The Palyce of Honour
GAVIN DOUGLAS, THE PALYCE OF HONOUR: FOOTNOTES
1 Which green branches poured over the pathways
2 And stand far apart (from) where (even) better folk are rejected
3 Have the sentence inscribed. Let this wretch exhibit
4 In poetical style, various different verses
5 The terrors in Calydon [caused] by Diana's boar
6 Reveal many marvels, even though you are unwise
7 On buttresses, jambs, pillars, and pleasing arch supports
8 All the best (soldiers) of knightly rank, in that melée
9 A while back, it seemed to me you had neither strength nor ability
10 To popes, bishops, prelates, and leading bishops
11 He achieves absolutely nothing who fails to keep you in mind
12 You are the only theft; theft does not much love the light
GAVIN DOUGLAS, THE PALYCE OF HONOUR: EXPLANATORY NOTES
ABBREVIATIONS: ALHTS: Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, ed. Dickson, vol. 1; Aeneid: Virgil. Aeneid, ed. Fairclough; Bawcutt: Priscilla Bawcutt, Gavin Douglas: A Critical Study; BD: Chaucer, Book of the Duchess, ed. Benson; BH: Richard Holland, The Buke of the Howlat, ed. Hanna; Brill: Brill’s New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World, ed. Canok; Bruce: John Barbour, Bruce, ed. McDiarmid and Stevenson; Burrow: John Burrow, Gestures and Looks in Medieval Narrative; CA: John Gower, Confessio Amantis, ed. Peck; Cairns: Sandra Cairns, “The Palice of Honour of Gavin Douglas, Ovid and Raffaelo Regio’s Commentary on Ovid’s Metamorphoses”; CLL: John Lydgate, A Complaynt of a Loveres Lyfe, ed. Norton-Smith; CT: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. Benson (with the titles of individual tales abbreviated as in the Riverside edition); Curtius: Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages; D: The print of PH ascribed to Davidson; DOST: Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue; E: The Edinburgh print of PH; E1: The handwritten emendations in the NLS copy of E; Eneados: Virgil’s Aeneid Translated by Gavin Douglas, ed. Coldwell; Heroides: Ovid, Heroides and Amores, trans. Showerman; HF: Chaucer, The House of Fame, ed. Benson; History: Livy, History of Rome, ed. Foster; KQ: James I, The Kingis Quair, eds. Mooney and Arn; L: The London print of PH; LGW: Chaucer, The Legend of Good Women, ed. Benson; Lyndsay: Sir David Lyndsay: Selected Poems, ed. Hadley Williams; MED: The Middle English Dictionary; Meroure: John Ireland, The Meroure of Wysdome, eds. MacPherson, Quinn, and McDonald; Met: Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. Miller; NLS: National Library of Scotland; Norton-Smith: John Norton-Smith, “Ekphrasis”; OED: The Oxford English Dictionary; OT: Old Testament; PF: Chaucer, The Parliament of Fowls, ed. Benson; PH: The Palyce of Honour, ed. Parkinson; Plin. HN: Pliny, Natural History, ed. Rackham; Quint. Inst.: Quintilian, Orator’s Education, ed. Russell; Scott: Select Works of Gawin Douglass, ed. Scott; SP: The Palice of Honour, ed. Bawcutt (in The Shorter Poems of Gavin Douglas); ST: John Lydgate, The Siege of Thebes, ed. Edwards; Statius: Statius, Thebaid, ed. Bailey; STC: Short-Title Catalogue; STS: The Scottish Text Society; TC: Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, ed. Benson; Trev. Prop.: On the Properties of Things: John Trevisa’s translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus De proprietatibus rerum, eds. Seymour and Liegey; Utley: Francis Lee Utley, The Crooked Rib; Whiting: Bartlett Jere Whiting and Helen Prescott Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases from English Writings Mainly before 1500; Wyntoun: Andrew Wyntoun, The Original Chronicle of Andrew Wyntoun, ed. Amours.
The following notes selectively elucidate difficult passages, identify likely sources, and comment on points of style. For transcriptions of the marginal glosses printed in L, see the Textual Notes. Unless otherwise indicated, classical texts are cited from Loeb editions. For Biblical references, The Holy Bible: Douay Rheims Version (ed. Challoner, 1889) is used, unless otherwise noted. Abbreviations are as provided above, with the authors and titles of classical works shortened following the Oxford Classical Dictionary, fourth edition. Unless otherwise indicated, citations of Chaucer’s works refer to The Riverside Chaucer, third edition.
Title palyce. This is a royal residence (DOST palice (n.1), senses 1a and b); later in the sixteenth century, the expression “palice of honour” could refer as if officially to a building in which the Scottish sovereign “was currently in residence” (sense 1b). A second significance pertains to a garden or habitation surrounded by a palisade (DOST palice (n.2)). In The Dreme (line 591), Sir David Lyndsay refers to heaven as “that palice preclare” (Lyndsay, p. 22). With varying emphasis and signification, the term recurs throughout PH. See the Glossary of the present edition for citations.
1 Quhen pale Aurora with face lamentable. Douglas begins with the same word as does Chaucer in the General Prologue to CT; but rather than surveying relations between natural and human existence in time, Douglas directs the reader’s attention to a mythologically sorrowful dawn and only thereafter to a paradisal garden. At the very outset, grief seems uppermost. In Ovidian terms, a pale, sorrowful Aurora portends overthrow, uncertainty, disappointment, and loss: her advent sets Phaethon on his disastrous course; Medea’s poisons appall her; she stands between light and darkness; she laments her husband’s decrepitude (Met 2.144, 1:70–71; 7.209, 703, 1:356–57, 390–91). In Ovid’s account of Memnon’s funeral at Troy (Met 13.576–622, 2:268–73), Aurora, the hero’s mother, had lost her wonted brightness (ille color, quo matutina rubescunt tempora) and had grown pale (palluerat) with grief, so that the skies became overcast (13.581–82, 2:268–70).
2 russat. The primary significance here is “reddish-brown colour” (DOST russat (adj.), sense 2), suiting the previous reference to Aurora, who is frequently called rosy-fingered in the classical sources; a secondary association is with the coarse cloth typically of this hue, used “by country people and the poor” (DOST russat (adj.), sense 1; ALHTS, pp. 14, 17, 234); the ambiguity may be meaningful in a poem that balances exalted discourse and aspirations against more lowly tendencies. The term recurs at the end of the poem, in the “envoy,” where the poet mocks his work for being clad in “russat weid” (line 2162); there, the ambiguity is scornfully resolved.
sable. The heraldic term for black (DOST sabill (n.2), sense 1), also the color of mourning (sense 2). In a secondary sense the term also refers, like modern English sable, to the costly fur, used to trim fine garments (DOST sabill (n.1)), thus contrasting with humble “russat.”
3 circumstance. In KnT, Palamon sacrifices to Venus “Ful pitously, with alle circumstaunces” (CT I[A] 2263; rhymes with “observances,” as here, line 6); the term has associations elsewhere with the commencement of a text, e.g., Wyntoun, prol., line 11.
6 observance. Chaucer’s Arcite goes into the woods alone at dawn “to doon his observaunce to May,” and there he makes “a gerland of the greves, / Were it of wodebynde or hawethorn leves,” and sings a song to May (CT I[A] 1500–12). In The Quare of Jelusy, the sun makes “every lusty hert” rise early in May “to done thair observance” (Chaucerian Dream Visions, ed. Symons, lines 11–13; see also p. 183n13).
7 garding of plesance. This may simply be a pleasant place, locus amoenus; a “plesance,” however, is more precisely a walled garden like the ones in Le Roman de la Rose or PF, into which one enters at one’s peril.
8 amyable. Though E1's emendation of "dilectabill" is tempting (see Textual Note for this line), the repetition of this term from line 5 may be significant in a set-piece prologue in the high style, featuring a “special stock” of latinate expressions, many of which are used “copiously and repetitively” (Macafee and Aitken, “History of Scots to 1700,” §9.3.4; see also §9.2.9).
10–18 So craftely dame . . . . the mystis reflectant. The passage is intricate, allusive, and redundant. Flora has adorned her bejeweled bed with dew, while plentiful, fresh, sweet, fragrant vapors are distilling silver droplets on the daisies, which the green branches hanging over the garden paths let fall, reflecting the mists with smoky incense; DOST verd(o)ur(e, (n.), sense 2, signifies a “Tapestry sewn or woven with representations of trees, vegetation, etc.,” sometimes used attributively (verdoure bed; verdeour clathis); the garden and its representation are spoken of in terms of each other.
11 Hir hevinly bed, powderit with mony a set. Douglas puns on “bed” (also line 4) and “set,” the latter denoting a cluster of buds or jewels. Lyall comments that “powderit” “is a term in [heraldic] blason; we may therefore be invited to see in Douglas’ scene not only a painting of some kind, but more specifically the stylised imagery of a heraldic device” (“Stylistic Relationship,” p. 74).
16 The silver droppis on dayseis distillant. Silver drops are “hangynge on the leves” in KnT (CT I[A] 1496); Douglas repeats the term in line 27.
17 Quhilk verdour branches over the alars yet. Compare “So thik the bewis and the leves grene / Beschadit all the aleyes” (KQ, lines 218–19).
18 reflectant. The use of this word is unusual, with DOST citing this line as a nonce occurrence (reflectant (adj.)). Here and elsewhere, Douglas is pushing the linguistic bounds of the high style.
19 The fragrant flouris, blomand in their seis. DOST cites this line as a unique application of se ("throne") to refer to a flower-bed (se (n.2), sense 1c).
20 Naturis tapestreis. Lydgate speaks of a flourishing garden as Nature’s tapestry (CLL, lines 50–52).
21–24 Above the quhilk . . . . al the skyis. Birdsong is integral to the pleasant place (Curtius, pp. 195, 197). The birds’ “greis” (Scott glosses this as “on degrees, steps, one above another,” p. 139; DOST gre (n.1), sense 1) imply precedence or even an artificial structure, as if the garden becomes an aviary (Cooper, “Ornamental Structures,” pp. 818, 819). See further the note to line 2140. Birdsong is heard again at the end of PH (see line 2098 and note).
22 twistis. Compare “[O]n the small grene twistis sat / The lytill suete nyghtingale” (KQ, lines 225–26).
25 reparcust. To “repercuss” is to cause to rebound or recoil. Lyall cites aere repercusso in Met 4.783, 1:232–33, where “it refers to the reflection of light rather than echoing sound” (“Stylistic Relationship,” p. 78n15); Ovid is referring to the bronze of Perseus’ shield having reflected the image of Medusa. The line is hypometrical as it stands. If the suffix of “reparcust” were fully articulated (“reparcussit”), the anomaly would be resolved. Douglas contributes the term to later Scottish depictions of the pleasant place: e.g., Dialog, line 201 (Lyndsay, p. 190).
30–33 Eous . . . semis reid. The name Eous derives ultimately from Ovid’s list of the four horses of the Sun (Met 2.153–54, 1:70–71). Discussing Henryson’s reference to red Eous in The Testament of Cresseid (line 211), Denton Fox notes that “[t]he four horses of the sun . . . were often treated by medieval authors, who, with a considerable amount of variation, assign to each horse a part of the day”; Eous “was usually described as red, because of the colour of the rising sun” (Poems of Robert Henryson, ed. Fox, p. 357).
32 assiltré. On the chariot of the Sun, see Met 2.107–08, 1:66–67. The axle-tree can be read allegorically as the axis of the sun or its course across the sky (OED axle-tree (n.), sense 4a). Mythographically, the detail is a metonymy for the wheels of Apollo’s chariot.
40 wappit. The verb “wap” means to “throw,” “utter,” or “strike” (DOST, wap (v.), senses 1, 2, 3); its occurrence in both L and E may be a mistake for “wrap.”
41 yschappit. Douglas uses an archaic form of the past participle of “shape,” where “shapin” would be the usual form.
42 vivificative. This is the earliest instance of the learned adjective “vivificative” (from Latin vivifico) in DOST.
43 amene. “Amene” (Latin amoenus) is a prominent element of courtly diction in late-medieval Scottish poetry. See note to line 8 above.
45 beis. The industrious bees reappear in the pleasant place where the Muses rest; they are also the subject of a simile near the end of the poem (see lines 1152, 2065 and note). Maggie Kilgour comments that “Classical and Renaissance writers commonly used contrasting kinds of insects as models to describe different forms of creativity. The bee’s gathering and transformation of nectar from a variety of flowers is a common image for imitatio” (Milton and the Metamorphosis of Ovid, p. 278).
49–51 God Eolus of wynd . . . . til every plant. Echoed by Lyndsay in The Testament of the Papyngo: “That day Saturne, nor Mars, durst not appeir, / Nor Eole, of his cove, he durst nocht steir” (lines 113–14; Lyndsay, p. 62). Aeolus’ sack of unfavorable winds (Homer, Odyssey 10.1–79; pp. 358–65) has a long heritage.
50 speir. A planet’s “sphere” is its zone of movement and dominance in the heavens and thus contributes to its particular effect upon the earth (DOST sper(e (n.2), sense 2b).
53 The beriall stremes rynnyng. Beryl is proverbially associated with brightness (Whiting B263).
54–55 By bonkis grene . . . . beholde that hevinly place. “Bonkis” and “beholde” are the preferred forms in southern English; as befits the courtly style in Scottish verse, such forms are prominent in this Prologue. The latter term is key for the poem as a whole. See the Glossary for occurrences.
57–63 The soyl enbroude . . . . as Phebus schone. The b-rhymes (“stone,” “fanton”) use the medial vowel -o- characteristic of southern English in place of the northern -a-.
61 rowmyng myn alone. As Lydgate or Juvenal will be depicted (see lines 921, 1229–30 and notes), so the poet depicts himself musing, “alone”; the form of the word is southern (compare northern “alane”).
63 A voce I hard. Hearing an authoritative voice (sometimes taken to be a bird’s) is a convention in poems about a visit to the locus amoenus (e.g., the hymn to May in KQ, lines 232–38).
65 Maternall moneth. Calling May the maternal month is a Chaucerism; TC 2.50.
70 curage. For Fradenburg, “the martial aspect of ‘curage’ is being invoked alongside the maternal plenitude of May” (City, Marriage, Tournament, p. 188); Spearing glosses the word as “sexual desire” (Medieval Poet, p. 234). See further lines 83–85 and note.
81 olyve twystes. The olive branches betoken the poet’s classicism, as well as the Mediterranean associations of his scene. Douglas includes them again in the no less literary scene depicted in the prologue to Book 12 of his Eneados (line 165, 4:71; Curtius, pp. 195–202); it is noteworthy that the disembodied voice, not the visitor to the garden, mentions the olive branches.
83–84 In thee enforcis . . . . luf and armony. Here is the first of several instances in PH of the rhetorical “colour” repetitio; see further lines 128–34, 174–81. Of note is the linkage of martial and amorous “curage,” the first of many instances in PH where keenness to fight is given centrality in the array of virtues. See note to line 70 above.
89 I rasyt my vissage. The dreamer looks up to see something new four more times (lines 784, 1247–48, 1405–06, 1934).
94 Reconsell. Though the term is perhaps most straightforwardly glossed here as “To bring back, restore” (as in DOST reconsell (v.), sense 2; see also sense 3), it also reflects, Caitlin Flynn argues, other aspects of the term’s meaning, notably “To bring (a person) back into right or friendly relations” (sense 2; see also sense 4; “Grotesque,” p. 188). Along with the term “forvay” earlier in this stanza (line 92), “reconsell” indicates an awareness of being misaligned or imbalanced.
100–08 my feblyt wit . . . . so feblyt fell. In this stanza, the narrator refers three times to his enfeebled state: “febyl wyt,” “febyl strenthis,” and “[a]s femynine so feblyt.” Intensifying a fifteenth century topic of poetic self representation, Douglas appears to be returning to Chaucer’s practice in his professions of authorial modesty, which David Lawton sees as “claim[ing] a space for fiction that is apart from the public world of truth” (“Dullness and the Fifteenth Century,” p. 762). However, in the last line of this stanza Douglas is also setting up the complex, problematic attitude to femininity that resurfaces at various points in the poem. (See Introduction to this edition, pp. 43, 45–57.)
105 impressioun. The term has subjective associations, as in TC 5.372–04, “thorugh impressiouns, / As if a wight hath faste a thyng in mynde / That therof cometh swiche avysiouns” (and see Troilus and Criseyde, ed. Windeatt, notes to lines 372–07 and 374; MED impressioun (n.), sense 3c); the phenomenon is also considered a natural occurrence, as when Bartholomaeus Anglicus describes atmospheric “impressiouns” ignited at various altitudes (Trev. Prop. 11.2, p. 569). Such flashes may be considered as apocalyptic portents: “For as lightning cometh out of the east and appeareth even into the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:27).
113–17 And na ferly . . . . did me assaile. For Bartholomaeus, the “sensible soul” receives sense impressions, has its source of vital power in the heart, and generates sleep; Bartholomaeus also discusses those stimuli that cause the blood to rush to the heart to preserve the heat of the body: fear, infection, injury, pollution, cold, “whanne the spirit vitales fleth his contray and closith himself in the innere parties of the herte” (Trev. Prop. 3.15; p. 106, lines 12–13).
121–24 Tho in my sweven . . . . shortly tyl conclud. In the visionary onset of foul weather, Douglas may have drawn from alliterative tradition as represented by the influential Awntyrs off Arthure, in which dalliance “vndur a lefesale [bower]” gives way suddenly to dark “[a]s hit were mydni3t myrke” and cold, “[f]or the sneterand snawe [swirling snow] that snaypped hem snell [hurt them keenly]” (lines 70, 76, 82).
127–35 Thow barrant wyt . . . . cunnyng nakyt thee. Stemming from Classical antiquity and prized by orators such as Cicero, the captatio benevolentiae had become a dependable topic of inception and conclusion by the fifteenth century (Brill, “Captatio benevolentiae”). Gregory Kratzmann compares this passage with HF, lines 523–27: “Neither is a simple captatio benevolentiae: both reflect a concern for clear and accurate expression” (Anglo-Scottish Literary Relations, p. 120); see further line 1268.
129 nystee. Andrew of Wyntoun accuses himself of “foly or nysetee” in a comparable admission of incapacity in the prologue to his Original Chronicle (Wemyss text, 1.prol.45).
131 beggit termis. The poet depicts himself as a scrounger of more eloquent poets’ words; the terms he has acquired are not his by right. In this context, “begging” is a euphemism for “pilfering.” In his prologue to The Court of Venus (line 320), John Rolland borrows the expression “beggit termes” from Douglas.
136–53 My ravyst sprete . . . . morthurars men revyt. Chaucer describes a dream-desert in HF, lines 482–91, but a closer parallel to Douglas’ wasteland is the noisy, barren forest encircling the temple of Mars in KnT (CT I[A] 1975–80). Douglas may also be drawing on the sudden transformation of the setting from luxuriant lushness to purgatorial dreariness that is part of the tradition of visionary encounters between the living and the dead in Middle English poetry (Chism, Alliterative Revivals, p. 246).
136 ravyst sprete. Given the narrator’s earlier reference to himself as “femynine” in falling unconscious in the garden (line 108), it is possible that mention of his “ravyst sprete” could evoke memories of Heurodis, Orfeo’s queen, abducted by the fairies. In the fifteenth century, a Scottish Orpheus romance was in circulation, and fragments of it are preserved in a sixteenth-century manuscript and a nineteenth-century transcript; see Purdie’s edition of these fragments in Shorter Scottish Medieval Romances (pp. 23–33, 113–23).
138 Cochyte the ryver infernall. The comparison with “Cochyte” may arise from a recollection of Aeneid 6.131–32, 1:542–43, where the entrance to Hades is in a wood, around which Cocytus meanders. Another Virgilian source may be Georgics 4.478–79 (ed. Fairclough, pp. 252–53), where Orpheus approaches Cocytus with its “black ooze” (limus niger) and “unsightly reeds” (deformis harundo).
139 trubbyll. In place of “trubbyll” in the printed witnesses, the reading in E1, “trybbill” (“treble”), improves the rhyme and sharpens the reference to sound; nevertheless, “trouble” has contemporary associations with loud noise as an element of tribulation, as when John Ireland writes about Paradise as a place where “na trubile nore commocioune js of wynd, rayne, snaw or vthire trubile” (Meroure 2:4, 1:77).
144 skauppis brynt. The burnt hills may be an apocalyptic touch, as in the Biblical prophecy against the “destroying mountain,” Babylon, doomed to be made into “a burnt mountain” (Jeremiah 51:25).
146–47 In quham the fysche . . . . hering all fordevyt. Fishes’ clamor pertains to the tradition of apocalyptic omens. For a list of versions, see Heist, Fifteen Signs, pp. 204–14. Underpinning the tradition are scriptural passages such as Luke 21:25, on the “confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves.” In The Prik of Conscience, Jerome is cited as the authority for the signs following the coming of the Antichrist, including that for the fourth day, when “The wondursteful fysshes of the see / Shul come togedur and make roryng / Wondur hydous to monnes heryng” (ed. Morey, 5.760–62; also see Northern Homily Cycle, ed. Thompson, Homily 2, lines 117–20). The fish are described as “yelland as elvis” in that the noise they are making is otherwordly, or inhumanly strange; see the note to line 299, below.
149–53 Not throu the soyl . . . . morthurars men revyt. According to Bartholomaeus, “deserte is untiliede and ful of thornes and pricchinge busshes, place of crepyng wormes and venymouse bestes and of wylde bestes, and it is the home of flemyd [banished] men and of theves, londe of firste and of drynesse, londe of brennynge and disease, londe of wastynge and of grysenesse, londe of mysgoynge and of errynge” (Trev. Prop. 14.51, p. 721, lines 17–22). As well as preparing for the apocalyptic description at lines 346–54, Douglas is reversing the topic of creativity (sap, bees, flowers, herbs, cultivation) that predominates elsewhere in the poem.
160 I crap on fut and hand. A. C. Spearing perceives that the frightened, disgusted dreamer has already undergone a metamorphosis “into a cowering animal,” on all fours (Medieval Poet, p. 236). See further the note to lines 756–58 below.
163–92 And not but . . . . and quheil contrarius. The stanza in ten pentameter lines with the rhyme scheme aabaabbcbC is perhaps understandably quite rare. The translation of a complaint in French on the death in 1445 of the Dauphine Margaret Stewart, daughter of James I (Book of Pluscarden, trans. Skene, pp. 382–88) is in a ten-line stanza with the same rhyme scheme but without the extra refinement Douglas employs, of a final refrain. In the lament in Orpheus and Eurydice (ed. Fox, lines 134–83), Henryson employs this stanza with refrain. A single ten-line stanza in this rhyme-scheme also appears near the end of The Quare of Jelusy (Chaucerian Dream Visions, ed. Symons, p. 152). See notes to lines 607–36 and 1015–44 below.
165–92 “Allas,” I said . . . . and quheil contrarius. For the convention of the complaint against Fortune, see H. R. Patch’s classic account (Goddess Fortuna, pp. 55–80).
174–81 Now thare . . . . now defyis. Utley commented about a similar medieval literary complaint that its speaker “imprisons the conflict between the walls of antithesis, but his rhetoric accentuates rather than resolves the difficulty” (Utley, p. 33). Antithesis is a rhetorical figure commonly used to express the variability of Fortune (and of Venus; see lines 601–02 and note); another figure employed here (and frequently elsewhere in PH) is anaphora, the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of consecutive clauses.
186–87 Certis none . . . . Ya, iwys. In the prologue to Book 1 of his Eneados, Bawcutt observes, Douglas “shows his mastery of talking in verse,” and his “repeated use of correctio [as here in line 186] suggests a man in the act of thinking aloud” (pp. 166–67).
199 Amyd a stok richt prevaly I stall. Palamon in KnT similarly hides “in a bussh” because “soore afered of his deeth was he” (CT I[A] 1517–18).
199–300 Amyd a stok . . . . akyn stok mysharrit. Gower’s Rosiphilee hides among trees to watch the procession of the courtly retinue of Venus; she also accosts a straggler who has failed to obey the laws of that court (CA 4.1292–434).
201 Ane lusty rout of bestis rationall. A faint reminiscence may be detectable here of a famous exploit of the poet’s ancestor Sir James Douglas, who maneuvered his troops up to Roxburgh Castle by disguising them as a herd of oxen (Barbour’s Bruce, ed. McDiarmid and Stevenson, 10.380–99, 2:254–55).
202–03 Of ladyis fair . . . in constant weid. Uniformity of dress prevails here and at the court of the Muses (line 791), but not at the court of Venus (lines 535–43), or among the courtiers of Chaucer’s Fame (HF, lines 1323–28).
205–06 Full sobyrly thair haknais . . . . eftyr the feitis auld. Among riding horses, hackneys were “[l]ighter in frame and known for their high action in movement” (Simmons, “Rejection of the Manege Tradition,” p. 6); referring to the old style of riding, Douglas may be alluding to the humanist recovery of knowledge of ancient equestrianship, including Xenophon’s De re equestri, which Leon Battista Alberti followed in his De equo animante (1444–47; Bergstein, “Donatello’s Gattamelata,” pp. 852, 863–64).
214 swete of sware. This is a traditional phrase: DOST swire (n.), sense 1.2; MED swire (n.), senses 1a, b), especially the citations from Arthur and Merlin (line 715, Lincoln’s Inn text), The Siege of Milan (line 36), and Le Bone Florence (lines 90, 441).
215 In purpur robe hemmid with gold ilk gare. Pliny noted that a military victor honored in a Roman triumph wore a toga dyed purple with a golden trim (Plin. HN 9.127, 3:248–49). Here a “gare” is any “wedge-shaped or triangular piece of cloth forming part of a garment and serving to produce the difference in width required at different points” (OED gore (n.2), sense 3). The classicism of the image stops short enough that the actual clothing envisioned mirrors the mode of late fifteenth-century Scotland — amply cut gowns and not togas.
220 granyt violate. Cloth with ingrained dye was especially expensive and prized (ALHTS, p. clxxxiii); Pliny described the toilsome derivation of purple from sea mollusks (Plin. HN 9.125–27, 3:246–49).
224 mony fair prelate. The reference to “mony fair prelate” in the cavalcade of Venus is likely ironic; Chaucer’s Monk is called “certeinly” a “fair prelaat” (CT I[A] 204).
232 mone. The form “mone” for “mane” (the hair to refer to the head) is an extreme example of substitution of the southern -o- form to fit the rhyme scheme, where it would not appear in southern usage; see DOST mone.
236 Achitefel and Synone. The Biblical and Greek names suggest treachery (see line 282). Compare Gower, CA 2.3090 for Ahithophel, and CA 1.1172 for Sinon, the Greek spy and trickster, who conspired against Troy with the wooden horse. See also lines 278–81, 282–86, and notes.
243–44 the prudent Sibillais . . . . Cassandra, eik Delbora and Circis. The term “sibyl” could be used loosely to refer to prophetic women; the ensuing sequence of notable women and “mony a prophetis” (line 246) could be referred to thus. Possibly Douglas is referring to a specific tradition of twelve Sibyls who foretold Christian truths: the Persian, Libyan, Erythrean, Cumaean, Samian, Cimmerian, European, Tiburtine, Agrippan, Delphic, Hellespontine, and Phrygian. Exemplifying the contemporary interest in crossovers from pagan to Christian, the Dominican inquisitor Philippus de Barberis (Filippo Barbieri) compiled the prophecies about Christ ascribed to the classical Sibyls, Duodecim Sibyllarum vaticinia (the second treatise in his Opuscula, as reprinted c.1482). For a contemporary depiction of the twelve, see the Isabella Breviary, British Library, Additional MS 18851, fol. 8v.
244 Cassandra, eik Delbora and Circis. A diverse trio of prophetic women: Cassandra, also named “Sibille” in Chaucer, the unheeded prophet of Troy’s destruction and expounder of Troilus’ dream (TC 5.1450–533); Deborah, judge of Israel and prophet of victory over the Canaanites (Judges 4:4–10); Circe, the deceiver and debasing enchanter of men, who directs Ulysses homeward (Met 14.223–319, 2:316–23; paired with Calypso in CA 6.1426–71; alongside Medea and Calypso in HF, lines 1271–72).
246 Judith, Jael. Potentially controversial Biblical women who overcame men: Judith beheaded Holofernes (Judith 13:4–9; Chaucer, CT VII[B2] 3741–64; Heroic Women, ed. Peck, pp. 109–53); Jael impaled Sisera’s head with a tent-peg (Judges 4:21–22).
252 Salust, Senek, and Titus Livius. Sallust, Seneca, and Livy assume prominence in the fifteenth century as disparate models of Latin style: Douglas alludes later to Sallustian characters (Jugurtha, PH, lines 1688–89; Catiline, PH, lines 1690–91) and episodes from Livy (PH, lines 1657–80; Eneados 1.5.28n, 2:35); he may have been influenced by Quintilian’s pairing of the “famous brevity of Sallust” with the “milky fullness of Livy” (Quint. Inst. 10.1.32, 4:268–69). Apparently spontaneous, often abrupt and antithetical, and commonly contrasted to Cicero’s, Seneca’s prose style exerted a lasting influence on the writing of philosophy and theology in the Middle Ages.
253 Picthagoras, Porphure, Permenydus. Here and elsewhere in this catalogue, the selection of names in the line can be more euphonious than cogent. In the Middle Ages, the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras was famous for his beliefs in monotheism and the transmigration of souls, but also being at or near the origins of the liberal arts of mathematics and music; his reputation for learning expanded to include unrelated specializations such as surgery (CA 6.1410–11) and chess (BD, lines 666–67). Principally known in fifteenth-century Europe through Boethius’ translations, Porphyry would have been recognized as a commentator on Aristotle’s logic; a copy of his Isagoge super Organon, “a set book in logic for first-year Arts students in the medieval universities,” was donated by Bishop Elphinstone to King’s College Library; now MS 223 (Macfarlane, “Elphinstone’s Library Revisited,” pp. 68, 70; quoted on p. 70). Parmenides, pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, founded the Eleatic school of philosophy.
254 Melysses. This has been supposed to refer to Melissus of Samos, follower of Parmenides, whose words were hardly irrefutable, being criticized by Aristotle (Physics, trans. Wicksteed and Cornford, 1.184b, 185b, 186a; 1:14–15, 20–21, 28–29). A less likely candidate is Melisseus, reputed discoverer of honey (and hence such sweet things as eloquence) and inventor of the art of beekeeping; Lactantius calls him the originator of sacrifices to the gods (Divine Institutes, trans. Fletcher, 1.22; Bühler, “‘Kynge Melyzyus’”).
255 Sidrag, Secundus, and Solenyus. Sidrak (derived from the Biblical Shadrach: Daniel 3:22, 23; alluded to later in the poem, line 1555) is the sage who answers the wide-ranging questions of the Babylonian king Bokkus in the widely distributed Livre de la fontaine de toutes sciences, translated into English as Sidrak and Bokkus; in The Quare of Jelusy, “the gret philosophoure / Sydrake” is cited as a moral authority (Chaucerian Dream Visions, ed. Symons, p. 191n317–18). Though the cognomen recurs frequently, “Secundus” may refer to Julius Secundus, whom Quintilian commemorates as an important orator and friend (Quint. Inst. 10.1.120–21, 4:316–17; 10.3.12, 4:340–43). The Polyhistor (Collectanea rerum memorabilium) of the Roman geographer Caius Julius Solinus was published frequently in the late fifteenth century; John Ireland cites Solinus on kingship by election rather than lineal succession on the strictly regulated island of Caprobane (Meroure 7; 3:146–54).
257 Empedocles, Neptennebus, Hermes. Empedocles is the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher who reputedly leapt into the Sicilian volcano Etna (Horace, Ars Poetica, ed. Henderson, lines 465–66, pp. 488–89). There were two Egyptian kings of the thirtieth Dynasty named Nectanebus, the second of whom enters the medieval tradition of romances about Alexander the Great as a magician and the father of Alexander the Great (CA 6.1789–2366; Brill, “Alexander Romance”; “Nectanebus”). Hermes Trismegistus was the Greek counterpart of the Egyptian god Thoth (god of wisdom), pseudonymous author of the Hermetic writings on astrology, alchemy, magic, medicine, religion, and philosophy, and the legendary founder of Hermeticism (CA 4.2606–07 and 7.1476–92; Brill, “Corpus Hermeticum”).
258 Galien, Averroes, and Plato. In addition to Plato, these are two authoritative, influential commentators: the Greek physician and philosopher Galen (on Hippocrates) and the Arabic philosopher Averroes (on Aristotle).
259 Enoth, Lameth, Job, and Diogenes. Enoch “walked with God” (Genesis 5:24) and was therefore thought to have explored the heavens (e.g., HF, line 588); Lamech the notorious bigamist (e.g., CT III[D] 54, V[F] 550–51; Anelida and Arcite, line 150); Job, whose Old Testament book recounts his sufferings, patience, and restoration. In this biblical group, the Cynic philosopher Diogenes may fit because of his praise of virtuous poverty, his rebuke of Alexander, but also, according to Gower, his use of a tub as an observatory from whence to view “the hevene / And deme of the planetes sevene” (CA 3.1201–311, quoted at lines 1215–16).
261 Wyse Josephus. Flavius Josephus, historian of the Jews and especially the Jewish war against Rome; calling him “Ebrayk Josephus the olde,” Chaucer depicts him lifting “The fame up of the Jewerye” (HF, lines 1433, 1436).
262 Melchisedech. Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18–20), priest and king, merits a line to himself.
272–73 Knawis thou not . . . . schour of rane. The topic of youthful aspirations ignobly diverted reappears late in the poem, in the Nymph’s reflections on those who fail to reach the summit of the mountain and who fall from the walls of the palace (lines 1334–38; 1785–88).
278–81 How Davidis prayer . . . . frustrat sa fowlily. David prays to God to “turn Ahithophel’s advice to folly”; Ahithophel commits suicide upon learning that Absalom has rejected his advice; in battle against his father, Absalom was killed while caught in a tree by his hair (2 Kings 15:31; 17:23; 18:9–15, ed. Wansbrough).
283–86 First in to Troy . . . . wes at schort. Aeneas recounts the stratagems by which Sinon convinced the Trojans to bring the Wooden Horse into their city (Aeneid 2.57–198; 1:320–31). Gower draws attention to Sinon’s lighting a fire in Troy to signal the Greek attack (CA 1.1172–77).
291 sorcery or charmys. While already advocating for the prerogatives of Honour, the dreamer raises the possibility that sorcery may penetrate the Palace.
294 on rowme. Douglas employs a well-established idiom; DOST roum (n.), sense 1d.
299 elrych. This is the earliest datable appearance of “elrych” (DOST elrich(e (adj.); compare OED eldritch (adj.)). The word may recall the jesting description of the pilgrim Chaucer as “elvyssh by his contenaunce” (CT VII[B2] 703). Alaric Hall argues that “elrych” derives etymologically from Old English *æl-rce, meaning “foreign” or “otherworldly” (“Etymology and Meanings of Eldritch,” pp. 21–22).
316–27 A hart transformyt . . . . at thaym batit. Diana’s transformation of Actaeon into a hart (Met 3.131–252, 1:132–43; retold in CA 1.333–82; see also the briefer allusion in CLL, lines 94–98). “[A]s in Lydgate’s Complaynt, an apparently gratuitous treatment of Actaeon functions as a figure or symptom of the poet’s sense of the shame and peril of his own voyeuristic position in his poem” (Spearing, Medieval Poet, p. 237). For the dreamer-protagonist of PH at least, the scene provides the context for his later fear of Venus (lines 738–44); it may also relate to his recurrent sense of being “mismaid” (see Glossary).
327 Tha raif thair lord, mysknew hym at thaym batit. This line exemplifies Douglas’ recourse to the concise style: note the asyndeton (omission of a grammatically integral word, here the conjunction between “lord” and “mysknew”) and the grim pun on “batit” (Actaeon used to feed his dogs as their master; now he feeds them as their prey); for another example of this style, see line 1680.
328–29 Syne ladyis come . . . . lyke till fostaressys. This rhyme recalls HF, lines 229–30, describing Venus at Carthage, “As she had ben an hunteresse, / With wynd blowynge upon hir tresse”; Douglas, however, is thus describing true votaries of Diana, the virgin deity of women and hunting.
330 eliphant. The elephant is an emblem of chastity: “Elephantes hateth the werk of leccherye but oonliche to gendre ofsprynge” (Trev. Prop. 18.45, p. 1196, lines 21–22).
334–36 God wait that . . . . with Diane hant. The insistency and overstatement of this praise of women’s steadfastness and chastity hang on the word “professys”; in the late fifteenth century, the word is not proven to include the implication that the affirmation (of virginity in this case) is false (DOST profes (v.), sense 6; OED profess (v.), sense 3a). However, the absoluteness of “nane of thaym is variant” and “All chast” leads to an absolute reversal in the “few” of the stanza’s last line. Behind the insistence of this passage may lie encomia of women’s steadfastness such as Chaucer’s in LGW (G prol.273–310; see Hansen, “Irony and the Antifeminist Narrator,” pp. 14–15.)
338–39 Jeptyis douchtir . . . . in hir virginité. Jephthah’s daughter, doomed by her loyalty; Jephthah the Israelite vowed to sacrifice to God “whosoever shall first come forth out of the doors of my house, and shall meet me when I return in peace”; his daughter was first to meet him, and “he did to her as he had vowed” (Judges 11:30–40, quoted at verses 31, 39; see also CA 4.1505–95, and the Middle English version of the story in Heroic Women, ed. Peck, pp. 121–24).
340 Pollixena. Polyxena, princess of Troy, carried off by Agamemnon and sacrificed to appease the ghost of Achilles (Met 13.439–80, 2:258–63; compare Historia Destructionis Troiae, trans. Meek, 30.297–337). A virgin when sacrificed, Polyxena suitably appears among Diana’s attendants.
