ; 

Sum had an harp, and fum a fair pfaltrie, 

On lutis fum thair accentis fubtelle, 

Devydit weill and held the meafure lang, 

In foundis fweit of plefand melodie. 

I had greit wonder of thay Ladyis feir, 
Quhilks in that airt micht have na compeir, 
Of caflis quent, rethorik colouris fine, 
Sa poetlike in fubteill fair maUeir, 
And eloquent fir me cadjen c e regulair . 
Thair veyage furth contenand richt as line, 
With fang and play (as faid is) fa devine, 
Thay fafl approching to the place weill neir, 
Quhair I was torment into my greit pine. 

And as that hevinlie fort now nominate, 
Removit furth on gudlie wife thair gait. 
Toward the court quhilk was tofoir expremit, 

My curage grew, ^2^^^ s ^^^^^%'^^> 
Saif that I held me payit of thair eftait ; 
And thay wer folk of knowledge as it femit. 
Als into Venus court full fafl thay demit ; 
Sayand, yone luflie court weill flop or meit, 
To juftifie this byfning quhilk blafphemit. 

The fuddane ficht of that firme court forefaid, 
Recomfort weill my hew, befoir as faid, 
Amid my fpreit the joyous heit redoundit, 
Behalding how the luflie Mufis raid, 
And all thair court quhilk was fa blyth and glaid, 



Quhais merines all hevines confoundit. 

Thair faw I weill in poetrie y-groundit, 

The greit Hqmeir, quhilk in Greik language faid 

Maift eloquentlie, in quhome all witt aboundit. 

Sa gi*eit ane prefs of pepill drew us neir, 
The hundredth part thair names ar not heir', 
Yit faw I thair Brutus of Albyon, 
Geffray Chaucer, as a per fe fans peir 
In his vulgare ; and morall John Goweir ; 
Lydgate the monk raid mufing him alone. 
Of this natioun I knew alfo an one, 
Greit Kennedie and Dunbar yit undeid, 
And Quintine with ane huttock on his heid. 

Howbeit I culd declair and weill indite, 
The bounties of that court dewlie to write, 
War ouir prolixit tranfcending mine ingine . 
Tuitching the proces of my panefull fite, 
Belive I faw thir luftie Mufis qnhite, 
With all thair rout toward Venus decline, s 
Quhair Cupide fat with her in throne divine, 
I ftandand bundin in ane ibrie plite, 
Bvdand thair grace, or than my deidlie pine. 

Straicht to the Quene thir famin Mufis raid, 
Maift eloquentlie thair falutationis maid j 
Venus again yaid thame thair falufing, 
Richt reverentlie, and on hir feit upbraid, 
Befeikand thame to licht : nay, nay thay faid, 
We may not heir mak na lang tarying. 
Calliope maift facund and laeding, 
Inquirjt Venus quhat wicht had hir mifmaiil, 
Or quhat was caufe of hir thair fojourning. 

LX\ . 

JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 4°5 


Sifter, faid fcho, behald yone byfning fchrew, 
A fubtell fmy, confider weill his hew, 
Standis thair bound ; (and bekinit hir to me,) 
Yone cative ha9 blafphemit me of new; 
For to degraid, and do my fame adew, 
A laithlie ryme difpiteful fubtelle 
Compylet hes, reheirfand loud on hie, 
Sclander, difpite, forrow and velanie, •*, 
To me, my fone, and eik our court for aye. 

He hes defervit deith, he fall lie deid, 
And we remaine forfuith into this fteid. 
To juftifie that rebald rennegait, . 
Quod Calliope, filler away all feid, 
Quhy fuld he die, quhy fuld he lois his heid ? 
To flay him for fa fmall ane cryme, God wait, 
Greitar degrading war to your eftait, 
To fie as he to mak counter pleid, 
How may ane fule your hie honour chek mai t ? 

Quhat of his lak ! Sa wide vour^fame is blaw, 
Your excellence maifL peirles is fa knaw, 
Na wretchis word may depair your hie name. 
Give me his life, and modifie the law, 
For, on my heid, he flandis now fie aw, 
That he fall e£fcer deferve never mair blame, 
Nocht of his deith ye may report bot fcharne . 
In recompence for his miflettand faw, 
He fall vour heft in everie part proclame. 

Than, Lord ! how glaid became my febij l goifl, 
My curage grew, the whilk befoir was loift, 
Seand I had fa greit ane advocait, 
That expertlie but prayer, price or coft, 
Obtenit had my fiiwoll actioun almoft, 



Quhilk was befoir perifchit and defolait : 
This quhile Venus ftude in ane ftudie flrait, 
Bot finallie fcho fchew till all the oifl 
Scho wald do grace, and not be obftinait. 

I will, faid fcho, have mercie and petie, 
Do flaik my wraith, and let all rancour be ; 
Quhair is mair vice than to be quer cruell ? 
And fpecially in women fie as me. 
A lady, fy ! that ufis tyrannie, 
A vennomous ather and a ferpent fell. 
A vennemous dragoun or ane devill of hell, 
Is na compeir to the iniquitie 
Of bald wemen, as thir wife clerkis tell. 

Greit God defend I fuld be ane of tho, 
Quhilk of thair feid and malice never ho, 
Out on fie gram, I will have na repreif. 
Calliope, filler, (faid to hir Venus tho,) 
At your requeift this wretche fall freily go. 
Heir I remit his trefpas ; and all grief 
Sail be forget, fa he fall fay fum breif, 
Or fchort ballat, in contrair pane and wo, 
Twitching my laude, and his plefand relief. 

And fecundlie, the nixt reffonabill command, 
Quhilk I him charge, fe that he nocht gane Ha nd. 
On thir conditiounis filler at your requeifl, 
He fall gang fre. Quod Calliope inclinand, 
Grant mercie filler, I obleis be my hand, 
He fall pbferye in all poinds your behefl. 
Than Venus bade do flaik fone my arreifl. 
Bellyve I was relevit of evrie band, 
Uprais the court, and all the parlour ceiil. 


JAMES IV. I488 — 15 13. 407 


Tho fat I down lawlie upon my kne, 

At command of prudent Calliope, 

Yeildand Venus thankis ane thoufand fyith, 

For fa hie friendfhip, and mercifull petie, 

Excelland grace, and greit humanitie, 

The quhilk to me trefpaflbur did fcho kyith. 

I_the forgive, quod fcho. Than was I blyth ; 

Doun on ane flock I fat me fuddenlie 

At hir command, and wrait this lay alfwyth, 

Unwemmit witt deliverit of dangair, 
Maift happelie deliverit fra the fnair, 
Relevit fre of feryice and bondage, 
Expell dolour, expell difeifis fair, 
Avoid difplefure womenting and cair, 
Reflave plefance, and do thy forrow fwage, 
Behald thy glaid frefche luftie grene curage, 
Rejoice amid thir Joyers but difpair, 
Provide ane place to plant thy tender age, 
In leftand blis to remane and repair. 

Quha is in welth ? Quha is weill fortunate ? 
Quha is in pes diffeverit fra debait ? 
Quha levis in hope, Quha levis in efperance, 
Quha ftandis in grace, Quha flandis in firm eftait ? 
Quha is content,, rejoycit air and lait, 
Or quha is he that fortoun dois avance ? 
Bot thow that is replenifchit of plefance, 
Thow hes comfort, all weilfair delicate, 
Thow hes glaidnes, thow hes the happie chance, 
Thow hes thy will, thow be nocht defolait. 

Incres in mirthfull confolatioun, 
In joyous fweit imaginatioun, 
Abound in lufe of purify t amouris, 



With diligent trew deliberatioun, 

Rander lovingis for thy falvatioun, 

Till Venus, and under her guerdon all houris, 

Reft at all eis, but fair or fitefull fchouris, 

Abide in quiet, maift conftant wcillfair, 

Unwemmit wit deliverit of all dangeir. 

This lay was red in oppin audience, 
Of the Mufis and in Venus prefence. 
I Hand content thow art obedient, 
Quod Calliope, my companion and defence. 
Venus faid eik it was fome recompence, 
For my trefpas, I was fa penitent. 
And with that word all fuddanelie fcho went, 
In ane inftant fcho and hir court was hence : 
Yit Hill abaid thir Mufis on the bent. 

Inclynand then, I faid, Calliope, 
My prote£tour, my help, and my fupplie, 
My fpverane lady, my redemptioun, 
My mediatour, quhen I was dampnit to die, 
I fall befeik the godlie majeftie, 
Infinite thankis, laude and benifoun, 
Yow till acquite, according your renoun. 
It langis nocht my polfibilitie, 
Till recompence ten_part of this guerdoun. 

Gloir, honour, laude, and reverence conding, ' 
Ouha may foryeild yow of fa hie ane thing : 
And in that part your mercie I imploir, 
Submitting me my life-time induring, 
Your plefance and mandate till obeyfing. 
Silence, faid fcho, I have eneuch heirfoir, 
I will thow wend and vefie wonderis moir. 
Than fcho me hes betaucht in keiping, 
Of ane fweit nymphe maift faithfull and decoir. 


JAMES IV. 1488—^1513. 409 


Ane hors I gat maift richelie befene, 

Was harneift all with wodbind levis grene ; 

Of the fame fute the trappours law doun hang j 

Ouir him I fir aid at command of the quene. 

Then famin furth we ryding all bedene, 

Als fwift as thocht with mony a merie fang. 

My nymph alwayis convoyit me of thrang^ 

Amid the Mufis to fe quhat thay wald mene 

Quhilks fang and playit, but never a wreifl yeid wrang% 

Throw countreis feir, holtis, and rockes hie, 
Ouir vaillis, planis, woddis, wallis, fey ; 
Ouir fludis fair, and mony ilrait mountane, 
We war caryit in twinkling of ane eye. 
Our horns flaw, and raid nocht, as thocht me. 
We paffit Eryx, and hill of Helicon, 
Baith dedicate to Venus in certain. 
Ouir mont Cinthus, quhair God Apollo fchone^ 
Straicht to the Mufis Cabaline fountane* 

Befide that criftall well, fweit and digeft, 
Thame to repois, thair hors refrefche and reft, 
AHchtit iioun thir Mufis cleir of hew. 
The companie all haillelie, leift and beft, 
Thrang to the well to drink, quhilk ran fouth "weft. 
Throw out ane me|d quhair alkin flouris grew. 
Amang the laif full fail I did perfew, 
To drink, bot fa the greit preis me oppreft, 
That of the water I micht not tafte a drew. 

Ouir horfis pafturit in ane plefand plane, 
Law at the fute of ane fair greene montane, 
Amid ane meid fchaddowit with Ceder treis. 
Saif fra all heit, thair micht we weil remain. 
All kinde of herbis, flouris, frute, and graine, 

Vol. I, Fff With 


With evrie growand tre thair men micht cheis. 
The beryall ftreams rinnand ouir ftanerie greis, 
Made fober noyis ; the fchaw dinnet agane, 
For birdis tang, and founding of the beis. 

The ladyis fair on divers inftrumentis, 
Went playand, fingand, danfand, ouir the bentis, 
Full angellik and hevinlie was their foun. 
Quhat creature amid his hart imprintis, 
The frefche bewtie, the gudelie reprefentis, 
The merrie fpeiche, fair havingis, hie renown, 
Of thame, wald fet a wife man half in fwoun. 
The womanlines wryithit the elementis, 
Stoneift the hevin, and all the eirth adoun. 

The warld may not confidder nor defcrive 
The hevinlie joy, the blis I faw belive, 
Sa ineffable, abone my witt fa hie. 
I will na mair thairon my foreheid rive, 
Bot briefly furth my febill procefs drive. 
Law in the meid an palyeon picht I fe, 
Maift gudlieft, and richeft that micht be : 
My governour oftner than times five, 
Unto that hald to pafs commandit me. 

Swa finally ftraicht to that royall deed, 
In fellowfchip with my leidar I yeid. 
We enterit fone, the portar was not thra, 
Thair was na flopping, lang demand, nor pleid. 
1 kneillit law, and unheilded my heid, 
And thon I faw our ladyis twa and twa, 
Sittand on deiflis ; familiars to and fra, 
Servand thame fall with ypocras and meid, 
Delicate meitis, dainteis feir alfwa. 


JAMES IV. I488— 1513. 4** 


With mirthis thus and meitis delicate, 
Thir ladyis feiftit according thair eftait. 
Uprais at laft, commandand till tranoynt. 
R^&eitLjwas Wawnjoude , and than God waitq, 
Men micht have fene fwift horlis haldin hait, 
Schynand for fweit, as thay had bene anoynt. 
Of all that rout was never a prick disjoynt, 
For all our taty, and I furth with my mait, 
Mountit on hors, raid famin in gude point. 

Ouir mony .gudlie plane we raid_bedene, 
Ouir waters wan, throw worthie woddis grene. 
And fwa at laft on lifting up our ene, 
We fe the final end of our travail, 
Amid ane plane a plefand roche to waill ; 
And everie wieht fra we that ficht had fene, 
Thankand greit God, their heidis law devaill. 
With finging, lauching, merines and play, 
Unto this roche we rydand furth the way. 

^Now briefly to my purpoife for till gone, 
About the hill lay wayis mony one, 
And to the hicht bot ane paffage ingrave, 
Hewin in the roche of Aid hard marbell flone. 
Agane the fone like to the glas it fchone, 
The afcence was hie, and (trait for till confave. 
Yit than thir Mufis gudelie and fuave, 
Alichtit down and clam the roche in hie, 
With all the rout, out-tane my nimphe and I. 

Still at the hillis fute we twa abaid ; 
Than fuddanlie my keipar to me faid, 
Afcend galland : than for feir I quuik. 
Be not afFrayit, fcho faid, be not difmayit. 
And with that word up the ftrait rod abraid, 



I followit faft, fcho be the hand me tuick, 
Yit durfl I never for dreid behind me luik. 
With meikle pain thus clam I neir the hicht, 
Quhair fuddanelie I faw ane griflie ficht. 

As we approchit neir the hillis heid, 
Ane terribill fewch birnand in flammis reid, 
Abhominabill, and how as hell to fee, 
All full of brinftane, pick, and bulling leid, 
Quhair mony wretchit creature lay deid, 
And miferabill catives yelland loud on hie, 
I faw : quhilk den micht weill compairit be, ' 
Till Xanthus the nude of Troy fa fchill, 
Birnand at Venus' heft contrair Achill. 

Amid our paffage lay this uglie ficht, 
Nocht braid, but fa horribill to everie wicht, 
That all the warld to pafs it fuld have dreid. 
Weil I confidderit na upper mair I micht, 
And to defcend fa hidious was the hicht, 
I durft not aventure for this eird on breid. 
Trimbland I flude with teith chatterand guide fpeid, 
My nymphe beheld my cheir, and faid let be, 
Thow fall nocht aill, and lo the caus (quod fche.) 

