The Morall Fabillis
THE MORALL FABILLIS: FOOTNOTES1 From lines by Gualterus Anglicus: The presentation of solemn things has a sweeter smile than that of humorous things
2 Whether there was good food, I leave it to the judgment of those nearby
3 To call the roll of those obliged to attend and order forfiture of the estates of all who are absent
4 Happy are those who learn from the suffering of others
5 The simple sheep dare not put his mouth to the earth (to eat)
6 I.e., Those who are poorly used have long memories
7 For he will suffer less who provides beforehand (Cato, Disticha ii.24)
8 Then he scutched it well and combed it in the inner part of the house
9 Bow at command and wait not until you burst (i.e., until it is too late)
10 "Keep pulling, my doves," then goaded them fiercely
11 And because of their wildness, they ruined the furrow
12 Then afterwards they unhitched the team from the plough since it was getting quite late
13 An honest man is not caught up in half-truths
14 There is no bribe [that] should turn me from righteousness
15 Then to a well for drawing water these "elders" came without hesitation
16 And tried to hide himself in the thickets; or, and tried to protect himself from the thickets
17 Now is this you? Not much of a hound, I think!
18 They think they hold their property through the grace of no one, regardless who they [the other] might be; or, so handsomely are they [themselves] dressed
19 A distorted visage suggests a distorted morality
THE MORALL FABILLIS: NOTESThese notes are laconic, intended to explain textual concerns and interesting social and literary influences which may stimulate class discussion. For the most part, the text of Henryson is quite traditional. I have generally accepted the emendations and changes made by a number of previous editors of Henryson, most notably G. Gregory Smith, H. Harvey Wood, and Denton Fox. In those instances in which the authorities have disagreed, I have most often accepted Fox's reading. In those instances in which my reading or emendation is significantly different from the Smith-Wood-Fox tradition, I have taken special note of my reasons for the change. All references to Fox in the notes are to his edition of the poems (1981), unless otherwise noted.
Prologue. Gualterus Anglicus' Recueil général des Isopets, which Henryson occasionally draws upon, begins similarly with a prologue on the sweetness and utility of fables. Most of the content of Henryson's Prologue is commonplace, though skillfully presented.
5 I have used Fox's speculative emendation which he did not include in his own text. He suggests that quhy that was likely the original reading.
6 Bassandyne: the haill misleving; the phrase of thi misleving is from the Makculloch manuscript.
7 O. Bassandyne, Charteris, Makculloch, and Bannatyne read Off. Fox's emendation.
8-14 The reader is the laborer harvesting the sweit sentence (line 12) from the bustious eird (line 8). Compare Chaucer's similar agricultural metaphors for critical processes in his Parlement of Fowles: "For out of olde feldes, as men seyth, / Cometh al this newe corn from yer to yere, / And out of olde bokes, in good feyth, / Cometh al this newe science that men lere" (lines 22-25); or the Nun's Priest's admonition, "Taketh the fruyt, and let the chaf be stille" (VII.3443).
12 sentence. A critical word in Henryson. Fox argues that in this context it means "meaning," while Wood asserts that it means the more traditional "moral." Given the traditional denotation of this term, either could work, but "meaning" is less repetitive in context.
15 ff The metaphor of the nuttis schell is a traditional component of medieval literary criticism. The concept of fruit within the chaff, or meat within the shell, originates in biblical exegesis along with classical rhetoric and is prominent in discourse as diverse as the art of preaching and the art of romance, fable, and fabliaux. Here the specific reference could be to Gualterus's prologue to his Isope. A good discussion of the sources and applications of the fruit within the nutshell tradition may be found in Bernard F. Huppé and D. W. Robertson, Jr., Fruyt and Chaf: Studies in Chaucer's Allegories (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963).
16 Haldis is from Makculloch. Bassandyne: aldis. and is is the Bassandyne reading and has been replaced with sueit and from Bannatyne.
22 For as we se is from Bannatyne; Bassandyne: Forther mair.
30 to is from Bannatyne; Bassandyne: in.
42 Correct it at your willis gratious. A variation on the humility trope that shifts responsibility of meaning to the audience. Compare Chaucer's narrator in Troilus III.1332-36, who puts "alle under correccioun" of the reader's "discrecioun" (X.56); or the Parson in the Prologue to his sermon who will put his work "under correccioun" in order to "stonde to correccioun" (X.60). See A. J. Minnis, Medieval Theory of Authorship, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988), especially pp. 160-210.
47 and is from Bannatyne; Bassandyne: and in.
55 the mynd is attested in both Bannatyne and Makculloch. Bassandyne: thair myndis.
56 he . . . is is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: thay . . . ar.
58 facound and purpurat is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: as poete lawriate. The words facond and purpurate also appear in Makculloch and Charteris. Fox chooses Makculloch's in facound purpurate.
60 Tak is from Makculloch. Bassandyne: Lak.
The Cock and the Jasp. Fox suggests that the numerous medieval versions of this fable ultimately derive from the version by Phaedrus (III.xii) but that Henryson seems to work primarily from Gualterus (p. 194).
69 For medieval discussions of the physical, moral, and theological properties of jasper, see Joan Evans and Mary S. Serjeantson, English Medieval Lapidaries EETS o.s. 190 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1933; rpt. 1960), p. 23 [London Lapidary], p. 43 [North Midland Lapidary], p. 93 [Peterborough Lapidary], p. 121 [Sloane Lapidary]. The color of the stone is regularly cited as green but with diverse hues (according to Peterborough), ranging from green to black and red. Henryson's seems to range from red (or yellow) to blue; see line 122: Part lyke the fyre and part lyke to the hevin.
74 Quhat be thairin is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Thay cair na thing.
82 in is from Bannatyne; Bassandyne: ly in.
83 The Bassandyne on has been replaced with and from Bannatyne.
92 go is from Bannatyne and Makculloch; Bassandyne: ga.
98 This line is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: For les availl may me as now dispyis.
102 that lukand werk was is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: lukandis werkis ar.
118 fabill is inserted from Bannatyne. Bassadyne: of this.
120 This stanza begins the Moralitas in Bannatyne. In Bassandyne the Moralitas does not begin until line 127.
121 is is from Bannatyne and Makculloch; Bassandyne: was.
122 See note to line 69.
126 Of fyre nor fallis is from Bannatyne; Bassandyne: Or fyre nor water.
128 prudence and cunning. See the four lapidaries cited in the note to line 69 for discussion of these properties of the stone along with its capacity to aid in victory (see lines 123 and 132).
139 can freit is from Charteris, Hart, and Smith. Bassandyne: can secreit. Bannatyne: nor keit; Makculloch: fre.
146-47 The allusion is to the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 7:6, where Jesus admonishes against casting pearls before swine.
147 the is from Bannatyne; it is omitted in Bassandyne. Lines 799, 881, and 967 also follow this pattern.
The Two Mice. This fable is well-known in versions by Babrius (Fable 108), Horace's Satire II, and versions by John of Sheppey, Odo of Cheriton, and John Bromyard. Fox suggests that Henryson's immediate source is Gualterus's De mure rustico et urbane, no. 12 (p. 201). More likely, the source is Odo. The title in the Bassandyne, Charteris, and Harleian MSS is The Taill of the Vponlandis Mous and the Burges Mous.
163 sisteris deir. Fox notes that Gualterus does not identify a familial relationship, though John of Sheppey and John Bromyard make them sisters (p. 204). Henry-son's town mouse, though a woman, is also a "gild brother" (line 172) who takes whatever advantage of the liberties of travel that her station allows, and makes pilgrimage (line 181) over dale and down to "seik hir sister" (line 182).
165 uponland means "in the country" and may suggest the Scottish highlands.
166 Bassandyne: Soliter, quhyle under busk, quhyle under breier. The reading in this line is taken from Bannatyne.
167 The meaning of the last phrase of this line is probably "at other men's harm (expense)" or "to the harm of other men."
in uther is from Bannatyne; Bassandyne: and uther.
168 owtlawis may be a more neutral term than it is in the modern sense, perhaps meaning "outcast" as well as "criminal." This term and the secrecy involved with the two mice has caused comment about their possible social roles.
172 The town mouse is a member of a merchant guild and the specificity of this reference is in part what has given impetus to arguments for the political interpretation of the tale. Subsequent references in lines 173 and 174 seem clearly topical.
173 The power of the burgess mouse in middle-class society is illustrated by the fact that she is "toll-free (tax exempt) without greater or lesser custom (duty)." The "great custom" was a tax levied on exports and imports while the lesser or "small custom" was levied on market goods.
175 Bassandyne: the cheis in ark and meill in kist. The reading in this line is taken from Bannatyne.
179 led is from Bannatyne; Bassandyne: had.
183 Throw is taken from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Furth.
185 Bassandyne: Scho ran cryand, quhill scho came to a balk. The reading here is from Bannatyne.
190 This reading is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: The hartlie joy, God!
192 Fox uses the Bannatyne Quhilk that oft syis instead of the Bassandyne And grit kyndnes.
197 semple is from Bannatyne, Asloan, and Smith; Bassandyne: sober.
198 mysterlyk is the Asloan reading. Bassandyne: febilie.
199 erdfast is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: steidfast.
205 hyid is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: glyde.
206 peis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: candill.
208 This burges mous prunyit is from Bannatyne; Bassandyne: The burges mous prompit. A burges mous is one from a borous town, that is, a town with sufficient population to support guilds, where she is a fre burges, one who may travel at will. See note to line 172.
213 efter that is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: sister, quhen.
215 ryte is from Bannatyne and Asloan; Bassandyne: rate.
216 syre, levand is from Asloan. Bassandyne: leving, and the Asloan in is substituted for Bassandyne's into.
217 The country mouse reminds the city mouse that their origins are humble and that they are not descended from landed gentry.
221 Bassandyne: For quhylis. quhy from Bannatyne is substituted for quhylis.
224 usit wes before is Fox's emendation from Bannatyne; Bassandyne: wes before usit.
231 sueit and is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: and wonder.
232 in is from Bannatyne, Hart, Asloan, and Smith; Bassandyne: in the.
235 than seith [to boil] to him ane kow. The sense of this passage is that a small gift given with good will is better than a large gift given with reservations.
visage is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: curage.
246 unto is from Bannatyne, Asloan, and Harleian. Bassandyne: into.
251 na fall, na trap is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: nor fall trap which makes more sense but destroys the metric integrity of the line. A fall is a special kind of box-trap. For discussions of kinds of medieval mousetraps, see G`sta Berg, "Medieval Mouse Traps," Studia Ethnographica Upsaliensia XXVI, Varia 2 (1966), 1-13, and C. Roth, "Medieval Illustrations of Mouse-traps," Bodleian Library Record 5 (1954-56), 244-57. See Fox, p. 205.
253 Fox uses In skugry ay, which is found in Bannatyne. The problem, as he himself admits, is that skugry is not otherwise attested before the late eighteenth century. Even though Smith argues the reading is corrupt, the original Bassandyne reading is provided on the assumptions that the sense of "stubble" is "rustic" or that the phrase means "poorly dressed" and that the reading seems to have more historical authenticity.
254 Under cowert full is from Asloan. Bassandyne: And under buskis.
264 skelfis is from Bannatyne and Asloan. Bassandyne: thair skelfis.
266 grotis is from Bannatyne; it is omitted in Bassandyne and Asloan.
and is from Bannatyne and Asloan. Bassandyne: and eik off.
278 bot is from Bannatyne; it is omitted in Bassandyne.
285 And mane full fyne is the Charteris reading substituted by both Wood and Fox for the garbled Bassandyne And manfully fyne. The "gill" or jelly referred to here was a rustic dish but relatively elegant.
286 candill. A tallow candle for which mice are a hazard.
296 Bassandyne reads quha that. I have emended to that.
300 gude reid is from Bannatyne, Charteris, Asloan, and Harleian. Bassandyne: gndereid.
304 char is from Asloan. Bassandyne: sker.
312 fever is from Bannatyne and Asloan. Bassandyne: feuer scho.
322 your is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: onr.
326 Gib Hunter, later called Gilbert (line 338). Henryson often names his animals; see Lowrence the fox (line 429), or the three hens (line 483), or the nine hounds whom the widow calls upon (lines 546-47) - all of which adds to the liveliness of the verse.
329 Bawdronis was a generic name for "cat" used in Scotland. The closest modern equivalent is "puss" or "pussy."
331 tait is from Bannatyne and Asloan. Bassandyne: cant.
333 buk heid is a version of "blind-man's-bluff." This game, perhaps in line with the violence expressed in other medieval games, becomes a life-and-death matter.
336 the dosor is from Asloan. Bassandyne: ane burde.
337 the is from Bannatyne, Asloan, and Smith. Bassandyne: ane.
339 And be the clukis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Syne be the cluke.
342 Apon is from Asloan. Bassandyne: And to.
346 sair is from Bannatyne, Asloan, and Hart. Bassandyne: fair.
347 may fall is from Bannatyne and Asloan. Bassandyne: na fall.
357 eftirwart is from Bannatyne and Asloan. Bassandyne: weill thairefter.
360 The but was usually the kitchen of a small dwelling. The ben was the parlor. The sense is that the mouse's den is well-furnished with supplies throughout.
beinly is from Bannatyne, Asloan, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: bemly.
365 heir may ye find, will ye tak heid is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: ye may find, and ye will tak heid.
366 Bassandyne: In to this fabill. Bannatyne deletes to.
369 state is from Bannatyne, Smith, and Hart. Bassandyne: estate.
380 The sentiments of this stanza accord with Chaucer's "Truth: Balade de Bon Conseyl," where we are instructed: "Suffyce unto thy thing, though it be smal . . . Savour no more than thee bihove shal. . . . Gret rest stant in litel besinees" (lines 2, 5, 10).
382 makis it a god to be. See St. Paul's warning against making a god of your belly, Phil 3.19. Compare also Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale VI.533 and the Parson's Tale X.819-20.
383 Luke is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Lieke.
on deid is from Bannatyne and Asloan. Bassandyne: but dreid.
387 Thairfoir, best thing in eird is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Best thing in eird, thairfoir.
388 merry hart is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: blyithnes in hart.
392-93 Fox observes that the reference to Solomon does not equate with a specific biblical passage, though there are similar sentiments found in Ecclesiastes 3:12, 3:22. 5:18, and 8:15, but that perhaps Henryson is paraphrasing popular medieval wisdom books such as the Dicta Salomonis (p. 211).
The Cock and the Fox. Here Henryson's primary source seems to be Chaucer's Nun's Priest's Tale.
397-407 Fox suggests that the ultimate source for these lines may be Aristotle's Historia animalium, where the divinity of animals and their characteristics are discussed at length (p. 212). Henryson has fun juxtaposing their irrational bestiality with the humors and clever - and not so clever - inclinations of humans not only here, but throughout the fables.
399 kyndis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: kynd.
405 unto is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: to.
407 it excedis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: is excludit.
410 Bassandyne: ane gentill Chantecleir; Bannatyne: gentill Chantecleir, the form used here. Chanticleer is a common name given to literary roosters; compare Chaucer's Nun's Priest's Tale, which is Henryson's primary source for this fable, and the Old French beast epic Roman de Renart.
426 toun. A town may simply refer to a group of buildings in a designated area or habitation; here it suggests the manor or enclosed farmyard of the widow. See MED toun (n) 3.
430 jerperdies is Fox's emendation. Bannatyne: Iuparteis. Bassandyne: Ieperdie.
441 oft fulfillit is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: full oft fillit.
447 I held is Fox's emendation. Bannatyne: forsuth I held. Bassandyne: I held up.
449 Dirigie is the traditional name for the Office for the Dead.
457 Yow for to serve is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: To mak yow blyith.
463 and is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: off.
465 on his tais stand, etc. Compare Nun's Priest's Tale where the fox convinces Chauntecleer to stand on his tiptoes and close his eyes, the better to crow (VII.3307 and 3331). Henryson's fox would have his victim not only stand on his toes and close his eyes, but turne him thryis about (line 473).
474 inflate is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: infect.
477 walkit is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: wawland.
482 Off countermaund is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Off that cryme.
483 Pertok, Sprutok, and Coppok. Henryson triples the named hens to create a debate not unlike Dunbar's comic misandry (man-hating) in Twa Mariit Wemen and the Wedo. Pertok is the equivalent of Chaucer's Pertelote, Chauntecleer's favorite hen who is the only one with a kind word to say for him. Coppok is from Bannatyne; Bassandyne: Toppok (I follow this change in the hen's name throughout the tale).
486 reylock is from Bannatyne and, as Bruce Dickins and Fox argue, likely preserves the original sense better than the Bassandyne hay (see Fox, p. 216).
494 of is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: in.
498 orlege. Compare Nun's Priest's Tale, where the regularity of Chauntecleer's crowing is more certain "Than a clokke or an abbey orlogge" (VII.2854).
509 Sprutok. Perhaps her name derives from Latin sprutlet, hence "speckled." Henryson's naming of a hen whose relationship with Chauntecleer is less than caring offers an amusing variation on the joys of matrimony. See note to line 483.
517 speir is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: fpeir.
519 cauld and dry reflects the conditions of melancholy, and, perhaps, impotence. Chaucer's Pertelote calls Chauntecleer choleric (hot and dry, that is, given to anger) as well as melancholic (VII.2946), though mainly choleric (VII.2955).
523 that is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: with.
524 that set all hir delyte is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: he set all his delyte and uses the line as part of Pertok's speech. The characterization of the hen and the syntactic sense are better served by the Bannatyne version.
527 Bassandyne reads: I hecht be my hand, sen he is quyte. Alterations are from Bannatyne.
530 Coppok, the third of Chauntecleer's hens, is a moralist who sees divine justice in Chauntecleer's seizure, fit punishment for his adultery (line 536).
533 Fox adapts the Bannatyne reading, Seis coud he nocht with, primarily on metric grounds. However, the Bassandyne reading (reproduced here) makes perfect sense in the line. The kittokis ma than sevin is perhaps an allusion to Chaucer's Chauntecleer, who had seven hens (VII.2866).
536 Adulteraris that list is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: For adulterie that will.
539 rin. Possibly the source is "reign" rather than "run." See Fox, p. 218.
546 Birkye and Bell are from Bannatyne. Bassandyne uses Berk and omits Bell. See Fox, pp. 218-19, on the conventions of dog naming and the implications of the specific names.
555 raches is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: kennetis.
556 in mynd means "thoughtfully." The Fox cannot speak vocally since the cock is in his mouth, a circumstance he will too soon forget.
570 unto a is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: out of the.
576 murther, theif is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: fals theif and. However, as Fox points out (p. 220), "murther" is the harder reading. Similarly, on reir is also from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: not me neir.
578 lowe is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: friendschip.
581 coud nocht be is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: to be sa, which makes no sense in context.
582 Bot spake is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Quhairthrow.
592 is is from Bannatyne and Charteris. Bassandyne: ar.
609 fell is from Bannatyne; it is omitted in Bassandyne.
The Fox and the Wolf. This fable has several analogies but no known specific source. The title in Bassandyne, Charteris, and Harleian is The Taill how this foirsaid Tod, maid his confessioun to Freir Volf Vaitskaith.
616 fatal is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: subtell.
618 miching is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: waitting, which makes less sense since hunting per se was not illegal.
621 Thetes, the is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne reads simply the.
631 thair spheir is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: the spheir.
635 The fox's astrology in these lines is accurate - his signs are not good. For additional detail, see MacQueen, Robert Henryson, pp. 146-47.
649 watt is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: ken, a form of which is awkwardly repeated in the next line.
651 fait is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: men.
653 Deid is from Charteris. It is in Bassandyne and other versions but lacks the force of the Charteris reading.
657 lyif is is Fox's emendation. Bannatyne: lyfe is. Bassandyne: lyifis.
659 alyk ar is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: ar lyke.
662 ar hangit is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: hangit up.
665 thence is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: hence.
667 Waitskaith is most likely translated "Do harm." Smith interprets it as "One who waits to do harm."
668 cum is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: cummit.
677 the lanterne and the sicker way is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: mirrour, lanterne, and sicker way. Fox notes biblical language akin to 2 Sam. 22:29 and John 14:6.
680 and is inserted from Bannatyne and omitted in Bassandyne.
684 Bassandyne uses Na at the beginning of this line, but the Bannatyne A seems better to fit the sense here. However, see also the note to line 2693.
697 Bannatyne's Bot to is more appropriate in the context of line 696 than Bassandyne's unto. Bassandyne's kneill at the end of the line would be an imperfect rhyme (see Fox, p. 228). Bannatyne's mele is therefore substituted.
712-14 The three parts of the Catholic sacrament of Penance are contrition, confession, and satisfaction (atonement). Smith provides details on Lawrence's theological situation (I, 13-14).
714 pennance is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: penitence.
717 Seikly is Fox's emendation. Bannatyne: And seikly. Bassandyne: Selie.
729 falt of flesch in to is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: fall no flesch unto.
736 Fox argues convincingly that the Bassandyne watter and is a misreading of the Bannatyne walterand (p. 230).
740 I have followed Fox in emending the Bassandyne may with the Charteris man. The sense of obligation in this word better suits the dramatic situation.
741 For is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: And. For the rest of the line, Bassandyne reads I haif nouther boittis nor net bait. The form of the line reprinted here is Fox's emendation based on his review of all variants (Poems, p. 32).
760 ane is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: aue. Line 1325 follows this pattern as well.
772 The hird him hynt is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: He harlit him.
775-95 Fox notes that Bassandyne seems to show "Protestant revisions" in this moralitas (p. 230). Bannatyne forms, such as contritioun instead of the Bassandyne provision in line 776, likely more nearly reflect Henryson's text in the historical setting.
777 mend is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: amend.
778 conclusioun is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: confusioun.
779 gois now to confessioun is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: now hes gude profes-sioun.
780 Can not repent is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Yit not repentis.
791 Bassandyne reads be noit. Bannatyne omits be.
794 Do wilfull pennance here is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Obey unto your God, a clearly Protestant change.
The Trial of the Fox. An analogue may be found in an addition to Odo of Cheriton. See Jamieson (1967), pp. 403-05. The title in Bassandyne, Charteris, and Harleian is The Taill of the Sone and Air of the foirsaid Foxe, callit Father Wer; alswa the Parliament of fourfuttit Beistis, haldin by the Lyoun.
798 That to his airschip micht of law succeid is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Till airschip be law that micht succeed.
806 get is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: geir.
832 wrangwis guidis, gold is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: wardlie gude and gold.
836-37 Both lines are adapted from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: To execute, to do, to satisfie / Thy letter will, thy det, and legacie. The Bassandyne lines once again seem to reflect an objection to Henryson's theology.
848 Oyas! Oyas! is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: on this wyis. The Bannatyne language is a traditional medieval command of attention to open a court and is still used in the United States.
852 Out off his buste is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: out off an bus. Similarly, bill from Bannatyne is substituted for bull in Bassandyne.
855 We is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: The.
856 ay lestand but ending is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: health everlestyng.
866-998 This entire parliament has drawn extensive commentary. In his portrayal of the unicorn and the three leopards, Henryson has apparently included some irony about English and Scottish heraldic symbols. For additional comment see MacQueen, Robert Henryson, pp. 149-53, and Fox, Poems, pp. 236-46.
869 gresis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: gers.
872 trippand is from Bannatyne and Charteris. Bassandyne: creippand.
873 Thre is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: The, and the Smith print uses Two. The Thre leopardis are most likely the three leopards of the English crown who are ironically serving the Scottish lion.
877 pollis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: towis. Pollis may also refer to "heads," a reading which could suit the context.
881 fut all is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: all fourfuttit.
895 The sparth is not the name of any animal now known. In a general sense, it means "battle-ax." A number of suggestions have been advanced. Dickins proposed emending the word to "swan." Elliott suggests the term refers to the antelope, "that ax welding beast." Fox suggests the animal is the pard. Whatever it is, the creature is fast.
898 jonet is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: gillet.
902 wodwys and wild wolfyne are from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: tame cat and Wildwood swyne. While the wildwood swine figures in poetry and proverb, the rhyme scheme suggests wild wolfyne is correct.
906 I have accepted Fox's emendation from Bannatyne as a means of dealing with the puzzling reading of the line in the original text: The wyld Once, the Buk and the Welterand Brok. Fox speculates that Henryson's erudition might have confused his scribes, since the meter in the line is bad, and the wyld Once has been a subject of speculation by every Henryson critic.
908 gay is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: gray.
914 bowranbane is another mystery. Werewolf and otter have both been suggested. The latter is likely a possibility only if Henryson knew some Gaelic. The "lerion" is a similar kind of problem. Suggestions range from young rabbit, little greyhound, and gray dormouse to a heraldic eagle.
915 The marmisset is a small monkey. The mowdewart is a mole. The latter has no eyes visible externally, which accounts for line 916.
919 In haist is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: With haist scho.
923 blenkit is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: luikit.
926 The lyoun is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: He.
948 fence. A technical term used to open proceedings of a parliament or court of law. It is basically an oath in which all swear they will observe proper protocol.
949 call is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: callit.
950 coit-armour. A cloth garment painted with heraldic arms that is typically worn by heralds on missions.
966 far doun is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: laich.
970 "Blind-man's-buff" is the closest equivalent to bukhude now existing.
986 stait is from Bannatyne, Hart, and Harleian. Bassandyne: estait.
989 beist is in is my emendation. Bassandyne: kynd of beistis in. Bannatyne: beist into this. Hart, Harleian, and Smith: kynd of beist on.
991 gray stude is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: stude gray.
993 My lord is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: now see.
999 ye is from Bannatyne; it is omitted in Bassandyne.
1004 contumax. A legal term formally designating a person in contempt of court.
1014 chanceliary likely means, as Fox suggests, the office of the chancellor, reflecting the wolf's experience at a high level of administration. Wood, however, suggests the chancery hand, which would be a reflection on the wolf's learning. In either case, the wolf should have an appropriate background in language and law to make him a proper emissary.
1023 hattrell is from Bannatyne and Charteris. Bassandyne: hattell.
