The Palis of Honoure
THE PALIS OF HONOURE: FOOTNOTES
1 Which greenness (the) branches poured upon the garden paths
2 Diverting the mists with [a] smoky incense
3 I did not know whether it were vision or illusion
4 Preparing themselves with early morning worship
5 My dazed head, which lack of brain caused to wander
6 Preparing myself to go and not wishing to tarry longer
7 But instead, rocky knolls parched by northern winds
8 Burnt, barren, without blossoms or leaves
9 In which Nature sustained no (living) thing
10 According to traditional practices, and did not go astray
11 They expressed their high wisdom, and did not whisper at all
12 In a suitable manner, at which the forest echoed
13 Then after her, dressed in grain-dyed violet clothes,
14 Who seemed discreet members of her council
15 And stand at a distance, where better folk are turned away
16 But they ripped their lord apart - did not recognize him who fed them
17 Most dense and filthy contaminated clouds rattled past
18 The which I took care to hear with attentiveness
19 Resounding harmoniously across the entire sky
20 In the world here below since Adam was created
21 The crystal eyes of that divine person so vanquish
22 500-01: Extemporized part-singing, notated song, melodic accompaniment, singing a third part,
23 Imposing silence (forbidding me) to ask again for mercy
24 In subtle turns of phrase, sophisticated devices of rhetoric
25 Chatterers would speak ill of it and show no hesitation (to)
26 I dared not attempt [it]; not for the whole world
27 You may perceive your wretched world to be in now
28 Who perished in the tumult of the heaving waves
29 So starving, drenched, exhausted (checkmated), overcome with toil, and weak
30 Wall-recess(es), indented mouldings, projecting stone brace(s), and battlements
31 [I saw] the three young men (Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego) sent into the furnace
32 Involved in the treacherous instability of the world
33 Chasing the birds, in danger of death, into the water
34 Enclosing them according to their flocks and species
35 And, during their dive underwater, I saw some (of the birds) treated harshly
36 But they couldn't find any foothold because of the slipperiness (of that wall)
37 Thus urging themselves forward to climb [who] once were bold [and]
38 Are royal confessors and attendants of the royal bedchamber
39 Who do not wish to commit a breach of law against anyone
40 Are administrators of outlying regions and buyers of provisions for the king
41 Is named Truth, (who) never injured a loyal man
42 But do not inspect too closely lest you go insane
43 I could hardly glance upon them because of their brilliance
44 With solid gold, from which the purity was diffused
45 But of what substance the walls were made I did not know
46 Trestles, seats, and benches were, polished smooth
47 Once they are gone, just see who waits on them.
48 When you have had a breather and [are] better conditioned
49 2120-21: Without which, as is just, no worthy person can continue;
50 That, sweetly, every spirit (person) inclines both head and feet (i.e., bows and kneels)
51 That person achieves absolutely nothing who thoughtlessly abandons you
52 Be pleased to rid me quickly of sorrow in order that I may write
53 To come into the open, make sure you do not put yourself forward
THE PALIS OF HONOURE: NOTES1 Concluding his tale of Memnon's death at Troy, Ovid mentions the tears Aurora the dawn-goddess sheds each morning in memory of her son (Metamorphoses 13.621-22); the image is conventional in English and Scots courtly verse (Lydgate, Troy Book 3.2745-58; Dunbar, Goldyn Targe 16).
1-18 Douglas's opening might be translated as follows: "When the pale Aurora with her mournful face wrapped her sable-fringed russet cloak with divine ceremoniousness around the soft bed and worthy tapestry of Flora, kindly queen of flowers in May, I arose to perform my customary ritual, and entered an enclosed garden [which was] illuminated by the sun [so that it was] as lovely as Paradise, and [by] delightful boughs in [their] variety of blossoms, so skilfully had Dame Flora embroidered her heavenly bed (which was sprinkled with many a cluster of rubies, topazes, pearls, and emeralds, soaked in balmy dew and suitably moist), until warm vapors (very fresh and amply supplied, sweet-smelling, of a most fragrant odor) [were] distilling the silver droplets upon the daisies, the greenness of which vapors the branches poured upon the garden paths, chasing away nighttime mists with a smoky incense." The subject phrase "hot vapors" lacks a finite verb phrase, and the antecedent for "which" (Quhilk, 17) is unclear. The loose syntax of this opening deserves comparison with the tighter beginning to Chaucer's General Prologue (Whan . . . Whan . . . Than; Canterbury Tales 1.1-18), an enticing but inimitable model for ambitious fifteenth-century poets (Pearsall 58-59).
2 The cloak of the dawn-goddess Aurora is both rustic and courtly: made of the coarse reddish-brown wool of peasant clothing, it is nevertheless fringed with costly black fur. This allusion to the colors in the dawn sky may also refer to the mixing of rustic and courtly in the poem as a whole.
6 According to Bartholomaeus Anglicus, "In May woodis wexith grene, medis springith and florischith and wel nyghe alle thingis that beth alyve beth imeved to joye and to love" (On the Properties of Things 1.531 [9.13]); Chaucer's Arcite goes into the woods alone at dawn "to doon his observaunce to May," and there he makes "a gerland of the greves, / Were it of wodebynde or hawethorn leves," and sings a song to May (The Knight's Tale, CT 1.1499-512).
7 This may simply be a pleasant garden; a plesance, however, is a walled garden (like the gardens in Le Roman de la Rose or The Parliament of Fowls), into which one enters, as Douglas's narrator says he did.
8 Among the marginal emendations written into the National Library of Scotland's black-letter copy (E) is dilectabil, at this line; the late-sixteenth- or early-seventeenth-century writer of these emendations perceived a flaw in the repetition of the rhyme-word amyable.
11 Along with the pun on bed (see also line 4), there is one on set, being the name for a cluster of either jewels or buds.
16 In a May scene, Chaucer refers to "silver dropes hangynge on the leves" (The Knight's Tale, CT 1.1496).
17-18 The verdour being poured out is assumed to be related to the vapours hote mentioned before (14); like incense driving away impure thoughts in a church, it drives away the noxious mists of the passing night.
20 Lydgate spoke of a flourishing garden as Nature's tapestry in The Complaint of the Black Knight (50-52).
21-24 Birdsong is commonly to be heard in the pleasant place (Curtius 195, 197); following Chaucer (The Parliament of Fowls 491-93), English and Scots courtly poets tend to exaggerate the effects of this sound (Complaint of the Black Knight, 45-46; Goldyn Targe 25; Pearsall 90).
25 L's reading eccon is also found in D; however, it is not a spelling found elsewhere and has been regarded as an error stemming from the text from which both L and D are derived. Conceivably the -n should be understood as a plural. E reads Echo.
30 Ovid names the four horses of the Sun, Eous being the red horse of dawn (Metamorphoses 2.153-54); Henryson uses a different source for his description of the four horses (Testament of Cresseid 211-16).
32 An echo of Ovid's description of the chariot of the Sun, during the story of Phaethon ("gold was the axle, gold the shaft, and gold was the entire circle of each wheel"; Metamorphoses 2.107-08).
49-52 These three deities are allegories for wind, frost, and rain (or flood; see Dunbar's Thrissil and the Rois [May 1502 or 1503], 64-66); Saturn is memorably associated with wintry weather in Henryson's Testament of Cresseid (155-68).
53 Beryl is proverbially associated with clarity and brightness (Whiting B263).
63 Hearing an authoritative voice (sometimes taken to be a bird's) is a convention in poems about a visit to the pleasant place (e.g., Lydgate's Seying of the Nightingale; Henryson's "Praise of Age"; Dunbar's "The Merle and the Nichtingall," "All erdly joy returnis in pane").
65 Calling May the maternal month is a Chaucerism (Troilus and Criseyde 2.50; Court of Sapience 1269).
89 The dreamer looks up to see something new three more times (784, 1405-06, 1934).
105 Following Aristotle, Bartholomaeus describes several types of impressiouns, actually meteorites, but which were believed to be generated in the atmos-phere at various altitudes by the ignition of hot dry air: one of these, ignis longus, is called "a dragoun spoutynge fire" (On the Properties of Things 1.569-70 [11.2]).
108 "Feeble" is a word the dreamer often uses of himself (100, 103, 108, 770, 970, 1166, 2032; Curtius 83).
113-17 According to Bartholomaeus, the "sensible soul" receives sense impressions, has the source of its vital power in the heart, and is the generator of sleep (On the Properties of Things 1.98-100 [3.9-12]); it would seem to be this aspect of soul that is affected by the sudden flash of light; Bartholomaeus also discusses those stimuli that cause the blood to rush to the heart to preserve the heat of the body (fear, infection, injury, air pollution, great cold), "whanne the spirit vitales fleth his contray and closith himself in the innere parties of the herte" (106).
127-35 See The House of Fame 523-28, where Chaucer celebrates his feeble brain, taking off on Dante, Inferno 2.8-9. By the later fifteenth century such disclaimers are commonplace.
136-53 Chaucer describes a dream-desert in The House of Fame (482-91); a closer parallel to Douglas's wasteland is Chaucer's description of the noisy, barren forest surrounding the temple of Mars (The Knight's Tale, CT 1.1975-80); Douglas may also be drawing on the sudden transformation of the forest from pleasant to hellish place that is part of the tradition of the encounter between the Three Living and the Three Dead (Tristram 165).
142 B records A. J. Aitken's emendation barrane for L and E's bare raif, the n having plausibly been mistaken for u, with raif an alternate spelling for raue.
146 The source for the image of yelling fish is "the medieval list of the Signs of Doomsday attributed to St. Jerome and included in Peter Comestor's Historia Scholastica" (Nitecki 18-19).
163-92 The ten-line stanza here is the one Henryson uses for the lament of Orpheus (134-83), and the one used in the mid-fifteenth-century Scots translation of a French complaint on the death of Margaret, daughter of James I of Scotland and wife of the Dauphin (Liber Pluscardensis 1.382-88); see also the "ballet of inconstant love" later in the poem (607-36).
166 Marginal note in L: A discription of the inconstance of fortune.
174-81 Antithesis is a rhetorical figure commonly used to express the variability of Fortune (and of Venus: see lines 601-03; Utley 33; Pearsall 113); another figure employed here (and frequently elsewhere in the poem) is anaphora, the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of consecutive clauses.
199-300 Gower's Princess Rosiphilee likewise uses a tree as a hiding place from which to watch a procession of a courtly retinue (of Venus); she also stops someone who has failed to obey the laws of that court (Confessio Amantis 4.1292-1434).
202 Marginal note in L: The quen of sapyence wyth hyr court.
215 Compare Henryson's goldin listis [edgings] gilt on everie gair of Jupiter's gown (Testament of Cresseid 179).
231 Marginal note in L: Craftye Synone and false Architefel; classical and biblical personages are frequently linked in the poem (e.g., 250-51, 338-40, 1453-57).
232 Ahithophel hanged himself after his counsel was rejected (2 Samuel 17:23); see also Confessio Amantis 2.3089-94.
246 Biblical heroines: the Apocryphal Book of Judith 8-16; and, for Jael, Judges 4. Chaucer describes Judith's assassination of Holofernes (The Monk's Tale, CT 7.2551-74); drawn from antifeminist passages in the Fall of Princes; the Lydgatian "Examples against Women" presents Judith as a treacherous woman (Utley 269-70); elsewhere, she is a type of the Virgin Mary (Woolf 130, 279). See Heroic Women from the Old Testament in Middle English Verse, ed. Russell A. Peck (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1991), pp. 109-53, for a fifteenth-century Middle English version of the Judith story, which praises her firm intelligence and strength of character.
251 Marginal note in L: Wyse and lerned men.
253 Porphyry, follower of the Neoplatonist philosopher Plotinus; Parmenides, Presocratic Greek philosopher, founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy.
254 Melissus, follower of Parmenides.
255 Shadrach, companion of Daniel and renowned for learning (Daniel 1:4); Secundus, philosopher associated with the Emperor Hadrian; Solinus, late Roman natural historian.
257 Nectanabus, Egyptian magician and reputed father of Alexander the Great; his story is presented at length in Gower's Confessio Amantis 6.1789-2366. Hermes Trismegistus, a shadowy figure in Neoplatonist tradition, is the reputed originator of alchemy; see Confessio Amantis 4.2606-07 and 7.1476-92.
258 Galen, influential Greek physician; Averroes, Arabic commentator on Aristotle.
259 Enoch and his grandson Lamech, fathers of Methuselah and Noah respectively (Genesis 5:18-19, 21-24; 5:25-31), the former of whom acquired a reputation as an astrologer during the Middle Ages; Diogenes, the Cynic philosopher (see Confessio Amantis 3.1201-1311).
261 Flavius Josephus, Jewish leader and historian of the Jewish revolt against Rome (AD 66-70).
262 Melchizedek, priest-king and ally of Abraham (Genesis 14:18-20).
276 Marginal note in L: Architefel confessis hys owne craftenes deceyt and abused wit. Ahithophel conspired with Absolom, "And the counsel of Ahithophel . . . was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God" (2 Samuel 16:20-23); Gower refers to Ahithophel as an example of envy (Confessio Amantis 2.3089-94).
283 Virgil has Aeneas recount the strategems by which Sinon deceived the Trojans (Aeneid II.57-198).
299 Referring to himself as elrych ("elvish"), the poet recalls the Host's jesting description of the pilgrim Chaucer as "elvyssh by his contenaunce" (CT VII.703).
308 Marginal note in L: Feare.
316-27 Diana's transformation of Actaeon into a hart (Metamorphoses 3.131-257; compare the depiction of this event in Chaucer's Temple of Diana, The Knight's Tale, CT I.2065-68); and Gower's Confessio Amantis 1.333-82.
327 This line is an example of Douglas's concise style: note the asyndeton (omission of a grammatically integral word, here a conjunction between lord and mysknew), and the grim pun on batit (Acteon used to feed his dogs as their master; now he feeds them as their prey); for another example of this style, see line 1680.
329 This is the company to which Cresseid bequeaths her soul in Henryson's Testament of Cresseid (587-88).
330 The elephant is an emblem of chastity: "Elephantes hateth the werk of leccherye but oonliche to gendre offsprynge" (On the Properties of Things 2.1196 [18.45]).
338 Judges 11.29-40: the Israelite soldier Jephthah vowed to sacrifice to God "whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me" on his victorious return from battle; his daughter was first to meet him, and he "did with her according to his vow" (see also Confessio Amantis 4.1505-95 and the Middle English version of the Jephthah story in Heroic Women from the Old Testament, ed. Peck).
340 Polixene, daughter of Priam of Troy, sacrificed at Achilles' tomb (Metamorphoses 13.447-82). Medieval tradition has Achilles futilely in love with her (Confessio Amantis 4.1693-1701; 5.7591-96; 8.2590-96.)
341 Penthesileia, queen of the Amazons, who, for love of Hector, fought at Troy, was killed in battle by Pyrrhus (Troy Book 4.3760-4436 and Confessio Amantis 4.2135-47; 5.2547-51; 8.2525-27).
342 Iphigenia was offered in sacrifice by her father Agamemnon to Diana (Metamorphoses 12.26-39); Virginius killed his daughter to prevent her being raped (Livy, History 3.44-48; Roman de la Rose 5589-5658; Chaucer, The Physician's Tale; Confessio Amantis 7.5131-5306).
346-54 According to Bartholomaeus, "deserte is untiliede and ful of thornes and pricchinge busshes, place of crepying wormes and venymouse bestes and of wylde bestes, and it is the home of flemyd men and of theves, londe of firste and of drynesse, londe of brennynge and disease, londe of wastynge and of grysnesse, londe of mysgoynge and of errynge" (On the Properties of Things 2.721 [14.51]).
359 This is the planet Venus, which appears in the northeast sky before sunrise during late spring and early summer; Taurus (April 20 to May 20) is an astrological house of Venus: "Venus is lord therof by day and the mone by nyght, and Mars partiner with hem" (On the Properties of Things 1.466 [8.10]).
360-61 B suggests that the order of these lines as given in L and E be reversed, in order that the relative clause referring to hearing depend on a main clause referring to a sound; this reversal would not affect rhyme scheme. Her suggested emendation has been adopted here.
362 nowmer. Number refers to ratios and proportions as well as measure; thus both rhythm and harmony.
364-81 Compare the discourse of Chaucer's Eagle on the properties of sound (The House of Fame 765-852).
365-66 Earth is "most passible of elementz . . . . [B]ecause of medlyng of firy and aery parties the erthe is in som parties thynne, holy, and dym and spongy" (On the Properties of Things 2.692-93 [14.2]).
373 According to Chaucer's Eagle, "Soun is noght but eyr ybroken" (The House of Fame 765).
394 Marginal note in L: A sorwful harte can not be mery.
403 Marginal note in L: Hevinlye harmonye.
418-35 This set-piece of ekphrasis demonstrates the poet's familiarity with classical models of description, and especially with Ovid's ornate description of the Palace of the Sun (Metamorphoses 2.106-10); Douglas imitates lines from this description elsewhere (32, 1837-63; Norton-Smith 243-46). Marginal note in L designates: Goodly apparell.
436 L: thair; E: thir. Thair is probably a variant of the demonstrative thir ("these"), rather than the possessive pronoun ("their").
444 In ascending order, the angelic hierarchies are (1) Angels, Archangels, and Virtues; (2) Powers, Principalities, and Dominations; and (3) Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim (On the Properties of Things 1.68-84 [2.7-18]); the comparison with angels' song is proverbial (Whiting A128).
476-80 Compare Chaucer's more idealized description of the God of Love, who, "al be that men seyn that blynd ys he, / Algate me thoghte that he myghte se" (The Legend of Good Women F prologue 237-38); by emphasizing Cupid's blindness, Douglas depicts him as the "personification of illicit sensuality" (Panofsky 121).
491 Marginal note in L: Musyke.
492-501 Douglas's tour de force of musical technology bespeaks the sophistication of musical training and appreciation in Scottish court society in the early sixteenth century. A generation earlier, Henryson also refers to the music of the spheres by means of a similarly abstruse list of specialized musical terms, including tonys proportionate, duplar, triplar, diatesseron, and dyapason (Orpheus, 226-34; compare Court of Sapience 2070-74).
502-05 According to Gower, the retinue of Venus is announced by "a soun / Of bombard and of clarion / With cornemuse and Schallemale" (Confessio Amantis 8.2481-83; compare Court of Sapience 2091-95). But John Lydgate, in Reson and Sensualyte 5564-5612, offers the first extended catalogue of instruments that accompany the entourage of Cupid, Dame Beauty, and their court - harpys, fythels, rotys, lutys, rubibis, geterns, organys, cytolys, monocordys (5583), trumpes, trumpetes, shallys, doucetes, floutys, etc., with all their "proporsiouns" and "verray hevenly son . . . so hevenly and celestiall" (5601, 5606). See also The Buke of the Howlat, where Holland provides a long list of musical instruments, including psaltery, sytholis, croude (a kind of fiddle, with two to six strings, a bow and, later, a finger board, played at the shoulder, or, depending on the size, across the knees), monycordis (a forerunner of the clavichord, with strings and bridges, at first bowed, but later keyed), tympane, lute, organis, claryonis (a kind of trumpet, at first straight, later folded), and portativis (a portable organ) (757-67). See also The Squire of Low Degree (1069-79), for another catalogue of instruments.
507 B's note on this puzzling line is useful: "Fractionis perhaps refers to what Wyclif calls `a smale brekynge' (English Works, ed. F. D. Matthew, EETS, 1880, page 191), i.e., a form of singing in which a single long note in plain chant was represented by two or more notes in the accompanying parts; rest may have its musical sense of `an interval of silence'; clois compell may perhaps be literally `drive close together.' A tentative translation is: `[I heard] short notes divided by intervals of silence or sung rapidly in close succession"' (p. 181).
509-10 1 Samuel 16:14-23.
511-12 Ovid refers to Jupiter's mortal son Amphion raising the walls of Thebes by playing his lyre (Metamorphoses 6.180). See Chaucer's Manciple's Tale IX.116-18.
513 Possibly alluding to Orpheus.
517-18 A comically overstated admission of ignorance, recalling Henryson's confessions of lack of musical expertise (Orpheus 240-42).
518 The cuckoo is a proverbially unmusical bird (Whiting A174).
523 The "music of the spheres" consists of the sounds supposed to be generated by the harmonious revolutions of the planets and stars; according to Bartolomaeus, the outermost sphere in motion (the primum mobile; see line 1840 note) "is cause affectif of generacioun and of lyvynge; and ravyschith and drawith to hitsilf contrarye thinges, for by violence of his mevinge he drawith aftir him the planetis, that metith therwith. And passith forth with armonye and acorde; for, as Aristotel seith, . . . of ordinate meovynge of the spere and of contarye metinge of planetes in the worlde cometh armonye and acorde" (On the Properties of Things 1.458 [8.6]; see Henryson, Orpheus, 220-22).
525 The Welsh bard known as Glasgerion; compare The House of Fame 1208, and Child Ballad 67.
534 of. L reads or brounvert; E: ovirbrouderit. E makes easier sense ("embroidered"); it is possible that L's reading or brounvert is the preferable one, however, the line then reading "Whose poorest clothing was (made of) silks or dark-green [cloth]." Combinations of brown with other terms of color simply indicated that the color thus modified was especially dark (OED brown, a.1); and often terms of color could be used by themselves as names of types of cloth (DOST broun, n.2; a.1).
550 Marginal note in L: Mars.
559-61 On the adulterous love of Mars for Venus, see Metamorphoses 4.171-89. See also Chaucer's Complaint of Mars.
562-91 Similar catalogues of famous lovers appear in The House of Fame 388-426, The Legend of Good Women F prologue 249-68, CT 2.57-76, and Confessio Amantis 8.2500-2656.
562-63 Marginal note in L: Lovers. The two noble kinsmen Palamon and Arcite, rivals in love for Emily, sister-in-law of Theseus, Duke of Athens; characters in Chaucer's Knight's Tale.
564 This emphasis on Aeneas' falseness is Chaucerian (The Legend of Good Women 1236, 1265-76, 1285-86, 1325-31; The House of Fame 255-92; following Aeneid 2 and Ovid's Heroides 7); compare Douglas's later skepticism on this account: Chaucer "set on Virgill and Eneas this wyte, / For he was evir (God wait) all womanis frend" (Eneados 1.prologue 448-49). See also Confessio Amantis 4.77-137, where faithless Aeneas is accused of slowthe.
565 See Chaucer's Troilus and Crisyede, of course, but also Gower's Confessio Amantis 2.2456-58; 4.2795-97; 5.7597-7602; and 8.2531-35.
566 While Douglas could have had access through various sources to the story of Helen's abduction to Troy by Paris, this reference appears in a passage relying heavily on Ovid's "Heroines" (Heroides), the sixteenth of which is a letter from Paris to Helen, and the seventeenth, Helen's reply.
567 Lucrece, raped by Lucius Tarquinius, commits suicide (The Legend of Good Women 1680-1885; Confessio Amantis 7.4754-5130; 8.2632-39; Ovid, Fasti 2.685-852); the letter of Penelope to her long-lost husband Ulysses is the first of Ovid's Heroides; see Confessio Amantis 4.147-233 and 8.2621-31.
568 The tale of these ill-starred lovers is told by Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.55-166), followed by Gower (Confessio Amantis 3.1374-1494) and Chaucer (The Legend of Good Women 706-923).
569 Procne's husband raped and mutilated her sister Philomela (Metamorphoses 6.426-674; Confessio Amantis 5.5551-6074; The Legend of Good Women 2228-393).
570 King David loved Bathsheba, wife of his soldier Uriah, and successfully conspired to have Uriah killed in battle in order to marry her (2 Samuel 11:2-27). See Confessio Amantis 8.2689-90.
571 Alcione's drowned husband Ceyx appeared to her in a dream (Metamorphoses 11.410-748; Chaucer, The Book of the Duchess 62-217); and Confessio Amantis 4.2927-3123; 8.2647-56.
572-73 While it is possible that Douglas had read a Latin translation of Book I of Homer's Iliad, he would have had easier access to the story of Achilles' anger over Agamemnon's appropriation of Briseis through Ovid's many allusions to it (Heroides 3; Amores 1.9.33, 2.8.11-14; Ars Amatoriae 2.399-406; Remedia Amoris 467-84, 777-84).
574 Phyllis, a princess of Thrace, fell in love with the Athenian prince Demophon (on his way back from Troy) and married him; feigning a desire to visit his mother, he deserted her, and she cursed him, having given him a love-token to open if away longer than a year; he did so, went mad, and died on his own sword. For Phyllis' letter, see Ovid, Heroides 2 (also Remedia Amoris 591-604) and The Legend of Good Women 2394-2561; for another version of the story (in which Phyllis, having committed suicide, is transformed into a filbert tree), see Confessio Amantis 4.731-878).
575 Medea, a sorceress and princess of Colchis, fell in love with Jason and helped him steal the Golden Fleece; returning with Jason to Greece, she restored his father's youth and murdered his enemy Pelias, but then went into exile (Metamorphoses 7.1-403; Confessio Amantis 5.3368-4222; and The Legend of Good Women 1580-1679).
576 An English translation of this French prose romance, Paris and Vienne, was printed by William Caxton in 1485.
577 Having been shown how to get through the Labyrinth by Ariadne, Theseus abducted her from Crete and then abandoned her on the island of Naxos (Metamorphoses 8.168-82; Heroides 10, The Legend of Good Women 1886-2227, Confessio Amantis 5.5231-5495); Theseus later married another Cretan princess, Phaedra, who fell in love with his son by the Amazon queen Antiope (Heroides 4); Gower includes Theseus among the retinue of Venus: "thogh he were untrewe / To love, as alle wommen knewe, / Yit was he there natheles / With Phedra, whom to love he ches" (Confessio Amantis 8.2511-14).
578 There are three English versions of the thirteenth-century romance Ipomadon (by Hue de Rotelande), in which the ill-dressed hero pretends to prefer hunting to jousting, only to win in disguise at the tournament, gaining the hand of a princess when he is recognized.
579 Ahasuerus loved Esther (Esther 2:17). Susannah was falsely accused of adultery (Daniel, apocryphal chapter 13; see also The Pistel of Swete Susan in Heroic Women from the Old Testament, ed. Peck).
580 Delilah, wife and betrayer of Samson (Judges 16.4-20; The Monk's Tale, CT 7.2063-70; Confessio Amantis 8.2701-04).
581 Deianira, neglected wife and unintentional murderer of Hercules (Metamorphoses 9.1-158; Heroides 9; The Monk's Tale, CT 7.2119-26; Confessio Amantis 2.2145-2307; 8.2559-62).
582 Biblis, cursed lover of her twin brother (Metamorphoses 9.454-668); Absalom, handsome, rebellious son of David, who likewise was incestuous (2 Samuel 13:1-18.33; Confessio Amantis 8.216-22.)
583 After spending two years with her, Hypsipyle's lover Jason departed in search of the Golden Fleece and then fell in love with Medea (Heroides 6, The Legend of Good Women 1368-1679; Lydgate, Siege of Thebes 3188-92); Scylla, lover of her father's enemy, Minos (Metamorphoses 8.1-150).
584 Tristram, knight at courts of Kings Arthur and Mark, and lover of Mark's wife Iseult (Confessio Amantis 6.471-76, 8.2500-01); Elkanah and Hannah, parents of the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 1-2).
585 Chaucer's legend of Cleopatra (The Legend of Good Women 580-705), in which the Egyptian queen jumps into a snake-pit declaring her love for Mark Antony, would have been available to Douglas (Lydgate follows Chaucer in his version: Fall of Princes 6.3620-68). See also Confessio Amantis 8.2571-77.
586 Hercules abducted Iole, thereby arousing the jealousy of Deianira (see line 581 note); having died to save her husband, Alcestis was rescued from Hades by Hercules (Confessio Amantis 7.1917-43, 8.2640-46), and she is Chaucer's advocate in the Court of Love (The Legend of Good Women, G prologue 179, 317-431; F prologue 341-441, 510-16); Ixion probably refers to Hesione (rescued by Hercules from a sea-monster; Metamorphoses 11.211-17), her name being spelled Exiona in line 1598.