341 Panthessilé. Penthesilea, Amazon queen who, for love of Hector, fights at Troy and is killed by Pyrrhus (Historia Destructionis Troiae, trans. Meek, 28; CA 4.2139–72).
342 Effygyn and Virgenius douchter fre. Sacrificial daughters: Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon, offered at Aulis to Diana, who substitutes a doe for the human victim (Met 12.28–38, 2:182–83); Virginia, whose tale is told by Livy as a decisive instance of lustful oppression in ancient Rome (as in Bellenden’s Scots translation, History, ed. Craigie, 3.44–48, 2:142–61), and retold by Gower (CA 7.5131–306) to point the need for kings to eschew lust, and also the subject of Chaucer’s Physician’s Tale.
359 A schynand lycht out of the northest sky. This northeastern glow occurs in a dream that is couched in a fiction; it may yet be valuable to note at Edinburgh at 6:00 UTC, Venus would have been visible in the northeast sky on 1 May in 1495, 1501 and 1502 (Walker, Your Sky). The northerly advent of Venus may recall the opening of KQ, in which the planet “North northward approchit the mydnyght” (line 7).
362 nowmer. “Number” refers to ratios and proportions as well as quantity in music, and thus to relationships between components in melody, rhythm and harmony (DOST noumer (n.), sense 9).
364–81 Farther by wattyr . . . . thyng that seis. Not least for its comic handling of learned discourse, this excursus on the transmission of sound over water bears comparison to HF, lines 765–80; Bawcutt notes more substantially philosophical similarities and differences in Vincent of Beauvais’ Speculum Naturale 5.10, 5.14, 5.20, and 5.21, 18.2 and 18.7 (SP, p. 179n364–81). This is not the first indication in PH of a wide-ranging interest in the relation between sound and motion, and specifically between sound and water; see notes to lines 25, 146–47 above. In Douglas’ university education, the topic would have had curricular status through the primary authority of Aristotle, for whom the production of sound involves percussion and the transmission involves vibration: “Echo occurs when air rebounds, like a bouncing ball, from another body of air unified by the vessel which confines it” (De Anima, trans. Hett, 2.419b.26–27, pp. 110–11).
418–35 Procedand furth wes . . . . anamallyt all fassioun. In this ekphrasis, Douglas exhibits particular interest in the depiction of the chariot of the sun in Ovid’s story of Phaethon (Met 2.106–10, 1:66–69).
422 hote. The rhyme-word “hote” is the southern counterpart to the northern form hecht.
425 hamys. These are the ornamental frames on draught horses’ collars; the traces are attached by means of the “hamys” (AHLTS, pp. 284, 291).
428 crysolytis. Chrysolite is the name “formerly given to several different gems of a green colour, such as zircon, tourmaline, topaz, and apatite” (OED chrysolite (n.), sense 1a). The reference seems Ovidian, with chrysolites being singled out as decorative elements on the yoke of the chariot of the sun (Met 2.109–10, 1:68–69).
429–32 Wes all ovirfret . . . . the erth adoun. More explicitly than in the brief description of the chariot of the sun earlier in PH (line 32), this chariot is endowed with cosmological significance, its jewels and cloths conveying “proportioun” and influence, “to the erth adoun.”
434 fas . . . frenyeis. Tassels (“fassis”) decorated the trappings of the Scottish kings’ horses (ALHTS, pp. 22, 228).
444 Jerarchyes of angellys ordours nyne. In ascending order, the angelic hierarchies are (1) Angels, Archangels, and Virtues; (2) Powers, Principalities, and Dominations; (3) Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim (Trev. Prop. 2.7–18, pp. 68–84). Alluding to the creation of the angels, an earlier Scottish poet, Andrew of Wyntoun, cites “Sanct Gregour in ane omely [homily]” on the subject of “angellis orderis thrise thre” (Wyntoun, Wemyss text, 1.3, lines 33, 41); Wyntoun’s editor F. J. Amours identifies the source, Gregory the Great, Homily 34.6–8 (Wyntoun, 1:4–5). The comparison with angels’ song is proverbial (Whiting A128).
458 hir rob. The bejeweled gown Venus is wearing outdoes the best of women’s fashion in Scotland c.1498, when noblewomen’s gowns were often of satin, velvet, or camlet, “adorned with the most expensive trimmings and embroidery,” lined with broadcloth, silk, buckram, or fur, often with cloth or fur trimming at the hem (ALHTS, p. clxxxi).
462 Mair than the brycht sonne may the bakkis e. On the wide circulation of this Aristotelian commonplace (Metaphysics, trans. Tredennik, 2.1.3, 933b, pp. 84–85), see Poems of Robert Henryson, ed. Fox, p. 277n1636–42). Douglas could have encountered the passage during his studies at St. Andrews, where Metaphysics was a set text in Arts.
465 creste of dyamantis. Crests are often associated with helmets and heraldic designs (OED crest (n.1), sense 3a); they are designed more to awe than to allure. It is thus appropriate that mention of this crest introduces the topic of Venus’ power.
478 He bare a bow with dartis haw as leid. Here, Cupid’s arrows are all leaden; it is with a lead-tipped arrow that Cupid wounds Daphne so that she flees Apollo (Met 1.452–72, 1:34–35). Conventionally, lead-tipped arrows inspire hate in the victims they strike while gold-tipped ones inspire love.
480 he forsuyth had none eyn in his hed. Cupid without eyes; see also line 1470. Douglas intensifies the well-attested topic of Cupid’s being blindfolded or blind; Cupid is blind in HF (lines 137–38, 617), CT (I[A] 1965), CA (1.47), CLL (line 461), and KQ (line 654). Contrast Chaucer’s more idealized description of the God of Love, who “al be that men seyn that blynd ys he, / Algate me thoghte that he myghte se” LGW, F prol.237–38); by emphasizing Cupid’s blindness, Douglas depicts him as the “personification of illicit Sensuality” (Panofsky, Studies in Iconology, p. 121).
494–96 Duplat, triplat, diatesseriall . . . . mony syndry sortis. Douglas surveys tonal proportions in late-medieval music theory, with “sesquialtera” the eleventh (octave plus fourth) and “decupla” the tenth (octave plus third). While his discussion somewhat resembles a comparable passage in Robert Henryson’s Orpheus and Eurydice (lines 226–39), it is likely that both poets are working from a curricular source such as Boethius’ De Institutione Musica, or else Book 2 of Macrobius’ commentary on Cicero, De Somnium Scipionis 3.15–16 (trans. Stahl, pp. 196–97).
500 Faburdoun, priksang, discant, conturyng. Douglas pulls out the stops: “faburdoun” refers to improvised three-part singing, with a plainchant treble and two parallel lower parts, in parallel fourths and sixths below the melody in treble (Grove Music Online, “Faburden”); “priksang” is notated music (DOST prik (adj.2), sense a); “discant” is polyphonic singing with a plainchant tenor line and the other voices providing the “countering.”
501 Cant organe, figuration, and gemmell. These are practices of sung polyphony: “cant organe,” the singing of a second voice parallel to a plainchant (cantus); “gemel” or “gymel,” the splitting of a single voice part into two, as a solo duet, as attested in English songbooks contemporary with PH (Grove Music Online, “Gymel”); compare Henryson, Orpheus and Eurydice, ed. Fox, line 370.
502–05 On crowd, lute . . . . swete as bell. According to Gower, the retinue of Venus is announced by “a soon / Of bombard and of clarion / With cornemuse and schallemele” (CA 8.2481–83); see also BH, which includes a catalogue of musical instruments played in praise of the Virgin Mary, including “psaltery,” “sytholis,” “crovde,” “monycordis,” and “portatiuis” (lines 757–67; see especially pp. 134–36n757–66).
502 crowd . . . with mony gudly spring. The Welsh “crwth” (OED crowd (n.1), sense a) is a bowed lyre. As a dance, the spring is attested in HF, where it is learnt by “Pipers of the Duche tonge” (lines 1234–35).
503 Schalmis, clarionis, portativis hard I ring. The shawm is a loud double-reeded woodwind instrument in various sizes; the clarion, a small soprano trumpet; the portative is a high-pitched organ truly portable enough to be carried; one regularly traveled along with the King from one royal household to another (ALHTS, pp. ccxxxii–ccxxxiii). These are all instruments suitable for use outdoors.
504 Monycord. Probably not the Pythagorean single-stringed instrument used pedagogically, but the clavichord, “sometimes called monochordia by 15th- and 16th-century writers” (Grove Music Online, “Monochord”); “a pare of monicordis” accompanied James IV as he traveled from Aberdeen to Stirling in April 1497 (ALHTS, p. 329).
505 Sytholl, psaltery. The citole, a kind of lute widely used in the fourteenth century, would have been somewhat old-fashioned by Douglas’ time, having been superseded by the cittern with its wire strings and prominent frets. By the end of the fifteenth century, the psaltery (the “gay sautrie” in CT I[A] 296, 3213) with its plucked strings was being developed into an instrument capable of producing chromatic notes. The line may suggest a traditional or even archaic aspect to the music of this court.
506 releschyngis. As a term for musical ornamentation, “releschyngis” may be related to the later use of “relish” in English (OED relish (n.3), earliest citation 1561, in Thomas Hoby’s translation of Castiglione, The Courtyer).
507 Fractyonis. In late-medieval music, “fraction” can refer to time signatures and rhythmic proportion; by extension, Douglas’ terms would pertain to rhythmic subdivision, silence, and convergence in performance.
508 Pan of Archaid. Pan is a pagan deity associated with woods and flocks. He played his syrinx in competition against Apollo and his lyre (Met 11.146–71, 2:130–33).
509–10 Nor King David . . . . Kyng Saul confoundit. David’s playing of the harp initially exorcized King Saul’s evil spirit, but not later; 1 Kings 16:23, 18:10–11, 19:9–10.
511–12 Nor Amphion . . . . in his dayis. Ovid refers to Jupiter’s mortal son Amphion raising the walls of Thebes by playing his lyre (Met 6.178–79, 1:300–01; see CT IX[H] 116–18).
513 Nor he that first the subtile craftis foundit. Douglas, like Gower, names Jubal as the one who “fond” music (CA 4.2416–18, quoted at line 2418; Genesis 4:21).
517–18 Na mare I understude . . . . or a swyne. A comically overstated admission of ignorance that may recall a similar confession in Henryson’s Orpheus and Eurydice (ed. Fox, lines 240–42).
521–25 Na mair I . . . . na noyes compeir. In “Did Chaucer know the ballad of Glen Kindy?” Richard Firth Green argues that by reducing Chaucer’s list of four harpers (Orpheus, Arion, Chiron, and Glascurion; HF, lines 1203–08), Douglas is alluding to the special (and unhappy) associations with Venus shared by Orpheus and Glascurion. Green suggests that versions of what would become the ballad of Glen Kindy (Child, English and Scottish Popular Ballads, no. 67) may have been in circulation in the late middle ages, as were romances about Orpheus (ed. Purdie, Shorter Scottish Medieval Romances, pp. 23–33). For “Glaskeryane,” see the note to line 525 below.
523 And dulcer than the movyng of the speir. The music of the spheres consists of the sounds generated by the harmonious revolutions of the planets and stars. According to the medieval encyclopedist Bartholomaeus, the outermost sphere, the “primum mobile” (see note to line 1840 below) “drawith aftir him the planetis, that metith therwith. And passith forth with armonye and acorde; for as Aristotel seith . . . of ordinate meovynge of the spere and of contrarye metinge of planetes in the worlde cometh armonye and acorde” (Trev. Prop. 8.6, p. 458, lines 7–11).
525 Glaskeryane. As mentioned above (in the note to lines 521–25), “the Bret Glascurion” appears among the harpers at the House of Fame (HF, line 1208); Andrew Breeze posits that this figure may be traceable to “Gwydion son of Dôn, the famous otherworld magician, craftsman, story-teller, and bard of the Welsh: a Celtic Orpheus and more” (“The Bret Glascurion,” p. 64). See further the note to lines 1722–27.
534 Quhais lakkest weid was silkis, or brounvert. The superlative idiom “the worst [lakkest] example was x” (where x is valuable) had been used by Richard Holland to emphasize the richness of cloth: “Cled our with clene clathis . . . The esiast was arras” (BH, line 673–75). The reading in L, “silkis or brounvert,” makes sense, if not as straightforwardly as E’s “ovirbroudart” (“embroidered over”); following L, the color is described using the heraldic terms “or” and “vert” (see the note to line 2 above); “broun” in combination with another color signifies “dark”; DOST broun(e (adj.), sense 1.3, as in line 433: the reference would thus be to gilt-and-green silk as the least valuable cloth.
535 In vesturis quent of mony syndry gyse. The various styles of garment worn at the court of Venus contrast against the “constant weid” in which Minerva’s courtiers were dressed (line 203); and the dreamer-protagonist expressed satisfaction with the former.
537 Purpur coulour, punyk and skarlot hewis. In this sequence of colors, “punyk” refers to the color pomegranate, punicum malum (MED punik (n.)).
538–41 Velvot robbis maid . . . . flouris and bewis. The later 1490s witnessed a change of men’s fashion, notably in the “enormously increased width of the sleeves” (ALHTS, p. clxxiv). The amply cut, richly piled silk gowns are “begaryit,” decorated with variously colored strips of other materials: damask (silk cloth in which designs are woven), satin, “cramessy” (crimson) satin, and velvet appliqued onto them “in divers rewis.” These strips may be embroidered with designs of flowers and foliage, or perhaps such designs cover the whole gown (ALHTS, p. clxix).
540 Cramessy. See MED cremesin (n.), sense a. This is the deep red dye from crushed kermes or the cloth so dyed. The old form veluos preserved in L (DOST vellus) recurs in the ALHTS in the late 1490s (pp. 13, 21, 24, 97, 164, 256, 273, 297, 392).
542–43 Damesflure tere pyle . . . . every state renewis. Adding details of special fineness of material and workmanship, these lines intensify the impression of sumptuousness. The “flure” (underlying) velvet is “three-pile”; the cloth has been woven with three threads, producing a luxurious nap. Appliqued with strips (compare PH, line 539), and embroidered with gold thread (OED orphrey (n.), sense 1) worked with pearls, this fabric is said to “renew” every “state” — perhaps, to enhance the eminence of every high rank. “[T]he term terpoile indicates that Spanish velvet was also being imported to Scotland” (ALHTS, p. 135).
544 entire. For this unusual spelling of “attire,” see DOST entyre.
547 pattrell. See MED peitrel (n.1), sense a. This was the breastplate for a warhorse. By the late fifteenth century, it was more ornamental than practical: “Brydel & paytrel & al the gere / With fyn gold y-harneysed were” (Sir Ferumbras, line 3665); see also “bardyt” (line 551).
549–51 palfray . . . . cursere. The palfrey is a fine riding horse, fit for ladies; the larger courser has the power and speed for tournaments and battle: “Upon a courser stertlynge as the fyr . . . / Sit Eneas, lik Phebus to devyse” (LGW, line 1204). Elaborate gear for James IV’s horses was being prepared in November 1495, including “velvous to covir twa sadillis and the harnessingis of the samyne,” and a larger quantity of velvet for “the Kingis bardis”; this horse-armor was evidently overhung with trappings decorated with silk fringes and gold thread (ALHTS, pp. 261–62).
559–61 Behaldand Venus . . . . ryde or gang. On the adulterous love of Mars for Venus, see Met 4.171–89, 1:190–91, and Chaucer, Mars.
561 Hir knycht hym clepis quare so he ryde or gang. The line has the air of an English romance: even with the northern -is suffix, “clepe” is a borrowing, generally in Scots verse, from southern English (DOST clep(e, (v.), sense 1). Compare the English lyric “My lief is faren in londe” (Secular Lyrics, ed. Robbins, p. 152): “She hath my herte in holde / Wherever she ride or go” (lines 5–6).
562–63 Arsyte and Palemon . . . with fare Emylya. Unlike Douglas, in The Temple of Glas Lydgate names Chaucer as the source for his reference to Palamon and Arcite (lines 102–10).
562–64 Thair wes Arsyte . . . . fals luf Enee. The list of lovers begins in a Chaucerian register: Arcite, Palamon, and Emily, the love triangle of KnT; and a rather flatly characterized Troilus and Criseyde. Amidst this opening sequence, Dido and “fals” Aeneas seem to arise from Chaucer’s depictions in HF (lines 329–82) and LGW (lines 924–1367), but the most important source is Ovid, Heroides 7.
562–97 Thair wes Arsyte . . . . innumerabill. The attendants at the court of Venus represent various aspects of fortune and conduct in love. The sequence deserves comparison with similar lists (for instance, HF, lines 388–432; PF, lines 286–92; CLL, lines 365–99), and Gower’s parliament of exemplary lovers (CA 8.2440–744).
564 hir fals luf Enee. This emphasis on Aeneas’ falseness is Chaucerian (Legend of Dido in LGW, e.g., lines 1236, 1265–76, 1285–86, 1325–31; HF, lines 253–92; see also CA 4.77–137, where faithless Aeneas is accused of “slowthe”). Compare Douglas’ later skepticism on this account: Chaucer “set on Virgill and Eneas this wyte, / For he was evir (God wait) all womanis frend” (Eneados 1.prol.448–49, 2:16).
566 The fair Paris and plesand Helena. Though Paris and Helen appear in TC, Douglas may be thinking back toward Ovid’s letters between Paris and Helen, as well as Oenone’s letter to Paris (Heroides 16 and 17, 5).
567 Constant Lucres and traist Penolype. For Lucrece, see LGW, lines 1680–885, and Gower, CA 7.4754–5130 (and, given Douglas’ interest in Livy, see also History, as in Bellenden’s Scots translation, ed. Craigie, 1.58–60, 1:200–09); for Penelope, see Heroides 1 (see also CA 4.147–233).
568 Kynd Pirramus and wobegone Thysbe. For Pyramus and Thisbe, see LGW, lines 706–923; also Met 4.55–166, 1:182–91.
569 Dolorus Progne, triest Philomena. Procne’s husband raped and mutilated her sister Philomela: Met 6.438–674, 1:318–35; CA 5.5551–6074.
570 King David’s luif thare saw I, Barsabe. Bathsheba is in the cavalcade, but not David “bestad” with love for her (2 Kings 11:2–5; quoted in CA 6.97).
571 Ceix with the kynd Alcyon. This refers to Ceyx and Alcyone (Met 11.410–748, 2:148–73; CA 4.2927–3123); in Ovid, Alcyone learns in a dream that her husband, Ceyx, has drowned in a storm at sea, and the two of them are transformed into sea-birds.
572–73 And Achilles wroth . . . . fra hym tane. Briseis writes to Achilles to allay his anger at Agamemnon (Heroides 3).
574 Wofull Phillys with hir luf Demophon. “[T]raysed” and abandoned by her husband Demophon, Phyllis committed suicide (HF, line 390; see LGW, lines 2394–561 and especially Heroides 2); see further, line 810 and the note to lines 809–16.
575 Subtel Medea and hir knycht Jasone. The tale of Medea and Jason elicits powerful, expansive narratives from Ovid (Met 7.1–403, 1:342–71) and Gower (CA 5.3247–4222).
576 Paris and Veane. Pierre de la Cépède, Histoire du chevalier Paris et de la belle Vienne (1432); translated into English, Thystorye of the Noble Ryght Valyaunt and Worthy Knyght Parys / And of the Fayr Vyenne the Daulphyns Doughter of Vyennoys was printed by William Caxton in 1485 (STC 19206; also Antwerp: Gerard Leeu, 1492; STC 19207).
577 Phedra, Thesyus, and Adriane. Phaedra, wife of Theseus, falls in love with her stepson Hippolytus (Heroides 4); Ariadne writes to Theseus about his abandoning her on Naxos (Heroides 10; LGW, lines 1886–2227).
578 Ipomedon. Hue de Rotelande’s late twelfth-century Anglo-Norman romance Ipomedon gave rise to numerous versions, the fullest English translation being Ipomadon (ed. Purdie); the theme was perennially appealing of the ill-dressed knight who claims to prefer hunting to romantic pursuits but wins in disguise in the tournament and gains the hand of the princess.
579 Asswere, Hester, irraprevabill Susane. This line refers to indomitable Esther and the Persian king Ahasuerus, protagonists of the OT Book of Esther; and Susanna, ogled while bathing (as was Diana by Actaeon), and assertive of her innocence despite her male accusers’ slander (Daniel 13).
580 the fals unhappy Dalida. Delilah outwits and betrays Samson: Judges 16:4–21.
581 Cruel, wikkyt and curst Dyonera. Deianira writes to her errant husband Hercules, whom she unwittingly kills with a robe soaked in the poison blood of the centaur Nessus (Ovid, Heroides 9; see further the note to line 586, below).
582 Wareit Bibles and the fair Absolon. Byblis is cursed with incestuous love for her brother (Met 9.454–665, 2:34–51); given the variation of classical and biblical figures in this sequence “fair Absolon” is likely the Absalom whose “gilte tresses clere” Chaucer praises (LGW, F prol.249; also CA 8.216–22), the handsome, usurping son of King David whom Chaucer comically refracts into the Absolon of MilT.
583 Ysyphele, abhomynabil Sylla. These refer to Hypsipyle, abandoned by Jason (Heroides 6; LGW, lines 1368–679; see further PH, line 1606); Scylla, betraying her father King Nisos for love of Minos (Met 8.1–151, 1:406–16; LGW, lines 1900–21) — or perhaps the Scylla aptly described as “abhomynabil” who was transformed into a sea monster by Circe (Met 13.730–37, 898–968, 2:280–81, 290–97; 14.1–74, 2:300–05).
584 Trastram, Yside, Helcana and Anna. A strikingly variegated yet apt pairing: Tristram and Iseult, Gower’s example of love-drunkenness (CA 6.467–75); righteous Hannah, wife of Elkanah, accused of drunkenness while she prays under her breath for a son to devote to God (1 Kings 1:9–18).
585 Cleopatra and worthy Mark Anthon. Chaucer retells the tale of Cleopatra and Mark Antony (LGW, lines 580–705). See also Gower, CA 8.2571–77.
586 Iole, Hercules, Alcest, Ixion. Hercules abducts Iole and thereby earns the jealousy of his wife Deianira (Met 9.134–58, 2:12–15; see the note to line 581, above); while “Ixion” has been taken to refer to Hesione, rescued at Troy by Hercules (Met 11.211–15, 2:134–35), the name precisely echoes that of the would-be rapist of Juno, progenitor of the centaurs (Met 4.461, 1:210–11; 10.42, 2:66–67; 12.504, 2:216–17). Alcestis appears to be the odd one out in this line, dying for her husband; but Hercules is the linking factor, as he rescues her from Hades, a detail Chaucer includes (LGW, F prol.510–16) but Gower omits in his version of the tale (CA 7.1917–49).
587 The onely pacient wyfe Gressillida. Griselda, the protagonist of Chaucer’s ClT.
588 Nersissus that his hed brak on a ston. In Gower’s version of the tale of Narcissus, the hapless youth “agein a roche of ston / . . . smot himself til he was ded” (CA 1.2340, 2342; Bawcutt, “The ‘Library,’” p. 120; compare Met 3.339–510, 1:148–61).
589–91 Jacob with fair Rachel . . . firm hart immutabill. Compare Genesis 29:16–30, where Jacob twice works seven years in order to wed Laban’s daughter Rachel.
592–94 Thair bene bot few . . . so stabyll. Silk and fine linen betoken softness and whiteness (Whiting L22, S311, 313, 315), but also wealth and privilege. The relation between these fine materials and the decline of faithfulness, is a well established moral topic, as in Chaucer’s Parson’s Tale: “Seint Jerome seith that ‘wyves that been apparailled in silk and in precious purpre ne mowe nat clothen him in Jhesu Crist’” (CT X[I] 933).
601–02 Sum leivys in . . . . his panys swage. Conor Leahy notes the recurrence of the phrase “Sum levis in hoip” in Eneados 12.prol.206 (4:72), in a passage surveying men’s diverse experiences, obsessions, and sensations in love (“Dreamscape into Landscape,” pp. 163–64). In KQ, lines 605–09, a comparable survey of diverse lovers takes the form of a repetitio on “Sum.”
606–38 lay. The dreamer’s lyric is a “lay” in that it is “a poem for singing” (DOST lay (n.2)). However, it does not follow the pattern of such performances at court: the dreamer does not follow those poets “that the sciencis knewe, / Throwout the warld, of lufe in thair suete layes” (KQ, lines 593–94); nor is he one of those who “in the courte bene present, in thir dayis, / That ballattis brevis [compose poems] lustellie, and layis” (Lyndsay, Testament of the Papyngo, lines 37–38). The “lay” is more of a complaint, an expression of grief that is taken as a “formal statement of grievance to one in authority” (DOST complaint (n.)).
607–36 Constrenyt hart . . . . and cursyt destané. This complaint is formally distinguished by its virtuosic ten-line stanza (aabaabbabb). For discussion of this stanza form, see the Introduction to this edition, p. 36.
613 O cative thrall, involupit in syte. While Palamon is hiding in KnT, Arcite complains to Juno that he has been made “so caytyf and so thral” through her enmity (CT I[A] 1552).
615–16 Divide in twane . . . . in miserabill endyte. The pathetic image of the broken heart is merged into something more unsavory, with the issuing forth of bitter grievance in the form of “miserabill” writing.
625 bysnyng. In BH, the complaining owl likewise calls himself a “bysyn,” a bad example, a portent (lines 107, 959). On the recurrence of this term, see the note to PH, line 834, below.
627–36 Wo worth sik . . . . and cursyt destané. The repetitio on “Wo worth” derives from TC 2.344–47.
639 Venus on hir lyp did byte. As in Skelton’s Bowge of Courte, line 288, lip-biting betokens scorn (Burrow, Gestures and Looks, p. 45n115).
644 disdenyeit. See OED disdain (v.), sense 4b, for the impersonal construction “it disdains me.”
648 thayr hedis schuke. John Burrow comments that such head-shaking often signifies anger or scorn in medieval literary narrative (Gestures and Looks, pp. 43, 62).
651 Pluk at the craw. “Pluk at the craw” is “a game in which the craw [crow] was an object of sport to other players, who tugged his clothes or hair” (Lyndsay, p. 232n230).
652 with blek my face they bruke. On the blackening of the fool’s face in the Morris dance and the gloomy modern legacy of that practice, see Hornback, “‘Extravagant and Wheeling Strangers,’” p. 201.
653–64 Skrymmory fery gaif . . . . Mars, Cupyd, and Venus. These assailants may be alarming, but their names have diminutive or playful associations. Their performance resembles that of the lapwing and cuckoo in BH (lines 820–45). A “fery skrimmar” is an agile fencer (DOST skrimmar (n.); fery (adj.)), but the verb to skrym, “to dart; to attack” (DOST) is attested as the action of birds (BH, line 67; Eneados 12.5.68, 4:93); together with the verbal noun skirming, these forms are related to the modern skirmish. For “Chippynuty,” DOST gives the definition “The name of a sprite or goblin” (Chippynutie (n.)) but also refers to an entry for 3 December 1573 in the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, recording the summoning of Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm with a group of men, several of whom have apparently unsavory nicknames: “Huttitill,” “Blak Sande,” and finally “David Graham chipenute” (ed. Fleming, 2:307). It is possible that the nuts cracked by such a character would include the heads of hapless victims.
654 chaftis quuke. Later, the dreamer’s teeth chatter with fear (line 1330), and Catiline’s “chaftis quuke” (the note to lines 1770–73 below).
658–63 And so confoundit . . . . pane full sare. The implication is that the dreamer is too upset to notice what the courtiers are wearing — but then one would expect he “micht nocht consydyr” it. Perhaps the point is that the dreamer is so upset that he finds himself taking indelible note of details of appearance.
664–702 Entronit sat Mars . . . . now proponyt late. The defense conforms to the practices of Scottish law (indictment, plea for mercy, declaration of innocence, objection to the competency of the court [Habakkuk Bisset’s Rolment of Courtis, ed. Hamilton-Grierson, 1:174]).
665 Varius. Bawcutt (SP, p. 186n655) posits an allusion to Quintus Varius Hybrida, who famously passed a law to empower an irregular court, and who at last was sentenced and executed under his own law (Cicero called him a “barbarous creature” [De Natura Deorum, trans. Rackham, 3.81]); in the same note, Bawcutt also notes that the name may offer “a punning reference to the traditional fickleness and uncertainty” of Venus. The name “Varius” also has significant literary associations: Varius Rufus was a celebrated Latin poet whom the Emperor Augustus assigned to edit Virgil’s Aeneid (Brill, “Varius”). It is possible that each of these associations is playing into Douglas’ selection of this name.
666 Me tyl accusyng. The preposition “tyl” is the common form of the word “to” in late fifteenth-century Scots usage and appears frequently in L but not in E; in “accusyng,” the -ing suffix indicates the infinitive, a prominent southernism in Scottish courtly style (see also line 729; also the Introduction, p. 31n102).
674 cald as a key. The simile is proverbial; see Whiting K16.
683 mysmaid. All the citations in DOST for the past participle mismaid are taken from PH; see the Glossary to the present edition for line references. As used here and elsewhere in PH, the word may be an innovative derivation from both mismay (“[t]o be discouraged, disheartened or dismayed”; DOST mismay (v.)) and mismak (“[t]o make (clothes etc.) badly, to misshape”; DOST mismak (v.), sense a).
691 pietuus face. Assuming a pathetic facial expression heightens the emotional impact of an oration (Cicero, De oratore, trans. Rackham, 2.189–96, pp. 332–39); Lydgate considers it the proper look for a poet about to recite (ST, line 175). Of course, one would predictably have a “pietuus face” in a mess like this.
697 thocht I be void of lare. In this hasty, rather pro forma allusion to his lack of learning, the dreamer is making the merest of gestures toward the sort of obsequiousness expected of court poets — even though before falling asleep, he had proclaimed that he serves (“deservis”; line 93) Venus and May. Later, he will abase himself much more lavishly in expressing gratitude to Calliope (lines 1061–67).
712 Fyrst quhen thow come, with hart and hail entent. This reference to the poet’s first arrival at Venus’ court may seem biographical; probably it refers, however, to the poet’s entry into the pleasant place at the start of the poem.
716–17 Ye clerkis bene . . . . as ony snalys. The Wife of Bath is similarly unimpressed by clerks’ criticisms of women (CT III[D] 703–10). There is a cluster of proverbs ironically referring to the speed and “sharpness” of snails (Whiting S416, S421, S425).
725 Syne ye forswere baith body, treuth and handis. To swear by one’s body, faith (“truth”), or hand is conventional for oaths (DOST hand (n.), sense A.1.e); see also line 1001.
731 The feverus hew in till my face dyd myith. This is the third reference in PH to facial color (see lines 119–20 and the note to line 652 above); the dreamer, having had his face daubed with blacking, now turns pale with fear and anxiety.
732–35 swa the horribill dreid . . . . thocht I had neid. “Creid” refers to an established text setting forth the basic articles of Christian belief. Of the two principal Creeds so called, the term by itself usually refers to the Apostles’ Creed; learning this text was fundamental to Catholic liturgy and religious instruction in the Middle Ages and beyond (Catholic Encyclopedia, “Apostles’ Creed”). The dreamer’s anticipation of imminent harm makes him unable to recite this canonical text and thereby claim immunity by right of being a cleric.
736 I set not half a fle. “Not to give (or set) half a fly” is proverbial (Whiting F262, where the term is glossed is as “flea”) and related to several idiomatically dismissive expressions involving flies (and fleas) current in fifteenth-century Scots writings (Whiting F260, F261, F263).
740 In till sum bysnyng best transfigurat me. The tone of this passage may not be entirely serious. In The Dreme, Sir David Lyndsay recalls playing various roles, “And sumtyme lyke ane feind transfegurate,” to entertain the young James V (line 15; Lyndsay, p. 1).
746 Quhow that Diane transformyt Acteone. The memory of Diana’s transformation of Acteon should be fresh for the reader; see lines 316–27 and note.
747–51 And Juno eik . . . . that danger depe. Jupiter transformed his paramour Io into a heifer; Juno perceived the ruse and kept the heifer under the guard of hundred-eyed Argus until Mercury rescued it (Met 1.583–746, 1:42–55).
749 yymyt. This is from 3ym, to care for, guard, protect (DOST 3em(e (v.), sense 1).
753 The wyfe of Loth ichangit sore did wepe. A telling instance of Douglas’ syncretism: Lot’s wife looks back at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (see also line 1503) and is turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26); it is Niobe who is turned to marble and weeps (Met 6.267–312, 1:306–09). In CLL, the poet invokes Niobe to infuse her tears into his pen (lines 178–79).
754–55 Jove and ald Saturn. . . . did Lycaon turn. Referring to Saturnian paternity but not Saturn’s actual presence (Met 1.163, 1:12–13), Ovid has Jupiter alone punishing Lycaon for serving human flesh.
756–58 Nabugodonosore . . . . wepe and murn. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon and dreamer of visionary dreams, is condemned to sojourn like a beast in the wilderness (Daniel 4; CA 1.2785–3042). Crawling through the wilderness (lines 160, 647), the dreamer has a little in common with him.
760–62 For by exemplys . . . . ane otheris lore. These “oft heard” sayings (Whiting F116, M585) are related to a widely attested proverb, Felix, quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum (“Happy are those who take warning from the perils of others” [Walther, Proverbia Sententiaeque, no. 8952, 2:47; and Whiting M585]).
775–79 He quhilk that . . . . for me. A periphrasis for God, who has prepared a rescue because a blessed soul has interceded on the dreamer’s behalf.
776 in personis thre. Douglas is alluding to the fundamental Christian doctrine of the Trinity, three “persons” (“modes of being,” OED trinity (n.), sense 2a) of one God. A liturgically prominent statement of the this doctrine may be found in the Athanasian Creed (Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, § 10).
790 With lawrere crownyt in robbis syd all new. “The long or ‘syde’ gown was a loose garment which reached to the feet, open in front, and sometimes confined by a girdle. It was made both with sleeves and without them, sleeves being then frequently made as separate articles of dress” (ALHTS, p. clxviii).
799 And sum of thaym ad lyram playit and sang. Asserting that knowledge of poetry is necessary for the orator, Quintilian links the making of poetry to knowledge of music; this, he observes, is certainly true for those who compose songs for the lyre (“carmina ad lyram,” quoted in Quint. Inst. 1.10.29, 1:226–27). The lyre is Apollo’s instrument; Horace’s Ode 1.32 addresses it (Odes, trans. Rudd, pp. 82–83). It is also what David plays when he entertains Saul; see the note to lines 509–10 above.
801 Metyr Saphik and also elygee. Horace wrote twenty-five of his Odes in Sapphics: four-line stanzas, the first three lines of eleven syllables and the last, of five. Ovid used elegiac couplets (alternating hexameter and pentameter lines) in various works, including Heroides and Ars Amatoria. Martial famously employed elegiacs in his epigrams.
802–04 Thair instrumentis all . . . . a fair psaltree. These refer to monochords and psalteries as in lines 504–05; the almost identical phrase “nevyr a wreist yeid wrang” appears in line 1080.
805–06 On lutis sum thair accentis subtellé / Devydyt weil. “Tonus is the scharpnesse of voice, and is difference and quantite of armony, and stondeth in accent and tenor of vois” (Trev. Prop. 19.131, p. 1387, lines 10–12).
808 The ladyis sang in vocis dulcorate. By having the women singing the Heroides, Douglas may be taking literally the allusions to sung performance in Ovid’s writing, notably in Ars Amatoria 3.345, where an epistola (taken as a reference to some one of the Heroides) appears to be directed to be sung (cantetur; Cunningham, “The Novelty of Ovid’s Heroides,” pp. 101–02).
809–16 Facund epistillis quhilkis . . . . myssyvis mony one. Douglas alludes to the Heroides (written by Ovid in elegiac couplets, a form referenced in line 801): Phyllis and Demophon had already appeared among the courtiers of Venus (line 574 and note), as had Penelope (line 567 and note); now the poems themselves are performed. At the end of this stanza, Douglas also refers to another of the Heroides, number 20, the letter of Acontius to Cydippe.
813 tone. The past participle of the verb tak (“to take”) would regularly be spelled “tane”; for the sake of the rhyme, an alternate spelling, “tone,” is synthesized, on the analogy of the ‘o for a’ variation that marks the appearance of southern forms in various genres of Scots poetry (Aitken and Macafee, “History of Scots to 1700,” §9.3.1). A subsequent Scottish instance is cited in OED (take (v.), under the idiom “to take out of —”; Stewart, Buik of the Croniclis of Scotland  2:660, lines 40, 544).
819–21 Of castis quent . . . . fyrme cadens regulere. “Castis quent means fine touches of poetry” (Scott, p. 145). Subtle use of the colors of rhetoric and maintenance of clear, consistent meter are singled out as a poet’s prime skills.
829 My curage grew. The expression “my curage grew” reappears in line 971, and “curage” itself reappears eleven more times throughout the poem; see the Glossary for line citations.
833 our mate. This is perhaps referring to Varius in his role as prosecutor, arguing for the prisoner to be condemned and sentenced (DOST justify (v.), sense 2d).
834 bisning. Venus’ courtiers call the offensive poet a “bisning,” a monster. The word recurs throughout this episode, having been used by the poet himself in his denunciatory song (line 625) but also in the narration proper, when the dreamer fears being transformed (line 740); further, Venus refers scornfully to him as a “bysnyng schrew” (line 943). From these varying perspectives, monstrousness seems more a consequence of one’s own hateful discourse than mythic retaliation against it.
846 joyus disciplyne. This is not so much the “Horatian synthesis of the dulce and the utile” (Bawcutt, p. 57, citing Horace, Art of Poetry, line 343) as a continuation of the pattern of the previous two lines. Possibly the phrase recalls the Provençal gai saber, referring to the art of making poetry; at Toulouse, the Consistòri del Gai Saber was still holding its annual festival in Douglas’ lifetime (ed. France, New Oxford Companion, “Jeux Floraux de Toulouse,” p. 414).