To me thow art commit, I fall the keip. 
Thir pieteous pepill amid this laithlie deip, 
War wretchis quhilks in luftie yeiris fair, 
Pretendit thame till hie honour to creip ; 
Bot fuddanlie thay fell on flewthfull fleip, 
Followand plefance, drownit in this loch of cair. 
And with that word fcho hint me be the hair, 
Carpit me till the hillis heid anone, 
As Abacuk was brocht in Babylone, 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 413 


This may fuffice, quod fcho, twitchand that part. 
Return thy heid, behald this uther art ; 
Confidder wonders and be vigilant, 
That thow may better endyten efterwart, 
Things quhilkis I fall the fchaw or we depart, 
Thow fall have fouth of fentence and not fcant. 
Thair is na welth nor weillfair thow fall want, 
The greit Palice of Honour thow fall now fe j 
i<ift up thy heid, behald that ficht, quod fche. 

At hir command I raifit hie on hicht, 
My vifage till behald that hevinlie ficht ; 
Bot to difcrive this matter in effecl:, 
Impoffibill war to ony eirdlie wicht. 
It tranfcendis feir abone my micht, 
That 1 with ink may do bot paper blek. 
I mofl draw furth, the yok lyis on my nek, 
As of the place to fay my leude avife, 
Plcneift with plefance like to Paradice. 


I faw a plane of peirles pulcritude, 

Quhairin aboundit alkin thingis gude, 

Spyce, wine, corne, oyle, tre, frute, flour, herbis grene 5 

All foullis, beiftis, birdis, and alkin fude. 

All maner fifches baith of fey and flude, 

War keipit in pondis of poleift filver fchene, 

With purifyit water as of the criflall clene. 

To noy the fmall the greit beiftis had na will, 

Nor ravenous foulis the lytill volatill. 

Still in the feflbun all thingis remanit thair 
Perpetuallie, but outher noy or fair ; 
Ay rypit war baith herbis, frute, and flouris. 
Of everie thing the namis to declair, 
Unto my febill wit impoffibill wair. 



Amid the meid replet of fweit odouris, 
The Palice ftude with mony royal towris, 
Quhair kyrnellis quent feill turets men micht find, 
And goldin fanis waifand with the wind. 


Finnakillis, fyellis, turnpekkis mony one, 

Gilt birneifl torris, quhilk like to Phebus fchone, 

Skarfment, reprife, corbell, and battellingis, 

Fullyery, bordouris of many precious ftone, 

Subtill muldrie wrocht mony day agone, 

On buttery s, jalme, pillaris and plefand fpringis. 

Quick imagerie with mony luftie fyngis, 

Thair micht be fene : and monie worthie wichtis, 

Befoir the yet arrayit all at richtis. 

Furth paft my nymphe, J followit fubfequent ; 
Straicht throw the plane to the firft waird we went 
Of the Palice, and enterit at the port. 
Thair faw we mony ftaitlie tournament, 
Lancis brokin, knichtis laid on the bent ; 
Plefand paftance, and mony luftie fport, 
Thair faw we als, and fum time battell mort ; 
All thir, quod fcho, on Venus fervice vaikis, 
Jfi deidis of armis for thair ladyis faikis. 


Vefyand I ftude the principal place but peir, 

That hevinlie Palice all of criftall cleir, 

Wrocht as me thocht of polift berial ftone. 

Bofiliall nor Oliab but weir, 

Quhilk fanBa fanEtorum maid maift riche and deir, 

Nor he that wroucht the temple of Salomon, 

Nor he that buildit the royall Ylion, 

Nor he that forgit Darius fepulture, 

Culd not per forme fa craftilie ane cure. 

JAMES IV. I488 — I jl^. 415 


Studiand heiron my nymphe unto me fpak, 
Thus in a Hair quhy ftandis thow flupifak, 
Gouand all day, and nathing hes vefite ? 
Ihow art prolixt, in haul returne thy bak, 
Ga efter me, and gude attendance tak, 
Quhat now thow feis luik efterwart thow write, 
Thow fall behald all Venus blis perfite. 
Thairwith fcho till ane garth did me convoy, 
Quhair that I faw eneuch of perfite joy. 

Amid ane throne with flanis- riche ouirfret. 
And claith of gold, Lady Venus was fet j 
By hir, hir fone Cufide quhilk nathing feis^ 
Quhair Mars enterit na knawledge micht I get,* 
Bot flraicht befoir Venus vifage but let, 
Stude emeraut ftages twelf, grene precious grels, 
Quhairon thair grew thre curious goldin treis, 
Suftentand weill the goddes face beforne, 
Ane fair mirrour be thame quently upborne. 

Quhairof it makit was I have na feill, 
Of beriall, criitall, glas, or birniil fteill, 
Of diamant, or of the carbunkill gem ; 
Qiihat thing it was define may I not weill, 
Bot all the bordour circulair everie deill, 
Was plait of gold, cais, flock, and utter hem, 
With vertious flanis piclit that blude wald ftem. 
For quha that woundit was in the tornament, 
Wox haill fra he upon the mirrour blent. 


This royall rillik fa riche and radious, 

Sa polift, plefand, purifyit, precious, 

Quhais bounteis half to write I not prefume. 

Thairon to fe was fa delicious, 

And fa excelland fchaddowis gracious, 



Surmounting far in brichtnes, to my dome, 
The coiftlie fubtill fpektakill of Rome, 
Or yet the mirrour fent to Can ace, 
Qnhairin men micht ful mony wonders fe. 

Thair breiflie everie famous douchtie deid, 
That men in ftorie may fe, or chronikill reid 5 
I micht behald in that mirrour exprefs, 
The miferie, the crueltie, the dreid, 
Pane, forrow, wo, baith wretchitnes and neid, 
The greit invy, covetoufnefs, doublenes, 
Tuitchand warldlie unfaithfull brukilnefs. 
I faw the feind fall folkis to vices ryft, 
And all the cumming of the Antechrift. 


Plefand debaitments quha fa richt reportis* 
Thair micht be fene, and all maner difportis $ 
The falcounis for the river ; at thair gait 
Mewand the foullis in periculo mortis y 
Layand thame in be companeis and fortis, 
And at the plunge part faw I handillit hait. 
The werie hunter befie air and lair, 
With quefting houndis feirching to and fra, 
To hunt the hart, the bair, the da, the ra. 

I faw RaF Coilyear with his thrawin brow ; 
Craibit Johne the Reif, and auld Cowkelbeis fow j 
And how the wran came out of AilfTay. 
And Peirs Plewman that maid his workmen few ; 
Greit Gowmacmorne and Fyn Mac Cowl, and how 
Thay fuld be goddis in Ireland as thay fay. 
Thair faw I Maitland upon auld Beird Gray ; 
Robene Hude ; and Gilbert with the quhite heind, 
How Hay of Nauchton flew, in Madin land. 


JAMES IV. 1488—151^. 41? 


The Nigromancic thair faw I eik anone^ 
Of Benytas, Bongo, and Frier Bacone, 
With mony fubtill point of juglairie ; 
Of Flanders piis made mony precious ftone^ 
Ane greit laid fadill of a fiching bone, 
Of ane nutmug thay maid a Monk in hy, 
Ane paroche kirk of ane penny pye : 
And Benytas of an murTell maid an aip, 
With mony uther fubtill mow and jaip. 

And fchortlie to declair the verity, 
All plefand paftance and gammis that micht be* 
In tnat mirrour war prefent to my licht. 
And as I wonderit on that greit ferlie, 
Venus at laft, in turning of her eye, 
Knew weill my face, and faid be goddis micht, 
Ye bene welcome, my perfonair, to this hicht. 
How pafTit yow, quod fcho, this hiddeous deip ? 
Madame, quod I, I not mair than ane fcheip. 

Na force thai* of faid fcho, fen thow art heir, 
How plefis the our paftance and efFeir ? 
Glaidlie (quod I) madame, be God of hevin. 
Rememberis thow, faid fcho, withoutin weir, 
On thy promit quhen of thy greit dangeir, 
I the deliVerit, as now is not to nevin. 
Than anfwerit I agane with fober ftevin, 
Madame, your precept quhat fa be your will, 
Heir I remane ay reddy to fulfill. 

Weill weill, faid fcho, thy will is fufficient, 
Of thy bowfome anfwet I ftand content. 
Than fuddanlie in hand ane buik fcho hint, 
The quhilk to me betaucht fcho or I went, 
Commandand me to be obedient, 

Vol. I. G g g And 


And put in ryme that proces than quite tint. 
I promifit hir forfuith 01 fcho wald ftint, 
The buik reffavand, thairon my cure to preif, 
Inclynrmd fine, lawlie I tuik my leif. 

Tuitchand this buik peraventure ye fall heir, 
Sum time after quhen I have mair lafeir. 
My nimphe in haifl fcho hint me be the hand, 
And as we famyn walkit furth in feir, 
I the declair, quod fcho, yone mirrour cleir, 
The quhilk thow faw befoir Dame Venus Hand, 
Signifyis nathing ellis to underfland, 
Bot the greit bewtie of thir ladyis facis, 
Quhairin lovers thinks thay behald all graces. 

Cum on, faid fcho, this Ordinance to vifite. 
Than paft we to the criftall Palice quhite, 
B,ut I abade the entrie to behold, 
I bad na mair of plefance nor delite, 
Of luftie ficht, of joy and blifs perfite, 
Nor mair weilfare to have abone the mold, 
Than for to fee that ye£t of birnifhed gold, 
Quhairon thair was moil curiouflie ingrave, 
All naturall thingis men may in eird confave. 


Within that Palice than I gat ane ficht, 
Quhair walkand weat full mony worthie wicht 
Amid the clois, with all mirthis to waill. 
[For like Phebus with fyrie bemis bricht, 
The wallis fchane, caftand fa greit ane licht, 
It femit like the hevin Imperiall. 
And as the cedar furmountis the rammal 
In perfite hicht, fa of that Court a glance 
Exceidis far all eirldlie vane plefance. 


james iv. 1488— 1513. 4*9 

For lois of ficht confidder micht I nocht, 
How perfitelie the riche wallis war wrocht. 
Swa the reflex of chriftall ftanis fchone, 
For brichtnes fcarflie blenk thairon I mocht : 
The purifyit filver furelie as me thocht, 
Infteid of fyment was ouir all that wone ; 
Yit round about full mony ane beriall ftone, 
And thame conjunctlie jonit faft and quernit. 
The clois was paithit with filver as it femit. 


'The durris and the windois all were breddit 
With maffie gold, quhairof the fynes fcheddit. 
With birneift Evir baith Palice and Towris 
War theikit weill, maift craftilie that cled it, 
For fa the quhitely blaafchit bone ouirfpred it, 
Midlit with gold, anamalit all colouris, 
Importurait of birdis and lweit fiowris, 
Curious knottis, and monie hie devife, 
Quhilks to behald war perfite paradice.] 

Thefe war, faid fcho, quha fa the-richt difcrives, 
Maift valyeand folk and verteuous in thair lives. 
Now in the court of Honour thay remain, 
Verteouflie, and in all plefance thrives. 
For thay with fpeir, with fwordis, and with knives, 
In juft battell war fundin maift of mane : 
In thair promottis thay ftude ever firme and plane : 
In thame aboundit worfchip and lawtie, 
Illuminate with liberallitie. 

Honour, quod fcho, to this hevenlie ring, 
Differs richt far fra warldlie governing, 
Quhilk is bot pompe of eirdlie dignitie, 
Given for eftait of blude, micht or fie thing : 
But in this countrie Prince, Prelate, or King, 



Allanarlie fall for vertew honourit be. 
For eirdlie gloir is nocht bot vanitie, 
That as we fe fa fuddenlie will wend, 
Bot verteous honour never mair fall end, 

Now thow fall fe, furely, fen thow art heir, 
My Ladyeis Court in thair gudelie atteir ; 
For to behald thair myrth, cum on thy way. 
(Than hand in hand fwyith went we furth in feir, 
At a poftern towart ane fair herbeir.) 
Thair the fweit flouris of Rethoray 
Our Ladyeis gadderis, and mony tender plant, 
For with all plefance plenieiht is yone hant 
Quhair precious itanis on treis dois abound 
Infteid of frute, chargit with peirles round. 

Unto that gudlie garth than we proceid, 
Quhilk with a large foufie far on breid, 
Inveronit was, quhair fifches war anew j . - 
All water foullis war fwemand thair gude fpeid. 
Alfe out of growand treis thair faw I breid, 
Fowlis that hingand be thair nebbis grew. 
Out ouir the {lank of mony divers hew, 
Was laid ane tre ouir quhilk bchovit us pafs, 
Bot I can not declair quhairof it was. 


My nymphe went ouir, chargeand me follow fait, 

Hir till obey my fpreitis wer agaft, 

Sa perrilous was the paffage till efpy. 

Away fcho went : and fra time fcho was part, 

Upon the brig I enterit at the laft, 

Bot fa my harnis tremblit befily, 

Quhill I fell ouir, and baith my feit flade by 

Out ouir the heid, into the flank adoun, 

Quhair as me thocht I was in point to drpuOt 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 441 


Quliat throw the birdis fang, and this affray, 
Out of my fwoon I walkinit quhair I lay, 
In the garding quhair I firfl doun fell, 
About I blent, for richt clier was the day, 
Bot all this luftie plefance was away. 
Allace, allace, I thocht me than in pane, 
And langit fair for to have fwounit agane. 
Till make an end, fittand under a tree, 
In laud of Honour I wrait thir verfis thre. 

<f O hie Honour, fweit hevinlie flour digeft ! 
Gem verteuous, maift precious, gudlieft, 
For hie renonn thou art guerdown conding, 
Of worfchip kend the glorious end and reft, 
But quhome in richt na worthie wicht may left, 
Thy greit puiiTance may maift avance all thing, 
And pouerall to meikall availl fone bring. 
I the require fen thow but peir art beft, 
That efter this in thy hie blis we ring. 

" Of grace thy face in everie place fa fchynis, 
That fweit all fpreit beith heid and feit inclynis, 
Thy gloir afoir for till imploir remeid. 
He docht richt nocht quhilk out of thocht the tynis, 
Thy name bot blame and royal fame divine is, 
Thow port at fchort of our comfort and reid, 
Till bring all thing till glaiding efter deid, 
All wicht but iicht of thy greit micht ay crinis^ 
O fchene I mene nane may fuftene thy feid. 