587 Griselde, the heroine of Chaucer's Clerk's Tale.
588 Compare Metamorphoses 3.339-510, where Narcissus simply pines away; in Confessio Amantis 1.2340-42, he dashes his head against a stone after beholding a lovely lady in the water, for whom he yearns.
589-91 Genesis 29.
592-94 The refinement of costume and decay of morals among women is a common antifeminist topic (Utley 60; Pearsall 118-19, 134-35; compare Henryson's more positive approach in "The Garmont of Gud Ladies," and Dunbar's more subtly ironic "Thir ladyis fair that in the Court ar kend," 40-48); see also the self-directed antifeminism of Venus, in lines 981-87.
607 Marginal note in L: A ballet of inconstant love.
613 The word involupit is peculiar to Douglas (e.g., Eneados IV.ii.44 and VII.ii.67, the only two citations of the word in DOST); Copland provides an easier reading, involvit, which I emend in favor of the more authentic term.
625 In Richard Holland's Buke of the Howlat, the complaining owl likewise calls himself a bysyn, a bad example, a portent (107, 959); Venus later calls the dreamer "that bysnyng schrew" (943).
627-36 The "Wo worth" anaphora was a commonplace of courtly complaint, originating with Troilus and Criseyde 2.344-47. Perhaps the best translation is "Alas." "Woe to" or "Woe befall" or "Woe become" hint at the untranslatability of the idiom.
630 Marginal note in L: He curseth the worlds felycite, fortune and al his pleasure.
634-36 Henryson's Cresseid likewise curses "fals Cupide" and his mother Venus (Testament of Cresseid 134-35).
641 A poid is a toad; the word derives from poddock (DOST pode, poid).
649-52 The dreamer is "mobbed" (Parkinson 502-04); this blackening he undergoes bears comparison with the "spottis blak" with which Cresseid is punished (Testament of Cresseid 339).
653-54 These two perform the same function as do two fools in The Buke of the Howlat, the Lapwing and the Cuckoo; the names here are also suggestive of birds, skryme being a verb used for attacking birds in the Howlat ("skrym at myn e"; 67) and in Dunbar's "Fenyeit Freir" (123), and (less plausibly) chyppynuty referring to someone who (or something which) breaks nuts. B's suggestion that these names are "nicknames for malicious goblins" (185-86) is supported by one of them being surnamed fery ("fairy"). There may be some connection here with the attendants of the Scottish Lords of Misrule (the "King of the Bean" at Epiphany and the "Abbot of Unreason" at Shrovetide and in May), which were called dablets (Anna Jean Mill, Medieval Plays in Scotland [Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1927], pp. 313-27).
664-702 Marginal notes in L: The Auctor accused (665); Answer (684); Appellationem (692). This defense conforms to practices of Scottish law (indictment, plea for mercy, declaration of innocence, objection to the competency of the court; see Habakkuk Bisset's Rolment of Courtis, ed. Sir Philip J. Hamilton-Grierson [Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1920], I, 174). In Henryson's Fables, the accused sheep uses similar arguments in his defense (1187-1201).
665 B finds it "unlikely that any specific historical Varius is here alluded to. . . . [The] name seems a punning reference to the traditional fickleness and uncertainty of the love-goddess" (186).
666 The preposition tyl ("to") is the common form of the word in early sixteenth-century Scots and appears frequently in L, though not in E; accusyng uses the -ing suffix to mark the infinitive, an anglicism in Older Scots courtly style (see also 729).
674 The simile is proverbial (Whiting K16).
688-95 In Henryson's "The Sheep and the Dog," the accused sheep likewise objects against his "juge suspect" (Fables 1180).
691 A pathetic facial expression is appropriate during an oration (Cicero, De Oratore 2.189-96); Lydgate considers it the proper "look" for a poet about to recite (Siege of Thebes prologue 175; Troy Book 2.870-99).
695 B cites Sir Gilbert of the Haye: "the law sais that it sittis nocht till a womman to mell hir with the thingis that pertenis to jugement of men . . . a thing that is of lawar condicioun may nocht be juge till ane thing that is of hyar condicioun" (Buke of the Law of Armys [4.108] 251).
696-99 Douglas attempted this plea (to be tried by a judge who had ecclesiastical jurisdiction) with equal lack of success in 1515, when he was tried for attempting to buy the office of Bishop of Dunkeld (Small 1.lxii-lxiii).
697 This gesture of modesty is conventional (capitatio benevolentiae).
706 Marginal note in L: A thretnyng.
712 This reference to the poet's first arrival at the Court of Venus may seem an autobiographical allusion; probably it refers, however, to the poet's entry into the pleasant place, at the start of the poem.
716-17 There is a cluster of proverbs ironically referring to the speed and "sharpness" of snails (Whiting S416-17, 421, 425).
718-22 Compare The Legend of Good Women F 322-24, where Cupid makes a similar charge against the poet.
731 This is the second reference to facial color (see 652): the dreamer, having had his face daubed with some black substance, turns pale with fear and anxiety.
735 C. S. Lewis saw this as a psychologically revealing detail (Allegory 291).
738-44 The fear of transformation is "subtly Ovidian" (B 59).
747-51 Jupiter transformed his paramour Io into a heifer when his wife Juno came along; she kept the heifer under the guard of hundred-eyed Argus until Mercury rescued it (Metamorphoses 1.583-746).
749 yymmyt. L: ?ymmyt, from OE ?eman, to guard, care for, attend, govern.
752-53 The story of Lot's wife, transformed into a pillar of salt for looking back over her shoulder at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:26), has been mingled with that of the Theban queen Niobe, who continues to weep for her dead children even after she has been turned into marble (Metamorphoses 6.146-312).
754-55 In punishment for serving Jupiter human flesh, Lycaon was turned into a wolf (Metamorphoses 1.163-64, 209-52).
756 In the height of his pride, King Nebuchadnezzar suddenly became like an animal, "and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws" (Daniel 5:30-33; Confessio Amantis 1.2785-3042).
761-62 A topic around which several proverbs have gathered (Whiting M170, S428, W719).
771 An alliterative tag (DOST bare 4b; blis 1).
772 Marginal note in L: Consolation.
775-79 A periphrasis for God, who has prepared a means for the dreamer's rescue because a blessed soul has interceded on the dreamer's behalf.
792 Marginal note in L: Poetis.
801 Meters of classical verse, the sapphic being a lyric meter (a favorite of Horace's in his Odes), and the elegiac a popular and versatile meter (e.g., for epigrams and inscriptions) which was frequently used by Ovid (as in the Art of Love and the Heroides).
802-03 Douglas appears to be referring to a single-stringed monochord of the sort used by Pythagoras to demonstrate the proportions between musical intervals (Court of Sapience 2040-58; Marcuse 197); B takes Douglas to mean that the string never slipped out of tune. By the sixteenth century, monochords had several strings and were sometimes keyed. See line 504 and note.
804 The psaltree is the lyre; the word is used to translate the Latin citharis in line 863.
805-07 "Division of accents" may mean rapid melodic figuration based on a relatively simple sequence of notes; "long measure" would thus be the rhythm of the basic sequence, which is "held," not distorted.
806 the mesure. E's reading, which I prefer for metrical reasons. Conceivably L's omission of the could indicate that mesure was pronounced in three syllables; but early sixteenth century is late for a phonemic -e.
808-09 Douglas imagines Ovid's Heroides as choral performances. Classical poets were thought of in the fifteenth century as having sung their works to mimed accompaniment (Troy Book 2.867-904).
810-15 Heroides 2, 1, and 20-21: Acontius tricked Cydippe into swearing to Diana that she would marry no one but him.
819-21 Subtle use of the "colors" (devices) of rhetoric, and maintenance of clear, unvarying meter are singled out here as the prime skills of the poet.
833 mate seems an over-familiar way to refer to Venus; the reading in E, or meit ("or meet"), does not make sense in context, however.
836 Henryson also lays stress on polite termes (Fables 3, 2716; Testament of Cresseid 241) in discussing rhetoric.
838-39 At the beginning of his translation of the Aeneid, Douglas calls Virgil "flude of eloquens, . . . sweit sours and spryngand well" (1.prologue 4, 9).
840 Helicon. L: hylicon; E: Helicon.
844-46 These paradoxical phrases (pleasure and merriment are fleeting, not steadfast or constant; joy and discipline might be considered opposites) express "the traditional view of the poet's office: to teach and to delight" (B 57).
852 Metamorphoses 5.310 may be the source for naming Thespis as mother of the Muses, whose parentage is usually assigned to Jupiter and Mnemosyne.
854-79 Marginal note in L: The nyne muses. B notes that these lines on the functions of the Muses are based closely upon a short Latin poem often included in early editions of Virgil, De Musarum inventis.
858-59 In De Musarum inventis (and generally in classical tradition), Thalia is the Muse of comedy and eclogue: wanton wryt comes from the phrase lascivo . . . sermone in the Latin source.
862-65 Terpsichore is more correctly the Muse of dance. Erato is the Muse more commonly associated with the lyre itself, and also with lyric poetry. Douglas owes the confusion to his Latin original.
866-67 More explicitly than does his source, Douglas associates Polyhymnia with command of the colors of rhetoric.
877-78 Perhaps "epic" is a misleading way to translate heroicus, which in this context refers to the high courtly style (Blyth, pp. 60-62, 164-67).
881 Nymphs are female personifications of natural objects, those associated with water being called Naiads (among them, the sisters of Narcissus; Metamorphoses 3.505-06).
882 E offers a less bizarre reading here: fair Ladyis for Phanee. Still, L's reading is explainable in the light of Dunbar's spelling Phanus for "Faunus" (Goldyn Targe 119); if Phanee refers to "fauns," the word cannot be synonymous with the following phrase, "ladyis of thir templis ald," but must rather be the first item in a list of various personages in the retinue of the Muses.
883 The Pyerides, the nine daughters of Pierus, rivals to the Muses; Calliope defeated them in a contest of song, and Urania turned them into magpies (Metamorphoses 5.293-678); dryads are tree-nymphs (followers of the goddess Ceres; Metamorphoses 8.746-50); satyrs are boisterous inhabitants of forests, often depicted (like their traditionally gentler counterparts in Roman tradition, the fauns) with goat's legs (Marsyas was a satyr who challenged Apollo to a contest in music, and, losing, was flayed by the god; Metamorphoses 6.382-400).
884 The Nereids are the sea-maidens, the fifty daughters of the sea-god Nereus and the nymph Doris (Metamorphoses 13.742-43); Aonia is a name for Boeotia, where Mount Helicon (home of the Muses) stands - Aonians are thus the Muses' neighbors or attendants; the Napaeae are forest nymphs.
888, 890 Note the close occurrence of the alternative forms afore and tofore in L; in E, befoir is used in both spots.
896-97 Marginal note in L: Homer. Like the praises of Homer in Troilus and Criseyde (1792) and The House of Fame (1466), this probably does not indicate familiarity with Iliad or Odyssey (Bawcutt, "Library" 111).
898 Marginal note in L: Virgil and other latin poetis.
900 Dictys Cretensis and Dares Phrygius, supposed participants in and chroniclers of the Trojan War, the first from the Greek side, the second, from the Trojan.
901 Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459), Italian humanist, famed for his discoveries of classical manuscripts and notorious for his invectives; it may not be alliteration alone that finds him a place beside the Roman comic poet Plautus and satirist Persius.
902 Although Terence was a Roman author of comedies, his plays were used as school texts for learning Latin grammar; he thus earns a spot with the grammarians Donatus and Servius.
903 The Roman Valerius Flaccus and the Italian laureate Francis Petrarch were both authors of uncompleted epics (Argonautica and Africa respectively).
904 Aesop and Cato, supposed authors, respectively, of Fables and Distichs, elementary school-texts in the fifteenth century; Alain de Lille (c. 1127-1203), author of the allegorical poems Anticlaudianus and De planctu naturae.
905 Douglas may be referring here to Gualterus Anglicus, author of a late twelfth-century Latin version of Aesop which was a principal source for Henryson's Fables; Anicius Manlius Boethius is the late Roman philosopher, author of The Consolation of Philosophy, widely circulated and translated throughout the Middle Ages.
906 Quintilian (AD 35 - c. 95), whose eminence as a rhetorical authority rose in 1416, when Poggio Bracciolini discovered a complete manuscript of his Institutio oratoria; that work was first printed in 1470.
907 Juvenal, the second-century Roman satirist; Chaucer had referred to him as a moral authority (Troilus and Criseyde 4.197, CT III.1192-94).
908 mixt refers to the first-century Roman poet Martial's versatility of mood and meter, as revealed in his Epigrams. In a letter mourning the poet's death, the Younger Pliny called him "talented, subtle, penetrating, witty, and sincere."
909 Statius wrote the Thebaid (AD 90), an epic on the quarrel between the sons of Oedipus; bruyt here may simply be "fame" (OED s.v. bruit); but, more specifically, the word means "history," alluding to the medieval English chronicle Brut (OED brute, sb2).
910 Laurence of the vale, as in E; L reads Laurence of Vale. Neither is metrically satisfactory, though L is perhaps preferable. Fausto Andrelini (1462-1518), laureated by the Roman Academy, a humanist poet and editor of Ovid.; Lorenzo Valla (1407-57), humanist philosopher and rhetorician, editor of the Greek New Testament, and adversary of Poggio Bracciolini (see lines 1232-33).
911-12 Giulio Pomponio Leto (1425-98), pupil of Lorenzo Valla and commentator on Virgil; B notes that fame of late may refer to this humanist's recent and spectacular funeral.
913 Horace, Roman poet (65-8 BC), whose works (notably the Odes and Satires) were regaining eminence in the late fifteenth century.
915 Brunell may, as B suggests, be the Italian humanist Leonardo Bruni (1369-44); Claudian (late fourth century), the last great Latin poet in the classical tradition, whose description of the mountain-top home of Venus in De nuptiis Honorii et Mariae may have influenced Douglas's description of the palace in Part Three; Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-75), Italian humanist author, best known in late fifteenth-century Scotland and England for his encyclopedic Latin prose works, notably On the Falls of Illustrious Men (De casibus virorum illustrium), John Lydgate's version (The Fall of Princes) of a French translation of which was commonly referred to as "Bochas."
918 Brutus Albion refers to the whole island of Britain, which Douglas elsewhere calls the yle of Albion (Eneados XIII. prol. 105, Conclusio 11). Brutus was the descendant of Aeneas reputed to have conquered Britain.
919 Marginal note in L: Chauser and other englyshe and Scottishe Poetis. For Douglas, Chaucer takes prime place in the conventional fifteenth-century triumvirate of famous English poets (with Gower and Lydgate; Dunbar, Goldyn Targe 253-70); he is to English poets what Virgil has come to seem overall when Douglas uses the phrase a per se to typify the status of the Latin poet (Eneados I. prol. 8).
920 Chaucer gave Gower the epithet moral (Troilus and Criseyde V. 1856), and it stuck.
921 The fifteenth-century Benedictine monk John Lydgate was the pre-eminent English poet of the generation after Chaucer, best known for his massive versions of Guido Colonna's Historia destructionis troiae (Troy Book; 1412-20) and of Boccaccio's De casibus, (The Fall of Princes 1431-38), and for the dream-visions The Temple of Glass and The Complaint of the Black Knight (known in Scotland as The Maying or Disport of Chaucer); in the prologue to his Siege of Thebes, Harry Bailly leads the returning Canterbury pilgrims in laughing at the monk Lydgate when they see him riding abstractedly along (70-91).
923 The pairing of the Scottish poets Walter Kennedy and William Dunbar may allude to their collaborative performance The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie, an exchange of scurrilous verse invectives; this possibility is strengthened by the reference in the next line to Quyntyne, a shadowy figure at the Scottish court, named as Kennedy's second in the Flyting. Unlike most of the authors in this catalogue, these two are yit undede, Dunbar being heard of until 1513, Kennedy being referred to as "in poynt of dede" in Dunbar's lament Timor mortis conturbat me (c. 1505).
924 The word huttok is obscure. It may be related to the equally obscure English word hattock, which OED glosses as "a small hat," -ock being the Scots diminutive suffix; DOST, on the other hand, goes no further than to query the word. This huttok is something distinctive about Quintin, and may possibly be a badge of some office at the Scottish court.
944 Marginal note in L: Venus complaint.
960 The declaration of chakmate against persons derives from Chaucerian tradition (e.g., Troilus and Criseyde 2.752; Fall of Princes 1. prol. 26).
961-66 This defense parallels that made by Alceste on behalf of the dreamer Chaucer to the God of Love (The Legend of Good Women F prologue 431-41).
969 Calliope is recommending that the dreamer serve as Venus' herald, proclaiming her commands to every region.
973 "Without prayer or price" is proverbial (Whiting P370).
981 Marginal note in L: Mercy becumys all men and specily gentylwemen.
983-87 A conventional set of antifeminist comparisons: in Walter Bower's continuation of the Scottish history Scottichronicon (c. 1449) appear similar comparisons with dragons and devils (2.376); the balade "Devise, prowes, and eke humilitee" (recurrent in sixteenth-century compilations of Scots verse) calls a wife "Thou devillis member, thou cursit homycide, / Thou tigir tene, fulfild of birnyng fyre, / . . . . Thou cocatras, that with the sicht of thy ire / Affrayit has full mony a gudely syre" (Chepman and Myllar Prints, p. 146; Utley 124).
987 These "wise clerks" are the ones who only a little while before Venus had called "sharp as snails" (717).
991 The line may be corrupt, as B suggests; on the other hand, this may be an intricate example of hyperbaton, the distortion of expected word-order.
1015-35 The rhetorical figure most heavily relied upon here is periphrasis, the multiplication of synonymous words and phrases.
1016 Marginal note in L: a ballat for venus plesour.
1041 A shower as an onset of grief or suffering is an example of pathetic fallacy, one of the rhetorical colors of the Scots courtly style.
1048 As B points out, L's reading campion is more respectful and appropriate to the situation than E's companioun.
1058 An example of Douglas's mingling of Christian doctrine and classical-mythological lore: the dreamer will pray to God to bless the Muse Calliope.
1065 Marginal note in L: Thankesgyvyng.
1071 Like the dreamer, this Nymph is never named in the poem. Having been entrusted into her care, he calls her "my keeper," and indeed she has to guide and even carry him past danger (1309-11, 1339-41 1926-29). She is also his "governour" (1169), an instructor from whom he learns the significations of objects he sees on his journey; she functions as does the Eagle in The House of Fame. This Nymph is no meek, willowy little thing: she can lift the dreamer (by his hair, if necessary; 1340), and does not hesitate to scold and insult him when he does not keep up with her (1308, 1866-68, 1936-38).
1073 The woodbind or common honeysuckle is associated with Maying (The Knight's Tale, CT 1.1508).
1081-84 Marginal note in L: The auctours vyage. A similar formula for movement through varied landscapes occurs at line 1246. The aerial perspective is somewhat akin to Geoffrey's flight in The House of Fame.
1086-89 This list of nations, zigzagging across Europe, recalls a similarly chaotic sequence in the early sixteenth-century Scots burlesque poem Lichtoun's Dreme (28-30).
1092-134 Ovid lists rivers in his description of the disastrous flight of Phaethon (Metamorphoses 2.213-73); Bartolomaeus provides a substantial catalogue of mountains (On the Properties of Things 2.695-717 [14.3-44]); Boccaccio lists both in his geographical dictionary De montibus, silvis, fontibus, lacubus, fluminibus, stagnis seu paludibus, et de nominibus maris (1350-60).
1093-94 The Greek city Pisa (in the western Peloponnese); nearby, Alpheus flows underground into the sea (Metamorphoses 5.639-41; Boccaccio 96-97).
1095 In the midst of a list of French rivers, France itself seems out of place.
1096 goldin sandyt is a conventional epithet for the Spanish river Tagus (Metamorphoses 2.251).
1097-98 Ovid describes Hercules' funeral pyre on Mount Oeta (Metamorphoses 9.229-38; also Boccaccio 38).
1099 Peneus is the largest river of Thessaly in Greece, flowing between the mountains Olympus and Ossa (Boccaccio 150-51).
1100 Tmolus is a mountain in Lydia (a kingdom on the mainland of Turkey), not Cilicia (further to the south), where Douglas (following Boccaccio 51) puts it (Metamorphoses 2.217).
1102 Mount Parnassus and the Castalian spring that flows from it were associated with worship of the Muses; the epithet twa toppyt is conventional (Metamorphoses 2.221).
1103 Haemus and Rhodope were the mountains on which Orpheus sojourned after losing his wife Eurydice for the second time (Metamorphoses 10.77; 2.219, 222).
1105 Mount Carmel (on the northern coast of Israel) was associated with the prophets Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings 18:19, 2 Kings 2:25), the former of whom had reputedly established a monastic community there (Boccaccio 17).
1107 The founding of the monastic Order of the Carmelites is dated in the mid-twelfth century.
1108-09 Located on the remote southeastern shore of the Black Sea, the river Thermodon was the home of the Amazons, a nation of warlike women (Metamorphoses 9.190; Boccaccio 164).
1110-12 Mimas, a range in Asia Minor (Metamorphoses 2.222; Boccaccio 35); Cithaeron, a range on the Greek mainland (Metamorphoses 2.223; Boccaccio 21).
1113 As B (195) shows, this description of Mount Olympus closely echoes that given by Boccaccio (38).
1114 Boccaccio describes Melas as a river in Greece, sacred to Minerva (137; see also Metamorphoses 2.247).
1116 The Tanais, or Don, River marked the boundary between Europe and Asia (Metamorphoses 2.242; Boccaccio 162-63).
1117 Sperchius, a Thessalian river which Ovid calls Spercheides (Metamorphoses 2.250; compare Boccaccio 161).
1118 Probably the Syrian river Orontes (Metamorphoses 2.249; Boccaccio 146); Douglas's version of the name (Achicorontes) can perhaps be explained as a misreading of Ovid's arsit Orontes.
1119 Ida, near Troy on the northwest shore of Turkey (Metamorphoses 2.218; Boccaccio 30).
1120 According to the Vulgate Bible, Noah's Ark landed upon the hills of Armenia (Genesis 8:4); the Euphrates is one of the great rivers of Mesopotamia, and is the fourth river of Eden (Genesis 2:14).
1123 Mount Dindyma, in Phrygia (west-central Turkey), on which stood a shrine to the goddess Cybele (Metamorphoses 2.223; Boccaccio 23-24).
1125 Scythia is the ancient name given to the land north and east of the Caspian Sea.
1126 Tigris is one of the great rivers of Mesopotamia, and (called Hiddekel) was named the third river flowing out of Eden (Genesis 2:14); Pison runs into the Black Sea, and was named the first river of Eden (Genesis 2:11).
1127 For this pairing, see Metamorphoses 2.257.
1128 Modin was a fortified town in mountainous country in Judaea (1 Maccabees 2:23, 13:30, 16:4; 2 Maccabees 13:14).
1129 Helicon, mountain in Greece dedicated to the Muses, on which the Hippocrene fountain springs; calling this spring facund, Douglas refers to the wealth of eloquence it imparts to the one who drinks here.
1130 Eryx, a mountain in western Sicily, the site of a temple to Aphrodite (Metamorphoses 2.221, 5.363); Acheron, a river of the Underworld, as well as one which emerges from a gorge in western Greece, neither of which are normally associated with Venus.
1133 Birthplace of Apollo, on the island of Delos.
1134 Unless the Muses have doubled back towards Mount Helicon (line 1129), there seems to be a distinction made between Hippocrene and Caballine fountains, two names which are usually taken as synonymous.
1141-43 The dreamer re-enacts a common rhetorical gesture of modesty, derived from Persius, Satires, prologue 1.
1150 In English and Scots courtly verse, descriptions of the "pleasant place" typically include details about clear water flowing over a glittering stream-bed (Goldyn Targe 36; Complaint of the Black Knight 78). The phrase sterny greis (compare E: stanerie greis) is hard, greis usually referring to steps.
1156-59 B provides a gloss for this obscure sentence: "Whoever imprints within his heart their fresh beauty, fair appearances . . . [i.e., if anyone could do this] it would almost cause a wise man to swoon."
1160 writhyt. The women's beauty is so dazzling that even Nature is thrown into confusion. Wrythyst 2 ppt. of wryith, to writhe, twist, wrench out of position.
1162-66 Having finished his description of the pleasant place, Douglas breaks off his description of the Muses with this rhetorical confession of the inexpressibility of his subject (Pearsall 144).
1173 Marginal note in L: The gates.
1181-83 An interlude is a play short and simple enough to stage to present between the courses of a banquet; it may consist largely of debate over an important ethical question, interspersed with moments of knockabout farce; ethical debate and farce are suitable counterparts, as the following performances demonstrate.
1186-87 In The House of Fame, Chaucer calls Ovid "Venus clerk" (1487); Douglas gives him the Scottish court office of Clerk of Register, and emphasizes his connection with heroic subjects.
1189 Marginal note in L: Valiant Knightis. The laurel crown is the badge of literary pre-eminence (Bawcutt, RES).
1192 Ovid provides a brief list of the Labors of Hercules, including his descent and return from Hades: Metamorphoses 9.182-99.
1195-96 Chaucer (drawing on Boccaccio and Statius), not Ovid, refers to this war (CT I.866-67).
1197 Metamorphoses 8.169-71.
1198-1200 Metamorphoses 4.610-5.249.
1201-03 Metamorphoses 8.270-546.
1204-06 Metamorphoses 11.751-95.
1207-15 Metamorphoses 12.64-145.
1216-21 Referring to Metamorphoses, Heroides, Ars Amatoria, and Remedia Amoris.
1225 Marginal note in L: Poetis.
1226 In Virgil's Eclogue 2, the shepherd Corydon is a would-be lover; he wins the verse competition of Eclogue 7, to which Daphnis listens; Daphnis is sung to in Eclogue 8.
1227-28 Refers to Terence's comedy Eunuchus.
1229-30 Juvenal's behavior is what is expected of a satirist at court; it is the posture William Dunbar assumes in his court satires addressed to James IV ("Off benefice, Sir, at everie feist" 7; "Schir, yit remember as befoir" 7-10).
1231 Coquus ("the cook") was Martial's medieval nickname. As a satirical epigrammatist, he frequently "roasts" the people about whom he writes.
1232-33 Poggio Bracciolini wrote Invectives against Lorenzo Valla, his rival in scholarship.
1239 Canterbury Tales 1.199, on the sweating Monk, may be the source for this simile.
1244 David was anointed king of Judah at Hebron (2 Samuel 2.1), where the sepulchres of Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were reputedly located, and where the "dry tree" stood which will come into leaf when the Christians conquer the Holy Land (Mandeville 47, 49); Adam was traditionally held to have been created "in the feeld of Damyssene" (The Monk's Tale, CT 7.2007).
1245 The valley of Jehoshaphat, where, during the Last Judgment, the heathen shall be gathered (Joel 3:2, 12-13).
1249-51 The exact location of this plesand roch is unclear; it may be significant that the two places last named (Hebron and Damascus; 1244) are in the Holy Land rather than the world of Greek antiquity, since arriving at this mountain calls for a prayer of thanksgiving to God.
1254 The trembling pen is a Lydgatian topic of modesty (Troy Book 1.4426-28, Fall of Princes 1.5517-18; Pearsall 145); see also line 1283.
1255-58 The trembling poetic narrator takes off on 1 Corinthians 2:9.
1259-62 From Aeneid 6.625-27: there, the Sibyl is claiming inability to catalogue to Aeneas the torments of the damned in the fortress of Dis.
1264-66 From 2 Corinthians 12:2-3. Chaucer likewise draws on this passage, The House of Fame 980-82.