852 Thespis. Calling the mother of the Muses Thespis rather than Mnemosyne (Memory) may arise from Ovid’s reference to the Muses as “Thespiades” (Met 5.310, 1:261–62) after Thespiae, a city at the foot of Mount Helicon in Boeotia (Brill, “Thespiades” and “Thespia”).
853–79 And nixt hir . . . . scho is maistres. Douglas translates De Musis, a well-known short poem associated with the Dicta Catonis (Minor Latin Poets, trans. Duff and Duff, 2:634–35), with particular expansion of the line on Calliope, into a whole stanza.
863 psaltreis. Terpsichore’s interest in psalteries intensifies an earlier interest in this instrument (lines 505, 804), perhaps as an indication of the ancient affiliations of the Muses’ court, as of the court of Venus. On the relevance of Terpsichore to the history of musical instruments in the fifteenth century, see Salmen, “The Muse Terpsichore.”
866–67 Polimnya . . . . rethorik cullouris mylde. The corresponding line (7) in De Musis is “signat cuncta manu loquiturque Polymnia gestu,” translated by Duff as “Polymnia’s hand marks all — she speaks in act” (Minor Latin Poets, 2:634–35). Downplaying this emphasis on eloquent gesture, Douglas associates Polyhymnia with the command of the colors of rhetoric.
878 heroicus. To translate heroicus as epic may be misleading; Douglas is referring to a high courtly style, as when Chaucer’s Host urges the Clerk to set aside “Youre termes, youre colours, and youre figures / . . . til so be ye endite / Heigh style, as whan that men to kynges write” (CT IV[E] 16–18); directing his poem to James IV, Douglas uses just such a “kyngly style.” (Eneados 9.prol.34–35, 3:170; Blyth, "The Knychtlyke Stile," pp. 164–67).
882–84 Phanee . . . . Napee. Fanae, nymphs (“from whom shrines [fana] are named”) are included by Martianus Capella in a list of mythical beings (De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii 2.167); the Pierides are the Thracian maids who challenged the Muses (Met 5.294–331, 671, 1:258–61, pp. 284–85; Brill, “Pierides”); the Nereids are sea-nymphs, the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris (Met 13.742–43, 2:280–81, and see further PH, lines 1849–54); Aones are associated with the Aonian mountains of Boeotia and hence Helicon (Met 1.313–47, 1:24–27; 3.339–58, 1:148–49; 5.333, 1:260–61), and Ovid calls the Muses Aonides (Met 6.2, 1:288–89); Napaeae are woodland nymphs (Statius 4.255, 1:224–25; 9.386, 2:86–87).
888, 890 afore . . . . tofore. Note the close occurrence of the alternate forms “afore” and “tofore”; in E, befoir is used in both places.
897 Maist eloquently, in quham all wyt aboundyt. The wording recalls that of lines 204 and 275; see also lines 1037, 1415, 1970, and 2069. Seen in this context, Homer’s abounding wit correlates with plenitude in nature and human affairs. On Homer’s reputation in fifteenth-century Scotland, see Wyntoun, 1.1, lines 16–18: “The pohete Omere and Virgile / Fairly formyt there tretyss / And curiously dytit there storyis.”
900 Ditis, Daris, and eik the trew Lucane. Dictys Cretensis (Ephemeris Belli Troiani) and Darius Phrygius (De excidio Troiae), the supposed eyewitness chroniclers of the Trojan War, the former from the Greek perspective, the latter from the Trojan (cited, for instance, in HF, line 1467, and Bruce 1.521–26, 2:20; for circulation in late fifteenth-century Scotland, see Macfarlane, “William Elphinstone’s Library Revisited,” p. 68). Lucan is one of Chaucer’s foundational poet-historians in HF (line 1499); in his unfinished commentary to his Eneados, Douglas extols Lucan’s Pharsalia as a “gret volum” (1.5.102n, 2:39). These three may be linked by a shared reputation for veracity.
901 Thare wes Plautus, Pogius, Parsius. A trio connected through alliteration: Plautus the author of Roman comedies, Poggio Bracciolini the fifteenth-century humanist, hunter of classical manuscripts (and rediscoverer of Quintilian), and polemicist (see further line 1232 and note); and the satirist Persius; it may not be a strain to see a further connection via comedy, invective and satire.
902 Thare wes Terens, Donat and Servius. After Plautus, Terence is the second great Roman author of comedies; linking him with the late Roman grammarians Donatus and Servius, Douglas may be alluding to the curricular importance of Terence’s plays, used as school texts for learning Latin grammar (Barsby, “Terence in Translation,” pp. 446–48).
903 Francys Petrark, Flakcus Valeriane. Pairing Petrarch with Valerius Flaccus may allude to these poets’ ambition to follow in Virgil’s footsteps, Petrarch with Africa, and, much earlier, Flaccus with his Argonautica, the latter rediscovered by Poggio Bracciolini. Douglas may thus be contrasting mythological and historical epic narratives.
904 Thare wes Ysop, Caton, and Alane. Aesop and Cato (the Distichs) were primary authors in the medieval curriculum (Wheatley, Mastering Aesop, pp. 10, 17, 37, 62–63, 88–89). Somewhat more advanced would be Alan of Lille (Alanus de Insulis), whose De planctu naturae Chaucer mentions (PF, line 316).
905 Galterus and Boetius. Possibly Walter of Châtillon (Gualterus de Castellione), twelfth-century author of the epic Alexandreis, which continued to be copied into the fifteenth century. Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius was a Roman consul who was subsequently imprisoned and executed (CE 524). Though he also wrote treatises on music and mathematics, the work of his that had extraordinary importance through the Middle Ages was The Consolation of Philosophy, a Platonic dialogue on the power of philosophical study to raise the mind out of the vicissitudes of earthly life.
906 the gret Quintilliane. Quintilian’s eminence as a rhetorical authority rose in 1416, when Poggio Bracciolini discovered a manuscript of his Instituto Oratoria (Zürich, Zentralbibliothek MS C74a); that work was first printed in 1470.
907 Juvinale. Juvenal is the most celebrated Roman satirist, and his Satires (often accompanied by those of Persius) were frequently reprinted in the late fifteenth century. In their commentaries on Juvenal the humanists “proudly boasted of their own work, and often vilified that of their rivals with a flood of abuse far exceeding the bounds of scholarly dignity, and leading to counter recriminations and sometimes to long continued controversy” (Sanford, “Renaissance Commentaries on Juvenal,” p. 95).
908 mixt. Referring to the Roman poet Martial’s versatility of mood and meter, as revealed in his Epigrams.
909 Of Thebes bruyt thare wes the poete Stace. Alluding to Statius as author of the Thebaid, Douglas here follows Chaucer’s reference to “Stace, / That bar of Thebes up the fame” (HF, line 1461). See also lines 1583–84 and note.
910 Faustus. Fausto Andrelini (c.1462–1518) was crowned with laurel in 1483 by his teacher Pomponio Leto (see note to line 911); in Paris by 1488, he was assailed in an invective by Gerolamo Balbi, the reigning Italian humanist in the French capital; Balbi’s ally Cornellio Vitelli accused Andrelini of plagiarism, who responded by accusing Vitelli of “corrupting the Latin language” (Carlson, “Politicizing Tudor Court Literature,” p. 289).
Laurence of the Vale. John Mair depicted Douglas as especially fond of citing the authority of the humanist Lorenzo Valla (in Latin, Laurentius Valla; Broadie, “John Mair’s Dialogues,” pp. 421, 424, 428–29; see also PH, line 1233 and note to lines 1232–33, below). Giving this acerbic scholar’s name in the vernacular, Douglas perhaps jocularly imports him into the domestic scene.
911–12 Pomponeus. (Pomponio Leto, 1428–1498), “the first humanist commentator on Virgil” (Grafton, Defenders of the Text, p. 49), led the Accademia Romana. That his fame has been "blawin wyd" (for this wording see also line 961) may allude to Fame’s various fanfares in HF, lines 1545–867.
913 wyse poete Orace. Horace, Roman poet whose Odes (with his Satires, Epodes, Epistles, and Art of Poetry) found particular favor in the fifteenth century, when he was among the most highly regarded curricular authors (Friis Jensen, “Commentaries on Horace’s ‘Art of Poetry,’” p. 229); extolling Horace as “moral” and “wise,” Douglas pays tribute to his ethical authority. In his Prologue to Book 1 of Eneados (line 400, 2:14), Douglas admiringly cites “Horatius in hys Art of Poetry.”
915 Brunell. David Irving speculated in 1861 (History of Scotish Poetry, p. 271n4) that this is “Daun Burnel the Asse” (CT VII[B2] 4502), mock-hero of Nigel Wireker’s Speculum Stultorum (late twelfth century) — an ascription rejected by Bawcutt because “Douglas could hardly have known the work well if he took the name of the ass for the name of its author” (SP, p. 191n915). Bawcutt proposes instead the celebrated fifteenth-century Italian humanist Leonardo Bruni. Either way, the line presents a very diverse set of personages. Also appearing here are Claudian (Roman author of political verse and an incomplete mythological epic on the abduction of Proserpina) and the important early humanist Giovanni Boccaccio (best known in Britain for his Latin writings). Boccaccio’s De Mulieribus Claris (Concerning Outstanding Women) includes sections on controversial figures such as Semiramis, Medea, and Medusa, as well as several other women whom Douglas names in PH.
918–24 Yit thare I . . . . on his hede. Chaucer is called the best in “his” vernacular (DOST vulgar(e (adj. n), sense B.1), and of the English nation; in Purse, Chaucer calls Henry IV “conquerour of Brutes Albyon” (line 22), the nation as originating in Brutus’ conquest. Douglas distinguishes between English poets and those of “this natioun.” By 1513, he had a wider sense of nation and audience: he hoped that his Eneados “may be red and song / Our Albyon ile,” in his “wlgar leid” (13.prol.104–05, 4:143).
919 A per se. “The letter A ‘by itself’ [indicates] a unique or incomparable person or thing” (OED A per se (n.)). Beginning his first Prologue to Eneados, Douglas praises Virgil as “Lantarn, laid stern, myrrour, and A per se” (1.prol.8, 2:3).
921 Lydgat the monk raid musand him allone. Depicting a solitary, melancholy Lydgate, Douglas may be alluding to Lydgate’s self-portrait in the Prologue to ST, where “after siknesse” he encounters Chaucer’s Canterbury pilgrims (lines 72, 89, 103–04, 126, 175). Lydgate is not the only poet referred to as “him allone” in PH: compare Juvenal (line 1229) and, at the outset of his dream, the dreamer himself (see line 61 and note).
922–24 Of this natioun . . . . on his hede. The balance of a triad of Scots poets against the traditional grouping of the three English ones may broadly betoken comparability of worth (Bawcutt, p. 42). However, the Scots group are all more narrowly associated with The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy, perhaps fresh in memory when PH was being composed (Bawcutt, “The ‘Library,’” p. 121). Alluding to this particular triad of poets — “[o]f this natioun” — Douglas assigns a defining importance to the Flyting, but (in his reference to Kennedy and Dunbar as still alive, “yit undede”) perhaps also contributes to a running joke — how could they have survived the violence of one another’s insults?
Quyntyne with ane huttok on his hede. This line has occasioned debate whether he is the Quintin Schaw recorded at court, to whom a poem in the Maitland Folio is ascribed (opposed, Poems, ed. Bawcutt, 2:430–31n2; in favor, McDiarmid, “Early William Dunbar,” p. 127); two Quintins are recorded as servitors at court, Schaw and Focart (ALHTS, 1:367; 2:60, 2:90, 2:106, 2:141, 2:151, etc.), but more frequently the latter. The word “huttok” may be related to “hattock,” “little hat,” later appearing in the incantatory expression “horse and hattock” (OED hattock (n.), sense 1; DOST hattock (n.), with supplement).
960 Quhow may a fule your hie renoun chakmate. Calliope’s blunt comment that the dreamer is a mere “fule” deserves comparison with Alceste’s defence of Chaucer (another offender against Venus) as well-meaning and diligent, “Al be hit that he kan nat wel endite” (LGW, F prol.414). The declaration of “chakmate” against persons derives from Chaucer (TC 2.754).
961 Your fame so wyd is blaw. It is neatly ironic that Calliope alludes to Venus’ being subject to the arbitrary dispensations of Fame; the allusion can be seen as a stimulus to Venus’ following expostulation against tyrannical women (e.g., lines 988–90).
964 modefy. This means “alter in the direction of mildness or moderation” (OED modify (v.), sense 1), with the earliest citation from KnT (CT I[A] 2542). For the precise signification “to lessen the severity of a law,” MED (modifien (v.), sense b) provides various illustrations from Lydgate.
973 but prayer, pryce, or cost. This phrase may derive from Latin (prece et pretio, "by pleading and bribery"); see DOST prayer (n.), sense 4.3.
984–85 No woman is . . . . devill of hell. Comparing spiteful women to snakes and dragons, Venus is alluding to an important source of medieval antifeminism, Ecclesiasticus, chapters 25–26 (specifically here, verses 25:22–23; Kordecki, “Making Animals Mean,” pp. 89–90).
1005 perlour. Scant evidence for this form has been found beyond its occurrence here (DOST perlour (n.1); “discussion, conference”; derived from Old French parloir, “speeches, collectively”). Compare MED parlour (n.), sense 3 (with a single citation, dated c.1475). OED provides various spellings with the perl- root, but cites only a variant of the word in TC 2.82 (where the word denotes “a smaller room separate from the main hall”; parlour (n.), sense A.I.2).
1013 Doun on a stok I set me suddanlye. The speaker is sitting on a tree stump to compose a poem: see line 2114 and note.
1015–44 Unwemmyt wit . . . . delyverit of dangare. A prominent rhetorical figure in this florid lyric (in ten-line stanzas, aabaabbcbC, first and final lines identical) is periphrasis, the multiplication of synonyms: e.g., “glaid, fresche, lusty, grene” (line 1021). It is worth noting that this lyric is addressed to the poet’s own powers of invention, now “unwemmyt” (unblemished, untarnished), and praise of Venus is provided only as a penultimate gesture (lines 1039–41).
1025–30 Quha is in welth . . . . fortune doith avance. The impression of abundance is further enhanced by the sequence of rhetorical questions with the anaphora (word prominently repeated through successive clauses) on “Quha.”
1043 dangare. “Danger,” a lady’s resistance to a lover, is an important concept in traditions of courtly love. See MED daunger (n.), sense 4: “Resistance offered to a lover by his ladylove; disdain, aloofness, reluctance, reserve.” The full range of senses in Older Scots repays attention: 1. “Power to command or control another”; 2. “Power to hurt or injure; range of doing harm”; 3. “Risk of harm or injury; peril”; 4. “Difficulty, reluctance, grudging”; 5. “Disdain; displeasure, enmity” (DOST danger(e), dawngere (n.)).
1047 I stand content thow art obedient. Some sixteenth-century Scottish evidence indicates that the phrase “stand content” may have been idiomatic; DOST content (adj.1), sense 1. As if to instantiate the poet’s power to influence the thinking of his superiors, the phrase combines terms closely associated in the lyric (lines 1028–29).
1051 And with that word all sodanly sche went. As befits the sequence of events in a dream, suddenness is a recurrent quality of the narrative; see, e.g., lines 1307, 1314, 1979. The suddenness of sleep can be dangerous, as in lines 1334–38. Suddenness can also be associated with books, as in lines 1749, 1772. See also the occurrence of semantically related adverbs such as “atonys” (e.g., line 1923), “sone” (e.g., line 189), and “swyth” (e.g., line 1934). For further discussion, see also notes to lines 121–24, 136–53 above.
1053 on the bent. “On the bent” is a phrase associated with heroic narrative; DOST bent (n.), sense 2; MED bent (n.1), sense 2c. See also line 1445.
1058 I sall beseik the Godly Majesté. An example of the poet’s mingling of Christian doctrine and classical mythology: the dreamer will pray to God to bless the Muse Calliope.
1063 Glore, honour, laude, and reverence. Commenting on the use of the same phrase in William Dunbar’s ballade honoring Bernard Stewart on his arrival in Edinburgh, Bawcutt identifies the source in the hymn “Gloria, laus et honor” sung following the procession on Palm Sunday (Poems, “The Ballade of . . . Barnard Stewart,” line 8, 1:177, 2:408; Catholic Encyclopedia, “Gloria, Laus et Honor”).
1071 a swete Nymphe. That the dreamer’s guide would be a nymph, a semi-divine denizen of the world of classical gods and goddesses, seems appropriate. This nymph serves Calliope by teaching the dreamer about the visionary world and conveying him to his destination. As well, her command of Christian knowledge and moral principles makes her almost angelic; on the other hand, her broad sense of humor and zestful readiness to puncture masculine pretensions sometimes bring her close to the depictions of women in, for instance, Dunbar’s Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo. Like the dreamer, the nymph is never named in the poem. Entrusted into her care, he calls her “my keeper,” and indeed she has to guide and even carry him past dangerous obstacles (lines 1309–11, 1339–41, 1926–29). She is also his “governour” (line 1169), an instructor from whom he learns the significations of objects he sees on his journey; if much less grandiloquently, she functions as did the Eagle in HF. She is no meek, willowy little being: she can lift up the dreamer (by the hair, if necessary; line 1340), and does not hesitate to scold and insult him when he lags or fails (lines 1308, 1866–68, 1936–38).
1073 Was harnyst all with wodbynd levis grene. Evidence of traditional practices postdating PH in Scotland suggest that woodbine or honeysuckle, Lonicera periclymenum, “was considered to ward off evil especially around May Day” (National Records of Scotland, “Honeysuckle”; Wimberly 355). To celebrate the coming of May, Arcite gathers a “gerland” of “wodebynde or hawethorn leves” (CT I[A] 1507–08).
1077 swyft as thocht. This is proverbial; Whiting T231–34. Chaucer depicts Dido’s hunting party “upon coursers swift as any thought” (LGW, line 1195).
1081 Throw cuntreis seir, holtis, and rochys hie. The phrase “cuntreis seir” recurs at line 1632, about Aeneas, who voyaged through distant lands as does the dreamer now. A similar formula for movement through varied landscapes occurs at line 1246. The aerial perspective is comparable with Geoffrey’s in HF (lines 896–903).
1081–83 Throw cuntreis seir . . . . mony strate montane. Fittingly, the nymph guides the dreamer through a landscape marked by places associated already (lines 882–84) with local deities like herself.
1085–87 Our horssis flaw . . . . up in Almane. A zigzag itinerary (Hasler, Court Poetry, p. 104) is taken on “apparently Pegasean horses” (Spearing, Medieval Dream-Poetry, p. 207).
1087, 1090 Almane . . . . Garmanie. DOST lists Almanie (n.) as the usual name for Germany, but here it specifies northern Switzerland and Alpine Germany (Lyndsay, p. 221n708, n710).
1092–1134 Ovir Ryne . . . . Musis Caballyne fontane. Ovid lists mountains and rivers scorched in the disastrous flight of Phaethon (Met 2.216–71, 1:74–79; see note to lines 1100–30, below); as Sandra Cairns shows, Douglas handles this source by means of the much-reprinted commentary by the late fifteenth-century Raffaello Regio.
1093 Ovir Alpheus, by Pyes the ryche citie. Virgil alludes to the River Alpheus, flowing under the sea and re-emerging on Sicily (Aeneid 3.694–96, 1:418–19). Ovid lists the river (Met 2.250, 1:76–77) and later relates the story of Alpheus’ pursuit of Arethusa, who is transformed into a stream. On the river’s banks in the western Peloponnese was a Greek city named Pisa (Met 5.409, 494, 1:266–67, 272–73; Virgil, Georgics 3.180, pp. 188–89).
1095 Ovir Ron, ovir Sane, ovir France and eik ovir Lare. The sequence of French rivers seems disturbed by the reference to France itself, as if the name of the country were parallel to the names of the rivers. The occurrence may possibly be due to a misreading of a less familiar river name (e.g., Rance in Brittany).
1096 And ovir Tagus the goldin sandyt ryvare. The Tagus River of the Iberian Peninsula was famed in antiquity for its gold-bearing sands (e.g., Met 2.251, 1:76–77).
1097–98 In Thessaly . . . . sepulture fand there. Ovid describes the funeral pyre of Hercules on Mount Oeta but does not mention any sepulchre there (Met 9.211–72, 2:18–23); the reference may have been derived from Regio (Cairns, p. 20).
1100 In Secil eik we passyt the mont Tmolus. At the comparable point (Met 2.217, 1:74–75), Ovid refers to Cilicia rather than Sicily in relation to Taurus rather than Tmolus (in Lydia); Douglas appears to have applied the Cilix to both mountains. Douglas also follows Ovid in alluding to Tmolus’ vineyards (Met 11.85–90, 2:126–27).
1105–07 Ovir Carmelus . . . . Carmelitis come syne. Mount Carmel, on the northern coast of Israel, was associated with the prophets Elijah and Elisha; though evidence exists of much earlier monastic settlements in the region, monks occupied the “cave of Elijah” on Mount Carmel by the 1160s (Jotischky, Carmelites and Antiquity, pp. 8–9). The Carmelite Order of mendicant friars was founded in the thirteenth century. In the fifteenth century, the Carmelites had convents in various Scottish burghs (for example, Historic Environment Scotland, “Edinburgh, Greenside Row, Carmelite Friary”; “Linlithgow, Carmelite Friary”).
1109 the flude Termodyon. Cairns observes (p. 21) that Douglas transfers the quality of rapidity from the river Thermodon (“Thermodonque citus”; Met 2.249, 1:76–77) to the journey and hence his catalogue; speed of travel thus becomes a device of brevity in the catalogue.
1111 Bachus Citheron. Douglas recalls that Cithaeron is the site of the rites of the Bacchantes, the ecstatic female celebrants of the rites of the god Bacchus or Dionysus (Met 2.223, 1:74–75, 3.702, 1:172–73).
1114–15 In that countré . . . . scheip blak anon. Considering whether Douglas might have derived the detail of the water blackening the sheep from Boccaccio’s De Fluminibus, Cairns (p. 22) argues instead for Regio as the source, and proposes that Douglas has read Mygdoniae there (in Ovid, “Mygdoniusque Melas”; Met 2.247, 1:76–77) as a reference to Macedonia, “that countré” specified a line before.
1118 Achicorontes. This has been recognized as an error for Orontes; Cairns identifies the occurrence of arsitorontes at this point in the marginal annotations “in a hand of the late fifteenth-early sixteenth century,” in the Edinburgh University Library copy of Metamorphoses printed in 1493 with Regio’s commentary (pp. 22–23).
1120 Armany hillis and flude Eufrates. Noah’s Ark landed in the hills of Armenia (Genesis 8:4); the Euphrates is one of the two great rivers of Mesopotamia and the fourth river of Eden (Genesis 2:14). See also the note to line 1126 below.
1121 the pretius flude Ganges. The Ganges is “pretius”; Regio calls it notissimus, most famous (note to Met 2.249, 1:76–77). Andrew of Wyntoun follows the tradition that the Ganges was the same as the river Phison that flowed from Paradise (Wyntoun, 1.4.125–34). A gloss for “pretius” would be “holy,” given the river’s exalted source. See MED preciouse (adj.), sense 2.
1123 the mont of Frygy Dindama. On Mount Dindyma, in Phrygia, stood a shrine to the goddess Cybele (Met 2.223, 1:74–75).
1126 fludis of Tygris and Phison. Tigris is one of the two great rivers of Mesopotamia, and (named Hiddekel in Hebrew) is the third river flowing out of Eden (Genesis 2:14); Pison runs into the Black Sea, and is the first river of Eden (Genesis 2:11). See also the note to line 1120 above.
1128 Modyn. Modin is a hill fortification of the Maccabees (1 Maccabees 2:23, 13:30, 16:4; 2 Maccabees 13:14).
1130–31 The mont Erix . . . . Venus en certane. For the connection between Eryx and Venus, see Met 5.363, 1:262–63 and Aeneid 5.759–61, 1:522–23. The connection between Venus and Acheron, a river of the underworld, is more problematic. Possibly an Ovidian reference provides a clue: beginning Calliope’s narrative of the rape of Proserpina, Ovid situates Venus at Mount Eryx, where she sees Dis, the god of the underworld (Cairns, p. 28). In declaring that Acheron is “didicat to Venus,” however, Douglas appears to be going out of his way to stress the connection between Venus and the underworld, “en certane.”
1132 Lybane. Though the form of the word suggests Lebanon, the allusion appears to be to Ovid’s reference to Libya (Met 2.237, 1:76–77), glossed by Regio as aridissima.
1134 Caballyne fontane. Unless the Muses have doubled back towards Mount Helicon (line 1129), Douglas appears to distinguish between the Hippocrene and Caballine fountains, which are usually taken as the same place. The Caballine arose from Pegasus’ hoofprint on Helicon (Met 5.256–59, 1:256–57).
1143 That of the watir I micht never tast a drew. Lack of cleansing refreshment at the Hippocrene spring (fonte . . . caballino) is what distinguishes the Roman satirist Persius (Satires, ed. Braund, prol.1, pp. 44–45) from the pack of conventionally eloquent poets. For a coarser version of the topic of failure to drink from the fount of eloquence, see Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie, lines 337–44 (Poems, ed. Bawcutt, 1:211).
1150 The byrriall stremys rynnand ovyr sterny greis. Descriptions of the pleasant place may feature descriptions of clear water flowing over a sparkling stream-bed (for example, CLL, line 78). Describing the stream as crystal flowing over glittering steps (“sterny greis”) anticipates the bejeweled stages in the presence chamber of Venus (line 1473) and also in the heavens (line 1841). See DOST for this metaphorical extension of the adjective sterny (sense 2; see also sternit (ppl. adj.), sense 2).
1160 Thair womanlynes writhyt the elementis. The women’s beauty is so dazzling that even Nature is thrown off kilter.
1162–66 The warld may . . . . febill proces dryve. On combinations of pagan and Christian in protestations of humility, see Curtius, pp. 407–13.
1179, 1234 Dilligate meatis . . . . meatis diligate. Delicacies at the court of James IV included dried fruits, candies, and condiments. Spices were much prized, including cloves, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, and of course sugar (ALHTS, p. ccviii).
1181 interludyis. These refer to short, easily staged plays performed between courses of a banquet; such entertainments may include debate and farce, as the following performances indicate.
1182 Gave problemys sere and mony fare demandis. In the Scots Buik of Alexander the Grit (1438) a game of “demandis and fare answeris . . . Of amouris and his worshep all” (lines 2175, 2177, 2:159). Such literary references to posing questions such as “Who were the greatest lovers (or warriors)” may reflect actual pastimes during feasts. The demande d’amour (“question about love”) is a frequent aspect of discourse about love in medieval literature, as, for example, with the question “what do women most desire” in the Wife of Bath’s Tale (CT III[D] 904–05).
1186–87 Than Caliope Ovid . . . . of regestere. Bawcutt (“The ‘Library,’” p. 113) contrasts Chaucer’s reference to Ovid as “Venus clerk” (HF, line 1487) with Calliope’s designation of Ovid as her “Clerk of Register” in PH.
1191–94 the fetis of Hercules . . . . mychty giantis dang. In Ovid’s list of the labors of Hercules (Met 9.182–99, 2:16–17), Hercules drags the three-headed dog Cerberus out of Hades, kills the Nemean Lion, destroys the snaky-headed Hydra, and defeats the giants Antaeus and Busiris. The “monstreis” referred to in line 1193 may include the sea-monster from which Hercules rescued Hesione (Met 11.211–14, 2:134–35).
1191 schew. “Showing” appears to be an uncomplicated synonym for “telling”; the term may foreshadow the showings the dreamer later views in the mirror of Venus (lines 1495 ff.).
1195–97 Of Thesyus eik . . . . Mynotaure in Crete. On Theseus at war against the Amazons, see Statius 12.163–64, 2:260–61, 523 ff., 2:286 ff.; see also CT I[A] 866–70.
1198–1200 Of Persyus . . . . monsturis mony one. Using the head of Medusa, Perseus defeats Atlas and the sea serpent (Met 4.604–752, 1:220–31).
1201–03 Of Dianis bore . . . . the systeris mone. Ovid (Met 8.260 ff., 1:424 ff.) recounts the tale of the Calydonian boar, wounded by the huntress Atalanta and killed by Meleager the prince of Calydon. When Meleager’s uncles begrudge his gift to Atalanta of the boar’s hide, Meleager kills them. Mourning her brothers’ deaths, Meleager’s mother burns the fated branch that measures the length of her son’s life. The spelling “bore” (line 1201) may be authorial: where “bair” would be the usual form, the southern spelling of the word would intensify connections with Chaucer’s handling of Cassandra’s tale of Diana, Meleager, and the “mayde” (TC 5.1464–84).
1204–06 Kyng Priamus sonne . . . . transformyt wes anon. Trying to drown himself in remorse after Hesperie, the nymph he has been pursuing, dies by accident, Aesacus is transformed by Tethys into a merganser (mergus; Met 11.749–95, 2:172–77), here a “skarth” or cormorant; late in Eneados, Douglas alludes again to Aesacus who “completis hys pennance / In ryveris, fludis, and on euery laik” (12.prol.286–87, 4:74). Here as elsewhere in the poem, birds and humans mirror each other.
1208–15 Quhow fers Achylles . . . . all his fere. Realizing that Cycnus is impervious to wounding by weapons, Achilles strangles him (Met 12.64–145, 2:184–91).
1216–21 He schew . . . . lustis suld be flemyt. Referring to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Heroides, Ars Amatoria, and Remedia Amoris, respectively.
1224 He wes expart in all thyng. Douglas is not alone in regarding Ovid as a fount of knowledge; in the preface to his commentary on Metamorphoses, Raffaelo Regio establishes a key humanist perspective on Ovid as the conveyor of the breadth of curricular learning and on Metamorphoses as “the basis for geography, astrology, music, rhetoric, and philosophy, both moral and natural” (Knox, “Commenting on Ovid,” p. 337).
1225–26 Up rais . . . . Daphnis and Coridon. Virgil may be “gret,” but here he is confined to the comparatively light amusements of Eclogue 7, in which Corydon wins a singing match against Thyrsis, with Daphnis and Meliboeus as the judging audience.
1228 Of Permeno, Thrason and wyse Gnaton. The characters named are from the Eunuchus of the Roman dramatist Terence (see the note to line 902, above), whose comedies held their place in primary curriculum in the fifteenth century.
1229–30 Juvynale lik a mower . . . . thay yeid by. Juvenal is “hym allone” like Lydgate or like the dreamer. See notes to lines 61 and 921 above. More to the point, Juvenal’s behavior is what is expected of a satirist at court; it is the stance William Dunbar adopts in his satires addressed to James IV (e.g., “Off benefice, Sir, at everie feist,” line 7; “Schir, yit remember as befoir,” lines 7–10 [Poems, ed. Bawcutt, 1:140, 225]). Such an attitude might explain why Juvenal is alone.
1231 Marcyall was cuyk till rost, seith, fars or fry. Martial continued into the fifteenth century to be known by his medieval nickname Coquus (“the Cook”; Sandys, Classical Scholarship, p. 643). Douglas fleshes out the connection by alluding to Chaucer’s portrait of the Cook: “He koude rooste, and sethe, and broille, and frye” (CT I[A] 383); Bawcutt adds that “we may compare modern colloquial senses of ‘roast’ or ‘grill’” (“The ‘Library,’” p. 112).
1232–33 And Pogyus stude . . . . and cryand fy. Poggio and Lorenzo famously exchanged invectives about their conflicting theories of textual analysis and Latin style (Camporeale, “Poggio Bracciolini versus Lorenzo Valla,” pp. 29–37). Their exchanges were sometimes regarded as “a highly entertaining game of mockery” (Rizzi, “Violent Language in Early Fifteenth-Century Italy,” p. 150). Douglas himself “spittit for dispyte” at Caxton’s mishandling of the Aeneid (Eneados 1.prol.150, 2:7). On spitting as a sign of scorn, see Burrow, p. 44.
1237 Retret wes blawyn lowd. “Retreat” seems an obtrusively military term in this context, and its being announced by a fanfare (“blawyn lowd”) strengthens the association.
1239 Schynand for swete as thay had bene anoynt. The horses shining with sweat recall Chaucer’s sweat-anointed Monk (CT I[A] 198–99).
1244–45 The Vail of Ebron . . . . the lusty vail. Three biblical places of destiny: Hebron (site of Abraham’s burial plot, Genesis 23:17–19, 50:13; and place of David’s anointing, 2 Kings 2:1); the Damascene field (traditional site of Adam’s creation, via readings of Genesis 2:7); and the Valley of Jehosaphat (Joel 3:2, 12, 14), the apocalyptic destination for prophesied doom.
1254 fere trymlys my pen. On the trembling pen, see Hammond, English Verse Between Chaucer and Surrey, pp. 437n4, 448n46. The topic is used by Chaucer (TC 4.13–14) and by Lydgate (repeatedly, including a passage Douglas would likely have encountered, CLL, line 181).
1255–58 The hart . . . . joy to ken. Part Two ends on a serious note, with a formal peroration. The topic of the inexpressibility of heavenly bliss is grounded on 1 Corinthians 2:9.
1259–62 Quhilk now I saw . . . . to schaw. The passage is tinged by recollection of the many tongues of pagan Fame (HF, line 1390; Aeneid 4.183, 1:434–35); see also Aeneid 6.625–27, 1:576–77, where the Sibyl claims inability to catalogue the torments of the damned in the fortress of Dis.
1261 Thocht al my membris tongis were on raw. The syntax is complicated here. The line might be loosely translated, “Even if all the parts of my body were tongues set out in a row.”
1264–66 For quhiddir . . . . gret God wait. Douglas has returned to St. Paul (2 Corinthians 12:2); compare Chaucer’s “wher in body or in gost / I not, ywys, but God, thou wost!” (HF, lines 981–82).
1269 dremes quhilkis ar not worth a myte. The assertion that dreams are “not worth a mite” is proverbial. See Whiting D387, M611.
1290 Teche me your facund castis eloquent. “Teiche me zour castis eloquent, your curious nice touches of eloquence, poetry is here meant” (Scott, p. 147); at the outset of his Eneados, Douglas refers to Virgil’s “quent and curyus castis poeticall” (1.prol.255, 2:10); earlier in PH, the Muses’ Ovidian songs are similarly said to exhibit “castis quent” (line 819).
1294 Till make the heraris bousum and attent. Quintilian upholds “Goodwill, Attentiveness, and Readiness to learn” as the aims of the prooemium or exordium, the introduction of an oration (Quint. Inst 4.1.5, 2:180–81).
1300–01 Hewyn in the roch . . . . glas it schone. The mountain on which Chaucer’s House of Fame stands is like “alum de glas” (line 1124).
1322–23 Till Xantus . . . . hest contrar Achill. If Douglas is following Homer, he does so at some remove from this ultimate source, according to which, Hera (Juno) gets Hephæstus (Vulcan) to use fire against the river Xanthus in Achilles’ fight against it (Iliad 21.328–82, 2:428–33). Douglas may have derived from Regio’s commentary the unusual allusion to Xanthus burning at Venus’ behest to oppose Achilles (Cairns, p. 37n27).
1340–41 Caryit me . . . . brocht in Babilone. The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk, who in an apocryphal chapter of the book of Daniel is dwelling in Judah and preparing a meal for the harvesters when an angel commands him to take the meal to Daniel, imprisoned by king Cyrus of Babylon. The angel “took him by the top of his head and carried him by the hair of his head, and set him in Babylon over the den in the force of his spirit” (Daniel 14:36). In his own scriptural Book, Habakkuk laments the prevalence of oppression and injustice, and receives a vision of the coming of God’s rule (2:2–3).
1348–77 This brukkill erth . . . . thay clam. The Boethian image of “fortune’s seas” with their “rushing waves” (Consolation of Philosophy, trans. Tester, p. 161, 1.m5.45–46; Curtius, pp. 128–30) had been picked up memorably in KQ, where the narrator voyages “Amang the wawis of this warld” (line 111). As if to give full sail to his eloquence (and perhaps to equal James I’s inventive treatment; KQ, lines 101–33n), Douglas amplifies this theme substantially.
1348–50 This brukkill erth . . . . na maner swage. The combination of fire and stormy seas (compare the lake of fire in Apocalypse 19:20, 20:14–15) recalls the combination of “vyle wattyr” and “brynt,” “[c]ombust” landscape in the nightmarish beginning to the First Part of PH (lines 139, 144 and note, 150).
1354 palyce. The irony instills a dire implication into the range of meanings of this key term throughout PH.
1360 carvel. This is a small two-masted ship with triangular (lateen) sails. Given the identification of this ship as the “Carvell of the State of Grace” (line 1386), its smallness and frailty are meaningful.
1380 pepill drint. On shipwreck as an emblem for the destruction of the faithless, see 1 Timothy 1:19.
1387 sonnys of ire. Douglas alludes to Ephesians 2:3; Chaucer’s Parson also preaches: “be we alle born sones of wratthe and of dampnacioun perdurable” (CT X[I] 334).
1393–94 Except bye fayth . . . . vorkyng gud vorkys. The spelling “bye” occurs uniquely in these two lines; elsewhere “be” is consistently used thus. Douglas is expounding an orthodox doctrine of salvation through faith and good works; in the prologue to Eneados 11, he similarly argues that a sinner must act well in order to merit grace (lines 151–68, 4:5).
1408–09 Impossibill wer . . . . abone my micht. Douglas reverts to formulae of inexpressibility (compare lines 1255–62).
1410 with ynk may do bot paper blek. Re-using the word “blek” (now as a verb), the poet anticipates doing to the paper what Venus’ impish courtiers did to him when they daubed his face with boot-blacking (line 652 and note); both actions seem degrading but also assert the dreamer/poet’s presence in hostile surroundings. This scribal blackening may indicate some progress from the emptiness the poet previously ascribed to his pen (lines 1254, 1283).
1411 I man draw furth; the yok lyis in my nek. Where Chaucer’s Knight compares ploughing to narration (CT I[A] 886–87), Douglas refers to himself as the ox.