" Haill rois maift chois till clois thy fqis greit micht, 
Haill ftone quhilk fchone upon the throne of licht, 
Vertew quhais trew fweit dew ouir threw all vice, 
Was ay ilk day gar fay the way of licht, 
Amend offend and fend our end ay richt, 



Thow ftant, or dant, as fant of grant maift wife, 
Till be iupplie a id the hie gre of price, 
Delite the cit me quite of lite to dicht, 
For I apply fchortly to thy devife." 

the Author dire&is his buik to the Richt Nohill and 
Illujler Prince James the Feird, King of Scottis. 

Triumpous laud with palme of vi&orie, 

The lawret crowne of infinit glorie, 

Maift gracious Prince, ouir foverain James the FEird. 

Thy Majeftie mot have eternallie, 

Supreme honour, renoun of chevalrie, 

Felicitie perdurand in this eird, 

With eterne blis in heivin by fatal weird ! 

Reffave this rouftie rural rebaldrie, 

Laikand cunning, fra thy pure laige unleird ; 

Quhilk in the ficht of thy magnificence, 

Confidand in fa greit benevolence, 

Proponis thus my vulgar ignorance ; 

Maift humbillie 'with dew obedience, 

Befeikand oft thy michtie excellence, 

Be grace to pardoun all fie variance 

With fum beneing refpecl of firm conftance 

Remittand my pretended negligence, . 

Thow quhais micht may humble thing avance. 

Breif breiyal quhair ! of eloquence all quite, 

With rufiet weid and fentence imperfite, 

Till cum in plane, fe that thow nocht pretend the. 

Thy barrant termis, and thy vile indite 

Shall not be mine, I will not have the wite ; 


JAMES IV. I488 — 15 13. 423 

For as for me I quit clame that I kend the ! 
Thow are bot ftouth thift, louis Hcht bot lite, 
Not wortli ane mite, pray ilk man to amend the ! 
Fair on, uit-fite ! and on this wife I end the. 



- — 

Mackenzie and others have written that &awin Douglas was 
Rector of Herlot ; and the authority they refer to is Miln's Hiftory 
of the Bifhops of Dunk'.ld MS. in the Advocates' Library of Edin- 
burgh. But, upon confulting that MS., the word is found to be neither 
Heritt, nor (as a late Biographer has it) Hatvici, but Huvicb ; which, 
however, muft mean Haivict. The family of Angus, at that timej 
having extenfive eflates in Jedward and Selkirk Forefts, Liddifdale, &c. 
Gavin Douglas was there in the midft of his kindred ; and, fortu. 
nately for his poetical genius, in the midft of the Scottilh Arcadia. 
There, it is probable, he wrote his Pslice of Honour ; perhaps alfo his 
Tranjlation of Fhril, finif hed in Ju ly 15.13. Under the date of Septem- 
ber 30th, of the fame year, his father, the Earl of Angus, being then 
Provoft of Edinburgh, the following article occurs in the Town Coun- 
cil Recordf, with the marginal title Ane preiji made Burgefs ; " Magifter 
" Gavinus Douglas, prcpoficus ecclefix collegiatse bcati Egidii hujus 
" burgi effeclus eft BurgenCs pro commune bona villae, gratis." He 
was then the Earl's only fon, the two elder having periftiedwith their 
Sovereign at Flodden on the 9th of that fame month. 

The article immediately preceding this in the Council Records, is 
not only curious but highly interefting. It is a proclamation dated loth. 
September, the day after the battle ; and evinces clearly that the report 
of that difaftrous day had then reached Edinburgh, although the battle, 
did not commence till four o'clock in the afcernoon. Ic is in thefc 
words : 

" We do you to witt, forfamekill as thait is ane greit rumber now 
" laitlie ryfm wiihin this toun tutching our Sovrane Lord and his ar- 
" my, of the quhilk we underftand thair is cummin na veritie as yit, 
" quhairfoir we chairge ftraitlie, and commandis in our faid Sovrane 
«' Lord the Kingis nume, and the PreOdentis for the Provoft and Bail- 
" lies within this burgh, that all maneir of perfoins, nychtbours within 
'' the famyn, have reddy thair fenfabill geir ana wapponis for weir, 
and compcir thairwith to the faid Prefidentis, at jotvyng of the com- 
, " mon 


" mon bell, for the keiping and defenfs of the town aganis any that 
" wald invaid the famyn — And alfo chairgis that all wcmen, and fpe- 
u cialie vagabondis, that thai pafs to thair labours, and be nocht fene a- 
** poun the gait clamorand and cryand, under the pane of banefing thair 
" perfounis but favour ; and that the uther wemen of gu^e (fort) paf» 
■ to the kirk, and pray quhane tyme requires, for our foverane Lord 
" and his army, and nychtbouris being thairat, and hald thame at thair 
" previe labours, off the gar, within thair houffes as effeiris." 

The Prefident here mentioned was George of Towns, (perhaps a 
Douglas,) who on the 19th of Auguft had been chofen, with four o- 
thcr perfons, " by the Provofr, Baillies, and Community, in refpecT; that 
" they war to pafs to the Kingis army, till have jurifdicxioun during 
" their abfcnce." From this proclamation it alfo appears that thcfe 
Prefidents, or Commiffioners, were convinced that all was loft ; and 
yet their orders are accurate and firm ; without that pomp of words 
which, as Lord Hailes obferves, by ftudying to conceal fear, betrays 
it. This was an eventful period to the Houfe of Angus. The Pro- 
voft in a few months died of grief; and his Grandfon and heir, the ne. 
phew of Gawin" Douglas, in the following Auguft married Queen 
/ Margaret, the widow of James IV. From the progeny of this, and 
of the Queen's former marriage, united in the perfons of her two grand- 
children, Lord Darnley and Queen Mary, both of them Stew- 
arts, are defcended not only the Royal Family of Great Britain, but 
moft ef the crowned heads in Europe. 

St. 106. Ralph Coilyear, John the Re'if, &c. Thcfe appear to be the 
heroes of popular tales, the greater pait of which probably now loft. 
Robene Hude and Pierfs Ploivman are well known. Of Co-wkelbie fomc 
account his been given in page 379. Ralph Colyear, as mentioned be- 
fore, was printed in 1572 by 1 ekprevik, but no copy feems now to be 
extant. Lord Hailes fuppofes John the Reif (mentioned by Dunbar) 
to be Joun Armstrong of Gilnockic-hall, executed in 1529. No 
ballad relative to him is now known, excepting that which gives an ac- 
count of his death. The probability is, that they are two different per- 
fons. Gctu Mac-morn, and Pyn Mac-Coul, " reputed as gods in Ireland," 
are the great heroes of Ossian, who appear to havo betn fo generally 
known to our ancient Low-land poets and hiftorians, that one is almoft 
inclined to think that tranflations of fome of their ftories into Scoto. 
Saxon may have exifled two or three hundred years ago. Their namet 
arc thus mentioned by Barbour in 1375. 

Quhan that the Lord of Lorn faw 
His menyie ftand of hym fie aw, 
That thai durft nocht folow the chaice, 
Rycht angrc in hys hairt he wes, 
And foir wondert that he fuld fa 
Stonie thame, hym alane bot m», 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1 513. _ 42 5 

He fayd, " M«think Martbeoku fon 
" Rycht as Gow-Mac-morne wes won, 
w Tyl haif fra Fyngal his menzie 
" Rycht fua fra us all hes hee." 

The following account of the principal hero is given by Hector Eo- 
ETBIUS, {anno 1517) as tranflated by Bellendyne. « It is faid that 
'• Fyn Mac-Coule, the fonne of Coelus Scottifman, was, in thir 
" days, (of Kvno Eugenius, fifth century,) ane man of huge ftatoure 
" of feventeen cubits of hycht. He was ane gret hunter, and rycht 
*• terrybill for his huge quantitie to the pepyll ; or quhom ar mony vul- 
" S. ar fabyllis amang uf, nocht unlyke to thir f 3 by His that ar reherfit of 
" Kyng Arthurs. But becaus his dedis is nocht authorift by autentic 
1 authouris, I wyll rehers na thyng thairof, bot declair the remanent 
11 geftis of Kyng Eugenius." 

Bifhop Lesley's account (anno 1570) is in thefe words: " Multo- 
" rum opinio eft, Finnanum qucndam.Cceli filium, noftra lingua Fyn- 
" Mac-Coul dictum, ingentis magnitudinis virum, ea tempeftate 
* (A. D. 430) aptid nofiros vixiffe, et tanquam ex veterum gigantum 
■ flirpe exortum." 

In the Armorican Romance of the Britifh Hiftory, written in the loth » 
or nth Century, and tranflated into Latin by Geoffry of Monmouth 
about 1140, we have an account of a Gow Magog, a giant of 12 cubits 
high, who, with others of the fame (lately family, moft uncourteoufly 
oppofed the landing of the great grandfon of Eneas in Britain. He 
could unroot an oak as eafily as an hazel wand. This Gow Magog, 
(fays Mr Warton in his Hiftory of Englifl) Poetry,) is evidently bor- 
rowed by the Armorican author, from the giants, Gog and Magog, 
fo frequently introduced by the Arabians into their extravagant fictions; 
his Britifh fable having many other allufions to Oriental Hiftory. 
A Tale of this nature muft have become known to the Irifh and Scottifh 
Bards foon after it had got among their brethren in Wales. A fufpicion 
then here arifes, that the giant Gow-Magog of Geoffry of Mon- 
mouth, might very eafily by them have been transformed int,o Gow. 
Mag-mor, that is, Gow-Mag the Great, which afterwajvls would na- 
turally be written Gow^Mac-mor ; atid by the Scoto-Saxons, or Pi<ft«, 
Gow-Mac-morn. Or, the truth oi the Irijb flory may be this : (-ow 
Mag hting fet down as the enemy of their Fin-Gael, or Pin- 
Coille, it became neceffary in felf defence, to raife up a friendly 
giant of equal prowefs; and him, according to Boethius, (and alio 
to the Limeric Schoolmafter, anno 1566,) they chriftenud Fyn Mac- 
Coul, or FrN Mac-Huyle; to whom Gow Mag the Great wus but 
is a pigmy, for his height was feventeen cubits. The firft Celtic LegcfecU 
of their exploits may therefore have been compofed about the end of 
the twelfth, cr beginning of the thirteenth cemury. Sir David Likd- 
say, {anno ijjo,) in his interlude of Tie Droicbs, gives a ludicrous ac- 
Vol. I. H h h count 


count of Gog Magog, Gow Mac-Morn, and Ftn Mac-Kowll, all 
under the character of giants; but errs egregioufly in their genealogy, 
making Gow Mac-Morn to be the fon, and Ftn Mac-Cowll the 
father of old Gog, » 

Who, quhan he danfir, the warld wald fchog, 

Ten thowfand ellis yied in his frog 
Of Htland plaid, and mair. 

He had a wyfe we* mekile of clift, 

Hir heid wes heichar nor the lyft ; 

The hevin rerdit quhan fcho wad rift ; 
The lafs wes nathing fchlender. 

Scho fpatt Loch Lowmond with hir lippis, 

Thunder and fyre flawght fra her hippis; 

Quhan fcho was crabbit, the fone thold clippis ; 
The feynd durft nocht offend her. 

Dr Keating, in his Hiftory of Ireland, throws feme light on this fub- 
ject. He fays, however, it wag not Magog himfdf, but his great-grea:- 
grandfon Gjgas Partholanus, that landed on the coaft of Munfter 
the 14th day of May, in the year of the world 1978, and fucceeded in 
his great enterprife ; but the loofe behaviour of his wife rendered his 
domeftic liie very unhappy, and provoked him to fuch a degree, that he 
killed — her favourite grey-hound. This, as the learned aiftorian very 
properly obferves, was the firjl inflance of female falfehood and infideli- 
ty ever known in Ireland. 

How and when thefe giants dwindled down to the fize of ordinary 
mortals, is a fubject worthy of ferioui investigation. 

Of the other perfonages recorded in this fianza, nothing feems now 
to be known. 

St. 107. Bongo and Bcnytai. The firft may be Thomas Bungev, a 
Francilcan Monk, and fellow labourer in Alchemy and other occult 
iciences with the celebrated Roger Bacon, in the reign of Henrt 
III. It is reported that they wrought together feven years to forge a 
Brazen Head which was to anfwer all queftions propounded to it. Be- 
nttas may probably be an error of a tranferiber or printer for the Re- 
man Boetius, who, from his exteufive knowledge in a dark age, was 
reported by the Necromancers to have been an adept in their profun- 




[7* was mentioned above that Gavin Douglas finijhed 
his tranjlation of Virgil's Eneid in July 1513. To 

this purpofe he informs us in the concluding verfes : 


Completit was this werk Virgiliane 

Apoun the feift of Marye Magdalene, 

Fra Chriftis birth, the date quha lift to here 

Ane thoufand fyve hundreth and threttene yere : 

Quhilk for uthir grete occupacioh lay 

Unfterit clois befide me mony ane day : 

And neuirthelefs, quhidder I ferf thank or wyte, . 

Fra tyme I thareto fet my pen to wryte 

Apoun this wyfe, as God lift len me graice, 

It was compylit in auchtene monethis fpace : 

Set I feil fyith fie twa monethis in fere 

Wrate neuir ane word, nor micht the volume Here 

For grave materis, and grete folicitsde, 

That all fie laboure fer befyde me ftude. 

What thefe " grave materis" were; whether they re- 
lated to the affairs' of the family of Douglas, or of 
the nation, has never been conjeElured. It feems pro- 
bable that this intermijjion of his labour was from 
Oclober to December 15T2. 

In his Epiflle Dedicatory to Lord Stirling, fon 
and heir of the Earl of Orkney, he thus alfo afcer- 
tains the time when he wrote his " Palice of Ho- 





To you, my Lord, quhat is thair mare to fay 
Reffave your werk, defyrit mony ane day, 
Quhairin alfo now am I fully qnytt, 
As twichand Venus, of my auld promytt, 
Quhilk I hir maid, weill twelf yeris to-fore, 
As witnefleth my Palice of Honoure, 

To each of the twelve Books ■, Douglas thought Jit to 
prefix a Prologue^ two of which have heenjujlly ad- 
mired as natural and luxuriant defcriptions of Win- 
. ter, and of a May Morning j they are the Prologues 
to the Seventh and Twelfth Books. ~\ 

fx S bricht Piiebus fchene, foverane hevinnis E, 

The oppofit held of his chymes hie, 

Clere fchynand hemes, and goldin fumeris hew, 

]n lattoun cullour altering hale of new ; 

Kything no figne of heit be his viffage, 

So nere approchit he his wj r nter ftage $ 

Reddy he was to enter the thrid morne 

In cludy fkyes under Capricorne : 

All thoucht he be the lampe and hert of hevin, 

Forfeblit wox his lemand gilty levin, 

Throw the declyning of his large round fpere. 