1267-75 Douglas's English contemporary John Skelton has similar comments on disparagers of his work: "For the gyse nowadays / Of sum jangelyng jays / Is to discommende / That they can not amende" (Garlande or Chapelet of Laurell 1261-64; likewise Stephen Hawes, Pastime of Pleasure 792-819).
1269 The assertion that dreams are "not worth a mite" is proverbial (Whiting D387, M611).
1288-96 Marginal note in L: Invocacion. For a brief history of the formulae of invocation of the Muses, see Curtius 232 n., 234, 239.
1298-99 The hill is a maze of error, and only one path will reach the summit; the image is based on a well-established distinction between heresy and true faith (Doob 76-78).
1300-01 The mountain on which Chaucer's House of Fame stands is like "alum de glas" (1124).
1322-23 If Douglas is following Homer, he does so at some remove from his ultimate source, according to which, Hera (Juno) gets Hephaestus (Vulcan) to use fire against the river Xanthus in Achilles' fight against it (Iliad 21.328-82).
1336 Marginal note in L: Idyll people punyshed.
1338-40 In the apocryphal conclusion to the Book of Daniel ("Bel and the Dragon"), an angel lifts the prophet Habakkuk by his hair in order to carry him to the imprisoned Daniel (Vulgate Daniel 14:23).
1354 L's reading palyce is taken to mean "dwelling place" here (see line 52); the word sets up a contrast between this destination and the far happier one up ahead.
1380-82 Marginal note in L: Faythles peopill. On shipwreck as an emblem for the destruction of the faithless, see 1 Timothy 1:19.
1387 From St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians 2:3.
1393-94 Douglas is expounding a doctrine of salvation through faith and good works; in the prologue to Book II of his translation of the Aeneid, he similarly emphasizes that a sinner must act well in order to merit grace (155-68).
1401 This is Douglas's ideal of eloquence (Bawcutt, Douglas 86, 160, 206).
1410 This admission that one's writing does no more than blacken paper is commonplace in Lydgate (Pearsall 145, 149); compare Douglas's earlier modest references to his pen (1254, 1283).
1411 A highly traditional topic of continuation (The Knight's Tale, CT 1.886-87; Troy Book 5.2927-31; Bawcutt, Douglas 169).
1413-27 The pleasant place at its most Edenic (Curtius 192, 200): lion and lamb together (Isaiah 11:6), and all plants in season (Genesis 2:9).
1424 As Norton-Smith points out (252), the correct reading at the end of this line is fare, meaning "disturbance" (MED fare n.6).
1426 Marginal note in L: The discription of the palace.
1429-37 The "enumeration of technical details" is a rhetorical convention in the description of buildings (The House of Fame 1189-94; Court of Sapience 2.1485-89; Norton-Smith, 242-43); in a paper read at a session of the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo (May 1989), Alasdair MacDonald suggested that Douglas based his description on the new Palace at Stirling Castle, with its great hall, gardens in the ward, pools and ditches, and Collegiate Church (Exchequer Rolls lxx, 18, 142, 144, 297, 314-17; Treasurer's Accounts cclxvi).
1433 While torris may refer to "towers," the context is a list of architectural ornament (see OED s.v. Tore, "an ornamental knob").
1437 spryngis is a variant of springer, a term for the moulding on which one foot of an arch is based (Norton-Smith 252).
1444-47 King James IV of Scots was an ardent enthusiast of tournaments (Fradenburg 153-71).
1452 Chaucer's Palace of Fame is made entirely of "ston of beryle" (The House of Fame 1184).
1453-54 Bezaleel and Aholiab, divinely-inspired builders of the Tabernacle, the temple of the Israelites, containing the Holy of Holies, the place of the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 31:2-6; 36:1-38:23; 25:33-34).
1455 On Solomon's building of the temple at Jerusalem, see 1 Kings 6:1-36.
1456 Probably refers to the building of the walls of Troy by the gods Apollo and Neptune, mentioned by Horace (Odes 3.3.21). See the earlier reference to Amphion, lines 511-12.
1457 Possibly drawn from CT 3.498-99, where Apelles is named as the maker of the tomb of Darius of Persia.
1473 Because of repetition of the word twelf, the line in L is hypermetrical, going against Douglas's practice of maintaining a ten-syllable line.
1475 Marginal note in L: Venus mirrour.
1483-85 Various jewels have the power to staunch the flow of blood: cornelian (corneolus), hematite (emachite), heliotrope (eliotropia), jasper, pearl (margarita), sapphire, smaragdus, and topaz (On the Properties of Things 2.843-77 [16.33-95]).
1492 A legendary mirror which enabled the Romans to see whether neighboring countries intended peace or war (see also Confessio Amantis 5.2031-2224; The Buke of the Sevyne Sagis 1650-76).
1493-94 In this mirror Canacee could discover oncoming danger and distinguish between friend and foe (The Squire's Tale, CT 5.132-36).
1500 in the erth ysent refers to Adam's banishment from Paradise (Genesis 3:23-24).
1503 B points out that subversyoun echoes a reference ("de subversione urbium"; Genesis 19:29) in the Latin Vulgate Bible to the fall of Sodom.
1505 The medieval tradition that Moses' face was horned (rather than shining) when he descended from Sinai derives from the Vulgate text at Exodus 34:29. Douglas anticipates when he mentions Moses' horns and "ald Ebrew law" before alluding to the Plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea.
1506 According to Exodus 7-12, ten plagues took place: E's reading is thus preferable to L's Twelf; "thair trespas" refers to the obstinacy of the Egyptians in the Biblical narrative.
1507-10 The story is told in Exodus 14.
1509 Marginal note in L: A lang catathaloge of nobyll men and wemen both of scriptur & gentyll stories.
1511 The Israelites under Moses were condemned by God to wander for forty years in the wilderness (Numbers 14:33; Deuteronomy 29:5).
1512 These "wars" (notably against Jericho) are the subject of Joshua 6-12.
1514 See Judges 11 for the Israelite warrior Jephthah (whom Douglas mentioned before, line 338), and Judges 6-8 for Gideon.
1515 In order to become king, Gideon's bastard son Abimelech murdered all his seventy brothers except the youngest, who escaped (Judges 9:1-5).
1517-19 The Israelite hero Samson killed a thousand of his Philistine enemies with the "a new jawbone of an ass" (Judges 15:15); he carried off the gates to the city of Gaza (Judges 16:3); and he pulled down the house (not the temple) of the Philistines, killing himself and three thousand of his enemies (Judges 16:22-30).
1520-21 Shamgar killed six hundred Philistines (Judges 3:31; according to the King James Version of the Bible, his weapon was an ox-goad, not a ploughshare as in the Vulgate).
1522-23 Samuel anointed Saul to signify he would be king (1 Samuel 10:1).
1523-24 1 Samuel 14:6-20.
1525-26 1 Samuel 17:40-51. The weight of Goliath's spearhead is given in 1 Samuel 17:7 (six hundred shekels, two shekels to an ounce).
1527-29 2 Samuel 21:16-22. Four giants (a brother and a nephew of Goliath, as well as his sons Ishbibenob - Vulgate Jesbibenob - and a nameless son with six digits on each hand and foot) are defeated by four followers of the aging King David.
1530 1 Samuel 17:34-37.
1531-32 David's "three mighty men" defeated the Philistines despite being ambushed by them on several occasions; Adino killed eight hundred at once (2 Samuel 23:8-12; compare the Vulgate version of verse 8, in which David himself is said to be one of three who killed eight hundred).
1533-39 For David's champion Benaiah (Vulgate Banaias), see 2 Samuel 20-21: he killed two lions, a lion in a pit, and an Egyptian warrior.
1540 Marginal note in L: Salomon.
1542-45 Because Rehoboam refused to be kind to his people, all the tribes except those of Judah and Benjamin rejected his kingship (1 Kings 12:13-19).
1546-48 2 Kings 19:35 (the Vulgate has 185,000 as the number slain); for the "gret bost," see 2 Kings 19:10-13.
1549 God grants the dying King Hezekiah fifteen more years of life; Isaiah heals the King (2 Kings 20:6-7).
1550-51 Elijah's ascent to heaven is witnessed by his successor Elisha (2 Kings 2:11).
1552 Ezra 7-10:17; Nehemiah 1-7:5, 13.
1553 Daniel 6.
1554 Referring to the apocryphal chapter "Bel and the Dragon" (Daniel 14 in the Vulgate Bible).
1555 The three young Israelites Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego, condemned by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar to burn in a fiery furnace for refusing to worship a golden statue (Daniel 3).
1556 The deportation of the Israelites into Babylon (2 Kings 24:14, 25:11), transmigration being the specialized term used in the Vulgate for this (Ezra 6:16; 8:35).
1558-62 The story told in the apocryphal Book of Tobit (Vulgate Tobias): Tobias is to become the eighth husband of Sarah, but unless he manages to "unbind Asmodaeus the evil demon from her" (3:17), he will suffer the same fate as the seven previous husbands; the angel Raphael advises him to drive the demon away with the smell of the burning heart and liver of a fish (6:10-18).
1563-64 Having gone into the encampment of the Assyrian general Holofernes and been entertained by him, Judith beheaded him (the apocryphal Book of Judith 7-15).
1565-66 Based on Jonah 1:17 and 2:10; B notes that Douglas may be indebted to Chaucer for the notion that Jonah was "schot furth" at the inland city Nineveh (CT 2.486-87).
1568-69 Given the Biblical context of this reference to the Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great, it is likely (as B suggests) that Douglas is relying on the summary of Alexander's career at the beginning of the apocryphal First Book of Maccabees (1:1-8).
1570-71 The oppression of the Jews by the Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes is summarized in 1 Maccabees 1:21-67.
1572-74 Judas Maccabeus ("The Hammer"), whose exploits are the subject of 1 Maccabees 3-9:18 and 2 Maccabees 8-15.
1575-76 Jonathas is the subject of 1 Maccabees 9:28-13:23; Simon, of 13:1-16:22.
1577-84 Douglas need not have drawn directly on Statius' Thebaid for this summary; see lines 2120-2235 of Siege of Thebes for Lydgate's account of the Theban ambush of Tydeus, and lines 4028-46 for the fate of Amphiorax (also Troilus and Criseyde 2.104-05).
1581-82 Theseus' victory at Thebes is summarized in Chaucer's Knight's Tale (CT 1.986-90; see also Siege of Thebes 4525-53).
1585-87 Canterbury Tales 1.896-964; as B notes, however, Lydgate provides a more exact source for the phrase "all barfute" (Siege of Thebes 4469). The marginal note to these lines in L reads Faythfull & constent women.
1588-93 The ironic praise of women is a hallmark of Lydgate's style: see Siege of Thebes 4448-52, Fall of Princes 1.4719-816, and further, Pearsall 118-19, 134-36, 216-18).
1594-96 The Centaur's attempted abduction of Pirithous' bride from the wedding feast and the ensuing brawl are described in gory detail in Metamorphoses 12.210-530. See also Confessio Amantis 6.485-529.
1597-1602 For Hercules's rescue of Hesione and his revenge on her ungrateful father Laomedon, see Metamorphoses 11.211-15 and Confessio Amantis 5.7195-7224 and 8.2515-24.
1603-05 Medea, sorceress and princess of Colchis, enabled Jason to steal the Golden Fleece from her country (Metamorphoses 7.1-158; Confessio Amantis 5.3247-4222; Troy Book 1.131-3714).
1606 Hypsipyle, princess of Lemnos, whom Jason bedded and then left behind on his way to the Golden Fleece (Siege of Thebes 3188-92).
1607-11 Having referred already (1597-1602) to Ovid's version of the Greek overthrow of the Trojan king Laomedon, Douglas alludes to Lydgate's version (Troy Book 1.3718, 4063-4307), or Gower's (Confessio Amantis 5.7195-7224).
1612-14 Disputing over the Golden Apple of Discord (to be awarded to the most beautiful), the goddesses Juno, Minerva, and Venus appealed to the judgment of the most handsome of men, Paris, who awarded the apple to Venus and earned the hatred of the two others (Heroides 16.51-88; Confessio Amantis 5.7400-7588; Troy Book 2.2520-2809).
1619-20 The sea-nymph Thetis disguised her son Achilles as a girl so that he would not be called to Troy; Ulysses tricked him into revealing his identity (Metamorphoses 13.162-73; Confessio Amantis 5.2961-3201).
1628-29 After a digest of events in the Trojan War, Douglas draws upon Virgil's Aeneid, Book 2, for these details.
1630-56 An interesting summary of the Aeneid, much of which (1637-46) concerns Book 6, on Aeneas' journey to the Underworld. By contrast, Chaucer had given most attention to Book 4 (the story of Dido and Aeneas) in his summary (The House of Fame 143-467).
1641 Traditionally, the Underworld contains five rivers, rather than four: Styx, Acheron, Cocytus, and (further down) Phlegethon, as well as Lethe.
1643 Sisyphus was condemned by Jupiter to push a stone to the top of a hill only to have it roll back each time (Metamorphoses 4.459, 13.27; Aeneid 6.616).
1644 The Elysian Fields, where the blessed souls dwell (Aeneid 6.640-59). Douglas echoes this line in Eneados 6. prol. 100.
1645-46 Anchises' revelations concerning the future greatness of Rome (Aeneid 6.756-885).
1647-51 Aeneid 7.5-7. For all his insistence on conciseness, Douglas is hardly briefer than Virgil here.
1652 Aeneid 7.107-16. Extreme hunger had been predicted for Aeneas and his people before they reached their destination (3.255).
1653-54 The couplet echoes The House of Fame 147-48: "In Itayle, with ful moche pyne, / Unto the strondes of Lavyne."
1656 Turnus, Aeneas' fiercest adversary in the battle for Latium; his death ends the work.
1657 Livy's History of Rome 1.4-7.
1658-59 Livy's History of Rome 1.60 (244 years).
1660-65 Marginal note in L: Chast Lucretia. The rape of Lucretia by Sextus, son of King Lucius Tarquinius ("The Proud"), led to Brutus driving the offending family from Rome and abolishing the monarchy (Livy, History of Rome 1.57-60). See also Confessio Amantis 7.4593-5130.
1671-74 Marginal note in L: The constancye of Marcus regulus. Marcus Regulus, captured by the Carthaginians and sent to Rome to urge peace, advised the Romans to fight on, and returned to Carthage to die in captivity (Horace, Odes 3.5). The motif of "common profyt" (1674, 1678) that Douglas emphasizes here reminds one of Genius' emphasis on that theme in his discussion of good rule in Confessio Amantis.
1675 Servius Tullius, the sixth king of Rome and a good ruler, murdered by Lucius Tarquinius (Livy, History of Rome 1.39-48).
1676-80 Having heard the oracle that a chasm in the Forum would not close until Rome's greatest strength was sacrificed, Marcus Curtius leapt into the chasm (Livy, History of Rome 7.6); L's reading Quincyus (1676) may derive from confusion between this hero and the Roman historian Quintus Curtius.
1684-86 Scipio Africanus, hero of the Second Punic War, took Spain and defeated the Carthaginian general Hannibal (Livy, History of Rome 26.46; 30.32).
1688-89 Jugurtha, usurper of the North African kingdom of Numidia, object of repeated Roman attacks, finally captured and executed; the story is told by the Roman historian Sallust (The Jugurthine War).
1690-91 Having been defeated by Cicero in his bid to be elected consul, the disreputable Catiline embarked on rebellion and was defeated and killed; Sallust tells the story (The War of Catiline).
1692 This civil war is the subject of Lucan's epic Pharsalia; Chaucer refers to him and his poem (The House of Fame 1497-1502; CT 2.401, 7.2719).
1700-01 In this stanza, attention shifts from history to the present and future, apocalyptically considered. The Devil's growing success at winning souls is vividly depicted in Dunbar's "Renunce thy God and cum to me"; likewise, belief in the imminent appearance of the Antichrist is the context for Dunbar's "Lucina schynnyng in silence of the nicht."
1702 As did the catalogue of poetic recitations in the Second Part (1190-1233), the present list now moves from heroic deeds and serious matters to recreations and pastimes.
1709 There appears to be a distinction here between the adjectival verb ending -ing (questyng) and the present participle ending -and (syrchand).
1711 Rauf Coilyear, a late fifteenth-century Scots romance in alliterative stanzas, a tale about the encounters between a coal-pedlar and Emperor Charlemagne (incognito), in which emphasis is placed on burlesque of courtly conventions. See Alan Lupack's Three Middle English Charlemagne Romances (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1990), pp. 161-204.
1712 John the Reeve, a northern English verse-tale similar in plot and tone to the preceding romance; Colkelbie's Sow, a late fifteenth-century Scots sequence of three burlesque tales.
1713 Douglas may be referring to a localized version of one of the widespread folktales in which a wren plays a prominent part: nineteenth-century Scottish versions of "The Battle of the Birds and the Beasts" and "The King of the Birds" have been recorded (Campbell 1.49, 53, 285; Armstrong 135-37, 143-44, 202-03); he may also be referring to a particular manifestation of the custom of the "Hunting of the Wren," in which boys hunted and killed a wren on St. Stephen's Day (26 December), and then carried it in a funeral procession, singing a song (Herd 2.209-11). Ailsa Crag, a rocky islet north of the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea west of Galloway, is particularly noted by early chroniclers and travellers for its abundance of sea birds.
1714 Passus 6 of Piers Plowman seems out of place in this list of burlesque and popular tales; its inclusion here as a story in which Piers invites Hunger to pacify some rebellious laborers suggests that at least parts of Langland's work may have been valued as comedy by Douglas's audience.
1715 Goll Mac Morna, leader of the Fianna Fiall, the bodyguard of the High King of Ireland; and Finn Mac Cumhal, who took the place of Goll (his father's slayer) at the head of the Fianna and became one of the great heroes of Ireland. The Gaelic-speaking districts of West and North Scotland retained familiarity with Irish traditions well into the nineteenth century (Campbell 1.xxii-iv, xlvi, xciii, 4.47, 242). Lowland Scots were at least acquainted with these personages: an early sixteenth-century Edinburgh poem refers to Finn as a giant who "dang the devill and gart him yowle; / The skyis ranyd quhen he wald scowle / And trublit all the aire" ("Maner of the Crying of ane Playe" 33-36; Asloan Manuscript 2.150).
1717 B cites poem 68 of the Maitland Quarto manuscript, in which the "triumphant nobill fame" of Sir Richard Maitland is mentioned, along with "his auld baird gray" (147-48), the latter possibly referring to the name of a horse.
1718 Gilbert of the White Hand, called Robin Hood's equal in archery in the late fifteenth-century A Geste of Robyn Hode (stanzas 292, 401).
1719 The Hays of Naughton were a branch of the noble Hay family; Madin land is the name given to the land of the Amazons in Mandeville's Travels (83).
1720 Marginal note in L: Nigramansye. Nigramansy is a type of performance which depends more on machinery than on gesture for the creation of illusion; it was in vogue at the court of James IV, its most noted practitioner being Andrew Forman, Bishop of Moray (Baxter 167-68).
1721 B tentatively identifies Bonitas as Guido Bonatus de Forlivio, thirteenth-century astrologer and supposed magician whose treatises circulated widely during the fifteenth century (Thorndike 2.827, 839); Roger Bacon, a thirteenth-century Franciscan friar who became (along with Friar Bungay) "in popular tradition a nigromancer, conjurer, and magician" (Thorndike 2.680).
1722-28 These examples of juglory (tricks of illusion and transformation by sleight of hand; DOST juglery) parallel those in The House of Fame 1259-81 and The Buke of the Howlat 770-93.
1724 B cites the use of singing bone to refer to the "funny bone" (OED singing, 4).
1730 "Pastime and games" is the category for the various performances listed in the three previous stanzas, not the whole preceding catalogue of heroes.
1737 The silliness and cowardice of sheep are proverbial (Whiting S213, 204).
1746 Compare this assertion of readiness with the dreamer's subsequent hesitation (1757).
1756 Marginal note in L: By thys boke he menis Virgil; this assignment recalls the task Alceste sets for Chaucer (The Legend of Good Women F prologue 479-91) with one difference: whereas Alceste tells Chaucer what to write, Venus shows Douglas the book he will write (Morse 112).
1761 Marginal note in L: The Auctors conclution of Venus merour; this contradicts the poem, in which the "conclusion" (which does not offer an accurate description of the catalogue just finished) is the Nymph's.
1767 Marginal note in L: The Palice of honour is patent for honest vertuus men an[d] not for vicius fals & craftye pepyll.
1772 Cicero's book consists of his four speeches denouncing Catiline to the Senate of Rome (Against Catiline). These speeches (and especially the first) became models of invective oration.
1775 On Jugurtha, see note for 1688-89; the usurper Tryphon murdered Antiochus Epiphanes and Jonathas Maccabeus, only to be deposed (1 Maccabees 13:20-32, 14:1, 15:25-39).
1780 Marginal note in L: Falsehed the moder of al vice.
1785-88 Compare the two sorts of failure (idleness and faithlessness) shown in the fiery gulf (1315-83).
1790 Marginal note in L: Patience.
1792-1827 Allegorizing the officers of the royal court is a convention of fifteenth-century dream visions (King Hart 301-08; Court of Sapience 1471-1652).
1792-1824 Marginal note in L: The discriptio[n] of the Prince of hie honore wyth hys Palys & Court. Charity Constance. Liberalite Innocens devocyon Humanite Trew relation pease temperance. Humilite. discypline mercye Conscience justyse prudence diligens clene lyvyng. Hope. Piety. Fortitud, Veryte.
1798, 1801 At the Scottish court, the treasurer received royal revenue from feudal duties, fines, and special taxes; the comptroller administered royal revenue from rents, leases, and customs duties (Nicholson 566-67, 570).
1800 The clerk of closet and the cubicular were attendants to the king in his bedchamber, the first his private confessor, the second his groom or personal servant.
1806 The Cardinal Virtue of Temperance.
1807 Humility is the quality revealed by Chaucer's Squire in his carving at table for his father (CT 1.99-100).
1810-11 The Chancellor of a Scottish court "presided over the king's parliaments and councils and kept the king's great seal, the most solemn means of authenticating documents drawn up in chancery - the royal secretariat" (Nicholson 22); Conscience similarly refuses to let Meed sway his judgment in Piers Plowman Passus 3 (Passus 4 of C-text).
1814 The -ing suffix indicates the infinitive form of the verb here; the line in L is no less typical of Douglas and metrically correct than that in E (see B).
1816 The audit of the royal accounts was an annual affair performed by the Lords Auditours of the Exchequer, officers specially appointed for this duty (Nicholson 22-23).
1818 The outstewarts are managers of Crown lands (Nicholson 380).
1821 The almoner, a cleric connected with the royal chapel, responsible for the collection and distribution of the King's alms (Mertes, p. 50).
1834-36 Golden doors decorated with scenes (of military triumph not natural phenomena) open upon the shrine of Caesar in Virgil's Georgics (3.25-39); a closer parallel exists in Ovid's description of the silver doors of the palace of the Sun (Metamorphoses 2.3-20); Douglas is "[guided], perhaps, by allegorical interpretations of Ovid's Metamorphoses in which Helios was allegorised as God, and the throne of Helios as the Throne of Glory" (Norton-Smith 249).
1837 Ovid's description also begins with the depiction on the doors of the earth surrounded by the seas (2.5-6). The passage of the poet's lofty view as he looks down upon earth echoes Geoffrey's flight on the talons of the eagle in The House of Fame, and also Troilus's view of earth in the epilogue to Troilus and Criseyde.
1839 Water and earth are the other two elements.
1840-45 Douglas writes a similar catalogue of astronomical terms in Eneados 8. prol. 149-53.
1840 The seven spheres are the courses of the seven planets (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, the sun, and the moon) revolving around the earth according to the Ptolemaic system; the primum mobile, the source of planetary motion, is the outermost sphere moving on an axis, at either end of which are the Pole Stars (see note to lines 1843-44).
1841 Marginal note in L: Astronami. The signs of the twelve astrological houses on the zodiac are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.
1842 "Zodiacus is a cercle that passith aslont and is departid evene in twelve parties, the which xii parties philosophris clepith signes; and thise signes schewith to us what partie of heven the sonne and the planetis beth inne" (On the Properties of Things 1.460 [8.9]).
1843-44 The Pole Stars, arcticus being the one which "alway schineth to us and never gooth doun to oure sight, for alwey he is above us," and antarcticus, "the southeren sterre," which "is alwey unseyn to us" (On the Properties of Things 1.501 [8.22]); these two stars mark the uppermost and downmost points of "the spere of heven" on which the stars are fixed (1.457 [8.6]).
1844-45 Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, the constellations known in North America as the Big Dipper and Little Dipper; the sevyn sterris are the Pleiades; Phaethon (according to Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.317-20) may be taken to be a shooting star or meteor, like the impressioun which shocks the dreamer at the outset of the poem (105), or it may be an epithet for the sun (Norton-Smith 253); the Charle wane is another name for Ursa Major.
1846-48 Ovid tells the story of the abduction of Ganymede in Metamorphoses 10.155-61; Douglas's allusion to this tale of divine lust contrasts with Douglas's previous emphasis on the moral worth of the officers at the court of Honour (1783-1827); as the only human being depicted on the gate, "Ganymede may represent the poet and other literary figures who were privileged to go on a celestial voyage in order to receive superior instruction about some Universal" (Norton-Smith 249).
1849-54 This passage is a fairly close translation of Metamorphoses 2.11-14, except that there the sea-nymphs have green hair and ride on fishes as well as swim.
1855-59 Similar lists of terms of astronomy occur in Henryson, Fables 628-41, and Court of Sapience 2108-70.
1856 In Ptolemaic astronomy, each of the seven planets was supposed to revolve on its own orbit (or epicycle) around the earth, but also to move along a greater circle (the deferent); opposition has occurred when two planets are exactly opposite to each other from the perspective of the earth, or when a planet is opposite to the sun ("it is a signe of parfite emnyte and bodeth worst happis, and namliche yif Mars hath soche aspecte to Saturnus othir to the sonne"; On the Properties of Things 1.465 [8.9]).
1857 In Ptolemaic astronomy, three kinds of planetary motion are distinguished: direct, stationary, and retrograde (On the Properties of Things 1.477-78 [8.11]).
1858 A planet's natural motion is its revolution in its sphere; its daily motion is its diurnal course across the sky in relation to a point on the zodiac (On the Properties of Things 1.476-77 [8.11]).
1859 Aspect is the position of a planet on the zodiac relative to another planet from the vantage point of the earth; digression is the apparent deviation in the courses of the "inferior planets" Venus and Mercury.
1862-63 This passage concludes where Douglas's source had begun, with the assertion that the artistry of the depictions exceeded the value of the material from which they were made (Metamorphoses 2.5).
1865 Norton-Smith compares this with the impatient shove Africanus gives the erring dreamer in Chaucer's Parliament of Fowls (153-54).
1866-68 "What devil" is a common expletive phrase (MED s.v. devil; DOST s.v. devil); for all its raciness of style, the Nymph's scolding may recall the Sibyl's rebuke of Aeneas for staring overlong at the depictions on the doors to Daedalus' temple of Apollo (Aeneid 6.37-39; Norton-Smith 249).
1878 The empyrean is the highest heaven, above the moving spheres; it is the home of the angels and the "contrey and wonynge of blisful men" (On the Properties of Things 1.454 [8.4]); whether or not he is to be taken as the Christian God, Honour lives in a place like Heaven; compare Lindsay, Dream, lines 514-18 (Works I.19).
1879-80 The tall tree and the low shrub are traditional emblems for high and low style (Curtius 201 n.; Norton-Smith 247).
1891 The breddyt doors and windows are shuttered, not boarded up: his view thus obstructed, the dreamer "must view the interior of the palace in a single, circumscribed peep" (Norton-Smith 253).
1898 By knots Douglas is referring to ornamental patterns of interlace, worked in gold and enamel upon the ivory; a devyse is an emblematic design inscribed with a motto.