1413–22 Plenyst with plesance . . . . the littil volatill. “Paradice js a richt nobile place of plesaunce, with sueit and temporit aire, quhare na trubile nore commocioune is of wynd, rayne, snaw or vthir trubile, that may put jmpediment to the plesaunce and dilectacioune of man” (Meroure 2:4, 1:77).
1421–22 Till noy . . . . the littil volatill. The visionary world of animals (and birds) at peace derives from Isaiah 11:6–7, where such peace comes when the kingdom is ruled by a true descendant of the royal line. The allusion combines the topic of the locus amoenus, the pleasant place (Curtius, pp. 193, 195–200), with that of ideal kingship. Appropriately enough, Douglas is about to commence his description of Honour’s palace.
1423–24 Still in the season . . . . but other noy or sare. Douglas draws evocatively on Isaiah 6:9 with this reference to the perpetual seasonableness of all things, untouched by harm or suffering.
1429–37 A palyce stude . . . . and plesand spryngis. The “enumeration of technical details” is a rhetorical convention in the description of impressive buildings (Norton-Smith, pp. 242–43; HF, lines 1186–94; Court of Sapience, ed. Harvey, 2.1485–89, p. 51).
1434 corbell. The construction at Linlithgow Palace included “image corbels carved with an angelic orchestra”; later at Edinburgh Castle, the building of James IV’s great hall included “precocious” stone corbels “supporting the roof wall posts, which are carved as sophisticatedly classical consoles” (Fawcett, Scottish Architecture, pp. 308, 312).
1437 spryngis. In architectural terminology, the modern equivalent to this word is “springer,” referring to the section on the top of a pillar on which an arch rests and from which it begins to curve (or “spring”; OED spring (n.1), sense 9a; springer (n.1), sense 2).
1452 beriall stone. Chaucer’s palace of Fame is built entirely of “ston of beryle” (HF, line 1184).
1453–54 Bosiliall nor Oliab . . . . ryche and dere. A list of inspired builders and their excellent works begins with Bezaleel, Aholiab, and their building of the Tabernacle, containing the ark of the Covenant (Exodus 31:1–6, 36:1–38).
1455 Salomon. Solomon is identified as the builder of the Temple (3 Kings 6:1–36).
1456 he that beild the riall Ylyon. Laomedon is aided by Apollo and Neptune in building the walls of the first Troy but denies them payment (Met 11.194–220, 2:132–35; Horace, Odes 3.3.21).
1457 he that forgete Darius sepulture. On Apelles and the making of the tomb of Darius, Walter of Châtillon wrote an influential ekphrasis, a passage with “sufficient cultural currency that Chaucer’s Wife of Bath alludes to it in passing” (at CT III[D] 497–99; Alexandreis, ed. Townsend, 7.420–77, p. 156).
1460 Thus in a stare quhy standis thou stupefak. The Nymph begins to revel in her authority. Writing to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1497, Pedro de Ayala, Spanish ambassador, commented that Scotswomen “are really honest, though very bold” (Calendar of Negotiations between England and Spain, ed. Bergenroth, 1:174).
1461 Govand. “Govand, govan, gazing with wonder” (Scott, p. 148).
1464 Quhat thow seyst, luke eftirwartis thow write. Behind this command lies the divine order to John to “[w]rite therefore the things which thou hast seen, and which are, and which must be done hereafter” (Apocalypse 1:19); less exalted and more apposite may be the God of Love’s command to the poet in Chaucer’s LGW, F prol. 548–58.
1483–85 With vertuus stanis . . . . wox hale. Various jewels have the power to staunch the flow of blood: cornelian (“corneolus”), hematite (“emachite”), heliotrope (“eliotropia”), jasper, sapphire, smaragdus, and topaz (Trev. Prop. 16.33, 39, 40, 52, 86, 87, 95; pp. 843, 846, 853, 869, 871, 877).
1495–96 In that myrrour . . . . every erdly wycht. Precedents include the mirror Virgil devises in which Rome’s enemies may be foreseen (CA 5.2031–2272; see Peck’s note to line 2031) and the mirror sent to Canacee by the king of Arabia and India, in which adversity and treason may be foreseen (SqT, CT V[F] 132–45). Like those mirrors, this one will offer a glimpse into the future as well as a survey of the past; it shows the coming of the Antichrist (line 1701).
1500 in the erth ysent. This refers to Adam and Eve’s banishment from Paradise (Genesis 3:23–24).
1503 subversyoun. Bawcutt (SP, p. 201n1503) points out that this echoes the term “subversione” in Genesis (19:29) for the fall of Sodom.
1505 Hornyt Moyses with his ald Ebrew law. The tradition that Moses’ face was horned when he descended from Sinai derives from Scripture (Exodus 34:29–30). Douglas mentions Moses’ horns and “ald Ebrew law” in anticipation of the Plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea.
1507–08 In the Reid See . . . . wald nevir knaw. When the Israelites depart from Egypt, Pharaoh pursues them as far as the Red Sea, which they are crossing miraculously, the waters having receded. When the Egyptians follow, the waters engulf them (Exodus 14:15–31). God destroys Pharaoh for breaking his word to let the Israelites leave Egypt; the drowning of Pharaoh and his “court” in the Red Sea is framed as an emblem of the limits on royal power.
1512 Of Josuy I saw the worthy weris. These wars, notably against Jericho, are the subject of Joshua, chapters 6–12.
1515 Of Ameleth the cruel homosyd. Son of the righteous judge Gideon, Abimelech of Shechem murdered his seventy brothers, all save the youngest (Judges 9:1–5).
1516–18 The wonderful werkis . . . . in his pryde. With a donkey’s jawbone, Samson kills a thousand Philistines (Judges 15:15–17) and carries off the gates to the city of Gaza (Judges 16:3); captured, blinded, and fettered, he pulls down the temple of Dagon and destroys its occupants, including himself (16:29–30).
1520–21 duke Sangor there . . . . a plewchis sok. Shamgar, predecessor of Samson, routs six hundred Philistines with no other weapon than an ox-goad (not a “plewchis sok”; Judges 3:31).
1522–26 The praphet Samuell . . . . thre hundreth uncis was. Samuel anoints Saul as king of Israel; Saul’s son Jonathan, unaided, defeats the Philistines; David fells the giant Goliath (1 Kings 10:1; 14:11–14; 17:40–54). The weight of Goliath’s spearhead is given in 1 Kings 17:7 as six hundred shekels.
1527–32 Jesbedonab the giant . . . . bryng to grond. Late in life, David kills the Philistine giant, Jesbibenob, who has six fingers on each hand (2 Kings 21:16, 20–21). As a boy, he killed lions and bears that took his sheep (1 Kings 17:32–37). The victory over eight hundred at an onset seems ambiguously ascribed to David (sedens in cathedra sapientissimus princeps) rather than his foremost champion, Jesbaham (2 Kings 23:8).
1533–39 Bananyas the strang . . . . did harm eneuch. David’s champion Benaiah kills two “lyonys” of Moab and, in the time of snow (in diebus nivis) climbs into a storage-well (in media cisterna) to kill a lion. He takes the spear from an enemy Egyptian (not an “Ethiop”) “worthy to be a sight” and “slew him with his own spear” (2 Kings 23:20–21).
1542–45 His sonne Roboam . . . . fra hym devyd. This line refers to Rehoboam’s oppression and the consequent division of the kingdom (3 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10; CA 7.4027–4146).
1546–48 the angell sla . . . . with gret bost. The angel’s destruction of Sennacherib’s army is narrated in 4 Kings 19:35; 2 Chronicles 32:21; Isaiah 37:36. For the “gret bost,” see 4 Kings 19:10–13.
1549–50 the lyfe . . . . Prolongit fifteen yere. Hezekiah, repentant, merits recovery from illness (4 Kings 20:1–11; Isaiah 38:1–8); through Isaiah, God promises to add fifteen years to the king’s life (2 Chronicles 32:24–26).
1550–51 the prophet Hely . . . . to Paradyce went. In triumphant counterbalance to the fall of Phaethon, Elijah ascends to heaven in a fiery chariot, witnessed by his successor Elisha (4 Kings 2:11–12).
1552 The stories of Esdras and of Neamy. These refer to1 Ezra 7:1–10:17; 2 Ezra 1:1–7:5, 13.
1553–54 And Danyell . . . . brak and schent. Not Daniel’s first, better-known stint in a lion’s den (Daniel 6:17–25), this is his second, as punishment for wrecking an artificial dragon worshipped as the god Bel (Daniel 14:23, 27, 31); this time, Daniel is aided by Habakkuk (on whom see the note to lines 1340–41).
1555 The chyldir thre amyd the fornace sent. Three young men (Hananiah/Shadrach, Mishael/Meschach, and Azariah/Abed-nego) were thrown in the fiery furnace for refusing to worship the golden statue set up by Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1:6; 3:26, 27).
1556 transmygracion. The key term in 1 Ezra (6:16, 8:35) for the deportation of the Jews into Babylon (4 Kings 24:14, 25:11) is “transmigration.”
1558–62 the haly archangell . . . . as tha tel. Tobias, son of Tobit, is to become the eighth husband of Sarah (daughter of Tobit’s kinsman Raguel), but unless he manages to ward off Asmodeus, the evil demon jealously guarding her, he will suffer the same fate as the seven previous husbands; the angel Raphael advises him to drive the demon away with the stench from burning a “little piece” from a giant fish’s heart (Tobias 3:8, 6:2, 6:8–10, 8:2).
1563–64 And quhow Judyth . . . . town fra wrake. Venturing into the encampment of the Assyrian army to be entertained by their general Holofernes, Judith beheaded him (Judith 13:8–10, 15:1–7).
1565–66 Jonas . . . . at Ninive. In Jonah 2:1–2, 2:11–3:2, the whale’s vomiting happens a day’s journey away from the inland city of Nineveh. Bawcutt notes (SP, p. 202n1566) that Douglas may be indebted to Chaucer for the detail that Jonah was “schot furth” at Nineveh (CT II[B1] 486–87).
1568–71 Of Alexander . . . . Jowrye he opprest. The summary of Alexander’s twelve years of conquest is scriptural, as is the reference to the oppression of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Maccabees 1:1–8; 1:20–26 ff.).
1572–74 Of Macabeus . . . . throw his prowes. The exploits of Judas Maccabeus are the subject of 1 Maccabees 3:1–9:18 and 2 Maccabees 8–15.
1575–76 his brethir Symon . . . . thair dayis rang. Jonathas is the subject of 1 Maccabees 9:28–13:23; Simon, of 13:1–16:22.
1577–82 Of Tebes eik . . . . all his slychtis. In part, Douglas is working through Chaucerian and Lydgatian precedents: on Tydeus at Thebes, see TC 5.1485–1501, ST, lines 2120–2235; on King Creon, his defeat by Theseus, and Theseus’ conquest of Thebes, see CT I[A] 938–47, 960–64, 985–90.
1583–84 as Stacius dois tell . . . . sank to Hel. Douglas cites Statius (7.771–823, 1:454–59). A Chaucerian approach to the classics continues to be evident: naming Amphiaraus as “Amphiorax the bischop,” Douglas may also be drawing on TC 2.104–05 (or ST, lines 4022–4103). This is one of several allusions in PH to sudden descents into infernal regions; see, for instance, Empedocles (note to line 257 above), the “sewch” (note to line 1316 above), Jonah (note to lines 1565–66 above), and Curtius (note to lines 1676–80 below).
1585–86 The faithfull ladyis . . . . barfute pas togyddir. The episode is familiar from CT I[A] 896–964; as Bawcutt notes, however (SP, p. 203n1585–93), Lydgate provides a more exact source for the phrases “alle in clothes blake” and “all in blak and barfoot” (ST, lines 4417, 4469).
1588–93 Behald . . . . ar til avance. The ironic praise of women is a hallmark of Lydgate’s style (ST, lines 4448–52; Pearsall, John Lydgate, pp. 118–19, 134–36).
1594–96 Of duke Pyrrotheus . . . . huge till se. Achilles having defeated Cycnus (compare PH, lines 1207–15), Nestor tells in lingering and grisly detail the tale of the battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs at the wedding of Pirithoüs and Hippodame (Met 12.210–535, 2:194–219; CA 6.485–536).
1597–1602 And Hercules . . . . the rial town. For Hercules’ rescue of Hesione (compare note to line 586) and his revenge against her ungrateful father Laomedon, see Met 11.211–15, 2:134–35 and CA 5.7195–7224 and 8.2515–24.
1603–05 To wyn the fleys . . . . all Medeas slychtis. Medea, sorceress and princess of Colchis, helped Jason steal the Golden Fleece (Met 7.1–158, 1:342–53; CA 5.3247–4222).
1606 Quhow for Jason Ysiphile wes shent. Hypsipyle, princess of Lemnos, was bedded by Jason and then abandoned en route to the Golden Fleece (ST, lines 3188–92); see PH, line 583 and note, above.
1607–11 And quhow to Troy . . . . the town agane. Having referred already (lines 1597–1602) to Ovid on the Greek overthrow of the Trojan king Laomedon, Douglas alludes afresh to Gower’s version (CA 5.7195–7224).
1612–14 The jugement of Parys . . . . goddes maist gudlye. Judgment is significant at various points in the poem as the determiner of destiny. Its decisive operation is what distinguishes and exalts the god Honour (lines 2051–57 and note). Here it is applied ill-advisedly: disputing over the golden apple of Discord (to be awarded to the most beautiful), Juno, Minerva, and Venus appealed to the judgment of the Trojan prince Paris, who gave the apple to Venus and earned the enmity of the other two (Heroides 16.51–88, pp. 200–03; CA 5.7400–7585).
1619–20 quhow be Ulixes . . . . brocht to Troy. The sea-nymph Thetis disguised her not-quite-invulnerable son Achilles as a girl so that he would not be called to Troy; Ulysses tricked him into revealing his identity (Met 13.162–71, 2:238–41; Statius 1.198–960, 2:326–85; CA 5.2961–3201).
1624 Grekis Troianys amang. In verse, the preposition “amang” may appear after the noun or pronoun which it locates (DOST amang (prep. adv.), sense A.4; also MED among(es (prep.), occasionally in the quotations for senses 1 and 2).
1627 baith hym and Troylus. Yoking Troilus as an afterthought to Hector, Douglas adopts the style of Pandarus, but applies it, as finally does Chaucer, to the heroes’ deaths rather than their victories (TC 2.170–98; 5.1800–06).
1630–56 out of Troy. . . . kyng of Rutuleis. In his summary of the wanderings and campaigns of Aeneas, Douglas draws on the Aeneid but also perhaps the Metamorphoses (13.623–14.582, 2:272–341). Where Chaucer had given most attention in his Aeneid summary to Book IV’s tragic romance between Aeneas and Dido, Douglas — logically, given the theme and plot of his own poem — concentrates (lines 1637–46) on Book VI’s prophetic journey of Aeneas into the Underworld.
1641 The fludis four of Hell. Five (sometimes, as in the Odyssey, four) rivers are generally associated with Hades: Lethe, Styx, Acheron, Cocytus, and Phlegethon; Gower refers to Jupiter’s oath “Be Lethen and be Flegeton, / Be Cochitum and Acheron,” which are “the chief flodes of the helle,” along with two “depe pettes,” Styx and “Segne” (CA 5.1109–15).
1643 The weltrand stone wirk Sisipho mych cair. The tale is widely alluded to in classical sources that Sisyphus was condemned by Jupiter to push a stone to the top of a hill, only to have it roll back each time (e.g., Met 4.460, 1:210–11; 13.27, 2:230–31).
mych. This is the first occurrence in L of a Midlands form of “much” (as in the Poems in the Pearl Manuscript, eds. Andrew and Waldron, p. 334), while “mekill” is the usual form in PH. (See the Glossary for line references.) This southern form recurs in line 2122.
1644 Camp Elysee. The Elysian Fields, where the blessed souls dwell (Aeneid 6.640–59, vol. 1, pp. 576–79); Douglas echoes this line in Eneados 6.prol.100, 3:3.
1645–46 Quhare ald Anchyses . . . . all his successyon. Anchises revealed the future greatness of Rome (Aeneid 6.756–886, 1:586–597).
1652 All his navy gret hunger did suppryse. See Aeneid 7.107–34, 2:10–11. Earlier (Aeneid 3.255–57, 1:388–89), the Harpy Celaeno had foretold that the Trojans would not establish their destined city until hunger compelled them to eat their tables.
1653–54 he in Italie . . . . strandis of Lavyne. The couplet echoes HF, lines 147–48, “In Itayle with ful moche pyne, / Unto the strondes of Lavyne.”
1656 Tarnus slew, the kyng of Rutuleis. Turnus was Aeneas’ fiercest adversary in the battle for Latium; the Aeneid concludes with his death; Livy also refers to the defeat of Turnus as Aeneas’ last exploit (History 1.2, 1:10–14).
1657 Rome saw I beildit fyrst be Romulus. Douglas identifies Romulus the builder but not Romulus the fratricide of Livy’s History 1.6–7, 1:22–31.
1660–65 wickit proud Terquinius . . . . wes cruelly opprest. Livy brings the first book of his History to a close (1.58–60, 1:200–09) with Sextus Tarquinius’ rape of Lucretia and the consequent expulsion of the Tarquins from Rome by Lucius Junius Brutus, to initiate the Roman republic. See also Gower’s version of the tale as part of his discussion of good and bad kingship (CA 7.4593–5130; see line 4593n).
1666–84 The Punik batalis . . . . Scipio clepyt Affrycane. These stanzas focus on men’s self-sacrificing acts for the good of their nation (Aeneas; Marcus Regulus; Marcus Curtius).
1671–74 worthy Marcus Regulus . . . . for till de. Marcus Atilius Regulus, Roman consul in 267 and 256 BCE, was captured by the Carthaginians, who deputed him to negotiate with Rome on their behalf; advising the Romans instead to keep fighting, he returned to a gruesome death in Carthage (Horace, Odes 3.5). A main source is Cicero, De officiis (especially 3.99–115, pp. 374–97, also 1.39, pp. 42–43); “common profyt” is a key theme of that work (1.20–24, pp. 20–23), as of CA, Book 7 (for example, lines 2957, 3006–11; also PF, line 47 and note).
1675 Tullus Servilius dowchty in his daw. This probably refers to Servius Tullius, the honored sixth king of Rome, whose doughty deeds Livy recounts (History 1.39–48, 1:138–71).
1676–80 And Curtyus eik . . . . thairin lap. The most fully developed but problematic instance in PH of plunging into a chasm (see notes to lines 257, 1583–84 above): Livy alludes to the sacrifice of Marcus Curtius who leapt (not unarmed but fully armed) into a chasm in the Forum (History 7.6, 3:372–77) but does not mention the fieriness of the chasm. See Textual Note for line 1676 for the emendation Curtyus.
1681–87 And Hannyball . . . . Realme of Spane. Calling the elder Scipio “Affrycane,” Douglas follows PF, lines 41 ff.; Scipio, hero of the Second Punic War, took Spain and defeated Hannibal; he adopted the epithet Africanus.
1688–89 Quhow Kyng Jugurtha . . . . were the fyne. The references to Sallust’s Jugurthine War here and in lines 1775–76 may indicate the esteem Douglas felt toward this book and its author. They may also point to his interest in the topic of aristocratic rebellion.
1690–91 the batellis intestyne . . . . of Lentulus. Linked with the previous reference to Jugurtha, the allusion to Sallust’s Conspiracy of Catiline further exemplifies Douglas’ interest in this Roman historian. The Catiline conspiracy, which involved Catalina and co-conspirator Lentulus, brought to light by Cicero, is described in Sallust’s Bellum Catalinae and amply by Cicero (e.g., Catilinarian Orations).
1692 atwine Pompey and Cesar Julyus. This civil war is the subject of Lucan’s epic De bello civili, commonly known as Pharsalia.
1693–94 And breifly . . . . or cornackyll reid. The dreamer sees heroic deeds in the mirror; compare his interpretation to the Nymph’s more amatory understanding, lines 1760–64 and note.
1701 the cumming of the Antecrist. A vernacular depiction of the coming of the Antichrist that was widely available in the fifteenth century is in The Prik of Conscience, part 5.
1703–07 al maner disportys . . . . handlyt hate. Hunting waterfowl with falcons was considered a fine noble recreation. Of all such quarry, herons and bitterns, rare in Scotland, were regarded the finest; as they were more common, geese and ducks were used to ‘enter’ falcons, or train them to hunt: “the falconers rode on horseback, for the sake of following the rapid movements of the hawks”; dogs and “laddis” raised the quarry (ALHTS, pp. cclii–ccliii, 288, 305, 360). This scene of avian carnage contrasts strikingly with the depiction of the paradisal landscape outside Honour’s palace, where “ravanus fowlis” do not harm “littil volatill” (line 1422). Douglas later associates the image of “fowlis plungit in laik or puyll” with the profusion of semantically complex terms in Latin (Eneados, Prologue to Book 1, line 376, 2:14]).
1705 in periculo mortis. That is, “in danger of death”: a jocular allusion to the annotation accompanying the short forms of the sacrament of baptism in emergencies, in Canon Law (e.g., Canons 865.2, 867.2, 868.2).
1711–19 Raf Coilyear . . . . in Madin land. As preserved in E but not L, this stanza provides a register of entertaining narratives deemed traditional, some of which are identified by region, several of which are preserved in texts much later than PH, and some are no longer extant. This register evidently has a place among courtly entertainments; tellers of such geistis to the king and his inner household were duly rewarded (ALHTS, p. 176; compare The Dreme, lines 31–46, Lyndsay, p. 2). The adjective “auld” appears twice in this stanza, where the usual form in PH is “ald.”
1711 Raf Coilyear. This is a fifteenth-century Scottish romance in alliterative stanzas about the Emperor Charlemagne’s encounters incognito with a coal-peddler, involving much burlesque of courtly conventions (Three Middle English Charlemagne Romances, ed. Lupack, pp. 161–204).
1712 Craibit Johne the Reif and auld Cowkewyis sow. John the Reeve and Rauf Coilyear employ the theme of “a king incognito meeting the humblest of his subjects” (Ten Bourdes, ed. Furrow, p. 141). In three parts (like HF and PH), Colkelbie’s Sow (in the Bannatyne Manuscript) is a wild burlesque of higher literary forms.
1713 how the wran come out of Ailssay. No tale has been found about a wren from Ailsa Craig, a volcanic outcrop in the Firth of Clyde. “Hunting the wren” is attested regionally, notably on the Isle of Man, with a traditional origin in the seductive depredations of “a fairy of uncommon beauty” who assumes the form of a wren each New Year’s Day (Bullock, History of the Isle of Man, p. 370; Wentersdorf, “Folkloristic Significance of the Wren,” pp. 193–94).
1714 Peirs Plewman. Piers Plowman B-text, Passus VI seems out of place in this list of burlesque and popular tales; its inclusion here as a bourde in which Piers invites Hunger to discipline some refractory workers suggests that at least part of Langland’s work was valued as comedy.
1715–16 Gret Gowmakmorne . . . . as thay say. “It is with pleasure we find here, two of Ossian’s celebrated heroes, viz. Gow or Gaul the son of Morni and Fyn Macoul or Fyngal — The last verse alludes to their heroic, or god-like exploits in Ireland” (Scott, p. 149). Goll mac Morna and Finn mac Cumhaill are heroes and sometime antagonists of the Fenian cycle of Irish epic tales, the circulation of which in late-medieval Scotland is attested in the Book of the Dean of Lismore (Meek, “Scots-Gaelic Scribes,” pp. 264–66; Gillies, “The Book of the Dean of Lismore,” pp. 183, 190, 201–03, 210).
1717 Maitland upon auld Beird Gray. Sir Richard Maitland, late thirteenth-century ancestor of the noble family of that name, “the hero of the well-known ballad of Auld Maitland, which deals largely with the brave defence of his ‘darksome house’ of Thirlestane in his old age against a large English force” (Scots Peerage, ed. Paul, 5:279); Maitland’s old grey horse features prominently in this ballad (Lang, Walter Scott and the Border Minstrelsy, pp. 18–39); with allusions to it in the Maitland Quarto (“Ane Consolatore Ballad to Sir Richart Maitland of Lethingtoun knicht,” ed. Martin, poem 46.105, and “Virgil his village Mantua,” poem 68.145).
1718 Robene Hude and Gilbert with the quhite hand. In A Gest of Robyn Hode, “good Gylberte / With the Whyte Hande” rivals Robin Hood at archery (lines 1167–68, 1603–04; Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales, ed. Knight and Ohlgren).
1719 How Hay of Nauchtoun flew in Madin land. Though this tale has not been traced, the Hays of Naughton (near Balmerino in Fifeshire) are mentioned in fifteenth-century records (e.g., Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Manuscripts of the Duke of Athole and the Earl of Home, p. 158); “Madin land” may refer to Mainland, the largest of the Shetland Islands (DOST madin-land (n.); main-, mayn[e], mane-land (n.), sense 1b), rather than the magical kingdom of maidens (Sir Perceval of Galles, ed. Braswell, lines 956, 1128, 1645; Ywain and Gawain, ed. Braswell, line 3010).
1721 Bonitas. Guido Bonatti, thirteenth-century astrologer, was mentioned by Dante in Inferno (20.108); Bonatti’s Introduction to Astrology was printed in Augsburg in 1491 and is also included in Henry VII’s astrological manuscript, now British Library, MS Arundel 66 (Carey, “Henry VII’s Book of Astrology”).
Bongo. While the name appears to refer to Bacon’s contemporary the Franciscan Thomas Bungay, it may have been conflated with that of “another Friar Bungay in the fifteenth century with a definite reputation as a magician” (Molland, “Roger Bacon,” p. 449n23, citing New Chronicles, ed. Ellis, p. 661).
Bacon. Roger Bacon, thirteenth-century Aristotelian scholar at Oxford and Paris, embraced mathematical and experimental sciences (especially optics) and “went some way towards meriting his later reputation as a magician (Molland, “Roger Bacon,” p. 460). It may be of interest that all three names in this line are connected with scientists of the thirteenth century.
1722–27 With mony subtell poynt . . . . made ane ape. These entertaining illusions of transformation (mostly involving foodstuffs) recall the much briefer trick with the windmill and the walnut shell in HF (lines 1280–81) and the “castis” and “cawtelis” performed by the Jay, “a iuglour” in BH, lines 770–80 (see p. 136n772–80). In The Mabinogion, the bard Gwydion displays similar transformative skills, “making horses and hounds out of toadstools, shoes out of seaweed, a woman out of flowers, and a sea filled with hostile vessels out of nothing” (Breeze, “Bret Glascurion,” p. 64).
1724 sychyng bone. Bawcutt (SP, pp. 325–26n1724) points to another occurrence of this obscure term, in the Bannatyne Manuscript, in the first of a series of “Schort Epegrammis Aganis Women”: “Will god I sall not weir the siching b[a]ne” (line 5); in this context, the “sighing bone” seems to be an emblem of having been jilted. Given the frequency of association between the heart and sighing (e.g., KQ, line 1216), a breastbone may be implied. In The Romance and Prophecies of Thomas of Erceldoune (ed. Murray, Thornton text, line 49), a saddle is made of “roelle bone” (ivory; “rewel boon” is parodied in the Tale of Sir Thopas, CT VIII[B2] 2068).
1726 penny py. This is a simple, economical pastry usually filled with mutton, spice, and seasoning (Riddell, Aberdeen and Its Folk, pp. 121–22): at lunchtime, the rustic merrymakers of William Tennant’s Anster Fair (1812) long for “wherewithal to sate / Their hunger, bread and beer, or penny pie” (4.47.373–74, p. 19).
1735 Ye bene welcum. Graciously acknowledging the dreamer with this greeting, Venus employs the polite second person plural pronoun, in contrast to her usual practice in addressing the dreamer in particular. The gracious gesture is made only once; by the next line, 1736, Venus has reverted to “thou” in addressing the dreamer.
1737 I not more than a schepe. The silliness and cowardice of sheep are proverbial. See Whiting S213, S204–05.
1749 Than suddandly in hand a buke scho hynt. “The poet’s interview with someone who commands him to write was a popular theme, and often linked with the dream. It perhaps originated partly as a humorous development of the humility topos: the poet writes not out of ‘vane presumptioun’ but at the request of another” (Burrow, p. 189). This assignment recalls the task Alceste sets for Chaucer (LGW, F prol.479–91) with a difference: where Alceste tells Chaucer what to write, Venus shows Douglas the book he will write (Morse, “Gavin Douglas: ‘Off Eloquence,’” pp. 111–12).
1752 put in ryme that proces, than quyt tynt. The sense may be that the authentic Aeneid has been supplanted in vernacular discourse by incorrect, inaccurate retellings (possibly including Chaucer’s in HF). It is worth remembering that Douglas does not specify the Aeneid here — even though the accompanying marginal note in L is categorical on this point (see Textual Note to line 1756; see also Introduction to this edition, pp. 7–8).
1757 Sumtyme efter quhen I have mare lasere. Thus the poet may be dropping a gentle hint that greater leisure would enable him to be more productive.
1760–64 yone myrrour clere . . . . behald all gracis. The images in the mirror of Venus give rise to conflicting interpretations. While previously the dreamer saw the reflected deeds as heroic (lines 1693–94), the Nymph calls them beautiful. Complicating the issue further, a marginal gloss is printed in L that the Nymph’s interpretation is “The Auctors conclution of Venus merour” (see Textual Notes to this edition, line 1761). The difference has stirred critical debate: it is either a flaw or thematically significant (Norton Smith, p. 240; SP, p. xlv; Kratzmann, Anglo Scottish Literary Relations, p. 114; Morse, “Gavin Douglas: ‘Off Eloquence,’” pp. 111–12; Hasler, Court Poetry in Late Medieval England and Scotland, p. 105; Johnston and Rouse, “Facing the Mirror,” pp. 171–73). Throughout the poem, combat and intimacy have been problematically, productively intertwined. (For further discussion, see the Introduction to this edition, pp. 23–24, 54.)
1770–73 Lucyus Catalyn . . . . his chaftis quuke. The allusion is to Cicero’s invective orations against Catiline; paired with his allusions to Sallust, here and above (lines 1688–91, and note), this emphasis may reflect the “marked preference for the invective” that Kristeller detects in fifteenth-century humanist taste (“Humanism,” p. 125) and that Bawcutt considers to be prominent in Douglas’ literary taste, practice, and public life (Bawcutt, p. 2). It is a nice touch that Cicero strikes down Catiline with a “buke,” the vehicle of his invective rhetoric.
1775 tressonabill Tryphon. Assuming the name of Tryphon, Diodotus claimed the throne after the Prince Antiochus VI’s suspicious death; he had been the Prince’s tutor and regent. Tryphon deceitfully captured and murdered Jonathan Maccabeus, but Antiochus VII defeated him (1 Maccabees 11:39; 12:39–52; 13:12–23, 31–32; 15:25).
1787–88 Rycht vertuus young . . . . thair mindis sete. “Young saint, old devil” is proverbial. See Whiting S19.
1792–1827 The mychty prynce . . . . yone kyngis obbeysance. This is a “short allegorical passage based on the hierarchies of a royal household . . . which has some generic similarities to King Hart” (Martin, Kingship, p. 132; see also Court of Sapience, lines 1471–652). Hepburn argues that Douglas represents the household as “a force for obedience and order in a sometimes unruly courtly world” (“Household of James IV,” p. 37). In the Scottish royal household, some offices were held by young noblemen: “carvers, sewars, cupbearers, waiters at the board-end, henchmen, and pages” (ALHTS, pp. cxc–cxci).
1798, 1801 Thesaurar, Comptrowere. In the Scottish royal administration under James IV, while the Comptroller received regular income from rents, the Treasurer received irregular income from duties, fines, and taxes. The Treasurer’s expenses included construction and repair of royal castles and houses; maintenance of the Chapel Royal; alms, offerings, largess, rewards and gifts; officers’ pensions and fees; the lodging and entertainment of ambassadors and guests (ALHTS, pp. xiv, xxv).
1800 clerkis of closet and cubeculeris. The clerk of closet and the cubicular were attendants to the king in his bedchamber, the first his private confessor, the second his groom or personal servant. In The Dreme, Lyndsay recalls carrying out various of these household tasks for the young James V: “seware,” “coppare,” carvoure,” “ischare,” and “of thy chalmer cheiffe cubiculare” (lines 21–24, Lyndsay, p. 1).
1807 Humylyté karvar, that na wycht lyst to greve. Humility is the quality displayed by Chaucer’s Squire in carving at table for his father; it is also displayed by the young James Douglas performing the same task for the Bishop of St. Andrews (CT I[A] 99–100; Bruce, 1.333–77, 2:14–15).
1810–11 His Chanceller . . . . pronounce fals sentence. The Chancellor of the Scottish court “presided over the king’s parliaments and councils and kept the king’s great seal” (Nicholson, Scotland: The Later Middle Ages, p. 22). The poet’s father held this office in the 1490s (see Introduction, pp. 4–5).
1816 As auditouris thay ovirseis quhat is spent. The audit of the royal accounts was an annual affair performed by the Lords Auditors of the Exchequer, officers specially appointed for this duty (Murray, “Procedure of the Scottish Exchequer,” pp. 91–93; Hepburn, “Household of James IV,” pp. 168–69).
1818 out stewartis. Hepburn suggests these are equivalent to the ballivi ad extra of Scottish royal administration, “the financial administrators of the king’s property” outside the burghs (“Household of James IV,” p. 36n107).
1821 almoseir. In fifteenth-century Scotland, the almoner was “charged with distributing to the poor from a great household” (Houston, “What Did the Royal Almoner Do,” pp. 306–07).
1824–25 The kyngis mynyeon . . . . heicht Verité. Naming Verity the king’s intimate servant overturns the usually pejorative associations of minion; DOST Min3(e)o(u)n, minio (u)n (n.), sense 3, “A prince’s or great man’s favourite. Chiefly opprobriously: One who owes everything to his patron’s favour, a ‘hanger-on’, a ‘creature’.”
1834–36 yet of byrnyst gold . . . . in erd consave. Golden doors decorated with scenes (but of military triumph not natural phenomena) open upon the shrine of Caesar in Virgil’s Georgics (3.26–39, pp. 178–79); a closer parallel exists in Ovid’s description of the silver doors of the palace of the Sun (Met 2.1–18, 1:60–61).
1837 Thare wes the erth enveronyt wyth the see. Ovid also begins his description of the doorway to the palace of the Sun with an account of the earth surrounded by the seas (Met 2.5–6, 1:60–61). Douglas alludes to HF, line 903, where the airborne Geoffrey glimpses “shippes seyllynge in the see”; a secondary allusion may exist in Troilus’ view of the little earth, in the epilogue to TC.
1840 The Speris Sevyn and primum mobile. The seven spheres are the courses of the seven planets (outer to inner: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, the sun, the moon) revolving around the earth according to the Ptolemaic system; the “primum mobile,” the source of planetary motion is the outermost sphere moving on an axis, at either end of which are the Pole Stars (lines 1843–44 and note).
1841–42 The sygnis twelf . . . . as bukis represents. A source is Ovid’s reference to six signs of the zodiac on the right-hand doors of the palace of the Sun and six on the left (Met 2.18, 1:60–61).
1843–44 The Poil Antertik . . . . the Poil Artik. The Pole Stars are arcticus, the one which “alway schineth to us and never gooth doun to oure sight, for alwey he is above us,” and antarcticus, “‘the southeren sterre,’” which is “alwey unseyn to us” (Trev. Prop. 8.22, p. 501, lines 27–28, 30, 32); these two stars mark the uppermost and downmost points of the “spere of heven” on which, in Ptolemaic astronomy, the stars are fixed (8.6, p. 456, line 27).
1844–45 the Ursis twane . . . . the Charle wane. These refer to Ursa Major and Ursa Minor; as the “Charle wane” is another name for Ursa Major, some uncertainty may exist about terminology (DOST Charle wain(e (n.)). Situating Phaethon in the heavens with the Pleiades and the two Bears may suggest some vagueness about basic astronomy; it may, however, be an allusion to the wandering stars whose courses Ovid compares to falling Phaethon (Met 2.320–23, 1:82–83), and perhaps to the “impressioun” at the outset of the poem (lines 105–06). In the prologue to Eneados 8.prol.151 (3:121), a reference to the “son, the Sevyn Starnys, and the Charl Wayn” is part of the rough lore reeled off by a character in a dream. See also Dialog line 165 (Lyndsay, pp. 189, 319n165).
1846–48 quhow that Ganamedis . . . . his cheif butlare. Orpheus sings the tale of Jupiter’s taking the form of an eagle to abduct the Trojan boy Ganymede, who then mixes and serves Jupiter’s nectar (Met 10.155–61, 2:74–75). Here the tale of divine lust and aerial travel contrasts with the earlier emphasis on the moral worth of the officers at the court of Honour; Norton-Smith argues that Ganymede, the only human depicted on the doorway, is a figure for the poet (p. 249; compare HF, lines 588–92).
1849–54 The douchters . . . . al sisteris beyng. Douglas is translating Ovid’s description of the engraving on the doors of the Sun’s palace of the sea-nymph Doris and her daughters (Met 2.11–14, 1:60–61), with two changes: Ovid’s nymphs have green hair, and some of them are riding on fishes.
1855 Of the planetis all the conjunctionys. In medieval astronomy, a conjunction (an “apparent proximity of two planets or other heavenly bodies . . . as viewed from the earth”) was regarded as an especially significant influence on terrestrial affairs (OED conjunction, sense 3; Grant, Planets, Stars, and Orbs, p. 387).
1856 Thare episciclis and oppositionis. In Ptolemaic astronomy, each of the seven planets was supposed to revolve on its own orbit (or “epicycle”), but also to move spirally along a greater circle (the “deferent”). “Opposition” occurs when two planets are exactly opposite to one another from the perspective of the earth, or when a planet is opposite to the sun: “it is signe of parfite emnyte and bodeth worst happis, and namliche yif Mars hath soche aspecte to Saturnus othir to the sonne”; Trev. Prop. 8.9, p. 465, lines 23–24).