1024 lenand down means literally, "lying down" or "laid down." To avoid repetition I have used the gloss "prostrate" which captures the essence of the wolf's condition.
1032 The fyve schillingis was a significant sum. This specific figure occurs with some frequency in Henryson as an example of a large amount of money.
1035 This wolff weipand on his wayis went is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: This wretchit wolff weipand, thus on he went.
1042 Fox substitutes the reading a bank where the Bassandyne has abak. He argues that the reading is only slightly more satisfactory than the original Bassandyne text. However, the stealthy nature of the fox is better reflected in abak (as Smith argues), in the sense that the line suggests he was "on one side, to the rear."
1052 This new-maid is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Speir at your.
1053 reid cap. The close-fitting (pillion) cap awarded to the new doctorate. Henryson gives his new-maid doctour off divinitie (line 1052) a red cap, the cardinal's colors.
1060 hir is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: his.
1064 Compare Chaucer's Reeve's Tale, Canterbury Tales, I (A) 4054: "The gretteste clerkes been nought wisest men."
1067 garray is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: meriness.
1072 devorit. Fox emends deuorit to werryit. While werryit makes sense, I do not find persuasive Fox's argument that lines 1079-82 suggest that it is more appropriate. Werryit need not always mean pursue and harass in the same sense that "worried" means with regard to modern herds. Doggitly could apply in either case.
1087 sis is from Bannatyne. It is an abbreviated form of the Bassandyne assysis and works better in the metric pattern.
1089 and party tressoun als is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: pyking and treassoun als.
1095 bowcher. Bannatyne reads basare (executioner) and is followed by Fox. bowcher (executioner) is from Bassandyne, Charteris, and Harleian, which I follow here.
1100 fyne is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: syne.
1104 lyklynace is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: liknes.
1107 And gapis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Thinkand.
1109 sum gold is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: snm Gold.
1111 contemplatioun is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: gude conditioun. This line and many of the following apparently underwent Protestant revision in the Bassandyne text.
1112 Off pennance is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: As pilgrymes.
1113 As monkis and other men of religioun is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Approvand that for richt religioun.
1114 That presis God is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Thair God onlie.
1116 In wilfull povertee fra pomp and pryde is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Fechtand with lust, presumptioun and pryde.
1126 All major editors prior to Fox have placed a question mark at the end of this line, but Fox's argument that this is really a subordinate clause has the support of Henryson's usage. See Fox, Poems, p. 250.
1131 Solomon's saying here is akin to Ecclesiasticus 7:40.
1134-35 These lines have also likely suffered from Protestant revisions. The forms reproduced here are from Bannatyne and replace the following Bassandyne reading: Assaultand men with sweit perswasionis, / Ay reddy for to trap thame in an trayne.
1137 with ithand is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: draw neit with.
1139-40 The lines here are the Bannatyne version. They replace the Bassandyne reading: O mediatour! mercifull and meik / Thow soveraigne Lord and King, Celestiall. However, it is worth observing that even in Bannatyne, the lines reproduced in 1139-40 were replaced by the following: O lord eternall, moderator for us mast meke / Sit doun before thy fader celestiall. Clearly, the history of the lines reflects an effort to delete references to the Virgin Mary.
The Sheep and the Dog. The earliest version of this fable is in Phaedrus, though Henryson is closer to Gualterus in his adaption. This fable offers the best example of Henryson's knowledge of courts and legal procedure. Both the legal terminology and the court structure in this tale reflect contemporaneous Scottish courts as we know them. This tale is one of the major sources for those who speculate that Henryson was an attorney, or, at the very least, a notary.
1148 unto is from Bannatyne and Hart. Bassandyne: to.
1158 straitly is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: for.
1164 twa dayis is my emendation. Bassandyne: two dayis or. Bannatyne: the dayis.
1169 It was an important point of legal procedure for the summoner to endorse the summons as proof that he had served it.
1170 lay na mouth on eird means "put his mouth to the ground (to eat)." The sense is that the sheep had to travel in such haste that he did not even have time to eat.
1172-73 These lines are likely corrupt. The sense seems to be "The time for proceedings which the judge [traditionally] used then [was] when Hesperus began to show his face."
1174 The term noter or notary here involves a great deal more legal responsibility than that currently vested in the position. In this case, the notary serves as the clerk of the court. Notaries in the Middle Ages bore responsibilities roughly equivalent to those of paralegals or even solicitors today.
1183 certane is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: certaue.
1187 The sheep is completely within his rights in declining this court's authority. The bases which he suggests, an unsuitable time, a distant court, and a biased judge, remain appropriate legal bases for requesting delays or changes of venue to this day.
1194 as juge is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: iuge as.
1199 feriate is a problematic term. Fox relates it to some holidays (dies feriati), even though he admits he has not seen any use of this term with a period any shorter than a day. The likely sense of the term is "illegal." See The Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, hereafter cited as DOST, p. 451
1208 efter is Fox's emendation. Bassandyne: efterwart. Bannatyne: eftir.
1209 tuke is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: tnke.
1211 or is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: nor.
1214 decretalis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: decreitis.
1216 Bannatyne uses the abbreviated form civil (spelled sewall) and is probably correct. For the convenience of the reader, I have retained the Bassandyne reading.
mony volum is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: volumis full mony.
1218 Contra et pro strait follows the emendation suggested by H. M. R. Murray and used by Fox (p. 258). It replaces the Bassandyne Contrait, prostrait.
1219 Sum a doctryne and sum a nothir hald is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: sum objection and sum can hald.
1220 thay is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: that thay.
1221 held is from Bannatyne and Harleian. Bassandyne: hald.
1224 summar and plane is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: sweirand plane.
1225 process fulminait refers to the formal issuing of the summons for the sheep to reappear in the court.
1230 This is the unique attestation of derenyeit in this sense. In general it usually means "challenge."
1251 persecutioun is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: the executioun.
1252 Obeyit is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Obeyand.
1252 and couth is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: he couth.
1256 he is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: it.
1270 als is from Bannatyne; it is omitted in Bassandyne.
1273 porteous is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: portioun.
1277 The scraping out of names suggests malpractice satirized by Chaucer's Summoner to which the ridiculed Friar objects (Canterbury Tales, III (D) 1758-61).
1278 swa is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Hart. Bassandyne: tak.
skat is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: tat.
1289 And frawart is my emendation. Bassandyne: And hard. Bannatyne: With frawart.
1290 The sheep cannot "make an abode" on the hillsides because he lacks the protection of his fleece.
1295 O lord is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Lord God. See Fox's note (p. 262) on the pleas of mankind while God sleeps. He cites Psalm 44 (Vulg. 43): 22-23, where "we are counted as sheep for the slaughter" while God sleeps.
1300 syn is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: sone.
1301 This line is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Loist hes baith lawtie and eik law.
1305 Thay ar is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: He is.
1306 meid thay thoill is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: micht he lettis.
1307 this warld overturnit is. The lack of stability in the world after the fall is commonly lamented by those in adversity. Compare Chaucer's Lak of Stedfastnesse "for turned up-so-down / Is al this world for mede and wilfulnesse" (lines 5-6). It is perhaps noteworthy that the Bannatyne manuscript includes a copy of Chaucer's poem translated into a Middle Scots dialect ("Sumtyme this Warld so Stedfast was"), as well as "The Song of Troyelus: Gif no love is, O God, quhat feill I so," as well as eight other apocryphal poems attributed to Chaucer. The instability trope is commonplace. See Ernst Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, trans. Willard R. Trask (New York: Harper Torchbook, 1963), pp. 94-98.
The Lion and the Mouse. Found in Babrius, Phaedrus, and Gualterus, though Henryson does not seem tied to any specific source. The opening of this tale is quite traditional. The prologue provides a setting for a dream vision, employing all the usual elements. Compare with Piers Ploughman or Chaucer's Romaunt, or the Squire's Tale, or Franklin's Tale, or Prologue to Legend of Good Women, or Knight's Tale, or Troilus.
1321 joly is from Bannatyne; it is omitted in Bassandyne.
1324 Fox emends "bemis" to the Bannatyne "lemis."
1335 rone is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: on rone.
1336 viola is from Charteris. Bassandyne: violat bla.
1340 Fox has emended Bassandyne's off to the.
1345 maid a cors is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne uses the Protestant revision cled my heid.
1348 It is worth noting that Henryson runs contrary to tradition in his description of Aesop, who was typically portrayed as deformed and misshapen.
1350 chymmeris is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: chemeis.
1355 The word lokker is otherwise unattested as an adjective.
1359 he weir is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: can beir.
1371 On etymological grounds, Fox accepts the Bannatyne reading, natall. The fact that "native" in this sense is unattested before Dunbar certainly does not mean that it would not have been in currency during Henryson's time. I believe the time frame is too close for conclusive argument, and thus I have retained the original reading.
1386 wald dedene is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: wald not disdayne.
1387 Concludand is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: Conclud and.
1396 roustie is from Charteris and Hart. Bassandyne: roustit.
blak is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: klak.
1398 Yit is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Yis.
1405 wery is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: war.
1438 The original Bassandyne reading presumtioun is retained here. However, Fox has made an interesting case that Henryson intended to use prodissioun (treason) as the last word of the line. See p. 268.
1439 Erer is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: The rather. Fox follows Bannatyne; Wood follows Bassandyne.
1454-60 The lion shows off his legal expertise.
1460 Onto is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Vpon.
1467 kinglie. Charteris reads cumlie, which is also possible.
1471 spirituall is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: speciall.
1479 Quhat is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: Qnhat.
1503 Quhen is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: Qnhen.
1530 thus is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: and.
1535 succour is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: snccour.
1548 thy gentilnes is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: off thy gentrace.
1562 abone is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: about.
1599 a commoun is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: ane kinbute.
for is from Bannatyne and Charteris. Bassandyne: of.
1604 Wood puts a question mark after fortoun, but the syntax is problematic. Fox places the question mark at the end of the stanza, which makes for more complicated but intelligible syntax.
1608-14 These lines in particular have been used to reinforce the notion that Henryson is interested in topical references in this poem, most notably the Lauder rebellion of 1482 in which James III was seized by rebellious nobles and his advisors were killed. In the moralitas of "The Wolf and the Lamb" there are clearly topical comments on contemporaneous events. Most scholars believe Henryson has extended that approach in this tale.
1616 This line is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: I the beseik and all men for to pray.
The Preaching of the Swallow. Fox calls this "one of Henryson's richest and most complex fables" (p. 274), originating, perhaps, in Gualterus' brief account of 14 lines. Fox identifies a number of biblical parallels that appear to be functioning in this fable (pp. 277-79).
1633 materiale is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: naturall.
1678 grene is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: off grene.
1701 ar bethit is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: laithit.
1702 wair is another textual enigma. My gloss follows the suggestion of Smith.
1709 I have used the traditional gloss for fleit. Fox makes an interesting case for personification in suggesting that the word means "frightened."
1711 smale is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: haill.
1722 dyke. "ditches" for drainage after the frost leaves the fields; or, perhaps, an embankment or stone walls.
1740 moir is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: mrir.
1744 lo se! - and linget seid is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: and gude linget seid.
1758 befoir and se is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: and foirse.
1760 evin at is from Charteris. Bassandyne: behald. Fox uses the Bannatyne at the, choosing to omit evin.
1761 ethar is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: the better.
1764 The sense is that the cauler's lark is borrowing trouble.
1779 quailye. Possibly quail, which were common enough in Scotland in the fifteenth century, but more likely the corn-crake (or landrail), noted for its craikand [crek, crek] in the corne.
1788 pyme. So in Bassandyne, Charteris print, and Harley 3865. The word is not in print elsewhere. Perhaps it should be pyne, though that would spoil the rhyme. "Cry" is certainly the sense.
1797 young is inserted from Bannatyne. It is omitted in Bassandyne.
1825-29 Henryson's description of flax processing in the Middle Ages is accurate. Smith provides additional detail (I, 27-28).
1849 intentioun is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: lutentioun.
1863 mocht is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Hart. Bassandyne: nocht.
1873 this is from Charteris, Hart, Harleian, and Smith. Bassandyne: thus.
1879 Bassandyne: Off sum the heid he streik. he streik is omitted in Bannatyne, and the line becomes more metrically regular with the omission.
1881-87 At this point, the swallow's remarks are directed to the reader who has become a member of her congregation during her sermon on the theme of prudence.
1900 and is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: in.
1902-04 Fox notes a reference to Augustinian doctrine here of three stages of sin: suggestio, delectatio, and consensio.
1903 in delectatioun is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: unto delectioun.
1917 This is a rhetorical formula repeated in Orpheus, lines 603.
1928 warldis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: warld.
1929 that is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: than.
1931 partit is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: departit.
1946 to seis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: fra.
The Fox, the Wolf, and the Cadger. This is a common folktale. Henryson's version bears some affinity to the Roman de Renart. This fable is remarkably replete with proverbs. See Fox (Poems, passim) for discussion of the proverbial lore. The title is Bassandyne, Charteris, and Harleian is The Taill of the Wolf, that gat the Nekhering, throw the Wrinkis of the Foxe, that begylit the Cadgear. A cadgear is a travelling fish peddlar.
1957 breith is from Charteris. Bassandyne: wraith.
1958 Fox emends watching to waithing on the assumption that the latter (in its sense of hunting) makes more sense. However, since watching in the sense of "observing" is a part of hunting and the everyday behavior of canines, I see no reason to make the emendation.
1962 Russell gray. Russell means reddish brown; gray does not fit the sense well. (See line 1976 where the fox says he's red.) Fox wonders if gay might not be a suitable emendation (p. 290).
1983 thay is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: I.
1995 sonyeis is from Charteris. Bassandyne: senyes.
2010 To draw the straw before the cat is to distract it from its purpose.
2013 rude is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: reid.
2028 The word cadgear is not attested before Henryson.
2074 Till Flanderis refers to the skin merchants of the Netherlands. In essence, the cadgar is saying that he will not part with the fox's pelt to anyone at any price.
2083 Huntis up is both a hunting song and a traditional dance.
2089 The word nekhering is unusual and is first attested in Henryson. It has been suggested that the term is used as a pun with the meaning "a blow on the neck or shoulders." DOST suggests two meanings: "a) appar. a variety of herring, ?the shod. b) A blow, a buffet; ?specif., a blow over the neck and shoulders" (IV. 511). The cadger apparently uses both senses as he speaks to the fox of an apparently very large fish, though the cadger may be punning on a sharp blow to the neck (see Elliott's gloss, p. 195). Subsequently, the fox entreats the greedy wolf with the possibility of obtaining the big fish, but the wolf gets instead several blows to the head, enough to blind him, from the cadger who is eager to realize the second implication of his initial pun.
2090 creillis. A creel or large wicker basket which would be carried by a cart or in pairs on horses.
2103 hakkit. Fox follows Charteris with snakkit (snapped).
2114 Schir is from Charteris and Harleian. Bassandyne: Tchir. See also line 2131.
2120 The reference to forty days is to the forty days of Lent.
2148 dow not is from Charteris. Bassandyne: he will.
2152-53 The sense here is "if you get that herring secure in some place you will not need to go fishing anymore until Easter."
2154 In principio are the first two words of the gospel of St. John and were often used as a charm to ward off evil.
2168 als wraith as ony is from Charteris. Bassandyne: wavering as the.
2171 revenge him best is from Charteris. Bassandyne: revengit on him.
2193 fyne is from Hart and Harleian. Bassandyne: syne.
2206 but leis. "no doubt"; "without lies."
The Fox, the Wolf, and the Husbandman. Enumerating the three motifs that Henryson's fable contains (the angry farmer who gives his oxen to the wolf, the reflection of the moon mistaken for cheese, and the wolf in the bucket), Fox suggests that Petrus Alfonsi's Disciplina clericalis is the likely source for this fable. The motifs also occur in the Roman de Renart (p. 299). The title in Bassandyne, Charteris, and Harleian is The Taill of the Foxe, that begylit the Wolf, in the schadow of the Mone.
2238-39 How! Haik! is obviously the ploughman's call to his oxen. In the same sense Hald draught is a command which is used to encourage the oxen to keep pulling within the furrow.
2242 angrie as ane hair. Proverbial variant of "mad as a hare." See Fergusson's Scottish Proverbs, No. 712. Compare hare-brained, "bouncing about senselessly." The OED notes that the male hare is more wild in the breeding season, hence March hare (hare I.b).
2243 patill. A pattle is a long spade-like tool for removing earth stuck to the ploughshare.
2284 Fox has emended contrusit from Bassandyne to contrufit.
2346 The translation of unroikit as "heedlessly" is speculative, based on scribal error or dialect variation on the word rak (heed).
2372 hous is Fox's emendation. Bassandyne: hors. Smith and Hart: house.
2389 draw well. A well from which water is drawn.
2392 schadow means "reflection," an unusual usage also found in The Testament of Cresseid.
2432 Arctand is from Charteris. Bassandyne: Actand.
2452 Fox glosses buttrie in its more traditional sense meaning "pantry." However, line 2453 makes that interpretation questionable at best. In any case, the citation may well be corrupt. The DOST provides one interesting alternative (p. 402) in the citation of a proverb for a Buttrie bag, meaning a slippery bag. Based primarily on the logic of context. I have decided to gloss buttrie as bucket, on the assumption that the association with the proverb, and the citation for Butt and Bute (both containers, albeit one for feet) make this meaning as likely as any other. The construction may have developed through ellipsis or some oral idiomatic expression. However, this speculation is by no means a firm solution to the conundrum.
2454 from is Wood's emendation. Bassandyne: ftom.
The Wolf and the Wether. The earliest version of this fable is found in Baldo. Henryson might have taken it from Caxton.
2468 with is Fox's emendation. Bassandyne: wit.
2474 that is from Hart and Smith; it is omitted in Bassandyne.
2476 wichtlie wan is Fox's emendation. Bassandyne: wretchitlie wan.
2516 thay is from Charteris and Hart. Bassandyne: Ihay.
2537 Largely on the basis of meter, Fox emends this line to read The volff ran till ane rekill suggesting that rekill may mean "heap" or "clatter." Logically, however, the Bassandyne reading makes better sense - the wolf has encountered a stream which is a barrier to his escape.
2548 Syne is from Charteris and Harleian. Bassandyne: Tyne.
2550 quhyte as ane freir. The Carmelites wore a white mantle; hence the White Friars.
2588-94 Fox suggests that these lines imitate Lydgate's The Churl and the Bird, lines 1-6, 15-16.
2604 Fox suggests lychtlie means "make light of" or "disparage."
2608 This line contains a proverbial reference to hall benches, a metaphor for high social station based on seating arrangements at court. The comment that such benches are slippery is intended to reflect the mutability of courtly favor. See also "The Want of Wyse Men," pp. 255-57.
The Wolf and the Lamb. The tale is perhaps taken from Gualterus, with some influences of Lydgate's "Tale of the Wolfe and the Lamb."
2628 him is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: he.
2628 Although Bassandyne reads beleuand, and there is no metric difference, Fox makes a convincing argument on historical grounds for presomyng from Bannatyne (p. 316).
2629 this is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: him.
2630 angrie austre. Bassandyne: awfull angrie. Bannatyne: angry austre.
2632 this bruke is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: and bruke.
2638 your is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: yuor.
2667 pais. Bassandyne: prais. Bannatyne: paiss.
2668 pyne is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: pane.
2673 cheris is from Bannatyne and Charteris. Bassandyne: refuse.
2677 spew is from Bannatyne and Charteris. Bassandyne: did spew.
2682 Fox substitutes audience for evidence suggesting the former means "a due hearing." The use of evidence in three witnesses, however, seems to me to be persuasive.
2690 wyis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: gyis.
2693 Fox emends Na to Ha on the basis of appropriateness. However, the introductory use of the form no in a sentence which corrects an error is well attested in Middle English and Middle Scots and persists to this day. A parallel would be "No, it goes this way." See line 2340 for Henryson's use of this expression.
2697 Be Goddis woundis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: Be his woundis.
2701 hedit is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: deid.
2703 syne is from Bannatyne and Harleian. Bassandyne: and.
2713 facultie. Fox follows Bannatyne with suteltie.
2716 poleit is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne, Charteris, and Harleian: poete.
2729 aneuch is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: full grit.
2731 in peace ane pureman is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: the pure in pece to.
2734 This line refers to the practice of buying a tenant-farmer's lease "out from under him."
2738 crufe is Fox's emendation. Bassandyne: caff. Bannatyne: cruse.
2744 A village was a lease for grazing rights.
2745 A gressome is the charge paid by a tenant on taking up or renewing a lease.
2750 cairt is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: court.
2760 be rad is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: dreid.
2769 pure with. Bassandyne reads pure had with.
2771 and men. Bassandyne reads and fell. Fox follows Charteris, as do I.
The Paddock and the Mouse. Henryson seems to be following Gualterus here, though versions are found in Lydgate's Isopet de Lyon, Babrius, Phaedrus, and the Greek Vita Aesopi. A paddock is a frog, corresponding to rava in Gualterus. Henryson twice refers to the beast as a toad. Apparently toads, frogs, and paddocks are sometimes treated indifferently in medieval literature.
2787-88 Fox suggests that these lines might be reversed (p. 326).
2789 rauk is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: rank.
2800 your is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: thy.
2802 Withoutin is Fox's emendation. Bassandyne: Without. Bannatyne: Withowttin.
2803 yow is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: the.
2805 mervell than is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: grit wounder.
2806 without is from Bannatyne, Charteris, and Harleian. Bassandyne: withont.
2808 droun to wed is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: drounit be.
2815 swyme is from Charteris. Bassandyne: row.
2816 It is worth noting the duplicity in this line since adult frogs lack gills.
2819-32 The mouse's arguments are soundly based in medieval studies of physiognomy.
2841 na wyt is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: no cause. The toad's argument is "I have no knowledge about why I look as I do. Why should I be scorned for what I cannot control?"
suld I is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: I suld.
2842 Absolon. Compare Chaucer's Prologue to the Legend of Good Women F.203: Hyd, Absalom, thy gilte tresses clere, where Absolon's hair is projected as an exemplar of beauty. See Paul E. Beichner, "Absolon's Hair," Medieval Studies 12 (1950), 222-33.
2860 our is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: rycht.
2865 The "murder oath" was a medieval protocol assuring the safety of another party.
2873 carpand. crappald is Fox's emendation of the Bassandyne carpand. crappald and pad both mean "toad." The line is likely corrupt. There is, however, an intriguing reference in DOST to crapulus meaning "intemperate." The sense could certainly eliminate the problem of duplication in Henryson's line, but the earliest citation is 1721. The problem, therefore, remains to be solved. It is possible that the Bassandyne carpand in the sense of "loquacious" could be accurate, since the frog obviously has rhetorical skill.
2875 fute for fute means "side by side" in the most literal sense, given the way the mouse has bound herself to toad's leg.
2877 This line is taken from Bannatyne. Bassandyne reads: The mous thocht off na thing bot for to swym.
2887 Scho bowtit up and is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: With all her mycht scho.
2893 in is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: in to.
2895 In crying for a priest, the mouse believes it is time for her last rites.
2898 owthir is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: ony.
2904 bellieflaucht refers to flaying the creatures by pulling their skin off whole over the head.
fettislie is Fox's emendation. Bassandyne: fettillie.
2915-16 Line 2915 is problematic. The sense of the Bassandyne text is "it were better for you to bear carts (wheelbarrows) of stone." Fox emends this line based on Craigie's suggestion as noted in Smith's edition. The corruption of the text, however, and the lack of a persuasive argument for the emendation make the original text (reproduced here) as likely an alternative as any. Fox also emends line 2916 to read Or sueitand dig and. However, he correctly notes that dig and delf are synonymous. I believe the Bassandyne line, printed here, is more likely.
2930 at is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: of.
2942 Fox chooses wardit instead of wrappit without much conviction.
2945 gounis is Fox's emendation. Bassandyne: gouins. Bannatyne: gownis.
2946 fysche is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: fitche (vetch), which seems unlikely in the context of the simile.
2947 wappit is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: wrappit.
2950 twyn is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: wyn.
2967 Of gud deidis is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne has the more Protestant Of faith in Christ.
2972 or is from Bannatyne. Bassandyne: and ane.
- The Prologue
- The Cock and the Jasp
- The Two Mice
- The Cock and the Fox
- The Fox and the Wolf
- The Trial of the Fox
- The Sheep and the Dog
- The Lion and the Mouse
- The Preaching of the Swallow
- The Fox, the Wolf, and the Cadger
- The Fox, the Wolf, and the Husbandman
- The Wolf and the Wether
- The Wolf and the Lamb
- The Paddock and the Mouse
The Morall Fabillis
Thocht feinyeit fabils of ald poetré
Be not al grunded upon truth, yit than,
Thair polite termes of sweit rhetoré
Richt plesand ar unto the eir of man;
And als the caus quhy that thay first began
Wes to repreif the of thi misleving,
O man, be figure of ane uther thing.
In lyke maner as throw the bustious eird,
Swa it be laubourit with grit diligence,
Springis the flouris and the corne abreird,
Hailsum and gude to mannis sustenence,
Sa dois spring thair ane morall sweit sentence
Oute of the subtell dyte of poetry,
To gude purpois, quha culd it weill apply.
The nuttis schell, thocht it be hard and teuch,
Haldis the kirnell, sueit and delectabill;
Sa lyis thair ane doctrine wyse aneuch
And full of frute, under ane fenyeit fabill;
And clerkis sayis, it is richt profitabill
Amangis ernist to ming ane merie sport,
To light the spreit and gar the tyme be schort.
For as we se, ane bow that is ay bent
Worthis unsmart and dullis on the string;
Sa dois the mynd that is ay diligent
In ernistfull thochtis and in studying.
With sad materis sum merines to ming
Accordis weill; thus Esope said, I wis,
Dulcius arrident seria picta iocis. 1
Of this authour, my maisteris, with your leif,
Submitting me to your correctioun,
In mother toung, of Latyng, I wald preif
To mak ane maner of translatioun -
Nocht of my self, for vane presumptioun,
Bot be requeist and precept of ane lord,
Of quhome the name it neidis not record.