1902 Topaz "schyneth most whan he is ysmyte with the sonne beeme, and passeth in clerenesse alle othere precious stones, and comforteth men and bestes to beholde and loke theronne. . . . And in tresorie of kynges nothing is more cleere ne more precious than this precious stone" (On the Properties of Things 2.877-78 [16.95]).
1903 The boir is a chink in the shutters on the door; see note to line 1891.
1913 Sapphire "hath vertue to reule and acorde hem that bene in stryf and helpeth moche to make pees and acorde"; in ancient times it was "singulerliche yhalowed to Appolyn" (On the Properties of Things 2.869-70 [16.86]).
1921 Armypotent is an epithet for Mars (CT 1.1124; Lydgate, Troy Book prologue 4; Lindsay, The Historie of Squyer Meldrum, line 390 [Works I.156] and The Testament of Squyer Meldrum, line 76 [Works I.190]. Compare Douglas' Aeneid 2.425, 6.839, 9.717). In its place in E appears the explicitly Christian term omnipotent, on which interpretations of the poem have hinged (Lewis 290; Spearing Dream 210-11; Kratzmann 117-19). E's reading might be taken as a Protestant editor's attempt to resolve Douglas's balance of pagan and Christian towards the latter at this crucial point, a resolution arguably present in E's weak substitution of Verteouslie for L's Victoriusly (1966; compare vertuus, 1964). If L's "Chaucerian adjective is the right reading, then perhaps the Mars-like figure on the throne is an oblique reference to King James" (Norton-Smith 252-53). To be sure, Mars has not previously been sighted in the Palace (1471); but Douglas's God of Honor also deserves comparison with Ovid's Sun-god (see note to lines 1834-36) and Chaucer's God of Love (see note following).
1922-24 With his brightness of face, this god recalls Chaucer's God of Love, whose hair is crowned with a sun: "Therwith me thoghte his face shoon so bryghte / That wel unnethes myghte I him beholde" (The Legend of Good Women F prol. 232-33); see also 1948-51; see also Henryson's lines on Apollo: "The brichtnes of his face quhen it was bair / Nane micht behald for peirsing of his sicht" (Testament 206-07).
1942 Carling (the feminine equivalent of "churl") is a common term of abuse in colloquial Older Scots (DOST carling).
1944 A cynically anticlerical jibe; having a common-law wife was not an unusual circumstance for a late-medieval priest, and was a topic of satire well before the Reformation (Dowden, pp. 309-19).
1946 Colloquial style accounts for the obscurity of the first word: in L, the adverb Langere ("longer") may be read as a terse, disjunctive version of "Had you remained unconscious any longer," and, later in the line, had is a compressed version of the past subjunctive ("you would have had"; Aitken, "Variational Variety," pp. 176-209). Less convincingly if more explicitly, E's version of the first word (Lang eir, "long before") implies that the Nymph's fears for the dreamer were aroused (and allayed) some time before he regained consciousness.
1953 L's reading malt appears to be the past tense of the verb melt, which is ungrammatical here; it may, however, be a corruption of the original reading, referring to the feebleness of the dreamer's heart (DOST melt, with meltit, melted, meltyn as usual forms of the past participle; MED melte, 1b, 2b); compare Pearl 1154: "My mane? mynde to maddyng malte."
1957 Referring to the court of the Muse Calliope.
1978-94 A summary of various traditional expressions about the transcience of earthly glory, conventional images included being the dream (1983; see Whiting L241), the sunbeam (1987), and the weltering sea (1989; see 1349-55; Whiting S113, 107); the passage ends with a catalogue of the powerful of church and state, all under the term of Death (Tristram 169-74; Woolf 325, 343-47).
1995 The doctrine of Good Works is best known through the moral play Everyman (906-07); see further 2013-15.
2000 Marginal note in L: A comendacion of vertue quhilk is the vay to honour and not riches or hie blud.
2019 Marginal note in L: Exemplis of vertuus men and women. The Nine Nobles are Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus, Hector, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Boulogne (Christian hero of the First Crusade).
2024 Semiramis, Assyrian queen, whom Gower calls a whore (Confessio Amantis 5.1432-33), and Chaucer a wicked virago (CT 2.359; see also Fall of Princes 1.6632-43), but who is also famed for building a wall around Babylon (The Legend of Good Women 707), and is called "Most generous gem and floure of lovely favor" and "a mighty conqueror" in the Chaucerian poem "The Nine Ladies Worthy" (Utley 224-25); Tomyris, Scythian queen, vanquisher of Cyrus of Persia, of whose victory Lydgate says, "It is an horrour in maner for to thynke / So gret a prynce rebuked for to be / Off a woman" (Fall of Princes 2.3893-94), and who, together with Semiramis and others, is praised in the fifteenth-century English translation of Boccaccio's De claris mulieribus (Concerning Illustrious Women; Utley 219); Hippolyta, Amazon queen, defeated by Theseus (see lines 1195-96), praised in the aforementioned "Nine Ladies."
2025 Penthesileia (see line 341, note); although E's Medea may seem a likelier reading than L's Medus, L may be correct, Medusa having started off as "a creature in fayrenes above nature" who had "the most cunnynge in knowynge the tyllynge and plantynge of trees," and who was turned into a monster because she polluted the temple of Minerva (Boccaccio, De Claris Mulieribus 70-71); Xenobia, queen of Palmyra and conqueror of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, defeated by the Emperor Aurelian (The Monk's Tale, CT 7.2247-2734).
2027 Grig (Latinized by the fourteenth-century Scottish chronicler John of Fordun as Gregorius; 1.159-61, 2.149-52), king of Scots (878-89), reputedly victorious in Ireland and northern England; Kenneth Mac Alpin (reigned 843-50), who unified the kingdoms of the Picts and the Scots into one kingdom; Robert Bruce (king of Scots 1306-29), restorer of the independence of Scotland from England, and hero of John Barbour's epic Brus.
2031-43 Marginal note in L: Vicious people punyshed. Invye Pride, Ignorance, Disseyt.
2035-46 The displacement of sons of gentle birth by churlish upstarts and the corruption of morals among the nobility are topics of Dunbar's court satires ("This waverand warldis wretchidnes," 29-52; "Schir, yit remember," 11-25; "Complane I wald, wist I quhome till," 15-38; "Into this warld may none assure," 21-30).
2044 Marginal note in L: Dissate & craftynes ar haldyn wisdome now a dayes. verite & justice is callyt simplycitye & folyshnes.
2064 See note to 1879.
2086-76 Concerning trees that grow gems and barnacle geese reputed to be generated out of sodden driftwood or living trees, see Alexander Neckam's De naturis rerum and Mandeville's Travels. Such tales circulated widely as folklore in eastern Scotland in the late fifteenth century (Brown Travellers 26, 56-57; Documents 89-91, 155-56).
2089 As B notes, "such shock-awakenings are common in medieval dream poems" (The Parliament of Fowls 693-95; Dunbar's Goldyn Targe 238-46, "Thrissill and the Rois" 183-84, "Ane Dreme" 111-15, and "Fenyeit Freir" 125-26). Sometimes the shock involves entering water, as in Pearl 1157-70.
2090 Marginal note in L: The aucthour returnes frome his dreame to him self agane.
2106 fund. ME finden has a wealth of meanings, ranging from "to discover," "find," "ascertain," "judge" to "compose," "invent," "counterfeit," or "tell" (see MED's twenty-three separate entries, each with several shades of meaning). When the dreamer awakens in Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess he will "fonde to put this swevene in ryme" (1332; n.b. Chaucer's punning on the word in 1325, 1329). Here Douglas's dreamer yearns to remain in the country of poetic invention that he "fund" (found, invented) in his dream.
2116 Marginal note in L: A ballade in the commendation of honour & verteu.
2116-42 Internal rhyme is a technique of closure in Older Scots verse (Henryson, "Ane Prayer for the Pest," 65-88; Dunbar, "The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie" 233-48, 545-52, David Lindsay's Testament of the Papyngo 1179-85; also Dunbar's "Ballat of Our Lady" throughout); B notes that "the imagery has religious associations, several of the figures being traditionally applied to Christ or the Virgin; and Douglas frequently addresses Honour as if he were addressing God."
2150 The admission that one's work is rustic and crude is part of a traditional rhetorical strategy of affected modesty; usually, however, it occurs at the outset of a work (Curtius 411; CT 5.716-20).
2161-69 This is an amplification of the humility of Chaucer's envoy to Troilus and Criseyde (5.1786-92); see also The Kingis Quair 1352-65 and Goldyn Targe 271-79.
2167 stouth. B glosses stouth as a variant of stulth, "theft" (ON stuldar; compare stealth), the sense of this line belittling the poet's book thus being: "Thow art but pilfered materials. Theft loves light but little." But Douglas may be punning. Stouth is a legal term for "a customary rent" (MED stuth sb) which seems a fitting sense given the reference to quytcleme in the previous line. According to this reading Douglas says he has paid his dues by writing this poem, albeit small payment, "not worth a myte."
Quhen pale Aurora with face lamentable
Hir russat mantill, borderit all with sable,
Lappit about be hevinlye circumstance
The tender bed and arres honorable
Of Flora, quene till flouris amyable
In May, I rays to do my observance
And entrit in a garding of plesance
With Sole depaint, as Paradys amyable,
And blisfull bewes with blomed variance,
So craftely Dame Flora had overfret
Hir hevinly bed - powderit with mony a set
Of ruby, topas, perle and emerant,
With balmy dewe bathit and kyndly wet,
Quhil vapours hote - right fresche and wele ybet,
Dulce of odour, of flewour most fragrant -
The silver droppis on dayseis distillant,
Quhilk verdour branches over the alars yet,1
With smoky sence the mystis reflectant.2
The fragrant flouris, blomand in their seis,
Overspred the leves of Naturis tapestreis,
Above the quhilk, with hevinly armoneis,
The birdes sat on twistes and on greis,
Melodiously makand thair kyndely gleis,
Quhois schill notis fordinned al the skyis.
Of reparcust ayr, the eccon cryis
Amang the branches of the blomed treis;
And on the laurers, silver droppis lyis.
Quhyll that I rowmed in that paradice
Replennessed and full of all delice,
Out of the sea Eous alift his heid -
I meyne the hors quhilk drawis at device
The assiltre and goldin chaire of pryce
Of Tytan, quhilk at morowe semis reid.
The new colour that all the night lay deid
Is restored. Baith fowlis, flowris, and ryce
Reconfort was throw Phebus gudlyheid.
The dasy and the maryguld onlappit
Quhilkis all the nicht lay with thair levis happit
Thaim to preserve fra rewmes pungitive.
The umbrate treis that Tytan about wappit
War portrait and on the erth yschappit
Be goldin bemes vivificative
Quhois amene hete is most restorative.
The gershoppers amangis the vergers gnappit
And beis wrocht materiall for thair hyve.
Richt halsom was the sessoun of the yeir.
Phebus furth yet depured bemes cleir
Maist nutrityve tyll all thynges vigitant.
God Eolus of wynd list nocht appeir,
Nor ald Saturne with his mortall speir
And bad aspect, contrar til every plant.
Neptunus nolde within that palace hant.
The beriall stremes rynnyng men micht heir
By bonkis grene with glancis variant.
For till beholde that hevinly place complete -
The purgit ayr with new engendrit hete,
The soyl enbroude with colowr, ure and stone,
The tender grene, the balmy droppes swete -
So rejoysit and confort wes my sprete
I not wes it a vision or fanton.3
Amyd the buskys rowmyng myn allone
Within that garth of all plesans replete,
A voce I hard, preclare as Phebus schone
Syngand, "O May thow myrrour of soles,
Maternall moneth, lady and maistres,
Tyl every thing adoun respirature,
Thyn hevinly werk and worthy craftines
The small herbis constrenis tyl encres.
O verray ground tyl werking of nature
Quhois hie curage and assucuryt cure
Causis the erth his frutis tyll expres,
Dyffundant grace on every creature.
"Thy godly lore, cunnyng incomparabyl,
Dantis the savage bestis maist unstabyl
And expellis all that nature infestis.
The knoppit syonys with levys agreabyl
For tyl revert and burgione ar maid abyll.
Thy myrth refreschis birdis in thair nestis,
Quhilkis the to pryse and Nature never restis,
Confessand you maist potent and lovabyll
Amang the brownys of the olyve twystes.
"In the is rute and augment of curage.
In the enforcis Martis vassalage.
In the is amorus luf and armony
With incrementis fresche in lusty age.
Quha that constrenit ar in luffis rage
Addressand thaim with observans ayrly4
Weil auchtyst the tyl glore and magnify."
And with that word I rasyt my vissage
Sore effrayit, half in a frenisye.
"O Nature Queen and O ye lusty May,"
Quod I tho, "Quhow lang sall I thus forvay,
Quhilk yow and Venus in this garth deservis?
Reconsell me out of this gret affray
That I maye synge yow laudis day be day.
Ye that al mundane creaturis preservis
Confort your man that in this fanton stervis
With sprete arrasyt and every wit away,
Quakyng for fere, baith puncys, vane and nervis."
My fatall werd, my febyl wit I wary,
My dasyt heid, quham lake of brane gart vary5
And not sustene so amyabyll a soun!
With ery curage, febyl strenthis sary,
Bownand me hame and list no langer tary,6
Out of the ayr come ane impressioun
Throw quhois lycht in extasy or swoun,
Amyd the virgultis all in tyl a fary
As femynine so feblyt fell I doun.
And with that gleme so dasyt wes my mycht
Quhill thair remanit nothir voce nor sycht,
Breth, motione, nor hetis naturale.
Saw nevir man so faynt a levand wycht,
And na ferly, for over-excelland lycht
Corruppis the wit and garrys the blud availe
On tyl the hart that it no danger ale -
Quhen it is smorit, membris wyrkes not richt:
The dredfull terrour sua did me assaile.
Yyt at the last (I not quhou long a space)
A lytell hete aperyt in my face
Quhilk had tofore beyn pale and voyde of blud.
Tho in my sweven I met a ferly cace:
I thought me set within a desert place
Amyd a forest by a hydous flud
With grysly fysche, and shortly tyl conclud
I shall descryve (as God wil geve me grace)
Myn avision in rurell termes rude.
The First Part
Thow barrant wyt overset with fantasyis,
Schaw now the craft that in thy memor lyis,
Schaw now thy shame, schaw now thy bad nystee,
Schaw thyn endyt, repruf of rethoryis,
Schaw now thy beggit termis mare than thryis,
Schaw now thy ranys and thyn harlottree,
Schaw now thy dull exhaust inanytee,
Schaw furth thy cure and wryte their frenesyis
Quhilkis of thy sempyll cunnyng nakyt the.
My ravyst sprete in that deserte terrybill
Approchit nere that ugly flude horrybill,
Lyk tyll Cochyte the ryver infernall,
Wyth vyle wattyr quhilk maid a hydduus trubbyll
Rynnand overhed, blud red, and - impossybyll
That it had byn a ryver naturall -
With brayis bare, raif rochis lyke to fall,
Quhareon na gers nor herbys wer visibyll,
Bot skauppis brynt with blastis boryall.7
Thys laythly flude rumland as thondyr routyt
In quham the fysche yelland as elvys schoutyt.
Thair yelpis wylde my hering all fordevyt.
Tha grym monsturis my spretis abhorryt and doutyt.
Not throu the soyl bot muskan treis sproutyt
Combust, barrant, unblomyt and unlevyt,8
Ald rottyn runtis quhairin no sap was levyt
Moch, all wast, widdrit, with granis moutyt:
A ganand den quhair morthurars men revyt.
Quhairfore my selvyn was richt sore agast.
This wyldernes abhomynable and wast
In quhome na thing wes Nature confortand9
Was dyrk as royk the quhilk the see upcast.
The quhislyng wynd blew mony byttir blast,
Runtis ratlit and uneth myght I stand:
Out throu the wode I crap on fut and hand.
The ryvar stank, the treis clattryt fast,
The soil was not bot marres, slyik, and sand.
And not but caus my spretis were abaysit
All solitare in that desert arrasyt.
"Allas," I said, "is non other remede?
Cruel Fortoun, quhy hes thow me betrasyt?
Quhy hes thow thus my fatall end compasyt?
Allas, allas, sall I thus sone be dede
In this desert, and wait non uther rede,
Bot be devoryt wyth sum best ravanus?
I wepe, I wale, I plene, I cry, I plede:
Inconstant warld and quheil contrarius!
"Thy transitory plesans quhat avaylys?
Now thare, now heir, now hie and now devalys;
Now to, now fro, now law, now magnifyis;
Now hote, now cald, now lauchys, now bewalys;
Now seik, now hail, now wery, now not alys;
Now gud, now evyll, now wetis, and now dryis;
Now thow promittis and rycht now thou denyis;
Now wo, now weill, now ferm, now frevilus,
Now gam, now gram, now lovys, now defyis:
Inconstant warld and quheil contrarius!
"Ha! quha suld haif affyans in thy blys?
Ha! quha suld haif fyrm esperans in this
Quhilk is, allace, sa freuch and variant?
Certis none. Sum hes! No wicht. Suythly, yis!
Than hes my self bene gylty? Ya iwys.
Thairfore, allace, sall danger thus me dant?
Quhyddyr is bycum sa sone this duyly hant
And Veyr translat in wyntyr furyus?
Thus I bewale my faitis repugnant:
Inconstant warld and quheil contrarius!"
Bydand the deid thus in myn extasy,
A dyn I hard approchyng fast me be
Quhilk movit fra the plage septentrionall
As heyrd of bestis stampyng with loud cry.
Bot than God wate how afferyt wes I
Traistand tyl be stranglyt with bestiall.
Amyd a stok richt prevaly I stall
Quhare lukand out anone I dyd espy
Ane lusty rout of bestis rationall -
Of ladyis fair and gudly men arrayit
In constant weid - that weil my spretis payit.
Wyth degest mynd quhairin all wyt aboundyt
Full sobyrly thair haknais thay assait
Eftyr the feitis auld, and not forvayt.10
Thair hie prudence schew furth, and nothyng roundit,11
With gude effere, quhare at the wod resoundyt.12
In stedfast ordour, to vysy onaffrayit
Thay rydyng furth with stabylnes ygroundyt.
Amyddys quham, borne in ane goldyn chare
Ovyrfret with perle and stonys maist preclare
That drawin wes by haiknays four, mylk quhyt,
Was set a quene, as lylly swete of sware,
In purpur robe hemmid with gold ilk gare
Quhilk jemmyt claspes closyd all parfyte,
A diademe maist pleasandly polyte
Set on the tressys of her gyltyn hare
And in her hand a sceptre of delyte.
Syne next her, rayed in granyt violate,13
Twelve damysylles, ilk ane in theyr estate
Quhilkis semyt of hyr consell most secre14
And nixt thaym wes a lusty rout, God wate -
Lordis, ladyis, and mony fair prelate,
Baith borne of hie estate and law degre,
Furth with thair quene thay al by-passit me.
Ane esy pase thay rydyng furth the gate
And I abaid alone within the tre.
And as the rout wes passyt one and one
And I remanand in the tre alone,
Out throw the wode come rydand cativis twane,
Ane on ane asse, a wedy about his mone,
The tothir raid ane hiddows hors apone.
I passyt furth and fast at thaym did frane
Quhat men thay wer. Thay answeryt me agane,
"Our namys ben Achitefel and Synone
That by our suttell menys feil hes slane."
"Wait ye," quod I, "quhat signifyis yon rout?"
Synon sayd "Ya!" - and gave ane hyddows schout -
"We wrechys bene abject thairfra, iwys.
Yone is the Quene of Sapience, but dout,
Lady Minerve, and yone twelve hir about
Ar the prudent Sibillais ful of blys,
Cassandra, eik Delbora and Circis,
The fatale systeris twynand our weirdes out,
Judith, Jael, and mony a prophetis
"Quhilkis groundyt ar in fyrm intelligens.
And thair is als in to yone court gone hens
Clerkis divine with problewmys curius
As Salomon the well of sapiens
And Arestotyl, fulfyllet of prudens,
Salust, Senek and Titus Livius,
Picthagoras, Porphure, Permenydus,
Melysses with his sawis but defence,
Sidrag, Secundus and Solenyus,
"Ptholomeus, Ipocras, Socrates,
Empedocles, Neptennebus, Hermes,
Galien, Averroes and Plato,
Enoth, Lameth, Job and Diogenes,
The eloquent and prudent Ulisses,
Wyse Josephus and facund Cicero,
Melchisedech, with othyr mony mo.
Thair viage lyis throw out this wildernes.
To the Palice of Honour all thay go,
Is situat from hens liggis ten hundyr.
Our horsys oft or we be thair wyll fundyr.
Adew, we may no langer heir remane."
"Or that ye passe," quod I, "tell me this wondyr,
How that ye wrechyt cativis thus at undyr
Ar sociat with this court soverane?"
Achitefell maid this answer agane:
"Knawis thou not? Haill, erd-quake, and thundyr
Ar oft in May, with mony schour of rane.
"Rycht so we bene in tyll this company.
Our wyt aboundit, and usyt wes lewdly.
My wysdome ay fulfyllyt my desyre
As thou may in the Bybyl weil aspy,
How Davidis prayer put my counsell by.
I gart his sonne aganys hym conspyre,
The quhilk wes slane. Quhairfore up be the swyre
My self I hangit, frustrat sa fowlily.
This Synon wes a Greik that rasyt fyre
First in to Troy, as Virgyll dois report.
Sa tratourlyk maid him be draw overwhort
Quhill in he brocht the Hors with men of armys
Quhairthrow the towne distroit wes at schort."
Quod I, "Is this your destany and sort?
Cursit be he that sorowis for your harmys,
For ye bene schrewis baith, be Goddis armys!
Ye will optene nane entres at yone port
Bot gif it be throw sorcery or charmys."
"Ingres tyll have," quod thay, "we not presume.
It sufficis us tyl se the Palice blume
And stand on rowme quhare bettyr folk bene charrit.15
For tyll remane, adew, we have na tume.
This ilk way cummis the courtis, be our dume,
Of Diane and Venus that feil hes marryt."
With that thay raid away as thay war skarryt,
And I agayne, maist lyk ane elrych grume,
Crap in the muskane akyn stok mysharrit.
Thus wrechitly I maid my resydence
Imagynand feil syse for sum defence
In contrar savage bestis maist cruell,
For na remeid bot deid be violence,
Sum tyme, asswagis febill indegence.
Thus in a part I reconfort my sell
Bot that so lityll wes I dar nocht tell.
The stychlyng of a mows out of presence
Had bene to me mare ugsum than the Hell.
Yit glaid I wes that I with thaym had spokkyn.
Had not bene that, certis my hart had brokkyn
For megirnes and pusillamytee.
Remanand thus within the tre al lokkyn,
Dissyrand fast sum signys or sum tokkyn
Of Lady Venus and of hir companee,
A hart transformyt ran fast by the tree
With houndis rent, on quham Dian wes wrokkyn.
Tharby I understude that sche wes nee.
Thay had tofore declarit hir cummyng:
Mare perfytly forthy I knew the syng.
Wes Action quhilk Diane nakyt watyt
Bathyng in a well and eik hir madynnys yyng.
The goddes wes commovyt at this thing
And hym in forme hes of a hart translatit.
I saw, allace, his houndis at him slatit.
Bakwert he blent to gyf thaym knawlegyng
Tha raif thair lord, mysknew hym at thaym batit.16
Syne ladyis come with lusty giltyn tressys,
In habit wild maist lyke till fostaressys,
Amyddys quham heich on ane eliphant
In syng that sche in chastite incressys
Raid Diane that ladyis hartis dressys
Tyl be stabil and na way inconstant.
God wait that nane of thaym is variant:
All chast and trew virginite professys.
I not, bot few I saw with Diane hant.
Intil that court I saw anone present
Jeptyis douchtir, a lusty lady gent
Offeryt tyl God in hir virginite.
Pollixena, I wys, wes not absent;
Panthessile with mannys hardyment,
Effygyn and Virgenius' douchter fre,
With uthyr flouris of feminyte,
Baith of the New and the Ald Testament,
All on thay raid and left me in the tre.
In that desert dispers in sondyr skattryt
Wer bewis bare quham rane and wynde on battryt.
The water stank, the feild was odious
Quhar dragonys, lessertis, askis, edders swattryt
With mouthis gapand, forkyt tayles tattryt,
With mony a stang and spoutis vennomous
Corruppyng ayr be rewme contagious.
Maist gros and vyle enposonyt clowdis clatteryt,17
Rekand lyk hellys smoke sulfuryus.
My dasyt hed fordullit dissyly
I rasyt up, half in a letergy,
As dois a catyve ydronken in slep
And so opperyt tyl my fantasy
A schynand lycht out of the northest sky.
Proportion sounding dulcest hard I pepe
The quhilk with cure till heir I did tak kepe.18
In musyk nowmer full of harmony
Distant on far wes caryit be the depe.
Farther by wattyr folk may soundis here
Than by the erth, the quhilk with poris sere
Up drynkis ayr that movit is by sound
Quhilk in compact wattir of ane rivere
May nocht entre bot rynnys thare and here
Quhil it at last be caryit on the ground;
And thocht throw dyn, be experience is found,
The fysch ar causyt within the rivere stere,
Inoth the wattyr the nois dois not abound.
Violent dyn the ayr brekkis and deris,
Syne gret motion of ayr the watyr steris.
The wattyr steryt, fischis for ferdnes fleis.
Bot, out of dout, no fysch in wattyr heris
For, as we se, rycht few of thaym has eris;
And eik, forsuyth, bot gyf wyse clerkis leis,
Thair is nane ayr inoth watters nor seis,
But quhilk na thing may heir, as wyse men leiris,
Lyik as but lycht thair is na thyng that seis.
Anewch of this, I not quhat it may mene.
I wyll returne till declare all bedene
My dreidfull dreme with grysly fantasyis.
I schew tofore quhat I had hard and sene,
Perticularly sum of my paynfull tene.
But now God wate quhat ferdnes on me lyis!
Lang ere I said - and now this tyme is twyis -
A sound I hard, of angellys as it had bene,
With armony fordynnand all the skyis19
So dulce, so swete and so melodius
That every wycht thair with mycht be joyous
Bot I and cativis dullit in dispare.
For quhen a man is wreth or furius,
Malancolyk for wo or tedius,
Than is al plesance till hym maist contrare
And semblably than so did wyth me fare:
This melody intonyt hevinly thus
For profund wo constrenyt me mak care.
And murnand thus as ane maist wofull wicht,
Of the maist plesand court I had a sycht
In warld adoun sen Adam wes create.20
Quhat sang? quhat joy? quhat armony? quhat lycht?
Quhat myrthfull solace, plesance all at ryght?
Quhat fresch bewte? quhat excelland estate?
Quhat swete vocis? quhat wordis suggurate?
Quhat fair debatis? quhat lufsum ladyis bricht?
Quhat lusty gallandis did on thair servyce wate?
Quhat gudly pastance and quhat menstraly?
Quhat game thay maid? In faith, not tell can I.
Thocht I had profund wit angelicall
The hevinly soundis of thair armony
Has dymmyt so my drery fantasy,
Baith wit and reason, half is lost of all.
Yit as I knaw, als lychtly say I sall:
That angellyk and godly company
Tyll se me thocht a thyng celestiall.
Procedand furth wes draw ane chariote
Be cursuris twelf trappit in gren velvote.
Of fyne gold wer juncturis and harnasyngis.
The lymnuris wer of byrnyst gold, God wate.
Baith extre and quhelis of gold, I hote.
Of goldyn cord wer lyamys, and the stryngis
Festnyt conjunct in massy goldyn ryngis.
Evyr hamys convenient for sic note
And raw silk brechamys ovyr thair halsys hyngis.
The body of the cart of evir bone
With crysolytis and mony pretious stone
Wes all overfret in dew proportioun
Lyke sternys in the firmament quhilkis schone.
Reperalit wes that godlyk plesand wone,
Tyldyt abone and to the erth adoun
In rychest claith of gold of purpur broun,
But fas or othyr frenyeis had it none
Save plate of gold anamallyt all fassioun
Quhairfra dependant hang thair megyr bellys -
Sum round, sum thraw - in sound the quhilkis excellis.
