Rough Scan
THE MORALL FABILLIS OF ESOPE THE PHRYGIAN

THOMAS BASSANDYNE, EDINBURGH

1571





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.

====_Finis_.





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.





MORALITAS

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.

====_Finis_.





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.





MORALITAS

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.

====_Finis_.





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.





MORALITAS.

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.

====_Finis_.





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.





MORALITAS.

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.

====_Finis_.





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.





MORALITAS

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.

====_Finis_.





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.





MORALITAS

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.

====_Finis_.





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.'





MORALITAS

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.

====_Finis_.





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.





MORALITAS

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.