In hamelie language and in termes rude
Me neidis wryte, for quhy of eloquence
Nor rethorike, I never understude.
Thairfoir meiklie I pray your reverence,
Gif that ye find it throw my negligence
Be deminute, or yit superfluous,
Correct it at your willis gratious.
My author in his fabillis tellis how
That brutal beistis spak and understude,
And to gude purpois dispute and argow,
Ane sillogisme propone, and eik conclude;
Put in exempill and similitude
How mony men in operatioun
Ar like to beistis in conditioun.
Na mervell is, ane man be lyke ane beist,
Quhilk lufis ay carnall and foull delyte,
That schame can not him renye nor arreist,
Bot takis all the lust and appetyte,
Quhilk throw custum and the daylie ryte
Syne in the mynd sa fast is radicate
That he in brutal beist is transformate.
This nobill clerk, Esope, as I haif tauld,
In gay metir, facound and purpurat,
Be figure wrait his buke: for he nocht wald
Tak the disdane off hie nor low estate;
And to begin, first of ane cok he wrate,
Seikand his meit, quhilk fand ane jolie stone,
Of quhome the fabill ye sall heir anone.
The Cock and the Jasp
Ane cok sum tyme with feddram fresch and gay,
Richt cant and crous, albeit he was bot pure,
Fleu furth upon ane dunghill sone be day;
To get his dennar set was al his cure.
Scraipand amang the as be aventure
He fand ane jolie jasp, richt precious,
Wes castin furth in sweping of the hous.
As damisellis wantoun and insolent
That fane wald play and on the streit be sene,
To swoping of the hous thay tak na tent
Quhat be thairin, swa that the flure be clene;
Jowellis ar tint, as oftymis hes bene sene,
Upon the flure, and swopit furth anone.
Peradventure, sa wes the samin stone.
Sa mervelland upon the stane, quod he,
"O gentill Jasp, O riche and nobill thing,
Thocht I the find, thow ganis not for me;
Thow art ane jouell for ane lord or king.
Pietie it wer thow suld in this mydding
Be buryit thus amang this muke and mold,
And thow so fair and worth sa mekill gold.
"It is pietie I suld the find, for quhy
Thy grit vertew, nor yit thy cullour cleir,
It may me nouther extoll nor magnify,
And thow to me may mak bot lyttill cheir;
To grit lordis thocht thow be leif and deir,
I lufe fer better thing of les availl,
As draf or corne to fill my tume intraill.
"I had lever ga scrapit heir with my naillis
Amangis this mow, and luke my lifys fude,
As draf or corne, small wormis or snaillis,
Or ony meit wald do my stomok gude,
Than of jaspis ane mekill multitude;
And thow agane, upon the samin wyis,
May me as now for thyne availl dispyis.
"Thow hes na corne, and thairof I had neid;
Thy cullour dois bot confort to the sicht,
And that is not aneuch my wame to feid,
For wyfis sayis that lukand wark was licht.
I wald sum meit have, get it geve I micht,
For houngrie men may not weill leve on lukis:
Had I dry breid, I compt not for na cukis.
"Quhar suld thow mak thy habitatioun?
Quhar suld thow duell, bot in ane royall tour?
Quhar suld thow sit, bot on ane kingis croun
Exaltit in worschip and in grit honour?
Rise, gentill Jasp, of all stanis the flour,
Out of this midding, and pas quhar thow suld be;
Thow ganis not for me, nor I for the."
Levand this jewell law upon the ground,
To seik his meit this cok his wayis went.
Bot quhen or how or quhome be it wes found,
As now I set to hald na argument.
Bot of the inward sentence and intent
Of this fabill, as myne author dois write,
I sall reheirs in rude and hamelie dite.
This jolie jasp hes properteis sevin:
The first, of cullour it is mervelous,
Part lyke the fyre and part lyke to the hevin;
It makis ane man stark and victorious;
Preservis als fra cacis perrillous;
Quha hes this stane sall have gude hap to speid,
Of fyre nor fallis him neidis not to dreid.
This gentill jasp, richt different of hew,
Betakinnis perfite prudence and cunning,
Ornate with mony deidis of vertew,
Mair excellent than ony eirthly thing,
Quhilk makis men in honour for to ring,
Happie, and stark to wyn the victorie
Of all vicis and spirituall enemie.
Quha may be hardie, riche, and gratious?
Quha can eschew perrell and aventure?
Quha can governe ane realme, cietie, or hous
Without science? No man, I yow assure.
It is riches that ever sall indure,
Quhilk maith, nor moist, nor uther rust can freit:
To mannis saull it is eternall meit.
This cok, desyrand mair the sempill corne
Than ony jasp, may till ane fule be peir,
Quhilk at science makis bot ane moik and scorne,
And na gude can; als lytill will he leir -
His hart wammillis wyse argumentis to heir,
As dois ane sow to quhome men for the nanis
In hir draf troich wald saw the precious stanis.
Quha is enemie to science and cunning
Bot ignorants, that understandis nocht
Quhilk is sa nobill, sa precious, and sa ding,
That it may not with eirdlie thing be bocht?
Weill wer that man, over all uther, that mocht
All his lyfe dayis in perfite studie wair
To get science, for him neidis na mair.
Bot now, allace, this jasp is tynt and hid.
We seik it nocht, nor preis it for to find;
Haif we richis, na better lyfe we bid,
Of science thocht the saull be bair and blind.
Of this mater to speik, I wair bot wind,
Thairfore I ceis and will na forther say.
Ga seik the jasp, quha will, for thair it lay.
The Two Mice
Esope, myne authour, makis mentioun
Of twa myis, and thay wer sisteris deir,
Of quham the eldest duelt in ane borous toun;
The uther wynnit uponland weill neir,
Richt soliter, quhyle under busk and breir,
Quhilis in the corne, in uther mennis skaith,
As owtlawis dois and levis on thair waith.
This rurall mous in to the wynter tyde
Had hunger, cauld, and tholit grit distres;
The uther mous, that in the burgh can byde,
Was gild brother and made ane fre burges,
Toll-fre als, but custum mair or les,
And fredome had to ga quhair ever scho list
Amang the cheis and meill, in ark and kist.
Ane tyme quhein scho wes full and unfute-sair,
Scho tuke in mynd hir sister upon land,
And langit for to heir of hir weilfair,
To se quhat lyfe scho led under the wand.
Bairfute allone, with pykestaf in hir hand,
As pure pylgryme, scho passit owt off town
To seik hir sister, baith ovre daill and down.
Throw mony wilsum wayis can scho walk,
Throw mosse and mure, throw bankis, busk, and breir,
Fra fur to fur, cryand fra balk to balk,
"Cum furth to me, my awin sister deir!
Cry peip anis!" With that the mous culd heir
And knew hir voce, as kinnisman will do
Be verray kynd, and furth scho come hir to.
The hartlie cheir, Lord God! geve ye had sene
Beis kith quhen that thir sisteris met,
And grit kyndnes wes schawin thame betuene,
For quhylis thay leuch, and quhylis for joy thay gret,
Quhyle kissit sweit, quhylis in armis plet,
And thus thay fure quhill soberit wes their mude;
Syne fute for fute unto the chalmer yude.
As I hard say, it was ane semple wane,
Off fog and farne full misterlyk wes maid,
Ane sillie scheill under ane erdfast stane,
Off quhilk the entres wes not hie nor braid;
And in the samin thay went, but mair abaid,
Withoutin fyre or candill birnand bricht,
For comonly sic pykeris luffis not lycht.
Quhen thay wer lugit thus, thir sely myse,
The youngest sister into hir butterie hyid,
And brocht furth nuttis and peis, in steid off spyce;
Giff this wes gude fair, I do it on thame besyde. 2
This burges mous prunyit forth in pryde,
And said, "Sister, is this your dayly fude?"
"Quhy not," quod scho, "is not this meit rycht gude?"
"Na, be my saull, I think it bot ane scorne."
"Madame," quod scho, "ye be the mair to blame.
My mother sayd, efter that we wer borne,
That I and ye lay baith within ane wame;
I keip the ryte and custome off my dame,
And off my syre, levand in povertie,
For landis have we nane in propertie."
"My fair sister," quod scho, "have me excusit;
This rude dyat and I can not accord.
To tender meit my stomok is ay usit,
For quhy I fair als weill as ony lord.
Thir wydderit peis and nuttis, or thay be bord,
Wil brek my teith and mak my wame ful sklender,
Quhilk usit wes before to meitis tender."
"Weil, weil, sister," quod the rurall mous,
"Geve it yow pleis, sic thing as ye se heir,
Baith meit and dreink, harberie and hous,
Sal be your awin, will ye remane al yeir.
Ye sall it have wyth blyith and mery cheir,
And that suld mak the maissis that ar rude,
Amang freindis, richt tender, sueit, and gude.
"Quhat plesans is in feistis delicate,
The quhilkis ar gevin with ane glowmand brow?
Ane gentill hart is better recreate
With blyith visage, than seith to him ane kow.
Ane modicum is mair for till allow,
Swa that gude will be kerver at the dais,
Than thrawin vult and mony spycit mais."
For all hir mery exhortatioun
This burges mous had littill will to sing,
Bot hevilie scho kest hir browis doun,
For all the daynteis that scho culd hir bring;
Yit at the last scho said, halff in hething,
"Sister, this victuall and your royall feist
May weill suffice unto ane rurall beist.
"Lat be this hole and cum unto my place:
I sall to yow schaw, be experience,
My Gude Friday is better nor your Pace,
My dische likingis is worth your haill expence.
I have housis anew off grit defence;
Off cat, na fall, na trap, I have na dreid."
"I grant," quod scho, and on togidder thay yeid.
In stubble array, throw gers and corne,
Under cowert full prevelie couth thay creip;
The eldest wes the gyde and went beforne,
The younger to hir wayis tuke gude keip.
On nicht thay ran and on the day can sleip,
Quhill in the morning, or the laverok sang,
Thay fand the town, and in blythlie couth gang.
Not fer fra thyne, unto ane worthie vane,
This burges brocht thame sone quhare thay suld be.
Withowt God speid thair herberie wes tane
In to ane spence with vittell grit plentie:
Baith cheis and butter upon skelfis hie,
And flesche and fische aneuch, baith fresche and salt,
And sekkis full off grotis, meill, and malt.
Efter, quhen thay disposit wer to dyne,
Withowtin grace, thay wesche and went to meit,
With all coursis that cukis culd devyne,
Muttoun and beif, strikin in tailyeis greit.
Ane lordis fair thus couth thay counterfeit
Except ane thing: thay drank the watter cleir
In steid off wyne; bot yit thay maid gude cheir.
With blyith upcast, and merie countenance,
The eldest sister sperit at hir gest
Giff that scho be ressone fand difference
Betuix that chalmer and hir sarie nest.
"Ye, dame," quod scho, "bot how lang will this lest?"
"For evermair, I wait, and langer to."
"Giff it be swa, ye ar at eis," quod scho.
Till eik thair cheir ane subcharge furth scho brocht,
Ane plait off grottis and ane disch full off meill;
Thraf caikkis als I trow scho spairit nocht
Aboundantlie about hir for to deill,
And mane full fyne scho brocht in steid off geill,
And ane quhyte candill owt off ane coffer stall
In steid off spyce, to gust thair mouth withall.
This maid thay merie, quhill thay micht na mair,
And "Haill, Yule, haill!" cryit upon hie.
Yit efter joy oftymes cummis cair,
And troubill efter grit prosperitie.
Thus as thay sat in all thair jolitie,
The spenser come with keyis in his hand,
Oppinnit the dure, and thame at denner fand.
They taryit not to wesche, as I suppose,
Bot on to ga, that micht formest win.
The burges had ane hole, and in scho gois;
Hir sister had na hole to hyde hir in.
To se that selie mous, it wes grit sin;
So desolate and will off ane gude reid;
For verray dreid scho fell in swoun neir deid.
Bot, as God wald, it fell ane happie cace:
The spenser had na laser for to byde,
Nowther to seik nor serche, to char nor chace,
Bot on he went, and left the dure up wyde.
The bald burges his passing weill hes spyde;
Out off hir hole scho come and cryit on hie,
"How fair ye, sister? Cry peip, quhair ever ye be!"
This rurall mous lay flatling on the ground,
And for the deith scho wes full sair dredand,
For till hir hart straik mony wofull stound;
As in ane fever trimbillit fute and hand;
And quhan hir sister in sic ply hir fand,
For verray pietie scho began to greit,
Syne confort hir with wordis hunny sweit.
"Quhy ly ye thus? Ryse up, my sister deir!
Cum to your meit; this perrell is overpast."
The uther answerit hir with hevie cheir,
"I may not eit, sa sair I am agast.
I had lever thir fourty dayis fast
With watter caill, and to gnaw benis or peis,
Than all your feist in this dreid and diseis."
With fair tretie yit scho gart hir upryse,
And to the burde thay went and togidder sat.
And scantlie had thay drunkin anis or twyse,
Quhen in come Gib Hunter, our jolie cat,
And bad God speid. The burges up with that,
And till hir hole scho fled as fyre of flint;
Bawdronis the uther be the bak hes hint.
Fra fute to fute he kest hir to and fra,
Quhylis up, quhylis doun, als tait as ony kid.
Quhylis wald he lat hir rin under the stra;
Quhylis wald he wink, and play with hir buk heid;
Thus to the selie mous grit pane he did;
Quhill at the last throw fortune and gude hap,
Betwix the dosor and the wall scho crap.
And up in haist behind the parraling
Scho clam so hie that Gilbert micht not get hir,
And be the clukis craftelie can hing
Till he wes gane; hir cheir wes all the better.
Syne doun scho lap quhen thair wes nane to let hir,
Apon the burges mous loud can scho cry,
"Fairweill, sister, thy feist heir I defy!
"Thy mangerie is mingit all with cair;
Thy guse is gude, thy gansell sour as gall;
The subcharge off thy service is bot sair;
Sa sall thow find heir-efterwart may fall.
I thank yone courtyne and yone perpall wall
Off my defence now fra yone crewell beist.
Almichtie God keip me fra sic ane feist.
"Wer I into the kith that I come fra,
For weill nor wo suld I never cum agane."
With that scho tuke hir leif and furth can ga,
Quhylis throw the corne and quhylis throw the plane.
Quhen scho wes furth and fre scho wes full fane,
And merilie markit unto the mure;
I can not tell how eftirwart scho fure,
Bot I hard say scho passit to hir den,
Als warme as woll, suppose it wes not greit,
Full beinly stuffit, baith but and ben,
Off beinis and nuttis, peis, ry, and quheit;
Quhen ever scho list scho had aneuch to eit,
In quyet and eis withoutin ony dreid,
Bot to hir sisteris feist na mair scho yeid.
Freindis, heir may ye find, will ye tak heid,
In this fabill ane gude moralitie:
As fitchis myngit ar with nobill seid,
Swa interminglit is adversitie
With eirdlie joy, swa that na state is frie
Without trubill and sum vexatioun,
And namelie thay quhilk clymmis up maist hie,
That ar not content with small possessioun.
Blissed be sempill lyfe withoutin dreid;
Blissed be sober feist in quietie.
Quha hes aneuch, of na mair hes he neid,
Thocht it be littill into quantatie.
Grit aboundance and blind prosperitie
Oftymes makis ane evill conclusioun.
The sweitest lyfe, thairfoir, in this cuntrie,
Is sickernes, with small possessioun.
O wantoun man, that usis for to feid
Thy wambe and makis it a god to be,
Luke to thy self, I warne the weill on deid.
The cat cummis and to the mous hes ee;
Quhat vaillis than thy feist and royaltie,
With dreidfull hart and tribulatioun?
Thairfoir, best thing in eird, I say for me,
Is merry hart with small possessioun.
Thy awin fyre, my freind, sa it be bot ane gleid,
It warmis weill, and is worth gold to the;
And Solomon sayis, gif that thow will reid,
"Under the hevin thair can not better be
Than ay be blyith and leif in honestie."
Quhairfoir I may conclude be this ressoun:
Of eirthly joy it beiris maist degré,
Blyithnes in hart, with small possessioun.
The Cock and the Fox
Thocht brutall beistis be irrationall,
That is to say, wantand discretioun,
Yyt ilk ane in thair kyndis naturall
Hes mony divers inclinatioun:
The bair busteous, the volff, the wylde lyoun,
The fox fenyeit, craftie and cawtelows,
The dog to bark on nicht and keip the hows.
Sa different thay ar in properteis
Unknawin unto man and sa infinite,
In kynd havand sa fell diversiteis,
My cunning it excedis for to dyte.
For thy as now, I purpose for to wryte
Ane cais I fand quhilk fell this ather yeir
Betwix ane foxe and gentill Chantecleir.
Ane wedow dwelt in till ane drop thay dayis
Quhilk wan hir fude of spinning on hir rok,
And na mair had, forsuth, as the fabill sayis,
Except off hennis scho had ane lyttill flok,
And thame to keip scho had ane jolie cok,
Richt curageous, that to this wedow ay
Devydit nicht and crew befoir the day.
Ane lyttill fra this foirsaid wedowis hows,
Ane thornie schaw thair wes off grit defence,
Quhairin ane foxe, craftie and cautelous,
Maid his repair and daylie residence,
Quhilk to this wedow did grit violence
In pyking off pultrie baith day and nicht,
And na way be revengit on him scho micht.
This wylie tod, quhen that the lark couth sing,
Full sair hungrie unto the toun him drest,
Quhair Chantecleir, in to the gray dawing,
Werie for nicht, wes flowen fra his nest.
Lowrence this saw and in his mynd he kest
The jeperdies, the wayis, and the wyle,
Be quhat menis he micht this cok begyle.
Dissimuland in to countenance and cheir,
On kneis fell and simuland thus he said,
"Gude morne, my maister, gentill Chantecleir!"
With that the cok start bakwart in ane braid.
"Schir, be my saull, ye neid not be effraid,
Nor yit for me to start nor fle abak;
I come bot heir service to yow to mak.
"Wald I not serve to yow, it wer bot blame,
As I have done to yowr progenitouris.
Your father oft fulfillit hes my wame,
And send me meit fra midding to the muris:
And at his end I did my besie curis
To hald his heid and gif him drinkis warme;
Syne at the last, the sweit swelt in my arme."
"Knew ye my father?" quod the cok, and leuch.
"Yea, my fair sone, I held his heid
Quhen that he deit under ane birkin beuch,
Syne said the Dirigie quhen that he wes deid.
Betuix us twa how suld thair be ane feid?
Quhame suld ye traist bot me, your servitour,
That to your father did sa grit honour?
"Quhen I behald your fedderis fair and gent,
Your beik, your breist, your hekill, and your kame -
Schir, be my saull, and the blissit sacrament,
My hart is warme, me think I am at hame.
Yow for to serve, I wald creip on my wame
In froist and snaw, in wedder wan and weit,
And lay my lyart loikkis under your feit."
This fenyeit foxe, fals and dissimulate,
Maid to this cok ane cavillatioun:
"Ye ar, me think, changit and degenerate
Fra your father and his conditioun.
Off craftie crawing he micht beir the croun,
For he wald on his tais stand and craw.
This wes na le; I stude beside and saw."
With that the cok, upon his tais hie,
Kest up his beik, and sang with all his micht.
Quod schir Lowrence, "Weill said, sa mot I the.
Ye ar your fatheris sone and air upricht,
Bot off his cunning yit ye want ane slicht."
"For," quod the tod, "he wald, and haif na dout,
Baith wink and craw, and turne him thryis about."
The cok, inflate with wind and fals vane gloir,
That mony puttis unto confusioun,
Traisting to win ane grit worschip thairfoir,
Unwarlie winkand walkit up and doun,
And syne to chant and craw he maid him boun -
And suddandlie, be he had crawin ane note,
The foxe wes war, and hint him be the throte.
Syne to the woid but tarie with him hyit,
Off countermaund haifand bot lytill dout.
With that Pertok, Sprutok, and Coppok cryit;
The wedow hard, and with ane cry come out.
Seand the cace scho sichit and gaif ane schout,
"How, murther, reylok!" with ane hiddeous beir,
"Allace, now lost is gentill Chantecleir!"
As scho wer woid, with mony yell and cry,
Ryvand hir hair, upon hir breist can beit;
Syne paill off hew, half in ane extasy,
Fell doun for cair in swoning and in sweit.
With that the selie hennis left thair meit,
And quhill this wyfe wes lyand thus in swoun,
Fell of that cace in disputatioun.
"Allace," quod Pertok, makand sair murning,
With teiris grit attour hir cheikis fell,
"Yone wes our drowrie and our dayis darling,
Our nichtingall, and als our orlege bell,
Our walkryfe watche, us for to warne and tell
Quhen that Aurora with hir curcheis gray
Put up hir heid betuix the nicht and day.
"Quha sall our lemman be? Quha sall us leid?
Quhen we ar sad quha sall unto us sing?
With his sweit bill he wald brek us the breid;
In all this warld wes thair ane kynder thing?
In paramouris he wald do us plesing,
At his power, as nature did him geif.
Now efter him, allace, how sall we leif?"
Quod Sprutok than, "Ceis, sister, off your sorrow.
Ye be to mad, for him sic murning mais.
We sall fair weill, I find Sanct Johne to borrow;
The proverb sayis, `Als gude lufe cummis as gais.'
I will put on my haly dais clais
And mak me fresch agane this jolie May,
Syne chant this sang, `Wes never wedow sa gay!'
"He wes angry and held us ay in aw,
And woundit with the speir off jelowsy.
Off chalmerglew, Pertok, full weill ye knaw
Waistit he wes, off nature cauld and dry.
Sen he is gone, thairfoir, sister, say I,
Be blyith in baill, for that is best remeid.
Let quik to quik, and deid ga to the deid."
Than Pertok spak, that feinyeit faith befoir,
In lust but lufe that set all hir delyte,
"Sister, ye wait off sic as him ane scoir
Wald not suffice to slaik our appetyte.
I hecht yow be my hand, sen ye ar quyte,
Within ane oulk, for schame and I durst speik,
To get ane berne suld better claw oure breik."
Than Coppok lyke ane curate spak full crous:
"Yone wes ane verray vengeance from the hevin.
He wes sa lous and sa lecherous,
He had," quod scho, "kittokis ma than sevin,
Bot rychteous God, haldand the balandis evin,
Smytis rycht sair, thocht he be patient,
Adulteraris that list thame not repent.
"Prydefull he wes, and joyit off his sin,
And comptit not for Goddis favour nor feid,
Bot traistit ay to rax and sa to rin,
Quhill at the last his sinnis can him leid
To schamefull end and to yone suddand deid.
Thairfoir it is the verray hand off God
That causit him be werryit with the tod.'
Quhen this wes said, this wedow fra hir swoun
Start up on fute, and on hir kennettis cryde,
"How Birkye, Berrie, Bell, Bawsie, Broun,
Rype Schaw, Rin Weil, Curtes, Nuttieclyde!
Togidder all but grunching furth ye glyde!
Reskew my nobill cok or he be slane,
Or ellis to me se ye cum never agane!"
With that, but baid, thay braidet over the bent;
As fyre off flint thay over the feildis flaw;
Full wichtlie thay throw wood and wateris went,
And ceissit not, schir Lourence quhill thay saw.
Bot quhen he saw the raches cum on raw,
Unto the cok in mynd he said, "God sen
That I and thow wer fairlie in my den."
Then spak the cok, with sum gude spirit inspyrit,
"Do my counsall and I sall warrand the.
Hungrie thow art, and for grit travell tyrit,
Richt faint off force and may not ferther fle:
Swyith turne agane and say that I and ye
Freindis ar maid and fellowis for ane yeir.
Than will thay stint, I stand for it, and not steir."
This tod, thocht he wes fals and frivolus,
And had frawdis, his querrell to defend,
Desavit wes be menis richt mervelous,
For falset failyeis ay at the latter end.
He start about, and cryit as he wes kend;
With that the cok he braid unto a bewch.
Now juge ye all quhairat schir Lowrence lewch.
Begylit thus, the tod under the tre
On kneis fell, and said, "Gude Chantecleir,
Cum doun agane, and I but meit or fe
Sal be your man and servand for ane yeir."
"Na, murther, theif, and revar, stand on reir.
My bludy hekill and my nek sa bla
Hes partit lowe for ever between us twa.
"I wes unwyse that winkit at thy will,
Quhairthrow almaist I loissit had my heid."
"I wes mair fule," quod he, "coud nocht be still,
Bot spake to put my pray in to pleid."
"Fair on, fals theif, God keip me fra thy feid."
With that the cok over the feildis tuke his flicht;
And in at the wedowis lewer couth he licht.
Now worthie folk, suppose this be ane fabill,
And overheillit wyth typis figurall,
Yit may ye find ane sentence richt agreabill
Under thir fenyeit termis textuall.
To our purpose this cok weill may we call
Nyse proud men, woid and vaneglorious
Of kin and blude, quhilk is presumpteous.
Fy, puft up pryde, thow is full poysonabill!
Quha favoris the, on force man haif ane fall;
Thy strenth is nocht, thy stule standis unstabill.
Tak witnes of the feyndis infernall,
Quhilk houndit doun wes fra that hevinlie hall
To hellis hole and to that hiddeous hous,
Because in pryde thay wer presumpteous.
This fenyeit foxe may weill be figurate
To flatteraris with plesand wordis quhyte,
With fals mening and mynd maist toxicate,
To loif and le that settis thair haill delyte.
All worthie folk at sic suld haif despyte,
For quhair is thair mair perrellous pestilence
Nor gif to learis haistelie credence?
The wickit mynd and adullatioun,
Of sucker sweit haifand the similitude,
Bitter as gall and full of fell poysoun
To taist it is, quha cleirlie understude.
For thy as now schortlie to conclude,
Thir twa sinnis, flatterie and vaneglore,
Ar vennomous: gude folk, fle thame thairfoir!