1857 quhow thair coursis swagis. Bartholomaeus identifies three kinds of planetary motion: direct, stationary, and retrograde: “Also in these cerclys thre maner meouynge of planetis is ful wiseliche ifounde of astronomers, that ben iclepide motus directus, stacionarius, and retrogradus” (Trev. Prop. 8.11, p. 477, lines 24–26).
1859 aspectis, and degressyonys. This is the position of a planet on the zodiac relative to another planet from the vantage point of the earth; “digression” is the apparent deviation in the courses of the lower planets, Venus and Mercury.
1862–63 The werkmanschip excedyng . . . . wes fynest gold. These lines translate materiam superabat opus at the outset of Ovid’s description of the doors of the palace of the Sun (Met 2.5, 1:60–61); Cairns (p. 33) perceives a significant inversion of sequence, with Douglas placing this phrase at the end of his ekphrasis.
1865 My Nymphe in grif schot me in at the yet. This gesture recalls the impatient shove Africanus gives the erring dreamer in PF (lines 153–54).
1866–68 Quhat Devyl . . . . on sic dotyng. “What devil” is a common expletive phrase (MED devel (n.), sense 6c; DOST devil (n.), sense 1d). For all its raciness of style, the Nymph’s scolding may recall the Sibyl Deiphobe’s rebuke of Aeneas for staring overlong at the depictions on the doors to Daedalus’ temple of Apollo (Aeneid 6.14–39, 1:532–35; Norton-Smith, p. 249).
1868 tho for fere I swet. Krantzmann observes that “Douglas’s ‘I’, like Chaucer’s, ‘sweats’ in fear” (Anglo-Scottish Literary Relations, p. 122; HF, line 1042).
1878 It semyt lyk the hevyn imperiall. The empyrean is the highest heaven, above the moving spheres; it is the home of the angels and the “contrey and wonynge of blisful men” (Trev. Prop. 8.4, p. 454, lines 28–29); Honour lives in a place “like” heaven (compare The Dreme, lines 514–18, Lyndsay, p. 19).
1879–80 as the cedir . . . . in perfyt hycht. The cedar is a traditional emblem for the high style (Curtius, p. 201); Douglas exaggerates the lowness of the low style by typifying it by a mere shrub (Norton-Smith, “Ekphrasis as a Stylistic Element,” p. 247).
1891 breddyt. The doors and windows are shuttered, not completely sealed; his view thus obstructed, the dreamer “must view the interior of the palace in a single, circumscribed peep” (Norton-Smith, p. 253).
1893 With byrnyst evyr baith palyce and touris. Ovid’s Palace of the Sun is similarly roofed with ivory (Met 2.3, 1:60–61).
1898 Curius knottis, and many sle devyse. By “knots,” Douglas refers to ornamental patterns of interlace, worked in gold and enamel upon the ivory; a “devise” is an emblematic design inscribed with an explanatory motto.
1902 thopas. Topaz “schyneth most whan he is ysmyte with the sonne beeme, and passeth in clerenesse alle othere precious stones, and comforteth men and bestes to byholde and loke theronne . . . . And in tresorie of kynges nothing is more cleere ne more precious than this precious stone” (Trev. Prop. 16.95, p. 877, lines 33–36; p. 878, lines 1–2).
1903 boir. This may be a small space in the shutters on the door; see note to line 1891 above.
1904 represent. In Middle English, the word has associations with the mental impression resulting from perception (MED represent (n.)). Fradenburg considers this an especially significant, decisive choice of term (City, Marriage, Tournament, p. 186); in this moment, the dreamer registers his awareness of the impact of his vision upon his senses and mind, so that he is already smitten before he falls unconscious. Johnston and Rouse argue that the “represent” “mesmerizes the viewer — he feels both desire and fear while gazing on the alluring image of totalizing power, and he becomes a wretched captive” (“Facing the Mirror,” p. 177).
1907 amatist. Amethyst traditionally has associations with sobriety (Trev. Prop. 16.9, p. 834). The twelfth foundation of the heavenly Jerusalem is amethyst (Apocalypse 21:20).
1913 saphyrs. The sapphire “hath vertue to reule and acorde hem that bene in stryf and helpeth moche to make pees and acorde”; it was reputedly “singulerliche yhalowed to Appolyn” (Trev. Prop. 16.86, p. 869, lines 32–33; p. 870, lines 28–29).
1916 smaragdane. The smaragd is “pris [most prized] of alle grene stones” (Trev. Prop. 16.87, p. 871, line 16). The name is etymologically related to “emerald,” appropriately so since the two words refer to the same gemstone (OED smaragd (n.)).
1921 Intronyt sat a god armypotent. In Dunbar’s Goldyn Targe, it is Mars who is “armypotent”; in Eneados, Douglas refers thus to both Pallas Athena and Deiphobus (2.7.113, 2:87; 6.8.37, 3:33). See further the Textual Note for this line.
1922–24 On quhais . . . . all my bonys. “And the schynand and fyry suerd that stoppis oure gait to paradice, js the just sentens of the diuinite agane the man, that wauld have turnit agane to paradice terrestir eftir the sentens of the trinite” (Ireland, Meroure 2:4, 1:79). Referring to lines 105–11, Johnston and Rouse see this collapse as “the second time that the poet-speaker is struck down by a blinding force” (“Facing the Mirror,” p. 178). For Douglas Gray, the moment “is reminiscent in some ways of an intense spiritual experience, of a mystic vision perhaps, or of the way Lancelot is smitten down in the Queste del Saint Graal” (“Gavin Douglas,” p. 155).
1942 Carlyng. This is the feminine equivalent to “carl” or “churl,” an abusive colloquialism (DOST carling (n.), sense 1).
1944 For kyrkmen wer ay jentill to ther wyvys. Small records the tradition that Douglas had a relationship that produced a daughter and perhaps other children, and observes that “[a]ccording to the sentiments of the age, transgressions of this kind were treated with indulgence" (Poetical Works, 1:cxxv–cxxvi; Fraser, Douglas Book, 2:139n1; Paul, Scots Peerage 1:185). Less controversially, ther may also be a variant of thir, "these" (DOST thir (adj.), sense A.1).
1953 malt. Later the dreamer regrets having a “megyr hart,” (line 2029); here, it appears his heart is soft, easily overcome (derived from MED melten (v.), senses 1b and 2b; DOST melt (v.1), sense 2). The form might be related to “molten” as past participle, (see DOST melt (v.1), for the form “moltine”).
1957 My lydyis court in thair gudly array. This refers to the court of the Muses.
1978–94 For erdly glore . . . . of thair estatis. A summary of various traditional expressions about the transience of earthly glory, including proverbial images such as the dream, the sunbeam, and the weltering sea; the passage ends with a catalogue of the mighty, all under the term of Death (Whiting L241, S107, 113; Woolf, English Religious Lyric, pp. 325, 343–47).
1981–89 Behald . . . . the wally see. Life is a dream, and its good things pass away in an instant; the Nymph’s moralizing recalls aspects of ephemerality elsewhere in the poem. See note to line 1051 above.
1987 sonne beme. The sunbeam as an emblem of ephemeral brilliance conveys a deeply-rooted sentiment (Whiting S906); the simile may recall the flash of the “impressioun” at the outset (lines 105–06).
1995 And not ellis bot vertuus werkis richt. Behind this allusion to the doctrine of good works may lie an exemplary tale such as the ubiquitous parable of Barlaam and Josaphat, appearing, for example, in The Golden Legend.
2019 Nobillis Nyne. The tradition of the Nine Worthies — three pagan heroes (Hector, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar), three Jews (Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus), and three Christians (Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Boulogne) — “became increasingly popular across medieval European art, drama, and literature” and gave rise in mid-fifteenth-century Scotland to The Balletis of the Nine Nobles, with Robert the Bruce added as a worthy tenth (Wingfield, Trojan Legend in Medieval Scottish Literature, pp. 64–73, quoted at pp. 64–65).
2020 Pompeyus the ald. This is Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great), Roman conqueror of Asian kingdoms, including Pontus, Syria, and Judea; he was defeated by Caesar at the Battle of Pharsalus. Gower alludes to him as the epitome of the mighty conqueror (CA 5.5533–34).
2024 Semiramis, Thamar, Ypolytha. Semiramis, an Assyrian queen whom Gower calls a whore (CA 5.1432–33) and Chaucer a “virago” (CT II[B1] 359), is also famed for building a wall around Babylon (LGW, line 707; Utley, pp. 224–25); Tamar is one of two wronged women in the Old Testament: the daughter-in-law of Judah (Genesis 38:6, 8, 12–30) or the daughter of David, raped by her brother Amnon (2 Kings 13:1–32; 1 Chronicles 3:9); Hippolyta, Amazon queen, defeated and married by Theseus (as in lines 1195–96).
2025 Pantyssalé, Medus, Cenobia. For Penthesilea, see note to line 341 above. Ovid depicts Medusa, once the most beautiful and desirable of women, as raped by Neptune. Jealous or angered, Minerva punished Medusa by changing her hair to snakes; Perseus beheaded her after showing her reflection; and her blood produced the flying horse Pegasus (Met 4.790–803, 1:234–35; CA 1.389–435). Zenobia is the militant queen of Chaucer’s MkT (CT VII[B2] 3437–564).
2027 The kyngis Gregor, Kened and Kyng Robert. These are three victorious kings of Scots: “Gregor,” Giric I, identified in Scotichronicon (4.17, ed. Watt, 2:320–21) as commencing his reign in 875 and conquering Ireland and most of (ac pene totam) England (ed. Watt, 2:318–21); “Kened,” Kenneth I mac Alpin, conqueror of the Picts, whose reign commenced in 834 (Scotichronicon 4.273; ed. Watt, 2:273–74); “Kyng Robert,” Robert the Bruce (1274–1329), who re-established Scottish kingship and defeated Edward II at Bannockburn in 1314.
2034 A huge pepyl punyst for thair trespas. Expecting to see a “huge people” rightfully punished might be comparable to avidly anticipating the discourse of a “man of gret auctorite” at the end of HF (line 2158). What may strengthen the connection to HF is that the man of great authority arrives shortly after Geoffrey has described men of evil fame — liars and such — who deserve punishment (lines 2121–30). The moment in PH may also involve an appeal to the King to live up to his reputation for judicial rigor; according to the Spanish ambassador Pedro de Ayala, James IV was “a severe judge, especially in the case of murderers” (Calendar of Negotiations between England and Spain, ed. Bergenroth, 1:169).
2035–49 Quhilkis be wilfull . . . . honour away is. The displacement of sons of noble birth by upstarts and the corruption of morals among the nobility are topics of Dunbar’s court satires (e.g., “Schir, it remember as befoir,” lines 11–25; “Complane I wald, wist I quhome till,” lines 15–38; “Quhom to sall I compleine my wo,” lines 21–30 [Poems, ed. Bawcutt, 1:225–26, 67–68, 171–72]). The justice meted out by Honour might be compared with Fame’s treatment of the “shrewes” who request and receive lasting notoriety for their evil deeds (HF, lines 1823–68).
2044–47 And nobillis cumyn . . . . corruppit, covatus invy. The poet’s father, Archibald Douglas, fifth earl of Angus, was deprived of the chancellorship in 1497 (see the Introduction to this edition, pp. 4–5).
2051–57 And thair gret . . . . na mare prescryve. The Spanish ambassador Pedro de Ayala reported approvingly on the young James IV’s characteristically decisive execution of justice: “He lends a willing ear to his counselors, and decides nothing without asking them; but in great matters he acts according to his own judgment.” Civil strife, Pedro reported, had been suppressed among the Scots: “since the present King succeeded to the throne they do not dare to quarrel so much with one another as formerly, especially since he came of age. They have learnt by experience that he executes the law without respect to rich or poor” (Calendar of Negotiations between England and Spain, ed. Bergenroth, 1:171).
2059 My spreit desyris to se thair torment fane. See note to lines 2107–12 below. The dreamer’s longing to witness “thair torment” may recall Apocalypse 21:8–9, where the torture of the unrighteous proceeds “in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb.”
2062–76 Bot first . . . . thair nebbis grew. In writing about PH, the Edinburgh advocate and historian Patrick Fraser Tytler took special note of this passage: “the Poet, under the protection of her who has so faithfully conducted him, proposes to visit a delightful garden, where the Muses are employed in gathering the choicest flowers of poesy, which spring beneath trees bearing precious stones instead of fruit. In the description of this retreat there is a strange admixture of the beautiful and the ridiculous. The scenery is sweetly painted; but what shall we say of the trees on which geese or chickens are seen growing; to the transplanting of the extraordinary fables of Boece into the gardens of the Palace of Honour?” (Lives of Scottish Worthies, 3:168).
2065 bissy as the beis. On the Muses as busy bees, see note to line 45 above.
2066 colouris of rethoreis. Compare “Youre termes, youre colours, and youre figures,” which Chaucer’s Host associates with the high style, “as whan that men to kynges write” (CT IV[E] 16, 18). Chaucer’s Franklin professes ignorance of such devices: “Colours ne knowe I none . . . / But swiche colours as growen in the mede” (CT V[F] 723–24). The lyric concluding PH (lines 2143–69) would thus exemplify the poet’s own skill at gathering, selecting, and applying such colors for such purposes, but also display his reluctance to claim such skill — a display that is itself a “color.”
2075–76 out of growand treis . . . . thair nebbis grew. The birth of barnacle geese out of trees growing over the water may be presented as an insular marvel, a myth of nature that originates back home in the British Isles, as it is in Mandeville’s Travels, about the bernakes, born like fruit from trees (Buke of John Maundevill, ed. Warner, pp. 130, 213; eds. Kohanski and Benson, lines 2346–48, and “introduced to bestiary lore in 1187 by Geraldus Cambrensis”; 2342–47n). In his Chronicles of Scotland (1527), Hector Boece asserted that “we can not beleif that thir clakis [barnacle geese] ar producit be ony nature of treis or rutis thairof, bot allanerly be the nature of the occeane see, quhilk is the caus and production of mony wonderful thingis” (“Cosmographe and Discription of Albion,” trans. Bellenden, chapter xiv; History and Chronicles, ed. Maitland, p. xlix).
2078 Wes laid a tre ovir quhilk behovyt we pas. Not for the first time or the last, a tree trunk occupies a significant place in the narrative; see, e.g., lines 199, 230, 313, 316, 345, 1474, and notes to lines 1013 and 2114.
2086–88 Quhyl I fell . . . . in point to droun. Cairns (p. 34) detects an Ovidian link to Phaethon’s final fall into a river. This link is strengthened via Regio’s gloss in caput cadit ("[he] falls headlong").
2098 The byrdis sang. Chaucer (PF, lines 491–93) influentially exaggerates the effects of this sound; here it both counters and recalls the birdsong at the outset of the poem but also the apocalyptic cries the fish make, at the start of the dream proper (PH, lines 22–25, 146–47).
2106 fund. Middle English finden has a wealth of meanings from “discover,” “find,” “ascertain,” and “judge,” to “compose,” “invent,” “counterfeit,” or “tell” (MED provides twenty-three separate entries, each with various shades of meaning). The dreamer longs to remain in the country of poetic invention that he “fund” in his dream.
2107–12 And maist of . . . . slane or schent. The dreamer in Dunbar’s Ballat of the Abbot of Tungland, lines 125–28 (Poems, ed. Bawcutt, 1:59) is angry about waking, Bawcutt suggests, because he too has thus been prevented from seeing justice executed (Dunbar the Makar, p. 279).
2114 sittand under a tre. This is not the first time the narrator-protagonist places himself near a tree to compose a poem; see line 1013 and note, and, implicitly, the recitation of the song against Venus, lines 607 ff.
2116–69 O hie Honour . . . . I end tha. These two lyrics merit comparison with the lyrics inset earlier (lines 163–92, 607–36, 1015–44). Where those earlier effusions each begin with a strong focus on the speaker himself (addressing the dreamer’s fate, his heart, and his wit), these closing stanzas are addressed to other, exalted entities: Honor, King James IV. It is worthwhile to trace the relation between the objective values presented here (Honour, kingship) and the representation of the poet’s own need for protection and patronage, however unworthy his book may be (lines 2142–43, 2150–51, 2154 ff.).
2116–42 O hie Honour . . . . to thy devyse. These stanzas attain new stylistic heights. Internal rhyme is a memorable device of closure in other late fifteenth-century Scottish poems: Henryson, Prayer for the Pest (Poems of Robert Henryson, ed. Fox, lines 65–88), Dunbar and Kennedie, Flyting, lines 233–48, 545–52 (Poems, ed. Bawcutt, 1:208, 218); for further discussion of internal rhyme in PH, see the Introduction to this edition, pp. 31, 36). Bawcutt notes that “the imagery has religious associations, several of the figures being traditionally applied to Christ or the Virgin; and Douglas frequently addresses Honour as if he were addressing God” (SP, p. 213n2116–42). In the first stanza, the dominant images are the flower and the gem; in the second, it is first the shining “face” of the sun and then (line 2130) a harbor. The first three lines of the third stanza present a sequence of images: rose, gem, dew. Several of these images are regularly associated with Christ.
2116–18 swete hevynly flour . . . . guerdoun condyng. Honour is a flower in that it is the “best or finest,” or “the perfection” of virtue (DOST flour (n.), senses 2b and c). Similarly, it a gem in that it is the most powerful (“vertuus”), precious, and beautiful (“gudlyest”) of qualities. This concept of Honour might be compared with the virtue of magnificence, “that is to seyn, whan a man dooth and parfourneth the werkes of goodnesse; and that is the ende why that men sholde do goode werkes, for in the accomplissynge of grete goode werkes lith the grete gerdoun” (ParsT, CT X[I] 736).
2122 poverale. In earlier Scottish poems, the word has an association with military rank-and-file — or often, camp-followers (e.g., Bruce, 8.275, 368, 2:199, p. 203; DOST poveraill (n.), sense a); more generally, it is associated with the common people who ideally support and are protected by the nobility (MED poverail(e (n.), sense a).
2124 That efter this in thy hie blys we ryng. The request is to “reign with” Honour; that is, to persist or flourish “in thy hie blys.” The language recalls prayers for eternal life (DOST ring (v.3), sense 7).
2125–27 thy face . . . . Thy glore. The image is of royal power drawing all subjects to bow to it, the way sunshine attracts all living things. The phrase “baith heid and feit” indicates the completeness of Honour’s power over his subjects, but also suggests that he rules both high and low in the kingdom; the idea that even the poor are under his care has been stated in line 2122.
2134–35 Hail rois . . . . trone of lycht. The language of flowers and jewels that has recurred in various situations throughout the poem is now given its concluding synthesis. Jewels (ruby, jasper, emerald) are associated with the throne in heaven and the one seated upon it (Apocalypse 4:2–3).
2136 dew. As an image of blessings and favored destiny, “dew” is scriptural (e.g., Genesis 27:28; Judges 6:36–37). The image also appears in medieval descriptions of the visionary pleasant place (e.g., LGW, line 775; see PH, line 13). The term is one of several used literally at the beginning of the poem and that reappear in fully allegorical guise in its closing lines.
2139 Thow stant ordant as sant of grant maist wyse. Compared to a saint, the god Honour is dedicated to awarding favor with discernment.
2140 Til be supplé and the hie gre of pryce. Naming the supreme virtue as itself a “gre,” a platform, gives final utterance to the language of steps and levels that has taken prominence at key points throughout PH (e.g., lines 21–22, 1150–51, 1472–74, 1900–02).
2157 variance. The use of “variance” here may be compared with its structurally significant previous appearances. At the outset of the Prologue, the word refers to variation of visual effects as an aspect of beauty (line 9, “wariance”). At the end of the Second Part (line 1286), Douglas prays for a style purged of “variance” — of inconsistency, imperfection. Now he begs the King’s pardon for the sins of his “variance” in a style that recalls the varying ornamentation with which PH began.
2159 Remyttand my pretendit negligence. Similarly, the god of Love dismisses Chaucer’s balade-making as “necligence” but assigns him to compose LGW (F prol.537; G prol.525).
2161–63 Breif, burall quair . . . . not pretend tha. This is an intensification of Chaucer’s envoy to TC (5.1786–92; see also KQ, lines 1352–65).
2163 Til cum in plane se thow not pretend tha. The realization that the poem ought not to come into the open recalls the dreamer’s impulse to seek cover at the outset of the dream.
2164–69 Thy barrant termis . . . . I end tha. Antony Hasler describes this conclusion as “an unusually explosive dismissal” in which “The poet suddenly turns into a ‘flyter’ against his own text, rehearsing, with a barrage of internal rhyme, charges with which we are by now familiar. His poem is purloined, sterile, worthless — waste matter, in effect” (Court Poetry, p. 106).
2164 barrant termis. Barrenness is a recurrent concept, having been applied to the poet’s mind (line 127), the trees in the nightmare wasteland and the wasteland itself (lines 150, 661), and the erstwhile pleasant Maytime garden (line 2100). It is also evidently a relative concept.
2166 quytcleme. Douglas is pressing a legal term into a more general meaning, to “repudiate, disavow, deny” (DOST quite-clame (v.), sense 1b); more formally and precisely, the verb refers to giving up “a possession, claim, right, title, etc.” (sense 1); it can also denote a declaration of being released from a claim once a debt has been paid or an obligation performed (sense 2). The assertion thus involves both a submission to the King’s authority and an assertion of the poet’s own prerogative in declaring his work over and done with.
2167 stouth . . . but lyte. Calling the poem “theft,” “stolen property,” or “something done by stealth” (DOST stouth (n.), senses 1, 1b, 2), the poet is dismissing his allusive, ornate style as mere plagiarism. On a more serious level, Douglas may be bringing his conclusion into line with Richard Holland’s final stanzas to BH, where the owl presents himself as a “merour” of poverty and mortality, become “lathast [most hateful]” once the other birds have reclaimed the feathers in which he had been decked (lines 969–70; see pp. 146–48n969–76). The line ends sententiously (Whiting E184, T75).
2168–69 Not worth a myte . . . . I end tha. Rather as dreams had been earlier (line 1269), the poem is depicted as trash, before it is roughly dismissed as if it were an unwelcome vagrant. The book heads off on its wanderings, in need of a charitable reception from each person it encounters.
GAVIN DOUGLAS, THE PALYCE OF HONOUR: TEXTUAL NOTES
ABBREVIATIONS: D: The fragments of a print likely by the Edinburgh printer Thomas Davidson (Edinburgh University Library De.6.123); DOST: The Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue; E: The Edinburgh print of PH (as in National Library of Scotland, H.29.b.12); E1: The handwritten emendations in E; L: The London print of PH (as in John Rylands Library, 2039.2; base text); ME: Middle English; MED: The Middle English Dictionary; OE: Old English; OF: Old French; SP: The Palice of Honour, ed. Bawcutt (in The Shorter Poems of Gavin Douglas).
All printed rubrics and notes are recorded. Some alternations recurrent through the text of L (with, for instance, a/ai, en/in, er/ir, i/y with i regularly used for j, u/v, suffix -y/ie, c/k, c/t, double/single l, o/ou/u, thorn/th, final -e) are generally not recorded. Suspensions and abbreviations are expanded silently. D is present only for fragments of lines 10–29, 39–58, 68–87, 97–115, 125–26, 136–55, and 165–184. E1, comprising the handwritten emendations in the NLS copy of E, is present only intermittently in the witness. Hyphens, inconsistently provided in the marginal notes, are normalized editorially.
Heading Prologue. L: omitted.
3 be. So L. E: the. The reading in E stems from a misreading of circumstance as “surroundings” (DOST, circumstance, sense 4).
8 sole. So L. E: Sol. E1: Soil. E1 apparently attempts to resolve an ambiguity in E between soil and Sol, the sun; see also note to line 57 below.
amyable. So L. E1: dilectabil[l]. E1 thus avoids the repetition of the rhyme-word from line 5.
21 Above. So L. D: . . . ue [initial letters lost]. E: Abone.
25 eccon. So L. E: Echo. The spelling in L is unique but may be authorial.
29 Replennessed. So L. E: Replenischit. The spelling in L reflects a form etymologically consistent with the OF source replenisser, well-distributed in ME and attested in fifteenth-century Scots texts (see DOST, replenis(c)hit, -ist; MED, replenishen).
35 restored. So L. E: restorit.
36 Reconfort. So L. E: Recomfort.
39 preserve. So L. E: reserve. E’s reading may maintain the sense of protection that is foremost in L’s (DOST, reserve (v.), sense 6).
48 vigitant. So L. E: vegetant. The spelling in L is unusual; see note to line 25 above.
57 soyl. So L. E: Sol. E1: Soil. See note to line 8 above.
88 auchtys. L: auchtyst. E: auchtis. The reading in L may involve a mistaken use of the second person suffix in the impersonal construction (DOST, aucht (v.), sense 1, possibly confused with sense 2b).
97 Confort. So L. E: Comfort.
99 puncys. So L. E: pulsis. L preserves a form well-attested in fifteenth-century Scottish texts (DOST, punse, punce, (n.2)).
101 dasyt. So L. E: desie. L’s reading indicates that the immediate situation has dazed the protagonist (DOST, dasit, daisit (ppl. a.)), while E’s may imply that giddiness is the narrator’s normal condition (DOST, desy, desie (adj.)); see also note to line 109 below. vary. L: veray. L’s reading can at best be described as an idiosyncratic spelling (DOST, varie, vary (v.); alternate spellings are var(y)e, war(i)e, -y(e, verré).
109 so dasyt. So L. D: so da . . . [final letters lost]. E: sa desyit.
111 hetis. So L. E: heiring. In referring to body temperature, L’s reading can be taken as somewhat more learned, as well as being more apposite in the context of signs of conscious life.
114 Corruppis. So L. D: Corruppys. E: Corruptis. As confirmed by D, the reading in L reflects an authentic form (DOST, corrupt, corrup (v.)).
118 quhou. So L. E: how. L provides a form current in Scots writing from the late fifteenth century to the mid-sixteenth century but rare thereafter (DOST, quhow (adv.)).
126 avision. So L. E: Visioun. Douglas is among the latest Scots writers to employ the older form avision (DOST, avisioun, avisione); compare the occurrence in L of the alternate vision, line 60.
Final rubric Finis. So L. Below this rubric appears a woodcut of the royal arms of the Tudors. D: . . . ambyl. And now nixt efter | the Palyce of HONOUR | n. &c. (Below is a fragment of a woodcut with a vertical type ornament.) E: Finis Prologi.
Heading The First Part. L: The Palys of Honour. E: The Palice of | Honour, Compylit be M. | GAWINE DOWGLAS | Bischop of Dunkeld. | _The First Part.
132 ranys. So L. E: rymis. DOST identifies rane (n.) as possibly Gaelic in origin (rann, meaning a verse; stanza), but used typically pejoratively by the predecessors and contemporaries of Douglas; E would thus be offering a simplified counterpart.
134 thir. L: their. Copland has apparently mistaken a standard demonstrative adjective in Douglas’ usage.
139 trubbyll. So L. E: trubil. E1: tribil. Though the reading in E1 is attractive, trubbyll is attested elsewhere with this meaning (DOST, trubil(l, troubil(l, trib(b)ill).
144 skauppis. So L. D: sk . . . uppis [letter lost]. E: swappis. E1: skappis. The apparently meaningless reading in E is opposed by all the other witnesses.
148 monsturis. L: monstruis. E: monstures. The form in L likelier results from a mistake in the typesetting than from an idiosyncratic spelling.
157 royk. So L. E: Rock. L’s spelling is etymologically significant (DOST, rok(e, roik, rouk (n.2)).
165 L: printed in the left hand margin, A discrip- | tion of the | inconstance | of fortune.
186 Suythly. So L. E: Surelie.
189 this. So E. L: thus. The reading in L may have resulted from the occurrence of thus directly above, in the previous line.
197 quhow afferyt wes. So L. E: how affrayit was. Afferyt derives from OE afæran; the semantically similar affrayit derives from OF afrayer.
201 L: printed in the right hand margin, The quen | of sapyence | wyth hyr | court.
213 four. So L. So E1. E: all.
221 Twelve. L: Xii. E: Twelf.
230 L: printed in the left hand margin, Craftye | Synone | and false | Architefel.
233 tothir. So L. E: vther. The form attested in L is frequent in fifteenth-century and early sixteenth-century usage (DOST, tothir (adj., pron.)).
242 twelve. L: xii. E: Twelf.
246 Prophetis. So L, E. E1: Prophetes. With this emendation, E1 clarifies that the noun is singular and has a feminine suffix.
251 L: printed in the right hand margin, Wyse and | lerned men.
276 L: printed in the left hand margin, Architefel | confessis | hys owne | craftenes | deceyt and | abused | wit. In contrast to the generally positive associations of Douglas’ own usage, the commentator uses “craft” pejoratively.
284 overwhort. So L. E: ouirthort. The spelling in L preserves a rarer form (DOST, overwhort, -hort, -whart (adv., prep.)).
285 L: printed in the left hand margin, Sinons | craftines.
289 bene. So L. So E1. E: haue bene. Metrical regularity is preserved if “schrewis” is pronounced with two syllables.
290 optene. So L. E: obtene. The spelling in L is attested in fifteenth-century and early sixteenth-century Scots sources (DOST, optene (v.)). See also note to line 974 below.
302 Imagynand feil syse. L: Imagynand feil lyse. E: Imagining feill syse. L’s reading lyse can be explained as resulting from mistaking a long s for an l.
308 L: printed in the left hand margin, Feare.
315 and of hir. So L. E: or hir. E regularizes a departure from metrical regularity in L.
319 tofore. So L. E: befoir. Here as elsewhere (e.g., lines 120, 385, 661, 760, 828, 890, 1440, 1985), L preserves a form attested in fifteenth-century Scots usage (DOST, to-for(e, to-forn(e).
342 Effygyn. So L. E: Effyoin. E1: Effygin. A descender is added by E1 to the printed o of E. Bawcutt comments that “E’s reading is not necessarily corrupt” (SP, p. 179n342).
360–61 Proportion soundis dulcest . . . . did tak kepe. Lines inverted from L, E. Bawcutt proposes the logical emendation (SP, p. 179n360).
360 soundis. So L. E: sounding. E provides a simplification of the syntax and significance of the line, in which “proportion” is likeliest to have a precise musical signification (DOST, proportio(u)n(e (n.), sense 3).
363 caryit. So E. L: carit.
372 Inoth. So L. E: Inwith. The form in L derives from inouth, a fifteenth-century variant of inwith (DOST, in(n)outh, innowth).
379 inoth. So L. E: Inwith. See note to line 372 above.
385 tofore. So L. E: befoir. See note to line 319 above.
388 Lang ere. L: Langere. E: Langer. Compare the variants in the note to line 1946.
394 L: printed in the left hand margin, A sorow- | ful harte | can not be | mery.
404 L: printed in the left hand margin, Heuinlye | harmonye.
413 dymmyt. So L. E: dynnit. While the reading in L appears to involve a thematically significant synaesthesia, by which an over-excelling representation may overwhelm human senses, E appears to refer more straightforwardly to a superabundance of sound.
419 L: printed in the left hand margin, Goodly | apparell.
435 plate. So L, E1. E: claith. E repeats the phrasing “claith of gold” from line 433.
444 ordours. So E. L: ordour.
446 L: printed in the left hand margin, Venus & | hyr court.
472 wondryt. So L. E: wonder. E1 emends with wondert.
477 L: printed in the right hand margin, Blynd | Cupid.
486 yit. L: yf.
491 L: printed in the right hand margin, Musyke.
495 Sesque. So L. E: Seque.
497 songin. So L. E: soung.
510 quhilk Kyng Saul. So L. E: quhilk Saul. E appears to resolve a hypermetrical line; if the first word in the line, “Conjurit,” is pronounced as two syllables, then the metrical difficulty in L is somewhat alleviated.
514 igroundit. So E. L: groundit. The prefix is metrically valuable and grammatically correct with the past participle.
518 gekgo. So L. E: greik. E1: . . . eko [initial letters lost]. Here is a telling instance of lexical misunderstanding in E. The form in L is an unusual spelling of the imitative gukgo (DOST, gukgo (n.); gekgo).
534 or brounvert. So L. E: ovirbrouderit. E1: ovirbroudart. Despite its lexical difficulties, the reading in L might be preferable as possible evidence of an otherwise rare idiom. See the corresponding Explanatory Note for further discussion of this line.
540 velvos. So L. E: velvot. The term in L is attested in fifteenth-century and early sixteenth-century Scots usage (DOST, vell(o)us, well(o)us, velu(o)us (n.)).
547 pattrell. So L, E1. E: yattrell. The idiosyncratic reading in E is most readily explained as a misprint.
549 lusum. So L. E: luifsum. L preserves the reduced variant current in earlier usage (DOST, lusum (adj.), sense a).
550 L: printed in the right hand margin, Mars.
563 L: printed in the left hand margin, Louers.
574 Demophon. L: Demoophan. E: Demophoon. The chosen spelling matches L, line 810. L appears at this point to have confused the rhyme, with the a-rhymes on -on and the b-rhymes on -an.
576 France. So E. L: Fare. The reading in E has the advantage of straightforwardness but may possibly involve a misunderstanding of fare as denoting “good fortune” (MED, fare (n.1), sense 7).
591 Fourteen. L: Xiiii. E: Fourtene.
607 L: printed in the right hand margin, A ballet of | inconstant | loue.
613 involupit in syte. So E. L: involvit in dispyte. The rhyme word in L is repeated from the previous line. In E, the Chaucerian word “involupit” reflects the poet’s use elsewhere (DOST, envolup (v.); involup (v.); compare CT VI [C] 942). As well, “syte” is a distinctive northernism (MED, sit(e (n.1)). The reading in L may conceivably have arisen from a sixteenth-century southern English speaker’s modification of unfamiliar terms.
617 fait. So L, E1. E: fact. Bawcutt comments that “the self-pitying mood of the passage supports L’s fait” (SP, p. 185n617).
630 L: printed in the left hand margin, He curseth | the worlds | felycite. for- | tune and all | his plea- | sure. See the Introduction to this edition, p. 14.
644 in greif. So L. E: and greit. E’s reading is stylistically more straightforward, but L is retained in case it reflects an early adjectival use of “disdenyeit,” as “scornful” (OED, disdained (adj.), sense 2; the only citation is Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1 1.3.181).
660 L: printed in the left hand margin: He curseth | the worlds felycite for- | tune and al | his plea- | sure.
665 L: printed in the right hand margin, The Auc- | tor accused.
666 accusyng as of. So L. E: accusen of. In L, the final syllable of “accusyng” can be read in elision with the following “as.”
684 L: printed in the left hand margin, Answer.
693 L: printed in the left hand margin, Appelati- | onem.
698 am and aucht. L: am aucht.
706 L: printed in the right hand margin, A thret- | nyng.
716 Ye. So L, E1. E: Yit.
737 de. L: be. E: die.
740 transfigurit. So L. E: transfigurat. E1: transf . . . rmit. This is an instance in which E1’s unique reading may indicate either editorial intervention or access to an independent witness.
Heading The Seconde Parte. So L. E: THE SECVND PART.
772 Lo. So L. E: To.
776 L: printed in the right hand margin, Consolation.
786 lusty. So L. E: luik. E1: lus . . . . Bawcutt suggests that E may reflect an early use of lucky, otherwise not attested in Scots writing before the early sixteenth-century (DOST, lukkie (adj., n.); SP, p. 188n786).
792 L: printed in the left hand margin, Poetis.
805 On lutis sum thair accentis subtellé. So L. E: omitted. E1: . . . tes sum . . . ccents . . . e.
806 held the. So E. L: held.
818 na way. So L. E: na.
827 the gate. So L. E: thair gait.
831 knawlage. L: knawlagis. E: knawledge.
833 rout wyll stop our mate. So L. E: court will stop or meit. E1: our . . .
836 polit termys sang. So L. E: Poet termis singand. E1: sang; E1 provides only the single word in support of L’s reading.
837 historyis. So L. E: storeis. With elision, L’s reading is metrically regular.
855 L: printed in the left hand margin, The nyue | muses.
859 cronikillis doith. So L. E: Chronikill dois.
860 endityth. So L. E: endytis. Here and in line 859, the southern suffix may be editorial.
862 humyll. So L. E: humbill. The spelling in L is typical of fifteenth-century Scots (DOST, humil(l (adj.)).
865 syng, play, dans, and leip. So L. E: sing, daunce, and leip. The version in E produces a hypometrical line.
869 and sistir schene. So L. E: sister with Croun. The reading in E makes the rhyme (with “bedene”) imperfect.
870 all bedene. So L. E1: . . . ai ar.
875 nobillis. So L. E: Nobill.
882 Phanee. So L. E: fair. L preserves the specialized term that is glossed in the remainder of the line.
886 dempt. So L. E: demit. The form in L is “commonest in legal use” (DOST, deme, deym(e (v.1)).
888 afore. So L. E: befoir.
889 suddand. So L. E: suddane. With its excrescent final -d, the form in L reflects a widespread tendency in fifteenth-century Scots writing (DOST, suddan(e, suddand (adj.)).
890 tofore. So L. E: befoir.
891 brest. So L. E: spreit.
892 Behaldand. So L. E: Behalding. The form in L maintains the preferred form of the present participle in fifteenth-century Scots writing.
896 Grew. So L. E: Greik. The form in L is current until the mid-sixteenth-century in Scots.
L: printed in the right hand margin, Homer.
898 L: printed in the right hand margin, Virgil & | other latin | poetis.
910 of the Vale. So E. L: of Vale. E is preferred for metrical regularity.
917 hunder part thare namys is. So L. E: hundreth part thair names ar. The reading in L is grammatically correct; the reduced form of the numeral is prevalent in fifteenth-century Scots, but a rarer option in northern ME (DOST, hundir, hunder (num.)).
918 thare I saw. E: saw I thair.
