Rough Scan



The Prolog

Thocht feinyeit fabils of aid poetre
Be not al grunded upon truth, yit than
Thair polite termes of sweit Rhetore
Richt plesand ar Unto the eir of man;
And als the caus that thay first began
Wes to repreif the haill misleving
Off man be figure of ane uther thing.

In lyke maner as throw the bustious eird,
(Swa it be laubourit with grit diligence)
Springis the flouris, and the corne abreird,
Hailsum and gude to mannis sustenence,
Sa dois spring ane Morall sweit sentence,
Oute of the subtell dyte of poetry:
To gude purpois quha culd it weill apply.

The nuttes schell, thocht it be hard and teuch,
Haldis the kirnill, and is delectabill.
Sa lyis thair ane doctrine wyse aneuch,
And full of fruit, under ane fenyeit Fabill.
And Clerkis sayis it is richt profitabill
Amangis ernist to ming ane merie sport,
To light the spreit, and gar the tyme be schoit.

Forther mair, ane Bow that is ay bent
Worthis unsmart, and dullis on the string;
Sa dois the mynd that is ay diligent,
In ernistfull thochtis, and in studying:
With sad materis sum merines to ming,
Accordis weill: thus Esope said I wis,
_Dulcius arrident seria picta Iocis_.

Of this Authour, my Maisteris, with your leif,
Submitting me in your correctioun,
In Mother toung of Latyng I wald preif
To mak ane maner of Translatioun;
Nocht of my self, for vane presumptioun,
Bot be requeist and precept of ane Lord,
Of quhome the Name it neidis not record.

In hamelie language and in termes rude
Me neidis wryte, for quhy of Eloquence
Nor Rethorike, I never Understude.
Thairfoir meiklie I pray your reverence,
Gif that ye find it throw my negligence,
Be deminute, or yit superfluous,
Correct it at your willis gratious.

My Author in his Fabillis tellis how
That brutal beistis spak, and Understude,
In to gude purpois dispute, and argow,
Ane Sillogisme propone, and eik conclude.
Put in exempill, and in similitude,
How mony men in operatioun,
Ar like to beistis in conditioun.

Na mervell is, ane man be lyke ane Beist,
Quhilk lufis ay carnall and foull delyte;
That schame can not him renye, nor arreist,
Bot takis all the lust and appetyte,
And that throw custum, and daylie ryte,
Syne in thair myndis sa fast is Radicate,
That thay in brutal beistis ar transformate.

This Nobill Clerk, Esope, as I haif tauld,
In gay metir, as poete Lawriate,
Be figure wrait his buke: for he nocht wald
Lak the disdane off hie, nor low estate.
And to begin, first of ane Cok he wrate,
Seikand his meit, quhilk fand ane Jolie stone,
Of quhome the Fabill ye sail heir anone.


The Taill of the Cok, and the Jasp

Ane cok sum tyme with feddram fresch & gay,
Richt cant and crous, albeit he was bot pure,
Flew furth upon ane dunghill sone be day;
To get his dennar set was al his cure.
Scraipand amang the as, be aventure
He fand ane Jolie Jasp, richt precious,
Wes castin furth in sweping of the hous.

As Damisellis wantoun and Insolent,
That fane wald play, and on the streit be sene,
To swoping of the hous thay tak na tent,
Thay cair na thing, swa that the flure be clene.
Jowellis ar tint, as oftymis hes bene sene,
Upon the flure, and swopit furth anone-
Peradventure, sa wes the samin stone.

Sa mervelland Upon the stane (quod he)
'O gentill Jasp!  O riche and Nobiil thing!
Thocht I the find, thow ganis not for me.
Thow art ane Jowell for ane Lord or King.
Pietie it wer, thow suld ly in this mydding,
Be buryit thus amang this muke on mold,
And thow so fair, and worth sa mekiil gold.

'It is pietie I suld the find, for quhy
Thy grit vertew, nor yit thy cullour cleir,
It may me nouther extoll nor magnify:
And thow to me may mak bot lyttill cheir.
To grit Lordis thocht thow be leif, and deir,
I lufe fer better thing of les availl,
As draf, or come, to fill my tume Intraill.

'I had lever ga scrapit heir with my naillis,
Amangis this mow, and luke my lifys fude,
As draf, or come, small wormis, or snaillis,
Or ony meit waid do my stomok gude,
Than of Jaspis ane mekill multitude:
And thow agane, Upon the samin wyis,
For les availl may me as now dispyis.

'Thow hes na corne, and thairof haif I neid,
Thy cullour dois bot con fort to the sicht,
And that is not aneuch my wame to feid.
For wyfis sayis, lukand werkis ar licht.
I wald have sum meit, get it geve I micht,
For houngrie men may not leve on lukis:
Had I dry breid, I compt not for na cukis.

'Quhar suld thow mak thy habitatioun?
Quhar suld thow dwell, bot in ane Royall Tour?
Quhar suld thow sit, bot on ane Kingis Croun,
Exaltit in worschip and in grit honour?
Rise, gentill Jasp, of all stanis the flour,
Out of this midding, and pas quhar thow suld be;
Thow ganis not for me, nor I for the.'

Levand this Jowell law upon the ground,
To seik his meit this Cok his wayis went.
Bot quhen, or how, or quhorne be it wes found,
As now I set to hald na Argument.
Bot of the Inward sentence and Intent
Of this (as myne Author dois write)
I sall reheirs in rude and hamelie dite.

This Jolie Jasp had properteis sevin:
The first, of cullour it was mervelous,
Part lyke the fyre, and part lyke to the hevin.
It makis ane man stark and victorious.
Preservis als fra cacis perrillous.
Quha hes this stane, sall have gude hap to speid,
Or fyre nor water him neidis not to dreid.


This gentill Jasp, richt different of hew,
Betakinnis perfite prudence and cunning,
Ornate with mony deidis of vertew,
Mair excellent than ony eirthly thing;
Quhilk makis men in honour for to Ring,
Happie, and stark to wyn the victorie
Of all vicis, and Spirituall enemie.

Quha may be hardie, riche, and gratious?
Quha can eschew perrell and aventure?
Quha can Governe ane Realme, Cietie, or hous,
Without science? no man, I yow assure.
It is riches that ever sall Indure,
Quhiik Maith, nor moist, nor uther rust can screit;
To mannis saul! it is eternall meit.

This Cok, desyrand mair the sempill come
Than ony Jasp, may till ane fule be peir,
Quhilk at science makis hot ane moik and scorne,
And na gude can: als lytill will he leir.
His hart wammillis wyse argument to heir,
As dois ane Sow, to quhome men for the nanis,
In hir draf troich wald saw precious stanis.

Quha is enemie to science and cunning,
Bot Ignorants, that understandis nocht?
Quhilk is sa Nobill, sa precious, and sa ding,
That it may not with eirdlie thing be bocht.
Weill wer that man over all uther, that mocht
All his lyfe dayis in perfite studie wair
To get science; for him neidis na mair.

Bot now (allace) this Jasp is tynt and hid:
We seik it nocht, nor preis it for to find.
Haif we richis, na better lyfe we bid,
Of science thocht the Saull be bair and blind.
Of this mater to speik, it wer hot wind.
Thairfore I ceis, and will na forther say.
Ga seik the Jasp, quha will, for thair it lay.


The Taill of the Uponlandis Mous, and the Burges Mous

Esope, myne Authour, makis mentioun
Of twa myis, and thay wer Sisteris deir,
Of quham the eldest dwelt in ane Borous toun,
The uther wynnit uponland weill neir;
Soliter, quhyle under busk, quhyle under breir,
Q uhilis in the corne, and uther mennis skaith,
As outlawis dois, and levis on their waith.

This rurall mous in to the wynter tyde,
Had hunger, cauld, and tholit grit distress;
The uther Mous, that in the Burgh can hyde,
Was Gild brother and made ane fre Burges;
Toll fre als, but custom mair or les,
And fredome had to ga quhair ever scho list,
Amang the cheis in Ark, and meill in kist.

Ane tyme when scho was full and unfute sair,
Scho tuke in mynd hir sister uponland,
And langit for to heir of hir weilfair,
To se quhat lyfe scho had under the wand.
Bairfute, allone, with pykestaf in hir hand,
As pure pylgryme scho passit out off town,
To seik hir sister baith oure daill and down.

Furth mony wilsum wayis can scho walk,
Throw mosse and mure, throw bankis, busk & breir,
Scho ran cryand, quhill scho came to a balk:
'Cum furth to me, my awin Sister deir,
Cry peip anis!'  With that the Mous culd heir,
And knew hir voce as kinnisman will do,
Be verray kynd; and furth scho come hir to.

The hartlie joy, God! geve ye had sene,
Beis kith quhen that thir Sisteris met;
And grit kyndnes wes schawin thame betwene,
For quhylis thay leuch, and quhylis for joy thay gret,
Quhyle(s) kissit sweit, quhylis in armis plet;
And thus thay fure quhill soberit wes thair mude,
Syne ffute ffor ffute unto the chalmer yude.

As I hard say, it was ane sober wane,
Off fog & fame ffull febilie wes maid,
Ane sillie scheill under ane steidfast stane,
Off quhilk the entres wes not hie nor braid.
And in the samin thay went but mair abaid,
Without fyre or candill birnand bricht,
For comonly sic pykeris luffis not lycht.

Quhen thay wer lugit thus, thir sely Myse,
The youngest sister into hir butterie glyde,
And brocht furth nuttis, & candill in steid off spyce;
Giff this wes gude ffair I do it on thame besyde.
The Burges Mous prompit forth in pryde,
And said, 'sister, is this your dayly fude?'
'Quhy not,' quod scho, 'is not this melt rycht gude?'

'Na, be my saull, I think it bot ane scorne.'
'Madame' (quod scho), 'ye be the mair to blame;
My mother sayd, sister, quhen we wer borne,
That I and ye lay baith within ane wame.
I keip the rate and custome off my dame,
And off my leving into povertie,
For landis have we nane in propertie.'

'My fair sister' (quod scho), 'have me excusit.
This rude dyat and I can not accord.
To tender meit my stomok is ay usit,
For quhylis I fair alsweill as ony Lord.
Thir wydderit peis, and nuttis, or thay he bord,
Wil brek my teith, and mak my wame fful sklender,
Quhilk wes before usit to meitis tender.'

'Weil, weil, sister' (quod the rurall Mous),
'Geve it pleis yow, sic thing as ye se heir,
Baith melt and dreink, harberie and hous,
Salbe your awin, will ye remane al yeir.
Ye sail it have wyth blyith and mery cheir,
And that suld mak the maissis that ar rude,
Amang freindis, richt tender and wonder gude.

'Quhat plesure is in the ffeistis delicate,
The quhilkis ar gevin with ane glowmand brow?
Ane gentill hart is better recreate
With blyith curage, than seith to him ane Kow.
Ane modicum is mair ffor till allow,
Swa that gude will be kerver at the dais,
Than thrawin vult and mony spycit mais.'

For all hir mery exhortatioun,
This Burges Mous had littill will to sing.
Bot hevilie scho kest hir browis doun,
For all the daynteis that scho culd hir bring.
Vit at the last scho said, half in hething,
'Sister, this victuall and your royall feist,
May weill suffice unto ane rurall beist.

'Lat be this hole and cum into my place;
I sall to you schaw be experience
My gude friday is better nor your pace;
My dische likingis is worth your haill expence.
I have housis anew off grit defence;
Off Cat, nor fall trap, I have na dreid.'
'I grant,' quod scho; and on togidder thay yeid.

In stubbill array throw gers and come,
And under buskis prevelie couth thay creip,
The eldest wes the gyde and went beforne,
The younger to hir wayis tuke gude keip.
On nicht thay ran, and on the day can sleip,
Quhill in the morning, or the Laverok sang,
Thay fand the town, and in blythlie couth gang.

Not fer fra thyne unto ane worthie Wane,
This Burges brocht thame sone quhare thay suld be.
Without God speid thair herberie wes tane,
In to ane spence with vittell grit plentie;
Baitli Cheis and Butter upon thair skelfis hie,
And flesche and fische aneuch, baith fresche and salt,
And sekkis full off meill and eik off malt.

Eftir quhen thay disposit wer to dyne,
Withowtin grace thay wesche and went to meit,
With all coursis that Cukis culd devyne,
Muttoun and beif, strikin in tailyeis greit.
Ane Lordis fair thus couth thay counterfeit,
Except ane thing, thay drank the watter cleir
In steid off wyne, bot yit thay maid gude cheir.

With blyith upcast and merie countenance,
The eldest Sister spent at hir gest
Giff that scho be ressone fand difference
Betwix that chalmer and hir sane nest.
'Ye, dame' (quod scho), 'how lang will this lest?'
'For evermair, I wait, and langer to.'
'Giff it be swa, ye an at eis' (quod scho).

Till eik thair cheir ane subcharge furth scho brocht,
Ane plait off grottis, and ane dische full off meill;
Thraf cakkis ais I trow scho spairit nocht,
Aboundantlie about hit for to deill.
[And mane full fyne] scho brocht in steid off geill,
And ane quhyte candill out off ane coffer stall,
In steid off spyce to gust thair mouth withall.

This maid thay merie quhill thay micht na mair
And 'haill yule, haill!' cryit upon hie;
Yit efter joy oftymes cummis cair,
And troubill efter grit prosperitie.
Thus as thay sat in all thair jolitie,
The spenser come with keyis in his hand,
Oppinnit the dure, and thame at denner fand.

Thay taryit not to wesche, as I suppose,
Bot on to ga quha that micht fformest win.
The Burges had ane hole, and in scho gois,
Hir sister had na hole to hyde hir in:
To se that selie Mous it wes grit sin,
So desolate and will off ane gude reid,
For verray dreid scho fell in swoun neir deid.

Bot as God wald, it fell ane happie cace,
The Spenser had na laser for to byde,
Nowther to seik, nor serche, to sker nor chace,
Bot on he went, and left the dure up wyde.
The baid Burges his passing weill hes spyde,
Out off hir hole scho come, and cryit on hie,
'How fair ye, sister? cry peip, quhair ever ye be.'

This rurall Mous lay flatling on the ground,
And for the deith scho wes full sair dredand,
For till hir hart straik mony wofull stound,
As in ane fever scho trimbillit fute and hand.
And quhan her sister in sic ply hir fand,
For verray pietie scho began to greit,
Syne confort hir with wordis hunny sweit.

'Quhy ly ye thus? ryse up, my sister deir,
Cum to your meit, this perrell is overpast.'
The uther answerit hir with hevie cheir,
'I may not eit, sa sair I am agast;
I had lever thir fourty dayis fast,
With watter caill, and to gnaw benis or peis,
Than all your feist in this dreid and diseis.'

With fair tretie yit scho gart hir upryse,
And to the burde thay went and togidder sat,
And scantlie had thay drunkin anis or twyse,
Quhen in come Gib hunter, our Jolie Cat,
And bad God speid; the Burges up with that,
And till her hole scho went as fyre on flint;
Bawdronjs the uther be the bak hes hint.

Fra fute to fute he kest hir to and ffra,
Quhylis up, quhylis doun, als cant as ony kid;
Quhylis wald he lat hir rin under the stra,
Quhylis wald he wink, and play with hir buk heid.
Thus to the selie Mous grit pane he did,
Quhill at the last, throw fortune and gude hap,
Betwix ane burde and the wall scho crap.

And up in haist behind ane parraling
Scho clam so hie, that Gilbert micht not get hir,
Syne be the cluke thair craftelie can hing,
Till he wes gane, hir cheir wes all the better.
Syiie doun scho lap quhen thair wes nane to let hir,
And to the Burges Mous loud can scho cry,
'Fairweill, sister, thy feist heir I defy!

'Thy mangerie is mingit all with cair,
Thy guse is gude, thy gansell sour as gall.
The subcharge off thy service is bot sair,
Sa sall thow find heir efterwart na ffall.
I thank yone courtyne and yone perpall wall
Of my defence now ffra yone crewall beist.
Almichtie God, keip me fra sic ane ffeist!

'Wer I into the kith that I come ffra,
For weill nor wo, suld I never cum agane.'
With that scho tuke her leif and furth can ga,
Quhylis throw the corne, and quhylis throw the plane;
Quhen scho wes furth and fre scho wes full fane,
And merilie markit unto the mure.
I can not tell how weill thairefter scho fure.

Bot I hard say scho passit to hir den,
Als warme as woll, suppose it wes not greit,
Full beinly stuffit, baith but and ben,
Off Beinis, and Nuttis, peis, Ry, and Quheit.
Quhen ever scho list, scho had aneuch to eit,
In quyet and eis withoutin ony dreid;
Bot to hir sisteris feist na mair scho yeid.


Freindis, ye may find, and ye will tak heid,
In to this fabill ane gude moralitie.
As fitchis myngit ar with nobill seid,
Swa interminglit is adversitie
With eirdlie joy, swa that na estate is frie,
Without trubill and sum vexatioun:
And namelie thay quhilk clymmis up maist hie,
That ar not content with small possessioun.

Blissed be sempill lyfe withoutin dreid;
Blissed be sober feist in quietie;
Quha hes aneuch, of na mair hes he neid,
Thocht it be littill into quantatie.
Grit aboundance and blind prosperitie
Oftymes makis ane evill conclusioun:
The sweitest lyfe thaitfoir, in this cuntrie,
Is sickernes with small possessioun.