The Fox and the Wolf
Leif we this wedow glaid, I yow assure,
Off Chantecleir, mair blyith than I can tell,
And speik we off the fatal aventure
And destenie that to this foxe befell,
Quhilk durst na mair with miching intermell
Als lang as leme or licht wes off the day,
Bot bydand nicht full styll lurkand he lay,
Quhill that Thetes, the goddes off the flude,
Phebus had callit to the harbery,
And Hesperous put up his cluddie hude,
Schawand his lustie visage in the sky.
Than Lourence luikit up, quhair he couth ly,
And kest his hand upon his ee on hicht,
Merie and glade that cummit wes the nicht.
Out off the wod unto ane hill he went,
Quhair he micht se the tuinkling sternis cleir
And all the planetis off the firmament,
Thair cours and eik thair moving in thair spheir,
Sum retrograde and sum stationeir,
And off the zodiak in quhat degré
Thay wer ilk ane, as Lowrence leirnit me.
Than Saturne auld wes enterit in Capricorne,
And Juppiter movit in Sagittarie,
And Mars up in the Rammis heid wes borne,
And Phebus in the Lyoun furth can carie;
Venus the Crab, the Mone wes in Aquarie;
Mercurius, the god off eloquence,
Into the Virgyn maid his residence.
But astrolab, quadrant, or almanak,
Teichit off nature be instructioun,
The moving off the hevin this tod can tak,
Quhat influence and constellatioun
Wes lyke to fall upon the eirth adoun;
And to him self he said, withoutin mair,
"Weill worth my father, that send me to the lair.
"My destenie and eik my weird I watt,
My aventure is cleirlie to me kend,
With mischeif myngit is my mortall fait
My misleving the soner bot gif I mend;
Deid is reward off sin ane schamefull end.
Thairfoir I will ga seik sum confessour
And schryiff me clene off my sinnis to this hour."
"Allace," quod he, "richt waryit ar we thevis:
Our lyif is set ilk nicht in aventure,
Our cursit craft full mony man mischevis,
For ever we steill and ever alyk ar pure;
In dreid and schame our dayis we indure,
Syne `Widdinek' and `Crakraip' callit als,
And till our hyre ar hangit be the hals."
Accusand thus his cankerit conscience,
In to ane craig he kest about his ee,
So saw he cummand, ane lyttill than frome thence,
Ane worthie doctour in divinitie,
Freir Wolff Waitskaith, in science wonder sle,
To preiche and pray was new cum fra the closter,
With beidis in hand, sayand his Pater Noster.
Seand this wolff, this wylie tratour tod
On kneis fell, with hude in to his nek:
"Welcome, my gostlie father under God,"
Quod he, with mony binge and mony bek.
"Ha," quod the wolff, "schir Tod, for quhat effek
Mak ye sic feir? Ryse up, put on your hude!"
"Father," quod he, "I haif grit cause to dude:
"Ye ar the lanterne and the sicker way
Suld gyde sic sempill folk as me to grace;
Your bair feit and your russet coull off gray,
Your lene cheik, your paill and pietious face,
Schawis to me your perfite halines;
For weill wer him that anis in his lyve
Had hap to yow his sinnis for to schryve."
"A, selie Lowrence," quod the wolf, and leuch,
"It plesis me that ye ar penitent."
"Off reif and stouth, schir, I can tell aneuch,
That causis me full sair for to repent.
Bot father, byde still heir upon the bent,
I yow beseik, and heir me to declair
My conscience, that prikkis me sa sair."
"Weill," quod the wolff, "sit doun upon thy kne."
And he doun bairheid sat full humilly,
And syne began with "Benedicitie."
Quhen I this saw, I drew ane lytill by,
For it effeiris nouther to heir nor spy
Nor to reveill thing said under that seill.
Bot to the tod this gait the wolf couth mele:
"Art thow contrite and sorie in thy spreit
For thy trespas?" "Na, schir, I can not duid.
Me think that hennis ar sa honie sweit,
And lambes flesche that new ar lettin bluid,
For to repent my mynd can not concluid,
Bot off this thing, that I haif slane sa few."
"Weill," quod the wolf, "in faith thow art ane schrew.
"Sen thow can not forthink thy wickitnes,
Will thow forbeir in tyme to cum, and mend?"
"And I forbeir, how sall I leif, allace,
Haifand nane uther craft me to defend?
Neid causis me to steill quhair ever I wend:
I eschame to thig, I can not wirk, ye wait,
Yit wald I fane pretend to gentill stait."
"Weill," quod the wolf, "thow wantis pointis twa
Belangand to perfyte confessioun;
To the thrid part off pennance let us ga:
Uill thow tak pane for thy transgressioun?"
"Na, schir, considder my complexioun,
Seikly and waik, and off my nature tender;
Lo, will ye se, I am baith lene and sklender.
"Yit nevertheles I wald, swa it wer licht,
Schort, and not grevand to my tendernes,
Tak part off pane, fulfill it gif I micht,
To set my selie saull in way off grace."
"Thow sall," quod he, "forbeir flesch untill Pasche
To tame this corps, that cursit carioun,
And heir I reik the full remissioun.
"I grant thairto, swa ye will giff me leif
To eit puddingis, or laip ane lyttill blude,
Or heid, or feit, or paynches let me preif,
In cace I falt of flesch in to my fude."
"For grit mister I gif the leif to dude
Twyse in the oulk, for neid may haif na law."
"God yeild yow, schir, for that text weill I knaw."
Quhen this wes said, the wolf his wayis went;
The foxe on fute he fure unto the flude;
To fang him fisch haillelie wes his intent.
Bot quhen he saw the walterand wallis woude,
Astonist all still in to ane stair he stude,
And said, "Better that I had biddin at hame
Nor bene ane fischar, in the Devillis name.
"Now man I scraip my meit out off the sand,
For I haif nouther boittis, net, nor bait."
As he wes thus for falt off meit murnand,
Lukand about, his leving for to lait,
Under ane tre he saw ane trip off gait.
Than wes he blyith, and in ane heuch him hid,
And fra the gait he stall ane lytill kid.
Syne over the heuch unto the see he hyis,
And tuke the kid be the hornis twane,
And in the watter outher twyis or thryis
He dowkit him, till him can he sayne,
"Ga doun, schir Kid, cum up, schir Salmond, agane,"
Quhill he wes deid, syne to the land him drewch,
And off that new-maid salmond eit anewch.
Thus fynelie fillit with young tender meit,
Unto ane derne for dreid he him addrest,
Under ane busk, quhair that the sone can beit,
To beik his breist and bellie he thocht best;
And rekleslie he said, quhair he did rest,
Straikand his wame aganis the sonis heit,
"Upon this wame set wer ane bolt full meit."
Quhen this wes said, the keipar off the gait,
Cairfull in hart his kid wes stollen away,
On everilk syde full warlie couth he wait,
Quhill at the last he saw quhair Lowrence lay.
Ane bow he bent, ane flane with fedderis gray
He haillit to the heid, and or he steird
The foxe he prikkit fast unto the eird.
"Now," quod the foxe, "allace and wellaway!
Gorrit I am, and may na forther gang;
Me think na man may speik ane word in play,
Bot now on dayis in ernist it is tane."
The hird him hynt, and out he drew his flane,
And for his kid and uther violence,
He tuke his skyn and maid ane recompence.
This suddand deith and unpruvysit end
Of this fals tod, without contritioun,
Exempill is exhortand folk to mend,
For dreid of sic ane lyke conclusioun;
For mony gois now to confessioun
Can not repent, nor for thair sinnis greit,
Because thay think thair lustie lyfe sa sweit.
Sum bene also throw consuetude and ryte
Vincust with carnall sensualitie:
Suppose thay be as for the tym contryte,
Can not forbeir, nor fra thair sinnis fle.
Use drawis nature swa in propertie
Of beist and man that neidlingis thay man do
As thay of lang tyme hes bene hantit to.
Be war, gude folke, and feir this suddane schoit,
Quhilk smytis sair withoutin resistence.
Attend wyislie, and in your hartis noit,
Aganis deith may na man mak defence.
Ceis of your sin; remord your conscience;
Do wilfull pennance here; and ye sall wend,
Efter your deith, to blis withouttin end.
The Trial of the Fox
This foirsaid foxe that deit for his misdeid
Had not ane barne wes gottin richteouslie
That to his airschip micht of law succeid,
Except ane sone, the quhilk in adulterie
He gotten had in purches privelie,
And till his name wes callit "Father-war,"
That luifit weill with pultrie to tig and tar.
It followis weill be ressoun naturall,
And gre be gre off richt comparisoun,
Off evill cummis war, off war cummis werst of all;
Off wrangus get cummis wrang successioun.
This foxe, bastard of generatioun,
Off verray kynde behuifit to be fals;
Swa wes his father, and his grandschir als.
As nature will, seikand his meit be sent,
Off cace he fand his fatheris carioun,
Nakit, new slane, and till him hes he went,
Tuke up his heid, and on his kne fell doun,
Thankand grit God off that conclusioun,
And said,"Now sall I bruke, sen I am air,
The boundis quhair thow wes wont for to repair."
Fy, covetice, unkynd and venemous!
The sone wes fane he fand his father deid,
Be suddand schot for deidis odious,
That he micht ringe and raxe in till his steid,
Dreidand na thing the samin lyfe to leid
In thift and reif as did his father befoir,
Bot to the end, attent he tuke no moir.
Yit nevertheles, throw naturall pietie,
The carioun upon his bak he tais.
"Now find I weill this proverb trew," quod he,
"Ay rinnis the foxe, als lang as he fute hais."
Syne with the corps unto ane peitpoit gais
Off watter full, and kest him in the deip,
And to the Devill he gaif his banis to keip.
O fulische man! Plungit in wardlynes
To conqueis wrangwis guidis, gold, and rent,
To put thy saull in pane or hevines,
To riche thy air, quhilk efter thow art went,
Have he thy gude, he takis bot small tent
To sing or say for thy salvatioun.
Fra thow be dede, done is thy devotioun.
This tod to rest him he passit to ane craig,
And thair he hard ane buisteous bugill blaw
Quhilk, as him thocht, maid all the warld to waig.
Than start he up quhen he this hard and saw
Ane unicorne come lansand over ane law,
With horne in hand: ane buste in breist he bure;
Ane pursephant semelie, I yow assure.
Unto ane bank, quhair he micht se about
On everilk syde, in haist he culd him hy,
Schot out his voce full schyll, and gaif ane schout,
And "Oyas! Oyas!" twyse or thryse did cry.
With that the beistis in the feild thairby,
All mervelland quhat sic ane thing suld mene,
Gritlie agast, thay gaderit on ane grene.
Out off his buste ane bill sone can he braid
And red the text withoutin tarying.
Commandand silence, sadlie thus he said,
"We, nobill Lyoun, off all beistis the king,
Greting to God, ay lestand but ending,
To brutall beistis and irrationall
I send, as to my subjectis grit and small.
"My celsitude and hie magnificence
Lattis yow to wit, that evin incontinent,
Thinkis the morne with royall deligence
Upon this hill to hald ane parliament.
Straitlie thairfoir I gif commandement
For to compeir befoir my tribunall,
Under all pane and perrell that may fall."
The morrow come, and Phebus with his bemis
Consumit had the mistie cluddis gray;
The ground wes grene, and als as gold it glemis,
With gresis growand gudelie, grit, and gay,
The spyce thay spred to spring on everilk spray;
The lark, the maveis, and the merll full hie
Sweitlie can sing, trippand fra tre to tre.
Thre leopardis come, a croun off massie gold
Beirand thay brocht unto that hillis hicht,
With jaspis jonit, and royall rubeis rold,
And mony diveris dyamontis dicht.
With pollis proud ane palyeoun doun thay picht,
And in that throne thair sat ane wild lyoun,
In rob royall, with sceptour, swerd, and croun.
Efter the tennour off the cry befoir,
That gais on fut, all beistis in the eird,
As thay commandit wer withoutin moir,
Befoir thair lord the lyoun thay appeird:
And quhat thay wer, to me as Lowrence leird,
I sall reheirs ane part off everilk kynd,
Als fer as now occurris to my mynd.
The minotaur, ane monster mervelous,
Bellerophont, that beist of bastardrie,
The warwolff, and the Pegase perillous,
Transformit be assent of sorcerie,
The linx, the tiger full off tiranie,
The elephant, and eik the dromedarie,
The cameill with his cran-nek furth can carie.
The leopard, as I haif tauld beforne,
The anteloip, the sparth furth couth speid,
The peyntit pantheir, and the unicorne,
The rayndeir ran throw reveir, rone, and reid,
The jolie jonet, and the gentill steid,
The asse, the mule, the hors of everilk kynd
The da, the ra, the hornit hart, the hynd.
The bull, the beir, the bugill, and the bair,
The wodwys, wildcat, and the wild wolfyne,
The hardbakkit hurcheoun, and the hirpland hair;
Baith otter and aip, and pennit porcupyne;
The gukit gait, the selie scheip, the swyne,
The baver, bakon, and the balterand brok;
The fowmart with the fibert furth can flok.
The gay grewhound, with slewthound, furth can slyde,
With doggis all divers and different;
The rattoun ran, the glebard furth can glyde,
The quhrynand quhitret with the quhasill went;
The feitho that hes furrit mony fent,
The mertrik, with the cunning and the con,
The bowranbane, and eik the lerion.
The marmisset the mowdewart couth leid,
Because that nature denyit had hir sicht.
Thus dressit thay all furth for dreid off deid;
The musk, the lytill mous with all hir micht
In haist haikit unto that hill of hicht,
And mony kynd off beistis I couth not knaw,
Befoir thair lord the lyoun thay loutit law.
Seing thir beistis all at his bidding boun,
He gaif ane braid and blenkit him about,
Than flatlingis to his feit thay fell all doun;
For dreid off deith, thay droupit all in dout.
The lyoun lukit quhen he saw thame lout,
And bad thame, with ane countenance full sweit,
"Be not efferit, bot stand up on your feit.
"I lat yow wit, my micht is merciabill
And steiris nane that ar to me prostrait;
Angrie, austerne, and als unamyabill
To all that standfray ar to myne estait.
I rug, I reif all beistys that makis debait
Aganis the micht off my magnyficence:
Se nane pretend to pryde in my presence.
"My celsitude and my hie majestie
With micht and mercie myngit sall be ay.
The lawest heir I can full sone up hie,
And mak him maister over yow all I may:
The dromedarie, giff he will mak deray,
The grit camell, thocht he wer never sa crous,
I can him law als lytill as ane mous.
"Se neir be twentie mylis quhair I am
The kid ga saiflie be the gaittis syde,
The tod Lowrie luke not to the lam,
Na revand beistis nouther ryn nor ryde."
Thay couchit all efter that this wes cryde;
The justice bad the court for to gar fence,
The sutis call, and foirfalt all absence. 3
The panther, with his payntit coit-armour,
Fensit the court, as off the law effeird,
Than Tod Lowrie luikit quhair he couth lour,
And start on fute, all stonist and all steird,
Ryifand his hair, he cryit with ane reird,
Quaikand for dreid and sichand couth he say,
"Allace, this hour, allace, this dulefull day!
"I wait this suddand semblie that I se,
Haifand the pointis off ane parliament,
Is maid to mar sic misdoars as me.
Thairfoir geve I me schaw, I will be schent;
I will be socht and I be red absent;
To byde or fle, it makis no remeid;
All is alyke, thair followis not bot deid."
Perplexit thus in his hart can he mene
Throw falset how he micht him self defend.
His hude he drew far doun attoure his ene,
And winkand with the ane eye furth he wend.
Clinscheand he come, that he micht not be kend,
And for dreddour that he suld bene arreist,
He playit bukhude behind, fra beist to beist.
O fylit spreit, and cankerit conscience!
Befoir ane roy renyeit with richteousnes,
Blakinnit cheikis and schamefull countenance!
Fairweill thy fame; now gone is all thy grace!
The phisnomie, the favour off thy face,
For thy defence is foull and disfigurate,
Brocht to the licht basit, blunt, and blait.
Be thow atteichit with thift, or with tressoun,
For thy misdeid wrangous, and wickit fay,
Thy cheir changis, Lowrence, thow man luke doun;
Thy worschip of this warld is went away.
Luke to this tod, how he wes in effray,
And fle the filth of falset, I the reid,
Quhairthrow thair fallowis syn and schamefull deid.
Compeirand thus befoir thair lord and king,
In ordour set, as to thair stait effeird,
Of everilk kynd he gart ane part furth bring,
And awfullie he spak, and at thame speird
Geve there wes ony beist is in eird
Absent, and thairto gart thame deiplie sweir,
And thay said nane, except ane gray stude meir.
"Ga, make ane message sone unto that stude."
The court than cryit, "My lord, quha sall it be?"
"Cum furth, Lowrie, lurkand under thy hude."
"Na, schir, mercie! Lo, I have bot ane ee,
Hurt in the hoche, and cruikit as ye may se.
The wolff is better in ambassatry
And mair cunning in clergie fer than I."
Rampand he said, "Ga furth, ye brybouris baith!"
And thay to ga withowtin tarying;
Over ron and rute thay ran togidder raith,
And fand the meir at hir meit in the morning.
"Now," quod the tod, "madame, cum to the king;
The court is callit, and ye ar contumax."
"Let be, Lowrence," quod scho, "your cowrtlie knax."
"Maistres," quod he, "cum to the court ye mon;
The lyoun hes commandit so in deid."
"Schir Tod, tak ye the flyrdome and the fon;
I have respite ane yeir, and ye will reid."
"I can not spell," quod he, "sa God me speid.
Heir is the wolff, ane nobill clerk at all,
And of this message is maid principall.
"He is autentik, and ane man of age,
And hes grit practik of the chanceliary.
Let him ga luke, and reid your privilage,
And I sall stand and beir witnes yow by."
"Quhair is thy respite?" quod the wolff in hy.
"Schir, it is heir under my hufe, weill hid."
"Hald up thy heill," quod he, and so scho did.
Thocht he wes blindit with pryde, yit he presumis
To luke doun law, quhair that hir letter lay.
With that the meir gird him upon the gumis
And straik the hattrell off his heid away;
Halff out off lyif thair lenand doun he lay.
"Allace," quod Lowrence, "Lupus, thow art loist."
"His cunning," quod the meir, "wes worth sum coist.
"Lowrence," quod scho,"will thow luke on my letter,
Sen that the wolff na thing thairoff can wyn?"
"Na, be Sanct Bryde!" quod he. "Me think it better
To sleip in haill nor in ane hurt skyn.
Ane skrow I fand, and this wes writtin in -
For fyve schillingis I wald not anis forfaut him -
Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum." 4
With brokin skap and bludie cheikis reid,
This wolff weipand on his wayis went,
Off his menye markand to get remeid;
To tell the king the cace wes his intent.
"Schir," quod the tod, "byde still upon this bent,
And fra your browis wesche away the blude,
And tak ane drink, for it will do yow gude."
To fetche watter this fraudfull foxe furth fure;
Sydelingis abak he socht unto ane syke.
On cace, he meittis, cummand fra the mure,
Ane trip off lambis dansand on ane dyke.
This tratour tod, this tirrant, and this tyke,
The fattest off this flock he fellit hais,
And eit his fill; syne to the wolff he gais.
Thay drank togidder, and syne thair journey takis
Befoir the king; syne kneillit on thair kne.
"Quhair is yone meir, schir Tod, wes contumax?"
Than Lowrence said, " My lord, speir not at me,
This new-maid doctour off divinitie,
With his reid cap can tell yow weill aneuch."
With that the lyoun and all the laif thay leuch.
"Tell on the cais, now Lowrence let us heir."
"This wittie wolff," quod he, "this clerk off age,
On your behalff he bad the meir compeir,
And scho allegit to ane privilage -
"Cum neir, and se, and ye sall haiff your wage."
Because he red hir rispite plane and weill,
Yone reid bonat scho raucht him with hir heill."
The lyoun said, "Be yone reid cap I ken
This taill is trew, quha tent unto it takis.
The greitest clerkis ar not the wysest men;
The hurt off ane happie the uther makis."
As thay wer carpand in this cais, with knakis,
And all the court in garray and in gam,
Swa come the yow, the mother off the lam.
Befoir the justice on hir kneis fell,
Put out hir playnt on this wyis wofully,
"This harlet huresone and this hound off hell,
He devorit hes my lamb full doggitly
Within ane myle, in contrair to your cry.
For Goddis lufe, my lord, gif me the law
Off this lurker!" With that Lowrence let draw.
"Byde!" quod the lyoun. "Lymmer, let us se
Giff it be suthe the selie yow hes said."
"Aa, soverane lord, saif your mercie!" quod he.
"My purpois wes with him for to haif plaid.
Causles he fled as he had bene effraid;
For dreid off deith, he duschit over ane dyke
And brak his nek." "Thow leis," quod scho, "fals tyke!"
"His deith be practik may be previt eith:
Thy gorrie gumis and thy bludie snout -
The woll, the flesche, yit stikkis on thy teith -
And that is evidence aneuch, but dout."
The justice bad ga cheis ane sis about,
And so thay did, and fand that he wes fals
Off murther, thift, and party tressoun als.
Thay band him fast; the justice bad belyif
To gif the dome, and tak off all his clais.
The wolff, that new-maid doctour, couth him schrif;
Syne furth him led and to the gallous gais,
And at the ledder fute his leif he tais.
The aip wes bowcher and bad him sone ascend,
And hangit him, and thus he maid his end.
Richt as the mynour in his minorall
Fair gold with fyre may fra the leid weill wyn,
Richt so under ane fabill figurall
Sad sentence men may seik, and efter fyne,
As daylie dois the doctouris of devyne,
That to our leving full weill can apply
And paynt thair mater furth be poetry.
The lyoun is the warld be liklynace,
To quhome loutis baith empriour and king,
And thinkis of this warld to get incres,
And gapis daylie to get mair leving;
Sum for to reull, and sum to raxe and ring,
Sum gadderis geir, sum gold, sum uther gude;
To wyn this warld, sum wirkis as thay wer wod.
The meir is men of contemplatioun,
Off pennance walkand in this wildernes,
As monkis and othir men of religioun
That presis God to pleis in everilk place,
Abstractit from this warldis wretchitnes,
In wilfull povertee, fra pomp and pryde,
And fra this warld in mynd ar mortyfyde.
This wolf I likkin to sensualitie,
As quhen lyke brutall beistis we accord
Our mynd all to this warldis vanitie,
Lyking to tak and loif him as our lord:
Fle fast thairfra, gif thow will richt remord.
Than sall ressoun ryse, rax, and ring,
And for thy saull thair is na better thing.
Hir hufe I likkin to the thocht of deid:
Will thow remember, man, that thow man de,
Thow may brek sensualiteis heid;
And fleschlie lust away fra the sall fle.
Fra thow begin thy mynd to mortifie,
Salomonis saying thow may persaif heirin,
"Think on thy end; thow sall not glaidlie sin."
This tod I likkin to temptationis,
Beirand to mynd mony thochtis vane,
That daylie sagis men of religiounis,
Cryand to thame, "Cum to the warld agane!"
Yit gif thay se sensualitie neir slane,
And suddand deith with ithand panis sore,
Thay go abak, and temptis thame no more.
O Mary myld, mediatour of mercy meik,
Sitt doun before thy sone celestiall,
For us synnaris his celsitude beseik
Us to defend fra pane and perrellis all,
And help us up unto thy hevinlie hall,
In gloir quhair we may se the face of God!
And thus endis the talking of the tod.
The Sheep and the Dog
Esope ane taill puttis in memorie
How that ane doig because that he wes pure,
Callit ane scheip unto the consistorie,
Ane certane breid fra him for to recure.
Ane fraudfull wolff wes juge that tyme and bure
Authoritie and jurisdictioun,
And on the scheip send furth ane strait summoun.
For by the use and cours and commoun style,
On this maner maid his citatioun:
"I, Maister Wolff, partles off fraud and gyle,
Under the panis off hie suspensioun,
Off grit cursing, and interdictioun,
Schir Scheip, I charge the straitly to compeir,
And answer to ane doig befoir me heir."
Schir Corbie Ravin wes maid apparitour,
Quha pykit had full mony scheipis ee;
The charge hes tane and on the letteris bure,
Summonit the scheip befoir the wolff, that he
Peremptourlie within twa dayis thre,
Compeir under the panis in this bill,
To heir quhat Perrie Doig will say the till."
This summondis maid befoir witnes anew,
The ravin, as to his office weill effeird,
Indorsat hes the write, and on he flew.
The selie scheip durst lay na mouth on eird 5
Till he befoir the awfull juge appeird.
The oure off cause quhilk that the juge usit than,
Quhen Hesperus to schaw his face began.
The foxe wes clerk and noter in the cause;
The gled, the graip at the bar couth stand,
As advocatis expert in to the lawis,
The doggis pley togidder tuke on hand,
Quhilk wer confidderit straitlie in ane band
Aganis the scheip to procure the sentence.
Thocht it wes fals, thay had na conscience.
The clerk callit the scheip, and he wes thair;
The advocatis on this wyse couth propone:
"Ane certane breid, worth fyve schilling or mair,
Thow aw the doig, off quhilk the terme is gone."
Off his awin heid, but advocate, allone,
The scheip avysitlie gaif answer in the cace:
"Heir I declyne the juge, the tyme, the place.
"This is my cause, in motive and effect:
The law sayis it is richt perrillous
Till enter in pley befoir ane juge suspect,
And ye, Schir Wolff, hes bene richt odious
To me, for with your tuskis ravenous
Hes slane full mony kinnismen off myne;
Thairfoir as juge suspect I yow declyne.
"And schortlie, of this court ye memberis all,
Baith assessouris, clerk, and advocate,
To me and myne ar ennemies mortall
And ay hes bene, as mony scheipheird wate.
The place is fer, the tyme is feriate,
Quhairfoir na juge suld sit in consistory
Sa lait at evin: I yow accuse for thy."
Quhen that the juge in this wyse wes accusit,
He bad the parteis cheis with ane assent
Twa arbeteris, as in the law is usit,
For to declair and gif arbitriment
Quhidder the scheip suld answer in jugement
Befoir the wolff; and so thay did, but weir,
Off quhome the namis efter ye sall heir.