919 L: printed in the left hand margin, Chauser & | other eng- | lyshe and | Scottishe | Poetis.
921 musand. So L. E: musing. The -and suffix is typical of the present participle in fifteenth-century Scots.
926 bonteis. So L. E: bounteis. The spelling witnessed in L is etymologically consistent (ME bonté; OF bonté; DOST, bonté, bontie (n.)); see note to line 1488 below.
928 Twychand. So L. E: Tuiching.
933 the. So L. E: my.
934 sammyn thir. So L. E: thir samin.
939 as here make na lang. L: as here make na langer. E: not heir mak na lang. The idiom as here is authentic (e.g., CT VI [C] 103).
942 the cause thair of hir. So L. E: cause of hir thair. E1: thair hir. E1 emends only the last two words.
943 schrew. So L, E1. E: schew.
944 L: printed in the right hand margin, Venus | complaint.
948 dispitefull subtellé. So L. E: dispitefull and subtell. E1: subtellie. E1 emends only the last word.
949 on hie. So L. E: and hie.
950 wallaway. So L. E: velanie. E1: vela[nie, . . . ]. The remainder of the emendation in E1 has been lost.
951 my court. So L. E: our court.
954 rebell renygate. So L. E: Rebald Rennigait. The reading in E can be taken as a spelling variant of that in L (DOST, rebel(l, rabel(l (adj.)); alternately, it can be read as a form of ribald, referring to a “low, base or contemptible fellow” (DOST, rebald, ribald (n., adj.), sense 2). Venus is denouncing her captor for his rebellion against her.
956 leis. So L. E: lois. The form in L is current in fifteenth-century Scots (DOST, lese, leis (v.1)).
959 All out than wes his sclander or sich plede. So L. E: To sic as he to mak conter pleid. E1: all out t . . . mischief or . . . . [The whole printed line has been scored out.] It is possible to read E here as a clarification of a difficult idiom in L, with “or” meaning “before” (DOST, or (conj.1)) and the form “sich” instead of the more common “sik” (DOST, sic, sik).
960 renoun. So L. E: honour.
961 Your fame so wyd. So L. E: sa wide your fame. The sequence in L maintains balance with the syntax of the next line.
966 eft. L: oft. E: efter.
968 this. So L. E: his.
971 afore. So L. E: befoir.
974 Opteynit. So L. E: Obtenit. See note to line 290 above.
978 be not. So L. E: not be.
981 L: printed in the left hand margin, Mercy be- | cumys all | men & speci- | ly gentyl- | wemen.
984 No woman is, rather. So L. E: Ane vennome is rather and. E1: vennomous ather. Remnants of other E1 emendations can be traced in the cropped margin; vennemous also appears in line 985 in E.
986 inequyté. So L. E: Iniquitie. In the context of false judgment, the reading in L is semantically apposite.
988 ane. So L. E: one.
990 serve. So L. E: have. Douglas uses the idiom “[de]serve reproof” elsewhere (Eneados 1.prol.78, 2:5).
1000 go. So L. E: gang.
1004 releschit. So L. E: relevit. The form in L is “rare after c. 1520” (DOST, relesch(e (v.1)); see also line 1017 and note.
1005 perlour. So L. E: Parlour. E1: Parrel. DOST accepts the spelling in L, but cites no other occurrences than this line (parl-, perlour (n.1)). The reading in E1 suggests editorial intervention, and may be a gloss rather than a variant.
1015 L: printed in the right hand margin, a ballat for | venus ple- | sour.
1016 preservit. So L. E: deliverit. E1: prese . . .
1017 Releschit. So L. E: Relevit.
1022 lait and air. So L. E: but dispair.
1024 Quhair thou in joy and plesour may repair. So L. E: In lestand blis to remane and repair. Possibly E substitutes a Christianizing allusion to heaven in place of the Epicurean pleasures of L; see the note below to line 1921.
1026 peace, dissoverit. So L. E: pietie disseverit. Again, the possibility exists that E’s reading stems from a Christianizing emendation.
1029 and lat. So L. E: or lait.
1030 doith. So L. E: dois.
1031 replenyst with. So L. E: replenischit of.
1034 now be. So L. E: thow be.
1037 purifyit. So L. E: perfite.
1040 gard. So L. E: guerdoun. The reading in E produces a hypermetrical line.
1043 Be glaid and lycht now in thy lusty flouris. So L. E: omitted. E1: . . . now in . . . hes lustie.
1044 dangare. So L. E: all dangeir. E1: dangair.
1048 campion. So L. E: companioun.
1052 In ane. So E. L: In.
1053 thir Musis. So E. L: hir musis.
1065 L: printed in the right hand margin, Thankes | gyuyng.
1066 Submyttand. So L. E: Submitting.
1069 passe. So L. E: wend.
1074 On. So L. E: Of.
1083 L: printed in the left hand margin, The auc- | tours | vyage.
1088 in Ytalie. So L. E: into Italie.
1090 montayns we passit of all. So L. E: hie Montanes we passit of.
1115 makith. So L. E: makis.
1135 strand. So L. E: well. See DOST, strand (n.2), sense 1: “A stream, brook; a flow of water from a well or spring.”
1144 hors. So L. E: horsis. The reading in L offers the older plural form, which becomes less prevalent by the late sixteenth century (DOST, hors (n.), sense 2).
1150 sterny. So L. E: stanerie. E provides a more prosaic alternative (“pebbly”) for L’s metaphorical term (“starry, glittering”).
1173 L: printed in the right hand margin, The gates.
1176 Musis. So L. E: Ladyis. The choice in E might be explained as an attempt to resolve the arithmetical difficulty of seating the nine Muses two by two.
1177 deace. So L. E: deissis.
1189 L: printed in the right hand margin, Valiant | Knightis.
1194 to the. So E. L: to.
1195 tald. So L. E: schew.
1201 bore. So L. E: bair. L provides the southern form of boar, an option in Scots (DOST, bore, boir (n.2); the prevalent form is bare, bair).
1205 dede. So L. E: deith. L provides the northern ME and Scots variant of deth(e (DOST, dede, deid (n.2)).
1218 hondris. So L. E: hundreths.
1225 L: printed in the right hand margin, Poetis.
1239 anoynt. So L. E: anoyit. In L, anoynt represents an older form of the past participle (OED, anoint (ppl. adj.), sense a; MED, enointen [for ppl. enoint(ed]). See also note to line 1523 below.
1253 that. So L. E: this.
rydyng. So L. E: ryden.
1265 doth. L: duth. E: dois.
1280 rememorance. So L. E: remembrance. L attests to the occurrence in Scots of a late ME form (DOST, rememora(u)nce; MED, rememoraunce; OF rememorance).
Heading The Thyrd Parte. So L. E: THE THRID PART.
1288 L: printed in the right hand margin, Inuoca- | cion.
1302 Ascens. So L. E: The ascence.
1309 mismaid. So L. E: dismaid.
1313 clam we. So L. E: clam I. Logic prevails in E, with the presumption that only the dreamer is experiencing difficulty and not causing any to his guide.
1317 hol. So L. E: how. Meaning “deep, sunken,” L’s hol is current in fifteenth-century Scots (DOST, holl (adj.), sense 1).
heill. So L. E: hell. The spelling heill is unusual for Hell, regularly in the forms hell, hel.
1318 bulnyng. So L. E: bulling. The spelling is rare but not necessarily erroneous (compare bulnyng in Calle-Martín, “Practica Urinarum,” p. 42).
1327 nene. So L. E: na. The spelling in L recurs occasionally in sixteenth-century Scots writing (DOST, nan(e (pron., adj.1, adv.)).
1330 Trymland. So L. E: Trimbland. The reading in L attests to a persistent spelling variant (DOST, trimbil(l, trim(m)ill (v.)).
1331 Lat be. So E. L: lat se.
1336 L: printed in the right hand margin, Idyll peo- | ple puny- | shed.
1338 drynt. So L. E: drownit. The spelling in L is one Douglas uses elsewhere (e.g., Eneados 4.prol.82, 2:149; DOST, drint, drynt). See also notes to lines 1376 and 1508 below.
1354 palyce, folk to. So L. E: place folk for to. E1: for to to. The reading in L is thematically significant as well as metrically regular.
1363 boldyn. So L. E: bairdin. E1: bo . . . . L’s reading is consistent with Douglas’ idiom in his other descriptions of storms at sea (DOST, boldin, bowdin (v.), sense 1). Bawcutt notes that the reading in E is not readily explainable (SP, p. 199n1363).
1364 bustuus. So L. E: busteous. E1: busteus.
1365 schip. So L, E1. E: schipis.
1368 tobryst. So L. E: did brist. The intensive prefix to- reflects fifteenth-century usage (DOST, to-brist, to-brest (v.)).
1373 firre. So L. E: Fir tre. E1: fir.
1374 apon takill. So L. E: upon a Takill.
1379 tha. So L, E1. E: that.
1380 drint. So L, E1. E: drownit.
1381 L: printed in the left hand margin, Faythles | peopill.
1388 baptyme. So L. E: Baptisme. Etymologically reflecting the OF source bapteme, the spelling in L is prevalent in fifteenth-century Scots (DOST, baptime, bapteme (n.)).
1399 endytyng. So L. E: endyten.
1423 thyng. So L. E: things.
1424 sare. L: fare. E: sair.
1427 L: printed in the left hand margin, The dis- | cription of | the palace.
1428 of. So L. E: with. The idiom in E is prevalent, but “replete of” is witnessed elsewhere in Scots (DOST, replet(e (adj.), sense 2).
1431 fanys. So L. E: Thanis. The spelling in E is a legitimate variant of fane (DOST, than(e (n.2)).
1443 at that. So L. E: at the.
1456 beild. So L. E: beildit. The form of the past tense in L is rare (DOST, beild, beld (v.)).
1464 eftirwartis. So L. E: efterwart.
1473 Twelf amarant stagis stude, twelf grene precius greis. So L. E: Stude emeraut stagis, twelf grene precious greis. The line is hypermetrical in L and contains a repetition of the word “twelf.” Deletion of the second of these would produce a metrically regular line, but the syntactic parallel between the two phrases would be somewhat challenging. One hypothesis for the form of the line in E would then be that this stylistic complication has been simplified by editorial revision.
1475 Sustenttand. So L. E: Upstandand. L preserves a rare variant (compare to Latin sustentandum) of the more common sustenand (DOST, sustent (v.)).
aforne. So L. E: beforne.
L: printed in the right hand margin, Venus mer- | rour.
1487 purifyed, precius. So L. E: purifyit and precious.
1488 bontyis. So L. E: bounteis. See note to line 926 above.
1498 creacion. So L. E: creatiounis.
1503 Sodomus. So L. E: Sodomes.
1504 Abram. So L. E: Abraham.
1506 Twelf. So L. E: Ten. The number of plagues was in fact ten; the error may be authorial.
1508 drynt. So L. E: drownit.
1509 L: printed in the right hand margin, A lang ca- | tathaloge | of nobyll | men and | wemen | both of | scriptur & | gentyll | stories.
1513 In. So L. E: Of.
1523 Anoynt. So L. E: Anoyntit. See the discussion of this variant at the note to line 1239 above.
1528 douchty. So L. E: michtie.
1537 champion. So L. E: Campioun.
1540 L: printed in the left hand margin, Salomon.
1547 Four. So L, E. E1: . . . e.
1571 tyrrand lyk all Jowrye he. So L. E: tyranlie he Jowrie all.
1572 mony. So L. E: mony ane.
1581 Wes distroyit. So L. E: Destroyit was. The metrical inversions in L are not sufficiently unusual to call for emendation.
1586 L: printed in the right hand margin, Faythfull | & constent | women.
1615 revest. So L. E: revischit.
1616 navyne. So L. E: Navie. E1: Navine. The form in L is prevalent in fifteenth-century Scots writing (DOST, navyn(e (n.); compare navy (n.)).
1653 huge. So L. E: greit.
1661 L: printed in the left hand margin, Chast Lu- | cretia.
1667 Atwene. So L. E: Betwene.
1670 Atwene thair. So L. E: Betwene thir. E1: their.
1671 L: printed in the left hand margin, The con- | stancye of | Marcus | regulus.
1676 Curtyus. L: Quincyus. E: Marcus Curtius. The error in L might be due to a misreading of handwritten C, a mis-distribution of minims, and a misrecognition of a t as an exceptionally angular c (as typical of Scottish secretary hands).
1677 in the. L: in.
1687 to Rome conquerit all. So L. E: sine to Rome conquerit.
1692 atwine. So L. E: betwene.
1705 Newand. So E. L, E1: Mewand. As Bawcutt notes, E’s reading “is an aphetic form of ME enew (OF enewer), a hawking term” (SP, p. 205n1705). L substitutes a more familiar term pertaining to falconry.
1709 syrchand. So L. E: seirching.
1711–19 I saw Raf . . . . in Madin land. So E. L: omitted.
1720 saw I. L: saw.
1721 L: printed in the left hand margin, Nigraman- | sye.
1726 a small penny. So L. E: ane penny. E1 . . . all penny.
1740 I. So L, E1. E: scho.
1746 ay. So L. E: all.
1756 L: printed in the right hand margin, By thys | boke he me- | nis Virgil.
1758 tho. So L. E: scho.
1761 afore. So L. E: befoir.
L: printed in the right hand margin, The Auc- | tors con- | clution of | Venus me- | rour.
1767 L: printed in the right hand margin, The Pa- | lice of ho- | nour is pa- | tent for ho | nest vertu- | us men an | not for vi- | cius fals & | craftye pe- | pyll.
1779 L: printed in the left hand margin, Falsehed | the moder | of al vice.
1783 The garatour, my Nymphe tho to. So L. E: That Garitour tho my Nimphe unto.
1784 the. So L. E: that.
1788 mindis. So L. E: minde is.
1791 L: printed in the left hand margin, Patience.
1792 L: printed in the left hand margin, The discri- | ptio of the | Prince of | hie honore | wyth hys | Palys & | Court. | Charity | Constance. | Liberalite | Innocens | deuocyon.
1794 disservys. So L. E: dois serve.
1795 the. So E. L: is the.
1801 L: printed in the left hand margin, discrecion | Humanite | Trew re- | lation | peace tem- | perance.
1803 morow and eve. So L. E: morne and evin.
1807 lyst to. L: lyst. E: list to.
1808 L: printed in the right hand margin, Humilite. | discypline | mercye.
1811 pronounce. L: pronounce a.
L: printed in the right hand margin, Conscience | iustyce pru- | dence dili- | gens clene | lyuyng.
1814 lyst committing. So L. E: listin commit.
1816 ovirseis. So L. E: overse. The form in L displays the third person plural -is suffix as is normal in Scots verb inflection.
1821 L: printed in the right hand margin, Hope. | Piety. | Fortitud, | Veryte.
1835 was. So E. L: of.
1841 L: printed in the left hand margin, Astronami.
1856 episciclis and oppositionis. L: episciclis and opposionis. E: Epistillis and oppositiounis. E1: . . . ne coursis.
1857 porturyt. So L. E: portrait. The form of the past participle attested in L occurs in fifteenth-century and early sixteenth-century Scots writing, along with its counterpart portrait (DOST, porture, -our (v.); see also portra(y (v.)).
1860 I mony. So L. E: I and mony.
1879 surmontyth. So L. E: surmountis.
1884 Swa. So E. L: Fra.
1886 soithlie as me. L: soithla as my. E: surelie as me.
1890 paithit. So L. E: pachit.
1898 sle. So L. E: hie.
1903 Schit. So L. E: Schute. The form attested in L is an infrequent variant in Scots writing of the past participle of shut (DOST, s(c)hut, s(c)hute (v.)).
1908 ne. So L. E: not.
1921 a god armypotent. So L. E: ane God Omnipotent. This variation, thematically the most significant between the witnesses, epitomizes the contrast between pagan and Christian understandings of Honour; E resolves the contrast by providing an explicitly Christian term. See Introduction, pp. 23–24. In this regard, the line deserves comparison with the similarly varied readings in lines 1024, 1026, and 1966 (as noted).
1925 blaucht. So L. E: blancht. The form in L is the past participle of bleche (“bleach”; MED, blechen (v.1); DOST, bleche, bleitch; see DOST, blacht, blaucht).
1930 Held up. So L. E: Upheld.
1933 of my. So L. E: of that.
1938 is so. So L. E: was sa. In E, the protagonist was “mysmaid” when he fell unconscious; in L, the Nymph is deriding him for continuing to be so. The joke, and the insult, seem stronger in L.
1942 at. So L. E: that. In fifteenth-century Scots, as earlier in northern ME (deriving from Old Norse), the form attested in L is the relative pronoun corresponding to that (DOST, at (rel. pron., conj.)).
1944 to ther. So L. E: to thair. E1: Unto. E1 softens the Nymph's gibe.
1946 Lang ere. L: Langere. E: Lang eir.
1953 malt. So L. E: mad. See the corresponding Explanatory Note for a discussion of these variants.
1954 quod scho, na mare. So L. E: na mair quod scho.
1961 passage. So E. L: passagis.
1962 within the. So L. E: within that.
1966 Victoriusly. So L. E: Verteouslie. The reading in E may be related to the variation in line 1921, as noted above.
1968 mane. So E. L: name. The reading in L is semantically weak and loses the alliteration of the phrase. It may have arisen from a faulty distribution of the m and n in typesetting.
1972 ryng. So L. E: King.
1973 honoring. So L. E: governing. E1: . . . ouring.
1981 warldly glore. So L. E: warldis glorie. E1: gloir.
1982 transitore. So L. E: transitorie. E1: . . . toir.
L: printed in the right hand margin, Al warldly | glorye is | bot a drea- | me.
1985 to fore. So L. E: befoir.
2000 L: printed in the right hand margin, A comenda- | cion of ver- | tue quhilk | is the vay | to honour | and not ri- | ches or hie | blud.
2001 ma. So L. E: can.
2009 honour lestand. So L. E: lestand honour.
2011 glory vanys. So L. E: glore vanische. The form in L is prevalent in fifteenth-century Scots writing.
2019 L: printed in the left hand margin, Exemplis | of vertuus | men & wo- | men.
2021 afore. So L. E: befoir.
2028 otheris. So L. E: uther.
2031 L: printed in the left hand margin, Vicious | people | punyshed. | Inuye | Pryde.
2037 L: printed in the right hand margin, Ignorante | Disseyt.
2038 thair selvyn. So L. E: thair selfis.
2044 L: printed in the right hand margin, Dissate & | craftynes | ar haldyn | wisdome | now a day- | es verite & | iustice is | callyt sim- | plycitye & | folyshnes.
2066 colouris. So L. E: flouris.
2068 For. So L, E1. E: And.
2069 doyth. So L. E: dois.
2077 the. L: thay.
2080 folow. L: felow. E: follow.
2085 trymlyt. So L. E: trimblit.
2090 L: printed in the left hand margin, The auc- | thour retur- | nes frome | his dreame | to him self | agane.
2094 herbere. So L. E: herbrie. E1: herber.
2095 herd. So L. E: hard.
2097 swounyt. So L. E: swemit. E1: swenit.
2105 In purpose. So L. E: I purpoisit.
2116 L: printed in the right hand margin, A ballade | in the com- | mendatioun | of honour | & verteu.
2118 renoun. So L. E: Honour. E1: . . . noune.
2122 myche. So L. E: mekill.
Heading The auctor direkit . . . . Kyng of Scottis. So L. E: The Author directis his buik | to the richt Nobill and Illuster Prince Iames | the Feird King of Scottis.
2155 humely. So L. E: humbillie.
2161 burall. So L, E1. E: buriall.
2163 tha. So L. E: the.
2166 tha. So L. E: the.
2166–67 With no deletion indicated, E1 provides the following additional note: pas hy . . . way as . . . best can . . .
Finis So E. L: Imprinted at London in Fletestrete at the sygne of the Rose garland, by Wyllyam Coplande.
Quhen pale Aurora with face lamentable
Hir russat mantill, borderit all with sable,
Lappit about be hevinlye circumstance
The tender bed and arres honorable
Of Flora, quene till flouris amyable
In May I rays to do my observance
And entrit in a garding of plesance
With sole depaint, as paradys amyable,
And blisfull bewes with blomed wariance,
So craftely dame Flora had over fret
Hir hevinly bed, powderit with mony a set
Of ruby, topas, perle and emerant,
With balmy dewe bathit and kyndly wet,
Quhil vapours hote, right fresche and wele ybet,
Dulce of odour, of flewour most fragrant,
The silver droppis on dayseis distillant,
Quhilk verdour branches over the alars yet,1
With smoky sence the mystis reflectant.
The fragrant flouris, blomand in their seis,
Overspred the leves of Naturis tapestreis,
Above the quhilk with hevinly armoneis,
The birdes sat on twistis and on greis,
Melodiously makand thair kyndly gleis,
Quhois schill notis fordinned al the skyis.
Of reparcust ayr the eccon cryis
Amang the branchis of the blomed treis,
And on the laurers silver droppis lyis.
Quhyll that I rowmed in that paradice
Replennessed and full of all delice,
Out of the sea Eous alift his heid —
I meyne the hors quhilk drawis at device
The assiltré and goldin chaire of pryce
Of Tytan, quhilk at morowe semis reid.
The new colowr that all the night lay deid
Is restored; the baith fowlis, flowris and ryce
Reconfort was throw Phebus gudlyheid.
The dasy and the maryguld onlappit
Quhilkis all the nicht lay with thair levis happit
Thaim to preserve fra rewmes pungitive.
The umbrate treis that Tytan about wappit
War portrait and on the erth yschappit
Be goldin bemes vivificative
Quhois amene hete is most restorative.
The gershoppers amangis the vergers gnappit
And beis wrocht materiall for thair hyve.
Richt halsom was the sessoun of the yeir.
Phebus furth yet depured bemes cleir
Maist nutrityve tyll all thynges vigitant.
God Eolus of wynd list nocht appeir,
Nor ald Saturne with his mortall speir
And bad aspect contrar til every plant.
Neptunus nolde within that palace hant.
The beriall stremes rynnyng men micht heir
By bonkis grene with glancis variant.
For till beholde that hevinly place complete —
The purgit ayr with new engendrit hete,
The soyl enbroude with colowr, ure and stone,
The tender grene, the balmy droppes swete —
So rejoyst and confort wes my sprete
I not wes it a vision or fanton.
Amyd the buskys rowmyng myn alone
Within that garth of all plesans replete,
A voce I hard, preclare as Phebus schone
Syngand, “O May, thow myrrour of soles,
Maternall moneth, lady and maistres,
Tyl every thing adoun respirature,
Thyn hevinly werk and worthy craftines
The small herbis constrenis tyl encres.
O verray ground tyl werking of nature,
Quhois hie curage and assucuryt cure
Causis the erth his frutis tyll expres,
Dyffundant grace on every creature,
“Thy godly lore, cunnyng incomparabyl,
Dantis the savage bestis maist unstabyl
And expellis all that nature infestis.
The knoppit syonys with levys agreabyl
For tyl revert and burgione ar maid abyll.
Thy myrth refreschis birdis in thair nestis,
Quhilkis thee to pryse and Nature never restis,
Confessand you maist potent and lovabyll
Amang the brownys of the olyve twystes.
“In thee is rute and augment of curage,
In thee enforcis Martis vassalage.
In thee is amorus luf and armony
With incrementis fresche in lusty age.
Quha that constrenit ar in luffis rage,
Addressand thaim with observans ayrly
Weil auchtys thee tyl glore and magnify.”
And with that word I rasyt my vissage
Sore effrayit, half in a frenisye.
“O Nature quene and O ye lusty May,”
Quod I tho, “Quhow lang sall I thus forvay
Quhilk yow and Venus in this garth deservis?
Reconsell me out of this gret affray
That I maye synge yow laudis day be day.
Ye that al mundane creaturis preservis,
Confort your man that in this fanton stervis
With sprete arrasyt and every wit away,
Quakyng for fere, baith puncys, vane, and nervis.”
My fatal werd, my febyl wit I wary,
My dasyt heid, quham lake of brane gart vary
And not sustene so amyabyll a soun!
With ery curage, febyl strenthis sary,
Bownand me hame — and list no langer tary —
Out of the ayr come ane impressioun
Throw quhois lycht in extasy or swoun,
Amyd the virgultis all in tyl a fary
As femynine so feblyt fell I doun.
And with that gleme so dasyt wes my mycht
Quhill thair remanit nothir voce nor sycht,
Breth, motione, nor hetis naturale;
Saw nevir man so faynt a levand wycht —
And na ferly, for over excelland lycht
Corruppis the wit and garrys the blud availe
On tyl the hart that it no danger ale.
Quhen it is smorit, membris wyrkes not richt;
The dredfull terrour sua did me assaile.
Yyt at the last, I not quhou long a space,
A lytell hete aperyt in my face
Quhilk had to fore beyn pale and voyde of blud.
Tho in my sweven I met a ferly cace.
I thought me set within a desert place
Amyd a forest, by a hydous flud
With grysly fysche; and, shortly tyl conclud,
I shall descryve, as God wil geve me grace,
Myn avision in rurell termes rude.
The First Part
Thow barrant wyt overset with fantasyis,
Schaw now the craft that in thy memor lyis,
Schaw now thy shame, schaw now thy bad nystee,
Schaw thyn endyt, repruf of rethoryis,
Schaw now thy beggit termis mare than thryis,
Schaw now thy ranys and thyn harlottree,
Schaw now thy dull, exhaust inanytee,
Schaw furth thy cure and wryte thir frenesyis
Quhilkis of thy sempyll cunnyng nakyt thee.
My ravyst sprete in that deserte terrybill
Approchit nere that ugly flude horrybill,
Lyk tyll Cochyte the ryver infernall,
Wyth vyle wattyr quhilk maid a hydduus trubbyll,
Rynnand overhed, blud red, and impossybyll
That it had byn a ryver naturall.
With brayis bare, raif rochis, lyke to fall,
Quhare on na gers nor herbys wer visibyll,
Bot skauppis brynt with blastis boryall.
Thys laythly flude, rumland as thondyr, routyt,
In quham the fysche, yelland as elvys, schoutyt.
Thair yelpis wylde my hering all fordevyt.
Tha grym monsturis my spretis abhorryt and doutyt.
Not throu the soyl bot muskan treis sproutyt
Combust, barrant, unblomyt and unlevyt;
Ald rottyn runtis quhairin no sap was levyt,
Moch, all wast, widdrit, with granis moutyt —
A ganand den quhair morthurars men revyt.
Quhairfore my selvyn was richt sore agast.
This wyldernes abhomynable and wast,
In quhom na thing wes Nature confortand,
Was dyrk as royk the quhilk the see upcast.
The quhislyng wynd blew mony byttir blast.
Runtis ratlit and uneth myght I stand.
Out throu the wode I crap on fut and hand.
The ryvar stank. The treis clattryt fast.
The soil was not bot marres, slyik, and sand.
And not but caus my spretis were abaysit
All solitare in that desert arrasyt.
“Allas,” I said, “is non other remede?
Cruel Fortoun, quhy hes thow me betrasyt,
Quhy hes thou thus my fatall end compasyt?
Allas, allas, sall I thus sone be dede
In this desert and wait non uther rede
Bot be devoryt wyth sum best ravanus?
I wepe, I wale, I plene, I cry, I plede,
Inconstant warld and quheil contrarius.
“Thy transitory plesans quhat avaylys?
Now thare, now heir, now hie, and now devalys,
Now to, now fro, now law, now magnifyis,
Now hote, now cald, now lauchys, now bewalys,
Now seik, now hail, now wery, now not alys,
Now gud, now evyll, now wetis and now dryis —
Now thow promittis and rycht now thou denyis —
Now wo, now weill, now ferm, now frevilus,
Now gam, now gram, now lovys, now defyis —
Inconstant warld and quheil contrarius.
“Ha! quha suld haif affyans in thy blys?
Ha! quha suld haif fyrm esperans in this
Quhilk is allace sa freuch and variant!
Certis none. Sum hes. No wicht. Suythly, yys.
Than hes my self bene gylty? Ya, iwys.
Thairfore allace sall danger thus me dant?
Quhyddyr is bycum sa sone this duyly hant
And veyr translat in wyntyr furyus?
Thus I bewale my faitis repugnant,
Inconstant warld and quheil contrarius.”
Bydand the deid thus in myn extasy,
A dyn I hard approchyng fast me by
Quhilk movit fra the plage septentrionall
As heyrd of bestis stampyng with loud cry.
Bot than God wate how afferyt wes I,
Traistand tyl be stranglyt with bestiall.
Amyd a stok richt prevaly I stall
Quhare, lukand out, anone I dyd espy
Ane lusty rout of bestis rationall —
Of ladyis fair and gudly men arrayit
In constant weid — that weil my spretis payit.
Wyth degest mynd quhairin all wyt aboundyt,
Full sobyrly thair haknais thay assait
Eftyr the feitis auld and not forvayt.
Thair hie prudence schew furth and nothyng roundit,
With gude effere quhare at the wod resoundyt.
In stedfast ordour, to vysy onaffrayit,
Thay rydyng furth, with stabylnes ygroundyt,
Amyddys quham, borne in ane goldyn chare
Ovyrfret with perle and stonys maist preclare
That drawin wes by haiknays four, mylk quhyt,
Was set a quene, as lylly swete of sware,
In purpur robe hemmid with gold ilk gare
Quhilk jemmyt claspes closyd all parfyte,
A Diademe maist pleasandly polyte
Set on the tressys of her gyltyn hare,
And in her hand a sceptre of delyte.
Syne next her, rayed in granyt violate,
Twelve Damysylles, ilk ane in theyr estate
Quhilkis semyt of hyr consell most secré,
And nixt thaym wes a lusty rout, God wate:
Lordis, ladyis, and mony fair prelate,
Baith borne of hie estate and law degré.
Furth with thair quene thay al by passit me.
Ane esy pase thay rydyng furth the gate,
And I abaid alone within the tre.
And as the rout wes passyt one and one
And I remanand in the tre alone,
Out throw the wode come rydand cativis twane,
Ane on ane asse, a wedy about his mone,
The tothir raid ane hiddows hors apone.
I passyt furth and fast at thaym did frane
Quhat men thay wer. Thay answeryt me agane,
“Our namys ben Achitefel and Synone
That by our suttell menys feil hes slane.”
“Wait ye,” quod I, “quhat signifyis yon rout?”
Synon sayd “Ya,” and gave ane hyddows schout,
“We wrechys bene abject thairfra, iwys.
Yone is the Quene of Sapience, but dout,
Lady Minerve, and yone twelve hir about
Ar the prudent Sibillais ful of blys,
Cassandra, eik Delbora and Circis,
The Fatale Systeris twynand our weirdes out,
Judith, Jael, and mony a prophetis,
“Quhilkis groundyt ar in fyrm intelligens.
And thair is als in to yone court gone hens
Clerkis divine, with problewmys curius,
As Salomon the well of sapiens
And Arestotyl, fulfyllet of prudens,
Salust, Senek, and Titus Livius,
Picthagoras, Porphure, Permenydus,
Melysses with his sawis but defence,
Sidrag, Secundus and Solenyus,
“Ptholomeus, Ipocras, Socrates,
Empedocles, Neptennebus, Hermes,
Galien, Averroes, and Plato,
Enoth, Lameth, Job, and Diogenes,
The eloquent and prudent Ulisses,
Wyse Josephus and facund Cicero,
Melchisedech, with othyr mony mo.
Thair viage lyis throw out this wildernes;
To the Palice of Honour all thay go,
Is situat from hens liggis ten hundyr.
Our horsys oft, or we be thair, wyll fundyr.
Adew, we may no langer heir remane.”
“Or that ye passe,” quod I, “tell me this wondyr,
How that ye wrechyt cativis thus at undyr
Ar sociat with this court soverane?”
Achitefell maid this answer agane,
“Knawis thou not? Haill, erd quake, and thundyr
Ar oft in May, with mony schour of rane.
“Rycht so we bene in tyll this company.
Our wyt aboundit, and usyt wes lewdly.
My wysdome ay fulfyllyt my desyre,
As thou may in the Bybyl weil aspy
How Davidis prayer put my counsell by.
I gart his sonne aganys hym conspyre,
The quhilk wes slane, quhairfore up be the swyre
My self I hangit, frustrat sa fowlily.
This Synon wes a Greik that rasyt fyre
“First in to Troy, as Virgyll dois report —
Sa tratourlyk maid him be draw overwhort
Quhill in he brocht the hors with men of armys
Quhairthrow the towne distroit wes at schort.”
Quod I, “Is this your destany and sort?
Cursit be he that sorowis for your harmys,
For ye bene schrewis baith, be Goddis armys.
Ye will optene nane entres at yone port
Bot gif it be throw sorcery or charmys.”
“Ingres tyll have,” quod thay, “we not presume.
It sufficis us tyl se the Palice blume
And stand on rowme quhare bettyr folk bene charrit.2
For tyll remane, adew, we have na tume. This ilk way cummis the courtis, be our dume,
Of Diane and Venus that feil hes marryt.”
With that thay raid away as thay war skarryt,
And I agayne, maist lyk ane elrych grume,
Crap in the muskane akyn stok mysharrit.
Thus wrechitly I maid my resydence
Imagynand feil syse for sum defence
In contrar savage bestis maist cruell,
For na remeid bot deid be violence
Sum tyme asswagis febill indegence.
Thus in a part I reconfort my sell
Bot that so lityll wes, I dar nocht tell.
The stychlyng of a mows out of presence
Had bene to me mare ugsum than the hell.
Yit glaid I wes that I with thaym had spokkyn.
Had not bene that, certis my hart had brokkyn
For megirnes and pusillamytee.
Remanand thus within the tre al lokkyn,
Dissyrand fast sum signys or sum tokkyn
Of Lady Venus and of hir companee,
A hart transformyt ran fast by the tree,
With houndis rent, on quham Dian wes wrokkyn;
Tharby I understude that sche wes nee.
Thay had tofore declarit hir cummyng.
Mare perfytly, forthy, I knew the syng;
Wes Action quhilk Diane nakyt watyt
Bathyng in a well, and eik hir madynnys yyng.
The goddes wes commovyt at this thing
And hym in forme hes of a hart translatit.
I saw, allace, his houndis at him slatit.
Bakwert he blent to gyf thaym knawlegyng
Tha raif thair lord, mysknew hym at thaym batit.
Syne ladyis come with lusty giltyn tressys
In habit wild maist lyke till fostaressys,
Amyddys quham, heich on ane eliphant
In syng that sche in chastité incressys,
Raid Diane, that ladyis hartis dressys
Tyl be stabil and na way inconstant.
God wait that nane of thaym is variant;
All chast and trew virginité professys.
I not, bot few I saw with Diane hant.
In til that court I saw anone present
Jeptyis douchtir, a lusty lady gent
Offeryt tyl God in hir virginité.
Pollixena I wys wes not absent.
Panthessilé with mannys hardyment,
Effygyn and Virgenius douchter fre,
With uthyr flouris of feminyté
Baith of the New and the Ald Testament,
All on thay raid and left me in the tre.
In that desert dispers, in sondyr skattryt,
Wer bewis bare quham rane and wynde on battryt.
The water stank, the feild was odious
Quhar dragonys, lessertis, askis, edders swattryt
With mouthis gapand, forkyt tayles tattryt,
With mony a stang and spoutis vennomous
Corruppyng ayr be rewme contagious.
Maist gros and vyle enposonyt cloudis clatteryt,
Rekand lyk hellys smoke sulfuryus.
My dasyt hed, fordullit dissyly,
I rasyt up, half in a letergy,
As dois a catyve ydronken in slep
And so opperyt tyl my fantasy
A schynand lycht out of the northest sky.
Proportion soundis dulcest hard I pepe
The quhilk with cure till heir I did tak kepe.
In musyk nowmer full of harmony
Distant on far wes caryit be the depe.
Farther by wattyr folk may soundis here
Than by the erth, the quhilk with poris sere
Up drynkis ayr that movit is by sound,
Quhilk in compact wattir of ane rivere
May nocht entre bot rynnys thare and here
Quhil it at last be caryit on the ground —
And thocht throw dyn, be experience is found,
The fysch ar causyt within the rivere stere,
Inoth the wattyr the nois dois not abound.
Violent dyn the ayr brekkis and deris,
Syne gret motion of ayr the watyr steris.
The wattyr steryt, fischis for ferdnes fleis;
Bot, out of dout, no fysch in wattyr heris,
For, as we se, rycht few of thaym has eris —
And eik forsuyth, bot gyf wyse clerkis leis,
Thair is nane ayr inoth watters nor seis,
But quhilk na thing may heir, as wyse men leiris,
Lyik as but lycht thair is na thyng that seis.
Anewch of this, I not quhat it may mene.
I wyll returne till declare all bedene
My dreidfull dreme with grysly fantasyis.
I schew tofore quhat I had hard and sene,
Perticularly sum of my paynfull tene.
But now God wate quhat ferdnes on me lyis.
Lang ere I said — and now this tyme is twyis —
A sound I hard, of angellys as it had bene,
With armony fordynnand all the skyis,
So dulce, so swete, and so melodius
That every wycht thair with mycht be joyous
Bot I and cativis dullit in dispare;
For quhen a man is wreth or furius,
Malancolyk for wo or tedius,
Than is al plesance till hym maist contrare;
And semblably than, so did wyth me fare.
This melody intonyt hevinly thus
For profund wo constrenyt me mak care;
And murnand thus as ane maist wofull wicht,
Of the maist plesand court I had a sycht
In warld adoun sen Adam wes create.
Quhat sang? Quhat joy? Quhat armony? Quhat lycht?
Quhat myrthfull solace, plesance all at ryght?
Quhat fresch bewté? Quhat excelland estate?
Quhat swete vocis? Quhat wordis suggurate?
Quhat fair debatis? Quhat lufsum ladyis bricht?
Quhat lusty gallandis did on thair servyce wate?
Quhat gudly pastance, and quhat menstraly?