O wanton man! that usis for to feid
Thy wambe, and makis it a God to be,
Lieke to thy self; I warne the weill but dreid,
The Cat cummis, and to the Mous hes Ee.
Quhat vaillis than thy feist and royaltie,
With dreidfull hart, and tribulatioun?
Best thing in eird, thairfoir, I say, for me,
Is blyithnes in hart, with small possessioun.

Thy awin fyre, my freind, sa it be bot ane gleid,
It warmis weill, and is worth Gold to the.
And Solomon sayis, gif that thow will reid,
'Under the hevin thair can not better be,
Than ay be blyith and leif in honestie.'
Quhairfoir I may conclude be this ressoun:
Of eirthly joy it beiris maist degre,
Biyithnes in hart, with small possessioun.


The Taill of Schir Chantecleir and the Foxe.

Thocht brutall beistis be Irrationall,
That is to say, wantand discretioun,
Yit ilk ane in thair kynd naturall
Hes mony divers inclinatioun.
The Bair busteous, the Wolff, the wylde Lyoun,
The Fox fenyeit, craftie and cawtelous,
The Dog to bark on nicht and keip the hows.

Sa different thay ar in properteis,
Unknawin to man, and sa infinite,
In kynd havand sa ffell diuersiteis,
My cunning is excludit ffor to dyte.
For thy as now I purpose ffor to wryte
Ane cais I ffand, quhilk ffell this ather yeir,
Betwix ane Foxe and ane gentill Chantecleir.

Ane wedow dwelt, in till ane drop thay dayis,
Quhilk wan hir ffude off spinning on hir Rok,
And na mair had fforsuth, as the Fabill sayis,
Except off hennis scho had ane Lyttill flok;
And thame to keip scho had ane Jolie Cok,
Richt curageous, that to this wedow ay
Devydit nicht, and crew befoir the day.

Ane lyttill ffra this ffoirsaid wedowis hows,
Ane thornie schaw thair wes off grit defence,
Quhairin ane Foxe, craftie and cautelous,
Maid his repair, and daylie residence;
Quhilk to this wedow did grit violence,
In pyking off pultrie baith day and nicht,
And na way be revengit on him scho micht.

This wylie Tod, quhen that the Lark couth sing,
Full sair hungrie unto the Toun him drest,
Quhair Chantecleir in to the gray dawing,
Werie for nicht, wes flowen ffra his nest.
Lowrence this saw, and in his mynd he kest
The Jeperdie, the wayis, and the wyle,
Be quhat menis he micht this Cok begyle.

Dissimuland in to countenance and cheir,
On kneis fell, and simuland thus he said:
'Gude morne, my maister, gentill Chantecleir!'
With that the Cok start bakwart in ane braid.
'Schir, be my Saull, ye neid not be effraid,
Nor yit ffor me to start nor fle abak,
I come bot heir service to yow to mak.

'Wald I not serve to yow, it wer bot blame,
As I have done to your progenitouris;
Your father full oft fillit hes my wame,
And send me meit ffra midding to the muris.
And at his end I did my besie curis,
To hald his heid, and gif him drinkis warme,
Syne at the last the Sweit swelt in my arme.'

'Knew ye my ffather?' (quod the Cok) and leuch.
'Yea, my ffair Sone, I held up his heid,
Quhen that he deit under ane birkin beuch;
Syne said the Dirigie quhen that he wes deid.
Betwix us twa how suld thair be ane feid?
Quhame suld ye traist bot me, your Servitour,
That to your ffather did sa grit honour?

'Quhen I behald your ffedderis ffair and gent,
Your beik, your breist, your hekill, and your kame,
Schir, be my Saull, and the blissit Sacrament,
My hart is warme; me think I am at hame:
To mak yow blyith, I wald creip on my wame,
In ffroist and snaw, in wedder wan and welt,
And lay my lyart loikkis under your feit.'

This fenyeit Foxe, ffals and dissimulate,
Maid to this Cok ane cavillatioun:
'Ye ar, me think, changit and degenerate,
Fra your ffather off his conditioun;
Off craftie crawing he micht beir the Croun,
For he wald on his tais stand and craw.
This wes na le; I stude beside and saw.'

With that the Cok upon his tais hie,
Kest up his beik, and sang with all his micht.
(Quad Schir Lowrence) 'weill said, sa mot I the,
Ye ar your ffatheris Sane and air upricht.
Bot aff his cunning yit ye want ane slicht.
For' (quod the Tod) 'he wald, and haif na dout,
Baith wink, and craw, and turne him thryis about.'

The Cok, infect with wind and fals vanegloir,
That many puttis unto confusioun,
Traisting to win ane grit worschip thairfoir,
Unwarlie winkand wawland up and doun,
And syne to chant and craw he maid him boun.
And suddandlie, be he had crawin ane note,
The Foxe wes war and hint him be the throte.

Syne to the woid but tarie with him hyit,
Off that cryme haifand bot lytill dout.
With that Pertok, Sprutok, and Toppok cryit.
The wedow hard, and with ane cry come out.
Seand the cace, scho sichit and gaif ane schout:
'How, murther, hay!' with ane hiddeous beir,
'Allace, now lost is gentill Chantecleir!'

As scho wer woid, with mony yell and cry,
Ryvand hir hair, upon hir breist can beit,
Syne, paill off hew, half in ane extasy,
Fell doun ffor cair in swoning and in sweit.
With that the selie hennis left thair meit,
And, quhill this wyfe wes lyand thus in swoun,
Fell in that cace in disputatioun.

'Allace,' quod Pertok, makand sair murning,
With teiris grit attour hir cheikis fell;
'Yone wes our drowrie, and our dayis darling,
Our nichtingall, and als our Orloge bell,
Our walkryfe watche, us for to warne and tell
Quhen that Aurora with hir curcheis gray,
Put up hir heid betwix the nicht and day.

'Quha sall our lemman be? quha sall us leid?
Quhen we ar sad, quha sall unto us sing?
With his sweit Bill he wald brek us the breid,
In all this warld wes thair ane kynder thing?
In paramouris he wald do us plesing,
At his power, as nature did him geif.
Now efter him, allace, how sall we leif?'

Quod Sprutok than, 'Ceis sister off your sorrow;
Ye be to mad ffor him sic murning mais:
We sail ffair weill; I find, Sanct Johne to borrow,
The prouerb sayis, "als gude lufe cummis as gais."
I will put on my haly dais dais,
And mak me fresch agane this Jolie may,
Syne chant this sang, "wes never wedow sa gay!"

'He wes angry and held us ay in aw,
And woundit with the speir off Jelowsy.
Off chalmerglew, Pertok, full weill ye knaw,
Waistit he wes, off Nature cauld and dry;
Sen he is gone, thairfoir, Sister, say I,
Be blyith in baill, ffor that is best remeid:
Let quik to quik, and deid ga to the deid.'

Than Pertok spak, with feinyeit faith befoir:
'In lust but lufe he set all his delyte;
Sister, ye wait, off sic as him ane scoir
Wald not suffice to slaik our appetyte.
I hecht be my hand, sen that he is quyte,
Within ane oulk, ffor schame and I durst speik,
To get ane berne suld better claw oure breik.'

Than Toppok lyke ane Curate spak full crous:
'Yone wes ane verray vengeance from the hevin;
He wes sa lous, and sa lecherous;
He had' (quod scho) 'kittokis ma than sevin.
Bot rychteous God, haldand the balandis evin,
Smytis rycht sair, thocht he be patient,
For Adulterie, that will thame not repent.

'Prydefull he wes, and joyit off his sin,
And comptit not for Goddis favour nor feid,
Bot traistit ay to rax, and sa to rin,
Quhill at the last his sinnis can him leid
To schamefull end, and to yone suddand deid.
Thairfoir it is the verray hand off God
That causit him be werryit with the Tod.'

Quhen this wes said, this wedow ffra hir swoun
Start up on lute, and on hir kennettis cryde,
'How! berk, Berrie, Bawsie Broun,
Rype schaw, Rin weil, Curtes, Nuttieclyde,
Togidder all but grunching furth ye glyde!
Reskew my Nobill Cok, or he be slane,
Or ellis to me se ye cum never agane.'

With that but bald thay braidet over the bent;
As fyre off flint thay over the feildis flaw;
Full wichtlie thay throw wood and wateris went,
And ceissit not schir Lourence quhill thay saw.
Bot quhen he saw the Kennettis cum on raw,
Unto the Cok in mynd he said, 'God sen,
That I and thow wer fairlie in my den.'

Then said the Cok, with sum gude Spirit inspyrit,
'Do my counsall and I sall warrand the;
Hungrie thow art, and ffor grit travell tyrit,
Richt faint off force, and may not ferther fle.
Swyith turne agane, and say that I and ye
Freindis ar maid, and fellowis ffor ane yeir;
Than will thay stint, I stand ffor it, and not steir.'

This Tod, thocht he wes fals and frivolus,
And had frawdis his querrell to defend,.
Desauit wes be menis richt mervelous;
For falset failyeis ay at the latter end.
He start about, and cryit as he wes kend.
With that the Cok he braid out off the bewch,
Now Juge ye all quhairat Schir Lowrence lewch.

Begylit thus, the Tod under the tre
On kneis fell, and said, 'gude Chantecleir,
Cum doun agane, and I, but meit or fe,
Salbe your man and servand ffor ane yeir.'
'Na, fals theif and revar, stand not me neir.
My bludy hekill, and my nek sa bla,
Hes partit freindschip ffor ever betwene us twa.

'I wes unwyse that winkit at thy will,
Quhairthrow almaist I loissit had my heid.'
'I was mair fule,' quod he, 'to be sa still,
Quhairthrow to put my pray in to pleid.'
'Fair on, fals theif, God keip me ffra thy feid.'
With that the Cok over the feildis tuke his flicht,
And in at the Wedowis Lewer couth he licht.


Now, worthie folk, suppose this be ane Fabill,
And overheillit wyth typis figurall,
Yit may ye find ane sentence richt agreabill,
Under thir fenyeit termis textuall:
To our purpose this Cok weill may we call
Nyse proud men, woid and vaneglorious,
Of kin and blude quhilk ar presumpteous.

Fy! puft up pryde, thow is full poysonabill;
Quha favoris the on force man haif ane fall.
Thy strenth is nocht, thy stule standis unstabill;
Tak witnes of the Feyndis Infernall,
Quhilk houndit doun wes fra that hevinlie hall
To Hellis hole, and to that hiddeous hous,
Because in pryde thay wer presumpteous.

This fenyeit Foxe may weill be figurate,
To flatteraris with plesand wordis quhyte,
With fals mening and mynd maist toxicate,
To loif and le that settes thair haill delyte.
All worthie folk at sic suld haif despyte;
For quhair is thair mair perrellous pestilence
Nor gil to leans haistelie credence?

The wickit mynd and Adullatioun,
Of sucker sweit haifand the similitude,
Bitter as gall, and full of poysoun,
To taist it is quha cleirlie understude.
For thy, as now schortlie to conclude,
Thir twa sinnis, flatterie and vaneglore,
Ar vennomous; gude folk, fle thame thairfoir.


The Taill how this foirsaid Tod maid his Cofessioun to Freir Wolf Waitskaith

Leif we this wedow glaid, I yow assure,
Off Chantecleir mair blyith than I can tell,
And speik we off the subtell aventure
And destenie that to this Foxe befell,
Quhilk durst na mair with waitting Intermell,
Als lang as Leme or Licht wes off the day,
Bot, bydand nicht, full styll Lurkand he Lay,

Quhill that the Goddes off the flude
Phebus had callit to the harbery,
And Hesperous put up his cluddie hude,
Schawand his Lustie Visage in the sky.
Than Lowrence luikit up, quhair he couth ly,
And kest his hand upon his Ee on hicht,
Merie and glade that cummit wes the nicht.

Out off the wod unto ane hill he went,
Quhair he micht se the twinkling sternis cleir,
And all the planetis off the firmament,
Thair cours, and eik thair moving in the Spheir,
Sum retrograde, and sum Stationeir,
And off the Zodiak, in quhat degre
Thay wer ilk ane, as Lowrence leirnit me.

Than Saturne auld wes eriterit in Capricorne,
And Juppiter movit in Sagittarie,
And Mars up in the Rammis heid wes borne,
And Phebus in the Lyoun furth can carie;
Venus the Crab, the Mone wes in Aquarie;
Mercurius, the God off Eloquence,
Into the Virgyn maid his residence.

But Astrolab, Quadrant, or Almanak,
Teichit off nature be Instructioun,
The moving off the hevin this Tod can tak,
Quhat influence and constellatioun
Wes lyke to fall upon the eirth adoun.
And to him self he said, withoutin mair,
'Weill worth my ffather, that send me to the Lair.

'My destenie, and eik my weird I ken,
My aventure is cleirlie to me kend;
With mischeif myngit is my mortall men,
My misleving the soner bot gif I mend:
It is reward off sin ane schamefull end.
Thairfoir I will ga seik sum Confessour,
And schryiff me clene off my sinnis to this hour.

'Allace' (quod he), 'richt waryit ar we thevis,
Our lyifis set ilk nicht in aventure;
Our cursit craft full mony man mischevis;
For ever we steill, and ever ar lyke pure:
In dreid and schame our dayis we Indure;
Syne widdinek, and Crakraip callit als,
And till our hyre hangit up be the hals.'

Accusand thus his cankerit conscience,
In to ane Craig he kest about his Ee;
So saw he cummand ane lyttill than frome hence,
Ane worthie Doctour in Divinitie,
Freir Wolff Waitskaith, in science wonder sle,
To preich and pray wes new cummit ffra the Closter
With Beidis in hand, sayand his pater foster.

Seand this Wolff, this wylie tratour Tod
On kneis fell, with hude in to his nek:
'Welcome, my Gostlie ffather under God'
(Quod he), with mony binge and mony bek.
'Ha' (quod the Wolff), 'Schir Tod, for quhat effek
Mak ye sic feir?  Ryse up, put on your hude.'
'Father' (quod he), 'I haif grit cause to dude.

'Ye ar Mirrour, Lanterne, and sicker way,
Suld gyde sic sempill folk as me to grace.
Your bair feit, and your Russet Coull off gray,
Your lene cheik, your paul pietious face,
Schawis to me your perfite halines.
For weill wer him, that anis in his lyve
Had hap to yow his sinnis ffor to schryve.'

'Na, selie Lowrence' (quod the Wolf), and leuch:
'It plesis me that ye ar penitent.'
'Off reif and stduth, Schir, I can tell aneuch,
That causis me full sair for to repent.
Bot, ffather, byde still heir upon the bent,
I you beseik, and heir me to declair
My conscience, that prikkis me sa sair.

'Weill' (quod the Wolff), 'sit doun upon thy kne.'
And be doun bairheid sat full humilly,
And syne began with Benedicitie.
Quhen I this saw, I drew ane lytill by,
For it effeiris nouther to heir, nor spy,
Nor to reveill thing said under that seill:
Unto the Tod this Gait the Wolf couth kneill.

'Art thow contrite, and sorie in thy Spreit
For thy trespas?'  'Na, Schir, I can not duid:
Me think that hennis ar sa honie sweit,
And Lambes flesche that new ar lettin bluid;
For to repent my mynd can not concluid,
Bot off this thing, that I haif slane sa few.'
'Weill' (quod the Wolff), 'in faith, thow art ane schrew.'

'Sen thow can not forthink thy wickitnes,
Will thow forbeir in tyme to cum and mend?'
'And I forbeir, how sall I leif, allace,
Haifand nane uther craft me to defend?
Neid causis me to steill quhair evir I wend.
I eschame to thig, I can not wirk, ye wait,
Yit wald I fane pretend to gentill stait.'

'Weill' (quod the Wolff) 'thow wantis pointis twa,
Belangand to perfyte Confessioun.
To the thrid part off penitence let us ga:
Will thou tak pane for thy transgressioun?'
'Na, Schir, considder my Complexioun,
Selie and waik, and off my Nature tender;
Lo, will ye se, I am baith lene and sklender.'

'Yit, neuertheles, I wald, swa it wer licht,
Schort, and not grevand to my tendernes,
Tak part off pane, fulfill it gif I micht,
To set my selie Saull in way off grace.'
'Thou sall' (quod he), 'forbeir flesch untill pasche,
To tame this Corps, that cursit Carioun;
And heir I reik the full remissioun.'

'I grant thairto, swa ye will giff me leif
To eit puddingis, or laip ane lyttill blude,
Or heid, or feit, or paynches let me preif,
In cace I fall no flesch unto my fude.'
'For grit mister I gif the leif to dude
Twyse in the oulk, for neid may haif na Law.'
'God yeild yow, Schir, for that Text weill I knaw.'

Quhen this wes said, the Wolff his wayis went.
The Foxe on fuit he fure unto the flude-
To fang him fisch haillelie wes his intent.
Bot quhen he saw the watter, and wallis woude,
Astonist all still in to ane stair he stude,
And said, 'better that I had biddin at hame,
Nor bene ane ffischar in the Devillis Name.

'Now may I scraip my meit Out off the sand,
And I haif nouther boittis nor net bait.'
As he wes thus ffor ffalt of meit murnand,
Lukand about his leving ffor to lait,
Under ane tre he saw ane trip off Gait;
Than wes he blyith, and in ane heuch him hid,
And ffra the Gait he stall ane lytill Kid.

Syne over the heuch unto the see he hyis,
And tuke the Kid be the hornis twane,
And in the watter outher twyis or thryis
He dowkit him, and till him can he sayne:
'Ga doun, Schir Kid, cum up Schir Salmond agane!'
Quhill he wes deid; syne to the land him drewch,
And off that new maid Salmond eit anewch.