The beir, the brok, the mater tuke on hand,
For to discyde gif this exceptioun
Wes off na strenth, or lauchfully mycht stand;
And thairupon as jugis thay sat doun
And held ane lang quhyle disputatioun,
Seikand full mony decretalis off the law,
And glosis als, the veritie to knaw.
Of civile law mony volum thay revolve,
The codies and digestis new and ald,
Contra et pro, strait argumentis thay resolve,
Sum a doctryne and sum a nothir hald;
For prayer or price, trow ye, thay wald fald,
Bot held the glose and text of the decreis
As trew jugis. I beschrew thame ay that leis.
Schortlie to mak ane end off this debait,
The arbiteris than summar and plane
The sentence gave, and proces fulminait:
The scheip suld pas befoir the wolff agane
And end his pley. "Than wes he nathing fane,
For fra thair sentence couth he not appeill.
On clerkis I do it, gif this sentence wes leill.
The scheip agane befoir the wolff derenyeit,
But advocate, abasitlie couth stand.
Up rais the doig, and on the scheip thus plenyeit:
"Ane soume I payit have befoir the hand
For certane breid." Thairto ane borrow he fand,
That wrangouslie the scheip did hald the breid,
Quhilk he denyit, and thair began the pleid.
And quhen the scheip this stryif had contestait,
The justice in the cause furth can proceid.
Lowrence the actis and the proces wrait,
And thus the pley unto the end thay speid.
This cursit court, corruptit all for meid,
Aganis gude faith, gude law, and eik conscience,
For this fals doig pronuncit the sentence.
And it till put to executioun,
The wolff chargit the scheip, without delay,
Under the panis off interdictioun,
The soume off silver or the breid to pay.
Off this sentence, allace, quhat sall I say,
Quhilk dampnit hes the selie innocent,
And justifyit the wrangous jugement?
The scheip, dreidand mair persecutioun,
Obeyit to the sentence, and couth tak
His way unto ane merchand off the toun,
And sauld the woll that he bure on his bak,
Syne bocht the breid, and to the doig couth mak
Reddie payment, as he commandit was;
Naikit and bair syne to the feild couth pas.
This selie scheip may present the figure
Of pure commounis, that daylie ar opprest
Be tirrane men, quhilkis settis all thair cure
Be fals meinis to mak ane wrang conquest,
In hope this present lyfe suld ever lest.
Bot all begylit, thay will in schort tyme end,
And efter deith to lestand panis wend.
This wolf I likkin to ane schiref stout
Quhilk byis ane forfalt at the kingis hand,
And hes with him ane cursit assyis about,
And dytis all the pure men up on land;
Fra the crownar haif laid on him his wand,
Thocht he wer als trew as ever wes Sanct Johne -
Slain sall he be, or with the juge compone.
This ravin I likkin to ane fals crownair,
Quhilk hes ane porteous of the inditement,
And passis furth befoir the justice air,
All misdoaris to bring to jugement;
Bot luke gif he wes of ane trew intent,
To scraip out Johne, and wryte in Will or Wat,
And swa ane bud at boith the parteis skat.
Of this fals tod, of quhilk I spak befoir,
And of this gled, quhat thay micht signify,
Of thair nature, as now I speik no moir.
Bot of this scheip and of his cairfull cry
I sall reheirs, for as I passit by
Quhair that he lay, on cais I lukit doun,
And hard him mak sair lamentatioun.
"Allace," quod he, "this cursit consistorie
In middis of the winter now is maid,
Quhen Boreas with blastis bitterlie
And frawart froistes thir flouris doun can faid;
On bankis bair now may I mak na baid."
And with that word in to ane coif he crap,
Fra sair wedder and froistis him to hap.
Quaikand for cauld, sair murnand ay amang,
Kest up his ee unto the hevinnis hicht,
And said, "O lord, quhy sleipis thow sa lang?
Walk, and discerne my cause groundit on richt;
Se how I am be fraud, maistrie, and slicht
Peillit full bair, and so is mony one
Now in this warld richt wonder wo begone.
"Se how this cursit syn of covetice
Exylit hes baith lufe, lawtie, and law.
Now few or nane will execute justice,
In falt of quhome, the pure man is overthraw.
The veritie, suppois the juge it knaw,
Thay ar so blindit with affectioun,
But dreid, for meid, thay thoill the richt go doun.
"Seis thow not, lord, this warld overturnit is,
As quha wald change gude gold in leid or tyn?
The pure is peillit, the lord may do na mis,
And simonie is haldin for na syn.
Now is he blyith with okker maist may wyn;
Gentrice is slane, and pietie is ago.
Allace, gude lord, quhy tholis thow it so?
"Thow tholis this evin for our grit offence;
Thow sendis us troubill and plaigis soir,
As hunger, derth, grit weir, or pestilence;
Bot few amendis now thair lyfe thairfoir.
We pure pepill as now may do no moir
Bot pray to the: sen that we ar opprest
In to this eirth, grant us in hevin gude rest."
The Lion and the Mouse
In middis of June, that joly sweit seasoun,
Quhen that fair Phebus with his bemis bricht
Had dryit up the dew fra daill and doun,
And all the land maid with his bemis licht,
In ane mornyng betuix mid day and nicht
I rais and put all sleuth and sleip asyde,
And to ane wod I went allone but gyde.
Sweit wes the smell off flouris quhyte and reid,
The noyes off birdis richt delitious,
The bewis braid blomit abone my heid,
The ground growand with gers gratious;
Off all plesance that place wes plenteous,
With sweit odouris and birdis harmony;
The morning myld, my mirth wes mair for thy.
The rosis reid arrayit rone and ryce,
The prymeros and the purpour viola;
To heir it wes ane poynt off paradice,
Sic mirth the mavis and the merle couth ma;
The blossummis blythe brak up on bank and bra;
The smell off herbis and the fowlis cry,
Contending quha suld have the victory.
Me to conserve than fra the sonis heit,
Under the schaddow off ane hawthorne grene
I lenit doun amang the flouris sweit,
Syne maid a cors and closit baith my ene.
On sleip I fell amang thir bewis bene,
And in my dreme, me thocht come throw the schaw
The fairest man that ever befoir I saw.
His gowne wes off ane claith als quhyte as milk,
His chymmeris wes off chambelate purpour broun,
His hude off scarlet, bordowrit weill with silk
On hekillit wyis untill his girdill doun,
His bonat round, and off the auld fassoun,
His beird wes quhyte, his ene wes grit and gray,
With lokker hair quhilk over his schulderis lay.
Ane roll off paper in his hand he bair,
Ane swannis pen stikand under his eir,
Ane inkhorne, with ane prettie gilt pennair,
Ane bag off silk, all at his belt he weir.
Thus wes he gudelie grathit in his geir,
Off stature large, and with ane feirfull face.
Evin quhair I lay he come ane sturdie pace,
And said, "God speid, my sone," and I wes fane
Off that couth word, and off his cumpany.
With reverence I salusit him agane,
"Welcome, father," and he sat doun me by.
"Displeis yow not, my gude maister, thocht I
Demand your birth, your facultye, and name;
Quhy ye come heir, or quhair ye dwell at hame."
"My sone," said he, "I am off gentill blude;
My native land is Rome, withoutin nay,
And in that towne first to the sculis I yude,
In civile law studyit full mony ane day,
And now my winning is in hevin for ay.
Esope I hecht; my writing and my werk
Is couth and kend to mony cunning clerk."
"O maister Esope, poet lawriate,
God wait ye ar full deir welcum to me.
Ar ye not he that all thir fabillis wrate,
Quhilk in effect, suppois thay fenyeit be,
Ar full off prudence and moralitie?"
"Fair sone," said he, "I am the samin man.
God wait gif that my hert wes merie than.
I said, "Esope, my maister venerabill,
I yow beseik hartlie for cheritie,
Ye wald dedene to tell ane prettie fabill
Concludand with ane gude moralitie."
Schaikand his heid, he said, "My sone, lat be,
For quhat is it worth to tell ane fenyeit taill,
Quhen haly preiching may na thing availl?
"Now in this warld me think richt few or nane
To Goddis word that hes devotioun;
The eir is deif, the hart is hard as stane;
Now oppin sin without correctioun,
The hart inclynand to the eirth ay doun.
Sa roustie is the warld with canker blak
That now my taillis may lytill succour mak."
"Yit, gentill schir," said I, "for my requeist,
Not to displeis your fatherheid, I pray,
Under the figure off ane brutall beist,
Ane morall fabill ye wald denye to say.
Quha wait nor I may leir and beir away
Sum thing thairby heirefter may availl?'
"I grant," quod he, and thus begouth ane taill.
Ane lyoun, at his pray wery foirrun,
To recreat his limmis and to rest,
Beikand his breist and belly at the sun,
Under ane tre lay in the fair forest;
Swa come ane trip off myis out off thair nest,
Richt tait and trig, all dansand in ane gyis,
And over the lyoun lansit twyis or thryis.
He lay so still, the myis wes not effeird,
Bot to and fro out over him tuke thair trace;
Sum tirlit at the campis off his beird,
Sum spairit not to claw him on the face;
Merie and glaid, thus dansit thay ane space,
Till at the last the nobill lyoun woke,
And with his pow the maister mous he tuke.
Scho gave ane cry, and all the laif, agast,
Thair dansing left and hid thame sone alquhair.
Scho that wes tane cryit and weipit fast,
And said "Allace" oftymes that scho come thair:
"Now am I tane ane wofull presonair,
And for my gilt traistis incontinent
Off lyfe and deith to thoill the jugement."
Than spak the lyoun to that cairfull mous:
"Thow cative wretche and vile unworthie thing,
Over malapart and eik presumpteous
Thow wes, to mak out over me thy tripping.
Knew thow not weill I wes baith lord and king
Off beistis all?" "Yes," quod the mous, "I knaw,
Bot I misknew, because ye lay so law.
"Lord, I beseik thy kinglie royaltie,
Heir quhat I say, and tak in patience.
Considder first my simple povertie
And syne thy mychtie hie magnyfycence;
Se als how thingis done off neglygence,
Nouther off malice nor of presumtioun,
Erer suld have grace and remissioun.
"We wer repleit and had grit aboundance
Off alkin thingis, sic as to us effeird;
The sweit sesoun provokit us to dance
And mak sic mirth as nature to us leird;
Ye lay so still and law upon the eird
That be my sawll we weind ye had bene deid;
Elles wald we not have dancit over your heid."
"Thy fals excuse," the lyoun said agane,
"Sall not availl ane myte, I underta.
I put the cace, I had bene deid or slane,
And syne my skyn bene stoppit full off stra,
Thocht thow had found my figure lyand swa,
Because it bare the prent off my persoun,
Thow suld for feir on kneis have fallin doun.
"For thy trespas thow can mak na defence,
My nobill persoun thus to vilipend;
Off thy feiris, nor thy awin negligence,
For to excuse thow can na cause pretend;
Thairfoir thow suffer sall ane schamefull end
And deith, sic as to tressoun is decreit,
Onto the gallous harlit be the feit."
"Na, mercie, lord, at thy gentrice I ase,
As thow art king off beistis coronate,
Sober thy wraith, and let it overpas,
And mak thy mynd to mercy inclynate.
I grant offence is done to thyne estate,
Quhairfoir I worthie am to suffer deid,
Bot gif thy kinglie mercie reik remeid.
"In everie juge mercy and reuth suld be
As assessouris and collaterall;
Without mercie, justice is crueltie,
As said is in the lawis spirituall.
Quhen rigour sittis in the tribunall,
The equitie off law quha may sustene?
Richt few or nane, but mercie gang betwene.
"Alswa ye knaw the honour triumphall
Off all victour upon the strenth dependis
Off his conqueist, quhilk manlie in battell
Throw jeopardie of weir lang defendis.
Quhat pryce or loving, quhen the battell endis,
Is said off him that overcummis ane man
Him to defend quhilk nouther may nor can?
"Ane thowsand myis to kill and eik devoir
Is lytill manheid to ane strang lyoun;
Full lytill worschip have ye wyn thairfoir,
To quhais strenth is na comparisoun.
It will degraid sum part off your renoun
To sla ane mous, quhilk may mak na defence
Bot askand mercie at your excellence.
"Also it semis not your celsitude,
Quhilk usis daylie meittis delitious,
To fyle your teith or lippis with my blude,
Quhilk to your stomok is contagious.
Unhailsum meit is of ane sarie mous,
And that namelie untill ane strang lyoun,
Uont till be fed with gentill vennesoun.
"My lyfe is lytill worth, my deith is les,
Yit and I leif I may peradventure
Supple your hienes beand in distres;
For oft is sene, ane man off small stature
Reskewit hes ane lord off hie honour,
Keipit that wes, in poynt to be overthrawin
Throw misfortoun: sic cace may be your awin."
Quhen this wes said, the lyoun his langage
Paissit, and thocht according to ressoun,
And gart mercie his cruell ire asswage,
And to the mous grantit remissioun,
Oppinnit his pow, and scho on kneis fell doun,
And baith hir handis unto the hevin upheild,
Cryand, "Almichty God mot yow foryeild!"
Quhen scho wes gone, the lyoun held to hunt,
For he had nocht, bot levit on his pray,
And slew baith tayme and wyld, as he wes wont,
And in the cuntrie maid ane grit deray;
Till at the last the pepill fand the way
This cruell lyoun how that thay mycht tak.
Off hempyn cordis strang nettis couth thay mak,
And in ane rod, quhair he wes wont to ryn,
With raipis rude fra tre to tre it band;
Syne kest ane range on raw the wod within,
With hornis blast and kennettis fast calland.
The lyoun fled, and throw the ron rynnand
Fell in the net and hankit fute and heid;
For all his strenth he couth mak na remeid,
Welterand about with hiddeous rummissing,
Quhyle to, quhyle fra, quhill he mycht succour get.
Bot all in vane; it vailyeit him na thing;
The mair he flang, the faster wes the net.
The raipis rude wes sa about him plet
On everilk syde, that succour saw he nane,
Bot styll lyand, thus murnand maid his mane.
"O lamit lyoun, liggand heir sa law,
Quhair is the mycht off thy magnyfycence,
Off quhome all brutall beist in eird stude aw,
And dred to luke upon thy excellence?
But hoip or help, but succour or defence,
In bandis strang heir man I ly, allace,
Till I be slane; I se nane uther grace.
"Thair is na wy that will my harmis wreik
Nor creature do confort to my croun.
Quha sall me bute? Quha sall my bandis breik?
Quha sall me put fra pane off this presoun?"
Be he had maid this lamentatioun,
Throw aventure, the lytill mous come neir,
And off the lyoun hard the pietuous beir;
And suddanlie it come in till hir mynd
That it suld be the lyoun did hir grace,
And said, "Now wer I fals and richt unkynd
Bot gif I quit sumpart thy gentilnes
Thow did to me," and on this way scho gais
To hir fellowis, and on thame fast can cry,
"Cum help, cum help!" and thay come all in hy.
"Lo" quod the mous, "this is the samin lyoun
That grantit grace to me quhen I wes tane,
And now is fast heir bundin in presoun,
Brekand his hart with sair murning and mane;
Bot we him help, off souccour wait he nane.
Cum help to quyte ane gude turne for ane uther;
Go, lous him sone"; and thay said, "ye, gude brother."
Thay tuke na knyfe, thair teith wes scharpe anewch;
To se that sicht, forsuith, it wes grit wounder -
How that thay ran amang the rapis tewch,
Befoir, behind, sum yeid abone, sum under,
And schuir the raipis off the net in schunder;
Syne bad him ryse, and he start up anone,
And thankit thame; syne on his way is gone.
Now is the lyoun fre off all danger,
Lows and delyverit to his libertie
Be lytill beistis off ane small power,
As ye have hard, because he had pietie.
Quod I, "Maister, is thair ane moralitie
In this fabill?" "Yea, sone," he said, "richt gude."
"I pray yow, schir," quod I, "Ye wald conclude."
As I suppois, this mychtie gay lyoun
May signifie ane prince or empriour,
Ane potestate, or yit ane king with croun,
Quhilk suld be walkrife gyde and governour
Of his pepill, that takis na labour
To reule and steir the land, and justice keip,
Bot lyis still in lustis, sleuth, and sleip.
The fair forest with levis, lowne and le,
With foulis sang and flouris ferlie sweit,
Is bot the warld and his prosperitie,
As fals plesance, myngit with cair repleit.
Richt as the rois with froist and wynter weit
Faidis, swa dois the warld, and thame desavis
Quhilk in thair lustis maist confidence havis.
Thir lytill myis ar bot the commountie,
Wantoun, unwyse, without correctioun;
Thair lordis and princis quhen that thay se
Of justice mak nane executioun,
Thay dreid na thing to mak rebellioun
And disobey, for quhy thay stand nane aw,
That garris thame thair soveranis misknaw.
Be this fabill, ye lordis of prudence
May considder the vertew pietie,
And to remit sumtyme ane grit offence,
And mitigate with mercy crueltie.
Oftymis is sene ane man of small degré
Hes quit a commoun, baith for gude and ill,
As lord hes done rigour or grace him till.
Quha wait how sone ane lord of grit renoun,
Rolland in wardlie lust and vane plesance,
May be overthrawin, destroyit, and put doun
Throw fals fortoun, quhilk of all variance
Is haill maistres, and leidar of the dance
Till injust men, and blindis thame so soir
That thay na perrell can provyde befoir?
Thir rurall men, that stentit hes the net
In quhilk the lyoun suddandlie wes tane,
Waittit alway amendis for to get,
For hurt men wrytis in the marbill stane. 6
Mair till expound, as now, I lett allane,
Bot king and lord may weill wit quhat I mene:
Figure heirof oftymis hes bene sene.
Quhen this wes said, quod Esope, "My fair child,
Perswaid the kirkmen ythandly to pray
That tressoun of this cuntrie be exyld,
And justice regne, and lordis keip thair fay
Unto thair soverane king baith nycht and day."
And with that word he vanist and I woke;
Syne throw the schaw my journey hamewart tuke.
The Preaching of the Swallow
The hie prudence and wirking mervelous,
The profound wit off God omnipotent,
Is sa perfyte and sa ingenious,
Excellent far all mannis jugement;
For quhy to Him all thing is ay present,
Rycht as it is or ony tyme sall be,
Befoir the sicht off His divinitie.
Thairfoir our saull with sensualitie
So fetterit is in presoun corporall
We may not cleirlie understand nor se
God as He is, nor thingis celestiall;
Our mirk and deidlie corps materiale
Blindis the spirituall operatioun,
Lyke as ane man wer bundin in presoun.
In Metaphisik Aristotell sayis
That mannis saull is lyke ane bakkis ee,
Quhilk lurkis still, als lang as licht off day is,
And in the gloming cummis furth to fle;
Hir ene ar waik, the sone scho may not se:
Sa is our saull with fantasie opprest,
To knaw the thingis in nature manifest.
For God is in His power infinite,
And mannis saull is febill and over small,
Off understanding waik and unperfite
To comprehend Him that contenis all;
Nane suld presume be ressoun naturall
To seirche the secreitis off the Trinitie,
Bot trow fermelie and lat all ressoun be.
Yit nevertheles we may haif knawlegeing
Off God almychtie be His creatouris,
That He is gude, fair, wyis, and bening.
Exempill tak be thir jolie flouris,
Rycht sweit off smell and plesant off colouris,
Sum grene, sum blew, sum purpour, quhyte, and reid,
Thus distribute be gift off His Godheid.
The firmament payntit with sternis cleir
From eist to west rolland in cirkill round,
And everilk planet in his proper spheir,
In moving makand harmonie and sound;
The fyre, the air, the watter, and the ground -
Till understand it is aneuch, I wis,
That God in all His werkis wittie is.
Luke weill the fische that swimmis in the se;
Luke weill in eirth all kynd off bestyall;
The foulis fair, sa forcelie thay fle,
Scheddand the air with pennis grit and small;
Syne luke to man, that He maid last off all,
Lyke to His image and His similitude:
Be thir we knaw that God is fair and gude.
All creature He maid for the behufe
Off man, and to his supportatioun
In to this eirth, baith under and abufe,
In number, wecht, and dew proportioun;
The difference off tyme, and ilk seasoun
Concorddand till our opurtunitie,
As daylie be experience we may se.
The somer with his jolie mantill grene,
With flouris fair furrit on everilk fent,
Quhilk Flora, goddes off the flouris, quene,
Hes to that lord as for his seasoun lent,
And Phebus, with his goldin bemis gent,
Hes purfellit and payntit plesandly,
With heit and moysture stilland from the sky.
Syne harvest hait, quhen Ceres, that goddes,
Hir barnis benit hes with abundance,
And Bachus, god off wyne, renewit hes
The tume pyipis in Italie and France,
With wynis wicht and liquour off plesance;
And copia temporis to fill hir horne,
That never wes full off quheit nor uther corne.
Syne wynter wan, quhen austerne Eolus,
God off the wynd, with blastis boreall
The grene garment off somer glorious
Hes all to-rent and revin in pecis small.
Than flouris fair faidit with froist man fall,
And birdis blyith changit thair noitis sweit
In styll murning, neir slane with snaw and sleit.
Thir dalis deip with dubbis drounit is,
Baith hill and holt heillit with frostis hair,
And bewis bene ar bethit bair off blis
Be wickit windis off the winter wair.
All wyld beistis than from the bentis bair
Drawis for dreid unto thair dennis deip,
Coucheand for cauld in coifis thame to keip.
Syne cummis ver, quhen winter is away,
The secretar off somer with his sell,
Quhen columbie up keikis throw the clay,
Quhilk fleit wes befoir with froistes fell.
The mavis and the merle beginnis to mell;
The lark on loft, with uther birdis smale,
Than drawis furth fra derne, over doun and daill.
That samin seasoun, in to ane soft morning,
Rycht blyth that bitter blastis wer ago,
Unto the wod, to se the flouris spring,
And heir the mavis sing and birdis mo,
I passit furth, syne lukit to and fro
To se the soill, that wes richt sessonabill,
Sappie, and to resave all seidis abill.
Moving thusgait, grit myrth I tuke in mynd,
Off lauboraris to se the besines,
Sum makand dyke, and sum the pleuch can wynd,
Sum sawand seidis fast frome place to place,
The harrowis hoppand in the saweris trace;
It wes grit joy to him that luifit corne
To se thame laubour, baith at evin and morne.
And as I baid under ane bank full bene,
In hart gritlie rejosit off that sicht,
Unto ane hedge, under ane hawthorne grene,
Off small birdis thair come ane ferlie flicht,
And doun belyif can on the leifis licht
On everilk syde about me quhair I stude,
Rycht mervellous, ane mekill multitude.
Amang the quhilks, ane swallow loud couth cry,
On that hawthorne hie in the croip sittand:
"O ye birdis on bewis heir me by,
Ye sall weill knaw and wyislie understand:
Quhair danger is, or perrell appeirand,
It is grit wisedome to provyde befoir
It to devoyd, for dreid it hurt yow moir."
"Schir Swallow," quod the lark agane, and leuch,
"Quhat have ye sene that causis yow to dreid?"
"Se ye yone churll," quod scho, "beyond yone pleuch
Fast sawand hemp - lo se! - and linget seid?
Yone lint will grow in lytill tyme in deid,
And thairoff will yone churll his nettis mak,
Under the quhilk he thinkis us to tak.
"Thairfoir I reid we pas quhen he is gone
At evin, and with our naillis scharp and small
Out off the eirth scraip we yone seid anone
And eit it up, for giff it growis we sall
Have cause to weip heirefter ane and all.
Se we remeid thairfoir furth-with, instante,
Nam levius laedit quicquid praevidimus ante. 7
"For clerkis sayis it is nocht sufficient
To considder that is befoir thyne ee;
Bot prudence is ane inwart argument
That garris ane man provyde befoir and se
Quhat gude, quhat evill, is liklie for to be
Off everilk thing evin at the fynall end,
And swa fra perrell ethar him defend."
The lark, lauchand, the swallow thus couth scorne,
And said scho fischit lang befoir the net -
"The barne is eith to busk that is unborne;
All growis nocht that in the ground is set;
The nek to stoup quhen it the straik sall get
Is sone aneuch; deith on the fayest fall."
Thus scornit thay the swallow ane and all.
Despysing thus hir helthsum document,
The foulis ferlie tuke thair flicht anone:
Sum with ane bir thay braidit over the bent,
And sum agane ar to the grene wod gone.
Upon the land quhair I wes left allone
I tuke my club, and hamewart couth I carie,
Swa ferliand as I had sene ane farie.
Thus passit furth quhill June, that jolie tyde,
And seidis that wer sawin off beforne
Wer growin hie, that hairis mycht thame hyde,
And als the quailye craikand in the corne.
I movit furth betuix midday and morne
Unto the hedge under the hawthorne grene,
Quhair I befoir the said birdis had sene,
And as I stude, be aventure and cace,
The samin birdis as I haif said yow air -
I hoip because it wes thair hanting place,
Mair off succour, or yit mair solitair -
Thay lychtit doun, and quhen thay lychtit wair,
The swallow swyth put furth ane pietuous pyme,
Said, "Wo is him can not bewar in tyme!
"O blind birdis, and full off negligence,
Unmyndfull off your awin prosperitie,
Lift up your sicht and tak gude advertence,
Luke to the lint that growis on yone le!
Yone is the thing I bad, forsuith, that we,
Quhill it wes seid, suld rute furth off the eird:
Now is it lint; now is it hie on breird.
"Go yit, quhill it is tender, young, and small,
And pull it up, let it na mair incres!
My flesche growis, my bodie quaikis all,
Thinkand on it I may not sleip in peis!"
Thay cryit all, and bad the swallow ceis,
And said, "yone lint heirefter will do gude,
For linget is to lytill birdis fude.
"We think, quhen that yone lint bollis ar ryip,
To mak us feist and fill us off the seid,
Magré yone churll, and on it sing and pyip."
"Weill," quod the swallow, "freindes, hardilie beid;
Do as ye will, bot certane, sair I dreid
Heirefter ye sall find als sour as sweit,
Quhen ye ar speldit on yone carlis speit.