All wer of gold of Araby maist fyne
Quhilkis with the wynd concordandly so knellys
That to be glad thair sound al wycht compellys.
The armony wes so melodius fyne
In mannys voce and instrument divine,
Quhare so thay went, it semyt nothyng ellys
Bot jerarchyes of angellys, ordours nyne.
Amyd the chare fulfillyt of plesance,
A lady sat, at quhais obeysance
Wes all that rout; and wondyr is till here
Of hir excelland lusty countenance.
Hir hie bewte, quhilk mayst is til avance,
Precellys all - thair may be na compere -
For lyk Phebus in hiest of his spere
Hir bewtye schane, castand so gret a glance
All farehed it opprest, baith far and nere.
Scho wes peirles of schap and portrature.
In her had Nature fynesyt hir cure.
As for gud havyngis, thair wes nane bot sche;
And hir array wes so fyne and so pure
That quhair of wes hir rob I am not sure
For nocht bot perle and stonys mycht I se
Of quham the brychtnes of hir hie bewtie
For till behald my sycht myght not endure
Mair than the brycht sonne may the bakkis e.
Hir hair as gold or topasis wes hewyt.
Quha hir beheld, hir bewtie ay renewit.
On heid sche had a crest of dyamantis.
Thair wes na wycht that gat a sycht eschewyt,
Wer he nevir sa constant nor weil thewyt
Na he was woundit and him hir servant grantis.
That hevinly wycht hir cristall eyn so dantis21
For blenkis swete nane passit unpersewyt
Bot gyf he wer preservit as thir sanctis.
I wondryt sore and in mynd did stare
Quhat creature that mycht be wes so fare,
Of sa peirles excelent womanheid.
And, farlyand thus, I saw within the chare
Quhare that a man wes set with lymmes square,
His body weil entalyeit every steid:
He bare a bow with dartis haw as leid;
His clethyng wes als grene as ane hountare
Bot he forsuyth had none eyn in his hed.
I understude by signis persavabill
That wes Cupyd the god maist dissavabill,
The lady, Venus, his mother, a goddes.
I knew that wes the court so variabill
Of erdly luf quhilk sendill standis stabill.
Bot yit thair myrth and solace nevertheles
In musik, tone, and menstraly expres,
So craftely with corage aggreabill -
Hard never wicht sik melody, I ges.
Acumpanyit lusty yonkers with all.
Fresche ladyis sang in voce virgineall
Concordes swete, divers entoned reportis.
Proportionis fyne with sound celestiall -
Duplat, triplat diatesseriall,
Sesque altra and decupla resortis,
Diapason of mony syndry sortis -
War songin and plait be seir cunnyng menstrall
On luf ballattis with mony fair disportis.
In modulation hard I play and syng
Faburdoun, priksang, discant, conturyng,
Cant organe, figuration, and gemmell.22
On croud, lute, harp, with mony gudly spring.
Schalmis, clarionis, portativis hard I ring,
Monycord, orgain, tympane, and symbell,
Sytholl, psalttry, and vocis swete as bell,
Soft releschyngis in dulce delyveryng,
Fractyonis divide at rest or clos compell.
Not Pan of Archaid so plesandly plays,
Nor King David, quhais playng, as men sayis,
Conjurit the spreit the quhilk Kyng Saul confoundit,
Nor Amphion with mony subtile layis
Quhilk Thebes wallit with harpyng in his dayis,
Nor he that first the subtile craftis foundit
Was not in musik half so weil igroundit
Nor knew thair mesure tent dele be no wayes.
At thair resort baith hevyn and erd resoundit.
Na mare I understude thir noumeris fyne
Be God than dois a gekgo or a swyne,
Save that me think swete soundis gude to heir.
Na mair heiron my labour will I tyne.
Na mair I wyl thir verbillys swete diffyne,
How that thair musik tones war mair cleir
And dulcer than the movyng of the speir
Or Orpheus' harp of Trace with sound divyne.
Glaskeryane maid na noyes compeir.
Thay condescend sa weil in ane accord
That by na juynt thair soundis bene discord,
In every key thay werren sa expert.
Of thair array gyf I suld mak record -
Lusty spryngaldis and mony gudly lord,
Tendyr yonglyngis with pietuous virgin hart,
Eldar ladyis knew mair of lustis art,
Divers utheris quhilkis me not list remord,
Quhais lakkest weid was silkis of brounvert -
In vesturis quent of mony syndry gyse
I saw all claith of gold men mycht devise,
Purpur coulour, punyk and skarlot hewis,
Velvot robbis maid with the grand assyse,
Dames, satyn, begaryit mony wyse,
Cramessy satin, velvot enbroude in divers rewis,
Satyn figuris champit with flouris and bewis,
Damesflure, tere pyle quhare on thair lyis
Perle orphany, quhilk every state renewis.
Thare ryche entire, maist peirles to behald,
My wyt can not discrive, howbeit I wald.
Mony entrappit stede with sylkis sere,
Mony pattrell nervyt with gold I tald,
Full mony new gylt harnasyng not ald,
On mony palfray lusum ladyis clere.
And nyxt the chare I saw formest appere,
Upon a bardyt cursere stout and bald,
Mars god of stryf enarmyt in byrnist gere:
Every invasybill wapyn on hym he bare;
His luke was grym, his body large and square,
His lymmys weil entailyeit til be strang;
His nek wes gret, a span lenth weil or mare,
His vissage braid with crisp broun curland hare;
Of statur, not ovyr gret nor yit ovyr lang.
Behaldand Venus, "O ye my luif," he sang,
And scho agane with dalyans sa fare
Hir knycht hym clepis quhare so he ryde or gang.
Thair wes Arsyte and Palemon alswa
Accumpanyit with fare Emylya,
The quene Dido with hir fals luf Enee,
Trew Troylus, unfaythfull Cressida,
The fair Paris and plesand Helena,
Constant Lucres and traist Penolype,
Kynd Pirramus and wobegone Thysbe,
Dolorus Progne, triest Philomena,
King David's luif thare saw I, Barsabe.
Thare wes Ceix with the kynd Alcyon,
And Achilles, wroth with Agamemnon
For Bryssida his lady fra hym tane,
Wofull Phillys with hir luf Demoophan,
Subtel Medea and hir knycht Jasone.
Of France I saw thair Paris and Veane.
Thare wes Phedra, Thesyus and Adriane,
The secrete wyse hardy Ipomedon,
Asswere, Hester, irraprevabill Susane.
Thare wes the fals unhappy Dalida,
Cruel wikkyt and curst Dyonera,
Wareit Bibles and the fair Absolon,
Ysyphele, abhomynabil Sylla,
Trastram, Yside, Helcana and Anna,
Cleopatra and worthy Mark Anthon,
Iole, Hercules, Alcest, Ixion,
The onely pacient wyfe Gressillida,
Nersissus, that his hed brak on a ston.
Thare wes Jacob with fair Rachel his make,
The quhilk become til Laban for hir sake
Fourteen yere boynd with fyrm hart immutabill -
Thair bene bot few sic now, I undertake:
Thir fair ladyis in silk and claith of lake
Thus lang sall not all foundyn be so stabyll.
This Venus court quhilk wes in luif maist abil
For till discrive my cunning is to wake.
A multitude thay wer, innumerabill,
Of gudly folk in every kynd and age.
With blenkis swete, fresch lusty grene curage,
And dalians thay rydyng furth in fere.
Sum leivys in hope and sum in great thyrlage,
Sum in dispare, sum findis his panys swage.
Garlandis of flouris and rois chaplettis sere
Thay bare on hede and samyn sang so clere
Quhil that thair myrth commovit my curage
Till syng this lay quhilk folowand ye may here:
"Constrenyt hart, bylappit in distres,
Groundit in wo and full of hevynes
Complene thy paynfull caris infinyte,
Bewale this warldis frele unstedfastnes
Havand regrait sen gone is thy glaidnes
And all thy solace returnyt in dispyte.
O cative thrall involupit in syte,
Confesse thy fatale wofull wrechitnes,
Divide in twane and furth diffound all tyte
Aggrevance gret in miserabill endyte.
"My crewell fait, subjectit to penance,
Predestinat sa void of all plesance,
Has every greif amyd myn hart ingrave.
The slyd inconstant destany or chance
Unequaly doith hyng in thair ballance
My demeritis and gret dolour I have.
This purgatory redowblys all the lave.
Ilk wycht has sum weilfare at obeysance
Save me, bysnyng, that may na grace ressave.
Dede, the addresse and do me to my grave.
"Wo worth sik strang mysforton anoyus
Quhilk has opprest my spretis maist joyus!
Wo worth this worldis freuch felicité!
Wo worth my fervent diseis dolorus!
Wo worth the wycht that is not pietuus
Quhare the trespassor penitent thay se!
Wo worth this dede that dayly dois me de!
Wo worth Cupid and wo worth fals Venus,
Wo worth thaym bayth, ay waryit mot thay be!
Wo worth thair court, and cursit destane!"
Loude as I mocht in dolour al distrenyeit
This lay I sayng and not a lettir fenyeit.
Tho saw I Venus on hir lyp did byte
And all the court in hast thair horsys renyeit
Proclamand loude, "Quhare is yone poid that plenyeit
Quhilk deth diservis committand sik dispite?"
Fra tre to tre thay serchyng but respyte
Quhill ane me fand, quhilk said in greif disdenyeit,
"Avant, velane, thou reclus imperfyte!"
All in ane fevyr out of my muskan bowr
On knees I crap and law for feare did lowr.
Than all the court on me thayr hedis schuke,
Sum glowmand grym, sum grinand with vissage sowr.
Sum in the nek gave me feil dyntis dour.
"Pluk at the craw," thay cryit, "deplome the ruke!
Pulland my hare, with blek my face they bruke.
Skrymmory Fery gaif me mony a clowr.
For Chyppynuty full oft my chaftis quuke.
With payne, torment thus in thayr teynfull play,
Till Venus, bund, they led me furth the way
Quhilk than wes set amyd a golden chare,
And so confoundit into that fell affray
As that I micht consydyr thair array.
Me thocht the feild, ovirspred with carpetis fare,
Quhilk wes tofore brint, barrant, vile and bare,
Wox maist plesand, bot all, the suyth to say,
Micht not amese my grewous pane full sare.
Entronit sat Mars, Cupyd and Venus.
Tho rais a clerk wes clepit Varius
Me tyl accusyng of a dedly cryme
And he begouth and red a dittay thus:
"Thou wikkyt catyve, wood and furious,
Presumptuusly now at this present tyme
My lady here blasphemed in thy ryme.
Hir sonne, hir self and hir court amorus
For till betrais awatit here sen prime."
Now God Thow wate, me thocht my fortune fey.
Wyth quakand voce and hart cald as a key
On kneys I knelyt and mercy culd implore,
Submyttand me but ony langer pley
Venus mandate and plesour till obey.
Grace wes denyit and my travel forlore
For scho gaif chargis till procede as before.
Than Varius spak rycht stoutly me till fley,
Injonand silence tyll ask grace ony more.23
He demandit myn answere, quhat I sayd,
Than as I mocht with curage all mysmaid
Fra tyme I undirstude na mare supple,
Sore abasyt, belive I thus out braid:
"Set of thir pointis of cryme now on me laid
I may me quyte giltles in verité,
Yit fyrst, agane the juge quhilk here I se,
This inordenat court and proces quaid
I wyll object for causys twa or thre."
Inclynand law, quod I with pietuus face,
"I me defend, Madame plesyt your grace."
"Say on," quod sche, than said I thus but mare:
"Madame, ye may not syt in till this cace
For ladyis may be jugis in na place
And, mare attour, I am na seculare.
A spirituall man (thocht I be void of lare)
Clepyt I am, and aucht my lyvys space
To be remyt till my juge ordinare.
"I yow beseik, Madame with byssy cure,
Till gyf ane gracius interlocuture
On thir exceptionys now proponyt late."
Than suddanly Venus (I yow assure)
Deliverit sone and with a voce so sture
Answeryt thus: "Thow subtyle smy, God wait!
Quhat wenys thou? Till degraid myne hie estate,
Me till declyne as juge, curst creature?
It beis not so. The game gois othir gate.
"As we the fynd, thow sall thoill jugement.
Not of a clerk we se the represent
Save onely falsshed and dissaitfull talys.
Fyrst quhen thow come, with hart and hail entent
Thow the submyttit till my commaundement.
Now, now, thairof me think to sone thow falys!
I weyn nathyng bot foly that the alys.
Ye clerkis bene in subtyle wordis quent
And in the deid als scharpe as ony snalys.
"Ye bene the men bewrays my commandis.
Ye bene the men distrublys my servandis.
Ye bene the men with wikkyt wordis fele
Quhilk blasphemys fresch lusty yong gallandis
That in my servyce and retenew standis.
Ye bene the men that clepys yow so lele
With fals behest quhill ye your purpose stele,
Syne ye forswere baith body, treuth and handis,
Ye bene sa fals. Ye can no word consele!
"Have doyn," quod sche, "syr Varius. Alswyith
Do writ the sentence. Lat this cative kyith
Gyf our power may demyng his mysdeid."
Than God Thow wait gyf that my spreit wes blyith!
The feverus hew in till my face dyd myith
All my male eys for swa the horribill dreid
Hail me ovyrset I mycht not say my creid.
For feir and wo within my skyn I wryith.
I mycht not pray, forsuyth, thocht I had neid.
Yit of my deth I set not half a fle.
For gret effere me thocht na pane to die
But sore I dred me for sum othyr jape
That Venus suld throw hir subtillyté
In till sum bysnyng best transfigurat me
As in a bere, a bair, ane oule, ane ape.
I traistit so for till have bene myschaip
That oft I wald my hand behald to se
Gyf it alteryt, and oft my vissage grape.
Tho I revolvit in my mynd anone
Quhow that Diane transformyt Acteone
And Juno eik as for a kow gert kepe
The fare Io that lang wes wo begone -
Argos hir yymmyt that eyn had mony one
Quhom at the last Mercurius gert slepe
And hir delyverit of that danger depe.
I remembrit also quhow in a stone
The wyfe of Loth ichangit sore did wepe.
I umbethocht quhow Jove and ald Saturn
In tyll a wolf thay did Lycaon turn
And quhow the mychty Nabugodonosore
In bestly forme did on the feild sudjourn
And for his gilt wes maid to wepe and murn.
Thir feirfull wondris gart me dreid ful sore
For by exemplys oft I herd tofore
He suld bewar that seys his fallow spurn:
Myschans of ane suld be ane otheris lore.
And rolland thus in divers fantasyis,
Terribil thochtis oft my hert did gryis
For all remeid wes alterit in dispare.
Thare wes na hope of mercy till devyis.
Thare wes na wycht my frend be na kyn wyis.
Alhalely the court wes me contrare.
Than wes all maist wryttyn the sentence sare.
My febyll mynd, seand this gret suppris,
Wes than of wit and every blys full bare.
The Seconde Parte
Lo, thus amyd this hard perplexité
Awaytand ever quhat moment I suld de
Or than sum new transfiguration,
He quhilk that is eternall verité,
The glorious Lord ryngand in personis thre,
Providit has for my salvation
Be sum gude spretis revelation
Quhilk intercessioun maid, I traist, for me.
I foryet all imagination.
All hail my dreid I tho foryet in hy
And all my wo, bot yit I wyst not quhy,
Save that I had sum hope till be relevyt.
I rasyt than my vissage hastely
And with a blenk anone I did espy
A lusty sycht quhilk nocht my hart engrevit,
A hevinly rout out throw the wod eschevyt
Of quhame the bonty, gyf I not deny,
Uneth may be intill ane scripture brevit.
With lawrere crownyt in robbis syd all new,
Of a fassoun and all of stedfast hew,
Arrayit weil, a court I saw cum nere
Of wyse degest eloquent fathers trew
And plesand ladyis quhilkis fresch bewtie schew,
Syngand softly full swete on thair manere
On poete wyse all divers versis sere,
Historyis gret in Latyne toung and Grew
With fresche endyt and soundis gude till here.
And sum of thaym ad lyram playit and sang
So plesand vers quhill all the rochys rang,
Metyr Saphik and also elygee.
Thair instrumentis all maist wer fydlys lang
Bot with a string quhilk nevyr ane wreist yeid wrang.
Sum had ane harpe and sum a fair psaltree;
On lutis sum thair accentis subtelle
Devydyt weil and held the mesure lang
In soundis swete of plesand melodie.
The ladyis sang in vocis dulcorate
Facund epistillis quhilkis quhilum Ovid wrate
As Phillys Quene send till Duke Demophon
And of Pennolepe the gret regrate
Send till hir lord, sche dowtyng his estate,
That he at Troy suld losyt be or tone.
How Acontus till Cedippa anone
Wrate his complaint thair hard I weil, God wate,
With othir lusty myssyvis mony one.
I had gret wondir of thair layis sere
Quhilkis in that arte mycht have na way compere
Of castis quent, rethorik colouris fyne24
So poete-lyk in subtyle fair manere
And elaquent fyrme cadens regulere.
Thair vayage furth contenand rycht as lyne
With sang and play, as sayd is, so dyvine,
Thay fast approchyng to the place well nere
Quhare I wes torment in my gastly pyne.
And as the hevynly sort now nomynate
Removyt furth on gudly wyse thair gate
Towert the court quhilk wes tofore expremit,
My curage grew, for quhat cause I not wate
Save that I held me payit of thayr estate;
And thay wer folk of knawledge as it semit,
Als in til Venus court full fast thay demit,
Sayand, "Yone lusty rout wyll stop our mate
Till justefy thys bisning quhilk blasphemit.
"Yone is," quod they, "the court rethoricall
Of polit termys, sang poeticall
And constand ground of famus historyis swete.
Yone is the facund well celestiall.
Yone is the fontayn and origynall
Quharefra the well of Helicon dois flete.
Yone ar the folkis that comfortes every sprete
Be fyne delyte and dyte angelicall
Causand gros lede all of maist gudnes glete.
"Yone is the court of plesand stedfastnes.
Yone is the court of constant merynes.
Yone is the court of joyus disciplyne
Quhilk causys folk thair purpos till expres
In ornat wyse provocand with gladnes,
All gentyll hartis to thare lare inclyne.
Every famus poet men may devyne
Is in yone rout. Lo yondir thair Prynces,
Thespis, the mothyr of the Musis Nyne,
"And nixt hir syne hir douchter fyrst byget,
Lady Cleo, quhilk craftely dois set
Historiis ald lyk as thay wer present,
Euterpe eik, quhilk dayly dois hir det
In dulce blastis of pipis swete but let;
The thyrd systir, Thalia, diligent
In wanton wryt, and cronikillis doith imprent;
The ferd endityth, oft with chekis wet,
Sare tragedyis, Melphomyne the gent;
"Tarpsychore the fyft with humyll soun
Makis on psaltreis modolatioun;
The sext, Erato, lyk thir luffirs wylde
Will syng, play, dans and leip baith up and doune.
Polimnya, the sevynt Muse of renoun,
Ditis thir swete rethorik cullouris mylde
Quhilkis ar so plesand baith to man and chylde;
Uranya, the aucht and sistir schene,
Wrytis the hevyn and sternys all bedene;
"The nynt, quham till nane othir is compere,
Caliope, that lusty lady clere,
Of quham the bewtye and the worthynes
The vertuys gret schynis baith far and nere,
For sche of nobillis fatis hes the stere
Till wryt thair worschyp, victory and prowes
In kyngly style, quhilk dois thair fame encres
Clepyt in Latyne heroicus, but were,
Cheif of al wryt lyk as scho is maistres.
"Thir Musis nyne, lo yondir may ye se
With fresch Nymphis of watir and of see,
And Phanee, ladyis of thir templis ald,
Pyerides, Dryades, Saturee,
Neriedes, Aones, Napee,
Of quham the bontyis nedis not be tald."
Thus dempt the court of Venus monyfald
Quhilk speche refreschyt my perplexité,
Rejosand weil my sprete afore wes cald.
The suddand sycht of that fyrme court foresaid
Recomfort weil my hew tofore wes faid.
Amyd my brest the joyus heit redoundyt
Behaldand quhow the lusty Musys raid,
And al thair court quhilk wes so blyith and glaid,
Quhois merynes all hevynes confoundyt.
Thair saw I, weil in poetry ygroundyt,
The gret Homere, quhilk in Grew langage said
Maist eloquently, in quham all wyt aboundyt.
Thare wes the gret Latyn Virgillyus,
The famus fathir poet Ovidius,
Ditis, Daris, and eik the trew Lucane.
Thare wes Plautus, Pogius, Parsius.
Thare wes Terens, Donat, and Servius,
Francys Petrark, Flakcus Valeriane.
Thare wes Ysop, Caton, and Alane.
Thare wes Galterus and Boetius.
Thare wes also the gret Quintilliane.
Thare wes the satyr poete Juvinale.
Thare wes the mixt and subtell Marciale.
Of Thebes bruyt thare wes the poete Stace.
Thare wes Faustus and Laurence of the vale,
Pomponeus quhais fame of late, sans fale,
Is blawin wyd throw every realme and place.
Thare wes the morale wyse poete Orace,
With mony other clerkis of gret avayle.
Thare wes Brunell, Claudyus, and Bocace.
So gret a pres of pepill drew us nere
The hunder part thare namys is not here.
Yit thare I saw of Brutus Albion
Goffryd Chaucere, as A per se, sance pere
In his wulgare, and morell John Gowere.
Lydgat the monk raid musand him allone.
Of this natioun I knew also anone
Gret Kennedy and Dunbar, yit undede,
And Quyntyne with ane huttok on his hede.
Howbeit I couth declare and weil endyte
The bonteis of that court, dewlye to wryt
Wer ovir prolyxt, transcendyng myne engyne.
Twychand the proces of my panefull syte:
Belive I saw thir lusty Musys quhyte
With all thair route towart Venus declyne
Quhare Cupyd sat with hir in trone divyne,
I standand bundyn in a sory plyte
Byddand thair grace or than the dedly pyne.
Straucht til the Quene sammyn thir Musis raid,
Maist eloquently thare salutationys maid.
Venus agane yald thaym thair salusyng
Rycht reverently, and on hir fete upbraid,
Besekand thaym to lycht. "Nay, nay," thay said,
"We may as here make na langer tariyng."
Caliope, maist facund and bening,
Inquyryt Venus what wicht had hir mismaid
Or wes the cause thair of hir sudjournyng.
"Syster," sayd scho, "behald that bysnyng schrew.
A subtyle smye - considyr weil his hew -
Standis thair bond," and bykkynit hir to me.
"Yone cative hes blasphemyt me of new
For tyl degraid and do my fame adew;
A laithly ryme dispitefull, subtelle
Compelit hes, rehersand loud on hie
Sclander, dispite, sorow and wallaway
To me, my sonne and eike my court for ay.
"He has deservit deth - he salbe dede -
And we remane forsuith in to this stede
Till justefy that rebell renygate."
Quod Caliope, "Sister, away all fede.
Quhy suld he de? Quhy suld he leis his hede?
To sla him for sa small a cryme, God wate,
Greter degradyng wer to your estate
All out than wes his sclander or sich plede.
Quhow may a fule your hie renoun chakmate?
"Quhat of his lak? Your fame so wyd is blaw,
Your excellens maist peirles is so knaw,
Na wrichis word ay depare your hie name.
Gyf me his lyfe and modefy the law
For on my hed he standis now sic aw
That he sall eft disserve nevir mare blame.
Not of his dede ye may report but schame.
In recompence of this mysyttand saw
He sall your hest in every part proclame."
Than Lord quhow glad becam my febil gost!
My curage grew, the quhilk afore wes lost,
Seand I had so gret ane advocate
That expertly, but prayer, pryce or cost,
Opteynit had my frewel accion all most
Quhilk wes afore perist and desolate.
This quhyil Venus stude, in ane study strate,
Bot fynally scho schew till all the ost
Scho wald do grace and be not obstinate.
"I wyll," said sche, "have mercy and pyete,
Do slake my wreth, and lat all rancour be.
Quhare is mare vice than till be ovir cruel
And specially in wemen sic as me?
A lady - fy! - that usis tirranne
No woman is, rather a serpent fell.
A vennamus dragon or a devill of hell
Is na compare to the inequyte
Of bald wemen, as thir wyse clerkis tell.
"Gret God diffend I suld be ane of tho
Quhilk of thare fede and malyce nevir ho.
Out on sik gram! I wyll serve na repreif.
Caliope, sistir," said til Venus tho,
"At your request this wreche sall frely go.
Heir I remyt his trespas, and all greif
Salbe foryet swa he wil say sum breif
Or schort ballat in contrare pane and wo
Tuychand my laud and his plesand releif.
"And secundly the nixt resonabil command
Quhilk I him charge: se that he not ganestand.
On thir conditions, sister, at your requeist
He sall go fre." Quod Caliope inclynand,
"Grant mercy, sister, I oblys by my hand
He sall observe in al poyntis your beheist."
Than Venus bad do slake sone my arreist
Belyve I wes releschit of every band,
Uprais the court and all the perlour ceist.
Tho sat I doun lawly upon my kne
At command of prudent Caliope,
Yeildand Venus thankis a thousand sith
For sa hie frendschip and mercyfull pieté,
Excelland grace and gret humanyté
The quhilk to me, trespassour, did scho kyth.
"I the forgeve," quod sche. Than wes I blyth.
Doun on a stok I set me suddanlye
At hir command and wrate this lay als swyth:
"Unwemmyt wit, deliverit of dangear,
Maist happely preservit fra the snare,
Releschit fre of servyce and bondage,
Expell dolour, expell diseyses sare,
Avoyd displesour, womentyng and care,
Ressave plesans and do thy sorowe swage,
Behald thy glaid fresche lusty grene curage,
Rejois amyd thir lovers lait and air,
Provyde a place till plant thy tendir age
Quhair thou in joy and plesour may repair.
"Quha is in welth, quha is weill fortunat,
Quha is in peace, dissoverit from debbat,
Quha levys in hop, quha levys in esperance,
Quha standis in grace, quha standis in ferme estat,
Quha is content, rejosyt air and lat,
Or quha is he that fortune doith avance
Bot thow, that is replenyst with plesance?
Thow hes comfort, all weilfare dilligat;
Thow hes gladnes; thow hes the happy chance;
Thow hes thy wyll: now be not dissolat.
"Incres in myrthfull consolatioun,
In joyus swete ymaginatioun,
Habond in luif of purifyit amouris
With diligent trew deliberatioun,
Rendir lovyngis for thy salvatioun
Till Venus, and ondir hir gard all houris
Rest at all ease, but sair or sytful schouris.
Abyde in quyet, maist constant weilfare.
Be glaid and lycht now in thy lusty flouris,
Unwemmyt wyt, delyverit of dangare."
This lay wes red in oppyn audience
Of the Musis, and in Venus' presence.
"I stand content: thow art obedient,"
Quod Caliope, my campion and defence.
Venus sayid, eik, it wes sum recompence
For my trespas I wes so penytent,
And with that word all sodanly sche went.
In ane instant scho and hir court wes hence,
Yit still abayd thir Musis on the bent.
Inclynand than, I sayd, "Caliope
My protector, my help and my supple,
My soverane lady, my redemptioun,
My mediatour quhen I wes dampnyt to de,
I sall beseik the Godly Majeste
Infynyt thankis, laud and benysoun
Yow till acquyte, accordyng your renoun.
It langyth not my possibillite
Till recompence ten part of this gwardoun.
"Glore, honour, laude and reverence condyng
Quha may foryeild yow of so hie a thyng?
And in that part your mercy I implore
Submyttand me my lyftyme induring
Your plesour and mandate till obeysyng."
"Silence," said scho, "I have eneuch heirfore.
I will thow passe and vissy wondris more."
Than scho me hes betaucht in kepyng
Of a swete Nymphe, maist faythfull and decore.