Quhat game thay maid? In faith, not tell can I,
Thocht I had profund wit angelicall.
The hevinly soundis of thair armony
Has dymmyt so my drery fantasy,
Baith wit and reason, half is lost of all.
Yit as I knaw, als lychtly say I sall:
That angellyk and godly company
Tyll se me thocht a thyng celestiall.
Procedand furth wes draw ane chariote
Be cursuris twelf trappit in gren velvote.
Of fyne gold wer juncturis and harnasyngis.
The lymnuris wer of byrnyst gold, God wote.
Baith extré and quhelis of gold, I hote.
Of goldyn cord wer lyamys, and the stryngis
Festnyt conjunct in massy goldyn ryngis;
Evyr hamys convenient for sic note;
And raw silk brechamys ovyr thair halsys hyngis.
The body of the cart of evir bone
With crysolytis and mony pretious stone
Wes all ovirfret in dew proportioun
Lyke sternys in the firmament quhilkis schone.
Reperalit wes that godlyk plesand wone,
Tyldyt abone and to the erth adoun
In rychest claith of gold of purpur broun;
But fas or othyr frenyeis had it none
Save plate of gold anamallyt all fassioun,
Quhairfra dependant hang thair megyr bellys,
Sum round, sum thraw, in sound the quhilkis excellis.
All wer of gold of Araby maist fyne,
Quhilkis with the wynd concordandly so knellys
That to be glad thair sound al wycht compellys.
The armony wes so melodius fyne
In mannys voce and instrument divine,
Quhare so thay went, it semyt nothyng ellys
Bot jerarchyes of angellys ordours nyne.
Amyd the chare, fulfillyt of plesance,
A lady sat, at quhais obeysance
Wes all that rout; and wondyr is till here
Of hir excelland lusty countenance.
Hir hie bewté, quhilk mayst is til avance,
Precellys all — thair may be na compere —
For lyk Phebus in hiest of his spere
Hir bewtye schane, castand so gret a glance
All farehed it opprest, baith far and nere.
Scho wes peirles of schap and portrature.
In hir had Nature fynesyt hir cure.
As for gud havyngis, thair wes nane bot sche.
And hir array wes so fyne and so pure
That quhair of wes hir rob, I am not sure,
For nocht bot perle and stonys mycht I se,
Of quham, the brychtnes of hir hie bewté
For till behald my sycht myght not endure
Mair than the brycht sonne may the bakkis e.
Hir hair as gold or topasis wes hewyt.
Quha hir beheld, hir bewtie ay renewyt.
On heid sche had a creste of dyamantis.
Thair wes na wycht that gat a sycht eschewyt,
Wer he nevir sa constant nor weil thewyt,
Na he was woundit and him hir servant grantis.
That hevinly wycht, hir cristall eyn so dantis,
For blenkis swete, nane passit unpersewyt,
Bot gyf he wer preservit as thir sanctis.
I wondryt sore and in mynd did stare
Quhat creature that mycht be wes so fare,
Of sa peirles excelent womanheid.
And, farlyand thus, I saw within the chare
Quhare that a man wes set with lymmes square,
His body weil entalyeit every steid.
He bare a bow with dartis haw as leid,
His clethyng wes als grene as ane hountare
Bot he forsuyth had none eyn in his hed.
I understude by signis persavabill
That wes Cupyd, the god maist dissavabill;
The lady, Venus his mother, a goddes.
I knew that wes the court so variabill
Of erdly luf, quhilk sendill standis stabill.
Bot yit thayr myrth and solace, nevertheles —
In musik, tone, and menstraly expres
So craftely with corage aggreabill —
Hard never wicht sik melody, I ges.
Accumpanyit lusty yonkers with all.
Fresche ladyis sang in voce virgineall
Concordes swete, divers entoned reportis,
Proportionis fyne with sound celestiall:
Duplat, triplat, diatesseriall,
Sesque altra and decupla resortis;
Diapason of mony syndry sortis
War songin and plait be seir cunnyng menstrall
On luf ballattis with mony fair disportis.
In modulatioun hard I play and syng
Faburdoun, priksang, discant, conturyng,
Cant organe, figuration, and gemmell,
On crowd, lute, harp, with mony gudly spring,
Schalmis, clarionis, portativis hard I ring,
Monycord, orgain, tympane, and symbell,
Sytholl, psaltery, and vocis swete as bell,
Soft releschyngis in dulce delyveryng;
Fractyonis divide, at rest, or clos compell.
Not Pan of Archaid so plesandly plays
Nor King David, quhais playng, as men sayis,
Conjurit the spreit the quhilk Kyng Saul confoundit,
Nor Amphion with mony subtile layis
Quhilk Thebes wallit with harpyng in his dayis,
Nor he that first the subtile craftis foundit,
Was not in musik half so weil igroundit
Nor knew thair mesure tent dele be no wayes.
At thair resort baith hevyn and erd resoundit.
Na mare I understude thir noumeris fyne,
Be God, than dois a gekgo or a swyne,
Save that me think swete soundis gude to heir.
Na mair heiron my labour will I tyne.
Na mair I wyl thir verbillys swete diffyne,
How that thair musik tones war mair cleir
And dulcer than the movyng of the speir
Or Orpheus harp of Trace with sound divyne;
Glaskeryane maid na noyes compeir.
Thay condescend sa weil in ane accord
That by na juynt thair soundis bene discord,
In every key thay werren sa expert.
Of thair array gyf I suld mak record,
Lusty spryngaldis and mony gudly lord,
Tendyr yonglyngis with pietuous virgin hart,
Eldar ladyis knew mair of lustis art,
Divers utheris quhilkis me not list remord,
Quhais lakkest weid was silkis, or brounvert.
In vesturis quent of mony syndry gyse,
I saw all claith of gold men mycht devise,
Purpur coulour, punyk and skarlot hewis,
Velvot robbis maid with the grand assyse,
Dames, satyn, begaryit mony wyse,
Cramessy satin, velvos enbroude in divers rewis,
Satyn figuris champit with flouris and bewis —
Damesflure tere pyle, quhare on thair lyis
Perle orphany, quhilk every state renewis.
Thare ryche entire, maist peirles to behald,
My wyt can not discrive, howbe it I wald.
Mony entrappit stede with sylkis sere,
Mony pattrell nervyt with gold I tald,
Full mony new gylt harnasyng not ald,
On mony palfray, lusum ladyis clere;
And nyxt the chare I saw formest appere
Upon a bardyt cursere stout and bald,
Mars, god of stryf, enarmyt in byrnist gere.
Every invasybill wapyn on hym he bare.
His luke was grym, his body large and square,
His lymmys weil entailyeit til be strang,
His nek wes gret, a span lenth weil, or mare,
His vissage braid, with crisp, broun, curland hare,
Of statur not ovyr gret nor yit ovyr lang.
Behaldand Venus, “O ye my luif,” he sang,
And scho agane with dalyans sa fare
Hir knycht hym clepis quare so he ryde or gang.
Thair wes Arsyte and Palemon alswa
Accumpanyit with fare Emylya,
The quene Dido with hir fals luf Enee,
Trew Troylus, unfaythfull Cressida,
The fair Paris and plesand Helena,
Constant Lucres and traist Penolype,
Kynd Pirramus and wobegone Thysbe,
Dolorus Progne, triest Philomena,
King Davidis luif thare saw I, Barsabe.
Thare wes Ceix with the kynd Alcyon,
And Achilles wroth with Agamemnon
For Bryssida his lady fra hym tane;
Wofull Phillys with hir luf Demophon,
Subtel Medea and hir knycht Jasone;
Of France I saw thair Paris and Veane;
Thare wes Phedra, Thesyus, and Adriane,
The secrete, wyse, hardy Ipomedon,
Asswere, Hester, irraprevabill Susane.
Thare wes the fals unhappy Dalida,
Cruel, wikkyt and curst Dyonera,
Wareit Bibles and the fair Absolon,
Ysyphele, abhomynabil Sylla,
Trastram, Yside, Helcana and Anna,
Cleopatra and worthy Mark Anthon,
Iole, Hercules, Alcest, Ixion,
The onely pacient wyfe Gressillida,
Nersissus that his hed brak on a ston.
Thare wes Jacob with fair Rachel his make,
The quhilk become til Laban for hir sake
Fourteen yere boynd with fyrm hart immutabill.
Thair bene bot few sic now, I undertake.
Thir fair ladyis in silk and claith of lake
Thus lang sall not all foundyn be so stabyll.
This Venus court quhilk wes in luif maist abil
For till discrive my cunning is to wake.
A multitude thay wer, innumerabill,
Of gudly folk in every kynd and age;
With blenkis swete, fresch lusty grene curage,
And dalyans thay rydyng furth in fere.
Sum leivys in hope and sum in great thyrlage,
Sum in dispare, sum findis his panys swage.
Garlandis of flouris and rois chaplettis sere
Thay bare on hede and samyn sang so clere,
Quhil that thair myrth commovit my curage
Till syng this lay, quhilk folowand ye may here:
“Constrenyt hart, bylappit in distres,
Groundit in wo and full of hevynes,
Complene thy paynfull caris infinyte,
Bewale this warldis frele unstedfastnes,
Havand regrait, sen gone is thy glaidnes,
And all thy solace returnyt in dispyte.
O cative thrall, involupit in syte,
Confesse thy fatale, wofull wrechitnes;
Divide in twane and furth diffound all tyte
Aggrevance gret in miserabill endyte.
“My crewell fait, subjectit to penance,
Predestinat sa void of all plesance,
Has every greif amyd myn hart ingrave.
The slyd, inconstant destany or chance
Unequaly doith hyng in thair ballance
My demeritis and gret dolour I have.
This purgatory redowblys all the lave.
Ilk wycht has sum weilfare at obeysance,
Save me, bysnyng, that may na grace ressave.
Dede, thee addresse and do me to my grave.
“Wo worth sik strang mysforton anoyus
Quhilk has opprest my spretis maist joyus,
Wo worth this worldis freuch felicité,
Wo worth my fervent diseis dolorus,
Wo worth the wycht that is not pietuus
Quhare the trespassor penitent thay se,
Wo worth this dede that dayly dois me de,
Wo worth Cupid and wo worth fals Venus,
Wo worth thaym bayth, ay waryit mot thay be,
Wo worth thair court and cursyt destané.”
Loude as I mocht, in dolour al distrenyeit,
This lay I sayng and not a lettir fenyeit.
Tho saw I Venus on hir lyp did byte,
And all the court in hast thair horsys renyeit,
Proclamand loude, “Quhare is yone poid that plenyeit
Quhilk deth diservis committand sik dispite?”
Fra tre to tre, thay serchyng but respyte,
Quhill ane me fand, quhilk said in greif, disdenyeit,
“Avant, velane, thou reclus imperfyte.”
All in ane fevyr out of my muskan bowr
On knees I crap and law for feare did lowr.
Than all the court on me thayr hedis schuke,
Sum glowmand grym, sum grinand with vissage sowr,
Sum in the nek gave me feil dyntis dowr,
“Pluk at the craw,” thay cryit, “deplome the ruke!”
Pulland my hare, with blek my face they bruke.
Skrymmory fery gaif me mony a clowr.
For Chyppynuty full oft my chaftis quuke.
With payne torment, thus in thayr teynfull play,
Till Venus bund they led me furth the way,
Quhilk than wes set amyd a golden chare;
And so confoundit into that fell affray
As that I micht consydyr thair array.
Me thocht the feild — ovirspred with carpetis fare,
Quhilk wes tofore brint, barrant, vile, and bare —
Wox maist plesand, bot all, the suyth to say,
Micht not amese my grewous pane full sare.
Entronit sat Mars, Cupyd and Venus.
Tho rais a clerk wes clepit Varius
Me tyl accusyng as of a dedly cryme;
And he begouth and red a dittay thus,
“Thou wikkyt catyve, wod and furious,
Presumptuusly now at this present tyme
My lady here blasphemed in thy ryme;
Hir sonne, hir self, and hir court amorus
For till betrais, awatit here sen prime.”
Now God Thow wate, me thocht my fortune fey.
Wyth quakand voce and hart cald as a key
On kneys I knelyt and mercy culd implore,
Submyttand me, but ony langer pley,
Venus mandate and plesour till obey.
Grace wes denyit and my travel forlore
For scho gaif chargis till procede as before.
Than Varius spak rycht stoutly me till fley,
Injonand silence tyll ask grace ony more.
He demandit myn answere, quhat I sayd,
Than as I mocht, with curage all mysmaid,
Fra tyme I undirstude na mare supplé,
Sore abasyt, belive I thus out braid,
“Set of thir pointis of cryme now on me laid
I may me quyte giltles in verité,
Yit fyrst, agane the juge quhilk here I se,
This inordenat court, and proces quaid,
I wyll object for causys twa or thre.”
Inclynand law, quod I with pietuus face,
“I me defend, Madame plesyt your grace.”
“Say on,” quod sche. Than said I thus but mare,
“Madame, ye may not syt in till this cace,
For ladyis may be jugis in na place;
And mare attour, I am na seculare;
A spirituall man (thocht I be void of lare)
Clepyt I am, and aucht my lyvys space
To be remyt till my juge ordinare.
“I yow beseik, Madame, with byssy cure,
Till gyf ane gracius interlocuture
On thir exceptionys now proponyt late.”
Than suddanly Venus, I yow assure,
Deliverit sone and with a voce so sture
Answeryt thus: “Thow subtyle smy, God wait!
Quhat wenys thou? Till degraid myne hie estate?
Me till declyne as juge, curst creature,
It beis not so. The game gois othir gate.
“As we thee fynd, thow sall thoill jugement.
Not of a clerk we se the represent
Save onely falsehed and dissaitfull talys.
Fyrst quhen thow come, with hart and hail entent
Thow thee submyttit till my commaundement.
Now now, thairof me think to sone thow falys!
I weyn nathyng bot foly that thee alys.
Ye clerkis bene in subtyle wordis quent
And in the deid als scharpe as ony snalys.
“Ye bene the men bewrays my commandis.
Ye bene the men distrublys my servandis.
Ye bene the men with wikkyt wordis fele
Quhilk blasphemys fresch, lusty, yong gallandis
That in my servyce and retenew standis.
Ye bene the men that clepys yow so lele,
With fals behest quhill ye your purpose stele,
Syne ye forswere baith body, treuth and handis.
Ye bene sa fals — ye can no word consele.
“Have doyn,” quod sche, “syr Varius. Alswyith
Do writ the sentence. Lat this cative kyith3
Gyf our power may demyng his mysdeid.”
Than God Thow wait gyf that my spreit wes blyith.
The feverus hew in till my face dyd myith
All my male eys, for swa the horribill dreid
Hail me ovyrset, I mycht not say my Creid.
For feir and wo, within my skyn I wryith.
I mycht not pray, forsuyth, thocht I had neid.
Yit of my deth I set not half a fle —
For gret effere, me thocht na pane to de —
But sore I dred me for sum othyr jape
That Venus suld throw hir subtillyté
In till sum bysnyng best transfigurit me,
As in a bere, a bair, ane oule, ane ape.
I traistit so for till have bene myschaip
That oft I wald my hand behald to se
Gyf it alteryt, and oft my vissage grape.
Tho I revolvit in my mynd anone
Quhow that Diane transformyt Acteone,
And Juno eik as for a kow gert kepe
The fare Yo that lang wes wo begone —
Argos hir yymmyt that eyn had mony one,
Quhom at the last Mercurius gert slepe
And hir delyverit of that danger depe.
I remembrit also quhow in a stone
The wyfe of Loth ichangit sore did wepe.
I umbethocht quhow Jove and ald Saturn
In tyll a wolf thay did Lycaon turn,
And quhow the mychty Nabugodonosore
In bestly forme did on the feild sudjourn
And for his gilt wes maid to wepe and murn.
Thir feirfull wondris gart me dreid ful sore,
For by exemplys oft I herd tofore
He suld bewar that seys his fallow spurn.
Myschans of ane suld be ane otheris lore.
And rolland thus in divers fantasyis,
Terribil thochtis oft my hert did gryis
For all remeid wes alterit in dispare.
Thare wes na hope of mercy till devyis.
Thare wes na wycht my frend be na kyn wyis.
Alhalely the court wes me contrare.
Than wes all maist wryttyn the sentence sare.
My febyll mynd, seand this gret suppris,
Wes than of wit and every blys full bare.
The Seconde Parte
Lo thus amyd this hard perplexité,
Awaytand ever quhat moment I suld de
Or than sum new transfiguration,
He quhilk that is eternall verité,
The glorious Lord ryngand in personis thre,
Providit has for my salvation
Be sum gude spretis revelation,
Quhilk intercessioun maid, I traist, for me;
I foryet all imagination.
All hail my dreid I tho foryet in hy
And all my wo, bot yit I wyst not quhy,
Save that I had sum hope till be relevyt.
I rasyt than my vissage hastely
And with a blenk anone I did espy
A lusty sycht quhilk nocht my hart engrevit.
A hevinly rout out throw the wod eschevyt
Of quhame the bonty, gyf I not deny,
Uneth may be in till ane scripture brevit.
With lawrere crownyt in robbis syd all new,
Of a fassoun, and all of stedfast hew,
Arrayit weil, a court I saw cum nere
Of wyse, degest, eloquent fathers trew
And plesand ladyis quhilkis fresch bewtie schew,
Syngand softly, full swete, on thair manere,
On poete wyse, all divers versis sere,4
Historyis gret in Latyne toung and Grew
With fresche endyt and soundis gude till here;
And sum of thaym ad lyram playit and sang
So plesand vers quhill all the rochys rang,
Metyr Saphik and also elygee.
Thair instrumentis all maist wer fydlys lang
Bot with a string quhilk nevyr ane wreist yeid wrang.
Sum had ane harpe and sum a fair psaltree;
On lutis sum thair accentis subtellé
Devydyt weil and held the mesure lang
In soundis swete of plesand melodie.
The ladyis sang in vocis dulcorate
Facund epistillis quhilkis quhilum Ovid wrate
As Phillys quene send till duke Demophon,
And of Pennolepe the gret regrate
Send till hir lord, sche dowtyng his estate,
That he at Troy suld losyt be or tone.
Quhow Acontus till Cedippa anone
Wrate his complaint, thair hard I weil, God wate,
With othir lusty myssyvis mony one.
I had gret wondir of thair layis sere
Quhilkis in that arte mycht have na way compere
Of castis quent, rethorik colouris fyne
So poete lyk in subtyle fair manere
And elaquent, fyrme cadens regulere.
Thair vayage furth contenand rycht as lyne
With sang and play, as sayd is, so dyvine,
Thay fast approchyng to the place well nere
Quhare I wes torment in my gastly pyne;
And as the hevynly sort now nomynate
Removyt furth on gudly wyse the gate
Towert the court quhilk wes tofore expremit,
My curage grew — for quhat cause I not wate,
Save that I held me payit of thayr estate;
And thay wer folk of knawlage, as it semit.
Als in til Venus court full fast thay demit,
Sayand, "Yone lusty rout wyll stop our mate
Till justefy thys bisning quhilk blasphemit.
"Yone is," quod they, "the court rethoricall
Of polit termys, sang poeticall,
And constand ground of famus historyis swete.
Yone is the facund well celestiall.
Yone is the fontayn and origynall
Quharefra the well of Hylicon dois flete.
Yone ar the folkis that comfortes every sprete
Be fyne delyte and dyte angelicall,
Causand gros lede all of maist gudnes glete.
"Yone is the court of plesand stedfastnes,
Yone is the court of constant merynes,
Yone is the court of joyus disciplyne
Quhilk causys folk thair purpos till expres
In ornat wyse, provocand with gladnes
All gentyll hartis to thare lare inclyne.
Every famus poet men may devyne
Is in yone rout. Lo yondir, thair prynces,
Thespis, the mothyr of the Musis Nyne;
"And nixt hir syne, hir douchter fyrst byget,
Lady Cleo, quhilk craftely dois set
Historiis ald lyk as thay wer present.
Euterpe eik, quhilk dayly dois hir det
In dulce blastis of pipis swete, but let.
The thyrd systir, Thalia diligent,
In wanton wryt and cronikillis doith imprent.
The ferd endityth oft with chekis wet
Sare tragedyis, Melphomyne the gent.
"Tarpsychore the fyft with humyll soun
Makis on psaltreis modolatioun.
The sext Erato, lyk thir luffirs wylde,
Will syng, play, dans, and leip baith up and doune.
Polimnya, the sevynt Muse of renoun,
Ditis thir swete rethorik cullouris mylde
Quhilkis ar so plesand baith to man and chylde.
Uranya, the aucht and sistir schene,
Wrytis the hevyn and sternys all bedene.
"The nynt, quham till nane othir is compere,
Caliopé, that lusty lady clere,
Of quham the bewtye and the worthynes
The vertuys gret, schynis baith far and nere,
For sche of nobillis fatis hes the stere
Till wryt thair worschyp, victory, and prowes
In kyngly style, quhilk dois thair fame encres,
Clepyt in Latyne heroicus but were,
Cheif of al wryt lyk as scho is maistres.
"Thir Musis nyne, lo yondir, may ye se
With fresch Nymphis of watir and of see
And Phanee, ladyis of thir templis ald,
Pyerides, Dryades, Saturee,
Neriedes, Aones, Napee,
Of quham the bontyis nedis not be tald."
Thus dempt the court of Venus monyfald,
Quhilk speche refreschyt my perplexité,
Rejosand weil my sprete afore wes cald.
The suddand sycht of that fyrme court foresaid
Recomfort weil my hew tofore wes faid.
Amyd my brest the joyus heit redoundyt,
Behaldand quhow the lusty Musys raid,
And al thair court quhilk wes so blyith and glaid,
Quhois merynes all hevynes confoundyt.
Thair saw I, weil in poetry ygroundyt,
The gret Homere, quhilk in Grew langage said
Maist eloquently, in quham all wyt aboundyt.
Thare wes the gret Latyn Virgillyus,
The famus fathir poet Ovidius,
Ditis, Daris, and eik the trew Lucane,
Thare wes Plautus, Pogius, Parsius,
Thare wes Terens, Donat and Servius,
Francys Petrark, Flakcus Valeriane,
Thare wes Ysop, Caton, and Alane,
Thare wes Galterus and Boetius,
Thare wes also the gret Quintilliane.
Thare wes the satyr poete Juvinale,
Thare wes the mixt and subtell Marciale,
Of Thebes bruyt thare wes the poete Stace.
Thare wes Faustus and Laurence of the Vale,
Pomponeus, quhais fame of late, sans fale,
Is blawin wyd throw every realme and place.
Thare wes the morale, wyse poete Orace;
With mony other clerkis of gret avayle,
Thare wes Brunell, Claudyus and Bocace.
So gret a pres of pepill drew us nere,
The hunder part thare namys is not here.
Yit thare I saw, of Brutus Albion,
Goffryd Chaucere as A per se, sance pere
In his wulgare, and morell John Gowere.
Lydgat the monk raid musand him allone.
Of this natioun I knew also anone
Gret Kennedy and Dunbar, yit undede,
And Quyntyne with ane huttok on his hede.
Howbeit I couth declare and weil endyte,
The bonteis of that court dewlye to wryt
Wer ovir prolyxt, transcendyng myne engyne
Twychand the proces of my panefull syte.
Belive I saw thir lusty Musys quhyte
With all thair route towart Venus declyne
Quhare Cupyd sat with hir in trone divyne,
I standand bundyn in a sory plyte
Bydand thair grace or than the dedly pyne.
Straucht til the quene sammyn thir Musis raid,
Maist eloquently thare salutationys maid.
Venus agane yald thaym thair salusyng
Rycht reverently and on hir fete upbraid,
Besekand thaym to lycht. "Nay, nay," thay said,
"We may as here make na lang tarying."
Caliopé, maist facund and bening,
Inquyryt Venus what wicht had hir mismaid
Or wes the cause thair of hir sudjournyng.
"Syster," sayd scho, "behald that bysnyng schrew.
A subtyle smye — considyr weil his hew —
Standis thair bond," and bykkynit hir to me.
"Yone cative hes blasphemyt me of new
For tyl degraid and do my fame adew;
A laithly ryme dispitefull subtellé
Compelit hes, rehersand loud on hie
Sclander, dispite, sorow and wallaway
To me, my sonne, and eike my court for ay.
"He hes deservit deth, he salbe dede,
And we remane forsuith in to this stede
Till justefy that rebell renygate."
Quod Caliopé, "Sister, away all fede.
Quhy suld he de? Quhy suld he leis his hede?
To sla him for sa small a cryme, God wate,
Greter degradyng wer to your estate
All out than wes his sclander or sich plede.
Quhow may a fule your hie renoun chakmate?
"Quhat of his lak? Your fame so wyd is blaw,
Your excellens maist peirles is so knaw,
Na wrichis word ay depare your hie name.
Gyf me his lyfe and modefy the law,
For, on my hed he standis now sic aw
That he sall eft disserve nevir mare blame.
Not of his dede ye may report but schame.
In recompence of this mysyttand saw
He sall your hest in every part proclame."
Than Lord quhow glad becam my febil gost!
My curage grew, the quhilk afore wes lost,
Seand I had so gret ane advocate
That expertly, but prayer, pryce, or cost,
Opteynit had my frewel accion all most
Quhilk wes afore perist and desolate.
This quhyil Venus stude, in ane study strate,
Bot fynally scho schew till all the ost
Scho wald do grace and be not obstinate.
"I wyll," said sche, "have mercy and pyeté,
Do slake my wreth and lat all rancour be.
Quhare is mare vice than till be ovir cruel,
And specially in wemen sic as me?
A lady, fy, that usis tirranné
No woman is, rather a serpent fell.
A vennamus dragon or a devill of hell
Is na compare to the inequyté
Of bald wemen, as thir wyse clerkis tell.
"Gret God diffend I suld be ane of tho
Quhilk of thare fede and malyce nevir ho!
Out on sik gram, I wyll serve na repreif.
Caliope, sistir," said til Venus tho,
"At your request this wreche sall frely go.
Heir I remyt his trespas, and all greif
Salbe foryet, swa he wil say sum breif
Or schort ballat in contrare pane and wo,
Tuychand my laud and his plesand releif.
"And secundly the nixt resonabil command
Quhilk I him charge, se that he not ganestand.
On thir conditions, sister, at your requeist,
He sall go fre." Quod Caliope, inclynand,
"Grant mercy, sister. I oblys by my hand
He sall observe in al poyntis your beheist."
Than Venus bad do slake sone my arreist.
Belyve I wes releschit of every band,
Uprais the court and all the perlour ceist.
Tho sat I doun lawly upon my kne
At command of prudent Caliopé,
Yeildand Venus thankis a thousand sith
For sa hie frendschip and mercyfull pieté,
Excelland grace and gret humanyté,
The quhilk to me, trespassour, did scho kyth.
"I thee forgeve," quod sche. Than wes I blyth.
Doun on a stok I set me suddanlye
At hir command and wrate this lay als swyth:
"Unwemmyt wit, deliverit of dangear,
Maist happely preservit fra the snare,
Releschit fre of servyce and bondage,
Expell dolour, expell diseyses sare,
Avoyd displesour, womentyng and care,
Ressave plesans and do thy sorowe swage,
Behald thy glaid, fresche, lusty, grene curage,
Rejois amyd thir lovers lait and air,
Provyde a place till plant thy tendir age
Quhair thou in joy and plesour may repair.
"Quha is in welth? quha is weill fortunat?
Quha is in peace, dissoverit from debbat?
Quha levys in hop? quha levys in esperance?
Quha standis in grace? quha standis in ferme estat?
Quha is content, rejosyt air and lat,
Or quha is he that fortune doith avance
Bot thow, that is replenyst with plesance?
Thow hes comfort, all weilfare dilligat;
Thow hes gladnes, thow hes the happy chance,
Thow hes thy wyll; now be not dissolat.
"Incres in myrthfull consolatioun,
In joyus, swete ymaginatioun;
Habond in luif of purifyit amouris
With diligent trew deliberatioun;
Rendir lovyngis for thy salvatioun
Till Venus; and, ondir hir gard all houris,
Rest at all ease, but sair or sytful schouris.
Abyde in quyet, maist constant weilfare.
Be glaid and lycht now in thy lusty flouris,
Unwemmyt wyt, delyverit of dangare."
This lay wes red in oppyn audience
Of the Musis and in Venus presence.
"I stand content thow art obedient,"
Quod Caliopé, my campion and defence.
Venus sayid eik, it wes sum recompence
For my trespas I wes so penytent,
And with that word all sodanly sche went.
In ane instant scho and hir court wes hence,
Yit still abayd thir Musis on the bent.
Inclynand than, I sayd, "Caliopé
My protector, my help, and my supplé,
My soverane lady, my redemptioun,
My mediatour quhen I wes dampnyt to de,
I sall beseik the Godly Majesté
Infynyt thankis, laud, and benysoun
Yow till acquyte, accordyng your renoun.
It langyth not my possibillité
Till recompence ten part of this gwardoun.
"Glore, honour, laude, and reverence condyng
Quha may foryeild yow of so hie a thyng?
And in that part your mercy I implore,
Submyttand me my lyftyme induring
Your plesour and mandate till obeysyng."
"Silence," said scho, "I have eneuch heirfore.
I will thow passe and vissy wondris more."
Than scho me hes betaucht in kepyng
Of a swete Nymphe, maist faythfull and decore.
Ane hors I gat, maist rychely besene,
Was harnyst all with wodbynd levis grene.
On the same sute the trappuris law doun hang.
Ovir hym I straid at command of the quene.
Tho sammyn furth we rydyng all bedene
Als swyft as thocht with mony a mery sang.
My Nymphe alwayis convoyt me of thrang,
Amyd the Musys till se quhat thay wald mene,
Quhilkis sang and playt bot nevir a wrest yeid wrang.
Throw cuntreis seir, holtis, and rochys hie,
Ovir valys, planys, woddis, wally se,
Ovir fludis fare and mony strate montane
We wer caryit in twynklyng of ane e.
Our horssis flaw and raid nocht, as thocht me,
Now out of France tursyt in Tuskane,
Now out of Flandris heich up in Almane,
Now in till Egypt, now in Ytalie,
Now in the realme of Trace, and now in Spane.
The montayns we passit of all Garmanie,
Ovir Appenynus devydand Ytalie,
Ovir Ryne, the Pow and Tirber fludis fare,
Ovir Alpheus, by Pyes the ryche citie,
Undir the erth that entres in the see;
Ovir Ron, ovir Sane, ovir France and eik ovir Lare
And ovir Tagus the goldin sandyt ryvare.
In Thessaly we passit the mont Oethé
And Hercules in sepulture fand there.
Thare went we ovir the ryver Peneyus.
In Secil eik we passyt the mont Tmolus,
Plenyst with saphron, huny, and with wyne;
The twa toppyt famus Pernasus;
In Trais we went out ovir the mont Emus
Quhare Orphius lerit his armony maist fyne,
Ovir Carmelus, quhare twa prophetis devyne
Remanyt, Helyas and Heliseus,
Fra quhom the ordur of Carmelitis come syne;
And nixt untill the land of Amyson
In hast we past the flude Termodyon,
And ovir the huge hill that hecht Mynas.
We raid the hill of Bachus Citheron
And Olympus, the mont of Massidon,
Quhilk semys heich up in the hevyn to pas.
In that countré we raid the flude Melas
Quhais watter makith quhite scheip blak anon;
In Europe eik we raid the flud Thanas;
We raid the swyft revere Sparthiades,
The flud of Surry Achicorontes,
The hill so full of wellis clepit Yda,
Armany hillis and flude Eufrates,
The fluid of Nyle, the pretius flude Ganges,
The hyl of Secyle ay byrnand Ethna,
And ovir the mont of Frygy, Dindama,
Hallowit in honour of the Modir Goddes;
Cauld Cacasus we passit, in Sythia;
We passyt the fludis of Tygris and Phison,
Of Trace the riveris Hebrun and Strymon,
The mont of Modyn and the flud Jordane,
The facund well and hill of Elicon,
The mont Erix, the well of Acheron,
Baith didicat to Venus en certane.
We past the hill and desert of Lybane,
Ovir mont Cinthus quhare God Appollo schone,
Straucht to the Musis Caballyne fontane.
Besyde that cristall strand swete and degest,
Them till repois, thayr hors refresch and rest,
Alychtit doun thir Musis clere of hew.
The cumpany all halely, lest and best,
Thrang to the well tyl drink, quhilk ran southwest
Throw out a meid quhare alkyn flouris grew.
Amang the layf, ful fast I did persew
Tyll drynk, bot sa the gret pres me opprest
That of the watir I micht never tast a drew.
Our hors pasturyt in a plesand plane,
Law at the fute of a fare grene mountane,
Amyd a meid schadowed with cedir treys;
Save fra al heit, thare micht we weil remane.
All kynd of herbis, flouris, frute, and grane
With every growand tre, thair men micht cheis.
The byrriall stremys rynnand ovyr sterny greis
Maid sobir noys; the schaw dynnyt agane
For byrdys sang and soundyng of the beis.
The ladyis fare on divers instrumentys
Went playand, syngand, dansand ovir the bentis.
Ful angelyk and hevynly wes thair soun.
Quhat creatour amid his hart imprentis
The fresche bewty, the gudly representis,
The mery spech, fare havinges, hie renoun —
Of thaym wald set a wyse man halfe in swoun.
Thair womanlynes writhyt the elementis,
Stonyst the hevyn and all the erth adoun.
The warld may not consydyr nor discryve
The hevynly joy, the blys I saw belyve,
So ineffabill, abone my wyt so hie,
I wyll na mare thairon my forhed ryve,
But breifly furth my febill proces dryve.
Law in the meid a palyeon pycht I se,
Maist gudlyest and rychest that myght be.
My governour ofter than timys fyve
Untill that halde to pas commandit me,
Swa fynally strycht to that rial steid
In fallowschip with my leder I yeid.
We entryt sone, the portar wes not thra,
Thare wes na stoppyng, lang demand nor pleid.
I knelyt law and onheldit my heid,
And tho I saw our Musis twa and twa
Sittand on deace, famylliaris to and fra
Servand thaym fast with Epocres and meid,
Dilligate meatis, daynteis sere alswa.
Grete wes the preis the feist ryall to sene.
At ease thay eit with interludyis betwene,
Gave problemys sere and mony fare demandis
Inquirand quha best in thair tymys had bene,
Quha traist lovers in lusty yeris grene;
Sum said this way and sum thairto ganstandis.
Than Caliope Ovid till appere commaundis:
"My clerk," quod scho, "of regestere, bedene
Declare quha wer maist worthy of thair handis."
With lawrere crownyt at hir commaundment
Up stude this poet degest and eloquent
And schew the fetis of Hercules the strang,
Quhow he the grysly hellis houndis out rent,
Slew lyonys, monstreis, and mony fell serpent,
And to the deth feil mychty giantis dang.
Of Thesyus eik he tald the weris lang
Agane the quene Ypollita the swete,
And quhow he slew the Mynotaure in Crete.
Of Persyus he tald the knychtly dedis
Quhilk vincussyt, as men in Ovid redis,
Crewell tyrrantis and monsturis mony one;
Of Dianis bore in Callydon the dredis,5
Quhow throw a ladyis schot his sydis bledis,
The bretheris deith, and syne the systeris mone.
He schew quhow Kyng Priamusis sonne Ysacon
Efter his dede, body and all his wedis
In till a skarth transformyt wes anon.
He schew at Troy quhat wyis the Grekis landis,
Quhow fers Achylles stranglyt wyth his handis
The valyeant Cignus, Neptunus sonne maist dere,
Quhilk at Grekis aryvale on the strandis
A thousand slew that day apon the sandis,
Faucht with Achill and blontit al his spere —
Na wapyn wes that micht him wond nor dere —
Quhill Achylles bryst off his helm the bandis
And wyrryit hym be fors for all his fere.
He schew full mony transmutationis
And wondirfull new figurationis
Be hondris mo than I have here expremyt.
He tald of lovys meditacionis,
The craft of love and the salvationis,
Quhow that the furie lustis suld be flemyt.
Of divers other materis als he demyt,
And, be his prudent scharpe relationys,
He wes expart in all thyng, as it semyt.
Up rais the gret Virgilius anone
And playd the sportis of Daphnis and Coridon.
Syne Therens come and playit the commedy
Of Permeno, Thrason and wyse Gnaton.
Juvynale lik a mower hym allone
Stud skornand every man as thay yeid by.
Marcyall was cuyk till rost, seith, fars or fry,
And Pogyus stude with mony gyrn and grone,
On Laurence Valla spyttand and cryand fy.
With myrthys thus and meatis diligate,
Thir ladyis, festit accordyng thair estate,
Uprais at last, commandand till tranoynt.
Retret wes blawyn lowd, and than, God wate,
Men micht have sene swyft horssys halden hate,
Schynand for swete as thay had bene anoynt.
Of all that rout wes never a pryk disjoynt
For all our tary, and I furth with my mate,
Montyt on hors, raid sammyn in gude poynt.
Ovir many gudly plane we raid bedene,
The Vail of Ebron, the Campe Damascene,
Throw Josaphat and throw the lusty vail,
Ovir watres wan, thorow worthi woddis grene,
And swa at last, in lyftyng up our eyne,
We se the fynall end of our travail,
Amyd ane plane a plesand roch till wail.
And every wycht fra we that sycht had sene,
Thankand gret God, thare hedis law devail.
With syngyng, lauchyng, merines and play.
On till that roch we rydyng furth the way.
Now mare till writ, for fere trymlys my pen.
The hart may not thynk nor manis toung say,
The eyr not here nor yet the e se may,
It may not be ymagyned with men,
The hevynly blys, the perfyte joy to ken
Quhilk now I saw; the hundreth part all day
I micht not schaw, thocht I had tonges ten.
Thocht al my membris tongis were on raw,
I wer not abill the thousand fald to schaw,
Quhairfore I fere ocht forthirmare to wryte;
For quhiddir I this in saule or body saw,
That wait I not, bot he that all doth knaw,
The gret God wait, in every thyng perfyt.