Thus fynelie fillit with young tender meit,
Unto ane derne ffor dreid he him addrest,
Under ane busk, quhair that the sone can belt,
To beik his breist and bellie he thocht best.
And rekleslie he said, quhair he did rest,
Straikand his wame aganis the sonis heit,
'Upon this wame set wer ane bolt full meit.'

Quhen this wes said, the keipar off the Gait,
Cairfull in hart his Kid wes stollen away,
On everilk syde full warlie couth he wait,
Quhill at the last he saw quhair Lowrence lay.
Ane Bow he bent, ane flane with ffedderis gray
He haillit to the heid, and, or he steird,
The Foxe he prikkit fast unto the eird.

'Now' (quod the Foxe), 'allace and wellaway!
Gorrit I am, and may na forther gang.
Me think na man may speik ane word in play,
Bot now on dayis in ernist it is tane.'
He harlit him, and out he drew his flane;
And ffor his Kid, and uther violence,
He tuke his skyn, and maid ane recompence.


This suddand deith, and unprovysit end
Of this fals Tod, without provision,
Exempill is exhortand folk to amend,
For dreid of sic ane lyke confusioun;
For mony now hes gude professioun,
Yit not repentis, nor for thair sinnis greit,
Because thay think thair lustie lyfe sa sweit.

Sum bene also throw consuetude and ryte,
Vincust with carnall sensualitie;
Suppose thay be as for the tym contryte,
Can not forbeir, nor fra thair sinnis fle;
Use drawis Nature swa in propertie
Of beist and man, that neidlingis thay man do,
As thay of lang tyme hes bene hantit to.

Be war, gude folke, and feir this suddane schoit,
Quhilk smytis sair withoutin resistence.
Attend wyislie, and in your hartis be noit,
Aganis deith may na man mak defence.
Ceis of your sin, Remord your conscience,
Obey unto your God and ye sall wend,
Efter your deith, to bus withouttin end.


The Taill of the Soe & Air of the foirsaid Foxe, callit Father wer:  Alswa the Parliamet of fourfuttit Beistis, haldin be the Lyoun.

This foirsaid ifoxe, that deit ffor his misdeid,
Had not ane barne wes gottin richteouslie,
Till airschip be Law that micht succeid,
Except ane Sone, quhilk in Adulterie
He gotten had in purches privelie,
And till his Name wes callit Father war,
That luifit weill with pultrie to tig and tar.

It followis weill be ressoun naturall,
And gre be gre, off richt comparisoun,
Off euill cummis war, off war cummis werst of all,
Off wrangus geir cummis fals successioun.
This ffoxe, Bastard of generatioun,
Off verray kinde behuifit to be fals;
Swa wes his Father, and his Grandschir als.

As Nature will, seikand his melt be sent,
Off cace he fand his ffatheris Carioun,
Nakit, new slane; and till him hes he went,
Tuke up his heid, and on his kne fell doun,
Thankand grit God off that conclusioun;
And said, 'Now sall I bruke, sen I am air,
The boundis quhair thow wes wont ffor to repair.'

'Fy I Covetice, unkynd, and venemous:
The Sone wes fane he fand his ffather deid,
Be suddand schot, ffor deidis odious,
That he micht ringe, and raxe in till his steid,
Dreidand na thing the samin lyfe to leid,
In thift, and reif, as did his ffather befoir;
Bot to the end attent he tuke no moir.

Vit nevertheles, throw Naturall pietie,
The Carioun upon his bak he tais.
'Now find I weill this prouerb trew' (quod he),
'"Ay rinnis the ffoxe, als lang as he fute hais."
Syne with the Corps unto ane peitpoit gais,
Off watter ffulI, and kest him in the deip,
And to the Devill he gaif his banis to keip.

O fulische man! plungit in waridlynes,
To conqueis warldlie gude, and gold, and rent,
To put thy Saull in pane, or hevines,
To richt thy air, quhilk efter thow art went,
Have he thy gude, he takis bot small tent
To execute, to do, to satisfie
Thy letter will, thy det, and legacie.

This Tod to rest him, he passit to ane Craig,
And thair he hard ane busteous Bugill blaw,
Quhilk, as he thocht, maid all the warld to waig.
Ane Unicorne come lansand over ane Law.
Than start he up, quhen he this hard and saw;
With horne in hand, ane bill in breist he bure,
Ane pursephant semelie, I yow assute.

Unto ane bank, quhair he micht se about
On everilk syde, in haist he culd him hy,
Schot out his voce, full schyll, and gaif ane schout,
And on this wyis twyse or thryse did cry.
With that the beistes in the feild thairby,
All mervelland, quhat sic ane thing suld mene,
Gritlie agast, thay gaderit on ane grene.

Out off ane bus ane bull sone can he braid,
And red the Text withoutin tarying:
Commandand silence, sadlie thus he said:
'The Nobill Lyoun, off all beistis the King,
Greting to God, helth everlestyng
To brutall beistis, and Irrationall,
I send, as to my subjectis grit and small.

'My celsitude, and hie magnificence,
Lattis yow to wait, that evin incontinent,
Thinkis the morne, with Royall deligence,
Upon this hill to hald ane Parliament.
Straitlie thairfoir I gif commandement
For to compeir befoir my Tribunall,
Under all pane and perrell that may fall.'

The morrow come, and Phebus with his bemis
Consumit had the mistie cluddis gray.
The ground wes grene, and als as gold it glemis,
With gers growand gudelie, grit and gay;
The spyce thay spred to spring on everilk spray;
The Lark, the Maveis, and the Merll, full hie,
Sweitlie can sing, creippand ffra tre to tre.

The Leopardis come with Croun off massie gold;
Beirand thay brocht unto that hillis hicht,
With Jaspis Jonit, and Royall Rubeis rold,
And mony diveris Dyamontis dicht,
With towis proud ane Palyeoun doun thay picht;
And in that Throne thair sat ane wild Lyoun,
In Rob Royall, with Sceptour, Swerd, and Croun.

Efter the tennour off the cry befoir,
That gais on all fourfuttit beistis in eird,
As thay commandit wer withoutin moir,
Befoir thair Lord the Lyoun thay appeird:
And quhat thay wer, to me as Lowrence leird,
I sall reheirs ane part of everilk kynd,
Als fer as now occurris to my mynd.

The Minotaur, ane Monster mervelous,
Bellerophont that beist of Bastardrie,
The Warwolff, and the Pegase perillous,
Transformit be assent of sorcerie.
The Linx, the Tiger full off Tiranie:
The Elephant, and eik the Dromedarie;
The Cameill with his Cran nek furth can carie.

The Leopard, as I hail tauld beforne,
The Anteloip, the Sparth furth couth speid,
The peyntit Pantheir, and the Unicorne;
The Rayndeir Ran throw Reveir, Rone, and Reid,
The Jolie Gillet, and the gentill Steid,
The Asse, the Mule, the Hors of everilk kynd;
The Da, the Ra, the hornit Hart, the Hynd.

The Bull, the Beir, the Bugill, and the Bair,
The tame Cat, Wildcat, and the Wildwod Swyne,
The Hardbakkit Hurcheoun, and the Hirpland Hair,
Baith Otter and Aip, and Pennit Porcupyne;
The Gukit Gait, the selie Scheip, the Swyne,
The wyld Once, the Buk, the Welterand Brok,
The Fowmart, with the Fibert ffurth can flok.

The gray Grewhound, with Sleuthound furth can slyde,
With Doggis all divers and different;
The Rattoun ran, the Glebard furth can glyde,
The quhrynand Quhitret, with the Quhasill went,
The Feitho that hes furrit mony fent,
The Mertrik, with the Cunning and the Con,
The Bowranbane, and eik the Lerioun.

The marmisset the Mowdewart couth leid,
Because that Nature denyit had hir sicht;
Thus dressit thay all ffurth, ffor dreid off deid;
The musk, the lytill Mous with all hir micht
With haist scho haikit unto that hill of hicht;
And mony kynd off beistis I couth not knaw,
Befoir thair Lord the Lyoun thay loutit law.

Seing thir beistis all at his bidding boun,
He gaif ane braid, and luikit him about;
Than flatlingis to his feit thay ffell all doun,
For dreid off deith thay droupit all in dout.
He lukit quhen that he saw thame lout,
And bad thame, with ane countenance full sweit,
'Be not efferit, bot stand up on your feit.

'I lat yow wit my micht is merciabill,
And steiris nane that ar to me prostrait,
Angrie, austerne, and als unamyabill
To all that standfray ar to myne estait.
I rug, I reif all beistis that makis debait
Aganis the micht off my Magnyficence:
Se nane pretend to pryde in my presence.

'My Celsitude and my hie Maiestie
With micht and mercie myngit sall be ay;
The lawest heir I can ffull sone up hie,
And mak him maister over yow all I may.
The Dromedarie, giff he will mak deray,
The grit Camell, thocht he wer never sa crous,
I can him law als lytill as ane Mous.

'Se neir be twentie mylis quhair I am
The Kid ga saiflie be the gaittis syde,
The Tod Lowrie luke not to the lam,
Na revand beistis nouther Ryn nor ryde.'
Thay couchit all efter that this wes cryde;
The Justice bad the Court ffor to gar fence,
The sutis callit, and ffoirfalt all absence.

The Panther, with his payntit Coit Armour,
Fensit the Court, as off the Law effeird.
Than Tod Lowrie luikit quhair he couth lour,
And start on fute, all stonist, and all steird,
Ryiland his hair, he cryit with ane reird,
Quaikand ffor dreid, and sichand couth he say:
'Allace this hour, allace this dulefull day!

'I wait this suddand Semblie that I se,
Haifand the pointis off ane Parliament,
Is maid to mar sic misdoars as me;
Thairfoir, geve I me schaw, I will be schent;
I will be socht, and I be red absent;
To byde, or fle, it makis no remeid;
All is alyke, thair ffollowis not bot deid.'

Perplexit thus in his hart can he mene
Throw ffalset how he micht himself defend;
His Hude he drew laich attour his Ene,
And, winkand with ane Eye, furth he wend;
Clinschand he come, that he micht not be kend,
And, for dreddour that he suld bene arreist,
He playit bukhude behind, ffra beist to beist.

O fylit Spreit, and cankerit Conscience!
Befoir ane Roy Renyeit wtth richteousnes,
Blakinnit cheikis and schamefull countenance!
Fairweill thy fame, now gone is all thy grace,
The Phisnomie, the favour off thy face,
For thy defence is foull and diffigurate,
Brocht to the licht, basit, blunt, and blait.

Be thow atteichit with thift, or with tressoun,
For thy misdeid wrangous and wickit fay,
Thy cheir changis, Lowrence; thow man luke doun;
Thy worschip of this warld is went away.
Luke to this Tod, how he wes in effray,
And fle the filth of falset, I the reid,
Quhairthrow thair followis syn and schamefull deid.

Compeirand thus befoir thair Lord and King,
In ordour set as to thair estait effeir,
Of everilk kynd he gart ane part furth bring,
And awfullie he spal, and at thame speird
Geve there wes ony kynd of beistis in eird
Absent, and thairto gart thame deiplie sweir;
And thay said: 'nane, except ane Stude gray Meir.'

'Ga, mak ane message sone unto that Stude.'
The Court than cryit: 'now see, quha sall it be?'
'Cum furth, Lowrie, lurkand under thy hude.'
'Na, Schair, mercie! lo, I have bot and Ee;
Hurt in the hoche, and cruikit as ye may se;
The Volff is better in Ambassatry,
And mair cunning in Clergie fer than I.'

Rampand he said, 'ga furth, brybouris baith!'
And thay to ga withoutin tarying.
Over Ron and Rute thay ran togidder raith,
And fand the Meir at hir meit in the morning.
'Now,' quod the Tod, 'Madame, cum to the King,
The Court is callit, and ye ar _Contumax_.'
'Let be, Lowrence' (quod scho), 'your Courtlie Knax.'

'Maistres' (quod he), 'cum to the Court ye mon;
The Lyoun hes commandit so in deid.'
'Schir Tod, tak ye the Flyrdome, and the Fon,
I have respite ane yeir, and ye will reid.'
'I can not spell' (quod he), 'sa God me speid:
Heir is the Volff, and Nobill Clerk at all,
And of this Message is maid principall.

'He is Autentik, and ane man of age,
And hes grit practik of the Chanceliary;
Let him ga luke, and reid your Privilage,
And I sall stand, and beir witnes yow by.'
'Quhair is thy Respite?' (quod the Wolff), in hy.
'Schir, it is heir, under mu hufe weill hid.'
'Hald up thy heill' (quod he); and so scho did.

Thocht he wes blindit with pryde, yit he presumis
To luke doun law, quhair that hir letter lay.
With that the meir gird him upon the gumis,
And straik the hattell of his heid away.
Halff out off lyif, thair lenand doun he lay:
'Allace' (quod Lorence), 'LUPUS, thou art loist.'
'His cunning' (quod the Meir) 'wes wort sum coist.

'Lowrence' (quod scho), 'will thow luke on my letter,
Sen that the Wolff na thing thairoff can wyn?'
'Na, be Sanct Bryde' (quod he), 'me think it better
To sleip in haill nor in ane hurt skyn.
Ane skrow I ffand, and this wes writtin in,
-For ffyve schillingis I wald not anis fforfaut him-
_Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautu_.'

With brokin skap, and bludit cheikis reid,
This wretchit Wolff weipand, thus on he went,
Off his menye markand to get remeid,
To tell the King the cace wes his Intent.
'Schir' (quod the Tod), 'byde still upon this bent,
And ffra your browis wesche away the blude,
And tak ane drink, ffor it will do yow gude.'

To fetche watter this ffraudfull Fox furth fure,
Sydelingis abak he socht unto ane syke;
On cace he meittis, cummand ffra the mure,
Ane Trip of Lambis dansand on ane dyke.
This Tratour Tod, this Tirrant, and this Tyke,
The fattest off this flock he ffellit hais,
And eit his fill; syne to the Wolff he gais.

Thay drank togidder, and sync thair Journey takis;
Befoir the King syne kneillit on thair kne.
'Quhair is yone Meir, Schir Tod, wes _Contumax?_'
Than Lowrence said: 'My Lord, speir not at me!
Speir at your Doctour off Divinitie,
With his reid Cap can tell yow weill aneuch.'
With that the Lyoun, and all the laif thay leuch.

'Tell on the cais now, Lowrence, let us heir.'
'This wittie Wolff' (quod he), 'this Clerk off age,
On your behalff he bad the Meir compeir,
And scho allegit to ane privilage-
"Cum neir and se, and ye sall haiff your wage."
Because he red his rispite plane and weill,
Yone reid Bonat scho raucht him with hir heill.'

The Lyoun said, 'be yone reid Cap I ken
This Taill is trew, quha tent unto it takis;
The greitest Clerkis ar not the wysest men;
The hurt off ane happie the uther makis.'
As thay wer carpand in this cais, with knakis,
And all the Court in merines and in gam,
Swa come the Yow, the Mother off the Lam.

Befoir the Justice on hir kneis fell,
Put out hir playnt on this wyis wofully:
'This harlet huresone, and this hound off hell,
Devorit hes my Lamb full doggitly,
Within ane myle, in contrair to your cry.
For Goddis lufe, my Lord, gif me the Law
Off this lurker:'  with that Lowrence let draw.

'Byde' (quod the Lyoun), 'Lymmer, let us se
Giff it be suthe the selie yow hes said.'
'Aa, Soverane Lord, saif your mercie' (quod he),
'My purpois wes with him ffor to haif plaid;
Causles he fled, as he had bene effraid;
For dreid off deith, he duschit ouer ane dyke,
And brak his nek.'  'Thow leis' (quod scho), 'fals tyke.'

'His deith be practik may be previt eith:
Thy gorrie gumis and thy bludie snout,
The woll, the flesche yit stikkis on thy teith,
And that is evidence aneuch, but dout.'
The Justice bad ga cheis ane Assyis about;
And so thay did, and fand that he wes fals,
Off Murther, thift, pyking, and tressoun als.

Thay band him fast, the Justice bad belyif
To gif the dome, and tak off all his clais;
The Wolff; that new maid Doctour, couth him schrif;
Syne furth him led, and to the Gallous gais,
And at the ledder lute his leif he tais;
The Aip was Bowcher, and bad him sone ascend,
And hangit him; and thus he maid his end.


Richt as the Mynour in his Minorall
Fair Gold with lyre may fra the Leid weill wyn,
Richt so under ane Fabill figurall
Sad sentence man may seik, and efter syne,
As daylie dois the Doctouris of Devyne,
That to our leving full weill can apply
And paynt thair mater furth be Poetry.

The Lyoun is the warld be liknes,
To quhom loutis baith Empriour and King,
And thinkis of this warld to get incres,
Thinkand daylie to get main leving;
Sum for to reull: and sum to raxe and Ring;
Sum gadderis geir: sum Gold: sum uther gude,
To wyn this warld, sum wirkis as thay wer wod.

The Meir is Men of gude conditioun,
As Pilgrymes Walkand in this wildernes,
Approvand that for richt Religioun
Thair God onlie to pleis in everilk place;
Abstractit from this warldis wretchitnes,
Fechtand with lust, presumptioun, and pryde,
And fra this warld in mynd ar mortyfyde.

This Wolf I likkin to Sensualitie,
As quhen, lyke brutall beistis, we accord
Our mynd all to this warldis vanitie,
Lyking to tak and loif him as our Lord:
Fle fast thairfra, gif thow will richt remord;
Than sall Ressoun ryse, Rax and Ring,
And for thy Saull thair is na better thing.