Ane hors I gat, maist rychely besene,
Was harnyst all with wodbynd levis grene.
On the same sute the trappuris law doun hang.
Ovir hym I straid at command of the Quene,
Tho sammyn furth we rydyng all bedene
Als swyft as thocht with mony a mery sang.
My Nymphe alwayis convoyt me of thrang,
Amyd the Musys till se quhat thay wald mene,
Quhilkis sang and playt bot nevir a wrest yeid wrang.
Throw cuntreis seir, holtis and rochys hie,
Ovir valys, planys, woddis, wally se,
Ovir fludis fare and mony strate montane
We wer caryit in twynklyng of ane e.
Our horssis flaw and raid nocht, as thocht me,
Now out of France tursyt in Tuskane,
Now out of Flandris heich up in Almane,
Now in till Egypt, now in Ytalie,
Now in the realme of Trace and now in Spane.
The montayns we passit of all Garmanie,
Ovir Appenynus devydand Ytalie,
Ovir Ryne, the Pow and Tiber fludis fare,
Ovir Alpheus, by Pyes the ryche citie,
Undir the erth that entres in the see,
Ovir Ron, ovir Sane, ovir France and eik ovir Lare
And ovir Tagus, the goldin sandyt ryvare.
In Thessaly we passit the mont Oethe,
And Hercules in sepulture fand there.
Thare went we ovir the ryver Peneyus.
In Secil eik we passyt the mont Tmolus,
Plenyst with saphron, huny and with wyne;
The twa toppyt famus Pernasus;
In Trais we went out ovir the mont Emus
Quhare Orphius lerit his armony maist fyne,
Ovir Carmelus, quhare twa prophetis devyne
Remanyt, Helyas and Heliseus,
Fra quhome the Ordur of Carmelitis come syne.
And nixt untill the land of Amyson,
In hast we past the flude Termodyon
And ovir the huge hill that hecht Mynas.
We raid the hill of Bachus, Citheron,
And Olympus, the mont of Massidon,
Quhilk semys heich up in the hevyn to pas.
In that countre, we raid the flude Melas
Quhais watter makith quhite scheip blak anon.
In Europe, eik, we raid the flud Thanas.
We raid the swyft revere Sparthiades,
The flud of Surry Achicorontes,
The hill so full of wellis clepit Yda,
Armany hillis and flude Eufrates,
The fluid of Nyle, the pretius flude Ganges,
The hyl of Secyle, ay-byrnand Ethna,
And ovir the mont of Frygy, Dindama,
Hallowit in honour of the Modir Goddes.
Cauld Cacasus we passit, in Sythia.
We passyt the fludis of Tygris and Phison,
Of Trace the riveris Hebrun and Strymon,
The mont of Modyn and the flud Jordane,
The facund well and hill of Elicon,
The mont Erix, the well of Acheron,
Baith didicat to Venus en certane.
We past the hill and desert of Lybane,
Ovir mont Cinthus, quhare God Appollo schone
Straucht to the Musis Caballyne fontane.
Besyde that cristall strand swete and degest
Them till repois, thayr hors refresch and rest,
Alychtit doun thir Musis clere of hew.
The cumpany all halely, lest and best,
Thrang to the well tyl drink, quhilk ran southwest
Throw out a meid quhare alkyn flouris grew.
Amang the layf ful fast I did persew
Tyll drynk, bot sa the gret pres me opprest
That of the watir I micht never tast a drew.
Our hors pasturyt in a plesand plane
Law at the fute of a fare grene mountane
Amyd a meid schadowed with cedir treys,
Save fra al heit thare micht we weil remane,
All kynd of herbis, flouris, frute and grane
With every growand tre thair men micht cheis.
The byrriall stremys rynnand ovyr sterny greis
Maid sobir noys; the schaw dynnyt agane
For byrdys sang and soundyng of the beis.
The ladyis fare on divers instrumentys
Went playand, syngand, dansand ovir the bentis.
Ful angelyk and hevynly wes thair soun.
Quhat creatour amid his hart imprentis
The fresche bewty, the gudly representis,
The mery spech, fare havinges, hie renoun
Of thaym wald set a wyse man halfe in swoun.
Thair womanlynes writhyt the elementis,
Stonyst the hevyn and all the erth adoun.
The warld may not consydyr nor discryve
The hevynly joy, the blys I saw belyve,
So ineffabill, abone my wyt so hie
I wyll na mare thairon my forhed ryve,
But breifly furth my febill proces dryve.
Law in the meid a palyeon pycht I se,
Maist gudlyest and rychest that myght be.
My governour ofter than timys fyve
Untill that halde to pas commandit me.
Swa fynally strycht to that rial steid
In fallowschip with my leder I yeid.
We entryt sone: the portar wes not thra;
Thare wes na stoppyng, lang demand nor pleid.
I knelyt law and onheldit my heid
And tho I saw our Musis twa and twa
Sittand on deace, famylliaris to and fra
Servand thaym fast with epocres and meid,
Dilligate meatis, daynteis sere alswa.
Grete wes the preis, the feist ryall to sene.
At ease thay eit with interludyis betwene,
Gave problemys sere and mony fare demandis
Inquirand quha best in thair tymys had bene,
Quha traist lovers in lusty yeris grene;
Sum said this way, and sum thairto ganstandis.
Than Caliope Ovid till appere commaundis:
"My Clerk," quod scho, "of Registere, bedene
Declare quha wer maist worthy of thair handis."
With lawrere crownyt, at hir commaundment
Up stude this poet degest and eloquent
And schew the fetis of Hercules the strang,
Quhow he the grysly hellis houndis out rent,
Slew lyonys, monstreis and mony fell serpent,
And to the deth feil mychty giantis dang.
Of Thesyus eik he tald the weris lang
Agane the quene Ypollita the swete
And quhow he slew the Mynotaure in Crete;
Of Persyus he tald the knychtly dedis
Quhilk vincussyt (as men in Ovid redis)
Crewell tyrrantis and monsturis mony one;
Of Dianis bore in Callydon the dredis,
Quhow throw a ladyis schot his sydis bledis -
The bretheris deith and syne the systeris mone;
He schew quhow Kyng Priamus sonne Ysacon
Efter his dede, body and all his wedis
In till a skarth transformyt wes anon;
He schew at Troy quhat wyis the Grekis landis,
Quhow fers Achylles stranglyt wyth his handis
The valyeant Cignus, Neptunus' sonne maist dere,
Quhilk at Grekis aryvale on the strandis
A thousand slew that day apon the sandis,
Faucht with Achill and blontit al his spere -
Na wapyn wes that micht him wond nor dere
Quhill Achalles bryst of his helm the bandis
And wyrryit hym be fors for all his fere.
He schew full mony transmutationis
And wondirfull new figurationis
Be hondris mo than I have here expremyt.
He tald of lovys meditacionis,
The craft of love and the salvationis,
Quhow that the furie lustis suld be flemyt.
Of divers other materis als he demyt
And be his prudent scharpe relationys
He wes expart in all thyng, as it semyt.
Up rais the gret Virgilius anone
And playd the sportis of Daphnis and Coridon.
Syne Therens come, and playit the commedy
Of Permeno, Thrason and wyse Gnaton;
Juvynale, lik a mower, hym allone,
Stud skornand every man as thay yeid by;
Marcyall was cuyk, till rost, seith, fars or fry;
And Pogyus stude with mony gyrn and grone
On Laurence Valla spyttand and cryand "Fy!"
With myrthys thus and meatis diligate
Thir ladyis, festit accordyng thair estate,
Uprais at last, commandand till tranoynt.
Retret wes blawyn lowd, and than God wate
Men micht have sene swyft horssys halden hate
Schynand for swete as thay had bene anoynt.
Of all that rout wes never a pryk disjoynt
For all our tary, and I, furth with my mate,
Montyt on hors, raid sammyn in gude poynt.
Ovir many gudly plane we raid bedene,
The Vail of Ebron, the Campe Damascene,
Throw Josaphat and throw the lusty vail,
Ovir watres wan, throw worthi woddis grene,
And swa at last in lyftyng up our eyne
We se the fynall end of our travail:
Amyd ane plane a plesand roch till wail.
And every wycht fra we that sycht had sene,
Thankand gret God, thare hedis law devail.
With syngyng, lauchyng, merines and play
On till that roch we rydyng furth the way.
Now mare till writ for fere trymlys my pen.
The hart may not thynk nor manis toung say,
The eyr not here nor yet the e se may,
It may not be ymagyned with men
The hevynly blys, the perfyte joy to ken
Quhilk now I saw. The hundreth part all day
I micht not schaw, thocht I had tonges ten.
Thocht al my membris tongis were on raw
I wer not abill the thousandfald to schaw
Quhairfore I fere ocht forthirmare to wryte,
For quhiddir I this in saule or body saw
That wait I not, bot he that all duth knaw,
The gret God, wait in every thyng perfyt.
Eik gyf I wald this avyssyon endyte
Janglaris suld it bakbyt and stand nane aw25
Cry out on dremes quhilkis ar not worth a myte!
Sen thys til me all verite be kend
I reput bettir thus, till mak ane end
Than ocht til say that suld herars engreve.
On othir syd, thocht thay me vilepend,
I considdir prudent folk will commend
The verete, and sic janglyng rapreve.
With quhais correction, support, and releve
Furth till proceid this proces I pretend,
Traistand in God my purpose till escheve.
Quhowbeit I may not every circumstance
Reduce perfytly in rememorance,
Myn ignorance yit sum part sal devyse
Twychand this sycht of hevynly swete plesance.
Now empty pen, wryt furth thy lusty chance,
Schaw wondris fele, suppose thow be not wyse,
Be dilligent and rypely the avyse,
Be qwyke and scharpe, voydit of variance,
Be suete and cause not jentill hartis gryse.
The Thyrd Parte
Ye Musis nyne, be in myne adjutory
That maid me se this blys and perfyte glory,
Teche me your facund castis eloquent,
Len me a recent, scharp, fresch memory,
And caus me dewly til indyt this story.
Sum gratius swetnes in my brest imprent
Till make the heraris bousum and attent,
Redand my wryt illumynyt with your lore,
Infynyt thankis rendrand yow thairfore.
Now breifly to my purpose for til gone.
About the hyll lay ways mony one,
And to the hycht bot a passage ingrave,
Hewyn in the roch of slyde hard merbyll stone.
Aganne the sonne lyk as the glas it schone.
Ascens wes hie and strait for till consave,
Yit than thir Musis, gudly and suave,
Alychtyt doun and clam the roch in hy
With all the route, outtane my Nynphe and I.
Styl at the hillys fute we twa abaid.
Than suddandly my keper to me said,
"Ascend, galand!" Tho for fere I quuke.
"Be not effrayit," scho said, "be not mismaid,"
And with that word up the strait rod abraid.
I followit fast; scho be the hand me tuke,
Yit durst I nevir, for dreid, behynde me luke.
With mekill pane thus clam we nere the hycht,
Quhare suddandly I saw ane grysly sycht.
As we approchit nere the hillis heid,
A terrible sewch - birnand in flawmys reid,
Abhominable and hol as heill to se,
All full of bryntstane, pyk, and bulnyng leid,
Quhair mony wrechit creatour lay deid,
And miserable catywis yeland loude one hie -
I saw, quhilk den mycht wele comparit be
Till Xantus, the fluid of Troy so schill,
Byrnand at Venus hest, contrar Achill.
Amyd our passage lay this ugly sicht,
Not brayd, but so horrible till eviry wicht
That all the warld to pas it suld have dreid.
Wele I considerit nene upparmar I mycht,
And to discend, sa hiddous wes the hicht
I durst not aventur for this erth on breid.26
Trymland I stud, with teith chatterand gud speid.
My Nymphe beheld my cheir and said "Lat be:
Thow sall not aill, and, lo, the caus," quod sche.
"To me thow art commyt. I sall the keip.
Thir pieteous pepill amyd theis laithly deip
War wrechis quhilkis in lusty yeris fair
Pretendit thaym till hie honour to creip;
Bot suddandly thay fell on sleuthfull sleip
Followand plesance, drynt in this loch of cair."
And with that word sche hynt me by the hair,
Caryit me to the hillis hed anone
As Abacuk wes brocht in Babilone.
As we bene on the hie hill sittuate,
"Luke doun." quod scho, "Consave in quhat estat
Thy wrechyt warld thow may considdir now!'27
At hir command, with mekill dreid, God wate,
Out ovir the hill sa hiddous hie and strate
I blent adoun, and feld my body grow:
This brukkill erth, sa littyl to allow
Me thocht I saw byrn in a fyry rage
Of stormy see, quhilk mycht na maner swage.
That terribbill tempest, hiddous wallys huge
Wer maist grysly for till behald or juge,
Quhare nothyr rest nor quyet mycht appere.
Thare wes a peralus palyce, folk to luge.
Thare wes na help, support nor yet refuge.
Innowmerabill folk I saw flottrand in fere
Quhilk peryst on the weltrand wallys were28
And secondly I saw a lusty barge
Ovirset with seyes and mony stormy charge.
This gudly carvel, taiklyt traist on raw,
With blanschyt sail, mylk-quhyte as ony snaw,
Rycht sover tycht and wondir strangly beildyt,
Wes on the boldyn wallys quyte ovirthraw.
Contrariusly the bustuus wynd did blaw
In bubbys thik, that na schip sail mycht weld it.
Now sank scho law, now hie tyl hevyn upheldyt.
At every part the see and wyndis drave
Quhill on a sand the schip tobryst and clave.
It wes a pietuus thyng, allake, allake,
Till here the duylfull cry quhen that scho strake,
Maist lamentabill the peryst folk till se
Sa famyst, drokyt, mait, forwrocht, and wake29
Sum on a plank of firre and sum of ake,
Sum hang apon takill, sum on a tre,
Sum fra thair gryp sone weschyne with the se.
Part drynt, and part to the rolke flet or swam,
On rapis or burdis, syne up the hill thay clam.
Tho at my Nynphe breifly I did inquere
Quhat sygnyfyit tha feirfull wondris fere.
"Yone multitude," said scho, "of pepill drint
Ar faythles folk, quhilkis, quhyle thay ar here,
Mysknawys God, and followys thare plesere,
Quhairfore thay sall in endles fyre be brynt.
Yone lusty schip thow seyst peryst and tynt,
In quhame yone pepill maid ane parralus race,
Scho heycht the Carvell of the State of Grace.
"Ye bene all borne the sonnys of ire I ges,
Syne throw baptyme gettis grace and faythfulnes.
Than in yone carvell suyrly ye remane,
Oft stormstad with this warldis brukkyllnes
Quhill that ye fall in synne and wrachitnes.
Than, schipbrokyn, sall ye droun in endles pane,
Except bye fayth ye fynd the plank agane,
Bye Chryst, workyng gud workys, I onderstand.
Remane thair with; thir sall you bryng to land.
"This may suffice," said scho, "twychand this part.
Returne thy hed, behald this othir art,
Considdir wondris, and be vigilant
That thow may bettir endytyng eftirwart
Thyngis quhilkis I sall the schaw or we depart.
Thow sall have fouth of sentence and not skant.
Thare is no welth nor welfare thow sall want.
The gret Palyce of Honour salt thou se.
Lift up thy hed. Behald that sicht," quod sche.
At hir commaund I rasit hie on hycht high
My vissage till behald that hevenly sycht.
Bot tyl discryve this matter in effek
Impossibill wer till ony erdly wicht.
It transcendes sa far abone my micht
That I with ynk may do bot paper blek.
I man draw furth, the yok lyis in my nek
As of the place to say my lewd avyse.
Plenyst with plesance, lyke to parradyce,
I saw a plane of peirles pulcritude
Quharein abondyt every thingis gude:
Spyce, wyne, corn, ule, tre, frute, flour, herbis grene,
All foulys, bestis, byrdys and alkynde fude.
All maner fyschis, bayth of see and flude,
Wer kepit in pondis of polist silver schene
With purifyit wattir as of the cristall clene.
Till noy the small the grete bestis had na will
Nor ravanus fowlys the littil volatill.
Styll in the season all thyng remanyt thare
Perpetually, but othir noy or fare.
Ay rypyt were bayth herbys, frute and flouris.
Of every thyng the namys till declare
Until my febill wyt impossybill ware.
Amyd the med replete of swete odouris,
A palyce stude with mony riall touris
Quhare kernellys quent, feil turretis men mycht fynd
And goldyn fanys wavand with the wynd.
Pynnakillis, fyellis, tournpikes mony one,
Gylt byrnyst torris, quhilk lyk til Phebus schone,
Skarsement, repryse, corbell, and battelyngis,30
Fulyery, borduris of mony pretius stone,
Suttyl muldry wrocht mony day agone
On buttres, jalmys, pilleris and plesand spryngis,
Quyke ymagry with mony lusty syngis
Thare mycht be sene, and mony worthy wychtis
Tofore the yet, arrayit all at rychtis.
Furth past my Nymphe; I followyt subsequent.
Straucht throw the plane to the first ward we went
Of the palyce and entryt at that port.
Thare saw we mony statelie tornament,
Lancis brokyn, knychtis layd on the bent.
Plesand pastance and mony lusty sport
Thair saw we als, and sum tyme battel mort.
"All thir," quod scho, "on Venus service wakis
In dedis of armys for thayr ladyis sakis."
Vissyand I stude the principal place but pere,
That hevynly palyce, all of crystall clere,
Wrocht, as me thocht, of polyst beriall stone.
Bosiliall nor Oliab, but were,
Quhilk Sancta Sanctorum maid, maist ryche and dere,
Nor he that wrocht the tempill of Salomon,
Nor he that beild the riall Ylyon,
Nor he that forgete Darius sepulture
Couth not performe sa craftely a cure.
Studiand here on, my Nimphe on to me spak:
"Thus in a stare quhy standis thou stupefak,
Gouand all day and na thyng hes vissyte!
Thow art prolixt. In haist retourn thy bak.
Go efter me, and gud attendence tak.
Quhat thow seyst, luke eftirwartis thow write.
Thow sall behald all Venus blys perfyte."
Thairwith sche till ane garth did me convoy
Quhare that I saw eneuche of perfyte joy.
Amyd a trone with stonys ryche ovirfret
And claith of gold, lady Venus wes set.
By hir, hir sonne Cupyd quhilk nathing seys.
Quhare Mars entrit, na knawlege mycht I get.
Bot straucht afore Venus vissage but let
Twelf amarant stagis stude, twelf grene precius greis,
Quhareon thare grew thre curius goldyn treis
Sustenttand weil, the goddis face aforne,
A fair myrrour, be thaym quently upborn.
Quhare of it makyt wes I have na feil -
Of beriall, cristall, glas or byrnyst steil,
Of diamant or of the carbunkill jem:
Quhat thing it wes diffyne may I not weil.
Bot all the bordure circulare, every deill,
Wes plate of gold, - cais, stok and uthir hem -
With vertuus stanis picht that blud wald stem.
For quha that wound wes in the tornament
Wox hale fra he apon the myrrour blent.
This riall rillik, so ryche and radius,
Sa pollyst, plesand, purifyed, precius,
Quhoys bontyis half to wryt I not presume,
Thairon tyll se wes sa dellicius
And sa excelland schadois gratius,
Surmontyng far in brichtnes, to my dome,
The costly subtil quent spectacle of Rome
Or yet the myrrour send to Canyce
Quhairin men micht ful many wondrys se.
In that myrrour I mycht se at a sycht
The dedes and fetes of every erdly wycht,
All thinges gone lyk as they wer present,
All the creacion of the angeilys brycht,
Of Lucifer the fall for all his mycht,
Adam fyrst maid and in the erth ysent.
And Noys flude thair saw I subsequent,
Babilon beild, that toure of sic renoun,
Of Sodomus the fele subversyoun.
Abram, Ysak, Jacob, Josoph I saw,
Hornyt Moyses with his ald Ebrew law,
Twelf plagis in Egypt sent for thair trespas,
In the Reid See with al hys court on raw
Kyng Pharo drynt that God wald nevir knaw -
I saw quhat wyse the see devydyt was
And all the Ebrewes dry fut ovir it pas -
Syne in desert I saw thaym fourty yeris.
Of Josuy I saw the worthy weris.
In Judicum the batellis strang anone
I saw of Jepty and of Gedione,
Of Ameleth the cruel homosyd,
The wonderful werkis of douchty duke Sampsone,
Quhilk slew a thousand with ane assys bone,
Rent templis doun and yettis in his pryde,
Of quhais strenth mervalys this warld so wyde.
I saw duke Sangor there, with many a knok
Sax hundreth men slew with a plewchis sok.
The praphet Samuell saw I in that glas
Anoynt Kyng Saule, quhais sonne Jonathas
I saw wyncus ane gret ost hym allane,
Yong David sla the grysly Golyas,
Quhais speirheid wecht thre hundreth uncis was,
Jesbedonab the giant mekill of mane
Lay be the handis of douchty Davyd slane -
With fyngris sax on athir hand but weir.
David I saw sla baith lyon and beir.
This David, eik, at ane onset astond
Aucht hundreth men I saw hym bryng to grond.
With hym I saw Bananyas the strang
Quhilk twa lyonys of Moab did confond
And gave the stalwart Ethiop dedis wond
With his awyn spere that of his hand he thrang.
Onabysytly this champion saw I gang
In a deip sistern and thare a lyon slewch
Quhilk in a storme of snaw did harm eneuch.
Of Salomon, the wysdom and estate,
Thare saw I, and his ryche tempill, God wate,
His sonne Roboam, quhilk throw his hely pride
Tynt all his ligis hartis be his fate -
He wes to thaym sa outragius ingrate
Of twelf tribis, ten did fra hym devyd.
I saw the angell sla, be nychtis tyd,
Four score thousandis of Synachorybis ost
Quhilkis come to weir on Jowry with gret bost.
I saw the lyfe of the kyng Esachy
Prolongit fifteen yere, and the prophet Hely
Amyd a fyry chare to Paradyce went;
The stories of Esdras and of Neamy
And Danyell in the lyonys cave saw I
For he the dragon slew, Bell brak and schent,
The chyldir thre amyd the fornace sent.31
I saw the transmygracion in Babillon
And baith the bukis of Parelipomenon.
I saw the haly archangell Raphell
Mary Sara the dochter of Raguell
On Thobyas for his just fatheris sake,
And bynd the crewel devyll that wes sa fel
Quhilk slew hir sevin first husbandis, as tha tel,
And quhow Judyth Olyfarnus heid of strake
Be nychtis tyd, and fred hir town fra wrake.
Jonas in the quhalys wame dais thre
And schot furth syne, I saw, at Ninive.
Of Job I saw the patyence maist degest.
Of Alexander I saw the gret conquest,
Quhilk in twelf yeris wan nere the warld on breid,
And of Anthiacus the gret onrest,
Quhow tyrrand-lyk all Jowrye he opprest;
Of Macabeus, full mony knychtly deid,
That gart all Grece and Egypt stand in dreid,
In quyet brocht his realm throw his prowes.
I saw his brethir Symon and Jonathas,
Quhilkis wer maist worthy quhil thair dayis rang.
Of Tebes, eik, I saw the weris lang
Quhare Thedeus allone slew fyfty knychtis,
Quhow fynaly of Grece the campyonys strang -
All hail the floure of knychtheid - in that thrang
Wes distroyit, quhill Thesyus with his mychtis
The toun and Creon wan, for all his slychtis.
Thare saw I quhow, as Stacius dois tell,
Amphiorax the bischop sank to Hel.
The faithfull ladyis of Grece I mycht considdir
In clathis blak all barfute pas togyddir
Till Thebes sege fra thair lordis wer slane:
Behald, ye men that callys ladyis liddir
And lycht of latis, quhat kyndnes brocht thaym thidder,
Quhat treuth and luif did in thair brestis remane.
I traist ye sall reid in na wryt agane
In a realme sa mony of sic constance.
Persave thairby wemen ar til avance.
Of duke Pyrrotheus the spousage in that tyd
Quhare the Centauris reft away the bryd
Thare saw I, and thair battell huge till se,
And Hercules, quhais renoun walkis wyd,
For Exiona, law by Troyis syd,
Fecht and ovircome a monsture of the se,
For quhilk, quhen his reward denyit wes, he
Maid the first sege and the distructioun
Of mychty Troy, quhylum the rial town.
To wyn the fleys of gold tho saw I sent
Of Grece the nobillis with Jason consequent,
Hail that conquest and all Medeas slychtis,
Quhow for Jason Ysiphile wes schent,
And quhow to Troy, as thay to Colchos went,
Grekis tholyt of kyng Lamedon gret onrychtis,
Quhairfore Troy distroyt wes be thair mychtis,
Exiona ravyst and Lamedon slane,
Bot Priamus restoryt the town agane.
The Jugement of Parys saw I syne
That gave the appil (as poetis can diffyne)
Till Venus as goddes maist gudlye,
And quhow in Grece he revest quene Helyne
Quharefore the Grekis with thair gret navyn,
Full mony thousand knychtis, hastely
Thaym till revenge salyt towart Troy in hye.
I saw quhow be Ulixes with gret joy
Quhat wyse Achil wes fond and brocht to Troy.
The crewel battellys and the dyntis strang,
The gret debate, and eik the weris lang
At Troy sege, the myrrour to me schew,
Sustenit ten yeris, Grekis Troianys amang,
And athir party set ful oft in thrang,
Quhare that Hector did douchty dedis enew,
Quhilk fears Achil (baith hym and Troylus) slew.
The gret hors maid I saw, and Troy syn tynt
And fair Ylion al in flambys brynt.
Syne out of Troy I saw the fugityvys,
Quhow that Eneas, as Virgill weil discrivis,
In countries seir wes by the seis rage
Bewavyt oft, and quhow that he arryvys
With all his flote but danger of theyr lyvys,
And quhow thay wer reset, baith man and page,
Be quene Dido, remanand in Cartage,
And quhow Eneas syne (as that they tell)
Went for to seik his father doun in Hell.
Ovir Stix the flude I saw Eneas fair,
Quhare Carone wes the bustuus feryair.
The fludis four of Hell thair mycht I se,
The folk in pane, the wayis circulair,
The weltrand stone wirk Sisipho mych cair
And all the plesance of the Camp Elysee
Quhare ald Anchyses did common with Enee,
And schew be lyne all his successyon.
This ilk Eneas, maist famus of renoun,
I saw to goddis make the sacrifice
(Quhairof the ordour and maner to devys
Wer ovir prolext), and quhow Eneas syne
Went to the schyp, and eik I saw quhat wyse
All his navy gret hunger did suppryse,
Quhow he in Italie fynalie, with huge pyne,
Arrivit at the strandis of Lavyne,
And quhow he faucht weil, baith on land and seys,
And Tarnus slew, the kyng of Rutuleis.
Rome saw I beildit fyrst be Romulus,
And eik quhow lang (as wryttis Levius)
The Romane kyngis abone the pepill rang,
And how the wickit proud Terquinius,
With wyfe and barnis, be Brutus Junius
Wer exilit Rome for thair insufferabil wrang.
Bot al the proces for to schaw wer lang,
Quhow chast Lucres, the gudliest and best,
Be Sextus Terquine wes cruelly opprest.
The Punik batalis in that mirrour cleir
Atwene Cartage and Romanis mony yeir
I saw - becaus Eneas pietuus
Fled fra Dido be admonicionis seir.
Atwene thair pepil rais ane langsum weir.
I saw quhow worthy Marcus Regulus
Maist valiant, prudent and victorius
Howbeit he micht at liberty gone fre
For common profyt chesyt for till de.
Tullus Servilius, dowchty in his daw,
And Marcus Curtius eik in the myrrour I saw,
Quhilk, throw his stowtenes, in the fyry gap
For common profyt of Rome him self did thraw
Richt onabasitly, havand na dreid nor aw:
Montit on hors, onarmyt, thairin lap.
And Hannyball I saw, by fatell hap
Wyn contrare Romanys mony fair victory
Quhyll Scipio eclypsyt all hys glory.