The frofty regioun ryngis of the yere, 

The tyme and fefloun bitter, cauld and pale 

Th ay fchort dayis, that clerkis clepe ErUiMALE : 

Quhen brym blailis of the northyn art 

Ouerquhelmyt had Neptunus in his cart, 

And all to fchaik the levis of the treis, 

The rageand ftormes ouerwelterand wally feis. 

Ryveris ran rede on fpate with wattir broun, 

And burnis harlis all thare bankis doun, 


JAMES IV. I488 I5I3. 429 

And landbirft rumbland rudely with fie were, 
Sa loud nevir rummyft wyld lyoun nor bere : 
Fludis monftouris, fie as merefwynis or quhalis 
For the tempeft law in the depe devalis : 
Mars occideht retrograde in his fpere, 
Provocand ftryfFe, regnit as lord that yere. 
Rany Oriotjn with his ftormy face 
Bywavit oft the fchipman by hys race : 
Frawart Saturne chil of complexioun, 
Throw quhais afpect. darth and infe&ioun 
Bene caufit oft, and mortall peflilence, 
Went progreffive the greis of his afcence : 
And lufty Hebe, Junois dochter gay, 
Stude fpulyete of hir office and array : 
The fole yfowpite in to wattir wak, 
The firmament ourecaft with clndis blak : 
The ground fadit, and fauch wox al the feildis, 
Mountane toppis flekit with fnaw over heildis : 
On raggit rolkis of hard harik quhyn itane, 
With frofyu frontis cald clynty clewis fehane : 
Bewty was loift, and barrand fchew the landis, 
With froftis hare ouerfret the feildis ftandis. 
("Sere birtir bubbis and the fchoutis fnell 
Semyt on the fwarde in fimilitude of hell, 
Reducing to oure mynde in every ftede 
Goufty fchaddois of eild and grifly dede :) 
Thik drumly fkuggis dirkinnit fo the hevin, 
Dym fkyis oft furth warpit fereful levin, 
Flaggis of fyre, and mony felloun flaw, 
Scharp foppis of fleit, and of the fnyppand fnaw : 
The dolly dichis war al donk and wate, 
The law valis flodderit all wyth fpate, 
The plane flretis and every hie way 
Full of flufchis, dubbis, myre and clay ; 
Laggerit leyis wallowit fernis fchew, 
Broun muris kythit thare wiflinyt mofly hew j 



Bank, bray and boddum blanfchit wox and bare j 

For gourl weddir growit beiftis hare. 

The wynd maid waif the rede wede on the dyk, 

Bedowin in donkis depe was every (ike : 

Oaer craggis and the frontis of rochys fere 

Hang grete yte fchokkilis lang as ony fpere : 

The grund ftade barrane, widderit, dofk and gray, 

Herbis, flouris and gerffis wallowit away : 

Woddis, foreflis with naket bewis blout 

Stude ftripit of thare wede in every hout : 

Sa buftouflie Boreas his bugill blew, 

The dere full derne doun in the dailis drew : 

Small birdis fiokand throw ilk ronnys thrang, 

In chirmynge, and with cheping changit thare fang, 

Sekand hidlis and hirnys thame to hyde 

Fra ferefull thuddis of the tempeiluus tyde : 

The wattir lynnys rowtis, and every lyiid 

Quhiflit and brayit of the fouchand wynd : 

Pure lauboraris and byffy hufband men 

Went weet and wery draglit in the fen. 

The cilly fchepe and thare litill hird-gromes 

Lurkis under lye of bankis, woddis and bromes : 

And utheris dantit greter beiftial, 

Within thare ftabill Tefit in thare flail, 

Sic as mulis, hors, oxin or ky, 

Fed tufkit baris, and fat fwyne in fly, 

Suflenit war be mannis governance 

On herviil and on fomeris purviance : 

Widequhare with fors fo Eolus fchoutis fchill, 

In this congelit fefoun fcharp and chill, 

The callour are penetrative and pure 

Dafing the blude in every creature, 

Made feik warme ftovis and bene fyris hote, 

In doubill garmont cled, and welecate, 

With mychty drink, and metis confortive, 

Aganis the ft erne wynter for to ftrivc. 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 43I 

Repatirrit wele, and by the chymnay bekit, 
At evin be tyme doun in ane bed me ftrekit, 
Warpif my hede, keft on claithis thrynfald 
For to expell the perrellus perfand cald : 
I crofit me, fyne bownit for to flepe : 
Quhare lemand throw the glas I did tak kepe 
L atom 1 A the lang irkfum nycht 
Hir fubtell blenkis fched and watry lychr, 
Full hie up quhirlit in hir regioun, 
Till Phebus richt in oppoficioun, 
Into the Crab hir propir manfioun draw, 
Haldand the hicht althocht the fon went law : 
The hornyt byrd quhilk we clepe the nicht oule, 
Within hir caverne hard I fchout and youle, 
Laithely of forme, with crukit camfcho beik, 
Ugfum to here was hir wyld elrifche Ikreik. 
The wyld geis eik claking by nychtis tyde 
Attour the ciete fleand hard I glyde. 
On Hummer I flade full fone, and flepyt found, 
Quhill the horifont upwart can rebourid : 
Phebus crounit bird, the nichtis orlagere, 
Clappin his wingis thryis had crawin clere : 
Approching nere the breking of the day, 
Within my bed I walkynnyt quhare I lay, 
Sa fail declynnys Cynthia the mone, 
And kayis keklys on the rufe abone : 
Palamedes birdis crowpand in the fky, 
Fleand on randoun, fchapin lyk ane Y, 
And as an trumpit rang thare vocis foun, 
Quhais cryis bene pronofticacioun 
Of wyndy blaftis and ventofiteis. 
Faft by my chalmer on hie wifnit treis 
The fary gled quhifsllis with mony ane pew, 
Quharby the day was dawing wele I knew j 
Bad bete the fyre, and the candyll alicht, 
Syne blifiit me, and in my wedis dicht ; 



Ane fcbot-wyndo unfchet, ane litel on char, 
Perfavyt the mornyng bla, wan and har, 
Wyth cloudy gum and rak ouerquhelmyt the are ; 
The fulye fliche, hafwert, rouch and hare ; 
Branchis braltlyng ; and blaiknyt fchew the brayis, 
With hirftis harfk of waggand wyndil flrayis. 
The dew droppis congelit on ftibbil and rynd, 
And fcharp hailftanys mortfundyit of kynd, 
Hoppand on the thak, and on the caufay by : 
The fchote I clofit, and drew inwart in hy, 
Cheverand of cald, the feflbun was fa fnell, 
Schupe with hait flambis to Heme the fiefing fell. 
And as I bounit me to the fire me by, 
Baith up and doun the houfe, I did efpy ; 
And feand Virgill on ane letteron ftand, 
To wryte anone I eynt my pen in hand, 
And as I culd, with ane fald diligence 
This nixt buke followand of profouud fcience 
Thus has begun in the chill wynter cald, 
Quhen froftis dois ouer flete baith firth and fald. 


P. 43T. I. I. Repatirrlt ivtle, i. c. Having repeated a good number of 
Pattr jiefttrs. In the Editions it is erroneoufly printed RttreaU. Several 
other errors are corrected in this and the following Prologues, by the 
lift of various readings v*hich Ruddiman made from an ancient MS. 



JLJionea, nycht bird, and wache of day, 

The fteines chafit of the hevin away ; 

Dame Cynthia doun rolling in the feye, 

And Venus loift the bewte of hir eye, 

Fleand efchamet within CyllEnius cave ; 

Mars umbedrew for all his grundin glave ; 

Nor frawart Saturve from his mortall fpere 

Durft langare in the firmament appere, 

Bot ftal abak yound in his regioun far, 

Behynd the circulate warld of Jupiter ; 

Nyctimene affrayit of the licht 

Went under covert, for gone was the nycht ; 

As frefche Aurora, to mychty Titiione fpous, 

Ifchit of hir fafferon bed and evyr hous, 

In crammefy clede and granit violate, 

With fanguyne cape, the felvage purpurate, 

Unfchet the wyndois of hir large hall, 

Spred all with rolisj and full of balme riall, 

And eik the hevinly portis criftallyne 

Upwarpis brade, the warlde till illumyne. 

The twynkling ftremouris of the orient 

Sched purpour fprayngis, with gold and afure ment, 

Perfand the fabil barmkin no&urnall, 

Bet doun the fkyes cloudy mantil wall ; 

Eolus the ftede, with ruby hammys rede, 

Abufe the feyis liftis furth his hede, 

Of culloure fore, and fum dele broune as bery, 

For to alichtin and glade our emyfpery j 

The flambe out braftin at the neifs thirlis, 

So fall Phaeton with the quhip him quhirlis, 

Vol. I. I i i To 


To roll Apollo his faderis goldin chare, 
That fchroudith all the hevynnys and the are ; 
Quhil fchortlie with the blefand torche of day, 
Abulyeit in his lemand frefche array, 
Furth of his palice riall ifchit Phebus, 
With goldin croun and village glorius, 
Crifp haris, bricht as chriflblite or thopas, 
For quhais hew mycht nane behald his face ; 
The fyrie fparkis brafting from his ene, 
To purge the are, and gilt the tendir grene, 
Defoundand from his fege etheriall 
Glade influent afpe&is celicall ; 
Before his regal hie magnificence 
Myfly vapoure upfpringand fwete as fence, 
In fmoky foppis of donk dewis wak, 
.With hailfum flouis ouerheildand the flak. 
The auriate phanis of his trone foverane, 
With glitterand glance, ouerfpred the ocliane, 
The large fludis lemand all of licht, 
Bot with ane blenk of his fupernale ficht ; 
For to behald it was ane glore to fe 
The ftabillyt wyndys, and the calmyt fe, 
The foft feiToun, the firmament ferene, 
The loune illuminate are, and firth amene ; 
The filver fcalit fyfchis on the grete, 
Ouer thowrt clere ftremes fprinkilland for the hete, 
With fynnys fchinand broun as fynopare, 
And chefal talis, ftourand here and thare 5 
The new cullour alichting all the landis 
Forgane the ftanryis fchene, and beriall llrandis : 
Quhil the reflex of the diurnal bemes 
The bene bonkis keft ful of variant glemes. 
And lufty Flora did hir blomes fprede 
Under the fete of Phebus fulyeart ftede : 
The fwardit foyll enbrode with felkouth hewis, 
Wod and foreft obumbrate with the bewis, 


james iv. 1488 — 1 5 13. 435 

Quhais blysful branchis porturate ou the ground 

With fchaddois khene fchew rochis rubicund, 

Towris, turettis, kirnalis, and pynnakillis hie 

Of kirkis, cailellis, and ilk faire ciete, 

Stude pajntit, every fane, phioli and ftage 

Apoun the plane ground, by thare awin umbrage : 

Of Eolus north blaftis havand na drede, 

The fulye fpred hir brade bofum on brede, 

Zephyrus confortabill infpiratioun 

lor tyll refiave law in hir barne adoun : 

The cornis croppis, and the here new brerde 

Wyth gladefum garmont revelling the erd ; 

So thyk the plantis fprang in every pete, 

The feildis ferlyis of thare frucfcuous flete : 

Byfly dame Ceres, and proude Priapus 

Rejoling of the planis plentuous, 

Plennyft fo plefand, and mailt propirly 

By nature nuriffit wounder tendirly, 

On the fertyl ikyrt lappis of the ground 

Strekand on brede under the cyrkil round : 

The varyant vefture of the venuft vale 

Schrowdis the fcherand fur, and every fale 

Ouerfrett wyth fulzeis, and fyguris ful dy vers, 

The pray byfprent wyth fpryngand fproutis dyfpers, 

For callour humours on the dewy nycht, 

Rendryng fum place the gyrs pylis thare licht, 

Als fer as catal the lang foraerys day 

Had in thare pafture ete and gnyp away ; 

And blysful bloilbmys ia the blomyt yard 

Submyttis thare hedys in the young fonnys fafgard : 

Ive levis rank ouerfpred the barmkyn wall, 

The blomit hauthorne cled his pykis all, 

Furth of frefche burgeouns the wyne grapis ying 

Endlang the trazileys dyd on twiflis hingj 

Theloukit buttouns on the gemyt treis 

Ouerfpredand levis of naturis tapeftryis, 



Soft grefy verdoure eftir balmy fchouris, 

On curlaud ftalkis fmyland to thare flowris : 

Behaldand thame fa mony divers hew 

Sum peirs, fum pale, fum burnet, and fum blew, 

Sum gres, fum gowlis, fum purpure, fum fanguane, 

Blanchit or broun, fauch yallo-.v mony ane ; 

Sun hevinly colourit in celeftial gre, 

Sum wattry hewit as the ha*w wally fe, 

And fum departe in freklis rede and quhyte, 

Sum bricht as gold with aureate levis lyte. 

The dafy did on brede hir crownel fmale, 

And every flour unlappit in the dale ; 

In battil gers burgeouns, the banwart wyld, 

The clavir, catcluke, and the cammomylde ; 

The flourdelyce furth fprede his hevynly hew, 

Floure damas, and columbe blak and blew ; 

Sere downis fmal on dentilioun fprang, 

The young grene blomit ftrabery levis amang ; 

Gimp jereflouris thareon levis unfchet, 

Frefche prymrois, and the purpour violet ; 

The rois knoppis, tetand furth thare hede, 

Gan chyp, and kyth thare vernale lippis red ; 

Cryfp Ikarlet levis fum fcheddand baith attanis, 

Keil fragrant fmel amyd fra goldin granis ; 

Hevinlie lyllyis, with lokkerand toppis quhyte, 

Opynnit and fchew thare creiftis redemyte, 

The balmy vapour from thare fylkyn croppis 

Diftilland halefum fugurat hony droppis, 

And fylver fchakeris gan fra levys hing, 

With cryftal fprayngis on the verdure ying : 

The plane pouderit with femelie feitis found, 

Bedyit ful of dewy peirlys round ; 

So that ilk burgeoun, fyon, herbe, or floure, 

Wox all enbalmyt of the frefche liquour, 

And baithit hait did in dulce humouris flete, 

Quharcof the beis wrocht thare hony fwete, 


james iv. 1488—1513. 437 

Be mychty Phebus operatiouns, 

In fappy fubtell exhalatiouns : 

Forgane the cummyn of this prynce potent, 

Redolent odour up from the rutis fprent, 

Halefum of fmel, as ony fpicery, 

Triakil, droggis, or electuary, 

Seropys, fewane, fuccure, and fynamome, 

Pretius inuntment, faufe, or fragrant pome, 

Aromatike gummes, or ony fyne potioun, 

Muft, myr, aloyes, or confe&ioun. 

Ane paradife it femyt to draw nere 

Thir galyeard gardingis, and eik grene herbere : 

Mayft amyabil waxis the emerant medis ; 

Swannis fouchis throw out the refpand redis, 

Ouer all the lochis and the fludis gray, 

Serfand by kynd ane place quhare thay fuld lay. 