Hir Hufe I likkin to the thocht of deid.
Will thow remember, Man, that thow man de?
Thow may brek Sensualiteis heid,
And fleschlie lust away fra the sall fle,
Fra thow begin thy mynd to mortifie;
Salomonis saying thow may persaif heirin:
'Think on thy end, thow sall not glaidlie sin.'

This Tod I likkin to Temptationis,
Beirand to mynd mony thochtis vane,
Assaultand men with sweit perswasionis,
Ay reddy for to trap thame in ane trayne;
Yit gif thay se Sensualitie neir slane,
And suddand deith draw neir with panis sore,
Thay go abak, and temptis thame no moir.

O Mediatour! mercifull and meik,
Thow soveraigne Lord, and King Celestiall,
Thy celsitude maist humillie we beseik,
Us to defend fra pane and perrellis all,
And help us up unto thy hevinlie hall,
In gloir, quhair we may se the face of God.-
And thus endis the talking of the Tod.


The Taill of the Scheip ad the Doig

Esope ane Taill puttis in memorie,
How that ane Doig, because that he wes pure,
Callit ane Scheip to the Consistorie,
Ane certaine breid ffra him ffor to recure.
Ane fraudfull Wolff was Juge that tyme, and bure
Authoritie and Jurisdictioun;
And on the Scheip send furth ane strait summoun.

For by the use, and cours, and common style
On this maner maid his Citatioun:
'I, Maister Wolff; parties off fraud and gyle,
Under the panis off hie Suspensioun,
Off grit Cursing, and Interdictioun,
Schir Scheip, I charge the for to compeir,
And answer to ane Doig befoir me heir.'

Schir Corbie Ravin wes maid Apparitour,
Quha pykit had ffull mony Scheipis Ee;
The charge hes tane, and on the letteris bure;
Summonit the Scheip befoir the Wolff, that he,
Peremptourlie, within twa dayis or thre,
Compeir under the panis in this bill,
'To heir quhat Perrie Doig will say the till.'

This Summondis maid befoir witnes anew;
The Ravin, as to his office weill effeird,
Indorsat hes the write, and on he flew;
The selie Scheip durst lay na mouth on eird,
Till he befoir the awfull Juge appeird,
The oure off cause, quhilk that the Juge usit than,
Quhen Hesperus to schaw his face began.

The Foxe wes Clerk and Noter in the Cause;
The Gled, the Graip, at the Bar couth stand;
As Advocatis expert in to the Lawis,
The Doggis pley togidder tuke on hand,
Quhilk wer confidderit straitlie in ane band,
Aganis the Scheip to procure the sentence;
Thocht it wes fals, thay had na conscience.

The Clerk callit the Scheip, and he wes thair;
The Advocatis on this wyse couth propone.
'Ane certaine breid, worth fyve schilling or mair,
Thow aw the Doig, off quhilk the terme is gone.'
Off his awin heid, but Advocate allone,
The Scheip avysitlie gave answer in the cace:
'Heir I declyne the Juge, the tyme, the place.

'This is my cause, in motive and effect:
The Law sayis, it is richt perrillous
Till enter in pley befoir ane Juge suspect;
And ye, Schir Wolff, hes bene richt odious
To me, for with your Tuskis ravenous
Hes slane full mony kinnismen off mine;
Thairfoir, Juge as suspect, I yow declyne.

'And schortlie, of this Court ye memberis all,
Baith Assessouris, Clerk, and Advocate,
To me and myne ar ennemies mortall,
And ay hes bene, as mony Scheipheird wate;
The place is fer, the tyme is feriate,
Quhairfoir na Juge suld sit in Consistory,
Sa lait at evin, I yow accuse ffor thy.'

Quhen that the Juge in this wyse wes accusit,
He bad the parteis chets, with ane assent,
Twa Arbeteris, as in the Law is usit,
For to declair and gif Arbitriment,
Quhidder the scheip suld answer in Jugement
Befoir the Wolff; and so thay did but weir,
Off quhome the Namis efterwart ye sall heir.

The Beir, the Brok, the mater tuke on hand,
For to discyde gif this exceptioun
Wes off na strenth, nor lauchfully mycht stand;
And thairupon, as Jugis, thay sat doun,
And held ane lang quhyle disputatioun,
Seikand full mony Decreitis off the Law,
And Glosis als, the veritie to knaw.

Of Civile Law volumis full mony thay revolve,
The Codies and Digestis new and aid;
Contrait, Prostrait Argumentis thay resolve,
Sum objecting, and sum can hald;
For prayer, or price, trow ye that thay wald fald?
Bot hald the glose, and Text of the Decreis,
As trew Jugis; I beschrew thame ay that leis.

Schortlie to mak ane end off this debait:
The Arbiteris than sweirand plane,
The sentence gave, and proces fulminait:
The Scheip suld pas befoir the Wolff agane,
And end his pley.  Than wes he nathing fane,
For ffra thair sentence couth he not appeill.
On Clerkis I do it, gif this sentence wes leill.

The Scheip agane befoir the Wolff derenyeit,
But Advocate, abasitlie couth stand.
Up rais the Doig, and on the Scheip thus plenyeit:
'Ane soume I payit have befoir the hand
For certane breid;' thairto ane Borrow he fand,
That wrangouslie the Scheip did haid the breid;
Quhilk he denyit; and thair began the pleid.

And quhen the Scheip this stryif had contestait,
The Justice in the cause furth can proceid;
Lowrence the actis, and the proces wrait,
And thus the pley unto the end thay speid.
This Cursit Court, corruptit all ffor meid,
Aganis gude faith, Law, and eik conscience,
For this fals Doig pronuncit the sentence.

And it till put to executioun
The Wolff chargit the Scheip, without delay,
Under the panis off Interdictioun,
The soume off silver, or the breid, to pay.
Off this sentence (allace) quhat sall I say,
Quhilk dampnit hes the seiie Innocent,
And Justifyit the wrangous Jugement?

The Scheip, dreidand mair the executioun,
Obeyand to the sentence, he couth tak
His way unto ane Merchand off the Toun,
And sauld the woll that he bure on his bak;
Syne hocht the breid, and to the Doig couth mak
Reddie payment, as it commandit was:
Naikit and bair syne to the feild couth pas.


This selie Scheip may present the figure
Of pure commounis, that daylie ar opprest
Be Tirrane men, quhilkis settis all thair cure
Be fals meinis to mak ane wrang conquest,
In hope this present lyfe suld ever lest;
Bot all begylit, thay will in schort tyme end,
And efter deith to lestand panis wend.

This Wolf I likkin to ane Schiref stout,
Quhilk byis ane forfalt at the Kingis hand,
And hes with him ane cursit Assyis about,
And dytis all the pure men up on land.
Fra the Crownar haif laid on him his wand,
Thocht he wer trew as ever wes sanct Johne,
Slain sall he be, or with the Juge compone.

This Ravin I likkin to ane fals Crownair,
Quhilk hes ane portioun of the Inditement,
And passis furth befoir the Justice Air,
All misdoaris to bring to Jugement;
Bot luke, gif he wes of ane trew Intent,
To scraip out Johne, and wryte in Will, or Wat,
And tak ane bud at boith the parteis tat.

Of this fals tod, of quhilk I spak befoir,
And of this Gled, quhat thay micht signify,
Of thair nature as now I speik no moir
Bot of this Scheip, and of his cairfull cry
I sall reheirs; for as I passit by
Quhair that he lay, on cais I lukit doun,
And hard him mak sair lamentatioun.

'Allace' (quod he), 'this cursit Consistorie,
In middis of the winter now is maid,
Quhen Boreas with blastis bitterlie
And hard froistes thir flouris doun can faid;
On bankis bair now may I mak na baid.'
And with that word in to ane coif he crap,
Fra sair wedder, and froistis him to hap.

Quaikand for cauld, sair murnand ay amang,
Kest up his Ee unto the hevinnis hicht,
And said, 'Lord God, quhy sleipis thow sa lang?
Walk, and discerne my cause, groundit on richt,
Se how I am, be fraud, maistrie, and slicht,
Peillit full bair:' and so is mony one
Now in this warld, richt wonder, wo begone!

Se how this cursit sone of covetice,
Loist hes baith lawtie and eik Law.
Now few or nane will execute Justice,
In falt of quhome the pure man is overthraw.
The veritie, suppois the Juge it knaw,
He is so blindit with affectioun,
But dreid, for micht, he lettis the richt go doun.

Seis thow not (Lord) this warld overturnit is,
As quha wald change gude gold in leid or tyn;
The pure is peillit, the Lord may do na mis;
And Simonie is haldin for na syn.
Now is he blyith with okker maist may wyn;
Gentrice is slane, and pietie is ago,
Allace (gude Lord) quhy thoilis thow it so?

Thow tholis this evin for our grit offence,
Thow sendis us troubill, and plaigis soir,
As hunger, derth, grit weir, or Pestilence;
Bot few amendis now thair lyfe thairfoir.
We pure pepill as now may do no moir
Bot pray to the, sen that we ar opprest
In to this eirth, grant us in hevin gude rest.


The Taill of the Lyon & the Mous

In middis of June, that sweit seasoun,
Quhen that fair Phebus, with his bemis bricht,
Had dryit up the dew ffra daill and doun,
And all the land maid with his bemis licht,
In ane mornyng betwix mid day and nicht,
I rais, and put all sleuth and sleip asyde,
And to ane wod I went allone but gyde.

Sweit wes the smell off flouris, quhyte and reid,
The noyes off birdis richt delitious,
The bewis braid blomit abone my heid,
The ground growand with gers gratious;
Off all plesance that place wes plenteous,
With sweit odouris, and birdis harmony,
The Morning Myld: my mirth wes mair for thy.

The Rosis reid arrayit on Rone and Ryce,
The Prymeros, and the Purpour violat bla;
To heir it wes ane poynt off Paradice,
Sic Mirth the Mavis and the Merle couth ma.
The blossummis blythe brak up on bank and bra;
The smell off Herbis and off fowlis cry,
Contending wha suld have the victory.

Me to conserve than ffra the sonis heit,
Under the schaddow off ane Hawthorne grene,
I lenit doun amang the flouris sweit,
Syne cled my heid, and closit baith my Ene.
On sleip I fell amang thir bewis bene,
And in my dreme me thocht come throw the schaw
The fairest man that ever befoir I saw.

His gowne wes off ane claith als quhyte as milk;
His Chemeis wes off Chambelate Purpour Broun,
His hude off Scarlet, bordourit weill with silk,
On hekillit wyis, untill his girdill doun;
His Bonat round, and off the auld fassoun;
His beird wes quhyte; his Ene wes grit and gray,
With lokker hair, quhilk over his schulderis lay.

Ane Roll off paper in his hand he bair;
Ane swannis pen stikand under his eir;
Ane Inkhorne, with ane prettie gilt Pennair,
Ane bag off silk, all at his belt can beir:
Thus wes he gudelie grathit in his geir.
Off stature large, and with ane feirfull face:
Evin quhair I lay he come ane sturdie pace,

And said, 'God speid, my sone'; and I wes fane
Off that couth word, and off his cumpany;
With reverence I salusit him agane:
'Welcome, Father'; and he sat doun me by.
'Displeis you not, my gude maister, thocht I
Demand your birth, your facultye, and name,
Quhy ye come heir, or quhair ye dwell at hame?'

'My sone' (said he), 'I am off gentill blude;
My native land is Rome withoutin nay;
And in that Towne first to the Sculis I yude,
In Civile Law studyit full mony ane day;
And now my winning is in Hevin ffor ay:
Esope I hecht; my writing and my werk
Is couth and kend to mony cunning Clerk.'

'O Maister Esope, Poet Lawriate,
God wait, ye ar full deir welcum to me;
Ar ye not he that all thir Fabillis wrate,
Quhilk in effect, suppois thay fenyeit be,
Ar full off prudence and moralitie?'
'Fair sore' (said he), 'I am the samin man.'
God wait, gif that my hert wes merie than.

I said, 'Esope, my maister venerabill,
I yow beseik hartlie, ffor cheritie,
Ye wald not disdayne to tell ane prettie Fabill,
Concludand with ane gude Moralitie.'
Schaikand his heid, he said, 'my sone lat be,
For quhat is it worth to tell ane fenyeit taill,
Quhen haly preiching may na thing availl?

'Now in this warld, me think, richt few or nane
To Goddis word that hes devotioun;
The eir is deif, the hart is hard as stane,
Now oppin sin without correctioun,
The hart Inclynand to the eirth ay doun;
Sa roustie is the warld with canker blak,
That now my taillis may lytill succour mak.'

'Yis, gentill Schir' (said I), 'for my requeist,
Not to displeis your Fatherheid, I pray,
Under the figure off ane brutall beist,
Ane morall Fabill ye wald denye to say:
Quha wait, nor I may leir and beir away
Sum thing thairby heirefter may availl?'
'I grant' (quod he), and thus begouth ane taill.

====The end of the Prolog, & beginis the Taill:

Ane Lyoun at his Pray war foirrun,
To recreat his limmis and to rest,
Beikand his breist and belly at the Sun,
Under ane tre lay in the fair forest;
Swa come ane trip off Myis out off thair nest,
Richt tait and trig, all dansand in ane gyis,
And Over the Lyoun lansit twyis or thryis.

He lay so still, the Myis wes not effeird,
Bot to and fro out over him tuke thair trace;
Sum tirlit at the Campis off his beird,
Sum spairit not to claw him on the face;
Merie and glaid thus dansit thay ane space,
Till at the last the Nobill Lyoun woke,
And with his pow the maister Mous he tuke.

Scho gave ane cry, and all the laif agast
Thair dansing left, and hid thame sone alquhair
Scho that wes tane cryit and weipit fast,
And said allace oftymes that scho come thair:
'Now am I tane ane wofull presonair,
And ffor my gilt traistis Incontinent
Off lyfe and deith to thoill the Jugement.

Than spak the Lyoun to that cairfull Mous:
'Thow Cative wretche, and vile unworthie thing,
Over malapart and eik presumpteous
Thow wes, to mak out over me thy tripping.
Knew thow not weill I wes baith Lord and King
Off beistis all?'  'Yes' (quod the Mous), 'I knaw;
Bot I misknew, because ye lay so law.

'Lord!  I beseik thy Kinglie Royaltie,
Heir quhat I say, and tak in patience;
Considder first my simple povertie,
And syne thy mychtie hie Magnyfycence;
Se als how thingis done off Neglygence,
Nouther off malice nor of presumptioun,
The rather suld have grace and Remissioun.

'We wer repleit and had grit aboundance
Off alkin thingis, sic as to us effeird;
The sweit sesoun provokit us to dance,
And mak sic mirth as nature to us leird.
Ye lay so still, and law upon the eird
That, be my sawll, we weind ye had bene deid,
Elles wald we not have dancit ouer your heid.'

'Thy fals excuse,' the Lyoun said agane,
'Sall not availl ane myte I underta;
I put the cace, I had bene deid or slane,
And syne my skyn bene stoppit full off stra,
Thocht thow had found my figure lyand swa,
Because it bare the prent off my persoun,
Thow suld ffor ffeir on kneis have fallin doun.

'For thy trespas thow can mak na defence,
My Nobill persoun thus to vilipend;
Off thy feiris, nor thy awin negligence,
For to excuse thow can na cause pretend;
Thairfoir thow suffer sall ane schamefull end,
And deith, sic as to tressoun is decreit,
Upon the Gallous harlit be the feit.'

'Na, mercie, Lord, at thy gentrice I ase,
As thow art King off beistis Coronate,
Sober thy wraith, and let it overpas,
And mak thy mynd to mercy Inclynate.
I grant offence is done to thyne estate,
Quhairfoir I worthie am to suffer deid,
Bot gif thy Kinglie mercie reik remeid.

'In everie Juge mercy and reuth suld be,
As Assessouris, and Collaterall;
Without mercie Justice is crueltie,
As said is in the Lawis speciall:
Quhen Rigour sittis in the Tribunall,
The equitie off Law quha may sustene?
Richt few or nane, but mercie gang betwene.

'Alswa ye knaw the honour Triumphall
Off all victour upon the strenth dependis
Off his conqueist, quhilk manlie in battell
Throw Jeopardie of weir lang defendis.
Quhat pryce or loving, quhen the battell endis,
Is said off him that overcummis ane man,
Him to defend quhilk nouther may nor can?

'Ane thowsand Myis to kill, and eik devoir,
Is lytill manheid to ane strang Lyoun;
Full lytill worschip have ye wyn thairfoir,
To quhais strenth is na comparisoun;
It will degraid sum part off your renoun
To sla ane mous, quhilk may mak na defence,
Bot askand mercie at your excellence.

'Also it semis not your Celsitude,
Quhilk usis daylie meittis delitious,
To fyle your teith or lippis with my blude,
Quhilk to your stomok is contagious;
Unhailsum meit is of ane sarie Mous,
And that namelie untill ane strang Lyoun,
Wont till be fed with gentill vennesoun.

'My lyfe is lytill worth, my deith is les,
Yit and I leif, I may peradventure
Supple your hienes beand in distres;
For oft is sene ane man off small stature
Reskewit hes ane Lord off hie honour,
Keipit that wes in poynt to be overthrawin
Throw misfortoun: sic cace may be your awin.'

Quhen this wes said, the Lyoun his langage
Paissit, and thocht according to ressoun,
And gart mercie his cruell Ire asswage,
And to the Mous grantit Remissioun;
Oppinnit his pow, and scho on kneis fell doun,
And baith hir handis unto the hevin upheild,
Cryand: 'Almichty God mot yow fforyeild!'