This worthy Scipio clepyt Affrycane
I saw vincus thys Hannyball in plane
And Cartage bryng untyll fynall rewyn
And to Rome conquerit all the realme of Spane.
Quhow Kyng Jugurtha hes his brethir slane
Thare saw I eik, and of his were the fyne.
Rycht weil I saw the batellis intestyne
Of Catulyna and of Lentulus
And atwine Pompey and Cesar Julyus,
And, breifly, every famus douchty deid
That men in story may se or cornakyll reid.
I mycht behald in that myrrour expres
The miserie, the crewelte, the dreid,
Pane, sorow, wo, baith wretchitnes and neid,
The gret envy, covatus, dowbilnes
Twychand warldly onfaithful brukkylnes32
I saw the Fend fast folk to vicis tist
And al the cumming of the Antecrist.
Plesand debaitmentis, quha sa rycht reportis,
Thare mycht be sene and al maner disportys:
The falkonnis for the revere at thair gate
Newand the fowlys in periculo mortis33
Layand thaym in be companeis and sortis34
(And, at the plunge, part saw I handlyt hate!);35
The wery huntare, byssy ayr and late,
Wyth questyng hundis syrchand to and fra
To hunt the hart, the bare, the da, the ra.
I saw Raf Coilyear with his thrawin brow,
Craibit Johne the reif and auld Cowkewyis sow
And how the wran come out of Ailssay,
And Peirs Plewman that maid his workmen fow,
Gret Gowmakmorne and Fyn Makcoull, and how
Thay suld be goddis in Ireland, as thay say.
Thair saw I Maitland upon auld beird gray,
Robene Hude and Gilbert with the quhite hand,
How Hay of Nauchtoun flew in Madin land.
The nigramansy thair saw I eik anone
Of Bonitas, Bongo, and Frere Bacon
With mony subtell poynt of juglory:
Of Flandris peys maid mony precius stone,
A gret lade sadil of a sychyng bone,
Of a nutmog thay mayid a monk in hy,
A parys kirk of a small penny py,
And Bonytas of a mussil made ane ape,
With mony othir subtell mow and jape.
And schortly, til declare the veryte,
All plesand pastance and gemmys that micht be
In that myrrour wer present to my sycht.
And as I wondryt on that grete ferlye,
Venus at last, in turning of hir e,
Knew weil my face and said, "Be Goddis micht,
Ye bene welcum, my presoner, to this hycht.
Quhow passit thou," quod scho, "that hidduus depe?"
"Madame," quod I, "I not more than a schepe."
"Na fors thairof," said scho, "sen thow art here.
Quhow plesys the our pastance and effere?"
"Glaidly," quod I, "Madame, be God of hevyn."
"Remembris thow," said scho, "withouten were,
On thy promyt quhen of thy gret dangere
I the deliverit (as now is not to nevyn)?"
Than answerit I agane with sober stevyn:
"Madame, your precept, quhat so be your wyll,
Here I remane ay reddy till fulfill."
"Weil, weil," said scho, "thy wyll is suffycyent.
Of thy bousoum answere I stand content."
Than suddandly in hand a buke scho hynt
The quhilk to me betaucht scho or I went,
Commandand me to be obedient
And put in ryme that proces than quyt tynt.
I promised hir, forsuyth, or scho wald stynt,
The buke ressavand, thairon my cure to preve.
Inclynand syne lawly, I tuke my leve.
Twychand this buke peraventur ye sall here
Sumtyme efter quhen I have mare lasere.
My Nymphe in hast tho hynt me by the hand
And as we sammyn walkyt furth in fere
"I the declare," sayd scho, "yone myrrour clere
The quhilk thow saw afore dame Venus stand
Signifyes nothing ellis till understand
Bot the gret bewty of thir ladyis facis
Quhairin lovers thinkis thay behald all gracis."
Scho me convoyit, finally to tell,
With gret plesance straucht to the ryche castell,
Quhare mony saw I pres til get ingres.
Thare saw I Synon and Achittefell
Pressand til clym the wallis and how thay fell.
Lucyus Catalyn saw I thare expres,
In at a wyndow pres til have entres
Bot suddandly Tullius come with a buke,
And strake hym doun quhill all his chaftis quuke.
Fast clymmand up thay lusty wallys of stone
I saw Jugurtha and tressonabill Tryphon
Bot thay na grippis thair mycht hald for slyddir.36
Preissand to clym stude thousandis many one,
And into the ground thay fallen every one.
Than on the wall a garatour I considdir,
Proclamand lowd, that did thayr hartis swiddir:
"Out on falshed, the mother of everye vyce!
Away invy and brynnand covetyce!"
The garatour, my Nymphe tho to me tald,
Wes clepyt Lawte, kepar of the hald
Of hie honour, and thay pepyll out schete
Swa presand thaym to clym, quilum wer bald,37
Rycht vertuus young; but fra tyme thay woux ald,
Fra honour hail one vice thair mindis sete.
"Now sall thow go," quod sche, "straucht to the yete,
Of this palyce and entre but offence,
For the portar is clyped Pacience.
"The mychty prynce, the gretest Empriour
Of yone palyce," quod scho, "hecht hie Honour,
Quham to disservys mony traist officiare.
For Charité, of gudlynes the flour,
Is Maister Houshald in yone cristall tour,
Ferme Constance is the kyngis secritare
And Liberalite heicht his thesaurar.
Innocens and Devocyon, as efferis,
Bene clerkis of closet and cubeculeris.38
"His Comptrowere is clepyt Discretioun.
Humanyte and Trew Relatioun
Bene yscherris of his chalmer morow and eve.
Peace, Quyet, Rest, oft wakis up and doun
In till his hall as marchellis of renoun.
Temperance is cuke, his mete to tast and preve.
Humylyté, karvar, that na wycht lyst greve.
His maister sewer hecht Vertuus Discipline.
Mercy is copper, and mixis weil his wyne.
"His chanceller is clepyt Conscyence,
Quhilk for na meid will pronounce fals sentence.
With him are assessouris four of one ascent,
Science, Prudence, Justice, Sapience,
Quhilkis to na wycht lyst committing offence39
The chekker rollys and the kyngis rent
As auditouris thay ovirseis quhat is spent.
Labourus Diligens, Gud Werkis, Clene Livyng
Bene out-stewartis and catouris to yone kyng.40
"Gud Hope remanys ever amang yone sort,
A fyne menstral with mony mow and sport.
And Pieté is the kyngis almoseir.
Syne Fortitude (the rycht quha lyst report)
Is lieutenand, al wrachys to comfort.
The kyngis mynyeon, roundand in his eyr
Heicht Verite, did nevir leyl man deir,41
And, schortly, every vertew and plesance
Is subject to yone kyngis obbeysance.
"Come on," sayd sche, "this ordenance to vysyte."
Than past we to that cristall palyce quhyte
Quhare I abayd the entre til behald.
I bad na mare of plesance nor delyte,
Of lusty sycht, of joy and blys perfyte,
Nor mare weilfare til have abone the mold,
Than for til se that yet of byrnyst gold,
Quhare on thair was maist curiusly ingrave
All naturall thyng men may in erd consave.
Thare wes the erth enveronyt wyth the see
Quhare on the schyppes saland mycht I se,
The ayr, the fyre - all the four elymentis -
The Speris Sevyn and Primum Mobile,
The Sygnis Twelf, perfytly every gre,
The Zodiak, hale as bukis represents,
The Poil Antertik that ever himselfe absentis,
The Poil Artik, and eik the Ursis twane,
The Sevyn Sterris, Pheton and the Charle Wane.
Thare wes ingraf quhow that Ganamedis
Wes reft till hevyn (as men in Ovyd redis),
And on till Jupiter made his cheif butlare;
The douchters, fare in to thayr lusty wedis,
Of Dorida, amyd the see but dredis
Swymmand, and part wer figurit thare
Apon a crag dryand thair yalow hare -
With facis not onlyk, for quha thaym seyng
Mycht weil consyddir that thay al sisteris beyng.
Of the planetis all the conjunctionys,
Thare episciclis and opposionis
Wer porturyt thair, and quhow thair coursis swagis,
Thare naturale and dayly motionis,
Eclipse, aspectis and degressyonys.
Thare saw I mony gudly personagis
Quhilkis semyt all lusty quyk ymagis,
The werkmanschip excedyng mony fold
The precyus mater, thocht it wes fynest gold.
Wondrand here on, agane my wyll but lete
My Nymphe in grif schot me in at the yet.
"Quhat devyl," said scho, "hes thou not ellis ado
Bot all thy wyt and fantasy to set
On sic dotyng?" and tho for fere I swet
Of her langage, bot than anone said scho,
"List thou se farlyes, behald thaym yondir, lo;
Yit study not ovir mekil a dreid thow vary,42
For I persave the halflyngis in a fary."
Within that palyce sone I gat a sycht
Quhare walkand went ful mony worthy wicht
Amyd the close, with all myrthys to wale;
For lyk Phebus with fyry bemys brycht
The wallys schane, castand sa gret a lycht,
It semyt lyk the hevyn imperiall.
And as the cedir surmontyth the rammale
In perfyt hycht, sa of that court a glance
Excedis far all erdly vane plesance.
For lois of sycht considdir micht I nocht
Quhow perfytly the ryche wallys wer wrocht.
Swa the reflex of cristall stanys schone,
For brychtnes skarsly blenk thairon I mocht43
The purifyit silver (soithly as me thocht)
Insteid of syment wes ovir all that wone,
Yet round about ful mony a beriall stone,
And thaym conjunctly jonyt fast and quemyt.
The close wes paithit with silver, as it semyt.
The durris and the wyndois all wer breddyt
With massy gold, quhareof the fynes scheddit.44
With byrnyst evyr baith palyce and touris
Wer thekyt weil, maist craftely that cled it:
For so the quhitly blanchit bone ovirspred it,
Mydlyt with gold, anamalyt all colouris,
Inporturat of byrdis and swete flouris,
Curius knottis and mony sle devyse,
Quhilkis to behald wes perfyt paradice.
And, to proceid, my Nympe and I furth went
Straucht to the hall, throw out the palyce jent,
And ten stagis of thopas did ascend.
Schit wes the dure. In at a boir I blent,
Quhare I beheld the gladdest represent
That evir in erth a wrachit catywe kend.
Breifly theis proces til conclude and end:
Me thocht the flure wes al of amatist,
Bot quhareof war the wallis I ne wist.45
The multitud of prectius stonis sere
Thairon swa schane, my febill sycht, but were,
Mycht not behald thair vertuus gudlynes.
For all the ruf (as did to me appere)
Hang full of plesand lowpyt saphyrs clere.
Of dyamantis and rubys, as I ges,
Wer all the burdis maid, of mast riches.
Of sardanus, of jaspe and smaragdane
Trestis, formys and benkis wer, pollist plane.46
Baith to and fro amyd the hall they went,
Rial princis in plate and armouris quent
Of byrnist gold cuchit with precyus stonys.
Intronyt sat a god armypotent,
On quhais gloryus vissage as I blent,
In extasy, be his brychtnes, atonys
He smate me doun and byrsyt all my bonys.
Thare lay I still in swoun, with cullour blaucht,
Quhil at the last my Nymphe up hes me kaucht.
Syne wyth gret pane, with womentyng and care,
In hir armys scho bare me doun the stare
And in the clois full softly laid me doun,
Held up my hede to tak the hailsum ayre
For of my lyfe scho stude in gret dispare.
Me till awalk ay wes that lady boun,
Quhill, finally, out of my dedly swoun
I swyth ovircome and up my eyne did cast.
"Be myrry, man," quod scho, "the werst is past.
"Get up," scho said, "for schame, be na cowart.
My hede in wed, thow hes a wyfis hart
That for a plesand sycht is so mysmaid!"
Than, all in anger, apon my fete I start;
And for hir wordis wer so apyrsmart,
On to the Nymphe I maid a bustuus braid.
"Carlyng," quod I, "quhat wes yone at thow said?"
"Soft yow," said sche, "thay ar not wyse that stryvys,
For kyrkmen wer ay jentill to ther wyvys.
"I am rycht glaid thou art wordyn so wycht.
Lang ere (me thocht) thow had nothir fors ne mycht,
Curage nor wyll for till have grevyt a fla.
Quhat alyt the to fall?" Quod I, "The sycht
Of yone goddes grym fyry vissage brycht
Ovirset my wyt and all my spretis swa
I mycht not stand." "Bot wes that suyth?" "Ya, ya!"
Than said the Nymphe rycht merylie and leuch,
"Now I considdir thy malt hart weil eneuch.
"I wyl," quod scho, "na mare the thus assay
With sic plesance, quhilk may thy sprete effray.
Yit sall thow se suythly (sen thou art here)
My lydyis court in thair gudly array.
For till behald thair myrth cum on thy way."
Than hand in hand suyth went we furth in fere
At a postrum towart the fair herbere.
In that passage full fast at hir I franyt
Quhat folk thay wer within the hall remanyt.
"Yone wer," said scho, "quha sa the richt discrivys,
Maist vailyeand folk and vertuus in thair lyvys.
Now in the court of Honour thay remane
Victoriusly, and in all plesance thryvys,
For thay with spere, with swerdys and wyth knyvys
In just battell wer fundyn maist of mane.
In thair promyttis thay stude evir fyrm and plane.
In thaym aboundit worschyp and lawte
Illumynyt with liberalité.
"Honour," quod scho "to this hevinly ryng
Differris richt far from warldly honoring,
Quhilk is but pompe of erdly dignyté
Gyvyn for estate or blude, micht, or sic thyng.
And in this countre, prynce, prelate or kyng
Alanerly sall for vertu honoryt be;
For erdly glore is not bot vanyte
That, as we se, sa suddandly will wend;
Bot vertuus honour nevir mare sall end.
"Behald," said scho "and se this warldly glore:
Maist inconstant, maist slyd and transitore.
Prosperite in erd is bot a dreme,
Or lyk as man wer steppand ovir a score:
Now is he law that wes so hie tofore,
And he quhilum wes borne pure of his deme,
Now his estate schynys lyke the sonne beme.
Baith up and doun, baith to and fro we se
This warld weltrys as dois the wally see.
"To papis, bischoppis, prelatis and primatis,
Empriouris, kinges, princes, potestatis,
Deth settis the terme and end of all thair hycht.
Fra thay be gan, late se quha on thaym watys.47
Na thyng remanis bot fame of thair estatis,
And not ellis bot vertuus werkis richt
Sall with thaym wend, nother thair pompe nor mycht.
Ay vertu ryngis in lestand honour clere;
Remembir than that vertu hes no pere.
"For vertu is a thing sa precyous,
Quhareof the end is sa delycious
The warld ma not consyddir quhat it is.
It makis folk perfyte and glorious.
It makis sanctis of pepill vicious.
It causis folk ay leve in lestand blys.
It is the way til hie honour I wys.
It dantis deth and every vice thorow mycht.
Without vertu, fy on all erdly wycht!
"Vertu is eik the perfyte sikkyr way,
And not ellis, til honour lestand ay.
For mony hes sene vitious pepil upheit
And eftir sone thair glory vanys away,
Quharof exemplis we se this every day.
His erdly pompe is gone quhen that he deyt.
Than is he with no erdly frend suppleit
Savand vertu - weill is him hes sic a fere.
Now wil I schaw," quod sche, " quhat folk bene here.
"The strangest Sampson is in to yone hald,
The forsy, pyssand Hercules so bald,
The feirs Achill and all the Nobillis Nyne,
Scipio Affricane, Pompeyus the ald,
Uthir mony quhais namys afore are tald
With thousandis ma than I may here diffine,
And lusty ladyis amyd thay lordis syne:
Semiramis, Thamar, Ypolytha,
Pantyssale, Medus, Cenobia.
"Of thy regyon yondir bene honorit part,
The kyngis Gregor, Kened and Kyng Robert,
With otheris mo that beis not here rehersyt.
Waryit," quod scho, "ay be thy megyr hart.
Thow suld have sene, had thou biddin in yon art,
Quhat wyse yone hevynly company conversyt.
Wa worth thy febyll brane, sa sone wes persit.
Thow mycht have sene, remanand quhare thow was,
A huge pepyl punyst for thair trespas
"Quhilkis be wilfull, manyfest arrogance,
Invyus pryd, pretendit ignorance,
Fowle dowbilnes and dissate unamendit,
Enforcis thaym thair selvyn til avance,
Be sle falsheid, but lawte or constance,
Wyth subtelnes and slychtnes now commendit,
Betraisand folk that nevir to them offendit,
And upheis thaim self throw frawdful lippis,
Thocht God cause oft thare erdly glore eclippis.
"And nobillis cumyn of honorabill ancestry
Thair vertuus nobilité settis nocht by,
For dishonest, unlefull, warldly ways
And throw corruppit, covatus invy.
Bot he that can be dowbill, nane is set by.
Dissate is wisdum; lawte, honour away is.
Rycht few or nane takis tent thairto thir days.
And thair gret wrangis till reforme but let
In judgement yone god wes yondir set.
"Remanand yondir thow mycht have herd belyve
Pronouncit the gret sentence diffinytive
Twichand this actioun, and the dreidful pane
Execute on trespassouris yit on lyve,
Swa that thair malyce sall na mare prescryve."
"Madame," quod I, "for Goddis saik, turn agane.
My spreit desyris to se thair torment fane."
Quod scho, "richt now thare sall thow be rejosyt
Quhen thow hes tane the ayr and bettir apposyt.48
"Bot first thow sal considdir commoditeis
Of our gardyng, lo, full of lusty trees,
All hie cypres, of flewer maist fragrant.
Our ladyis yonder, bissy as the beis,
The swete florist colouris of rethoreis
Gaddris full fast, mony grene tendir plant;
For with all plesance plenist is yone hant,
Quhare precious stanys on treis doyth abound
In sted of frute, chargyt with peirlis round."
On till that gudly garth thus we proceid
Quhilk with a large fowsy, fare on breid,
Inveronyt wes, quhare fysches wer enew.
All wattir foulis wer swomand thair gud speid;
Als out of growand treis thair saw I breid
Foulys that hyngand by thair nebbis grew.
Out ovir the stank of mony divers hew
Wes laid a tre, ovir quhilk behovyt we pas,
Bot I can not declare quhare of it wes.
My Nymphe went ovir, chargeand me felow fast.
Hir till obbey my spretis woux agast,
Swa peralus wes the passagis till aspy.
Away sche went, and fra tyme sche wes past,
Apon the bryg I entrit at the last.
Bot swa my harnys trymlyt bissyly,
Quhyl I fell ovir and baith my fete slaid by,
Out ovir the hede, into the stank adoun,
Quhare, as me thocht, I wes in point to droun.
Quhat throw the byrdis sang and this affray,
Out of my swoun I wallkynnyt quhare I lay
In the gardyn quhare I fyrst doun fell.
About I blent, for richt clere was the day,
Bot all thys lusty plesance wes away.
Me thocht that fare herbere maist lyk to Hel
In till compare of this ye herd me tell.
Allace, allace. I thocht me than in pane,
And langyt sare for till have swounyt agane.
The byrdis sang nor yit the mery flouris
Mycht not ameys my grevows gret dolouris.
All erdly thyng me thocht barrant and vyle.
Thus I remanyt into the garth twa houris
Cursand the feildis with all the fare coullouris,
That I awolk oft wariand the quhyle.
Always my mynd wes on the lusty yle,
In purpose evir till have dwelt in that art,
Of rethorik cullouris til have fund sum parte.
And maist of all my curage wes aggrevit
Becaus sa sone I of my dreme eschevyt,
Nocht seand quhow thay wrechis wer torment
That honour mankyt and honeste myschevyt.
Glaidly I wald amyd thys wryt have brevyt,
Had I it sene, quhow thay were slane or schent.
Bot fra I saw all thys weilfare wes went,
Till mak ane end, sittand under a tre,
In laude of honour I wrait thir versis thre:
"O hie honour, swete hevynly flour degest,
Gem vertuus, maist precius, gudlyest
For hie renoun, thow art guerdoun condyng,
Of worschyp kend the glorius end and rest,
But quham, in rycht, na worthy wicht may lest;
Thy gret puissance may maist avance all thyng,49
And poverale to myche avale sone bryng.
I the requere, sen thow, but pere, art best,
That eftir this in thy hie blys we ryng.
"Of grace thy face in every place so schynys,
That, swete, all spreit baith heid and feit inclynis50
Thy glore afore, for til implore remeid.
He docht rycht nocht quhilk out of thocht the tynis.51
Thy name but blame, and riall fame, dyvine is,
Thow port, at schort, of our comfort and reid
Tyll bryng all thyng tyll gladyng eftir deid.
All wycht but sycht of thy gret mycht ay crinis.
O schene, I mene, nane may sustene thy feid.
"Hail rois, maist chois til clois thy foys gret mycht.
Hail stone quhilk schone apon the trone of lycht.
Vertew, quhais trew suet dew overthrew all vyce,
Was ay, ilk day, gar say, the way of lycht.
Amend offend, and send our end ay richt.
Thow stant ordant as sant, of grant maist wyse,
Til be supple and the hie gre of pryce.
Delyte the tite me quyte of syte to dycht52
For I apply, schortly, to thy devyse."
The auctor direkit his buke to the rycht
nobill Prynce James the Ferd, Kyng
Tryumphus laud with palm of victory,
The laurere crown of infynyte glory,
Maist gracius prince, our soverane James the Ferd,
Thy Majesty mot have eternally
Suppreme honour, renoun of chevalry,
Felycité perdurand in this erd,
With etern blys in the hevyn by fatal werd.
Resave this rusty, rurall rebaldry,
Lakand cunnyng, fra thye puyr lege onlerd,
Quhilk, in the sycht of thy magnificence,
Confydand in so gret benevolence,
Proponis thus my vulgare ignorance,
Maist humely, wyth dew obedyence,
Besekand oft thy mychty excellence
Be grace til pardon all sic variance
With sum benyng respect of ferme constance,
Remyttand my pretendit negligence
Throw quhais mycht may humyll thyng avance.
Breif burall quair, of eloquence all quyte,
With russet weid and sentence imperfyte,
Til cum in plane, se thow thow not pretend tha.53
Thy barrant termis and thy vyle endyte
Sall not be min; I wyll not have the wyte.
For, as for me, I quytcleme that I kend tha.
Thow art bot stouth. Thyft lovys lycht but lyte.
Not worth a myte, pray ilk man till amend tha.
Fare on with syte! and on this wyse I end tha.
When; mournful face; (see note)
reddish-brown cloak; fringed; (see note)
Wrapped; with divine ceremoniousness
a kindly queen to the flowers
arose; customary ritual; (see note)
entered; an enclosed garden; (see note)
Painted by the Sun, lovely as Paradise; (see note)
boughs; variety of blossoms
skilfully; ornamented over
spangled; cluster; (see note)
Until; amply supplied
drops; daisies; trickling; (see note)
leaves; tapestries; (see note)
which; harmonies; (see note)
making their own songs
Whose; shrill; resounded through
[Because] of reverberating air; echo sounds; (see note)
trees in blossom
lifted; (see note)
mean; which pulls with perfect skill
axletree; of great worth; (see note)
(the Sun) who appears red at morning
birds, flowers; branches
Invigorated; Apollo's benevolence
Which; night; leaves plucked up
harmful moisture; stinging
shady trees; wrapped
among the gardens nibbled
poured forth; purified
nutritious for; growing
Aeolus; chose not to appear; (see note)
old; deadly spear
did not want; to frequent
crystal (clear, pale green); (see note)
to see; entire
cleansed; newly generated heat
stained; ore; jewel
bushes roaming by myself
as brilliant as the sun shone; (see note)
paragon of comfort
month; (see note)
down (here) revive
compels to thrive
true foundation; operation
Whose high vigour; constant care
goodly; incomparable skill
Subdues; beasts; changeable
budding shoots; pleasant
recover; sprout; capable
twigs; olive branches
thee; root and increase; vigour
thee intensifies; service to Mars
increases; age of youth
Whoever; confined; love's passion
ought to glorify and praise thee
raised my face; (see note)
then; How long shall; stray
Who; enclosed garden serves
Recover me; great alarm
early morning worship
Trembling; fear; pulse; veins
allotted destiny; curse
endure; such a lovely sound
a meteoric flash; (see note)
whose; rapture or swoon
thickets; altogether in a daze
As enfeebled as a woman; (see note)
brilliant light; benumbed; strength
no wonder; (see note)
Spoils; causes; descend
Unto; so that no danger harm it
Which; before; empty of blood
dream; strange occurrence
a hideous river
monitory dream; rough rustic words
barren; overcome by illusions; (see note)
writing; scorn; rhetoricians
duty; these frenzies
humble ability stripped you
entranced spirit; (see note)
Came near; river
steep banks; overhanging; (see note)
Upon which; grass
loathly; rumbling; roared
which; yelling like elves; (see note)
Those; loathed and dreaded
Nothing; rotten trees
Old rotten stump; left
Decayed; withered; seeds fallen off
fitting; murderers; robbed
I myself; very sorely afraid
dark; fog; sea had cast up
nothing but; marsh; mud
not without cause; confounded; (see note)
is there no other way out
why have you betrayed me; (see note)
fated end; plotted
expect no other remedy
Than to be devoured by; beast
wail; lament; plead
What use are your fleeting pleasures?