"The awner off yone lint ane fouler is,
Richt cautelous and full off subteltie;
His pray full sendill tymis will he mis,
Bot giff we birdis all the warrer be.
Full mony off our kin he hes gart de,
And thocht it bot ane sport to spill thair blude.
God keip me fra him, and the halie Rude!"
Thir small birdis, haveand bot lytill thocht
Off perrell that mycht fall be aventure,
The counsell off the swallow set at nocht,
Bot tuke thair flicht and furth togidder fure;
Sum to the wode, sum markit to the mure.
I tuke my staff, quhen this wes said and done,
And walkit hame, for it drew neir the none.
The lynt ryipit, the carll pullit the lyne,
Rippillit the bollis, and in beitis set,
It steipit in the burne, and dryit syne,
And with ane bittill knokkit it and bet,
Syne swingillit it weill, and hekkillit in the flet; 8
His wyfe it span, and twynit it in to threid,
Off quhilk the fowlar nettis maid indeid.
The wynter come, the wickit wind can blaw,
The woddis grene wer wallowit with the weit,
Baith firth and fell with froistys wer maid faw,
Slonkis and slaik maid slidderie with the sleit;
The foulis fair, for falt thay fell off feit -
On bewis bair it wes na bute to byde,
Bot hyit unto housis thame to hyde.
Sum in the barn, sum in the stak off corne
Thair lugeing tuke and maid thair residence.
The fowlar saw, and grit aithis hes sworne,
Thay suld be tane trewlie for thair expence;
His nettis hes he set with diligence,
And in the snaw he schulit hes ane plane,
And heillit it all over with calf agane.
Thir small birdis, seand the calff, wes glaid;
Trowand it had bene corne thay lychtit doun,
Bot of the nettis na presume thay had,
Nor of the fowlaris fals intentioun;
To scraip and seik thair meit thay maid thame boun.
The swallow on ane lytill branche neir by,
Dreiddand for gyle, thus loud on thame couth cry:
"Into that calf scraip quhill your naillis bleid -
Thair is na corne, ye laubour all in vane.
Trow ye yone churll for pietie will yow feid?
Na, na, he hes it heir layit for ane trane.
Remove, I reid, or ellis ye will be slane;
His nettis he hes set full prively,
Reddie to draw; in tyme be war for thy!
"Grit fule is he that puttis in dangeir
His lyfe, his honour, for ane thing off nocht.
Grit fule is he that will not glaidlie heir
Counsall in tyme, quhill it availl him mocht.
Grit fule is he that hes na thing in thocht
Bot thing present, and efter quhat may fall
Nor off the end hes na memoriall."
Thir small birdis, for hunger famischit neir,
Full besie scraipand for to seik thair fude,
The counsall off the swallow wald not heir,
Suppois thair laubour dyd thame lytill gude.
Quhen scho thair fulische hartis understude
Sa indurate, up in ane tre scho flew -
With that this churll over thame his nettis drew.
Allace, it wes grit hart sair for to se
That bludie bowcheour beit thay birdis doun,
And for till heir, quhen thay wist weill to de,
Thair cairfull sang and lamentatioun.
Sum with ane staf he straik to eirth on swoun,
Off sum the heid, off sum he brak the crag,
Sum half on lyfe he stoppit in his bag.
And quhen the swallow saw that thay wer deid,
"Lo," quod scho, "thus it happinnis mony syis
On thame that will not tak counsall nor reid
Off prudent men or clerkis that ar wyis.
This grit perrell I tauld thame mair than thryis;
Now ar thay deid, and wo is me thairfoir!"
Scho tuke hir flicht, bot I hir saw no moir.
Lo, worthie folk, Esope, that nobill clerk,
Ane poet worthie to be lawreate,
Quhen that he waikit from mair autentik werk,
With uther ma, this foirsaid fabill wrate,
Quhilk at this tyme may weill be applicate
To gude morall edificatioun,
Haifand ane sentence according to ressoun.
This carll and bond, of gentrice spoliate,
Sawand this calf, thir small birdis to sla,
It is the feind, quhilk fra the angelike state
Exylit is, as fals apostata,
Quhilk day and nycht weryis not for to ga,
Sawand poysoun and mony wickit thocht
In mannis saull, quhilk Christ full deir hes bocht.
And quhen the saull, as seid in to the eird,
Gevis consent in delectatioun,
The wickit thocht beginnis for to breird
In deidlie sin, quhilk is dampnatioun;
Ressoun is blindit with affectioun,
And carnall lust grouis full grene and gay,
Throw consuetude hantit from day to day.
Proceding furth be use and consuetude,
The sin ryipis, and schame is set on syde;
The feynd plettis his nettis scharp and rude,
And under plesance previlie dois hyde;
Syne on the feild he sawis calf full wyde,
Quhilk is bot tume and verray vanitie
Of fleschlie lust and vaine prosperitie.
Thir hungrie birdis, wretchis we may call,
Ay scraipand in this warldis vane plesance,
Greddie to gadder gudis temporall,
Quhilk as the calf ar tume without substance,
Lytill of availl and full of variance,
Lyke to the mow befoir the face of wind
Quhiskis away and makis wretchis blind.
This swallow, quhilk eschaipit is the snair,
The halie preichour weill may signifie,
Exhortand folk to walk, and ay be wair
Fra nettis of our wickit enemie,
Quha sleipis not, bot ever is reddie,
Quhen wretchis in this warldis calf dois scraip,
To draw his net, that thay may not eschaip.
Allace, quhat cair, quhat weiping is and wo,
Quhen saull and bodie partit ar in twane!
The bodie to the wormis keitching go,
The saull to fyre, to everlestand pane.
Quhat helpis than this calf, thir gudis vane,
Quhen thow art put in Luceferis bag,
And brocht to hell, and hangit be the crag?
Thir hid nettis for to persave and se,
This sarie calf wyislie to understand,
Best is bewar in maist prosperitie;
For in this warld thair is na thing lestand;
Is na man wait how lang his stait will stand,
His lyfe will lest, nor how that he sall end
Efter his deith, nor quhidder he sall wend.
Pray we thairfoir quhill we ar in this lyfe
For four thingis: the first, fra sin remufe;
The secund is to seis all weir and stryfe;
The thrid is perfite cheritie and lufe;
The feird thing is, and maist for our behufe,
That is in blis with angellis to be fallow.
And thus endis the preiching of the swallow.
The Fox, the Wolf, and the Cadger
Qwhylum thair wynnit in ane wildernes,
As myne authour expreslie can declair,
Ane revand wolff, that levit upon purches
On bestiall, and maid him weill to fair;
Wes nane sa big about him he wald spair
And he war hungrie, outher for favour or feid,
Bot in his breith he weryit thame to deid.
Swa happinnit him in watching as he went
To meit ane foxe in middis off the way.
He him foirsaw, and fenyeit to be schent,
And with ane bek he bad the wolff gude day.
"Welcum to me," quod he, "thow Russell gray."
Syne loutit doun, and tuke him be the hand:
"Ryse up, Lowrence! I leif the for to stand.
"Quhair hes thow bene this sesoun fra my sicht?
Thow sall beir office, and my stewart be,
For thow can knap doun caponis on the nicht,
And lourand law thow can gar hennis de."
"Schir," said the foxe, "that ganis not for me;
And I am rad, gif thay me se on far,
That at my figure beist and bird will skar."
"Na," quod the wolff, "thow can in covert creip
Upon thy wame and hint thame be the heid,
And mak ane suddand schow upon ane scheip,
Syne with thy wappinnis wirrie him to deid."
"Schir," said the foxe, "ye knaw my roib is reid,
And thairfoir thair will na beist abyde me,
Thocht I wald be sa fals as for to hyde me."
"Yis," quod the wolff, "throw buskis and throw brais
Law can thow lour to come to thy intent."
"Schir," said the foxe, "ye wait weill how it gais;
Ane lang space fra thame thay will feill my sent;
Than will thay eschaip, suppois thay suld be schent;
And I am schamefull for to cum behind thame,
In to the feild thocht I suld sleipand find thame."
"Na," quod the wolff, "thow can cum on the wind;
For everie wrink, forsuith, thow hes ane wyle."
"Schir," said the foxe, "that beist ye mycht call blind
That micht not eschaip than fra me ane myle:
How micht I ane off thame that wyis begyle?
My tippit twa eiris and my twa gray ene
Garris me be kend quhair I wes never sene."
Than said the wolff, "Lowrence, I heir the le,
And castys for perrellis thy ginnes to defend;
Bot all thy sonyeis sall not availl the,
About the busk with wayis thocht thow wend.
Falset will failye ay at the latter end:
To bow at bidding and byde not quhill thow brest, 9
Thairfoir I giff the counsall for the best."
"Schir," said the foxe, "it is Lentring, ye se;
I can nocht fische, for weiting off my feit,
To tak ane banestikill, thocht we baith suld de;
I have nane uther craft to win my meit.
Bot wer it Pasche, that men suld pultrie eit,
As kiddis, lambis, or caponis in to ply,
To beir your office than wald I not set by."
Than said the wolff in wraith, "Wenis thou with wylis
And with thy mony mowis me to mat?
It is ane auld dog, doutles, that thow begylis;
Thow wenis to drau the stra befoir the cat!"
"Schir," said the foxe, "God wait, I mene not that;
For and I did, it wer weill worth that ye
In ane rude raip had tyit me till ane tre.
"Bot nou I se he is ane fule perfay
That with his maister fallis in ressoning.
I did bot till assay quhat ye wald say;
God wait, my mynd wes on ane uther thing.
I sall fulfill in all thing your bidding,
Quhat ever ye charge on nichtis or on dayis."
"Weill," quod the wolff, "I heir weill quhat thou sayis.
"Bot yit I will thow mak to me ane aith
For to be leill attour all levand leid."
"Schir," said the foxe, "that ane word maks me wraith,
For nou I se ye have me at ane dreid:
Yit sall I sweir, suppois it be not neid,
Be Juppiter, and on pane off my heid,
I sall be treu to you quhill I be deid."
With that ane cadgear, with capill and with creillis,
Come carpand furth; than Lowrence culd him spy.
The foxe the flewer off the fresche hering feillis,
And to the wolff he roundis prively:
"Schir, yone ar hering the cadgear caryis by;
Thairfoir I reid that we se for sum wayis
To get sum fische aganis thir fasting dayis.
"Sen I am stewart, I wald we had sum stuff,
And ye ar silver-seik, I wait richt weill.
Thocht we wald thig yone verray churlische chuff,
He will not giff us ane hering off his creill,
Befoir yone churle on kneis thocht we wald kneill.
Bot yit I trou alsone that ye sall se
Giff I can craft to bleir yone carlis ee.
"Schir, ane thing is, and we get off yone pelff,
Ye man tak travell and mak us sum supple;
For he that will not laubour and help him selff,
In to thir dayis he is not worth ane fle.
I think to work als besie as ane be -
And ye sall follou ane lytill efterwart
And gadder hering, for that sall be your part."
With that he kest ane cumpas far about,
And straucht him doun in middis off the way;
As he wer deid he fenyeit him, but dout,
And than upon lenth unliklie lay.
The quhyte he turnit up off his ene tuay,
His toung out hang ane handbreid off his heid,
And still he lay, als straucht as he wer deid.
The cadgear fand the foxe, and he wes fane,
And till him self thus softlie can he say:
"At the nixt bait, in faith, ye sall be flane,
And off your skyn I sall mak mittenis tway."
He lap full lichtlie about him quhair he lay,
And all the trace he trippit on his tais;
As he had hard ane pyper play he gais.
"Heir lyis the Devyll," quod he, "deid in ane dyke;
Sic ane selcouth sau I not this sevin yeir.
I trou ye have bene tussillit with sum tyke,
That garris you ly sa still withoutin steir.
Schir Foxe, in faith, ye ar deir welcum heir;
It is sum wyfis malisone, I trow,
For pultrie pyking, that lychtit hes on yow.
"Thair sall na pedder, for purs, nor yit for glufis,
Nor yit for poyntis, pyke your pellet fra me:
I sall off it mak mittenis to my lufis
Till hald my handis hait quhair ever I be;
Till Flanderis sall it never saill the se."
With that in hy he hint him be the heillis,
And with ane swak he swang him on the creillis,
Syne be the heid the hors in hy hes hint.
The fraudfull foxe thairto gude tent hes tane,
And with his teith the stoppell, or he stint,
Pullit out, and syne the hering ane and ane
Out off the creillis he swakkit doun gude wane.
The wolff wes war, and gadderit spedilie:
The cadgear sang, "Huntis up, up," upon hie.
Yit at ane burne the cadgear lukit about;
With that the foxe lap quyte the creillis fray.
The cadgear wald have raucht the foxe ane rout,
Bot all for nocht, he wan his hoill that day.
Than with ane schout thus can the cadgear say:
"Abyde, and thou ane nekhering sall haif
Is worth my capill, creillis, and all the laif."
"Now," quod the foxe, "I schreu me and we meit!
I hard quhat thou hecht to do with my skyn.
Thy handis sall never in thay mittinnis tak heit,
And thou wer hangit, carll, and all thy kyn!
Do furth thy mercat - at me thou sall nocht wyn -
And sell thy hering thou hes thair till hie price;
Ellis thow sall wyn nocht on thy merchandice."
The cadgear trimmillit for teyne quhair that he stude.
"It is weill worthie," quod he, "I want yone tyke,
That had nocht in my hand sa mekill gude
As staff or sting yone truker for to stryke."
With that lychtlie he lap out over ane dyke
And hakkit doun ane staff - for he wes tene -
That hevie wes and off the holyne grene.
With that the foxe unto the wolff could wend,
And fand him be the hering quhair he lyis.
"Schir," said he than,"maid I not fair defend?
Ane wicht man wantit never, and he wer wyis;
Ane hardie hart is hard for to suppryis."
Than said the wolff, "Thow art ane berne full bald,
And wyse at will, in gude tyme be it tald.
"Bot quhat wes yone the carll cryit on hie,
And schuke his hand?" quod he. "Hes thou no feill?"
"Schir," said the foxe, "that I can tell trewlie:
He said the nekhering wes in till the creill."
"Kennis thou that hering?" "Ye, schir, I ken it weill,
And at the creill mouth I had it thryis but dout:
The wecht off it neir tit my tuskis out.
"Now suithlie, schir, micht we that hering fang,
It wald be fische to us thir fourtie dayis."
Than said the wolff, "Nou God nor that I hang!
Bot to be thair I wald gif all my clays,
To se gif that my wappinnis mycht it rais."
"Schir," said the foxe, "God wait, I wischit you oft,
Quhen that my pith micht not beir it on loft.
"It is ane syde off salmond, as it wair,
And callour, pypand lyke ane pertrik ee:
It is worth all the hering ye have thair -
Ye, and we had it swa, is it worth sic thre."
Than said the wolff, "Quhat counsell gevis thou me?"
"Schir," said the foxe, "wirk efter my devyis,
And ye sall have it, and tak you na suppryis.
"First, ye man cast ane cumpas far about,
Syne straucht you doun in middis off the way;
Baith heid and feit and taill ye man streik out,
Hing furth your toung, and clois weill your ene tway
Syne se your heid on ane hard place ye lay;
And dout not for na perrell may appeir,
Bot hald you clois, quhen that carll cummis neir.
"And thocht ye se ane staf, have ye na dout,
Bot hald you wonder still in to that steid,
And luke your ene be clois, as thay wer out,
And se that ye schrink nouther fute nor heid:
Than will the cadgear carll trou ye be deid,
And in till haist will hint you be the heillis,
As he did me, and swak you on his creillis."
"Now," quod the wolff, "I sweir the be my thrift,
I trou yone cadgear carll dow not me beir."
"Schir," said the foxe, "on loft he will you lift
Upon his creillis, and do him lytill deir -
Bot ane thing dar I suithlie to you sweir:
Get ye that hering sicker in sum place,
Ye sall not fair in fisching mair quhill Pasche.
"I sall say In principio upon yow,
And crose your corps from the top to tay;
Wend quhen ye will, I dar be warrand now
That ye sall de na suddand deith this day."
With that the wolff gird up sone and to gay,
And caist ane cumpas about the cadgear far;
Syne raucht him in the gait, or he come nar.
He laid his halfheid sicker hard and sad,
Syne straucht his four feit fra him, and his heid,
And hang his toung furth as the foxe him bad;
Als styll he lay as he wer verray deid,
Rakkand na thing off the carlis favour nor feid,
Bot ever upon the nekhering he thinkis,
And quyte foryettis the foxe and all his wrinkis.
With that the cadgear, als wraith as ony wind,
Come rydand on the laid, for it wes licht,
Thinkand ay on the foxe that wes behind,
Upon quhat wyse revenge him best he micht;
And at the last of the wolff gat ane sicht,
Quhair he in lenth lay streikit in the gait -
Bot giff he lichtit doun or nocht, God wait!
Softlie he said, "I wes begylit anis;
Be I begylit twyis, I schrew us baith!
That evill bot it sall licht upon thy banis
He suld have had, that hes done me the skaith."
On hicht he hovit the staf, for he wes wraith,
And hit him with sic will upon the heid
Quhill neir he swonit and swelt in to that steid.
Thre battis he bure, or he his feit micht find,
Bot yit the wolff wes wicht, and wan away;
He mycht not se, he wes sa verray blind,
Nor wit reddilie quhether it wes nicht or day.
The foxe beheld that service quhair he lay,
And leuch on loft quhen he the wolff sa seis,
Baith deif and dosinnit, fall swonand on his kneis.
He that of ressoun can not be content,
Bot covetis all, is abill all to tyne.
The foxe, quhen that he saw the wolff wes schent,
Said to him self, "Thir hering sall be myne."
I le, or ellis he wes efterwart fyne,
That fand sic wayis his maister for to greif.
With all the fische thus Lowrence tuke his leif.
The wolff wes neir weill dungin to the deid,
That uneith with his lyfe away he wan,
For with the bastoun weill brokin wes his heid.
The foxe in to his den sone drew him than,
That had betraisit his maister and the man:
The ane wantit the hering off his creillis;
The utheris blude wes rynnand over his heillis.
This taill is myngit with moralitie,
As I sall schaw sumquhat, or that I ceis.
The foxe unto the warld may likkinnit be;
The revand wolf unto ane man, but leis;
The cadgear, deith, quhome under all man preis -
That ever tuke lyfe throw cours of kynd man dee,
As man, and beist, and fische in to the see.
The warld, ye wait, is stewart to the man,
Quhilk makis man to haif na mynd of deid,
Bot settis for winning all the craftis thay can.
The hering I likkin unto the gold sa reid,
Quhilk gart the wolf in perrell put his heid;
Richt swa the gold garris landis and cieteis
With weir be waistit daylie, as men seis.
And as the foxe with dissimulance and gyle
Gart the wolf wene to haif worschip for ever,
Richt swa this warld with vane glore for ane quhyle
Flatteris with folk, as thay suld failye never;
Yit suddandlie men seis it oft dissever
With thame that trowis oft to fill the sek -
Deith cummis behind and nippis thame be the nek.
The micht of gold makis mony men sa blind,
That settis on avarice thair felicitie,
That thay foryet the cadgear cummis behind
To stryke thame, of quhat stait sa ever thay be:
Quhat is mair dirk than blind prosperitie?
Quhairfoir I counsell mychtie men to haif mynd
Of the nekhering, interpreit in this kynd.
The Fox, the Wolf, and the Husbandman
In elderis dayis, as Esope can declair,
Thair wes ane husband quhilk had ane plewch to steir.
His use wes ay in morning to ryse air:
Sa happinnit him, in streiking tyme off yeir,
Airlie in the morning to follou furth his feir
Unto the pleuch, bot his gadman and he.
His stottis he straucht with "Benedicité!"
The caller cryit, "How! Haik!" upon hicht,
"Hald draucht, my dowis," syne broddit thame full sair: 10
The oxin wes unusit, young, and licht,
And for fersnes thay couth the fur forfair. 11
The husband than woxe angrie as ane hair,
Syne cryit, and caist his patill and grit stanis:
"The wolff," quod he, "mot have you all at anis!"
Bot yit the wolff wes neirar nor he wend,
For in ane busk he lay, and Lowrence baith,
In ane rouch rone wes at the furris end,
And hard the hecht; than Lowrence leuch full raith:
"To tak yone bud," quod he, "it wer na skaith."
"Weill," quod the wolff, "I hecht the, be my hand,
Yone carlis word as he wer king sall stand."
The oxin waxit mair reulie at the last;
Syne efter thay lousit, fra that it worthit weill lait; 12
The husband hamewart with his cattell past.
Than sone the wolff come hirpilland in his gait
Befoir the oxin, and schupe to mak debait.
The husband saw him, and worthit sumdeill agast,
And bakwart with his beistis wald haif past.
The wolff said, "Quhether dryvis thou this pray?
I chalenge it, for nane off thame ar thyne!"
The man thairoff wes in ane felloun fray,
And soberlie to the wolff answerit syne:
"Schir, be my saull, thir oxin ar all myne:
Thairfoir I studdie quhy ye suld stop me,
Sen that I faltit never to you, trewlie."
The wolff said, "Carll, gaif thou not me this drift
Airlie, quhen thou wes eirrand on yone bank?
And is thair oucht, sayis thou, frear than gift?
This tarying wyll tyne the all thy thank:
Far better is frelie for to giff ane plank
Nor be compellit on force to giff ane mart.
Fy on the fredome that cummis not with hart!"
"Schir," quod the husband, "ane man may say in greif,
And syne ganesay fra he avise and se.
I hecht to steill, am I thairfoir ane theif?
God forbid, schir, all hechtis suld haldin be.
Gaif I my hand or oblissing," quod he,
"Or have ye witnes or writ for to schau?
Schir, reif me not, bot go and seik the lau."
"Carll," quod the wolff, "ane lord, and he be leill,
That schrinkis for schame, or doutis to be repruvit -
His sau is ay als sickker as his seill.
Fy on the leid that is not leill and lufit!
Thy argument is fals, and eik contrufit,
For it is said in proverb: "But lawte
All uther vertewis ar nocht worth ane fle."
"Schir," said the husband, "remember of this thing:
Ane leill man is not tane at halff ane taill. 13
I may say and ganesay; I am na king.
Quhair is your witnes that hard I hecht thame haill?"
Than said the wolff, "Thairfoir it sall nocht faill.
Lowrence," quod he, "cum hidder of that schaw,
And say na thing bot as thow hard and saw."
Lowrence come lourand, for he lufit never licht,
And sone appeirit befoir thame in that place:
The man leuch na thing quhen he saw that sicht.
"Lowrence," quod the wolff, "thow man declair this cace,
Quhairof we sall schaw the suith in schort space.
I callit on the leill witnes for to beir:
Quhat hard thou that this man hecht me lang eir?"
"Schir," said the tod, "I can not hastelie
Swa sone as now gif sentence finall;
Bot wald ye baith submit yow heir to me,
To stand at my decreit perpetuall,
To pleis baith I suld preif, gif it may fall."
"Weill," quod the wolff, "I am content for me."
The man said, "Swa am I, how ever it be."
Than schew thay furth thair allegeance but fabill,
And baith proponit thair pley to him compleit.
Quod Lowrence, "Now I am juge amycabill:
Ye sall be sworne to stand at my decreit,
Quhether heirefter ye think it soure or sweit."
The wolff braid furth his fute, the man his hand,
And on the toddis taill sworne thay ar to stand.
Than tuke the tod the man furth till ane syde,
And said him, "Freind, thou art in blunder brocht;
The wolff will not forgif the ane oxe hyde.
Yit wald my self fane help the, and I mocht,
Bot I am laith to hurt my conscience ocht.
Tyne nocht thy querrell in thy awin defence;
This will not throu but grit coist and expence.
"Seis thou not buddis beiris bernis throw,
And giftis garris crukit materis hald full evin?
Sumtymis ane hen haldis ane man in ane kow;
All ar not halie that heifis thair handis to hevin."
"Schir," said the man, "ye sall have sex or sevin
Richt off the fattest hennis off all the floik -
I compt not all the laif, leif me the coik."
"I am ane juge," quod Lowrence than, and leuch:
"Thair is na buddis suld beir me by the rycht. 14
I may tak hennis and caponis weill aneuch,
For God is gane to sleip, as for this nycht;
Sic small thingis ar not sene in to His sicht.
Thir hennis," quod he, "sall mak thy querrell sure:
With emptie hand na man suld halkis lure."
Concordit thus, than Lowrence tuke his leiff,
And to the wolff he went in to ane ling;
Syne prevelie he plukkit him be the sleiff:
"Is this in ernist," quod he, "ye ask sic thing?
Na, be my saull, I trow it be in heithing."
Than said the wolff, "Lowrence, quhy sayis thou sa?
Thow hard the hecht thy selff that he couth ma.
"The hecht," quod he, "yone man maid at the pleuch -
Is that the cause quhy ye the cattell craif?"
Halff in to heithing said Lowrence than, and leuch:
"Schir, be the Rude, unroikit now ye raif:
The Devill ane stirk taill thairfoir sall ye haif!
Wald I tak it upon my conscience
To do sa pure ane man as yone offence?
"Yit haif I commonnit with the carll," quod he.
"We ar concordit upon this cunnand:
Quyte off all clamis, swa ye will mak him fre,
Ye sall ane cabok have in to your hand
That sic ane sall not be in all this land,
For it is somer cheis, baith fresche and fair:
He sayis it weyis ane stane and sumdeill mair."
"Is that thy counsell," quod the wolff, "I do,
That yone carll for ane cabok suld be fre?"
"Ye, be my saull, and I wer sworne yow to,
Ye suld nane uther counsell have for me;
For gang ye to the maist extremitie,
It will not wyn yow worth ane widderit neip:
Schir, trow ye not I have ane saull to keip?"
"Weill," quod the wolff, "it is aganis my will
That yone carll for ane cabok suld ga quyte."
"Schir," quod the tod, "ye tak it in nane evill,
For, be my saull, your self had all the wyte."
Than said the wolff, "I bid na mair to flyte,
Bot I wald se yone cabok off sic pryis."
"Schir," said the tod, "he tauld me quhair it lyis."