Quhen Scho wes gone, the Lyoun held to hunt,
Foi he had nocht, bot levit on his Pray,
And slew baith tayme and wyld, as he wes wont,
And in the cuntrie maid ane grit deray;
Till at the last the pepill fand the way
This cruell Lyoun how that thay mycht tak:
Off Hempyn cordis strang Nettis couth thay mak.

And in ane Rod, quhair he wes wont to ryn,
With Raipis rude ffra tre to tre it band;
Syne kest ane Range on raw the wod within,
With hornis blast, and Kennettis fast calland.
The Lyoun fled, and, throw the Ron rynnand,
Fell in the Net, and hankit fute and heid;
For all his strenth he couth mak na remeid.

Welterand about with hiddeous rummissing,
Quhyle to, quhyle ffra, quhill he mycht succour get;
Bot all in vane, it vailyeit him na thing;
The mair he flang, the faster wes the Net;
The Raipis rude wes sa about him plet,
On everilk syde, that succour saw he nane;
Bot styll lyand and murnand maid his mane.

'O lamit Lyoun, liggand heir sa law,
Quhair is the mycht off thy Magnyfycence,
Off quhome all brutall beist in eird stude aw,
And dred to luke upon thy Excellence?
But hoip or help, but succour or defence,
In bandis strang heir may I ly (allace!)
Till I be slane, I se nane uther grace.

'Thair is na wy that will my harmis wreik,
Nor creature do confort to my Croun.
Quha sall me bute? quha sall my bandis breik?
Quha sall me put fra pane off this Presoun?'
Be he had maid this lamentatioun,
Throw aventure, the lytill Mous come neir,
And off the Lyoun hard the pietuous beir.

And suddanlie it come in till hir mynd
That it suld be the Lyoun did hir grace,
And said, 'now wer I fals, and richt unkynd,
Bot gif I quit sumpart off thy gentrace
Thow did to me:' and on this way scho gais
To hir fellowis, and on thame fast can cry,
'Cum help, cum help!' and thay come all in hy.

'Lo,' quod the Mous, 'this is the samin Lyoun
That grantit grace to me quhen I wes tane;
And now is fast heir bundin in Presoun,
Brekand his hart with sair murning and mane;
Bot we him help, off succour wait he nane;
Cum help to quyte ane gude turne for ane uther,
Go, lous him sone:' and thay said, 'ye, gude brother.'

Thay tuke na knyfe, thair teith wes sharpe anewch.
To se that sicht, forsuith it wes grit wounder,
How that thay ran amang the rapis tewch;
Befoir, behind, sum yeid about, sum under,
And schuir the raipis off the net in schunder;
Syne bad him ryse; and he start up anone,
And thankit thame; syne on his way is gone.

Now is the Lyoun fre off all danger,
Lows and delyverit to his libertie,
Be lytill beistis off ane small power,
As ye have hard, because he had pietie.
(Quod I) 'Maister, is thair ane Moralitie
In this Fabill?'  'Yea, sone' (he said), 'richt gude.'
'I pray yow, Schir' (quod I), 'ye wald conclude.'


As I suppois, this mychtie gay Lyoun
May signifie ane Prince, or Empriour,
Ane Potestate, or yit ane King with Croun,
Quhilk suld be walkrife gyde and Governour
Of his pepill, that takis na labour
To reule and steir the land, and Justice keip,
Bot lyis still in lustis, sleuth, and sleip.

The fair Forest with levis lowne and le,
With foulis sang, and flouris ferlie sweit,
Is bot the warld and his prosperitie,
As fals plesance myngit with cair repleit.
Richt as the Rois with froist and wynter weit
Faidis, swa dois the warld, and thame desavis
Quhilk in thair lustis maist confidence havis.

Thir lytill Myis ar bot the commountie,
Wantoun, unwyse, without correctioun:
Thair Lordis and Princis quhen that thay se
Of Justice mak nane executioun,
Thay dreid na thing to mak Rebellioun,
And disobey, for quhy thay stand nane aw,
That garris thame thair Soveranis misknaw.

Be this Fabill ye Lordis of Prudence
May considder the vertew of Pietie;
And to remit sumtyme ane grit offence,
And mitigate with mercy crueltie:
Oftymis is sene ane man of small degre
Hes quit ane kinbute baith of gude and ill,
As Lord hes done Rigour, or grace him till.

Quha wait how sone ane Lord of grit Renoun,
Rolland in warldle lust and vane plesance,
May be overthrawin, destroyit, and put doun
Throw fals fortoun? quhilk of all variance
Is haill maistres, and leidar of the dance
Till Injust men, and blindis thame so soir,
That thay na perrell can provyde befoir.

Thir rurall men, that stentit hes the Net,
In quhilk the Lyoun suddandlie wes tane,
Waittit alway amendis for to get
(For hurt men wrytis in the Marbill Stane).
Mair till expound as now I lett allane,
Bot King and Lord may weill wit quhat I mene:
Figure heirof oftymis hes bene sene.

Quhen this wes said (quod Esope): 'my fair child,
I the beseik and all men for to pray
That tressoun of this cuntrie be exyld,
And Justice Regne, and Lordis keip thair fay
Unto thair Soverane King, baith nycht and day.'
And with that word he vanist, and I woke;
Syne throw the Schaw my Journey hamewart tuke.


The Preiching of the Swallow

The hie prudence, and wirking mervelous,
The profound wit off God omnipotent,
Is sa perfyte, and sa Ingenious,
Excellent ffar all mannis Jugement;
For quhy to him all thing is ay present,
Rycht as it is, or ony tyme sall be,
Befoir the sicht off his Divinitie.

Thairfoir our Saull with Sensualitie
So fetterit is in presoun Corporall,
We may not cleirlie understand nor se
God as he is, nor thingis Celestiall:
Our mirk and deidlie corps Naturall
Blindis the Spirituall operatioun,
Lyke as ane man wer bundin in presoun.

In Metaphisik Aristotell sayis
That mannis Saull is lyke ane Bakkis Ee,
Quhilk lurkis still als lang as licht off day is,
And in the gloming cummis furth to fle;
Hir Ene ar waik, the Sone scho may not se:
Sa is our Saull with fantasie opprest,
To knaw the thingis in nature manifest.

For God is in his power Infinite,
And mannis Saull is febill and over small,
Off understanding waik and unperfite,
To comprehend him that contenis all.
Nane suld presume, be ressoun naturall,
To seirche the secreitis off the Trinitie,
Bot trow fermelie, and lat all ressoun be.

Yit nevertheles we may haif knawlegeing
Off God almychtie, be his Creatouris,
That he is gude, ffair, wyis and bening;
Exempill tak be thir Jolie flouris,
Rycht sweit off smell, and plesant off colouris.
Sum grene, sum blew, sum purpour, quhyte, and reid,
Thus distribute be gift off his Godheid.

The firmament payntit with sternis cleir,
From eist to west rolland in cirkill round,
And everilk Planet in his proper Spheir,
In moving makand Harmonie and sound;
The fyre, the Air, the watter, and the ground-
Till understand it is aneuch, I wis,
That God in all his werkis wittie is.

Luke weill the fische that swimmis in the se;
Luke weill in eirth all kynd off bestiall;
The foulis ffair, sa forcelie thay fle,
Scheddand the air with pennis grit and small;
Syne luke to man, that he maid last off all,
Lyke to his Image and his similitude:
Be thir we knaw, that God is ffair and gude.

All Creature he maid ffor the behufe
Off man, and to his supportatioun
In to this eirth, baith under and abufe,
In number, wecht, and dew proportioun;
The difference off tyme, and ilk seasoun,
Concorddand till our opurtunitie,
As daylie by experience we may se.

The Somer with his Jolie mantill off grene,
With flouris fair furrit on everilk fent,
Quhilk Flora Goddes, off the flouris Quene,
Hes to that Lord as ffor his seasoun sent,
And Phebus with his goldin bemis gent
Hes purfellit and payntit plesandly,
With heit and moysture stilland ffrom the sky.

Syne Harvest hait, quhen Ceres that Goddes
Hir barnis benit hes with abundance;
And Bachus, God off wyne, renewit hes
The tume Pyipis in Italie and France,
With wynis wicht, and liquour off plesance;
And _Copia temporis_ to fill hir horne,
That never wes full off quheit nor uther corne.

Syne wynter wan, quhen Austerne Eolus,
God off the wynd, with blastis boreall,
The grene garment off Somer glorious
Hes all to rent and revin in pecis small;
Than flouris fair faidit with froist man fall,
And birdis blyith changit thair noitis sweit
In styll murning, neir slane with snaw and sleit.

Thir dalis deip with dubbis drounit is,
Baith hill and holt heillit with frostis hair;
And bewis bene laifit bair off blis,
Be wickit windis off the winter wair.
All wyld beistis than ffrom the bentis bair
Drawis ffor dreid unto thair dennis deip,
Coucheand ffor cauld in coifis thame to keip.

Syne cummis Ver, quhen winter is away,
The Secretar off Somer with his Sell,
Quhen Columbie up keikis throw the clay,
Quhilk fleit wes befoir with froistes fell.
The Mavis and the Merle beginnis to mell;
The Lark on loft, with uther birdis haill,
Than drawis furth ffra derne, over doun and daill.

That samin seasoun, in to ane soft morning,
Rycht blyth that bitter blastis wer ago,
Unto the wod, to se the flouris spring,
And heir the Mavis sing and birdis mo,
I passit ffurth, syne lukit to and ffro,
To se the Soill that wes richt sessonabill,
Sappie, and to resave all seidis abill.

Moving thusgait, grit myrth I tuke in mynd,
Off lauboraris to se the besines,
Sum makand dyke, and sum the pleuch can wynd,
Sum sawand seidis fast ffrome place to place,
The Harrowis hoppand in the saweris trace:
It wes grit Joy to him that luifit corne,
To se thame laubour, baith at evin and morne.

And as I baid under ane bank full bene,
In hart gritlie rejosit off that sicht,
Unto ane hedge, under ane Hawthorne grene,
Off small birdis thair come ane ferlie flicht,
And doun belyif can on the leifis licht,
On everilk syde about me quhair I stude,
Rycht mervellous, ane mekill multitude.

Amang the quhilks ane Swallow loud couth cry,
On that Hawthorne hie in the croip sittand:
'O ye Birdis on bewis, heir me by,
Ye sall weill knaw, and wyislie understand,
Quhair danger is, or perrell appeirand;
It is grit wisedome to provyde befoir,
It to deuoyd, ffor dreid it hurt yow moir.'

'Schir Swallow' (quod the Lark agane), and leuch,
'Quhat haif ye sene that causis yow to dreid?'
'Se ye yone Churll' (quod scho) 'beyond yone pleuch,
Fast sawand hemp, and gude linget seid?
Yone lint will grow in lytill tyme in deid,
And thairoff will yone Churll his Nettis mak,
Under the quhilk he thinkis us to tak.

'Thairfoir I reid we pas quhen he is gone,
At evin, and with our naillis scharp and Small
Out off the eirth scraip we yone seid anone,
And eit it up; ffor, giff it growis, we sall
Have cause to weip heirefter ane and all:
Se we remeid thairfoir ffurth with Instante,
_Nam leuius laedit quicquid pravidimus ante_.

'For Clerkis sayis it is nocht sufficient
To considder that is befoir thyne Ee
Bot prudence is ane inwart Argument,
That garris ane man prouyde and foirse
Quhat gude, quhat evill is liklie ffor to be,
Off everilk thing behald the fynall end,
And swa ffra perrell the better him defend.'

The Lark, lauchand, the Swallow thus couth scorne,
And said, scho fischit lang befoir the Net;
'The barne is eith to busk that is unborne;
All growis nocht that in the ground is set;
The nek to stoup, quhen it the straik sall get,
Is sone aneuch; deith on the fayest fall.'-
Thus scornit thay the Swallow ane and all.

Despysing thus hir helthsum document,
The foullis ferlie tuke thair flicht anone;
Sum with ane bir thay braidit over the bent,
And sum agane ar to the grene wod gone.
Upon the land quhair I wes left allone,
I tuke my club, and hamewart couth I carie,
Swa ferliand, as I had sene ane farie.

Thus passit furth quhill June, that Jolie tyde,
And seidis that wer sawin off beforne
Wer growin hie, that Hairis mycht thame hyde,
And als the Quailye craikand in the corne;
I movit furth, betwix midday and morne,
Unto the hedge under the Hawthorne grene,
Quhair I befoir the said birdis had sene.

And as I stude, be aventure and cace,
The samin birdis as I haif said yow air,
I hoip, because it wes thair hanting place,
Mair off succour, or yit mair solitair,
Thay lychtit doun: and, quhen thay lychtit wair,
The Swallow swyth put furth ane pietuous pyme,
Said, 'wo is him can not bewar in tyme'

'O, blind birdis! and full off negligence,
Unmyndfull of your awin prosperitie,
Lift up your sicht, and tak gude advertence;
Luke to the Lint that growis on yone le;
Yone is the thing I bad forsuith that we,
Quhill it wes seid, suld rute furth off the eird;
Now is it Lint, now is it hie on breird.

'Go yit, quhill it is tender and small,
And pull it up; let it na mair Incres;
My flesche growls, my bodie qualkis all,
Thinkand on it I may not sleip in peis.'
Thay cryit all, and bad the Swallow ceis,
And said, 'yone Lint heirefter will do gude,
For Linget is to lytill birdis fude.

'We think, quhen that yone Lint bollis ar ryip,
To mak us Feist, and fill us off the seid,
Magre yone Churll, and on it sing and pyip.'
'Weill' (quod the Swallow), 'freindes hardilie beid;
Do as ye will, bot certane sair I dreid
Heirefter ye sall find als sour, as sweit,
Quhen ye ar speldit on yone Carlis speit.

'The awner off yone lint ane fouler is,
Richt cautelous and full off subteltie;
His pray full sendill tymis will he mis,
Bot giff we birdis all the warrer be;
Full mony off our kin he hes gart de,
And thocht it bot ane sport to spill thair blude:
God keip me ffra him, and the halie Rude.'

Thir small birdis haveand bot lytill thocht
Off perrell that micht fall be aventure,
The counsell off the Swallow set at nocht,
Bot tuke thair flicht, and furth togidder fure;
Sum to the wode, sum markit to the mure.
I tuke my staff quhen this wes said and done,
And walkit hame, ffor it drew neir the none.

The Lint ryipit, the Carll pullit the Lyne,
Rippillit the bollis, and in beitis set,
It steipit in the burne, and dryit syne,
And with ane bittill knokkit it, and bet,
Syne swingillit it weill, and hekkillit in the flet;
His wyfe it span, and twynit it in to threid,
Of quhilk the Fowlar Nettis maid in deid.

The wynter come, the wickit wind can blaw,
The woddis grene were wallowit with the weit,
Baith firth and fell with froistys were maid faw,
Slonkis and slaik maid slidderie with the sleit;
The foulis ffair ffor falt thay ffell off feit;
On bewis bair it wes na bute to byde,
Bot hyit unto housis thame to hyde.

Sum in the barn, sum in the stak off come
Thair lugeing tuke, and maid thair residence;
The Fowlar saw, and grit aithis hes sworne,
Thay suld be tane trewlie ffor thair expence.
His Nettis hes he set with diligence,
And in the snaw he schulit hes ane plane,
And heillit it all ouer with calf agane.

Thir small birdis seand the calff wes glaid;
Trowand it had bene corne, thay lychtit doun;
Bot of the Nettis na presume thay had,
Nor of the Fowaris fals Intentioun;
To scraip, and seik thair meit thay maid thame boun.
The Swallow on ane lytill branche neir by,
Dreiddand for gyle, thus loud on thame couth cry:

'In to that calf scraip quhill your naillis bleid,
Thair is na come, ye laubour all in vane;
Trow ye yone Churll for pietie will yow feid?
Na, na, he hes it heir layit for ane trane;
Remove, I reid, or ellis ye will be slane;
His Nettis he hes set full prively,
Reddie to draw; in tyme be war ffor thy.'

Grit fule is he that puttis in dangeir
His lyle, his honour, ffor ane thing off nocht;
Grit fule is he, that will not glaidlie heir
Counsall in tyme, quhill it availl him nocht;
Grit fule is he, that hes na thing in thocht
Bot thing present, and efter quhat may fall,
Nor off the end hes na memoriall.

Thir small birdis ffor hunger famischit neir,
Full besie scraipand ffor to seik thair fude,
The counsall off the Swallow wald not heir,
Suppois thair laubour did thame lytill gude.
Quhen scho thair fulische hartis understude,
Sa Indurate, up in ane tre scho flew;
With that [this] Churll over thame his Nettis drew.

Allace! it wes grit hart sair for to se
That bludie Bowcheour beit thay birdis doun,
And ffor till heir, quhen thay wist weill to de,
Thair cairfull sang and lamentatioun:
Sum with ane staf he straik to eirth on swoun:
Off sum the heid he straik, off sum he brak the crag,
Sum half on lyfe he stoppit in his bag.

And quhen the Swallow saw that thay wer deid,
'Lo' (quod scho), 'thus it happinnis mony syis
On thame that will not tak counsall nor reid
Off Prudent men, or Clerkis that ar wyis;
This grit perrell I tauld thame mair than thryis;
Now ar thay deid, and wo is me thairfoir!'
Scho tuke his flicht, bot I hir saw no moir.