[it] sinks; (see note)
low; becomes greater
sick; healthy; nothing is wrong
now gets wet, and now, dry
mirth; anger; flatters; despises
frail and inconstant
Certainly; Truly yes
Spring turned into
Awaiting death; stupor
noise; close by me
Which; from the north side
Like a herd of beasts
God knows; afraid
Expecting to be killed by cattle
I withdrew inside a hollow tree very stealthily; (see note)
Where, looking out, I suddenly saw
A fine crowd of reasoning beasts
dressed; (see note)
uniform clothing; gratified my spirits
saddle-horses; "put through their paces"
unafraid to look about
trained with thoroughness
Amidst whom; a golden chariot
Covered over; gems; brilliant
pulled; four horses, milk-white
lily fair; neck
each gore (wedge-shaped cloth); (see note)
her golden hair
damsels, each one in her own rank
fine company; knows
high rank and low degree
Unhurriedly they rode on their way
came riding two wretches; (see note)
One; donkey; rope; mane; (see note)
came out; eagerly asked them
cunning means murdered many
Do you know
cast out from thence, indeed
also Deborah; Circe
spinning out our destinies
prophetess; (see note)
the source of wisdom
Aristotle, well-stocked with wisdom; (see note)
Pythagoras, Porphyry, Parmenides; (see note)
Melissus; incontrovertible sayings; (see note)
Shadrach; Solinus; (see note)
Nectanabus, Hermes Trismegistus; (see note)
Enoch, Lamech; (see note)
eloquent; (see note)
Melchizedek; (see note)
Their route passes through
a thousand leagues hence
before we get there; go lame
Before you go
in this low position
always; (see note)
caused my advice to be set aside
For that reason; neck
in so humiliating a way
by an unfortunate draw of lots
By which means; destroyed
destiny and fate
grieves for your injuries
malicious men both
gain no entry at that gate
Unless it be through
very way; by our estimation
who has troubled many
rode; as if they were scared
elvish fellow; (see note)
Crept; rotten oak-stumps; decrepit
no remedy except death
squeaking of a mouse; (see note)
weakness and timidity
who spied on Diana when she was naked
and also; young maidens
his dogs set on him
glanced; give them
Then; golden hair
outdoor clothing; women foresters; (see note)
Amidst whom high; (see note)
As a sign that she grows in chastity
knows; none of them is fickle
do not know; associate
Jephthah's; noble; (see note)
Penthesileia; manly fortitude; (see note)
Iphigenia; (see note)
scattered about; (see note)
bare branches; battered
lizards, asps, adders wallowed
sting; poisonous squirts
Corrupting the air with noxious moisture
dazed head stupefied dizzily
wretch overcome by sleep
appeared to my powers of perception
shining light; (see note)
sweetest-sounding measure I heard "peep"; (see note)
numbered; (see note)
carried by the deep [water]
hear; (see note)
the which with many pores; (see note)
although because of noise
breaks and troubles; (see note)
fear hasten away
very few; ears
indeed, unless wise clerks lie
Without which; teach
Just as without; sees
Enough; I do not know what
all in one place together
showed before what; heard
God knows what fearfulness
A while before; twice
when; angry; (see note)
most contrary to him
constrained me to make lamentation
most pleasant court; sight
What song; (see note)
in good order
dimmed; doleful delusion
so shall I readily say
twelve war-horses adorned
axle-tree; wheels; assure (you)
Fastened together; solid
Arrayed; pleasant dwelling fit for a god
cloth; dark purple
enamelled in all kinds of patterns
these slender bell; (see note)
rings so harmoniously
hierarchies; (see note)
abounding with delight
at whose command
company; to hear
which is most to be praised
at the zenith of his sphere
shone; casting; gleam of light
beauty; overwhelmed, both
matchless of figure and features
perfected her jurisdiction
the eye of a bat
Whoever; was revived by her beauty
no one escaped who got a glimpse
What being this might be that
so matchless; femininity
sturdy limbs; (see note)
well sculpted; part
truly; no eyes
earthly love; seldom
pitch and performance clearly rendered
skilfully in a fitting spirit
Heard; such; suppose
youths; with the rest
maidenly voices; (see note)
Harmonies; sung responses; (see note)
Double and triple rhythms in fourths
sung and played; various
musical proportion; heard
Simple polyphony, polyphonic variation, and two-part harmony
fiddle; fine lively dance; (see note)
Reed-instruments, trumpets, organs
Citole (guitar); hand harp
singing; clear enunciation
whose; (see note)
intricate songs; (see note)
abstruse arts; (see note)
a tenth part of what they knew
intricate harmonic proportions; (see note)
cuckoo or a pig; (see note)
will I waste my effort
singing; set terms to
notes of music
sweeter; sphere; (see note)
no sound equal (to them); (see note)
no point of contact
whom I do not wish to recall
poorest clothing; dark green; (see note)
fine clothing; many different fashions
in the highest fashion
Damask; variegated in colour
Crimson; velvet dyed; stripes
Flowered damask, Spanish velvet
Gold embroidery; dignity restores
Their; attire; peerless
however much I would like to
caparisoned; various silks
horse's breastplate; banded
saddle-horse; lovely; fair
in front; (see note)
armored war-horse; spirited
a hand's breadth long
not too large nor yet too tall
Watching; love; (see note)
calls wherever; walk
Arcite; (see note)
faithless lover Aeneas; (see note)
pleasing; (see note)
Faithful Lucrece; trustworthy; (see note)
Loving Pyramus; (see note)
Procne; sad; (see note)
Bathsheba; (see note)
loving; (see note)
angry; (see note)
Briseis; from; taken
Phyllis; Demophoon; (see note)
Artful; (see note)
Vienne; (see note)
Ariadne; (see note)
brave; (see note)
Ahasuerus, Esther, blameless Susanna; (see note)
unfortunate Delilah; (see note)
Deianeira; (see note)
Accursed Byblis; (see note)
Scylla; (see note)
Tristram, Iseult, Elkanah; Hannah; (see note)
Griselde; (see note)
Narcissus, who broke his head; (see note)
wife; (see note)
There are only a few such; (see note)
These; cloth of fine linen
For this long; dependable
describe my skill is too weak
glances; flourishing vigour
flirtation; ride on together
Some live; servitude
various wreaths of roses
Until; stirred my spirits
song which following; hear
Confined heart, enfolded; (see note)
pleasure turned back; spite
slave; enwrapped in sorrow; (see note)
in half; pour out at once
harsh fate, predisposed to suffering
grief; upon; engraved
Everyone; prosperity at command
monstrosity; receive; (see note)
Death, get ready and send
Cursed be; troublesome; (see note)
Woe befall; brittle
burning disquiet; (see note)
death; makes me die
was able; gripped
did not make up a letter
Where is that toad; (see note)
Who deserves death [for]; offence
From tree; without rest
found; in scornful spite
Come out, churl; faulty hermit
fever; decayed bower
crept; low; grovel
shook their heads at me
scowling grimly; snarling; (see note)
many heavy blows
Pluck the crow; deplume; rook
bump on the head; (see note)
Because of; my jaws rattled
tormented; spiteful game
To; tied up
abashed; ruthless attack
formerly scorched, sterile
Became most pleasing; truth
lessen; grievous pain
Then arose; [who] was named; (see note)
insane and demented
betray lay in wait; sunrise
it seemed to me; was doomed
quivering; cold; (see note)
without longer plea
my effort wasted
to terrify me
Once; [there'd be] no further aid
abashed; at once; burst out
Suppose these particular aspects
acquit myself; in truth
against the judge whom; (see note)
irregular; improper proceedings
Bowing low; mournful; (see note)
if it please
judges; (see note)
furthermore; layman; (see note)
although; bereft of learning; (see note)
I am called; during my life
handed over to my proper judge
beseech; diligent attention
a favorable interim judgment
these pleas just put forward
Decided at once; forceful
wretch, God knows
What are you aiming at; (see note)
refuse to acknowledge as judge
shall not be; another way
As we determine you [to be]; suffer
Nothing; you stand for
when; whole intention; (see note)
too soon you fail
reckon; ails you
artful; ingenious; (see note)
deed; eager; snails
[who] malign; (see note)
who call yourselves so loyal
false assurance; contrive
person, loyalty; undertakings
Have done; Immediately
wretch give proof
Whether; pass sentence upon
in my face; show; (see note)
distress; so; dread
Completely overcame me; Creed
indeed, although; (see note)
dread; no pain
trick; (see note)
monstrous beast transform
into a bear; boar; owl
would examine my hand
was altered; laid hold of my face
considered; at once
cow; ordered to be kept; (see note)
fair; long was miserable
guarded; eyes; (see note)
Whom; caused to sleep
how into; (see note)
considered; (see note)
Nebuchadnezzar; (see note)
These; made me dread
companion stumble; (see note)
contemplating; fanciful notions
cause to shudder
no one; by any means
Entirely; against me
just about; heavy
barren; (see note)
intense bewilderment; (see note)
truth; (see note)
reigning; three persons (the Trinity)
Has supplied means for my deliverance
Because of some good spirit's disclosure
Who interceded; on my behalf
forgot; fanciful notion(s)
Altogether; then forgot in haste
I did not know why
to be rescued
raised then my face
sight; did not vex my heart
company emerged from the forest
excellence; if I do not contradict
Hardly; text recorded
laurel; long robes
Of one style; unvarying hue
Well decked out; approach; (see note)
who displayed a youthful beauty
After the manner of a poet; variously
new style; good to hear
some of them; on the lyre
Sapphic and also elegiac meter; (see note)
for the most part; monocords; (see note)
tuning-peg went wrong
psaltery; (see note)
strumming skillfully; (see note)
Subdivided; kept to the larger rhythm; (see note)
sweet voices; (see note)
Eloquent; long ago; wrote
sent; (see note)
long letter of complaint
not knowing his condition
killed or imprisoned
to; in haste
Wrote; heard; knows
have in no way an equal
steady, regular rhythm
continuing straight as a line
band just referred to
Went forwards; their way
which was previously described
I did not know
considered myself pleased by
Since; expressed opinions
This fine company; our fellow; (see note)
To condemn; monster who
elegant words, song; (see note)
fixed foundation; stories
heavenly source of inspiration; (see note)
Wherefrom; flow; (see note)
angelic style of writing
coarse language; glitter
pay attention to their erudition
that company; Princess
her eldest daughter
Clio; skilfully writes out; (see note)
also; does her duty
gentle; without cease
writings about love
The fourth writes
Bitter; Melpomene the noble
Terpsichore; soft sound; (see note)
these insane lovers
Polyhymnia; (see note)
Writes; devices of rhetoric
Urania; eighth; fair
stars at once
ninth, to whom no other is equal
From whose beauty and excellence
nobles' fates has control
To write; honor
causes their fame to increase; (see note)
Called; epic without doubt
Fauns (see note)
Satyrs; (see note)
Napaeae; (see note)
spirit [which] before; (see note)
Restored; complexion [which]; pale
Beholding how; rode
Greek; spoke; (see note)
Virgil; (see note)
Dictys Cretensis; Dares Phrygius; Lucan; (see note)
Poggio Bracciolini; Persius; (see note)
Terence; Aelius Donatus; (see note)
Petrarch; Valerius Flaccus; (see note)
Aesop; Dionysius Cato; Alain de Lille; (see note)
Gautier de Châtillon; Boethius; (see note)
Quintilian; (see note)
Juvenal; (see note)
versatile; Martial; (see note)
fame; Statius; (see note)
Fausto Andrelini; Lorenzo Valla; (see note)
Giulio Pomponio Leto; without fail; (see note)
Horace; (see note)
Leonardo Bruni; Claudian; Boccaccio; (see note)
crowd; near us
Britain; (see note)
the letter A, without equal; (see note)
vernacular; (see note)
pondering by himself; (see note)
Scotland; at once
alive; (see note)
Even though; compose
excellences; in due form
lengthy; powers of invention
Concerning; course; grief
tied up; sorry condition
Awaiting; mercy or else; torment
returned their greeting
eloquent and gracious
Asked; person; upset
sly wretch; hue (see note)
directed her attention
cause my good name to depart
disgusting, insulting rhyme, cunningly
Composed, reciting out loud
Against; also; forever
shall be dead
remain; indeed in this place
Greater reproach; high rank
Altogether; such controversy
How; checkmate; (see note)
so far and wide is blown; (see note)
in such fear
command; (see note)
without request; (see note)
Won; futile legal case
failed and abandoned
Meanwhile; sudden doubt
indicated to all the company
Cause my wrath to diminish
tyranny; (see note)
arrogant; (see note)
forbid; should; those
Who; hostility; cease
wrath; deserve; reproof
Venus said to her then; (see note)
pardon his offence; injury
Shall be forgotten as long as; letter
in opposition to
ordered my arrest be ended at once
wrote; song; just as fast
Unblemished; rescued from; (see note)
fortunately; (see note)
Released unconstrained by
sorrow; bitter sufferings
let your sorrow be lessened
set apart from conflict
lives in hope
causes to prosper
fully endowed with
under her protection always
without bouts of pain or bitterness; (see note)
cheerful; in your fine vigour
Unstained; rescued from
protector; (see note)
lingered; the field
means of support
condemned to die
request from God; (see note)
to repay, as befits
It is not within my power
a tenth part of this reward
Who; recompense you for
myself; for the length of
command to obey
enough on this account
entrusted me into the care
beautified; (see note)
woodbind leaves; (see note)
horse-cloths hung down low
Then together; rode at once
guided; away from the crowd
Amongst; would intend
tuning-peg went wrong
many countries; forests; rocks; (see note)
valleys, plains; rough sea
fine rivers; steep
did not go on foot, it seemed to me
carried off into Tuscany; (see note)
Flanders far up; South Germany
the Appenines dividing
Rhine; Po; rivers [we] travel; (see note)
That flows underground into the sea
Rhone; Seine; also; Loire; (see note)
Oite; (see note)
Peneus; (see note)
Cilicia; (see note)
Flourishing; saffron; honey
twin-peaked; Parnassus; (see note)
Thrace; Haemus; (see note)
Where Orpheus learned
Mount Carmel; (see note)
Dwelt, Elijah and Elisha
Carmelites came afterwards; (see note)
Amazonia; (see note)
is named Mimas; (see note)
rode over; Bacchus, Cithaeron
high; to stretch; (see note)
white sheep; at once
also; the Don River; (see note)
Sperchius; (see note)
Syria; Orontes; (see note)
named Ida; (see note)
The hills of Armenia; Euphrates River; (see note)
Sicily, ever-burning Etna
Phrygia; Dindymon; (see note)
Caucasus; Scythia; (see note)
Tigris; (see note)
Thrace; Hebrus; Strimon; (see note)
River Jordan; (see note)
overflowing; Helicon; (see note)
Eryx; (see note)
Cynthus; (see note)
Directly; Hippocrene; (see note)
Dismounted; fresh of complexion
altogether, lowest and highest
meadow; all kinds of
rest; hurry; (see note)
might [wish to] select
crystal; glittering steps; (see note)
subdued sound; thicket resounded
created being; imprints; (see note)
unsettled (see note)
account for; (see note)
above my understanding
no longer; overwork my mind
Low; pavilion erected
guardian; more often
shelter; to go
directly; royal site
was not obstinate; (see note)
long interrogation; dispute
uncovered my head
dais; members of the household
spiced wine; mead
Fine food, various dainties also
Informally; interludes between courses; (see note)
various puzzling questions
faithful; years of vigour and youth
to come forth; (see note)
official keeper of records, now
laurel; (see note)
also; wars; (see note)
Perseus; (see note)
Diana's boar; Caledon; dangers; (see note)
(Atalanta's) shot; his flanks bleed
Priam's; Aesacus; (see note)
in what manner; (see note)
wound or harm
Until; ripped from; straps
strangled; strength despite; companions
metamorphoses; (see note)
hundreds more; described
discourses of love
deliverances [from love]
Virgil; (see note)
pastimes; (see note)
Then Terence came; (see note)
Parmeno, Thraso; Gnatho
Juvenal; jester; by himself; (see note)
mocking; went past
Martial; cook; boil, stuff; (see note)
Poggio; sneer; groan; (see note)
spitting and crying
entertainments; tasty dishes
as suited their high rank
to rapidly get underway
The signal for departure
sweat; anointed; (see note)
not a stride out of place
Despite our sojourn
together; good array
Vale of Hebron; Field of Damascus; (see note)
Jehoshaphat; valley; (see note)
dark (i.e., deep)
to choose; (see note)
bow their heads down low
fear trembles; (see note)
Which; (see note)
reveal even if
Even if all my bodily parts; in a row
would not be able; thousandth part
fear; anything more
whether; (see note)
That I do not know;
if; write out; (see note)
against; which; (see note)
is shown to me [to be] all truth
I reckon [it]
to say anything; listeners annoy
though they (i.e., the "janglers") vilify me
truth; such; condemn
I plan to carry this discourse forward
many; even though
maturely bethink yourself
free of inconstancy
pleasing; to shudder
come to my assistance; (see note)
Who enabled me to see
Teach; expressive devices of eloquence
Give; newly-made, discerning, vivid
properly to record
audience receptive and alert
Reading; illumined; teaching
directly; subject; to proceed
On all sides of the hill; paths; (see note)
to the top only one pathway carved out
Hewn; rock; slippery; (see note)
Reflecting the sun
difficult to grasp with the mind
But nevertheless; gracious
Dismounted; climbed; in haste
we two lingered
young gentleman; fear; shook
narrow path [she] sprang
great exertion; climbed
gulf; burning with red flames
cavernous as hell
sulphur, tar, and boiling lead
wretches yelling out loud
Xanthus; river; chilling; (see note)
command; in opposition to
Across our path; sight
wide; horrifying to every person
would be afraid
no further upwards could I go
Trembling; at a fine pace
noticed my face; Be still
You'll not be at risk; here's why
entrusted; shall protect you
pitiful; this loathsome pit
in the pleasant years of youth
Put themselves forward; proceed humbly; (see note)
into slothful sleep
pleasure; drowned; lake of sorrow; (see note)
top; at once
While; were; located
great fear; knows
horribly high and steep
glanced; felt; shiver
fragile world; reckon
which would in no way subside
[in which] to house folk; (see note)
Innumerable; floundering together
Capsized by heavy swells; onset
fast ship; rigged securely everywhere
safely watertight; constructed
swelling waves; overturned
heavy gusts; could cope with
Until; shore; shattered and split
mournful; went aground
quickly washed away
Some drowned; rock floated
ropes; planks then; climbed
that set of frightening portents
while they are alive
Refuse to acknowledge God
For which reason; burnt
saw wrecked and lost
In which; perilous voyage
anger; reckon; (see note)
storm-stayed; this world's instability
With Christ's help
See marvellous things
the better write afterwards
which I shall show you before
wealth of eloquence; scarcity; (see note)
My face to
for any mortal person
above my powers
may only make the paper black; (see note)
I must pull onwards; yoke; upon; (see note)
Replenished with delightful things; (see note)
level tract of matchless beauty
Upon which abounded all good things
all kinds of food
as if made from crystal
attack; beasts; desire
predatory; little birds
Always in season; lasted
without either trouble or conflict; (see note)
For; it would be impossible
meadow; filled with
magnificent towers; (see note)
intricate battlements, many
Pinnacles, finials, spiral staircases
Gilded [and] polished knobs; (see note)
Ornamental leaf patterns
door-jambs; bases for arches; (see note)
Lifelike carvings; effigies
In front of the gate; properly
across; guarded entrance
knocked to the ground
these people; engage
I stood gazing at; without equal
all made of
Made; polished beryl; (see note)
Bezaleel; Aholiab; without doubt; (see note)
The Holy of Holies
constructed; Solomon; (see note)
built; Ilion; (see note)
forged the sepulchre of Darius; (see note)
Could; so ingenious a task
While I was looking intently
Gaping; haven't been to see anything
long-winded; haste turn around
pay close attention
Whatever you see, make sure
behold; perfect joy
to an enclosed garden guided me
who sees nothing
directly before; face without obstacle
emerald steps; levels; (see note)
stood three finely wrought posts
Carrying; before; (see note)
Of what substance; no knowledge
I cannot properly specify
circular border; part
frame, support and outer edge
inset; stop the flow of blood; (see note)
Became unhurt after; glanced
magnificent relic; radiant
The half of whose virtues
Surpassing; in my opinion
ingenious, elaborate mirror; (see note)
sent; Canace; (see note)
feats; mortal person
the fall of Lucifer despite
created; placed upon the earth; (see note)
Noah's Flood; after
Babel built; tower; such fame
Sodom; great overthrow; (see note)
Hebrew (see note)
plagues; sin; (see note)
Red Sea; together; (see note)
never acknowledge God
in what way; sea; (see note)
Afterwards; (see note)
Joshua; wars; (see note)
the Book of Judges
Jephthah; Gideon; (see note)
Abimelech; murder; (see note)
donkey's jaw-bone; (see note)
Shamgar; [who] with; blow; (see note)
Six hundred; ploughshare
whose; (see note)
vanquish; army; by himself
Goliath; (see note)
The weight of whose spearhead
Ishbibenob; great of strength; (see note)
six; either; without doubt
slay; bear; (see note)
also; surprised by an attack; (see note)
Benaiah; (see note)
Ethiopian; a mortal wound
i.e., the Ethiopian's own; threw
Into; cistern; slew
snow-storm; plenty of damage
Solomon; high dignity; (see note)
Rehoboam; presumptuous; (see note)
so flagrantly ungrateful [that]
the Twelve Tribes of Israel
slay at night-time; (see note)
Who came; Judea; threatening
Hezekiah; (see note)
Elijah; (see note)
Nehemiah; (see note)
Baal [he] broke and shamed; (see note)
deportation of the Jews to Babylon; (see note)
holy; Raphael; (see note)
cruel devil (Asmodeus); fierce
Who; as they say
Holofernes' head cut off; (see note)
freed; from destruction
whale's belly three days; (see note)
vomited forth afterwards; Nineveh
Who; almost the whole world
caused by Antiochus; turmoil; (see note)
tyrannically; Judea; oppressed
Judas Maccabeus; (see note)
caused; to become afraid of him
Returned to peacefulness
brothers Simon and Jonathan; (see note)
Who; during their lifetimes
Thebes also; long wars; (see note)
Where Tideus single-handed
All of the very best; tumult
until Theseus; (see note)
overcame; his (Creon's) wiles
could view; (see note)
wicked; (see note)
fickle in behavior
in no other book
Recognize; are to be praised
Pirithous; wedding; time; (see note)
carried off the bride
whose fame is widespread; (see note)
Hesione, down by the walls of Troy
fleece; then; (see note)
That whole; wiles
Hypsipyle; shamed; (see note)
suffered; Laomedon; injustices
For which reason
then; (see note)
as poets state
sailed; in haste
how by Ulysses; (see note)
By what means; found; brought
Trojans surrounded by Greeks
either; into the tumult
plenty of brave deeds
Trojan Horse; lost; (see note)
Ilion; flames burnt
Then; (see note)
To; many; the sea's fury
Driven repeatedly; how
sheltered both old and young
the River Styx; go
Charon; the churlish ferryman
rivers; could; (see note)
rolling; cause Sisyphus much trouble; (see note)
delight; Elysian Fields; (see note)
converse; (see note)
showed by lineal descent; progeny
Of which; sequence; set forth
too lengthy; how; then
in what way
hunger overtook all his navy; (see note)
great suffering; (see note)
Turnus; Rutulians; (see note)
first built; (see note)
also; Livy; (see note)
reigned over the people
Tarquin; (see note)
to tell the whole tale
Between Carthage and Rome
because of many admonitions
For the good of the community; die
Tullius Servius, valiant in his day; (see note)
also; (see note)
courage into the fiery crevice
welfare; threw himself
fully armed; leapt
Scipio Africanus overshadowed
called; (see note)
vanquish; in the field
brothers; (see note)
also; war; conclusion
civil war; (see note)
between Pompey the Great; Julius Caesar; (see note)
Devil; entice; (see note)
Pleasant discussions; (see note)
falcons to the river; ambush
weary; busy early
[I saw] searching; (see note)
boar; doe; roe-deer
frowning; (see note)
Irritable; reeve; old; (see note)
wren; Ailsa Crag; (see note)
Piers Plowman; made; well-fed; (see note)
are supposed to be
old Greybeard; (see note)
white; (see note)
Fairyland; (see note)
conjuring; (see note)
cunning trick of jugglery; (see note)
From Flanders peas
pack-saddle; funny bone?; (see note)
parish church; pie
cunning jest and trick
to tell the truth in brief
pastime; games; (see note)
know no more; sheep; (see note)
That is not important; since
promise; when from
took hold of
Which she entrusted to me; before
narrative; quite forgotten
indeed; before she finished
receiving; diligence; test
Bowing; humbly; leave
Concerning; perhaps; hear; (see note)
together; side by side
explain to you [that]
In which; perceive
entrance; (see note)
Marcus Tullius Cicero; (see note)
struck; until; jaws shook
tower watchman; looked at
who made their hearts falter; (see note)
Loyalty, keeper; stronghold
those; shut out; (see note)
once they grew old
wholly on to
without; (see note)
Who is served by; trusted
Master of the Household; that
is the name of; treasurer; (see note)
as is fitting
Comptroller (revenues officer)
Courtesy; Fair Report
cook; taste and test; (see note)
carver; wishes to offend no one; (see note)
waiter is named
law officer; named; (see note)
Who; no bribe
deputies; of one accord
exchequer account books; income
stays always; that company
jest and joke
almoner (distributor of alms); (see note)
whoever wishes to describe aright
royal deputy; destitute people
bound in obedience to that king
Where; lingered; look at
could expect nothing greater
good fortune; upon the earth
gate of burnished; (see note)
Upon which; skilfully engraved
in the world imagine
surrounded by; (see note)
Upon which; sailing
Spheres; outermost sphere; (see note)
twelve astrological signs; degree; (see note)
exactly; (see note)
also Ursa Major and Ursa Minor; (see note)
engraved; Ganymede; (see note)
attractive in their fine clothes; (see note)
Driada; without doubt
so that whoever saw them
readily perceive; were
conjunctions (see note)
epicycles; oppositions; (see note)
depicted; movement decreases; (see note)
natural; daily; (see note)
relative positions; deviations from course; (see note)
Which seemed; lifelike
many times; (see note)
in anger; pushed; gate; (see note)
have you nothing else to do; (see note)
intelligence and perceptiveness
Because of; soon
If you want to see marvels
halfway into a trance
courtyard; pleasures to choose from
empyrean (the highest heavens); (see note)
cedar overtops the brushwood; (see note)
loss; I could not reckon
The reflection from; shone so
refined; (as it certainly seemed to me)
In place of mortar; dwelling
joined; fitted closely
doors; windows; plated; (see note)
Interspersed; enamelled in
Intricate; artful design; (see note)
Directly; straight through; noble
steps; topaz; (see note)
Shut; chink I peeked; (see note)
the most gratifying scene
miserable wretch saw
It seemed to me; amethyst
Upon them; shone; without doubt
looped (arranged in spirals); (see note)
sardonyx, jasper, smaragd
mighty in arms (see note)
looked; (see note)
Into a trance; suddenly
a blanched complexion
Until; picked me up
she carried me downstairs
she feared greatly for my life
she worked unceasingly to revive me
suddenly revived; opened up my eyes
"I'll bet my head"
upon my feet I sprang
Old woman; what was it that; (see note)
Calm yourself; quarrel
churchmen; always gentle; (see note)
very glad; become so strong
A while ago; neither; (see note)
to have bothered a flea
Overcame; so that
understand; overwhelmed; enough; (see note)
no more; test
lady's; (see note)
back door; garden
very eagerly asked
whoever correctly describes
found to be greatest of strength
Made lustrous by generosity
in this; kingdom
Which is merely; earthly
Awarded; rank; lineage; power
nothing but; (see note)
very suddenly; depart
merely a dream
stepping over a crack
low; high before
[who] once; poor; from his mother
tumbles; rough sea
fame derived from their rank
nothing else; good deeds; (see note)
Eternally; reigns; lasting
gratifying; (see note)
saints; wicked people
no other; everlasting
wicked people exalted
afterwards rapidly; vanishes
Examples of which
[who] has such a companion
mighty, powerful; bold
fierce; Nine Worthies (see note)
Many others who are named above
more; refer to
mingling with; then
Tomyris; Hippolyta; (see note)
Penthesileia, Medusa, Zenobia; (see note)
Some from your land
more who are not named here
Accursed; always; puny heart
should; stayed in that area
In what way; conversed; (see note)
Bad luck befall; was wounded
great nation punished
flagrant; (see note)
trickery; unmitigated deceit
without loyalty or constancy
cunning; deception; approved
exalt themselves; by means of
glory to be eclipsed
descended from; (see note)
do not value
Because of; disloyal
Except for him; no one is esteemed
Deceit; is gone away
none pays heed; nowadays
wrongs; without hindrance
Upon this case
shall no longer hold sway
right away; gratified
cypresses; odor; (see note)
busy as the bees
ornamental devices of rhetoricians
Collect very rapidly
replenished; region; (see note)
[they are] laden; pearls
ditch, broad in width
Surrounded; fishes; aplenty
waterfowl; swimming [with]
hanging by their beaks
moat of many various colours
of necessity we had to cross
of what substance
So hazardous did the path look
once she was across
so incessantly were my brains trembling
That; feet slipped past
Head over heels into the moat below
I was about to drown
What with; this shock; (see note)
awakened; (see note)
In comparison with; you heard me describe
longed sorely; swooned
[Neither]; singing nor yet
sterile and loathsome
Oft cursing that I awoke so soon
devices of rhetoric; found; (see note)
my mood was upset
too soon I came out of my dream
Not seeing; those wretches
disfigured; honesty thwarted
into this book have recorded
If I had seen it; humiliated
once; happiness; gone
praise; wrote these three stanzas
dignified; (see note)
For high deeds known as
Thy great power can bring the most advancement to all things
poor people; great advantage
ask thee; without rival
Before your glory; assistance
joy; after death
without; perpetually dwindles
O brilliant one; endure; hostility
excellent to overcome; foe's
whose; sweet dew
always; everyday, [I] dare say
offence; always right
saint in bestowing favors
To; support; reward of high price
submit, in brief; intention
decree of destiny
smutty, boorish drivel; (see note)
Lacking; poor untaught liege
all this sort of error
whose power; humble; prosper
Sketchy unrefined book; empty; (see note)
coarse apparel; expression
sterile words; ugly versifying
retract claim to having known you
stealth; Theft loves light but little; (see note)
ask each person to; you