Than hand in hand thay held unto ane hill;
The husband till his hous hes tane the way,
For he wes fane he schaippit from thair ill,
And on his feit woke the dure quhill day.
Now will we turne unto the uther tway:
Throw woddis waist thir freikis on fute can fair,
Fra busk to busk, quhill neir midnycht and mair.
Lowrence wes ever remembring upon wrinkis
And subtelteis, the wolff for to begyle;
That he had hecht ane caboik he forthinkis;
Yit at the last he findis furth ane wyle,
Than at him selff softlie couth he smyle.
The wolff sayis, "Lowrence, thou playis bellie blind;
We seik all nycht, bot na thing can we find."
"Schir," said the tod, "we ar at it almaist;
Soft yow ane lytill, and ye sall se it sone."
Than to ane manure place thay hyit in haist;
The nycht wes lycht, and pennyfull the mone.
Than till ane draw well thir senyeours past but hone, 15
Quhair that twa bukkettis severall suithlie hang;
As ane come up ane uther doun wald gang.
The schadow off the mone schone in the well:
"Schir," said Lowrence, "anis ye sall find me leill;
Now se ye not the caboik weill your sell,
Quhyte as ane neip and round als as ane seill?
He hang it yonder that na man suld it steill.
Schir, traist ye weill, yone caboik ye se hing
Micht be ane present to ony lord or king."
"Na," quod the wolff, "mycht I yone caboik haif
On the dry land, as I it yonder se,
I wald quitclame the carll off all the laif:
His dart oxin I compt thame not ane fle;
Yone wer mair meit for sic ane man as me.
Lowrence," quod he, "leip in the bukket sone,
And I sall hald the ane, quhill thow have done."
Lowrence gird doun baith sone and subtellie;
The uther baid abufe and held the flaill.
"It is sa mekill," quod Lowrence, "it maisteris me:
On all my tais it hes not left ane naill.
Ye man mak help upwart, and it haill:
Leip in the uther bukket haistelie,
And cum sone doun and mak me sum supple!"
Than lychtlie in the bukket lap the loun;
His wecht but weir the uther end gart ryis:
The tod come hailland up, the wolff yeid doun.
Than angerlie the wolff upon him cryis:
"I cummand thus dounwart, quhy thow upwart hyis?"
"Schir," quod the foxe, "thus fairis it off fortoun:
As ane cummis up, scho quheillis ane uther doun."
Than to the ground sone yeid the wolff in haist;
The tod lap on land, als blyith as ony bell,
And left the wolff in watter to the waist.
Quha haillit him out, I wait not, off the well.
Heir endis the text; thair is na mair to tell.
Yyt men may find ane gude moralitie
In this sentence, thocht it ane fabill be.
This wolf I likkin to ane wickit man
Quhilk dois the pure oppres in everie place,
And pykis at thame all querrellis that he can,
Be rigour, reif, and uther wickitnes.
The foxe, the feind I call into this cais,
Arctand ilk man to ryn unrychteous rinkis,
Thinkand thairthrow to lok him in his linkis.
The husband may be callit ane godlie man
With quhome the feynd falt findes, as clerkis reids,
Besie to tempt him with all wayis that he can.
The hennis ar warkis that fra ferme faith proceidis:
Quhair sic sproutis spreidis, the evill spreit thair not speids,
Bot wendis unto the wickit man agane -
That hes tint his travell is full unfane.
The wodds waist, quhairin wes the wolf wyld,
Ar wickit riches, quhilk all men gaipis to get:
Quha traistis in sic trusterie ar oft begyld,
For mammon may be callit the Devillis net,
Quhilk Sathanas for all sinfull hes set:
With proud plesour quha settis his traist thairin,
But speciall grace, lychtlie can not outwin.
The cabok may be callit covetyce,
Quhilk blomis braid in mony mannis ee:
Wa worth the well of that wickit vyce,
For it is all bot fraud and fantasie,
Dryvand ilk man to leip in the buttrie
That dounwart drawis unto the pane of hell -
Christ keip all Christianis from that wickit well!
The Wolf and the Wether
Qwhylum thair wes, as Esope can report,
Ane scheipheird duelland be ane forrest neir,
Quhilk had ane hound that did him grit comfort:
Full war he wes to walk his fauld, but weir,
That nouther wolff nor wildcat durst appeir,
Nor foxe on feild, nor yit no uther beist,
Bot he thame slew, or chaissit at the leist.
Sa happinnit it (as everilk beist man de),
This hound off suddand seiknes to be deid;
Bot than, God wait, the keipar off the fe
For verray wo woxe wanner nor the weid.
"Allace," quod he, "now se I na remeid
To saif the selie beistis that I keip,
For with the wolff weryit beis all my scheip."
It wald have maid ane mannis hart sair to se
The selie scheiphirdis lamentatioun:
"Now is my darling deid, allace," quod he;
"For now to beg my breid I may be boun,
With pyikstaff and with scrip to fair off toun;
For all the beistis befoir that bandonit bene
Will schute upon my beistis with ire and tene."
With that ane wedder wichtlie wan on fute:
"Maister," quod he, "mak merie and be blyith:
To brek your hart for baill it is na bute;
For ane deid dog ye na cair on yow kyith.
Ga fetche him hither and fla his skyn off swyth;
Syne sew it on me - and luke that it be meit,
Baith heid and crag, bodie, taill, and feit.
"Than will the wolff trow that I am he,
For I sall follow him fast quhar ever he fair.
All haill the cure I tak it upon me
Your scheip to keip at midday, lait, and air:
And he persew, be God, I sall not spair
To follow him as fast as did your doig,
Swa that I warrand ye sall not want ane hoig."
Than said the scheipheird, "This come of ane gude wit:
Thy counsall is baith sicker, leill, and trew;
Quha sayis ane scheip is daft, thay lieit of it."
With that in hy the doggis skyn off he flew,
And on the scheip rycht softlie couth it sew.
Than worth the wedder wantoun off his weid:
Now off the wolff," quod he, "I have na dreid."
In all thingis he counterfait the dog,
For all the nycht he stude, and tuke na sleip,
Swa that weill lang thair wantit not ane hog;
Swa war he wes and walkryfe thame to keip,
That Lowrence durst not luke upon ane scheip -
For and he did, he followit him sa fast
That off his lyfe he maid him all agast.
Was nowther wolff, wildcat, nor yit tod
Durst cum within thay boundis all about,
Bot he wald chase thame baith throw rouch and snod.
Thay bailfull beistis had of thair lyvis sic dout,
For he wes mekill and semit to be stout,
That everilk beist thay dred him as the deid,
Within that woid that nane durst hald thair heid.
Yit happinnit thair ane hungrie wolff to slyde
Out throw his scheip, quhair thay lay on ane le:
"I sall have ane," quod he, "quhat ever betyde,
Thocht I be werryit, for hunger or I de."
With that ane lamb in till his cluke hint he;
The laif start up, for thay wer all agast,
Bot God wait gif the wedder followit fast.
Went never hound mair haistelie fra the hand
Quhen he wes rynnand maist raklie at the ra
Nor went this wedder baith over mois and strand,
And stoppit nouther at bank, busk, nor bra,
Bot followit ay sa ferslie on his fa
With sic ane drift, quhill dust and dirt over-draif him,
And maid ane vow to God that he suld have him.
With that the wolff let out his taill on lenth,
For he wes hungrie and it drew neir the ene,
And schupe him for to ryn with all his strenth;
Fra he the wedder sa neir cummand had sene,
He dred his lyfe, and he overtane had bene.
Thairfoir he spairit nowther busk nor boig,
For weill he kennit the kenenes off the doig.
To mak him lycht, he kest the lamb him fra,
Syne lap over leis and draif throw dub and myre.
"Na," quod the wedder, "in faith we part not swa:
It is not the lamb, bot the, that I desyre;
I sall cum neir, for now I se the tyre."
The wolff ran still quhill ane strand stude behind him,
Bot ay the neirar the uedder he couth bind him.
Sone efter that, he followit him sa neir
Quhill that the wolff for fleidnes fylit the feild,
Syne left the gait and ran throw busk and breir,
And schupe him fra the schawis for to scheild. 16
He ran restles, for he wist off na beild;
The wedder followit him baith out and in,
Quhill that ane breir busk raif rudelie off the skyn.
The wolff wes wer, and blenkit him behind,
And saw the wedder come thrawand throw the breir,
Syne saw the doggis skyn hingand on his lind.
"Na," quod he, "is this ye, that is sa neir?
Richt now ane hound, and now quhyte as ane freir.
I fled over fer, and I had kennit the cais:
To God I vow that ye sall rew this rais.
"Quhat wes the cause ye gaif me sic ane katche?"
With that in hy he hint him be the horne:
"For all your mowis, ye met anis with your matche,
Suppois ye leuch me all this yeir to scorne.
For quhat enchessoun this doggis skyn have ye borne?"
"Maister," quod he, "bot to have playit with yow;
I yow requyre that ye nane uther trow."
"Is this your bourding in ernist than?" quod he,
"For I am verray effeirit, and on flocht:
Cum bak agane, and I sall let yow se."
Than quhar the gait wes grimmit he him brocht:
"Quhether call ye this fair play or nocht:
To set your maister in sa fell effray,
Quhill he for feiritnes hes fylit up the way?
"Thryis, be my saull, ye gart me schute behind:
Upon my hoichis the senyeis may be sene;
For feiritnes full oft I fylit the wind.
Now is this ye? Na, bot ane hound, I wene! 17
Me think your teith over schort to be sa kene.
Blissit be the busk that reft yow your array;
Ellis, fleand, bursin had I bene this day."
"Schir," quod the wedder, "suppois I ran in hy,
My mynd wes never to do your persoun ill.
Ane flear gettis ane follower commounly,
In play or ernist, preif quha sa ever will.
Sen I bot playit, be gracious me till,
And I sall gar my freindis blis your banis:
Ane full gude servand will crab his maister anis."
"I have bene oftymis set in grit effray,
Bot, be the Rude, sa rad yit wes I never
As thow hes maid me with thy prettie play:
I schot behind quhen thow overtuke me ever.
Bot sikkerlie now sall we not dissever."
Than be crag-bane smertlie he him tuke,
Or ever he ceissit, and it in schunder schuke.
Esope, that poet, first father of this fabill,
Wrait this parabole, quhilk is convenient,
Because the sentence wes fructuous and agreabill,
In moralitie exemplative prudent;
Quhais problemes bene verray excellent,
Throw similitude of figuris, to this day,
Gevis doctrine to the redaris of it ay.
Heir may thow se that riches of array
Will cause pure men presumpteous for to be;
Thay think thay hald of nane, be thay als gay, 18
Bot counterfute ane lord in all degré.
Out of thair cais in pryde thay clym sa hie
That thay forbeir thair better in na steid,
Quhill sum man tit thair heillis over thair heid.
Richt swa in service uther sum exceidis,
And thay haif withgang, welth, and cherising,
That thay will lychtlie lordis in thair deidis,
And lukis not to thair blude nor thair offspring.
Bot yit nane wait how lang that reull will ring;
Bot he was wyse that bad his sone considder:
Bewar in welth, for hall benkis ar rycht slidder.
Thairfoir I counsell men of everilk stait
To knaw thame self, and quhome thay suld forbeir,
And fall not with thair better in debait,
Suppois thay be als galland in thair geir:
It settis na servand for to uphald weir,
Nor clym sa hie quhill he fall of the ledder
Bot think upon the wolf and on the wedder.
The Wolf and the Lamb
Ane cruell wolff, richt ravenous and fell,
Upon ane tyme past to ane reveir
Descending from ane rotche unto ane well;
To slaik his thrist, drank of the watter cleir.
Swa upon cace ane selie lamb come neir,
Bot of his fa the wolff na thing he wist,
And in the streme laipit to cule his thrist.
Thus drank thay baith, bot not of ane intent:
The wolfis thocht wes all on wickitnes;
The selie lamb wes meik and innocent:
Upon the rever in ane uther place
Beneth the wolff he drank ane lytill space,
Quhill him thocht gude, presomyng thair nane ill.
The wolff this saw, and rampand come him till,
With girnand teith and angrie austre luke,
Said to the lamb, "Thow cative wretchit thing,
How durst thow be sa bald to fyle this bruke
Quhar I suld drink with thy foull slavering?
It wer almous the for to draw and hing,
That suld presume with thy foull lippis wyle
To glar my drink and this fair watter fyle."
The selie lamb, quaikand for verray dreid,
On kneis fell and said, "Schir, with your leif,
Suppois I dar not say thairoff ye leid,
Bot, be my saull, I wait ye can nocht preif
That I did ony thing that suld yow greif;
Ye wait alswa that your accusatioun
Failyeis fra treuth and contrair is to ressoun.
"Thocht I can nocht, nature will me defend,
And off the deid perfyte experience:
All hevie thing man off the selff discend,
Bot giff sum thing on force mak resistence;
Than may the streme on na way mak ascence
Nor ryn bakwart; I drank beneth yow far:
Ergo, for me your bruke wes never the war.
"Alswa my lippis, sen that I wes ane lam,
Tuitchit na thing that wes contagious,
Bot sowkit milk from pappis off my dam,
Richt naturall, sweit, and als delitious."
"Weill," quod the wolff, "thy language rigorus
Cummis the off kynd; swa thy father before
Held me at bait, baith with boist and schore.
"He wraithit me, and than I culd him warne,
Within ane yeir, and I brukit my heid,
I suld be wrokkin on him or on his barne
For his exorbetant and frawart pleid:
Thow sall doutles for his deidis be deid."
"Schir, it is wrang that for the fatheris gilt
The saikles sone suld punist be or spilt.
"Haiff ye not hard quhat Halie Scripture sayis,
Endytit with the mouth off God almycht?
Off his awin deidis ilk man sall beir the pais,
As pyne for sin, reward for werkis rycht;
For my trespas, quhy suld my sone have plycht?
Quha did the mis, lat him sustene the pane."
"Yaa!" quod the wolff. "Yit pleyis thow agane?
"I let the wit, quhen that the father offendis,
I will cheris nane off his successioun,
And off his barnis I may weill tak amendis
Unto the twentie degré descending doun.
Thy father thocht to mak ane strang poysoun,
And with his mouth into my watter spew."
"Schir," quod the lamb, "thay twa ar nouther trew.
"The law sayis, and ye will understand,
Thair suld na man, for wrang nor violence,
His adversar punis at his awin hand
Without proces off law and evidence;
Quhilk suld have leif to mak lawfull defence,
And thairupon summond peremtourly
For to propone, contrairie, or reply.
"Set me ane lauchfull court; I sall compeir
Befoir the lyoun, lord and leill justice,
And be my hand I oblis me rycht heir
That I sall byde ane unsuspect assyis.
This is the law, this is the instant wyis;
Ye suld pretend thairfoir ane summondis mak
Aganis that day, to gif ressoun and tak."
"Na," quod the wolff, "thou wald intruse ressoun
Quhair wrang and reif suld duell in propertie.
That is ane poynt and part of fals tressoun,
For to gar reuth remane with crueltie.
Be Goddis woundis, fals tratour, thow sall de
For thy trespas, and for thy fatheris als."
With that anone he hint him be the hals.
The selie lamb culd do na thing bot bleit:
Sone wes he hedit; the wolff wald do na grace;
Syne drank his blude and off his flesche can eit
Quhill he wes full; syne went his way on pace.
Off his murther quhat sall we say, allace?
Wes not this reuth, wes not this grit pietie,
To gar this selie lamb but gilt thus de?
The pure pepill, this lamb may signifie,
As maill men, merchandis, and all lauboureris,
Of quhome the lyfe is half ane purgatorie,
To wyn with lautie leving, as efferis.
The wolf betakinnis fals extortioneris
And oppressouris of pure men, as we se,
Be violence, or craft in facultie.
Thre kynd of wolfis in this warld now rings:
The first ar fals perverteris of the lawis,
Quhilk under poleit termis falset mingis,
Lettand that all wer gospell that he schawis;
Bot for ane bud the pure man he overthrawis,
Smoirand the richt, garrand the wrang proceid -
Of sic wolfis hellis fyre sall be thair meid.
O man of law, let be thy subteltie,
With nice gimpis and fraudis intricait,
And think that God in his divinitie
The wrang, the richt, of all thy werkis wait.
For prayer, price, for hie nor law estait,
Of fals querrellis se thow mak na defence:
Hald with the richt, hurt not thy conscience.
Ane uther kynd of wolfis ravenous
Ar mychtie men, haifand aneuch plentie,
Quhilkis ar sa gredie and sa covetous
Thay will not thoill in peace ane pureman be:
Suppois he and his houshald baith suld de
For falt of fude, thairof thay gif na rak,
Bot over his heid his mailling will thay tak.
O man but mercie, quhat is in thy thocht?
War than ane wolf, and thow culd understand!
Thow hes aneuch; the pure husband richt nocht,
Bot croip and crufe upon ane clout of land.
For Goddis aw, how durst thow tak on hand -
And thow in barn and byre sa bene and big -
To put him fra his tak and gar him thig?
The thrid wolf ar men of heritage,
As lordis that hes land be Goddis lane,
And settis to the mailleris ane village,
And for ane tyme gressome payit and tane;
Syne vexis him, or half his terme be gane,
With pykit querrellis for to mak him fane
To flit or pay his gressome new agane.
His hors, his meir, he man len to the laird,
To drug and draw in cairt or in cariage;
His servand or his self may not be spaird
To swing and sweit withoutin meit or wage:
Thus how he standis in labour and bondage
That scantlie may he purches by his maill
To leve upon dry breid and watter caill.
Hes thow not reuth to gar thy tennentis sweit
In to thy laubour, with faynt and hungrie wame,
And syne hes lytill gude to drink or eit
With his menye, at evin quhen he cummis hame?
Thow suld be rad for richteous Goddis blame,
For it cryis ane vengeance unto the hevinnis hie
To gar ane pure man wirk but meit or fe.
O thow grit lord, that riches hes and rent,
Be nocht ane wolf, thus to devoir the pure!
Think that na thing cruell nor violent
May in this warld perpetuallie indure.
This sal thow trow and sikkerlie assure:
For till oppres, thow sall haif als grit pane
As thow the pure with thy awin hand had slane.
God keip the lamb, quhilk is the innocent,
From wolfis byit and men extortioneris;
God grant that wrangous men of fals intent
Be manifest, and punischit as effeiris;
And God, as thow all rychteous prayer heiris,
Mot saif our king, and gif him hart and hand
All sic wolfis to banes of the land.
The Paddock and the Mouse
Upon ane tyme, as Esope culd report,
Ane lytill mous come till ane rever syde:
Scho micht not waid, hir schankis wer sa schort;
Scho culd not swym; scho had na hors to ryde;
Off verray force behovit hir to byde;
And to and fra besyde that revir deip
Scho ran, cryand with mony pietuous peip.
"Help over! Help over!" this silie mous can cry,
"For Goddis lufe, sum bodie, over the brym."
With that ane paddok, in the watter by,
Put up hir heid and on the bank can clym,
Quhilk be nature culd douk and gaylie swym.
With voce full rauk, scho said on this maneir:
"Gude morne, schir Mous! Quhat is your erand heir?"
"Seis thow," quod scho, "off corne yone jolie flat,
Off ryip aitis, off barlie, peis, and quheit?
I am hungrie, and fane wald be thair at,
Bot I am stoppit be this watter greit;
And on this syde I get na thing till eit
Bot hard nuttis, quhilkis with my teith I bore:
Wer I beyond, my feist wer fer the more.
"I have no boit; heir is no maryner;
And thocht thair war, I have no fraucht to pay."
Quod scho, "Sister, lat be your hevie cheir;
Do my counsall, and I sall find the way,
Withoutin hors, brig, boit, or yit galay,
To bring yow over saiflie, be not afeird -
And not wetand the campis off thy beird."
"I haif mervell," than quod the lytill mous,
"How can thow fleit without fedder or fin?
This rever is sa deip and dangerous,
Me think that thow suld droun to wed thairin.
Tell me, thairfoir, quhat facultie or gin
Thow hes to bring the over this watter wan."
That to declair the paddok thus began:
"With my twa feit," quod scho, "lukkin and braid,
In steid off airis, I row the streme full styll,
And thocht the brym be perrillous to waid,
Baith to and fra I swyme at my awin will.
I may not droun, for quhy my oppin gill
Devoidis ay the watter I resaiff:
Thairfoir to droun, forsuith, na dreid I haif."
The mous beheld unto hir fronsit face,
Hir runkillit cheikis, and hir lippis syde,
Hir hingand browis, and hir voce sa hace,
Hir loggerand leggis, and hir harsky hyde.
Scho ran abak, and on the paddok cryde:
"Giff I can ony skill off phisnomy,
Thow hes sumpart off falset and invy.
"For clerkis sayis the inclinatioun
Off mannis thocht proceidis commounly
Eter the corporall complexioun
To gude or evill, as nature will apply:
Ane thrawart will, ane thrawin phisnomy.
The auld proverb is witnes off this lorum:
Distortum vultum sequitur distortio morum." 19
"Na," quod the taid, "that proverb is not trew,
For fair thingis oftymis ar fundin faikin;
The blaberyis, thocht thay be sad off hew,
Ar gadderit up quhen primeros is forsakin;
The face may faill to be the hartis takin;
Thairfoir I find this scripture in all place:
`Thow suld not juge ane man efter his face.'
"Thocht I unhailsum be to luke upon,
I have na wyt quhy suld I lakkit be?
Wer I als fair as jolie Absolon,
I am no causer off that grit beutie;
This difference in forme and qualitie
Almychtie God hes causit dame Nature
To prent and set in everilk creature.
"Off sum the face may be full flurischand,
Off silkin toung and cheir rycht amorous,
With mynd inconstant, fals, and wariand,
Full off desait and menis cautelous."
"Let be thy preiching," quod the hungrie mous,
"And be quhat craft, thow gar me understand,
That thow wald gyde me to yone yonder land."
"Thow wait," quod scho, "ane bodie that hes neid
To help thame self suld mony wayis cast.
Thairfoir ga tak ane doubill twynit threid
And bind thy leg to myne with knottis fast:
I sall the leir to swym - be not agast -
Als weill as I." "As thow?" than quod the mous.
To preif that play, it wer our perrillous!
"Suld I be bund and fast, quhar I am fre,
In hoip off help? Na, than I schrew us baith,
For I mycht lois baith lyfe and libertie!
Giff it wer swa, quha suld amend the skaith,
Bot gif thow sweir to me the murthour aith:
But fraud or gyle to bring me over this flude,
But hurt or harme?" "In faith," quod scho, "I dude."
Scho goikit up, and to the hevin can cry:
"O, Juppiter, off nature god and king,
I mak ane aith trewlie to the, that I
This lytill mous sall over this watter bring."
This aith wes maid; the mous, but persaving
The fals ingyne of this foull carpand pad,
Tuke threid and band hir leg, as scho hir bad.
Than fute for fute thay lap baith in the brym,
Bot in thair myndis thay wer rycht different:
The mous thocht na thing bot to fleit and swym;
The paddok for to droun set hir intent.
Quhen thay in midwart off the streme wer went,
With all hir force the paddok preissit doun,
And thocht the mous without mercie to droun.
Persavand this, the mous on hir can cry:
"Tratour to God, and manesworne unto me!
Thow swore the murthour aith richt now that I
But hurt or harme suld ferryit be and fre."
And quhen scho saw thair wes bot do or de,
Scho bowtit up and forsit hir to swym,
And preissit upon the taiddis bak to clym.
The dreid of deith hir strenthis gart incres,
And forcit hir defend with mycht and mane.
The mous upwart, the paddok doun can pres;
Quhyle to, quhyle fra, quhyle doukit up agane.
This selie mous, plungit in grit pane,
Gan fecht als lang as breith wes in hir breist,
Till at the last scho cryit for ane preist.
Fechtand thusgait, the gled sat on ane twist,
And to this wretchit battell tuke gude heid;
And with ane wisk, or owthir off thame wist,
He claucht his cluke betuix thame in the threid;
Syne to the land he flew with thame gude speid,
Fane off that fang, pyipand with mony pew;
Syne lowsit thame, and baith but pietie slew.
Syne bowellit thame, that boucheour with his bill,
And bellieflaucht full fettislie thame fled,
Bot all thair flesche wald scant be half ane fill,
And guttis als, unto that gredie gled.
Off thair debait, thus quhen I hard outred,
He tuke his flicht and over the feildis flaw.
Giff this be trew, speir ye at thame that saw.
My brother, gif thow will tak advertence,
Be this fabill thow may persave and se
It passis far all kynd of pestilence
Ane wickit mynd with wordis fair and sle.
Be war thairfore with quhome thow fallowis the,
To the wer better beir the stane barrow,
For all thy dayis to delf quhill thow may dre,
Than to be matchit with ane wickit marrow.
Ane fals intent under ane fair pretence
Hes causit mony innocent for to de;
Grit folie is to gif over sone credence
To all that speiks fairlie unto the;
Ane silkin toung, ane hart of crueltie,
Smytis more sore than ony schot of arrow;
Brother, gif thow be wyse, I reid the fle
To matche the with ane thrawart fenyeit marrow.
I warne the als, it is grit nekligence
To bind the fast quhair thow wes frank and fre:
Fra thow be bund, thow may mak na defence
To saif thy lyfe nor yit thy libertie.
This simpill counsall, brother, tak at me,
And it to cun perqueir se thow not tarrow:
Better but stryfe to leif allane in le
Than to be matchit with ane wickit marrow.
This hald in mynd; rycht more I sall the tell
Quhair by thir beistis may be figurate:
The paddok, usand in the flude to duell,
Is mannis bodie, swymand air and lait
In to this warld, with cairis implicate:
Now hie, now law, quhylis plungit up, quhylis doun,
Ay in perrell, and reddie for to droun;
Now dolorus, now blyth as bird on breir;
Now in fredome, now wrappit in distres;
Now haill and sound, now deid and brocht on beir;
Now pure as Job, now rowand in riches;
Now gounis gay, now brats laid in pres;
Now full as fysche, now hungrie as ane hound;
Now on the quheill, now wappit to the ground.