Lo, worthie folk, Esope, that Nobill clerk,
Ane Poet worthie to be Lawreate,
Quhen that he waikit from mair autentik werk,
With uther ma, this foirsaid Fabill wrate,
Quhilk at this tyme may weill be applicate
To guid morall edificatioun,
Haifand ane sentence, according to ressoun.

This Carll and bond of gentrice spoliate,
Sawand this calf, thir small birdis to sla,
It is the Feind, quhilk fra the Angelike state
Exylit is, as fals Apostata:
Quhilk day and nycht weryis not for to ga
Sawand poysoun in mony wickit thocht
In mannis Saull, quhilk Christ full deir hes bocht.

And quhen the saull, as seid in to the eird,
Gevis consent unto delectioun,
The wickit thocht beginnis for to breird
In deidlie sin, quhilk is dampnatioun;
Ressoun is blindit with affectioun,
And carnall lust grouis full grene and gay,
Throw consuetude hantit from day to day.

Proceding furth be use and consuetude,
The sin ryipis, and schame is set on syde;
The Feynd plettis his Nettis scharp and rude,
And under plesance previlie dois hyde;
Syne on the feild he sawis calf full wyde,
Quhilk is bot tume and verray vanitie
Of fleschlie lust, and vaine prosperitie.

Thir hungrie birdis wretchis we may call,
As scraipand in this warldis vane plesance,
Greddie to gadder gudis temporall,
Quhilk as the calf ar tume without substance,
Lytill of availl, and full of variance,
Lyke to the mow befoir the face of wind
Quhiskis away and makis wretch is blind.

This Swallow, quhilk eschaipit is the snair,
The halie Preichour weill may signifie,
Exhortand folk to walk and ay be wair
Fra Nettis of our wickit enemie,
Quha sleipis not, bot ever is reddie,
Quhen wretchis in this warld calf dois scraip,
To draw his Net, that thay may not eschaip.

Allace! quhat cair, quhat weiping is and wo,
Quhen Saull and bodie departit ar in twane!
The bodie to the wormis Keitching go,
The Saull to Fyre, to everlestand pane.
Quhat helpis than this calf, thir gudis vane,
Quhen thow art put in Luceferis bag,
And brocht to hell, and hangit be the crag?

Thir hid Nettis for to persave and se,
This sarie calf wyislie to understand,
Best is bewar in maist prosperite,
For in this warld thair is na thing lestand;
Is na man wait how lang his stait will stand,
His lyfe will lest, nor how that he sall end
Efter his deith, nor quhidder he sall wend.

Pray we thairfoir, quhill we ar in this lyfe,
For four thingis; the first, fra sin reinufe;
The secund is fra all weir and stryfe;
The thrid is perfite cheritie and lufe;
The feird thing is, and maist for oure behufe,
That is in blis with Angellis to be fallow.
And thus endis the preiching of the Swallow.


The Taill of the Wolf that gat the Nekherig throw the wrikis of the Foxe that begylit the Cadgear.

Quhylum thair wynnit in ane wildernes,
(As myne Authour expreslie can declair),
Ane revand Wolff, that levit upon purches,
On bestiall, and maid him weill to ffair;
Wes nane sa big about him he wald spair,
And he war hungrie, outher ffor favour or feid,
Bot in his wraith he weryit thame to deid.

Swa happinnit him in watching, as he went,
To meit ane Foxe in middis off the way;
He him foirsaw, and fenyeit to be schent,
And with ane bek he bad the Wolff gude day.
'Welcum to me' (quod he), 'thow Russell gray;'
Syne loutit doun, and tuke him be the hand.
'Ryse up, Lowrence, I leif the for to stand.

'Quhair hes thow bene this sesoun ffra my sicht?
Thow sall beir office, and my Stewart be,
For thow can knap doun Caponis on the nicht,
And, lourand law, thow can gar hennis de.'
'Schir' (said the Foxe), 'that ganis not for me:
And I am rad, gif thay me se on far,
That at my figure, beist and bird will skar.'

'Na' (quod the Wolff), 'thow can in covert creip
Upon thy wame, and hint thame be the heid;
And mak ane suddand schow upon ane scheip,
Syne with thy wappinnis wirrie him to deid.'
'Schir' (said the Foxe), 'ye knaw my Roib is reid,
And thairfoir thair will na beist abyde me,
Thocht I wald be sa fals as ffor to hyde me.'

'Yis' (quod the Wolff), 'throw buskis & throw brais,
Law can thow lour to cum to thy Intent.'
'Schir' (said the Foxe), 'ye wait weill how it gais;
Ane lang space ffra thame thay will feill my sent,
Then will thay eschaip, suppois I suld be schent;
And I am schamefull ffor to cum behind thame
In to the feild thocht I suld sleipand find thame.'

'Na' (quod the Wolff), 'thow can cum on the wind,
For everie wrink, forsuith, thow hes ane wyle.'
'Schir'(said the Foxe), 'that beist ye mycht call blind,
That micht not eschaip than ffra me ane myle.
How micht I ane off thame that wyis begyle?
My tippit twa eiris, and my twa gray Ene,
Garris me be kend, quhair I wes never sene.'

'Than' (said the Wolff), 'Lowrence, I heir the le,
And castys ffor perrellis thy ginnes to defend;
Bot all thy senyes sall not availl the,
About the busk with wayis thocht thow wend;
Falset will failye ay at the latter end;
To bow at bidding, and byde not quhill thow brest,
Thairfoir I giff the counsall ffor the best.'

'Schir,' said the Foxe, 'it is Lentring, ye se;
I can nocht fische, ffor weiting off my feit,
To tak ane Banestikill; thocht we baith suld de,
I have nane uther craft to win my meit;
Bot wer it Pasche, that men suld pultrie eit,
As Kiddis, Lambis, or Caponis in to ply,
To beir your office than wald I not set by.'

'Than' (said the Wolff), in wraith, 'wenis thow with wylis,
And with thy mony mowis me to mat?
It is ane auld Dog, douties, that thow begylis:
Thow wenis to draw the stra befoir the cat!'
'Schir' (said the Foxe), 'God wait, I mene not that;
For and I did, it wer weill worth that ye
In ane reid Raip had tyit me till ane tre.

'Bot now I se he is ane fule perfay
That with his maister fallis in ressoning;
I did hot till assay quhat ye wald say;
God wait, my mynd wes on ane uther thing;
I sall fulfill in all thing your bidding,
Quhat ever ye charge, on nichtis or on dayis.'
'Weill' (quod the Wolff), 'I heir weill quhat thow sayis.

'Bot yit I will thow mak to me ane aith,
For to be leill attour all levand leid,'
'Schir,' said the Foxe, 'that ane word make me wraith,
For now I se ye haif me at ane dreid;
Yit sall I sweir, suppois it be not neid,
Be Juppiter, and on pane off my heid,
I sall be trew to you, quhill I be deid.'

With that ane Cadgear, with capill and with creillis,
Come carpand ffurth; than Lawrence culd him spy.
The Foxe the flewer off the fresche hering feillis,
And to the Wolff he roundis prively:
'Schir, yone ar hering the Cadgear caryis by;
Thairfoir I reid that we se ffor sum wayis
To get sum fische aganis thir fasting dayis.

'Sen I am Stewart, I wald we had sum stuff,
And ye ar silver seik, I wait richt weill;
Thocht we wald thig, yone verray Churlische chuff,
He will not giff us ane hering off his Creill,
Befoir yone Churle on kneis thocht we wald kneill;
Bot yil I trou alsone that ye sall se,
Giff I can craft to bleir yone Carllis Ee.

'Schir, ane thing is, and we get off yone pelff,
Ye man tak travell, and mak us sum supple;
For he that will not laubour and help him selff,
In to thir dayis, he is not worth ane fle;
I think to work als besie as ane Be.
And ye sall follow ane lytill efterwart,
And gadder hering, ffor that sall be your part.'

With that he kest ane cumpass ffar about,
And straucht him doun in middis off the way,
As he wer deid he fenyeit him, but dout,
And than upon lenth unliklie lay;
The quhyte he turnit up off his Ene tway;
His toung out hang ane handbreid off his heid,
And still he lay, als straucht as he wer deid.

The Cadgear fand the Foxe, and he wes fane,
And till him self thus softlie can he say:
'At the nixt bait, in Faith, ye sall be flane,
And off your skyn I sall mak mittennis tway.'
He lap full lichtlie about him quhair he lay,
And all the trace he trippit on his tais;
As he had hard ane pyper play, he gais.

'Heir lyis the Devyll' (quod he), 'deid in ane dyke.
Sic ane selcouth saw I not this sevin yeir;
I trow ye have bene tussillit with sum tyke,
That garris you ly sa still withouttin steir:
Schir Foxe, in Faith, ye ar deir welcum heir;
It is sum wyfis malisone, I trow,
For pultrie pyking, that lychtit hes on yow.

'Thair sall na Pedder, for purs, nor yit for gluifis,
Nor yit ffor poyntis pyke your pellet ffra me;
I sall off it mak mittennis to my lufis,
Till hald my handis hait quhair ever I be;
Till Flanderis sall it never saill the se.'
With that in hy, he hint him be the heillis,
And with ane swak he swang him on the creillis.

Syne be the heid the hors in hy hes hint;
The fraudfull ffoxe thairto gude tent hes tane,
And with his teith the stoppell, or he stint,
Pullit out, and syne the hering ane and ane
Out of the creillis he swakkit doun gude wane.
The Wolff wes war, and gadderit spedilie;
The Cadgear sang, 'huntis up, up, upon hie.'

Yit at ane burne the Cadgear luikit about;
With that the ffoxe lap quyte the creillis ffray;
The Cadgear wald haif raucht the ffoxe ane rout,
Bot all ffor nocht, he wan his hoill that day.
Than with ane schout thus can the Cadgear say:
'Abyde, and thou ane Nekhering sall haif,
Is worth my Capill, Creillis, and all the laif.'

'Now' (quod the ffoxe), 'I schrew me, and we meit:
I hard quhat thow hecht to do with my skyn.
Thy handis sall never in thay mittinnis tak heit,
And thow wer hangit, Carll, and all thy kyn!
Do furth thy mercat; at me thou sall nocht wyn;
And sell thy hering thow hes thair till hie price,
Ellis thow sall wyn nocht on thy merchandice.'

The Cadgear trimillit for teyne quhair that he stude;
'It is weill worthie' (quod he), 'I want yone tyke,
That had nocht in my hand sa mekill gude,
As staff, or sting, yone truker ffor to stryke.'
With that lychtlie he lap out over ane dyke,
And hakkit doun ane staff, ffor he wes tene,
That hevie wes and off the Holyne grene.

With that the ffoxe unto the Wolff could wend,
And fand him be the hering, quhair he lyis;
'Schir' (said he than), 'maid I not fair defend?
Ane wicht man wantit never, and he wer wyis;
Ane hardie hart is hard for to suppryis.'
(Than said the Wolff): 'thow art ane Berne full bald,
And wyse at will, in gude tyme be it tald.

'Bot quhat wes yone the Carll cryit on hie,
And schuke his hand,' quod he, 'hes thou no feill?'
'Schir' (said the Foxe), 'that I can tell trewlie;
He said the Nekhering wes in till the creill.'
'Kennis thow that hering?'  'Ye, Schir, I ken it weill,
And at the creill mouth I had it thryis but doubt;
The wecht off it neir tit my tuskis out.

'Now, suithlie, Schir, micht we that hering fang,
It wald be fische to us thir fourtie dayis.'
Than (said the Wolff), 'Now God nor that I hang,
Bot to be thair, I wald gif all my clays,
To se gif that my wappinnis mycht it rais.'
'Schir' (said the ffoxe), 'God wait, I wischit you oft,
Quhen that my pith micht not beir it on loft.

'It is ane syde off Salmond, as it wair,
And callour, pypand lyke ane Pertrik Ee;
It is worth all the hering ye have thair,
Ye, and we had it swa, is it worth sic thre.'
'Than' (said the Wolff), 'quhat counsell gevis thou me?'
'Schir' (said the ffoxe), 'wirk efter my devyis,
And ye sall have it, and tak you na suppryis.

'First, ye man cast ane cumpas far about,
Syne straucht you doun in middis off the way;
Baith heid, and feit, and taill ye man streik out,
Hing furth your toung, and clois weill your Ene tway;
Syne se your heid on ane hard place ye lay;
And dout not for na perrell may appeir,
Bot hald you clois, quhen that the Carll cummis neir.

'And thocht ye se ane staf, have ye na dout,
Bot hald you wonder still in to that steid;
And luke your Ene be clois, as thay wer out,
And se that ye schrink nouther fute nor heid:
Than will the Cadgear Carll trow ye be deid,
And in till haist will hint you be the heillis,
As he did me, and swak you on his creillis.'

'Now' (quod the Wolff), 'I sweir the be my thrift,
I trow yone Cadgear Carll he will me beir.'
'Schir'(said the Foxe), 'on loft he will you lift,
Upon his Creillis, and do him lytill deir.
Bot ane thing dar I suithlie to you sweir,
Get ye that hering sicker in sum place,
Ye sall not fair in fisching mair quhill Pasche.

'I sall say _In principio_ upon yow,
And crose your corps from the top to tay;
Wend quhen ye will, I dar be warrand now
That ye sall de na suddan deith this day.'
With that the Wolff gird up sone, and to gay,
And caist ane cumpas about the Cadgear far;
Syne raucht him in the gait, or he come nar.

He laid his halfheid sicker hard and sad,
Syne straucht his four feit ffra him, and his heid,
And hang his toung furth as the ffoxe him bad;
Als styll he lay, as he wer verray deid,
Rakkand na thing off the Carlis ffavour nor feid,
Bot ever upon the Nekhering he thinkis,
And quyte forgettis the Foxe and all his wrinkis.

With that the Cadgear, wavering as the wind,
Come rydand on the laid, for it wes licht,
Thinkand ay on the Foxe that wes behind,
Upon quhat wyse revengit on him he micht;
And at the last of the Wolff gat ane sicht,
Quhair he in lenth lay streikit in the gait;
Bot giff he lichtit doun, or nocht, God wait!

'Softlie,' he said, 'I wes begylit anis;
Be I begylit twyis, I schrew us baith,
That evill bot it sall licht upon thy banis,
He suld have had that hes done me the skaith.'
On hicht he hovit the staf; ffor he wes wraith,
And hit him with sic will upon the heid,
Quhill neir he swonit and swelt in to that steid.

Thre battis he bure, or he his felt micht find,
Bot yit the Wolff wes wicht, and wan away.
He mycht not se, he wes sa verray blind,
Nor wit reddilie quhether it wes nicht or day.
The Foxe beheld that service quhair he lay,
And leuch on loft, quhen he the Wolff sa seis,
Baith deif and dosinnit, fall swonand on his kneis.

He that of ressoun can not be content,
Bot covetis all, is abill all to tyne.
The Foxe, quhen that he saw the Wolf wes schent,
Said to him self; 'thir hering sall be myne;'
I le, or ellis he wes efterwart syne
That fand sic wayis his Maister for to greif;
With all the fische thus Lowrence tuke his leif.

The Wolff wes neir weill dungin to the deid,
That uneith with his lyfe away he wan,
For with the Bastoun weill brokin wes his heid.
The Foxe in to his den sone drew him than,
That had betraisit his Maister and the man:
The ane wantit the hering off his creillis,
The utheris blude wes rynnand over his heillis.


This Taill is myngit with Moralitie,
As I sall schaw sumquhat, or that I ceis:
The Foxe unto the warld may likkinnit be,
The revand Wolf unto ane man but leis,
The Cadgear Deith, quhome under all man preis:
That ever tuke lyfe throw cours of kynd man dee,
As man, and beist, and fische in to the see.

The warld, ye wait, is Stewart to the man,
Quhilk makis man to haif na mynd of Deid,
Bot settis for winning all the craftis thay can;
The Hering I likkin unto the gold sa reid,
Quhilk gart the Wolf in perrell put his heid:
Richt swa the gold garris Landis and Cieteis
With weir be waistit, daylie as men seis.

And as the Foxe with dissimulance and gyle
Gart the Wolff wene to haif worschip for ever,
Richt swa this warld with vane glore for ane quhyle
Flattens with folk, as thay suld failye never,
Yit suddandlie men seis it oft dissever;
With thame that trowis oft to fill the sek,
Deith cummis behind and nippis thame be the nek.

The micht of gold makis mony men sa blind,
That settis on Avarice thair felicitie,
That thay forget the cadgear cummis behind
To stryke thame, of quhat stait sa ever thay be.
Quhat is mair dirk than blind prosperitie?
Quhairfoir I counsell mychtie men to haif mynd
Of the Nekhering, Interpreit in this kynd.


The Taill of the Foxe, that begylit the Wolf, in the schadow of the Mone

In elderis dayis, as Esope can declair,
Thair wes ane Husband, quhilk had ane pleuch to steir.
His use wes ay in morning to ryse air;
Sa happinnit him in streiking tyme off yeir
Airlie in the morning to follow ffurth his feir,
Unto the pleuch, bot his gadman and he;
His stottis he straucht with 'Benedicite.'

The Caller cryit: 'how, haik, upon hicht;
Hald draucht, my dowis;' syne broddit thame ffull sair.
The Oxin wes unusit, young and licht,
And ffor fersnes thay couth the fur fforfair.
The Husband than woxe angrie as ane hair,
Syne cryit, and caist his Patill and grit stanis:
'The Wolff' (quod he) 'mot have yow all at anis.'