Phebus rede fule his curale creifl can ftere, 

Oft ftrekand furth his hekkil crawand clerc 

Amyd the wortis, and the rutis gent, 

Pikland hys mete in alayis quhare he went, 

His wyffis, Toppa and Partelot, hym by, 

As bird al tyme that hantis bygamy. 

The payntit powne payfand with plumy s gym, 

Keft up his tale, ane proud plefand quheil-rym, 

Ifchrowdit in his fedderane bricht and fchcne, 

Schapand the prent of Argois hundreth ene. 

Amang the bronys of the olyve twiflis, 

Sere fmale foulis, wirkand crafty neftis, 

Fndlang the hedgeis thik, and on rank akis 

Ilk bird reiofand with thare mirthful maku. 

In corneris and clere fenefteris of glas, 

Full befely Arachne wevand was, 

To knyt hyr nettis and hyr wobbis fle, 

Therewith to caucht the litil mige or fle. 

So dully pouder upltouris in every ftrete, 

Quhil coxby gafpit for the' fervent hete. 



Under the bewis bene in lufely valis, 

Within fermance and parkis clois of palis, 

The buftuous bukkis rakis furth on raw ; 

Heirdis of hertis throw the thyck wod fchaw, 

Bayth the brokittis, and with brade burnift tyndis ; 

The fprutillit calfys foukand the rede hyndis, 

The young fownys folio wand the dun days, 

Kiddis fkippand throw ronnys eftir 1 ais ; 

In lefuris and on leyis litill lammes, 

Full tait and trig, focht bletand to thare dammes ; 

Tydy ky lowis, velis by thaym rynnis, 

And fnod and flekit worth thir beiftis ikinnis. 

On fait ftremcs wolk Dorida and Thetis ; 

By rynnand ftrandis, Nymphes and Naiades, 

Sic as we clepe wenfchis and damyffellis, 

In gerfy gravis wanderand by fpring wellis, 

Of blomed branfchis and flouris quhyte and rede 

Plettand thare lufty chaplettis for thare hede : 

Sum fang ring fangis, dancis, ledis, and roundis, 

With vocis fchil, quhil all the dale refoundis ; 

Quharefo thay walk into thare karoling, 

For amourus layis dois all the rochis ring : 

Ane fang, The /chip falis ouer the fait fame, 

Will bring thir merchandis and my lemane hame ; 

Sum uther fingis, I wil be blyith and licht, ' 

My hert is lent apoun fa gudly wicht. 

And thochtful luffaiis rownyis to and fro, 

To leis thare pane, and plene thare joly wo ; 

Eftir thare gife, now fingand, now in forow, 

With hertis penfive, the lang fomeris morow : 

Sum ballettis lift endite of his lady, 

Sum levis in hope, and fum alluterly 

Difparit is, and fa quyte oute of grace, 

Hys purgatory he fyndis in every place. 

To pleis hys lufe fum thocht to natter and fene, 

Sum to hant bawdry and unleifsum mene j 


JAMES IV. I488 — I5I3. 439 

Sum rownys till his fallow, thaym betwene, 
Hys mery ftouth and paftyme lait yiftrene : 
Smyland fais ane, I couth in private 
Schaw the ane burd. Ha, quhat be that, quod he ? 
Quhat thing ? That moil! be fecrete, faid the uthir. 
Gude lord ! myfbeleve ye your verry brothyr ? 
Na nevir ane dele, bot herkys quhat I wald, 
Thou man be prevy : lo my hand uphald : 
Than fal thou wend at evin : quod he, quhiddir ? 
In fie ane place here weft, we baith togiddir, 
Quhare fche fo frefchlye fang this hinder nicht : 
Do cheis the ane, and I fall quench the licht. 
1 fall be thare, quod he, I hope ; and leuch ; 
Ya, now I knaw the mater wele yneuch. 
Thus oft divulgate is thys fchameful play, 
Na thing accordyng to our halefum May, 
Bot rathir contagius and infe&yve, 
And repugnant that feffoun nutritive ; 
Quhen new curage kitillis all gentil hertis, 
Seand throw kynd ilk thing fpryngis and revertis. 
Dame naturis menftralis, on that uthyr parte, 
Thare blisful bay intonyng every arte, 
To bete thare amouris of thare nychtis bale. 
The merle, the mavys, and the nychtingale, 
Wyth mirry notis myrthfully furth brift, 
Enforcing thaym quha micht do clink it bell : 
The kowfehot croudis and pyrkis on the ryfe, 
The ftirling changis divers ftevynnys nyfe j 
The fparrow chirmis in the wallis clyft, 
Goldfpink and lintquhite fordynnand the lyft \ 
The gukkow galis, and fo quhitteris the quale, 
Quhil ryveris reirdit, fchawis, and every dale, 
And tendir twiflis trymblit on the treis, 
For birdis fang, and bemyng of the beis, 
In werblis dulce of hevinlie armonyis, 
The larkis loude releifchand in the Ikyis, 



Lovis thare lege with tonys curious ; 

Bayth to dame Natur, and the frefche Venus^ 

Rendring hie laudis in thare observance, 

Quhais fuggourit throttis made glade hartis dance, 

And al fmal foulis fingis on the fpray. 

Welcum the lord of licht, and lampe of day, 
Welcum fofterare of tender heibis grene, 
Welcum quhikkynnar of ilurifl flouris fchene, 
Welcum fupport of every rute and vane, 
Welcum confort of al kind frute and grane, 
Welcum the birdis beild apoun the brere, 
Welcum maifter and reulare of the yere, 
Welcum welefare of hulbandis at the plewis, 
Welcum reparare of woddis, treis, and bewis, 
Welcum depaynter of the blomyt medis, 
Welcum the lyffe of every thing that fpiedis, 
Welcum florare of al kynd beflial, 
Welcum be thy bricht bemes gladand al, 
Welcum celeftiall myrrour and efpye, 
Atteiching all that hantis fluggardry. 

And with this wourd, in chawmer quhare I lay, 
The nynt morow of frefche temperit May, 
On fute I fprent into my bare fark, 
Wilful for to complete my langfum wark, 
Twiching the lattir buke of Dan Virgil, 
Quhilk me had taryit al to lang ane quhyle : 
And to behald the cummyng of this King, 
That was fo welcum to al warldly thyng, 
With fie triumphe and pompus curage glaid, 
Than of his foverane chymmes, as is faid. 
Newlie arifir«g in his eftate ryall, 
That by his hew, but orliger or dyal, 
I knew it was pafl four houris of day, 
And thocht I wald na langare ly in May, 
Les Phebus fuld me lofingere attaynt : 
For Progne had or than foung hir complaynt, 


JAMES IV. I488 I5I3. 441 

And elk hir dredful lifter Philomene 
Hir layis endit,_and in wod.dis g.rene 
Hid hir felvin, efchamit of hir chance : 
And Esacus completit his pennance, 
In ryveris, fludis, and on every laik : 
And Peristera biddis luffaris awake, 
Do ferf my lady Venus here with me, 
Lerne thus to make your obfervance, quod fche, 
Ladyis into my fwete-hartis prefence , 

Behaldis how I beinge, and dois reverence. 
Hir neck than fcho w*inklis, traling mony fold 
With plum is glitter and, afure apoun gold, 
Rendring ane cullour betwix grene and blew, 
In purpure glance of hevinlie variant hew ; 
I mene our awin native bird, the gentil dow, 
Singand on hir kynde, / come bidder to wow ; 
So prikking hir grene curage for to crowde 
In amorus voce, and wowar foundis lowde ; 
That for the dynnyng of hir wantoun cry, 
I irkit of my bed, and mycht not ly, 
Bot gan me blis, fyne in my wedis dreffis : 
And for it was are morow, or tyme of meffis, 
I hint ane fcripture, and my pen furth tuke j 
Syne thus began of Virgil the twelt buke. 

In his Prologue fo the 13th Book, or Maffeus' Supplement, our 
author prefen's us with the following picture of a Summer Evening : 

Towart the tvyn, amyc! the fomeris hcte, 
Qjihen in the Crah Apollo held hys fete, 
During the joyus moneth tyme of yune, 
As pone nere was the day, and fupper done ; 
I walkit furth about the feildis tyte, 
Quhilkis tho replenift frude ful of delyte, 
With herbis, comes, cattel and frute treis, 
Phnte of ftore,birdis and befy bet's, 

Vol. I. Kkk :* 


In emerand medis fleand eft and weft, 

Eftir labour to tak the nychtis reft. 

And as I lukit on the lift me by, 

All birnand rede gan waxin the evin fky ; 

The fon enfyrit hale, as to my ficht, 

Quhirllit about his ball with bemes bricht, 

Declynand faft towart the north in dede, 

And fyrie Phlegon his dym nychtis ftedc 

Doukit fa depe his hede in fludis gray, 

That Phebus rollis doun under helaway : 

And Hesperus in the weft with bemes bricht 

Upfpringis, as fore rydare of the nycht. 

Amyd the hawchis, and every lufty vale, 

The recent dew begynnis doun to Scale, 

To meis the birning quhare the fone had fchyne, 

Quhilk tho was to the nether warld declyne : 

At every pylis poynt and comes croppis 

The teicheris ftude, as lemand beriaJl droppis, 

And on the halefum herbis, clene but wedis, 

Like c rift a 11 knoppis or fniall Giver bedis : 

The licht begouth to quenfehyng out and fall, 

The day to dirken, declyne and devall : 

The gummis rifis, doun fallis the donk rym, 

Bay th here and thare flcuggis and fchaddois dym : 

Up gois the bak with hir pelit leddren flicht, 

The larkis difcendis from the flcyis hicht, 

Singand hir complene fang eftir hir gife, 

To take hir reft, at matyne houre to ryfe ; 

Out ouer the fwyre fwymmys the foppis of myft, 

The nicht furth fpred hir cloik wyth fabyl lyft; 

That al the bewty of the fruftuous feild 

"Was wyth the erthis umbrage clene ouerheild : 

Bayth man and beift, firth, flude, and woddis wylde 

Involvit in the fchaddois war infylde : 

Styll war the foulis fleis in the arc, 

All ftore and cattail fclit in thare lare ; 

All creature quhare fo thame lykis beft 

Bownis to tak the halefum nychtis reft, 

Eftir the dayis laubour and the hete : 

Clois warren all and at thare foft quiet, 

But fterage or removyng, he or fche, 

Outhir beift, bird, fyfthe, foul by land or fe. 

And fchortly every thyng that doith repare 

In firth or feild, flude, foreft, erth or are, . 

Or in the fcroggis, or the bufkis ronk, » 

Lakis, marcflis, or thare poulis donk : 


james iv. 1488— 1513. 443 

Aftablit Iyggis ftyl to fleip and reftis 
Be the fmall biidis fyttand on thare neftis, 
The lytil mydgis, and the urefum fleis, 
Lauborius emettis, and the bifly beis; 
Als wele the wyld as the tame beftiall, 
And every uthir thingis grete and fmall: 
Out tak the mery nychtyngale Pbilomtne, 
That on the thorne fat fyngand fro the fplene. 

Day.break, or the dawning of the day, he defcribes thus : 

Younder doun dwynis the evin iky away, 

And upfpringis the bricht dawning of the day : 

In till ane uthir place, not fer in founder, ■ 

That to behald was plcfance, and half wounder, 

Furth quencheing gan the fternes ane be ane. 

That now is left bot Lucifer allane. 

And forthirmore, to blafin this new day, 

Quhay micht difcryve the birdis blislul lay ? ^ 

Belyve on wyng the biffy lark upfprang, 

To falute the bricht morow with hir fang : 

Sone ouer the feildis fchynes the licht clerc, 

Welcum to pilgryme baith and lauborere : 

Tyte on his hynes gaif the Greif ane cry ; 

Awalk, on fute, go tyl our husbandry : 

And the hird callis furth apoun his page, 

To drive the catall to thare pafturage : 

The hyneswiffe clepis up Katberine and Gyl; 

Ya, dame, faid thay, God wate, with na gude will. 

The dewye grene powdeiit with dafyis gay 

Schew on the fwarde ane cullour dapil gray : 

The myfty vapouris fpryngand up ful fwete, 

Maid comfortabil to glaid al mannis fprete : 

Thareto thir birdis fingis in thare fchawis, 

As menftralis playis, The joly day noiv da-wis. 

In thefe two Prologues Gawin Dovglas records the firft lines of a 
few fongs, undoubtedly the favourites of his day : 

The fchip falls ouer tbe fait fame, 

Will bring tbir mercbandis, and my lemane bame. 

J ivill be blyitb and licht, 

My hert it lent apoun fa gudly tvhbt. 

I tome bidder to zvozu. 
The joly day now davits. 



All of them feem now to be irretrievably loft — both words a»d ma- 
fic ; excepting the lalf, the air of which is generally fuppofed to be the 
Well known Hey tutty taity ; or, 

Landlady count thelawin, 
The day is near the da-win, &C. 

No Scottifh air poff.ffes more genuine firhplicity ; and to no other is 
Wedderhurns godly parody on Hey now the day da-tvis , fo well adapted 
as to Hey tutty taity. The meafure, or conftrudtion of ftanza, and the 
melody are lingular ; and appropriate to each other, to all appearance, 

Of this there feeming no reafon to doubt, we may fafely pronounce it 
to be at lcaft as old as the time of James IV. There is even a tradition 
that it was Robert the Bruce's march at the battle of Bannockburn > 
but probably no martial mufic, or mufical instrument was there ufed, 
excepting, by every man his own bugle, or bullock-horn. Be that 
as it may, it muft be acknowledged that there is no evidence of any 
other known Scottifh Air being older than Hey now the day daivis. It 
feems to be mentioned as a dance in the tale of Co-wtelbie ; lee p. 308. 
According to Dunbar's account, the menjlralis (or pipers) of Edinburgh 
in his time knew hatdly any other tune. In a fatirical addrefs to the 
merchants, he fays, 

Your commone menftralis hes no tunc 
Bot No-w the day da-wit, and Into youn. 

To this day it is often fung at merry-makings as a Ring-fong, witli 
the following words : 

Weel may we a' be I 
Til may we neu'r fee ! 
God blefs the Kicg 

And this companie ! 
Hey tutti taity, 
Hey lilly pretty, 
Hey tutti taity, 

Merry let us be. 

P. 437. \. 21. Toppa and Partelot. Thefe are fictitious names gi- 
ven to two hens, the cocks paramours, or wyffis, as our author calls 
them. Toppa from the top or creft upon her head ; Partelot, a darling, 
fee p. 380. 