This lytill mous, heir knit thus be the schyn,
The saull of man betakin may in deid -
Bundin, and fra the bodie may not twyn,
Quhill cruell deith cum brek of lyfe the threid -
The quhilk to droun suld ever stand in dreid
Of carnall lust be the suggestioun,
Quhilk drawis ay the saull and druggis doun.
The watter is the warld, ay welterand
With mony wall of tribulatioun,
In quhilk the saull and bodye wer steirrand,
Standand rycht different in thair opinioun:
The saull upwart, the body precis doun;
The saull rycht fane wald be brocht over, I wis,
Out of this warld into the hevinnis blis.
The gled is deith, that cummis suddandlie
As dois ane theif, and cuttis sone the batall.
Be vigilant thairfoir and ay reddie,
For mannis lyfe is brukill and ay mortall.
My freind, thairfoir, mak the ane strang castell
Of gud deidis, for deith will the assay,
Thow wait not quhen - evin, morrow, or midday.
Adew, my freind, and gif that ony speiris
Of this fabill, sa schortlie I conclude,
Say thow, I left the laif unto the freiris,
To mak exempill or similitude.
Now Christ for us that deit on the rude,
Of saull and lyfe as thow art Salviour,
Grant us till pas in till ane blissit hour.
Though fictional; old
based; even so
also; why; (see note)
reprove thee; misdeeds; (see note)
by example; (see note)
similar; through; rough field; (see note)
If; ploughed; great
Springs; grain in first shoots
So does; sweet meaning; (see note)
purpose [for] whoever
though; tough; (see note)
Holds the kernel sweet; tasty; (see note)
beneath a fictional
With serious subjects to mix
lighten; spirit; make
always; (see note)
grave; merriness to mix
myself; (see note)
Into; tongue from Latin; attempt
my own intention; vain
by request; order
whom; is not necessary to
I need (to); because
unreasoning beasts spoke
syllogism expound; also
Which always loves; delight
shame; restrain; stop
habit; daily ritual
so deeply is rooted; (see note)
in (to a); transformed; (see note)
eloquent and excellent; (see note)
In metaphors wrote
Endure the scorn of high; social status; (see note)
Seeking; food; pretty jewel
shall hear soon
once with feathers pretty
bright; bold; poor
Flew; at dawn
Scratching; rubbish (ash) by chance
pretty jasper; (see note)
young girls foolish
as long as; (see note)
By chance; same
Pity; situation; (see note)
buried; muck and earth; (see note)
great virtue; color
though; beloved; precious
love far; of lesser worth
husks; empty stomach
rather; scrape here; (see note)
offal; seek; life's
help despair; (see note)
You have no grain; need
wives; watching; easy; (see note)
food; if I might
live on beauty
care; consider, cooks
does; (see note)
properties seven; (see note)
Protects; situations (cases)
fortune to prosper
accidents; (see note)
(unique) of color
Signifies; learning; (see note)
strong (enough) to have
Over all vices
overcome peril; circumstance
maggots; water; destroy; (see note)
fool be compared
goodness knows; moreover; learn
carelessly; (see note)
trough would sow; (see note)
the ignorant who
That; noble; rare
(If) we have; ask
knowledge though; bare
waste but air
Go seek the jewel
two mice; (see note)
whom; dwelt; thriving
lived in the country nearby; (see note)
solitary sometimes; bush; (see note)
Sometimes; grain; harm; (see note)
live by; hunting; (see note)
Tax-free also without customs; (see note)
cheese; meal; cupboard; chest; (see note)
thought of; in the country
longed to hear
in the woods; (see note)
over valley and hill
wild; (see note)
swamp; moor; hills, bush
furrow; unploughed strip; (see note)
hearty cheer; if you; (see note)
Was displayed when these
shown; (see note)
a while; laughed; wept
fared until; mood
walking together; chamber went
humble dwelling; (see note)
Of moss; fern; miserly; (see note)
simple shell; buried stone; (see note)
entrance; lofty; broad
together; without delay
such pilferers love
lodged; these simple
pantry hastened; (see note)
peas instead of; (see note)
city mouse puffed; (see note)
both; one womb
tradition and custom of; (see note)
father living; (see note)
ownership; (see note)
Because; as well as; (see note)
These withered peas; pierced
accustomed was; (see note)
If you please, such
remain all year
happy and hearty
servings of food
sweet; (see note)
feasts; (see note)
happy; to boil a cow for him; (see note)
As long as goodness; carver
twisted visage; courses
half in jest
Leave; (see note)
(fasting); Easter feast
scraps; whole budget
aplenty with ample security
snare; boxtrap; (see note)
rustic; grass; grain; (see note)
bushes; secretly; (see note)
far; there; house (wain)
Without "Hello"; shelter; taken
pantry; food (in) great plenty
shelves high; (see note)
meat; enough; salted
sacks; groats, meal; (see note)
[saying] grace; washed
cut in big pieces
happy taunt; mien
If; by reason found
Between; chamber; meager
last; (see note)
aid; an appetizer
plate of groats; dish
Unleavened cakes; believe
bread; jelly; (see note)
white; chest stole; (see note)
give a relish to
Thus; until; no more
after joy often; care
lingered; wash up
ran off, as if the foremost would; (see note)
simple; great pity
deprived of any good advice; (see note)
fear; faint nearly
butler; leisure to remain
seek; clean up; chase; (see note)
bold city mouse; leaving; seen
trembled foot; (see note)
such plight found her
Then comforted; honey
meal; peril is passed
fear; discomfort; (see note)
entreaty; bade her rise up
"God speed"; (rose) up
to; like fire off flint
The cat; caught; (see note)
Sometimes; gaily; any; (see note)
Sometimes; let; straw
blind-man's buff; (see note)
simple; pain; caused
baseboard; crept; (see note)
paneling; (see note)
claws; did hang; (see note)
Then; leapt; stop
To; (see note)
banquet; mixed; care
goose; garlic sauce
appetizer; meal; pain; (see note)
hereafter; happen; (see note)
curtain; woodwork partition
afterwards; fared; (see note)
wool; although; large
well furnished; kitchen; parlor; (see note)
beans; rye; wheat
desired; enough; eat
if; heed; (see note)
moral; (see note)
vetches are mixed; seed
earthly; free; (see note)
especially; most high
Whoever has enough
Often result (in)
security; (see note)
wanton; is accustomed to feed
belly; (see note)
Protect; of death; (see note)
and has eyes for (seeks) the mouse
earth; (see note)
own; even though; ember
Though brute; (see note)
Yet each one (see note)
fierce boar; wolf
guard the house
Unknown; (see note)
species having so many differences
wit; recite; (see note)
Between; noble; (see note)
a hamlet (in) those days
earned; food from; distaff
watch; jolly rooster
sorely; farmyard went himself; (see note)
Weary of night; flown
stratagems; tricks; (see note)
Feigning; appearance; mood
with a jump
filled; stomach; (see note)
food; midden; moors
gave my best care
sweet one died
died; birch bough
Then; funeral mass; (see note)
stomach; (see note)
toes; (see note)
might I thrive
skill; a little
have no doubt
Both close his eyes
vanity; (see note)
Trusting; great praise therefrom
Unwarily closing his eyes; (see note)
then; himself ready
woods without tarrying; fled
interception having; fear; (see note)
robbery; clamor; (see note)
situation; (see note)
nightingale; clock; (see note)
According to his natural strength
Cease; (see note)
frantic; to make
Saint John to cite
wounded; (see note)
lovemaking (chamber sport)
Feeble; (see note)
happy in sorrow; remedy
had dissembled; (see note)
without love; (see note)
know of each; score
promise; free; (see note)
lover; [sexually] caress our rump
preacher; sternly; (see note)
so loose (wanton)
wenches; (see note)
choose themselves not to repent; (see note)
trusted; do his will; then run; (see note)
murdered by the fox
Together without grumbling go
without delay; sprang; field
Like fire from flint; flew
hounds; in a pack; (see note)
grant; (see note)
Take; provide guarantees
weak from exertion
stop; promise; stir
falseness fails always
flew; bough; (see note)
at what; laughed
without meat or fee
robber, get away; (see note)
severed; (see note)
stupid; closed my eyes
Through which; lost
(a) greater fool; (see note)
prey; doubt; (see note)
enamelled with figurative typology
meaning aptly suitable
fictional; of the text
blood; (see note)
of necessity must have
flatterers; pleasing; fair
flatter; lie; whole
Than to give lies hasty
sugar sweet; similarities
deadly; (see note)
to those who see clearly
flattery; vain glory
poaching meddle; (see note)
placed; above; eye; high
each one; taught
entered; (see note)
fox; did understand
without more ado
destiny; also my fate; know; (see note)
mixed; fate; (see note)
bad life; unless
Death; (see note)
beset each; (see note)
poor; (see note)
When "Stretchneck"; "Gallows Bird"
as our reward; neck; (see note)
From a crag; eye
coming; (see note)
Do-harm; wonderfully sly; (see note)
cloister; (see note)
certain; (see note)
pale; (see note)
Had the good fortune; confess
simple; laughed; (see note)
theft and robbery; enough
seal (of confession)
fox; way; speak; (see note)
have recently let blood
am ashamed to beg; know
lack; (see note)
third; go; (see note)
Will; submit to penance
Sickly; weak; (see note)
innocent; on the path to
body; worm's meat
agree; give me permission
lack; diet; (see note)
need; permission to do so
wild stormy waves; (see note)
Astounded; like a rock
(Than to) be
Now must I scrape; (see note)
boat; (see note)
lack of food grieving
Looking; food; find
herd of goats
Then; ditch; runs
dunked; saying to him
As soon as; then; dragged
glade; fear; went
Stretching his stomach
belly; arrow appropriately; (see note)
every; carefully; search
drew; before he could move
goatherd; seized; arrow; (see note)
sudden; unshriven; (see note)
exhorting; repent; (see note)
such a similar; (see note)
weep; (see note)
Custom; in (natural) attribute
Observe; note; (see note)
examine (feel remorse in)
go; (see note)
heir; begotten legitimately
estate; (see note)
Who loved; tug and tear
generation by generation
bastardry; wrongful inheritance; (see note)
in his begetting
From his lineage was bound
food by scent
happy he found
By sudden shot
prevail and rule
Then; body; peatbog goes
foolish; Steeped in worldliness
acquire wrongly goods; (see note)
enrich; heir; dead
say (prayers); (see note)
fox; went up; crag
message case; bore
Hear! Hear!; (see note)
case a document; did he bring; (see note)
everlasting without; (see note)
regal elevation; high
Let; know at once
grasses growing thickly, tall; (see note)
thrush; blackbird; loudly
darting; (see note)
jaspers joined; adorned
poles; pavilion; set; (see note)
Based on the message
go; (see note)
carried before him
leopard?; run; (see note)
river, rushes, and reed
pretty jennet; (see note)
doe; roe; horned
bear; wild ox; boar
wild man; she-wolf; (see note)
hedgehog; limping hare
foolish goat; simple
beaver, pig; waddling badger; (see note)
polecat; beaver (Scottish)
bloodhound; (see note)
whining stoat; weasel
martin; rabbit; squirrel
marmoset; mole; (see note)
proceeded; fear of death
Hastily trudged up; height; (see note)
Seeing these; ready
start; glanced; (see note)
fear; bowed; awe
noticed; bow; (see note)
mixed shall be always
lay low as
fox; has no designs on
ravenous; run wild on a raid
swear suitably; (see note)
Opened the proceedings properly
jumped up; astonished; frightened
Tearing; loud cry
Quaking; fear; gasping
called; punish such criminals
if I show myself; destroyed
sought if; noted
there is no good choice
nothing but death
around his eyes; (see note)
hide and seek; (see note)
dejected, stupid, and spiritless
arrested for theft
countenance; you're shamed
duplicity I advise you
From which; follows; death
rank proper; (see note)
species he had a
If; earth; (see note)
none; brood mare; (see note)
Injured; hock; lame
knowledgeable in learning
Rearing up; wretches; (see note)
thicket; root; hastily
in contempt; (see note)
mockery and foolishness
if you can read it
scholar at all things
much experience; (see note)
document of exemption
knocked; crown; (see note)
Half-dead; prostrate; (see note)
once give it up; (see note)
weeping; (see note)
wound planning; revenge
went; stream; (see note)
By chance; moor
small flock; dancing; wall
red; (see note)
smart old scholar
read; exemption plainly; (see note)
red (bloody) cap; gave
proverb; who attention; pays
scholars; (see note)
pain of one misfortune
commotion; good sport; (see note)
Explained her plight in
doggedly; (see note)
Against; stalker; withdrew
If; true [what] the innocent [of] you has
by murder; easily
select a jury; (see note)
theft; petty treason; (see note)
bound; judge; bade quickly
pronounce sentence; clothes
foot his leave he takes
ape; executioner; bade; (see note)
from the lead distill
Solemn interpretation; later; (see note)
figuratively; (see note)
seek; goods; (see note)
rule; gain power; reign
personal possessions; (see note)
For; walking; (see note)
strive; please in every; (see note)
voluntary; (see note)
gain power; reign
Her hoof; death
If; must; (see note)
From (the time); cleanse
besiege; religious life; (see note)
sudden; constant; (see note)
consistory court; (see note)
loaf of bread; recover
having no part of
attend; (see note)
Who had picked out; eyes
Immediately; (see note)
Endorsed; (see note)
hour; (see note)
notary; (see note)
plea; under consideration
Who were joined fast; group
owe; time period
Using his own wits without
many a shepherd knows
distant; illegal; (see note)
late; evening; this
bear; badger; under consideration; (see note)
no merit; legally; (see note)
Searching; statutes; (see note)
as well; truth
civil law; evaluate; (see note)
one doctrine; another; (see note)
For (neither); know; yield; (see note)
summarily; plainly; (see note)
condemnation; published; (see note)
conclude plea; glad
scholars; ask; correct
was arraigned; (see note)
rose; against; complained
amount; in advance
That condemned; helpless
fearing more; (see note)
commanded; (see note)
By tyrannous; interest
Even though; (see note)
shall; come to agreement
list of offenses; (see note)
see whether; truthful
erase; (see note)
bribe from; exact; (see note)
harsh; wither; (see note)
barren hillsides; abode; (see note)
bad weather; shield
force and cunning
fidelity; (see note)
Because of which; poor; undone
Without; bribery; allow; (see note)
as if anyone
poor; skinned; misdeed
happy; usury most
dale and down
beams; (see note)
without a guide
boughs broad blossomed above
sprouting; grass plentiful
had an abundance
thicket; branches; (see note)
purple violet; (see note)
thrush; blackbird; make
burst forth; hillside
birds' songs; (see note)
Then; sign of the cross; eyes; (see note)
cloth as white
shirt; of deep purple cloth; (see note)
eyes were large
curly; (see note)
swan's-quill; behind; ear
gold writing case
well furnished; attire
Right; at a vigorous pace
to be sure; (see note)
schools I went
known; familiar; learned
even though; fictional
deign; (see note)
let [it] be
[there are] few
corrupt; (see note)
knows but; learn
weary because of the hunt; (see note)
reinvigorate his legs
playful and nimble; round
made their path
Sooner; (see note)
full [of food]
every kind; such; [is] proper
let you know
[Even if] I
fear on knees
gallows hauled by; (see note)
gentility I plead
Unless; grant clemency; (see note)
Accustomed to be
Help; if you are
ropes strong; bound
Then gathered hunters; row
small hunting dogs
Now; fro until
strong ropes; entwined
lying; mourning; lament; (see note)
earth stood in awe
Without hope; without; (see note)
here must I lie, allas
Who; aid; bonds
As soon as
showed her mercy
Unless I return in some way; (see note)
went above; (see note)
By means of
calm and sheltered
pleasure mixed; abundant
These; common folk
because they feel no respect
repaid a debt; (see note)
complete mistress; leader
These; set; (see note)
clergy: constantly; (see note)
blindness; physical body; (see note)
working of the spirit
Their eyes are weak
birds; strongly; fly
Cutting; feathers great
barns have stocked
the plenty of the season
wheat; other grain
wanes when stern
Into quiet; nearly slain
dales; puddles drowned
wood hidden with hoar-frost
lovely boughs are blasted; (see note)
awful; (see note)
Lying huddled; caves
spring; is gone
columbines spring up
fled; hard; (see note)
thrush; blackbird; sing
hiding; hill; valley
happy; storms; gone
(ready for planting)
Fertile; nourish; potent seeds
Wandering thusly; joy
ditches; plough guided; (see note)
hopping; sower's wake
paused; beautiful hill
likes of which
dispell; fear; (see note)
sowing; flax seed; (see note)
which he plans; catch
advise we go
remedy [this matter]; instantly
helps; anticipate; (see note)
peril more easily himself to; (see note)
child; easy to dress; (see note)
neck to bow; blow
whirr; flew; field
as landrails croaking; (see note)
by luck; chance
soon; cry; (see note)
flax; in growth
skewered; peasant's spit
Unless: more cautious
caused to die
flax; churl harvests; (see note)
soaked; stream; then
woods; hills; streaked
Dells; hollows; slippery
beautiful birds; hunger
boughs bare; help
chaff scratch until
when it might help; (see note)
has no recollection
butcher beat those
in a daze
head; broke the neck; (see note)
was at leisure; scholarly
many others; wrote
peasant; bondman; lacking
Sowing; chaff; slay
dear has bought
delight; (see note)
by habit and consent
weaves; merciless and crude
only empty; true
Greedy; gather things
chaff; (see note)
escape; (see note)
chaff; these worthless things
These hidden; perceive
knows; condition; endure
depart from sin
cease all war; (see note)
Once upon a time; lived
thieving; by stealing
If; friendship; enmity
fury he worried; (see note)
saw first; pretended; exhausted
give you leave
catch capons in
lurking low; kill hens
is not profitable to
afraid if; out and about
smell my scent
escape even if; injured; (see note)
approach up wind
problem indeed; trick
escape; a mile (away)
any; way beguile
pointed two; eyes
Cause me to be recognized
hear you lie
forecast perils; tricks to maintain
excuses; (see note)
bush; stratagems; go
Falsehood; always fail
for [fear of]
Easter when; poultry eat
in good condition
think to draw; straw; (see note)
if; most proper
strong rope; tied; tree; (see note)
loyal above all living creatures
are suspicious of me
even if; necessary
fishmonger; horse; creels; (see note)
suggest; seek; means
in readiness for these
penniless I know
Even though; beg; peasant
figure out; blur; eye
You must take pains; help
follow a little later
gather herring; role
went a long way around
feigned; without doubt
at length unseemly
white; two eyes
hung; hand's breadth from
path he danced; toes
As if he heard; [so] he capers
Such a marvel saw
think; worried; scoundrel
wife's curse I think
laces steal; pelt
To keep; warm
haste he grabbed; heels
hard blow he swung; in; creel
stopper before he finished
one by one
creel; hurled; good number
loudly; (see note)
leapt out from the creel
returned to his den
Stay; neckherring; (see note)
That's; horse, creel; rest; (see note)
beshrew myself if
at a high
trembled with rage
justified; lost that scoundrel
as much good
pole that scoundrel
cut; angry; (see note)
strong man is never in need if
thrice without doubt
weight; nearly pulled my fangs
even if I hang
if my claws (weapons)
knows I wished for
glistening, shining like a partridge eye
if; three times that much
if you're not taken by
go the long way around
lie still; churl
in that place
eyes be closed
as I may thrive
think; is not able; carry; (see note)
secured; (see note)
go; until Easter
make the sign of Cross; toe
jumped up quickly and departed
stretched out in the road, before
on the side of his head firmly
Caring; about; ill-will
completely forgets; tricks
as angry; (see note)
with his load
manner; (see note)
if he alighted; knows
blow; fall; bones
high; raised; angry
swooned; died on the spot
blows; before; feet
laughed out loud; thus
deaf; dazed; swooning
lie; cunning; (see note)
somewhat; before I stop
thieving; doubtless (no lie); (see note)
Whatever; nature must die
thought of death
war to be laid waste
lying and guile
as (if); fail
only his herdsman
castrated oxen he urged on
teamster; loudly; (see note)
grew; hare; (see note)
threw; pattle (plough-staff); (see note)
nearer than he knew
bush; the fox as well
wild thicket; furrows'
vow; laughed spontaneously
churl's; as if
grew more obedient
soon; limping in his path
grew somewhat afraid
would have retreated
committed a fault
anything; more generous
gainsay when; reflects
if I say I'll steal
Did I give; pledge
if he be honest
recoils; fears; censured
word; as true; seal
person; honest; respected
also counterfeit; (see note)
from the thicket
promised me earlier
abide by my decision always
try; work out
allegations without lying
one ox's hide
if I might
reluctant; at all
prosper without great
bribes carry men through
hen helps a man keep a cow
holy who lift
don't care about the rest; cock
These; case secure
Cross, heedlessly; rave; (see note)
such a one
weighs a stone; somewhat
if you go to the greatest
cheese should go free
cheese of such value
farmer; (see note)
glad he escaped; evil
guarded; door until
promised a cheese; regrets
manor house; went
round as a penny
two separate buckets truly
reflection; (see note)
for once; honest
White; turnip; seal
worn-out oxen I count; fly
more suitable; such
stayed above; crank
so big; overwhelms
must help get it up if it's to be whole
leapt the rogue
weight without doubt
fox; shooting; went
came; why; rise up
jumped to; happy
Who pulled; know
By harshness, dissension
Inciting each; pursue; paths; (see note)
lost his effort; unhappy
Whosoever trusts in our rubbish
flourishes broadly; eye
A curse on
Driving; bucket; (see note)
Once upon a time
careful; guard; flock no doubt
every beast must die
grew thinner than the grass
harrassed are; (see note)
bag; wander from the farm
have been subdued; (see note)
sheep valiantly got up; (see note)
sorrow is to no avail
Completely the task
lose a lamb
advice; certain, honest
Whoever; crazy; lied about
grew; sheep proud; garment
there was lost; lamb
rough and smooth
wood; dared show; face
killed; otherwise I die
clutches he snatched
rest; (see note)
swiftly [when released] from
recklessly after the roe
Than; bog; stream
dash; clouded over
(ran at full speed)
feared [for]; if
balked at; bush nor bog
knew the ferocity
leapt; fields; puddles; mud
stream; (see note)
So that; fear befouled
road; bush; briar
unceasing; knew no haven
Until a briar bush tore
Then; hanging; backside; (see note)
One time; white; (see note)
too far, if; known
haste he grabbed
Even if; laugh
jesting in earnest
afraid; in flight
Do you call
better; great fright
That; fear; befouled
Thrice; made me shit
haunches the evidence
too short; sharp
Otherwise fleeing burst
fleeing person has a pursuer
anyone can prove it
Since; jested; to
shall have; bones
servant; cross; once
Before; pieces shook
a prudent example
parallels of [its]
From their station
respect; no way
Until; turns their heels
another surpasses others
If; success; acclaim
disparage; (see note)
take no heed
knows; state; last
benches; slippery; (see note)
station [in life]
to whom; respect
Even if; gallant; attire
So it happened; innocent
drank to quench
with the same
good (safe); (see note)
rearing up; (see note)
bared; hostile; (see note)
bold to defile; brook; (see note)
almost (enough) you; hang
by your leave; (see note)
Nonetheless; know; prove
know as well
am not able
must of itself
Thus; run upstream
sucked; paps; mother
by nature, similarly
in confusion; menace; threat
year if I used
each; consequences; (see note)
Such as punishment; (see note)
misdeed; bear the pain
spare; (see note)
these two; neither
enemy punish; own
plead, contradict, or rebut
await an impartial jury
current procedure; (see note)
take (hear my reason)
intrude; (see note)
Where; villany; sovereignty
permit pity to remain
die; (see note)
beheaded; (see note)
Until; then; apace; (see note)
cause; without; to die
loyalty a living, as appropriate
ability; (see note)
polished; falsehood mix; (see note)
Without; bribe; poor; undoes
such; hellfire; reward
money; low social station
having stores aplenty; (see note)
suffer; poor man; (see note)
Even if; die
But for a greater price his land; (see note)
poor farmer; nothing
shack and sty; bit; (see note)
fear of God; dare
cattle-house so well-equipped
farm; make; beg
tenant farmers a lease; (see note)
tenant's fine (gressom); taken; (see note)
his mare he must lend; lord
drag; (see note)
toil; sweat; food
live; cabbage broth
beware of; (see note)
give a poor; without food; wages
believe and certainly know
Because of your oppression [of others]
As if; poor; own; (see note)
bite; extortionate; (see note)
Once upon a time
Sheer necessity compelled; wait
most hoarse; (see note)
Of ripe oats; peas; wheat
on the other side; greater
even if; funds
forget; sorrow; (see note)
Take my advice
even galley; (see note)
go across; feather; (see note)
wade; (see note)
skill or device
webbed and broad
because; (see note)
Voids; take in
wrinkled; (see note)
gangly; rough skin
Based on the body's composition
bill berries; dull
knowledge; scorned; (see note)
not responsible for
To print and impress in each
deceit; ways treacherous
know; anyone who
to try that game; too dangerous; (see note)
when I have been
Unless; murder oath; (see note)
oath; without perceiving
design; toad; (see note)
leapt; water; (see note)
cross; (see note)
the middle; arrived
Without; should be ferried
only "do or die"
bolted; forced herself; (see note)
great pain; (see note)
Struggling thusly; kite; branch
swoop before either; knew; (see note)
Happy; booty, peeping; "pew"
loosed; without pity
disembowelled; butcher; beak
elegantly; flayed; (see note)
intestines also; hungry kite
ask you of those who saw [it]
stone cart; (see note)
advise you to avoid
evil mendacious companion
whence (before); independent
take from; (see note)
commit to memory; tarry
Which by these; signified
frog accustomed; water
sorrowful; happy; briar
carried on bier
gowns; rags; cupboard; (see note)
wheel; dashed; (see note)
bound herself; leg
Bound; separate; (see note)
good works; assail; (see note)
an example; (see note)
to die at