Bot yit the Wolff wes neirar nor he wend,
For in ane busk he lay, and Lowrence baith,
In ane Rouch Rone, wes at the furris end,
And hard the hecht; than Lowrence leuch full raith:
'To tak yone bud' (quod he) 'it wer na skaith.'
'Weill' (quod the Wolff), 'I hecht the be my hand;
Yone Carllis word, as he wer King, sall stand.'

The Oxin waxit mair reullie at the last;
Syne efter thay lousit, ffra that it worthit weill lait;
The Husband hamewart with his cattell past.
Than sone the Wolff come hirpilland in his gait,
Befoir the Oxin, and schupe to mak debait.
The Husband saw him, and worthit sumdeill agast,
And bakwart with his beistis wald haif past.

The Wolff said, 'quhether dryvis thou this Pray?
I chalenge it, ffor nane off tharne ar thyne.'
The man thairoff wes in ane felloun fray,
And soberlie to the Wolff answerit syne:
'Schir, be my Saull, thir oxin ar all myne;
Thairfoit I studdie quhy ye suld stop me,
Sen that I faltit never to you, trewlie.'

The Wolff said, 'Carle, gaif thou not me this drift
Airlie, quhen thou wes eirrand on yone bank?
And is thair oucht (sayis thou) frear than gift?
This tarying wyll tyne the all thy thank;
Far better is frelie ffor to giff ane plank
Nor be compellit on force to giff ane mart.
Fy on the fredome that cummis not with hart!'

'Schir' (quod the husband), 'ane man may say in greif,
And syne ganesay, fra he avise and se:
I hecht to steill, am I thairfoir ane theif?'
'God forbid, Schir, all hechtis suld haldin be!'
'Gaif I my hand or oblissing' (quod he),
'Or have ye witnes, or writ ffor to schaw?
Schir, reif me not, but go and seik the Law!'

'Carll' (quod the Wolff), 'ane Lord, and he be leill,
That schrinkis for schame, or doutis to be repruvit,
His saw is ay als sickker as his Seill.
Fy on the Leid that is not leill and lufit!
Thy argument is fals, and eik contrufit,
For it is said in Proverb: "But lawte
All uther vertewis ar nocht worth ane fle."'

'Schir,' said the husband, 'remember of this thing:
Ane leill man is not tane at halff ane taill.
I may say, and ganesay, I am na King:
Quhair is your witnes that hard I hecht thame haill?'
Than said the Wolff 'thairfoir it sall nocht faill;
Lowrence' quod he 'cum hidder of that Schaw,
And say na thing bot as thow hard and saw.'

Lowrence come lourand, for he lufit never licht,
And sone appeirit befoir thame in that place:
The man leuch na thing, quhen he saw that sicht.
'Lowrence' (quod the Wolff) 'thow man declair this cace,
Quhairof we sall schaw the suith in schort space;
I callit on the leill witnes for to beir:
Quhat hard thow that this man hecht me lang eir?'

'Schir' (said the Tod), 'I can not hastelie
Swa sone as now gif sentence finall;
Bot wald ye baith submit yow heir to me,
To stand at my decreit perpetuall,
To pleis baith I suld preif, gif it may fall.'
'Weill' (quod the Wolff), 'I am content for me:'
The man said, 'swa am I, how ever it be.'

Than schew thay furth thair allegeance but fabill,
And baith proponit thair pley to him compleit.
(Quod Lowrence): 'now I am ane Juge amycabill:
Ye sall be sworne to stand at my decreit,
Quhether heirefter ye think it soure or sweit.'
The Wolff braid furth his fute, the man his hand,
And on the Toddis Taill sworne thay ar to stand.

Than tuke the Tod the man furth till ane syde,
And said him, 'friend, thow art in blunder brocht;
The Wolff will not forgif the ane Oxe hyde,
Yit wald my self fane help the, and I mocht;
Bot I am laith to hurt my conscience ocht.
Tyne nocht thy querrell in thy awin defence;
This will not throw but grit coist and expence.

'Seis thow not Buddis beiris Bernis throw,
And giftis garris crukit materis hald ffull evin?
Sumtymis ane hen haidis ane man in ane Kow.
All ar not halie that heifis thair handis to hevin.'
'Schir' (said the man), 'ye sall have sex or sevin,
Richt off the fattest hennis off all the floik:
I compt not all the laif, leif me the Coik.'

'I am ane Juge' (quod Lowrence than), and leuch;
'Thair is na Buddis suld beir me by the rycht;
I may tak hennis and Caponis weill aneuch,
For God is gane to sleip; as ffor this nycht,
Sic small thingis ar not sene in to his sicht;
Thir hennis' (quod he) 'sall mak thy querrell sure,
With emptie hand na man suld Halkis lure.'

Concordit thus, than Lowrence tuke his leiff,
And to the Wolff he went in to ane ling;
Syne prevelie he plukkit him be the sleiff:
'Is this in ernist' (quod he) 'ye ask sic thing?
Na, be my Saull, I trow it be in heithing.'
Than saith the Wolff, 'Lowrence, quhy sayis thow sa?
Thow hard the hecht thy selff that he couth ma.'

'The hecht' (quod he) 'yone man maid at the pleuch,
Is that the cause quhy ye the cattell craif?'
Haiff in to heithing (said Lowrence than), and leuch;
'Schir, be the Rude, unroikit now ye raif;
The Devill ane stirk taill thairfoir sall ye haif;
Wald I tak it upon my conscience
To do sa pure ane man as yone offence?

'Yit haif I communit with the Carll' (quod he);
'We ar concordit upon this cunnand:
Quyte off all clamis, swa ye will mak him fre,
Ye sall ane Cabok have in to your hand,
That sic ane sall not be in all this land;
For it is Somer Cheis, baith fresche and ffair;
He sayis it weyis ane stane, and sumdeill mair.'

'Is that thy counsell' (quod the Wolff), 'I do,
That yone Carll ffor ane Cabok suld be fre?'
'Ye, be my Saull, and I wer sworne yow to,
Ye suld nane uther counsell have for me;
For gang ye to the maist extremitie,
It will not wyn yow worth ane widderit neip;
Schir, trow ye not, I have ane Saull to keip?'

'Weill' (quod the Wolff), 'it is aganis my will
That yone Carll for ane Cabok suld ga quyte.'
'Schir' (quod the Tod), 'ye tak it in nane evill,
For, be my Saull, your self had all the wyte.'
'Than' (said the Wolf) 'I bid na mair to flyte,
Bot I wald se yone Cabok off sic pryis.'
'Schir' (said the Tod), 'he tauld me quhar it lyis.'

Than hand in hand thay held unto ane hill;
The Husband till his hors hes tane the way,
For he wes fane; he schaipit ffrom thair ill,
And on his feit woke the dure quhill day.
Now will we turne vnto the uther tway.
Throw woddis waist thir Freikis on fute can fair,
Fra busk to busk, quhill neir midnycht and mair.

Lowrence wes ever remembring upon wrinkis
And subtelteis the Wolff for to begyle;
That he had hecht ane Caboik, he forthinkis,
Yit at the last he findis furth ane wyle,
Than at him selff softlie couth he smyle.
The Wolff sayis, 'Lowrence, thow playis bellie blind;
We seik all nycht, bot na thing can we find.'

'Schir' (said the Tod), 'we ar at it almaist;
Soft yow ane lytill, and ye sall se it sone.'
Than to ane Manure place thay hyit in haist:
The nicht wes lycht, and pennyfull the Mone.
Than till ane draw well thir Senyeours past but hone,
Quhair that twa bukkettis severall suithlie hang;
As ane come up, ane uther doun wald gang.

The schadow of the Mone schone in the well.
'Schir' (said Lowrence), 'anis ye sall find me leill;
Now se ye not the Caboik weill your sell,
Quhyte as ane Neip, and round als as ane seill?
He hang it yonder, that na man suld it steill:
Schir, traist ye weill, yone Caboik ye se hing
Micht be ane present to ony Lord or King.'

'Na' (quod the Wolff) 'mycht I yone Caboik haif
On the dry land, as I it yonder se,
I wald quitclame the Carll of all the laif;
His dart Oxin I compt thame not ane fle;
Yone wer mair meit for sic ane man as me.
Lowrence' (quod he), 'leip in the bukket sone,
And I sall hald the ane, quhill thow have done.'

Lowrence gird doun baith sone and subtellie;
The uther baid abufe, and held the flaill.
'It is sa mekill' (quod Lowrence) 'it maisteris me,
On all my tais it hes not left ane naill;
Ye man mak help upwart, and it haill
Leip in the uther bukket haistelie,
And cum sone doun, and make me sum supple.'

Than lychtlie in the bukket lap the loun;
His wecht but weir the uther end gart ryis;
The Tod come hailland up, the Wolf yeid doun;
Than angerlie the Wolff upon him cryis:
'I cummand thus dounwart, quhy thow upwart hyis?'
'Schir' (quod the Foxe), 'thus fairis it off Fortoun:
As ane cummis up, scho quheillis ane uther doun!'

Than to the ground sone yeid the Wolff in haist;
The Tod lap on land, als blyith as ony bell,
And left the Wolff in wattet to the waist.
Quha haillit him out, I wait not, off the well.
Heir endis the Text; thair is na mair to tell.
Yit men may find ane gude moralitie
In this sentence, thocht it ane Fabill be.


This Wolff I Iikkin to ane wickit man,
Quhilk dois the pure oppres in everie place,
And pykis at thame all querrellis that he can,
Be Rigour, reif, and uther wickitnes.
The Foxe the Feind I call in to this cais,
Actand ilk man to ryn unrychteous rinkis,
Thinkand thairthrow to lok him in his linkis.

The Husband may be callit ane godlie man,
With quhome the Feynd falt findes (as Clerkis reids),
Besie to tempt him with all wayis that he can.
The hennis ar warkis that fra ferme faith proceidis:
Quhair sic sproutis spreidis, the evill spreit thair not speids,
Bot wends vnto the wickit man agane;
That he hes tint his travell is full unfane.

The wodds waist, quhairin wes the Wolff wyld,
Ar wickit riches, quhilk all men gaipis to get;
Quha traistis in sic Trusterie ar oft begyld;
For Mammon may be callit the Devillis Net,
Quhilk Sathanas for all sinfull hes set.
With proud plesour quha settis his traist thairin,
But speciall grace, lychtlie can not outwin.

The Cabok may be callit Covetyce,
Quhilk blomis braid in mony mannis Ee;
Wa worth the well of that wickit vyce!
For it is all bot fraud and fantasie,
Dryvand ilk man to leip in the buttrie
That dounwart drawis unto the pane of hell.-
Christ keip all Christianis from that wickit well!


The Taill of the Wolf and the Wedder.

Qwhylum thair wes (as Esope can Report)
Ane scheipheird dwelland he ane Forrest neir,
Quhilk had ane Hound that did him grit comfort;
Full war he wes to walk his Fauld but weir,
That nouther Wolff nor Wildcat durst appeir,
Nor Foxe on feild, nor yit no uther beist,
Bot he thame slew, or chaissit at the leist.

Sa happinnit it (as euerilk heist man de),
This Hound off suddand seiknes to be deid;
Bot than (God wait) the keipar off the fe
For verray wo woxe wanner nor the weid:
'Allace' (quod he), 'now se I na remeid
To saif the selie beistis that I keip,
For wit(h) the Wolff weryit beis all my scheip.'

It wald have maid ane mannis hart sair to se
The selie scheiphirdis lamentatioun:
'Now is my Darling deid, allace' (quod he);
'For now to beg my breid I may be boun,
With pyikstaff and with scrip to fair off toun;
For all the beistis befoir bandonit bene
Will schute upon my beistis with Ire and tene.'

With that ane Wedder wrechitlie wan on fute:
'Maister' (quod he), 'mak merie and be blyith;
To brek your hart ffor baill it is na bute;
For ane deid Dogge ye na cair on yow kyith.
Ga ffeche him hither, and fla his skyn off swyth;
Syne sew it on me; and luke that it be meit,
Baith heid, and crag, bodie, taill, and feit.

'Than will the Wolff trow that I am he;
For I sall follow him fast quhar ever he fair.
All haill, the cure I tak it upon me,
Your scheip to keip at midday, lait and air.
And he persew, be God, I sall not spair
To follow him as fast as did your Doig,
Swa that, I warrand, ye sall not want ane hoig.'

'Than,' said the scherpheird, 'this come of ane gude wit;
Thy counsall is baith sicker, leill, and trew;
Quha sayis ane scheip is daft, thay lieit of it.'
With that in hy the Doggis skyn off he flew,
And on the scheip rycht softlie couth it sew.
Than worth the Wedder wantoun off his weid:
'Now off the Wolff' (quod he) 'I have na dreid.'

In all thingis he counterfait the Dog;
For all the nycht he stude, and tuke na sleip,
Swa that weill lang thair wantit not ane Hog.
Swa war he wes and walkryfe thame to keip,
That Lowrence durst not luke upon ane scheip;
For and he did, he followit him sa fast,
That off his lyfe he maid him all agast.

Was nowther Wolff, Wildcat, nor yit Tod
Durst cum within thay boundis all about,
Bot he wald chase thame baith throw rouch and snod.
Thay bailfull beistis had of thair lyvis sic dout,
For he wes mekill and semit to be stout,
That everilk beist thay dred him as the deid,
Within that woid, that nane durst hald thair heid.

Yit happinnit thair ane hungrie Wolff to slyde
Out throw his scheip, quhair thay lay on ane le;
'I sall have ane' (quod he), 'quhat ever betyde,
Thocht I be werryit, for hunger or I de;'
With that ane Lamb in till his cluke hint he.
The laif start up, ffor thay wer all agast;
Bot (God wait) gif the Wedder followit fast.

Went never Hound mair haistelie fra the hand,
Quhen he wes rynnand maist raklie at the Ra,
Nor went this Wedder baith over Mois and strand,
And stoppit nouther at bank, busk, nor bra;
Bot followit ay sa ferslie on his fa,
With sic ane drift, quhill dust and dirt over draif him,
And maid ane Vow to God that he suld have him.

With that the Wolff let out his Taill on lenth,
For he wes hungrie, and it drew neir the ene,
And schupe him for to ryn with all his strenth,
Fra he the Wedder sa neir cummand had sene.
He dred his lyfe, and he overtane had bene;
Thairfoir he spairit nowther busk nor boig,
For weill he kennit the kenenes off the Doig.

To mak him lycht, he kest the Lamb him fra,
Syne lap ouer leis, and draif throw dub and myre.
'Na' (quod the Wedder), 'in Faith we part not swa:
It is not the Lamb, bot the, that I desyre;
I sall cum neir, ffor now I se the tyre.'
The WolfF ran still quhill ane strand stude behind him,
Bot ay the neirar the Wedder he couth bind him.

Sone efter that he followit him sa neir,
Quhill that the Wolff ffor fleidnes fylit the feild;
Syne left the gait, and ran throw busk and breir,
And schupe him ffra the schawis ffor to scheild.
He ran restles, for he wist off na beild;
The wedder followit him baith out and in,
Quhill that ane breir busk raif rudelie off the skyn.

The Wolff wes wer, and blenkit him behind,
And saw the wedder come thrawand throw the breir;
Syne saw the Doggis skyn hingand on his lind.
'Na' (quod he), 'is this ye that is sa neir?
Richt now ane Hound, and now quhyte as ane Freir:
I fled over fer, and I had kennit the cais:
To God I vow that ye sall rew this rais.

'Quhat wes the cause ye gaif me sic ane katche?'
With that in hy he hint him be the horne.
'For all your mowis ye met anis with your matche,
Suppois ye leuch me all this yeir to scorne.
For quhat enchessoun this Doggis skyn have ye borne?'
'Maister' (quod he), 'bot to have playit with yow;
I yow requyre that ye nane uther trow.'

'Is this your bourding in ernist than?' (quod he),
'For I am verray effeirit, and on flocht;
Cum bak agane and I sall let yow se.'
Than quhar the gait wes grimmit he him brocht.
'Quhether call ye this fair play, or nocht?
To set your Maister in sa fell effray,
Quhill he ffor feiritnes hes fylit up the way.

'Thryis (be my Saull) ye gart me schute behind
Upon my hoichis the senyeis may be sene;
For feiritnes full oft I ffylit the wind.
Now is this ye? na, bot ane Hound, I wene;
Me think your teith over schort to be sa kene.
Blissit be the busk that reft yow your array,
Ellis, fleand, bursin had I bene this day.'

'Schir' (quod the Wedder), 'suppois I ran in hy,
My mynd wes never to do your persoun ill;
Ane flear gettis ane follower commounly,
In play or ernist, preif quha sa ever will.
Sen I bot playit, be gracious me till,
And I sall gar my freindis blis your banis,
Ane full gude servand will crab his Maister anis.'

'I have bene oftymis set in grit effray,
Bot (be the Rude) sa rad yit wes I never,
As thow hes maid me with thy prettie play.
I schot behind, quhen thow overtuke me ever,
Bot sickkerlie now sall we not dissever.'
Than be crag bane smertlie he him tuke,
Or ever he ceissit, and it in schunder schuke.


Esope, that poete, first Father of this Fabill,
Wrait this Parabole, quhilk is convenient.
Because the sentence wes fructuous and agreabill,
In Moralitie exemplative prudent;
Quhais problemes bene verray excellent;
Throw similitude of figuris, to this day,
Gevis doctrine to the Redaris of it ay.

Heir may thow se that riches of array
Will cause pure men presumpteous for to be;
Thay think thay hald of nane, be thay als gay,
Bot counterfute ane Lord in all degre.
Out of thair cais in pryde thay clym sa hie,
That thay forbeir thair better in na steid,
Quhill sum man tit thair heillis over thair heid.