W ith bemys fchene, thow bricht Cytheria, 
Quhilk only fchaddowift amonge fterris lite ; 
And thy blynd wyngit fon Cupid, ye tua 
Fofteiaris of birnyng carnale hete delite j 
Your joly wo neidlingis moift I endite, 
Begynnyng with ane fenyeit faynt plefance, 

Continewit wyth luft, and endit wyth penance. 


In fragil flefche your febill fede is faw, 

Rutit in delyte, welth, and fude delicate, 

Nurift with fleuth, and mony unfemly faw, 

Quhare fchame is loift. tharfpredis your burgeons hate, 

Oft to revolve ane unlcful confate, 

Ripis your perellus frutis and uncorne : 

Of wikkit grane how fal gude fchaif be fchorne ? 

Quhat is your force, bot febling of the flrenth ? 
Your curius thochtis quhat bot mufardry ? 
Your fremmit glaydnes leflis not ane houris lentb, 
Your fport for fchame ye dar not fpecifye, 
Your frute is bot unfructuous fantafye, 
Your fory joyis bene bot janglyng and japis, 
And your trew fervandis filly goddis apis. 

Your fueit myrthys ar myxt wyth byttirnes, 
Quhat is your drery game and mery pane ? 
Your werk unthrift, your quiet is reflles, 
Your luft lyking in langour to remane, 
Frendfchyp torment, your traifl is bot ane trane : 



O luf, quhidder art thou joy, or fulyfchnes, 
That makys folk fo glayd of thayr dyftres ? 

Salomon's wit, Samfsoun thou revifl his force, 

And David thou bereft his prophecy, 

Men fayis thou brydillit AristotELL as ane hors, 

And crelit up the floure of Poetry ; 

Quhat fall I of thy mychtis notify ? 

Fare weil, quhare that thy lufty dart affalis, 

Wit, ftrenth, riches, na thinge hot grace avalis. 

Thow chene of luf, ha benedicite \ 

How hard ftrenyeis thy bandis every wicht ! 

The God above, for his hie majefte, 

With the ybou: d, law on ane maid did licht. 

Thou vincufl the ftrang gyand of grete mycht ; 

Thou art mair forfy than the dede fa fell; 

Thou plennyft paradyfe, and thou heriit hell. 

Thou makis febil wicht, and thou lawefl hie ; 

Thou knyttis freyndfchip, quhare thare be na parage ; 

Thou Jonathas confident with Davye, 

Thou dantit Alexander for all his valTakge, 

Thou feftynnyt Jacob fourtene yeris in bondage, 

Thou teichit Hercules go lerne to fpyn, 

And reik Deianire his meis in lioun Ikyn. 

For luf Narcissus perifl at the well, 

For luf thou ftervift moifl douchty Achill, 

Theseus for luf his fallow focht to hell. 

The fnaw quhite dow oft to the gray tnaik will ; 

Allace for luf, how mony thame felf did fpill ! 

Thy fury, luf, moderis tacht, for difpite, 

To fyle handis in blude of ther ying childrin lite. 

O Lord, quhat writis myne autor of thy force, 
In his Georgikis ? How thy undantit mycht 


JAMES IV. I488 — 1513. 44^ 

Conftrenis fome tyme fo the ftonyt hors, 
That by the fent of ane mere, fer of fycht, 
He bradis brayis anon, and takis the flicht ; 
Na bridill may him dant, nor buftuous dynt r 
Nor bra, hie roche, nor brade fludis ftynt. 

The buftuous bullis oft for the young kye 

With home to home wirkis othir mony wound j 

So rummefin with mony law and cry, 

The feildis all doith of their routing refound. 

The meik hartis in belling oft ar found 

Mak feirs bargane, and rammys togiddir ryn, 

Baris with thare tufkis will frete otheris fkyn. 

Lo how Venus can hir fervandis acquite, 
Lo how hir paffiouns unbridlis all thare wit ; 
Lo how thay tyne thame felfe for fchort delite, 
Lo from all grace how to myfcheif thay flit, 
Fra weill to Hurt, fra pane to dede ; and yit 
Thare bene bot fewe exampill takis of other, 
Bot wilfully fallis in the fire, leif brother. 

Be never ouerfet, myne auftor teichis fo, 
With luft of wyne nor werkis veneriane , 
Thay febil the ftrenth, revelis fecrete, boith tuo 
Strife and debait engeneris, and feil has flane. 
Honeft proues, drede, fchame and luk ar gane 
Quhare thay habound : attempir thame forthy ; 
Childer to engendir ufe Venus, and not in vane, 
Mant na forfet, drink not bot quhen thou art dry. 

Quhat ? Is this luf nyce luffaris, as ye mene, 
Or fals diflait, fare Ladyis to begyle ? 
Thame to defoule, and fclient your feli betuene, 
Is all your liking with many fubtell wile. 
Is that trew luf, gude faith and fame to fyle? 



Gif luf be vertevv, than is it leful thing ; 
Gif it be vice, it is your undoing. 

Say is not jour fentence thus, fkant worth ane fas ; 

Quhat honefte or renowne, is to be dram ? 

Or for to droup like ane fordullit as ? 

Lat us in rjot leif, in fport and gam, 

In Venus court, fen born thareto I am, 

My tyme wel fall I fpend : wenys thou not fo ? 

Bot all yon; folace ;all returne in gram ; 

Sic thewles luftis in bittir pane and wo. 

Thou auld hafard leichoure ! fy for fchame, 
That, flotteris furth evermare in fluggardry : 
Out on the, auld trat, agit wyffe or dame, 
Efchames ne time in rouft of fyn to ly : 
Thir Venus werkis in youtheid ar foly, 
But into eild thay turn in fury rage. 
And wha fchameles dou^.is thar fyn, ha fy ! 
As dois thir vantouris owthir in youth or age ? 

Wald God ye purcheft but youre awin mifchance. 

And ware na banereris for to perys mo ; 

God grant fum time ye turne you to pennance, 

Refrenyng luftis inordinat, and cry ho ; 

And thare affix your luf, and myndis alfo, 

Quhare ever is venny joy without offence, 

That all fie beiftly fury ye lat go hence. 

Of brokaris and (Ic baudry how fuld t write ? 
Of quham the fylth flynketh in Goddis neis. 
With Venus hen wyffis, quhat wyfe may I flyte ? 
That ftraykis thir wenfehis hedes, them to pleis : 
Douchter, for thy luf thh man has grete difeis, 
Quod the bifrnere with the flekit fpeche : 
Rew on him, it is merit his pane to meis. 
Sic pode-makrellis for Lucifer bene leche. 

E fchame 

JAMES IV. I488— 1513.' 4.49 

Efchame young virgins, and fair damycellis, 
Furth of wedlok for to diftyne your kellis ; 
Traift not all talis that wantoun wowaris tellis, 
You to defloure purpofyng, and not ellis : 
Abhore fie price or prayer.; wourfchip failis 
Quhare fchame is loift, and fchent is womanhede ; 
Quhat of beute quhare honefle lyis dede ? 

Rew on your felf, ladyis and madynnys ying ; 
Grant na fie reuth, that ever may caus you rew : 
Ye frefche gallandis, in hate defire byrnyng, 
Refrene your curage, fie peramouris to perfew ; 
Ground your amouris on cherite all new, 
Found you on refloun ; quhat nedis mare to preche ? 
God grant you grace in luf as I you teich. 

Lo, thare quhat thocht, quhat bittirnes and pane, 

Luf un-fely bred is in every wicht, 

Quhou fchort quhile dois his fals plefance remane ? 

His reftles blis how fone takis the flicht ? 

His kyndnes alteris in wraith within ane nycht ; 

Quhat is bot torment all hys langfum fare ? 

Begun with fere, and endit in difpare. 

Quhat fufly, cure, and flrange ymagyning ? 
Quhat wayis unlefull, his purpois to atteyne, 
Has this fals luft at his firfl begynnyng ? 
How fubtell wilis, and mony quiet niene ? 
Quhat flicht diflait quentlie to flat and fene ? 
Syne in ane thraw can not him felfyn hyde, 
Nor at his firfl eflate no quhile abide. 

Thou fwelth devourare of tyme unrecoverabill, 
O luft infernale ! furnes inextinguibill, 
Thy felf confuming worthis infaciabiJl. 
Qiient feyndis net, to God and man odibil : 
Of thy tragetis quhat toung may tell the tribyll ? 
Vol. I. L 1 1 With 


With the to wreftil, thou waxis euermare wicht ; 
Efchewe thyne hant, and mynnis fall thy mycht. 

Se how blynd luffis inordinate defire 
Degradis honour, and reffoun dois exile ; 
Dido of Cartage floure, and lampe of "tyre, 
Quhais hie renoune na flrenth nor gift mycht fyle, 
In hir fanyt luft fo mait within fchort quhile, 
That honeftye bayth and gude fame war adew, 
Syne for difdene, allace ! hir felfin flew. 

O quhat avalit thy brute and glorious name, 

Thy nobyll treflbur and werkis infinyt ? 

Thy cyeteis beilding, and thy riall hame, 

Thy realmes conqueft, welefare and delyte ? 

To ftynt all thinge fayf thyne awne appetite, 

So was in luf thy frawart deftany. 

Allace, the quhile thou knewe the ftrange Erne ! 

P. 448. laft line. Sit fede-maireilii for Lucifer itnt letht. Malrellit 
from the French majvereilt, or Dutch makeiatrfer, a Bawd. ► For fuch 
filthy bawds, Lucifer is the fitted Lege, or Superiour ;" or perhaps, 
1 fuch filthy (trumpet*, are the loyal or heart; Lieges or fubjtda of Lu- 
ctfer. u 





[*' Maister Gavin Douglas, fwe read, J was ane 
" cunning clerk of many faculties , and the bejl poet 
" in our vulgar tongue that ever was horn in our 
" nation-" u In his prologues, where he hath his 
liberty (fays Hume, in his Hiftory of the Family^ 
he fheweth a natural and ample vein ofpoefy,fo pure, 
pleafant, and judicious, that I believe there is none 
that hath written before or Jince, but cometh fhort of 
him : Particularly, there is not fuch a piece to be 
found, as his prologue to the eighth book, beginning 
Of drevilling and dremys, &c. at leaf in our la?i- 
guage.' 7 

This being the tefimony of a competent judge of Foe* 
try, it would be a glaring defect in this work to omit 
fuch a favourite compq/ttion.2 

Uf drevilling and dremys quhat doith to endite? 
For as 1 lenit in an ley in Lent this laft nycht, 
I flaid on ane fwevynyng, flomerand ane lite, 
And fone ane felkouth fege 1 faw to my fycht, 
Swownand as he fwelt wald, and fowpit in fite ; 
Was never wrocht in this warld mare woful ane wicht. 
Ramand : " Refoun and ryeht ar rent be fals ryte, 



Frenclfchip flemyt is in France, and faith has tane flicht, 
Lejis, lurdanry and luft ar oure laid fterne : 

Pecc is put out of play, 

Welth and welefare away, 

Luf and lawte bayth tway 

Lurkis ful derne. 

Langour lent is in land, al lichtnes is loift, 
Sturtin ftudy has the ftere dyftroyand our fport, 
Mufing merris our myrth, half mangit almoift ; 
So thochtis thretis in thra our breiftis ouerthort, 
Baleful befynes bayth blis and blythnes gan boift : 
Thare is na fege for na fchame that fchrynkis at fchortc 
May he cum to hys caft be clokyng but coifl, 
He rekkys nowthir the richt, nor rekles report : 
All is wele done, God wate, weild he his wyll. 

That berne is beft can not blyn 

Wrangwis gudis to wyn j 

Quhy fuld he fpare for ony lyn 
Hys luft to fulfil ? 

All ledis langis in land to lauch quhat thame leif is, 
Luffaris langis only to lok in thare lace 
Thare ladyis lufely, and louk but lett or relevis, 
Quha fportis thame on the fpray fparis for na fpace : 
The galyeard grume gruntfchis, at gamys he grevis, 
The tillok hir deformyt fax wald have ane fare face, 
To mak hir maikles of hir man at myfler mycheivis : 
The gude wyffe gruffling before God gretis eftir 

The lard langis eftir land to leif to his are ; 

The preift for ane perfonage, 

The fervand eftir his wage, 

The thrall to be of thirlage 
Langis ful fare. 


JAMES IV. I488— 15 13. 4J3 

The myllare mythis the multure wyth ane mettfkant, 
For drouth had drunkin up his dam in the dry yere ; 
The cageare callis furth his capyl wyth ciakkis wele 

Calland the colyeare ane knaif and culroun full quere : 
Sum fchepehird flais the lardis fchepe, and fais he is 

ane fant, 
Sum grenis quhil the gers grow for his gray mere, 
Sum fparis nowthir fprituall, fpoufit wyfFe, nor ant, 
Sum fellis folkis fuftenance, as God fendis the fere, 
Sum glafteris, and thay gang at al for gate woll : 

Sum fpendis on the auld ufe, 

Sum makis ane tume rufe, s 

Sum grenis eftir ane gufe, 

To fars his wame full. 

The wrache walis and wryngis for this warldis wrak 
The mukerar murnys in his mynd the meil gaif na 

The pirate preiflis to peil the peddir his pak, 
The hafartouris haldis thame haryit, hant thay not the 

The burges bringis in his buith the broun and the blak, 
Byand befely bayne, huge, beuer and byce ; 
Sum ledis langis on the land, for luf or for lak, 
To fembyl with thare chaftis, and fett apoun fyfe ; 
The fchipman fchrenkio the fchour, and fettis to the 

fchore ; 

The hyne cryis for the come, 

The brouftare the bere fchorne, 

The feift the fidler to morne 
Covatis ful fore. 

The railyeare rekkinis na wourdis, bot ratlis furth 

For rude and rj ot refouns bayth roundalis and ryme, 



Sweyngeouris and ikuryvagis, fwankys and fwanys, 
Gevis na cure to cun craft, nor comptis for na cryme, 
Wyth beirdis as beggaris, thocht byg be thare banys, 
Na laubour lift thay luke tyl, thare luffis are bierd 

lyme : 
Get ane bifmare ane barne, than al hyr blys gane is, 
She wyl not wyrk thocht fche want, hot waiftis hir 

In thigging, as it thryft war, and uthir vane thewis, 

And flepis quhen fche fuld fpyn, 

Wyth na wyl the warld to wyn, 

This cuntre is ful of Caynes kyn, v 
And fyc fchyre fchrewis. 

Quhat wykkitnes, quhat wanthryft now in warld 
walk is ? 