Richt swa in service uther sum exceidis,
And thay haif withgang, welth, and cherising,
That thay will lychtlie Lordis in thair deidis,
And lukis not to thair blude, nor thair offspring:
Bot yit nane wait how lang that reull will ring;
Bot he was wyse, that bad his Sone considder:
Bewar in welth, for Hall benkis ar rycht slidder.

Thairfoir I counsell men of everilk stait
To knaw thame self, and quhome thay suld forbeir,
And fall not with thair better in debait;
Suppois thay be als galland in thair geir,
It settis na servand for to uphald weir,
Nor clym so hie, quhill he fall of the ledder;
Bot think upon the Wolf, and on the wedder!


The Taill of the Wolf and the Lamb

Ane cruell Wolff, richt ravenous and fell,
Upon ane tyme past to ane Reveir,
Descending from ane Rotche unto ane well,
To slaik his thrist, drank of the watter cleir.
Swa upon cace ane selie Lamb come neir,
Bot of his fa, the Wolff, na thing he wist,
And in the streme laipit to cule his thrist.

Thus drank thay baith, bot not of ane Intent;
The Wolfis thocht wes all on wickitnes;
The selie Lamb wes meik and Innocent:
Upon the Rever, in ane uther place,
Beneth the Wolff, he drank ane lytill space,
Quhill he thocht gude, belevand thair nane ill;
The Wolff him saw, and Rampand come him till.

With girnand teith and awfull angrie luke,
Said to the Lamb: 'thow Cative wretchit thing,
How durst thow be sa bald to fyle and bruke,
Quhar I suld drink, with thy foull slavering?
It wer Almous the ffor to draw and hing,
That suld presume, with thy foull lippis wyle,
To glar my drink, and this fair watter fyle.'

The selie Lamb, quaikand for verray dreid,
On kneis fell, and said: 'Schir, with your leif,
Suppois I dar not say thairoff ye leid;
Bot, be my Saull, I wait ye can nocht preif
That I did ony thing that suld yow grief;
Ye wait alswa that your accusatioun
Failyeis ffra treuth, and contrair is to ressoun.

'Thocht I can nocht, Nature will me defend,
And off the deid perfyte experience;
All hevie thing man off the selff discend;
Bot giff sum thing on force mak resistence,
Than may the streme on na way mak ascence,
Nor ryn bakwart: I drank beneth yow far;
_Ergo_, ffor me your Bruke wes never the war.

'Alswa my lippis, sen that I wes ane Lam,
Tuitchit na thing that wes contagious;
Bot sowkit milk ffrom Pappis off my dam,
Richt Naturall, sweit, and als delitious.'
'Weill' (quod the Wolff), 'thy language Rigorous
Cummis the off kynd swa thy Father before;
Held me at bait, baith with boist and schore.

'He wraithit me, and than I culd him warne
Within ane yeir, and I brukit my heid,
I suld be wrokkin on him, or on his barne,
For his exorbetant and frawart pleid;
Thow sall doutles ffor his deidis be deid.'
'Schir, it is wrang, that ffor the ffatheris gilt,
The saikles sone suld punist be or spilt.

'Haiff ye not hard quhat halie Scripture sayis,
Endytit with the mouth of God Almycht?
Off his awin deidis ilk man sall beir the prais,
As pane ffor sin, reward ffor werkis rycht;
For my trespas quhy suld my sone have plycht?
Quha did the mis lat him sustene the pane.'
'Yaa' (quod the Wolff), 'yit pleyis thow agane?

'I let the wit, quhen that the ffather offendis,
I will refuse nane off his Successioun;
And off his barnis I may weill tak amendis,
Unto the twentie degre descending doun.
Thy ffather thocht to mak ane strang poysoun,'
And with his mouth into my watter did spew.'
'Schir' (quod the Lamb), 'thay twa ar nouther trew.

'The Law sayis, and ye will vnderstand,
Thair suld na man, ffor wrang, nor violence
His adversar punis at his awin hand,
Without proces off Law and evidence;
Quhilk suld have leif to mak lawfull defence,
And thairupon Summond Peremptourly,
For to propone, contrairie, or reply.

'Set me ane lauchfull Court, I sall compeir
Befoir the Lyoun, Lord and leill Justice,
And, be my hand, I oblis me rycht heir,
That I sall byde ane unsuspect Assyis.
This is the Law, this is the Instant gyis;
Ye suld pretend thairfoir; ane Summondis mak
Aganis that day, to gif ressoun and tak.'

'Na' (quod the Wolff), 'thow wald Intruse ressoun,
Quhair wrang and reif suld dwell in propertie.
That is ane poynt, and part of fals tressoun,
For to gar reuth remane with crueltie.
Be his woundis, this tratour, thow sall de,
For thy trespas, and for thy Fatheris als.'
With that anone he hint him be the hals.

The selie Lamb culd do na thing bot bleit;
Sone wes he deid: the Wolff wald do na grace,
Syne drank his blude, and off his flesche can eit,
Quhill he wes full, and went his way on pace.
Of his murther quhat sall we say, allace?
Wes not this reuth, wes not this grit pietie,
To gar this selie Lamb but gift thus de?


The pure pepill this Lamb may signifie,
As Maill men, Merchandis, and all lauboureris,
Of quhome the lyfe is half ane Purgatorie,
To wyn with lautie leving as efferis.
The Wolf betakinnis fals extortioneris
And oppressouris of pure men, as we se,
Be violence, or craft in facultie.

Thre kynd of Wolfis in this warld now Rings:
The first ar fals perverteris of the Lawis,
Quhilk under Poete termis falset mingis,
Lettand that all wer Gospell that he schawis;
Bot for ane bud the pure man he overthrawis,
Smoirand the richt, garrand the wrang proceid:
Of sic Wolfis hellis fyre sall be thair meid.

O man of Law! let be thy subteltie,
With nice gimpis, and fraudis Intricait,
And think that God in his Divinitie
The wrang, the richt, of all thy werkis wait:
For prayer, price, for hie nor law estait,
Of fals querrellis se thow mak na defence;
Hald with the richt, hurt not thy conscience.

Ane uther kynd of Wolfis Ravenous,
Ar mychtie men, haifand full grit plentie,
Quhilkis ar sa gredie and sa covetous,
Thay will not thoill the pure in pece to be;
Suppois he and his houshald baith suld de
For falt of fude, thairof thay gif na rak,
Bot over his heid his mailling will thay tak.

O man! but mercie, quhat is in thy thocht,
War than ane Wolf, and thow culd understand?
Thow hes aneuch; the pure husband richt nocht
Bot croip and caff upon ane clout of land.
For Goddis aw, how durst thow tak on hand,
And thow in Barn and Byre sa bene, and big,
To put him fra his tak and gar him thig?

The thrid Wolf ar men of heritage,
As Lordis that hes land be Goddis lane,
And settis to the Mailleris ane Village,
And for ane tyme Gressome payit and tane;
Syne vexis him, or half his terme be gane,
With pykit querrellis for to mak him fane
To flit, or pay his Gressome new agane.

His Hors, his Meir, he man len to the Laird,
To drug and draw in Court or in Cariage;
His servand or his self may not be spaird
To swing and sweit, withoutin Meit or wage.
Thus how he standis in labour and bondage,
That scantlie may he purches by his maill,
To leve upon dry breid and watter caill.

Hes thow not reuth to gar thy tennentis sweit
In to thy laubour with faynt and hungrie wame,
And syne hes lytill gude to drink or eit,
With his menye at evin quhen he cummis hame?
Thow suld dreid for rychteous Goddis blame;
For it cryis ane vengeance unto the hevinnis hie,
To gar ane pure man wirk but Meit or fe.

O thow grit Lord, that riches hes and rent,
Be nocht ane Wolf, thus to devoir the pure;
Think that na thing cruell nor violent
May in this warld perpetuallie Indure:
This sall thow trow and sikkerlie assure,
For till oppres thow sall haif als greit pane
As thow the pure had with thy awin hand slane.

God keip the Lamb, quhilk is the Innocent,
From Wolfis byit and fell exortioneris;
God grant that wrangous men of fals Intent
Be manifestit, and punischit as effeiris.
And God, as thow all rychteous prayer heiris,
Mot saif our King, and gif him hart and hand
All sic Wolfis to banes out of the land.


The Taill of the Paddok & the Mous

Upon ane tyme (as Esope culd Report)
Ane lytill Mous come till ane Rever syde;
Scho micht not waid, hir schankis were sa schort,
Scho culd not swym, scho had na hors to ryde:
Of verray force behovit hir to byde,
And to and ffra besyde that Revir deip
Scho ran, cryand with mony pietuous peip.

'Help over, help over,' this silie Mous can cry,
'For Goddis lufe, sum bodie over the brym.'
With that ane Paddok, in the watter by,
Put up hir heid, and on the bank can clym,
Quhilk be nature culd douk, and gaylie swym;
With voce full rauk, scho said on this maneir:
'Gude morne (schir Mous), quhat is your erand heir?'

'Seis thow,' quod scho, 'off corne yone Jolie flat,
Off ryip Aitis, off Barlie, Peis, and Quheit?
I am hungrie, and fatie wald be thair at,
Bot I am stoppit be this watter greit;
And on this syde I get na thing till eit
Bot hard Nuttis, quhilkis with my teith I bore.
Wer I beyond, my feist wer fer the more.

'I have no Boit; heir is no Maryner;
And thocht thair war, I have no fraucht to pay.'
Quod scho, 'sister, lat be thy hevie cheir;
Do my counsall, and I sall find the way
Without Hors, Brig, Boit, or yit Galay,
To bring the over saiflie,-be not afeird!-
And not wetand the campis off thy beird.'

'I haif grit wounder,' quod the lytill Mous,
'How can thow fleit without fedder or fyn.
This Rever is sa deip and dangerous,
Me think that thow suld drounit be thairin.
Tell me, thairfoir, quhat facultie or gin
Thow hes to bring the over this watter wan?'
That to declair the Paddok thus began.

'With my twa feit' (quod scho), 'lukkin and braid,
In steid off Airis, I row the streme full styll;
And thocht the brym be perrillous to waid,
Baith to and ffra I row at my awin will.
I may not droun, ffor quhy my oppin Gill
Devoidis ay the watter I resaiff:
Thairfoir to droun forsuith na dreid I half.'

The Mous beheld unto hir fronsit face,
Hir runkillit cheikis, and hir lippis syde,
Hir hingand browis, and hir voce sa hace,
Hir loggerand leggis, and hir harsky hyde.
Scho ran abak, and on the Paddok cryde:
'Giff I can ony skill of Phisnomy,
Thow hes sumpart off falset and Invy.

'For Clerkis sayis, the Inclinatioun
Of mannis thocht proceidis commounly
Efter the Corporall complexioun
To gude or evill, as Nature will apply:
Ane thrawart will, ane thrawin Phisnomy.
The auld Proverb is witnes off this LORUM-
_Distortum vultum sequitur distortio morum_.'

'Na' (quod the Taid), 'that Proverb is not trew;
For fair thingis oftymis ar fundin faikin.
The Blaberyis, thocht thay be sad off hew,
Ar gadderit up quhen Primeros is forsakin.
The face may faill to be the hartis takin.
Thairfoir I find this Scripture in all place:
Thow suld not Juge ane man efter his face.

'Thocht I unhailsum be to luke upon,
I have na cause quhy I suld lakkit be;
Wer I als fair as Jolie Absolon,
I am no causer off that grit beutie.
This difference in forme and qualitie
Almychtie God hes causit dame Nature
To prent and set in everilk creature.

'Off sum the face may be full flurischand,
Off silkin toung and cheir rycht amorous,
With mynd Inconstant, fals, and wariand,
Full off desait and menis Cautelous.'
'Let be thy preiching' (quod the hungrie Mous),
'And be quhat craft thow gar me understand
That thow wald gyde me to yone yonder land?'

'Thow wait' (quod scho), 'ane bodie that hes neid
To help thame self suld mony wayis cast;
Thairfoir ga tak ane doubill twynit threid,
And bind thy leg to myne with knottis fast.
I sall the leir to swym-be not agast!-
Als weill as I.'  'As thow?'(than quod the Mous),
'To preif that play it war richt perrillous.

'Suld I be bund and fast quhar I am fre,
In hoip off help, na than I schrew us baith,
For I mycht lois baith lyfe and libertie.
Gif it wer swa, quha suld amend the skaith?
Bot gif thow sweir to me the murthour aith,
But fraud, or gyle, to bring me over this flude,
But hurt or harme.'  'In faith' (quod scho), 'I dude.'

Scho goikit up, and to the hevin can cry:
'O Juppiter, off Nature God and King,
I mak ane aith trewlie to the, that I
This lytill Mous sall over this watter bring.'
This aith wes maid.  The Mous, but persaving
The fals Ingyne of this foull carpand Pad,
Tuke threid and band hir leg, as scho hir bad.

Then fute for fute thay lap baith in the brym;
Bot in thair myndis thay wer rycht different:
The Mous tbocht off na thing bot ffor to swym,
The Paddok ffor to droun set hir Intent.
Quhen thay in midwart off the streme wer went,
With all hir force the Paddok preissit doun,
And thocht the Mous without mercie to droun.

Persavand this, the Mous on hir can cry:
'Tratour to God, and manesworne unto me,
Thow swore the murthour aith richt now, that I
But hurt or harme suld ferryit be and fre;'
And quhen scho saw thair wes bot do or de,
With all hir mycht scho forsit hir to swym,
And preissit upon the Taiddis bak to clym.

The dreid of deith hir strenthis gart Incres,
And forcit hir defend with mycht and mane.
The Mous upwart, the Paddok doun can pres;
Quhyle to, quhyle ffra, quhyle doukit up agane.
The selie Mous, plungit in to grit pane,
Gan fecht als lang als breith wes in hir breist,
Till at the last scho cryit ffor ane Preist.

Fechtand thusgait, the Gled sat on ane twist,
And to this wretchit battell tuke gude heid;
And with ane wisk, or ony off thame wist,
He claucht his cluke betuix thame in the threid;
Syne to the land he flew with thame gude speid,
Fane off that fang, pyipand with mony pew;
Syne lowsit thame, and baith but pietie slew.

Sync bowellit thame, that Boucheour with his bill,
And belliflaucht full fettillie thame flaid;
Bot all thair flesche wald scant be half ane fill,
And guttis als, unto that gredie gled.
Off thair debait, thus quhen I hard outred,
He tukc his flicht, and over the feildis flaw:
Giff this be trew, speir ye at thame that saw.


My Brother, gif thow will tak advertence
Be this Fabill, thow may persave and se,
It passis far all kynd of Pestilence,
Ane wickit mynd with wordis fair and sle.
He war thairfore, with quhome thow fallowis the;
To the wer better beir the stane barrow,
For all thy dayis to delf quhill thow may dre,
Than to be machit with ane wickit marrow.

Ane fals Intent under ane fair pretence
Hes causit mony Innocent for to de.
Grit folie is to gif over sone credence
To all that speikis fairlie unto the.
Ane silkin toung, ane hart of crueltie,
Smytis more sore than ony schot of arrow.
Brother, gif thow he wyse, I reid the fle,
To matche the with ane thrawart, fenyeit marrow.

I warne the als, it is grit nekligence
To bind the fast quhair thow wes frank and fre;
Fra thow be bund, thow may mak na defence
To saif thy lyle, nor yit thy libertie.
This simpill counsall, brother, tak of me,
And it to cun perqueir se thow not tarrow,
Better but stryfe to leif allane in le
Than to be matchit with ane wickit marrow.

This hald in mynde: rycht more I sall the tell
Quhair by thir beistis may be figurate.
The Paddok, usand in the flude to duell,
Is mannis bodie, swymand air and lait
In to this warld, with cairis Implicate,
Now hie, now law, quhylis plungit up, quhylis doun,
Ay in perrell, and reddie for to droun.

Now dolorus, now blyth as bird on breir;
Now in fredome, now wrappit in distres;
Now haill and sound, now deid and brocht on beir;
Now pure as Job, now rowand in riches;
Now gouins gay, now brats laid in pres;
Now full as fitche, now hungrie as ane Hound;
Now on the quheill, now wrappit to the ground.

This lytill Mous, heir knit thus be the schyn,
The Saull of man betakin may in deid;
Bundin, and fra the bodie may not wyn,
Quhill cruell deith cum brek of lyfe the threid,
The quhilk to droun suld ever stand in dreid,
Of carnall lust be the Suggestioun
Quhilk drawis ay the Saull, and druggis doun.

The watter is the warld, ay welterand,
With mony wall of tribulatioun:
In quhilk the saull and body wer steirrand,
Standand rycht different in thair opinioun:
The Saull upwart, the body precis doun:
The Saull rycht fane wald be brocht over I wis,
Out of this warld, into the hevinnis blis.

The Gled is Deith, that cummis suddandlie,
As dois ane theif, and cuttis sone the battall.
Be vigilant, thairfoir, and ay reddie,
For mannis lyfe is brukill, and ay mortall:
My freind, thairfoir, mak the ane strang Castell
Of Faith in Christ; for deith will the assay,
Thow wait not quhen-evin, morrow or midday.

Adew, my freind; and gif that ony speiris
Of this Fabill, sa schortlie  I conclude,
Say thow, I left the laif unto the Freiris,
To mak exempill and ane similitude.
Now Christ for us that deit on the Rude,
Of saull and lyfe as thow art Salviour,
Grant us till pas in till ane blissit hour.