Bale has banift blythnes, boifl grete brag blawis, 

Prattis are repute policy and periellus paukis, 

Dygnite is laide doun, derth to the dur drawis ; 

Of trattillis and of tragedyis the text of al talk is ; 

Lordis are left landles be unlele Jawis, 

Burges bryngis hame the bothe to breid in the balkis ; 

Knychtis ar cowhubyis, and commouns plufckis craw- 
is ; 

Clerkis for uncunnandes myfknawis ilk wycht ; 
Wyffis wald haif al thare wyl, 
Yneuch is not half fyl, 
Is nowthir reffoun nor fkyl 

In erd haldin rycht. 

Sum latit lattoun but lay lepis in lawde lyte, 

Sum pynis furth ane pan boddum to prent fals plak- 

kis ; 
Sum goukis quhil the glas pyg grow al of gold zyt, 
Throw curie of quentaffence, thocht clay muggis 

crakkis ; 

JAMES IV. I488 — I £13. 455 

Sum wernoure for this warldis wrak wendis by hys 

Sum treitcheoure crynis the cunze, and kepis corne 
ftakkis ; 

Sum prig penny, fum pyke thank with prevy promit, 

Sum jarris with ane jed-ftaff to jag throw blak jakkis. 

Quhat fenyete fare, quhat flattry, and quhat fals ta- 
lis ? 

Quhat myfery is now in land ? 
How many cvakkit cunnand ? 
For nowthir aithis, nor band, 
Nor felis avalis. 

Preiftis fuld be patteraris, and for the pepyl pray, 
To be Papis of patrymone and prelatis pretendis ; 
Ten teyndis ar ane trumpe, bot gyf he tak may ; 
Ane kinrik of parifch kyrkis cuplit with commendis. 
Quha ar wirkaris of this were, quha walknaris of wa, 
Bot incompetabyl clergy, that Chriftindome ofFendis ? 
Quha reiffis, quha ar ryotus, quha rekles bot thay ? 
Quha quellis the pure commouns bot kyrkmen, wele 

kend is ? 
Thare is na Hate of thare flyle that ftandis content j 

Knycht, clerk nor commoun, 

Burges, nor barroun, 

All wald have up that is doun, 
Welterit the went". 

And as this leid, at the laft, liggand me feis. 
With ane luke unluflum he lent me fie wourdis : 
Quhat berne be thou in bed with hede full of beis ? 
Graithft lyke fum knappare, and as thy grace gurdis 
Lurkand lyke ane longcoure ? Quod I, Loune, thou 

Ha, wald thou fecht, quod the freik, we have bot few 

fwordis ; 



Thare is fie haifl in thy hede, I hope thou waldneis, 
That brangiilis thus with thi boift quhen bernis with 

the bourdis. 
Quod I, Churle, ga chat the, and chide with ane uthir. 

Moif the not, faid he than, 

Gyf thou be ane gentyl man, 

Or ony curtafy can, 

Myne awin leif bruthir : 

I fpeik to the into fport ; fpel me thys thyng, 
Quhat lykis ledis in land ? Quhat maift langis thou r 
Quod I, Smaik, lat me flepe ; fym fkynnar the hing : 
I wene, thou biddis na beitir bot I brek thy brow : 
To me is myrk myrrour ilk mannis menyng ; 
Sum wald be court man, fum clerk, and fum ane cache 

Sum knycht, fum capitane, fum Caifer, fum King, 
Sum wald have welth at thare wil, and fum thar 

waime fow, 
Sum langis for the levJr ill to lik of ane quart, 

Sum for thare bontay ar boune, 

Sum to fe the new mone ; 

I lang to haif our buke done, 
I tel the my part. 

Thy buke is bot bribry, faid the berne than, 
Bot I fall lere the ane leflbun to leis al thy pane : 
With tha,t he raucht me ane roll : to rede I begane, 
The royeteft ane ragment with mony ratt rime, 
Of all the mowis in this mold, fen God merkit man, 
The moving of the mapamound, and how the mone 

The pleuch, and the poles, the planettis began, 
The Son, the fevin fternes, and the Charle wane, 


James nr. 1488— 1513. 457 

The elwand, the dementis, and Arthuris hufie, 
The Home, and the Hand ftaffe, 
Prater Jhone and Port Jaffe, 
Quhy the corne has the caffe, 

And kow weris clufe. 

Thir romanis ar hot ridlis, quod I to that ray^ 

Lede, lere me ane uthir leffoun, this I ne like. 

I perfaif, fyr Perfoun, thy purpois perfay, 

Quod he, and drew me doun derne in delf by ane dyk£, 

Had me hard by the hand, quhare ane hurd lay, 

"Than prively the pennys begouth up to pike : 

Bot quhen I walknyt, al that welth was wifkit away* 

I fand not in all that feild, in faith, ane be bike : 

For as I grunfehit at that grume, and glifnyt about, 

I gryppit graithlie the gil, 

And every modywart nil j 

Bot I mycht pike thare my fyl, 
Or penny come out. 

Than wox I tene, that 1 tuke to fie ane tf uffuris tent, 
For fwevinnys and for fwevyngeouris that flumberis 

not wele, 
Mony marvellus mater never merkit nor ment 
Wil fegeis fe in thare flepe, and fentence but fele : 
War al lie fawis futhfaft, with fchame war I fchent^ 
This was bot faynt fantafy, in faith, that I feil j 
Never wourd in verite, bot al in waift went^ 
Throw riotnes and raving, that made myne ene reilj 
Thus lyfnyt I as lofingere fie lewdnes to luke ; 

Bot, quhen I faw nane uthir bute, 

I fprent fpedily on fute, 

And under ane tre rute 

Begouth this aucht buke* 

Vol. I. M » m 


St. 1. 1. 4. Selkouthfege, ftrange perron; from the Aug. Sax. ftl-totb t 
rarus ; znd/ttg, miles, or Amply, vir. In the ad line, ley means bed. 

P. 453. 1. ia. Glajlert at the gongator'u. Rails againft, or teizea the 
gangiat*rtt,thit i«, the officers appointed to infpedt weights and meafures. 
The edition 1710 reads " Sum giafteris, and thay gang at all for gate 
woll." In the firft line of this page it alfo reads " wyth anc mett fkant.'' 

■ 1. 33- Bayne, huge, bever, and byce. In Belg. Bautvcit is a wo- 

mans gown, and buys, a foldiers coat. Buge , lambs-fur. It is doubtful 
if bever then meant the fkin of the animal now fo called. The firft 
word of the line probably means " Calling out." 

P. 454. 1. 30. Sum laltit lattoun, &c. This difficult line, according 
to Ruddimas, means " Some, contrary to law, make counterfeit mo- 
ney of mixt or foft metal wafhed over with white lead." His edition 
reads " lep'w in lawde lyte" apparently an error, for loud-wyt, Btlg, 
Cerufs, or white lead. The next line but one, " Some Alchemyfts fool" 
ifhly wait to fee their cryftal veffel filled with gold duft." 

P. 455. 1. 6. Jed-faf. "Jedburgh ftaves are thus defcribed by John 
Major, f. 48. " Ferrum chalybeum 4 pedibus longum in robufti ligni 
'« extremo Jeduardienfes artifices ponunt." So that the meaning of the 
line feems to be, " Some fpend their time in learning to ufe the Jed- 
ftaff, or fpear with dexterity." 

1. 38. Welterit tb* %etnt ! " Thus the courfc of human affairs 

is turned upfide-dowa." 


A Specimen of Virgil's iEneid, as tranjlatit be 
Gawin Douglas. 

■ ■ 



X his beand done, Sibyllais commandement 
Eneas addres performe incontinent. 
Thare ftude ane dirk, and profound cave faft by, 
Ane hidduous hoi, depe gapand and gryfly, 
All ful of cragis, and uthir fcharp flynt ftanys, 
Quhilk was weil dykit and clofit for the nanys 
With ane foule laik, als blak as ony craw, 
And fkuggis dym of ane ful derne wod fchaw ; 
Above the quhilk na foule may fle but ikaith, 
Exalatiouns or vapouris blak and laith 
Furth of that dedely golf thrawis in the are, 
Sic wyfe na bird may thidder mak repaire ; 
Quharfore Grekis Avernus clepis this ftede, 
The place but foulis, to fay ; or pit of dede. 
Here firft Enee, at this ilk entre vyle, 
Foure young flottis addreflit, blak of pyle ; 
The Nun Sibylla refavis thaym, and fyne 
Amyd thare forhedis quhelmyt on coupis of wyne j 
And of thare top, betuix thare homes tuay, 
The ouermeft haris has fche pullit away, 
And in the haly ingill, as was the gife, 
Kelt thaym, in manere of the firft facrifyce, 
Apoun Hecate cryand with mony ane yell, 
Mychtfull in hevin, and depe doungeoun of hel. 
Sum fleuit knyffis in the beiftis throttis, 
And utheris (quhilk war ordant for fie notis) 
The warme new blude keppit in coup and pece : 
Enee hymfelf ane yow, was blak of flece, 
Brytnit with his fwerd in facrifice ful hie 



Unto the moder of the furies thre, 

And hir grete filler, and to Proserpyne 

Ane veld kow all to trinfchit : and eftir fyne 

To the infernale King, quhilk Pluto hate, 

Hys nycht altaris begouth to dedicate ; 

The haile boukis, of beiftis bane and lyre 

Amyd the flambis keift and haly fyre ; 

The fat olye did he yet and pere 

Apoun the entrellis, to mak thaym birne clere, 

Bot lo ane litil befor the fon rifing 

The ground begouth to rummys, croyn and ryng 

Under thare fete, and woddy toppis hie 

Qf thir hillis begin to move thay fe ; 

Amang the fchaddois and the fkuggis merk 

The hell houndis herd thy youle and berk, 

At cummyn of the Goddes Proserpyne. 

Sibylla cryis, the prophetes divyne, 

Al ye that bene prophane, away, away, 

Swyith outwith, al the fandtuary hy you hay : 

And thou quod fche, hald on thy way with me j 

Draw furth thy fweid, for now is nede, Enee, 

To fchaw thy manhede, and be of ferme curage. 

Thus fer fche fayd, fmyte with the godlie rage, 

And thenvith enteris in the opin caif : 

Eneas unabafit, fra al the laif, 

Fallowis his gyde with equale pace ful richt. . . , 

Thay walkit furth fo dirk oneith thay wyft 
Quhidder thay went amyddis dym fchaddois thare, 
Quhare ever is nicht, and neuer licht doith repare, 
Throw out the waift dungeoun of Pluto king, 
Thay vode boundis, and that goufty ring : 
Sicklyke as quha wald throw thick woddis wend, 
In obfcure light quhare none may not be kend, 
As Jupiter the King Etherial 
With erdis Ikug hydis the hevynnys al, 


JAMES IV. I48S — 151$. 4*>« 

And the myrk nycht wyth hir vyfage gray 

From every thing has reft the hew away 

Fra thine ftrekis the way profound anone, 

Pepe unto hellis flude of Acherone, 

With holl bifme, and hidduous fwelth. unrude, 

Drumly of mude, and fkaldand as it war wode, 

Populand and boukand furth of athir hand, 

Unto Cocytas al his flike and fand : 

Thir riveris and thir watteris kepit war 

Be ane Charon, ane grifly ferryar, 

Terribyl of fchape, and fluggard of array, 

Apoun his chin feill chanos haris gray, 

Liart felterit tatis ; with birnand ene rede, 

Lyke tua fyre blefis, fixit in his hede ; 

His fmottrit habit ouer his fchulderis lidder, 

Hang peuagely knyt with ane knot togidder. 

Himfelf the cowbil with his bolm furth fchewe? 

And quhen him lift halit up falis fewe. 

This aid hafard caryis ouer fludis hote 

Spretis and figuris in his irne hewit bote, 

All thocht he eildit was, or ftep in age, 

Als fery and als fwipper as ane page. 

For in ane God the age is frefche and grene, 

Infatigabil and immortall as thay rnene. 

Thidder to the bray fwermyt al the rout 

Of dede goiftis, and ftude the bank about : 

Baith matrouns, and thar hulbandis al yferis, 

Ryall princis, and nobyl cheveleris, 

Small childer and young damifellis unwed, 

And fair fpringaldis lately dede in bed, 

In faderis and moderis prefence laid on bere : 

Als grete nowmer thidder thikkit infere, 

As in the firft froft eftir hervift tyde 

Levis of treis in the wod dois flyde ; 

Or byrdis flokki? ouer the fludis gray, 



Unto the land fekand the nerteft way, 

Quhen the cauld feHoaa thame cachis ouer the fee, 

Into fum benar realme and warme cuntre. 

Thare flud* thay prayand fum fupport to get, 

That thay micht wyth the formefl ouer be fet, 

And: gan upheving pietuoufly handis tway, 

Langand to be apoun the forthir bray. 

Bot this foroufull boteman, wyth bryme luke, 

Now thir, now thame within his wefchell tuke j 

And uthir fum expellit, and made do {land. 

Fer from the river fyde apoun the fand j 

Awounderit of this ilerage. and the preis, 
Say me, virgine, fayd Enee, or thou ceis, 
Quhat menis fie confluence on this wattir fyde ? 
Quhat wald thir faulis ? quhy will thay not abyde ? 
Quhilk caufis bene, or quhat diverfite, 
Sum fra the brayis thame withdraw 1 f e j 
Ane uthir fort eik of thir faulis dede 
Rollit ouer this ryver cullourit as the lede ? 

This ancient religious woman than, 
But mare delay, to anfure thus began. 
Anghises get ! heynd childe, curtes and gude, 
Difcend undoutable of the God.lis blude ! 
The deip flank of Cocytus dois thou fe, 
And eik the hellis pule hate Styx, quod fche, 
Be quhais mychtys the Goddis ar ful laith, 
And dredis fare to fwere, fyne fals thare aith : 
Al thir thou feis ftoppit at the fchore, 
Bene helples folk unerdit and forlore : 
Yone griflie ieriare, to name Cuaron hate, 
Thay bene al beryt he caryis in his bate : 
It is not til him leful, he ne may 
Thame ferry ouer thir rowtand fliulis gray, 
Nor to the hidduous yonder coiftis have, 


J AMIS IT. I488 1513. 463 

Quhil thare banis be laid to reft in grave. 

Quha ar unberyit ane hundreth yere mon bide 

Waverand and wandrand by this bankis fyde. 

Than at the laft to pas ouer in this bote 

Thay bene adnaittit, and coiftis thaym not ane grote. 


IN OW I proteft, gud Readers, be your leif, 

Be weill avifit my werk or ye repreif, 

Confider it werly, rede offer than anys, 

Weil at ane blenk fle poetry not tane is. 

And yit forfoith I fet my befy pane 

(As that I couth) to mak it brade and plane, 

Kepand no Sodroun, bot oure awin langage, 

And fpeke as I lerned quhen I wes ane page ; 

Na yit fo clene all Sudroun I refufe, 

Bot fum worde I pronunce as nychboure dots j 

Like as in Latlne bene Grewe termes fum, 

So me bchuffit quhiluin, or be dum ; 

Sum baftard Latyne^ Freti/che^ or Ynglis ois, 

Quhare fcant wes Scottis, I had nane uther chois ; 

(Not that oure toung is in the felvin lkant, 

Bot for that I the fouth of langage want,) 

Quhare as the cullour of his propirte, 

To keip the fentence, thareto conftrenit me j 

Or that to mak my fayng fchort fum tyme, 

Mare compendius, or to likly my ryme. 

Tharfor gude freyndis, for ane gympe or ane board, 

I pray you note me not at every worde. 

Bot rede lele, and tak gude tent in tyme, 

Ye nouthir magil, nor mifmeter my ryme, 

Nor alter not my wourdia, I you pray : 

Lo this is all, bew fchirris, have gude day. 



M^iO quhat dangere is ocht to compile, allace ! 
Herand thir detraclouris in evry place, 
Or euer thay rede the werk, biddis birne the buke : 
Sum bene fa frawart in malice and wangrace, 
Quhat is wele fayd thay loif not worth ane ace, 
Bot caftis thame euir to fpy out fait and cruke, 
Al that thay find in hiddillis, hirne, or nuke, 
Thay blaw out, fay and in evry mannis face ; 
Lo here he failyeis, lo here he leis, luke. 

Fer ethar is, quha lift fyt doun and mote, 

Ane uthir fayaris faltis to fpye and note, 

Than but offence or fait thame felf to wryte. 

Bot for to chyde fum bene fo birnand hote, 

Hald thay thare pece, the word wald fkald thare throte j 

And has lie cuftume to jangil and bakbyte, 

That, bot thay fchent, fum thay fuld bird forfytej 

I fay no more, quhen al thare rerde is roung, 

That wicht mon fpeik, that cannot hald his toung. 



In the reign of Edward the Fourth, correfporiding with 
that of our Jamjs the Third, a Chronicle of Eng- 
land was compofed in rhyme by John Harding, " of 
Northern extraction, and educated in the family of 
Lord Henry Percy. He appears, fays Wharton, to 
have been indefatigable in examining original records, 
chiefly with a dejign of afcertaining the fealty duefrsm 
the Scottijh Kings to the crown of England : and he 
carried many inflruments from Scotland for the eluci- 
dation of this important enquiry, at the hazard of his 
life, which he delivered at different times to Henry the 
V. and VI. and to Edward I V ." A favourite topic of 
Harding feems to have been the fubjugation of Scot- 
land by force of arms, as appears from the following 
inflruBions, delivered by him to Edward the Fourth 
about the year 1462 ; which may afford fbme amufe- 
tnent to thofe readers who fearch for curiqjities rather 
than for poetry. 


NO WE to expreffe unto your noble grace, 
The verie waie. bothe by lea and lande, 
With the diftaunce of townes, and every miles fpace, 
Through the chiefeft parte of all Scotlande, 
To conveigh an armic that ye maie take in hande ; 
Herafter fhall folowe, in as good ordie as I maie, 
The true defcription and diftaunce of the waic. 

Vol, I. N n n From 

466 APPENDI*. 

From Berwike to Donbarre, twentie miles it U, 
And twentie miles forward unto Haddyngtoune, 
And twelf miles from thence to Edenburgh I wis. 
To Lithko twelfe ; and fo North-weft to bowne, 
Twelfe miles it is unto Sterlyng toune, 
Befouth Foorth, that river principall, 
Of right faire waie, and plentifull at all. 

Where that your navy at Leith maie reft fafely, 
With all your vitailes, a mile from Edenburgh. 
And after at the Blakneffe whiles as ye ly, 
At Sterlyngtowne, which is the Kynges burgh. 
And wynne that fhire, all whole out through, 
So {hall your navy at your neceflitie, 
Bee at your hande ftill your armie to fupplie. 

From Sterlyng than, oner the river of Foorth, 

Paff alongeft the bridge to Camfkinelle ; 

And if it be broken toward the North, 

Unto the fonrde of Frew, under the fell, 

Then fpede you Weftward thre miles as men tell, 

Where ye maie paffe to the Doune of Menteth, 

Which paffcth from the Foorth thrc miles unneth. 

Then from the Doune, a waie ye have right faire, 
Through out Menteth, and eke Clakmannan fhire, 
And fo through Fiffe to Falklande to repaire, 
Thirty long miles without mofle or mire, 
For fo it is compted with horfe and carte to hire. 
From Strrlyng Eaftward, and the high Oghilles, 
Which fome men call m'ontaignes, and fome felles. 

From Falkland then, to Difert toune fouth-eaft, 
Twelfe miles it is of faire ready waie; 
And from Falklande to Sainct Andrewes, eaft, 
But other twelfe miles without any naif, 
Wher the Bifhoppis fee is, and caftle as thei faie. 
And at Kyngorne and Difert maie ye mete, 
You for to vitaill, all your Englifhe flcte. 

Then ride north-weft from St. Andrewes tounc, 

Alongeft the fouthe fide of the water Taye, 

Up to the burgh of Sainct Jhonftowne, 

Ri^ht north from Fiffe, a countrie frefhe and gaie, 

And from St. Andrewes twenty-four miles theifaie, 

A pleafant grounde, and frutefull countree 

Of cornc and cattell with profperitee. 



fSfhkh ceuntric of Fife along the Scotifhe fee, 
And from St. Andrew es to the Oghles, thei faic, 
Is fortie thrie miles long of good conntree, 
And fometyme in bredth fixe miles of faire wait. 
But from Loch Leven, eaftward without naie, 
Of right good waie, briefly to conclude, 
Twell'e miles contein it dooeth in latitude. 

At Ennerkethen, and St- Margaretes-hope 
Your navy maie receive vitail in that countrie, 
Alongeft the water of Foorth, as I can grope, 
With hulke and barge oi no fmall quantitee, 
You to fupporre in your neceflitee, 
So that ye maie not in thofe countrees faill, 
To have for your armie ready vitaill. 

Then to St. Jhon'g toune, upon the water of Tay, 

Within Strathren, that ftandeth faire and ftrong r 

Ditched aboute fixtene foote I faie, 

And twenty feete on bredth ouerthwarte to fong. 

It is north-eaft twenty miles full long, 

And nere to Scone Abbay within miles three, 

Where alwaies thei crounc their kynges majeftec. 

Which the water of Tay is fo navigable, 

From the Eaft to St. Jhon's toune, 

For all fuch ihippes as bee able 

Fourty tunne of wyne to cary up and dourje. 

For vitaillyng and kepyng of the toune, 

Unto the whiche fo floweth the water of Tay, 

That all the ditches it filleth night and daie. 

At the whiche toune, paife ouer the bridge ye (hall 
With all your armie hoftyng through that land ; 
Where in Angus, that cr.untree principall, 
The Kerfe of Gowry dooth lie I underftande. 
A plentiful! countree, I you warrande, 
Of come and tatell, and all commoditecs, 
You to fupporte in your necefikecs. 

Betwixt the mounthes and the water of Tay, 
Whiche fbme do call mountaignes in our language, 
Pafle Eaftward with your armie daie by daie, 
From place to place with fmall cariage. 
For your navie fhall you mete in this voyage 
At Portincragge, fhorte waie from Dundc, 
With vjtailes to refreft«.e your whole armie. 




BeGde the ftuff and vitaill of that lande, 
Which ye (hall 6nde in the countree as ye go, 
And market made alwaies to your hande, 
Of all their vitailes although they bee your fo. 
Now from St. Jhon's toune/the fothe to faie is fin, 
IJightene miles it is to the toune of Dundee, 
The principal burgh by North the Scotifhe fee. 

Then ride north-eaft all alongeft the fee, 

Right from Dundee to Arbroith as I mene ; 

Then to Monrojfe and to Barvie, 

And fo through the Meernes to Cowy as I wene. 

Then twelfe miles or more paffe to Abcrdyne, 

Betwene Dee and Done, a goodly citee, 

A marchauot toune and univerfitee. 

Of the whiche waie, thirty miles there is 

Of good come lande, and twenty large extente 

Full of catell and other goodes I wiffe, 

As to moor lande, and heth dooth well appente. 

From Brichan citee to the orient, 

Where dooth ftande upon the fee, 

A goodly porte and haven for your navie. 

Where that the fame maie eafely you mete, 
To vitaile your armie wherefoever you go, 
Ouer all the mountaignes, drie moffes and wete, 
Where the Wild Scottes do dwell then paffe unto; 
That is in Mare and Garioch alfo, 
In Athill, Roffe, Sutherlande and Chatneffe, 
Mureffe, Lenox, and out ifles I geffe. 

And when ye have that lande whole conquered, 
Returne againe unto Strivelync ; 
And from thence to Glafco homeward, 
Twenty and foure miles to St. Mongo's fhrine, 
Wherwith your offryng ye fhall from thence declynr, 
And pafle on furthwarde to Dumbertaync, 
A cattle ftrong and harde for to obtayne. 

In which caftle St. Patrike was borne, 
That afterward in Irelande did winne, 
About the whiche floweth even and morne, 
The wefterne feas without noyfc or 2inne; 
When furthe of the fame the flreames dooe rinnc, 
Twife in twenty-foure houres, without any faile, 
That no mannc maic that ftrong caftle aflailc. 



Upon a rocke fo hie the fame dooth ftande, 

That if the walles wcr beaten to the rochc, 

Yet wcr it full heard to climbe with foote or hande, 

And fo to wynne, if any to them approche. 

So ftrong it is to gette without reproche, 

That without honger and cruell famifhement, 

It cannot bee taken, to my judgement. 

Then from Glafgo to the toune of Aire, 
Are twenty miles and foure, well accompted ; 
A good countree for your armie every where, 
And plenteous alfo, by many one recounted. 
For there I was, and at the fame I mounted 
Toward Lamarke toune, twenty-foure miles 
Hemeward trudgyng, for fere of Scottifli gile?. 

From the toune of Aire in Kile to Galloway, 

Through Carri.fl paffe unto Nithifdale, 

Where Dumfrife is a prettie toune alwaie, 

And plentifull alfo of all good vitaill, 

For all your armie without any faile. 

So that keping this journey by my inflruccion, 

That realme ye fhall bryng in fubjeccion. 

Then from Domfrife to Carlill ye fhall ride, 
Twenty and foure miles of very redy waie ; 
So maie ye wynne the lande on every fide 
Within a yere withouten more delaic. 
For caftles there is none that withftande you maie, 
Nor abide your fiege againft your ordinance, 
So Gmple and weake is their purveyance. 

And if ye like, good lorde, at home to abide, 
With little coft your wardens ye maie fende, 
Chargyng theim all with hoftes for to ride 
In propre perfone , through winter to fende 
With morow fotraies, thei maie them fore offende 
And burne Jedburgh, Hawike, Melrofe, and Lauder, 
Codyngham, tDonglaffe, and the toune of Dombarre. 

Then fende an hofte of footcmen in 

At LammtfTe next thrnugh all Lawderdale ; 

And Lammermore woddes and moffis ouer rin, 

And eke therwith the Stowe of Wedtiale, 

Meliofe lande, Etrike forreft, and Tividale, 

Liddifdale, Ewifdale and Ryngwodfeld, 

To the Crike crofle, that riden is ful feld. 



The wardens then, of bothe the marches two, 
To be their ftaile, and eke their caftles ftrong, 
Them to reskewe from enemies where euir thci go, 
With fleying ftailes to folow them ay emong. 
Leffe nor their fooes theim fupprcffe and fong, 
And every night to releve to the hofte, 
And lodge together all upon a cofte. 

And alfo then, at the next Mighelmeffe, 
The weft warden tc Domfrife ride he maie , 
Foure and twenty miles from Carelil, as I geffe, 
And then paffe forthward through Galowaie. 
To Carr-ike after, into good araic, 
And then from thence to the townc of Aire, 
In Kile that countree, plcntifull and faire. 

Next, then from Aire unto Glafgow go, 

A goodly citee and univerfitce, 

Where plentifull is the countree alfo, 

Replenifhed well with all commoditee. 

There maie the warden of the eaft marchc- bee . 

And mete the other twaine, as I wene, 

Within ten daies, or at the mod fiftene. 

The thirde armie from Barwike paffe it fhall, 
Through Dumbarre, Edenburgh, and Lithko ; 
And then to Sterlyng with their power all, 
And next from that unto Glafgo, 
Standing upon Glide, and where alfo 
Of corne and cattell is abouodaunce, 
Your armie to vitaill at all fuffifauuccr 

Thus thefe three armies at Glafgo fhall mete, 

Well araied in their armoure clene, 

Which homward from thence thci fhall retume complete, 

Foure and twenty miles to Larrrarke fo fhene. 

To Pebles on Twede it fmene miles I wene, 

To Solray as muche, then twenty miles with fpede 

Ironi thence retume thei fhall to Wark on Twedc, 

Within a rnoneth this lande maie be dcftroicd, 
All a fouth Furth, if wardens will affente, 
So that our enemies fhall be fore annoied, 
And wafted bee, and rke for ever fhente. 
If wardens thus woorke after myne intente, 
They maie well quenche the cruel enmitce 
This daie be fouth all the Scotifhe fee. 



Like as I could efpie, and diligently enquire, 
Which of it maie your highneffe well contente , 
It is the thyng that I hertely defire, 
.And of your grace no more I dooe require, 
liut that your grace will take in good parte 
Not onely my paines, but alfo my true harte. 

Of Ebranke, the great grand-fon of Brutus, and king 
of Albion , our poet gives us the following information : 

In Albany he made and edefyed 

The caftell of Alclude, which Dumbrytain, 

As fome autoures by Chronicles hath applyed; 

And fome fay on the Pig ht wall certain, 

At the weft end it ftoode, that now is plaine. 

He made alfo the Mayden-cajlell ftronge, 
That men now calleth the caftell of Edenb.nrgh, 
That on a rocke ftandeth full hye out of throng, 
On mount Agiuet, where men may fe out through 
Full many atoune, caftle and borough. 

Refpecting the name of Mayden-cdjllc, a conjecture fhall be offered in 
the preliminary obfervations to the Glojfury. Whether Agiuet be the 
fame with the Guidi of Bede, muft be left to the decifion of Antiqua- 

In the above Itinerarie, no difficulty occurs in the names of places, 
excepting Solray, which may have been erroneoufly tra'nfcribed or 
printed for Selkirk ; or Soltray, Soutray, as Camjkinelle may alfo have 
leen for Cambujkenneth ; and Weddale for TiviedJale. 



Los Angeles 

This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

JUL 2 1959 

"JP $ 1960 
SEP 7 10OT 

3BL 81963 


. {* 0CT ; « W 

Form L9-32m-8,'57(.C86 

ld/Sru MAY02'89 

UN 161964 








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