Eik gyf I wald this avyssyon endyte,
Janglaris suld it bakbyt and stand nane aw,
Cry "Out on dremes quhilkis ar not worth a myte."
Sen thys til me all verité be kend,
I reput bettir thus till mak ane end
Than ocht til say that suld herars engreve.
On othir syd thocht thay me vilepend,
I considdir prudent folk will commend
The vereté and sic janglyng rapreve.
With quhais correction, support, and releve
Furth till proceid this proces I pretend,
Traistand in God my purpose till escheve.
Quhowbeit I may not every circumstance
Reduce perfytly in rememorance,
Myn ignorance yit sum part sal devyse
Twychand this sycht of hevynly swete plesance.
Now empty pen, wryt furth thy lusty chance,
Schaw wondris fele, suppose thow be not wyse6
Be dilligent and rypely thee avyse,
Be qwyke and scharpe, voydit of variance,
Be suete, and cause not jentill hartis gryse.
The Thyrd Parte
Ye Musis nyne, be in myne adjutory,
That maid me se this blys and perfyte glory.
Teche me your facund castis eloquent.
Len me a recent, scharp, fresch memory
And caus me dewly til indyt this story.
Sum gratius swetnes in my brest imprent
Till make the heraris bousum and attent,
Redand my wryt illumynyt with your lore;
Infynyt thankis rendrand yow thairfore.
Now breifly to my purpose for til gone,
About the hyll lay ways mony one
And to the hycht bot a passage ingrave,
Hewyn in the roch of slyde, hard merbyll stone.
Aganne the sonne, lyk as the glas it schone.
Ascens wes hie and strait for till consave,
Yit than thir Musis, gudly and suave,
Alychtyt doun and clam the roch in hy
With all the route, outtane my Nynphe and I.
Styl at the hillys fute we twa abaid,
Than suddandly my keper to me said,
"Ascend, galand!" Tho for fere I quuke.
"Be not effrayit," scho said. "Be not mismaid,"
And with that word up the strait rod abraid.
I followit fast; scho be the hand me tuke;
Yit durst I nevir for dreid behynde me luke.
With mekill pane thus clam we nere the hycht,
Quhare suddandly I saw ane grysly sycht.
As we approchit nere the hillis heid,
A terrible sewch — birnand in flawmys reid,
Abhominable and hol as heill to se,
All full of bryntstane, pyk, and bulnyng leid,
Quhair mony wrechit creatour lay deid
And miserable catywis yeland loude one hie —
I saw, quhilk den mycht wele comparit be
Till Xantus,the fluid of Troy so schill
Byrnand at Venus' hest contrar Achill.
Amyd our passage lay this wgly sicht,
Not brayd, but so horrible till eviry wicht
That all the warld to pas it suld have dreid.
Wele I considerit nene upparmar I mycht,
And to discend, sa hiddous wes the hicht,
I durst not aventur for this erth on breid.
Trymland I stud with teith chatterand gud speid.
My Nymphe beheld my cheir and said "Lat be,
Thow sall not aill, and lo the caus," quod sche.
"To me thou art commyt. I sall the keip.
Thir pieteous pepill amyd theis laithly deip
War wrechis quhilkis in lusty yeris fair
Pretendit thaym till hie honour to creip;
Bot suddandly thay fell on sleuthfull sleip
Followand plesance, drynt in this loch of cair."
And with that word, sche hynt me by the hair,
Caryit me to the hillis hed anone
As Abacuk wes brocht in Babilone.
As we bene on the hie hill sittuate,
"Luke doun," quod scho, "Consave in quhat estat
Thy wrechyt warld thou may considdir now.'
At hir command with mekill dreid, God wate,
Out ovir the hill sa hiddous, hie, and strate
I blent adoun and feld my body grow.
This brukkill erth, sa littyl to allow,
Me thocht I saw byrn in a fyry rage
Of stormy see, quhilk mycht na maner swage.
That terribbill tempest, hiddous wallys huge,
Wer maist grysly for till behald or juge,
Quhare nothyr rest nor quyet mycht appere.
Thare wes a peralus palyce, folk to luge.
Thare wes na help, support, nor yet refuge.
Innowmerabill folk I saw flottrand in fere
Quhilk peryst on the weltrand wallys were;
And secondly I saw a lusty barge
Ovirset with seyes and mony stormy charge.
This gudly carvel — taiklyt traist on raw
With blanschyt sail, mylk quhyte as ony snaw,
Rycht sover tycht, and wondir strangly beildyt —
Wes on the boldyn wallys quyte ovirthraw.
Contrariusly the bustuus wynd did blaw
In bubbys thik, that na schip sail mycht weld it.
Now sank scho law, now hie tyl hevyn upheldyt.
At every part the see and wyndis drave,
Quhill on a sand the schip tobryst and clave.
It wes a pietuus thyng, allake allake,
Till here the duylfull cry quhen that scho strake,
Maist lamentabill the peryst folk till se
Sa famyst, drokyt, mait, forwrocht and wake,
Sum on a plank of firre and sum of ake,
Sum hang apon takill, sum on a tre,
Sum fra thair gryp sone weschyne with the se.
Part drynt, and part to the rolke flet or swam.
On rapis or burdis syne up the hill thay clam.
Tho at my Nynphe breifly I did inquere
Quhat sygnyfyit tha feirfull wondris sere.
"Yone multitude," said scho, "of pepill drint
Ar faythles folk, quhilkis quhyle thay ar here
Mysknawys God and followys thare plesere,
Quhairfore thay sall in endles fyre be brynt.
Yone lusty schip thow seyst peryst and tynt,
In quhame yone pepill maid ane parralus race,
Scho heycht the Carvell of the State of Grace.
"Ye bene all borne the sonnys of ire, I ges,
Syne throw baptyme gettis grace and faythfulnes,
Than in yone carvell suyrly ye remane,
Oft stormstad with this warldis brukkyllnes,
Quhill that ye fall in synne and wrachitnes;
Than schipbrokyn, sall ye droun in endles pane
Except bye fayth ye fynd the plank agane,
Bye Chryst, vorkyng gud vorkys, I onderstand.
Remane thair with, thir sall you bryng to land.
"This may suffice," said scho, "twychand this part.
Returne thy hed, behald this othir art,
Considdir wondris and be vigyllant
That thow may bettir endytyng eftirwart
Thyngis quhilkis I sall thee schaw or we depart.
Thow sall have fouth of sentence and not skant.
Thare is no welth nor welfare thow sall want.
The gret palyce of Honour salt thou se.
Lift up thy hed, behald that sicht," quod sche.
At hir commaund I rasit hie on hycht
My vissage till behald that hevenly sycht.
Bot tyl discryve this matter in effek
Impossibill wer till ony erdly wicht;
It transcendes sa far abone my micht
That I with ynk may do bot paper blek.
I man draw furth; the yok lyis in my nek,
As of the place to say my lewd avyse,
Plenyst with plesance, lyke to parradyce.
I saw a plane of peirles pulcritude
Quharevin abondyt every thingis gude:
Spyce, wyne, corn, ule; tre, frute, flour, herbis grene,
All foulys, bestis, byrdys and alkynde fude,
All maner fyschis, bayth of see and flude,
Wer kepit in pondis of polist silver schene
With purifyit wattir as of the cristall clene.
Till noy the small the grete bestis had na will,
Nor ravanus fowlys the littil volatill.
Styll in the season all thyng remanyt thare;
Perpetually, but othir noy or sare,
Ay rypyt were bayth herbys, frute, and flouris.
Of every thyng the namys till declare
Until my febill wyt impossybill ware.
Amyd the med replete of swete odouris,
A palyce stude with mony riall touris
Quhare kernellys quent, feil turretis men mycht fynd
And goldyn fanys wavand with the wynd.
Pynnakillis, fyellis, tournpikes mony one,
Gylt, byrnyst torris, quhilk lyk til Phebus schone,
Skarsement, repryse, corbell, and battelyngis,
Fulyery, borduris of mony pretius stone,
Suttyl muldry wrocht mony day agone
On buttres, jalmys, pilleris and plesand spryngis.7
Quyke ymagry with mony lusty syngis
Thare mycht be sene, and mony worthy wychtis
Tofore the yet arrayit all at rychtis.
Furth past my Nymphe; I followyt subsequent.
Straucht throw the plane to the first ward we went
Of the palyce and entryt at that port.
Thare saw we mony statelie tornament,
Lancis brokyn, knychtis layd on the bent.
Plesand pastance and mony lusty sport
Thair saw we als, and sum tyme battel mort.
"All thir," quod scho, "on Venus service vakis
In dedis of armys for thayr ladyis sakis."
Vissyand I stude the principal place but pere,
That hevynly Palyce, all of crystall clere,
Wrocht, as me thocht, of polyst beriall stone.
Bosiliall nor Oliab, but were,
Quhilk Sancta Sanctorum maid, maist ryche and dere,
Nor he that wrocht the tempill of Salomon,
Nor he that beild the riall Ylyon,
Nor he that forgete Darius sepulture
Couth not performe sa craftely a cure.
Studiand here on, my Nimphe on to me spak,
"Thus in a stare quhy standis thou stupefak,
Govand all day and na thyng hes vissyte.
Thow art prolixt. In haist retourn thy bak.
Go efter me, and gud attendence tak.
Quhat thow seyst, luke eftirwartis thow write.
Thow sall behald all Venus blys perfyte."
Thair with sche till ane garth did me convoy
Quhare that I saw eneuche of perfyte joy.
Amyd a trone with stonys ryche ovirfret
And claith of gold, Lady Venus wes set.
By hir, hir sonne Cupyd quhilk nathing seys.
Quhare Mars entrit, na knawlege mycht I get,
Bot straucht afore Venus vissage but let
Twelf amarant stagis stude, twelf grene precius greis,
Quhare on thare grew thre curius goldyn treis
Sustenttand weil the goddis face aforne
A fair myrrour, be thaym quently upborn.
Quhare of it makyt wes, I have na feil —
Of beriall, cristall, glas, or byrnyst steil,
Of diamant or of the carbunkill jem —
Quhat thing it wes diffyne may I not weil,
Bot all the bordure circulare, every deill,
Wes plate of gold — cais, stok and uthir hem —
With vertuus stanis picht that blud wald stem.
For quha that wound wes in the tornament
Wox hale fra he apon the myrrour blent.
This riall rillik, so ryche and radius,
Sa pollyst, plesand, purifyed, precius,
Quhoys bontyis half to wryt I not presume,
Thairon tyll se wes sa dellicius
And sa excelland schadois gratius,
Surmontyng far in brichtnes, to my dome,
The costly, subtil, quent spectacle of Rome
Or yet the myrrour send to Canycé
Quhairin men micht ful many wondrys se.
In that myrrour I mycht se at a sycht
The dedes and fetes of every erdly wycht,
All thinges gone lyk as they wer present,
All the creacion of the angellys brycht,
Of Lucifer the fall for all his mycht,
Adam fyrst maid and in the erth ysent.
And Noys flude thair saw I subsequent,
Babilon beild, that toure of sic renoun,
Of Sodomus the fele subversyoun.
Abram, Ysak, Jacob, Josoph I saw,
Hornyt Moyses with his ald Ebrew law,
Twelf plagis in Egypt sent for thair trespas,
In the Reid See with al hys court on raw
Kyng Pharo drynt that God wald nevir knaw —
I saw quhat wyse the see devydyt was
And all the Ebrewes dry fut ovir it pas —
Syne in desert I saw thaym fourty yeris.
Of Josuy I saw the worthy weris.
In Judicum, the batellis strang anone
I saw of Jepty and of Gedione,
Of Ameleth the cruel homosyd,
The wonderful werkis of douchty duke Sampsone,
Quhilk slew a thousand with ane assys bone,
Rent templis doun and yettis in his pryde,
Of quhais strenth mervalys this warld so wyde.
I saw duke Sangor there with many a knok
Sax hundreth men slew with a plewchis sok.
The praphet Samuell saw I in that glas
Anoynt Kyng Saule, quhais sonne Jonathas
I saw wyncus ane gret ost hym allane;
Yong David sla the grysly Golyas
Quhais speirheid wecht thre hundreth uncis was,
Jesbedonab the giant mekill of mane
Lay be the handis of douchty Davyd slane,
With fyngris sax on athir hand, but weir.
David I saw sla baith lyon and beir.
This David, eik, at ane onset astond,
Aucht hundreth men I saw hym bryng to grond.
With hym I saw Bananyas the strang
Quhilk twa lyonys of Moab did confond
And gave the stalwart Ethiop dedis wond
With his awyn spere that of his hand he thrang.
Onabysytly this champion saw I gang
In a deip sistern and thare a lyon slewch
Quhilk in a storme of snaw did harm eneuch.
Of Salomon the wysdom and estate
Thare saw I, and his ryche tempill, God wate;
His sonne Roboam, quhilk throw his hely pride
Tynt all his ligis hartis be his fate.
He wes to thaym sa outragius ingrate,
Of twelf tribis, ten did fra hym devyd.
I saw the angell sla be nychtis tyd
Four score thousandis of Synachorybis ost
Quhilkis come to weir on Jowry with gret bost.
I saw the lyfe of the Kyng Esachy
Prolongit fifteen yere, and the prophet Hely
Amyd a fyry chare to Paradyce went.
The stories of Esdras and of Neamy
And Danyell in the lyonys cave saw I
For he the dragon slew, Bell brak and schent;
The chyldir thre amyd the fornace sent;
I saw the transmygracion in Babillon
And baith the bukis of Paralipomenon.
I saw the haly archangell Raphell
Mary Sara the dochter of Raguell
On Thobyas for his just fatheris sake,
And bynd the crewell devyll that wes sa fel
Quhilk slew hir sevin first husbandis, as tha tel;
And quhow Judyth Olyfarnus heid of strake
Be nychtis tyd and fred hir town fra wrake;
Jonas in the quhalys wame dais thre
And schot furth syne, I saw, at Ninive.
Of Job I saw the patyence maist degest;
Of Alexander I saw the gret conquest,
Quhilk in twelf yeris wan nere the warld on breid;
And of Anthiacus the gret onrest,
Quhow tyrrand lyk all Jowrye he opprest;
Of Macabeus, full mony knychtly deid
That gart all Grece and Egypt stand in dreid,
In quyet brocht his realm throw his prowes;
I saw his brethir Symon and Jonathas,
Quhilkis wer maist worthy quhil thair dayis rang.
Of Tebes eik I saw the weris lang,
Quhare Thedeus allone slew fyfty knychtis;
Quhow fynaly of Grece the campyonys strang,
All hail the floure of knychtheid, in that thrang8
Wes distroyit, quhill Thesyus with his mychtis
The toun and Creon wan for all his slychtis.
Thare saw I quhow, as Stacius dois tell,
Amphiorax the bischop sank to Hel.
The faithfull ladyis of Grece I mycht considdir
In clathis blak all barfute pas togyddir
Till Thebes sege, fra thair lordis wer slane.
Behald, ye men that callys ladyis liddir
And lycht of latis, quhat kyndnes brocht thaym thidder,
Quhat treuth and luif did in thair brestis remane.
I traist ye sall reid in na wryt agane
In a realme sa mony of sic constance.
Persave thairby wemen ar til avance.
Of duke Pyrrotheus the spousage in that tyd
Quhare the Centauris reft away the bryd
Thare saw I and thair battell huge till se,
And Hercules, quhais renoun walkis wyd,
For Exiona law by Troyis syd
Fecht and ovircome a monsture of the se,
For quhilk, quhen his reward denyit wes, he
Maid the first sege and the distructioun
Of mychty Troy, quhylum the rial town.
To wyn the fleys of gold, tho saw I sent
Of Grece the nobillis with Jason consequent,
Hail that conquest and all Medeas slychtis,
Quhow for Jason Ysiphile wes schent,
And quhow to Troy, as thay to Colchos went,
Grekis tholyt of Kyng Lamedon gret onrychtis,
Quhairfore Troy distroyt wes be thair mychtis,
Exiona ravyst and Lamedon slane,
Bot Priamus restoryt the town agane.
The jugement of Parys saw I syne
That gave the appil, as poetis can diffyne,
Till Venus as goddes maist gudlye,
And quhow in Grece he revest quene Helyne,
Quharefore the Grekis with thair gret navyne,
Full mony thosand knychtis, hastely
Thaym till revenge, salyt towart Troy in hye.
I saw quhow be Ulixes with gret joy
Quhat wyse Achil wes fond and brocht to Troy.
The crewel battellys and the dyntis strang,
The gret debate and eik the weris lang
At Troy sege, the myrrour to me schew,
Sustenit ten yeris, Grekis Troianys amang.
And athir party set ful oft in thrang,
Quhare that Hector did douchty dedis enew
Quhilk fears Achil — baith hym and Troylus — slew.
The gret hors maid, I saw, and Troy syn tynt,
And fair Ylion al in flambys brynt.
Syne out of Troy I saw the fugityvys,
Quhow that Eneas, as Virgill weil discrivis,
In countries seir wes by the seis rage
Bewavyt oft, and quhow that he arryvys
With all his flote, but danger of theyr lyvys,
And quhow thay wer reset, baith man and page,
Be quene Dido, remanand in Cartage,
And quhow Eneas syne, as that they tell,
Went for to seik his father doun in Hell.
Ovir Stix the flude I saw Eneas fair,
Quhare Carone wes the bustuus feryair.
The fludis four of Hell thair mycht I se,
The folk in pane, the wayis circulair,
The weltrand stone wirk Sisipho mych cair
And all the plesance of the Camp Elysee,
Quhare ald Anchyses did common with Enee
And schew be lyne all his successyon.
This ilk Eneas, maist famus of renoun,
I saw to goddis make the sacrifice,
(Quhairof the ordour and maner to devyse
Wer ovir prolext) and quhow Eneas syne
Went to the schyp; and eik I saw quhat wyse
All his navy gret hunger did suppryse;
Quhow he in Italie fynalie, with huge pyne
Arrivit at the strandis of Lavyne,
And quhow he faucht weil baith on land and seys
And Tarnus slew, the kyng of Rutuleis.
Rome saw I beildit fyrst be Romulus,
And eik quhow lang, as wryttis Levius,
The Romane kyngis abone the pepill rang;
And how the wickit proud Terquinius,
With wyfe and barnis, be Brutus Junius
Wer exilit Rome for thair insufferabil wrang,
Bot al the proces for to schaw wer lang
Quhow chast Lucres, the gudliest and best,
Be Sextus Terquine wes cruelly opprest.
The Punik batalis in that mirrour cleir
Atwene Cartage and Romanis mony yeir
I saw, becaus Eneas pietuus
Fled fra Dido be admonicionis seir.
Atwene thair pepil rais ane langsum weir.
I saw quhow worthy Marcus Regulus,
Maist valiant, prudent, and victorius,
Howbeit he micht at liberty gone fre,
For common profyt chesyt for till de.
Tullus Servilius, dowchty in his daw,
And Curtyus eik in the myrrour I saw,
Quhilk throw his stowtenes in the fyry gap
For common profyt of Rome him self did thraw
Richt onabasitly, havand na dreid nor aw,
Montit on hors, onarmyt, thairin lap;
And Hannyball I saw by fatell hap
Wyn contrare Romanys mony fair victory
Quhyll Scipio eclypsyt all hys glory.
This worthy Scipio clepyt Affrycane
I saw vincus thys Hannyball in plane
And Cartage bryng untyll fynall rewyn,
And to Rome conquerit all the realme of Spane.
Quhow Kyng Jugurtha hes his brethir slane
Thare saw I eik, and of his were the fyne.
Rycht weil I saw the batellis intestyne
Of Catulyna and of Lentulus,
And atwine Pompey and Cesar Julyus;
And breifly, every famus douchty deid
That men in story may se, or cornakyll reid.
I mycht behald in that myrrour expres
The miserie, the crewelté, the dreid,
Pane, sorow, wo, baith wretchitnes and neid,
The gret envy, covatus, dowbilnes
Twychand warldly onfaithful brukkylnes.
I saw the Fend fast folk to vicis tist
And al the cumming of the Antecrist.
Plesand debaitmentis, quha sa rycht reportis,
Thare mycht be sene, and al maner disportys:
The falkonnis for the revere at thair gate
Newand the fowlys in periculo mortis,
Layand thaym in be companeis and sortis;
And at the plunge, part saw I handlyt hate.
The wery huntare, byssy ayr and late
Wyth questyng hundis, syrchand to and fra
To hunt the hart, the bare, the da, the ra.
I saw Raf Coilyear with his thrawin brow,
Craibit Johne the Reif and auld Cowkewyis sow
And how the wran come out of Ailssay,
And Peirs Plewman that maid his workmen fow,
Gret Gowmakmorne and Fyn Makcoull and how
Thay suld be goddis in Ireland as thay say.
Thair saw I Maitland upon auld Beird Gray,
Robene Hude and Gilbert with the quhite hand,
How Hay of Nauchtoun flew in Madin land.
The nigramansy thair saw I eik anone
Of Bonitas, Bongo, and frere Bacon,
With mony subtell poynt of juglory:
Of Flandris peys, maid mony precius stone,
A gret lade sadil of a sychyng bone,
Of a nutmog, thay mayid a monk in hy,
A parys kirk of a small penny py,
And Bonytas of a mussil made ane ape,
With mony othir subtell mow and jape.
And schortly, til declare the veryté,
All plesand pastance and gemmys that micht be,
In that myrrour wer present to my sycht.
And as I wondryt on that grete ferlye,
Venus at last in turning of hir e
Knew weil my face and said, "Be Goddis micht,
Ye bene welcum, my presoner, to this hycht.
Quhow passit thou," quod scho, "that hidduus depe?"
"Madame," quod I, "I not more than a schepe."
"Na fors thairof," said scho, "Sen thow art here,
Quhow plesys thee our pastance and effere?"
"Glaidly," quod I, "Madame, be God of hevyn."
"Remembris thow," said scho, "withouten were
On thy promyt quhen of thy gret dangere
I thee deliverit — as now is not to newyn?"
Than answerit I agane with sober stevyn,
"Madame, your precept, quhat so be your wyll,
Here I remane ay reddy till fulfill."
"Weil, weil," said scho, "thy wyll is suffycyent.
Of thy bousoum answere I stand content."
Than suddandly in hand a buke scho hynt
The quhilk to me betaucht scho or I went,
Commandand me to be obedient
And put in ryme that proces, than quyt tynt.
I promised hir, forsuyth, or scho wald stynt,
The buke ressavand, thairon my cure to preve.
Inclynand syne lawly, I tuke my leve.
Twychand this buke, peraventur ye sall here
Sumtyme efter quhen I have mare lasere.
My Nymphe in hast tho hynt me by the hand
And as we sammyn walkyt furth in fere
"I thee declare," sayd scho, "yone myrrour clere,
The quhilk thow saw afore dame Venus stand
Signifyes nothing ellis till understand
Bot the gret bewty of thir ladyis facis,
Quhairin lovers thinkis thay behald all gracis."
Scho me convoyit, finally to tell,
With gret plesance straucht to the ryche castell,
Quhare mony saw I pres til get ingres.
Thare saw I Synon and Achittefell
Pressand til clym the wallis and how thay fell.
Lucyus Catalyn saw I thare expres,
In at a wyndow pres til have entres,
Bot suddandly Tullius come with a buke
And strake hym doun quhill all his chaftis quuke.
Fast clymmand up thay lusty wallys of stone
I saw Jugurtha and tressonabill Tryphon,
Bot thay na grippis thair mycht hald for slyddir.
Preissand to clym stude thousandis many one,
And into the ground thay fallen, every one.
Than on the wall a garatour I considdir,
Proclamand lowd, that did thayr hartis swiddir,
"Out on falshed, the mother of everye vyce,
Away invy and brynnand covetyce."
The garatour, my Nymphe tho to me tald,
Wes clepyt Lawté, kepar of the hald
Of hie Honour, and thay pepyll out schete,
Swa presand thaym to clym, quilum wer bald,
Rycht vertuus young, but fra tyme thay woux ald,
Fra honour hail one vice thair mindis sete.
"Now sall thow go," quod sche, "straucht to the yete
Of this palyce and entre but offence,
For the portar is clyped Pacience.
"The mychty prynce, the gretest Empriour
Of yone Palyce," quod scho, "hecht hie Honour,
Quham to disservys mony traist officiare.
For Charité, of gudlynes the flour,
Is Maister Houshald in yone cristall tour,
Ferme Constance is the kyngis Secritare,
And Liberalité heicht his Thesaurar.
Innocens and Devocyon as efferis
Bene clerkis of closet and cubeculeris.
"His Comptrowere is clepyt Discretioun.
Humanyté and Trew Relatioun
Bene yscherris of his chalmer morow and eve.
Peace, Quyet, Rest, oft wakis up and doun
In till his hall as marchellis of renoun.
Temperance is cuke, his mete to tast and preve.
Humylyté karvar, that na wycht lyst to greve.
His maister sewer hecht Vertuus Discipline.
Mercy is copper and mixis weil his wyne.
"His Chanceller is clepyt Conscyence
Quhilk for na meid will pronounce fals sentence.
With him are assessouris four of one ascent,
Science, Prudence, Justice, Sapience,
Quhilkis to na wycht lyst committing offence.
The chekker rollys and the kyngis rent
As auditouris thay ovirseis quhat is spent.
Labourus Diligens, Gud Werkis, Clene Livyng
Bene out stewartis and catouris to yone kyng.
"Gud Hope remanys ever amang yone sort,
A fyne menstral with mony mow and sport;
And Pieté is the kyngis almoseir;
Syne Fortitude, the rycht quha lyst report,
Is lieutenand, al wrachys to comfort.
The kyngis mynyeon roundand in his eyr
Heicht Verité, did nevir leyl man deir,
And schortly, every vertew and plesance
Is subject to yone kyngis obbeysance.
"Come on," sayd sche, "this ordenance to vysyte."
Than past we to that cristall Palyce quhyte,
Quhare I abayd the entré til behald.
I bad na mare of plesance nor delyte,
Of lusty sycht, of joy and blys perfyte,
Nor mare weilfare til have abone the mold
Than for til se that yet of byrnyst gold,
Quhare on thair was maist curiusly ingrave
All naturall thyng men may in erd consave.
Thare wes the erth enveronyt wyth the see
Quhare on the schyppes saland mycht I se,
The ayr, the fyre — all the four elymentis —
The Speris Sevyn and primum mobile,
The sygnis twelf perfytly every gre,
The zodiak, hale as bukis represents,
The Poil Antertik that ever himselfe absentis,
The Poil Artik, and eik the Ursis twane,
The Sevyn Sterris, Pheton, and the Charle wane.
Thare wes ingraf quhow that Ganamedis
Wes reft till hevyn, as men in Ovyd redis,
And on till Jupiter made his cheif butlare.
The douchters, fare in to thayr lusty wedis,
Of Dorida, amyd the see, but dredis,
Swymmand, and part wer figurit thare
Apon a crag, dryand thair yalow hare,
With facis not onlyk, for quha thaym seyng
Mycht weil consyddir that thay al sisteris beyng.
Of the planetis all the conjunctionys,
Thare episciclis and oppositionis
Wer porturyt thair, and quhow thair coursis swagis;
Thare naturale and dayly motionis,
Eclipse, aspectis, and degressyonys.
Thare saw I mony gudly personagis
Quhilkis semyt all lusty quyk ymagis,
The werkmanschip excedyng mony fold
The precyus mater, thocht it wes fynest gold.
Wondrand here on, agane my wyll, but lete,
My Nymphe in grif schot me in at the yet.
"Quhat Devyl!" said scho, "Hes thou not ellis ado
Bot all thy wyt and fantasy to set
On sic dotyng?" and tho for fere I swet
Of her langage; bot than anone said scho,
"List thou se farlyes, behald thaym yondir, lo,
Yit study not ovir mekil, a dreid thow vary
For I persave the halflyngis in a fary."
Within that Palyce sone I gat a sycht
Quhare walkand went ful mony worthy wicht
Amyd the close with all myrthys to wale;
For lyk Phebus with fyry bemys brycht
The wallys schane, castand sa gret a lycht
It semyt lyk the hevyn imperiall,
And as the cedir surmontyth the rammale
In perfyt hycht, sa of that court a glance
Excedis far all erdly vane plesance.
For lois of sycht, considdir micht I nocht
Quhow perfytly the ryche wallys wer wrocht.
Swa the reflex of cristall stanys schone,
For brychtnes skarsly blenk thairon I mocht.
The purifyit silver soithlie as me thocht,
In steid of syment wes ovir all that wone,
Yet round about ful mony a beriall stone
And thaym conjunctly jonyt fast and quemyt.
The close wes paithit with silver, as it semyt.
The durris and the wyndois all wer breddyt
With massy gold, quhare of the fynes scheddit.
With byrnyst evyr baith palyce and touris
Wer thekyt weil, maist craftely that cled it:
For so the quhitly blanchit bone ovirspred it,
Mydlyt with gold, anamalyt all colouris,
Inporturat of byrdis and swete flouris,
Curius knottis, and mony sle devyse,
Quhilkis to behald wes perfyt paradice.
And to proceid, my Nymphe and I furth went
Straucht to the hall, throw out the Palyce jent,
And ten stagis of thopas did ascend.
Schit wes the dure. In at a boir I blent,
Quhare I beheld the gladdest represent
That evir in erth a wrachit catyve kend.
Breifly theis proces til conclude and end,
Me thocht the flure wes al of amatist,
Bot quhare of war the wallis I ne wist.
The multitud of prectius stonis sere
Thair on swa schane, my febill sycht, but were,
Mycht not behald thair vertuus gudlynes.
For all the ruf, as did to me appere,
Hang full of plesand lowpyt saphyrs clere.
Of dyamantis and rubys, as I ges,
Wer all the burdis, maid of mast riches.
Of sardanus, of jaspe, and smaragdane,
Trestis, formys and benkis wer, pollist plane.
Baith to and fro amyd the hall they went,
Rial Princis in plate and armouris quent,
Of byrnist gold, cuchit with precyus stonys.
Intronyt sat a god armypotent,
On quhais gloryus vissage as I blent,
In extasy, be his brychtnes, atonys,
He smate me doun and byrsyt all my bonys.
Thare lay I still in swoun with cullour blaucht,
Quhil at the last my Nymphe up hes me kaucht.
Syne wyth gret pane, with womentyng and care,
In hir armys scho bare me doun the stare
And in the clois full softly laid me doun,
Held up my hede to tak the hailsum ayre,
For of my lyfe scho stude in gret dispare.
Me till awalk ay wes that lady boun,
Quhill finally out of my dedly swoun
I swyth ovircome and up my eyne did cast.
"Be myrry, man," quod scho, "the werst is past.
"Get up," scho said, "for schame, be na cowart.
My hede in wed, thow hes a wyfis hart
That for a plesand sycht is so mysmaid!"
Than all in anger, apon my fete I start,
And for hir wordis wer so apyrsmart,
On to the Nymphe I maid a bustuus braid.
"Carlyng," quod I, "quhat wes yone at thow said?"
"Soft yow," said sche, "thay ar not wyse that stryvys,
For kyrkmen wer ay jentill to ther wyvys.
"I am rycht glaid thou art wordyn so wycht.
Lang ere, me thocht thow had nothir fors ne mycht,9
Curage nor wyll, for till have grevyt a fla.
Quhat alyt thee to fall?" Quod I, "The sycht
Of yone goddes grym, fyry vissage brycht
Ovirset my wyt and all my spretis swa,
I mycht not stand." "Bot wes that suyth?" "Ya, ya."
Than said the Nymphe rycht merylie and leuch,
"Now I considdir thy malt hart weil eneuch.
"I wyl," quod scho, "na mare thee thus assay
With sic plesance quhilk may thy sprete effray.
Yit sall thow se suythly, sen thou art here,
My lydyis court in thair gudly array.
For till behald thair myrth, cum on thy way."
Than hand in hand swyth went we furth in fere
At a postrum towart the fair herbere.
In that passage full fast at hir I franyt,
Quhat folk thay wer, within the hall remanyt?
"Yone wer," said scho, "quha sa the richt discrivys,
Maist vailyeand folk and vertuus in thair lyvys.
Now in the court of Honour thay remane
Victoriusly, and in all plesance thryvys,
For thay with spere, with swerdys, and wyth knyvys
In just battell wer fundyn maist of mane.
In thair promyttis thay stude evir fyrm and plane.
In thaym aboundit worschyp and lawté,
Illumynyt with liberalité.
"Honour," quod scho "to this hevinly ryng
Differris richt far from warldly honoring,
Quhilk is but pompe of erdly dignyté
Gyvyn for estate or blude, micht, or sic thyng;
And, in this countré, prynce, prelate, or kyng
Alanerly sall for vertu honoryt be;
For erdly glore is not bot vanyté
That, as we se, sa suddandly will wend;
Bot vertuus honour nevir mare sall end.
"Behald," said scho "and se this warldly glore
Maist inconstant, maist slyd and transitore.
Prosperite in erd is bot a dreme
Or lyk as man wer steppand ovir a score.
Now is he law that wes so hie to fore,
And he quhilum wes borne pure of his deme,
Now his estate schynys lyke the sonne beme.
Baith up and doun, baith to and fro, we se,
This warld weltrys as dois the wally see.
"To papis, bischoppis, prelatis, and primatis,10
Empriouris, kinges, princes, potestatis,
Deth settis the terme and end of all thair hycht.
Fra thay be gan, late se quha on thaym watys.
Na thyng remanis bot fame of thair estatis,
And not ellis bot vertuus werkis richt
Sall with thaym wend — nother thair pompe nor mycht.
Ay vertu ryngis in lestand honour clere;
Remembir than that vertu hes no pere.
"For vertu is a thing sa precyous
Quhare of the end is sa delycious
The warld ma not consyddir quhat it is.
It makis folk perfyte and glorious,
It makis sanctis of pepill vicious.
It causis folk ay leve in lestand blys,
It is the way til hie honour, iwys.
It dantis deth and every vice thorow mycht.
Without vertu, fy on all erdly wycht.
"Vertu is eik the perfyte sikkyr way,
And not ellis, til honour lestand ay.
For mony hes sene vitious pepil upheit,
And eftir sone thair glory vanys away,
Quhar of exemplis we se this every day.
His erdly pompe is gone quhen that he deyt;
Than is he with no erdly frend suppleit,
Savand Vertu. Weill is him hes sic a fere.
Now wil I schaw," quod sche, " quhat folk bene here.
"The strangest Sampson is in to yone hald,
The forsy, pyssand Hercules so bald,
The feirs Achill and all the Nobillis Nyne,
Scipio Affricane, Pompeyus the ald,
Uthir mony quhais namys afore are tald,
With thousandis ma than I may here diffine,
And lusty ladyis amyd thay lordis syne,
Semiramis, Thamar, Ypolytha,
Pantyssalé, Medus, Cenobia.
"Of thy regyon yondir bene honorit part,
The kyngis Gregor, Kened, and Kyng Robert,
With otheris mo that beis not here rehersyt.
Varyit," quod scho, "ay be thy megyr hart!
Thow suld have sene, had thou biddin in yon art,
Quhat wyse yone hevynly company conversyt.
Wa worth thy febyll brane, sa sone wes persit!
Thow mycht have sene, remanand quhare thow was,
A huge pepyl punyst for thair trespas,
"Quhilkis be wilfull, manyfest arrogance,
Invyus pryd, pretendit ignorance,
Fowle dowbilnes, and dissate unamendit
Enforcis thaym thair selvyn til avance
Be sle falsheid, but lawté or constance,
Wyth subtelnes and slychtys now commendit,
Betraisand folk that nevir to them offendit,
And upheis thaim self throw frawdful lippis,
Thocht God cause oft thare erdly glore eclippis.
"And nobillis cumyn of honorabill ancestry
Thair vertuus nobilité settis nocht by
For dishonest, unlefull, warldly ways
And throw corruppit, covatus invy.
Bot he that can be dowbill, nane is set by,
Dissate is wisdum; lawté, honour away is.
Rycht few or nane takis tent thairto thir days,
And thair gret wrangis till reforme but let
In judgement yone god wes yondir set.
"Remanand yondir, thow mycht have herd belyve
Pronouncit the gret sentence diffinytive
Twichand this actioun, and the dreidful pane
Execute on trespassouris yit on lyve,
Swa that thair malyce sall na mare prescryve."
"Madame," quod I, "for Goddis saik, turn agane,
My spreit desyris to se thair torment fane."
Quod scho, "Richt now thare sall thow be rejosyt
Quhen thow hes tane the ayr and bettir apposyt.
"Bot first thow sal considdir commoditeis
Of our gardyng, lo, full of lusty trees,
All hie cypres, of flewer maist fragrant.
Our ladyis yonder, bissy as the beis,
The swete florist colouris of rethoreis
Gaddris full fast, mony grene tendir plant,
For with all plesance plenist is yone hant
Quhare precious stanys on treis doyth abound —
In sted of frute, chargyt with peirlis round."
On till that gudly garth thus we proceid,
Quhilk with a large fowsy, fare on breid
Inveronyt wes, quhare fysches wer enew.
All wattir foulis wer swomand thair gud speid.
Als out of growand treis thair saw I breid
Foulys that hyngand by thair nebbis grew.
Out ovir the stank of mony divers hew
Wes laid a tre ovir quhilk behovyt we pas,
Bot I can not declare quhare of it wes.
My Nymphe went ovir, chargeand me folow fast.
Hir till obbey my spretis woux agast,
Swa peralus wes the passagis till aspy.
Away sche went, and fra tyme sche wes past
Apon the bryg I entrit at the last;
Bot swa my harnys trymlyt bissyly
Quhyl I fell ovir, and baith my fete slaid by,
Out ovir the hede, into the stank adoun,
Quhare, as me thocht, I wes in point to droun.
Quhat throw the byrdis sang and this affray,
Out of my swoun I wallkynnyt quhare I lay
In the gardyn quhare I fyrst doun fell.
About I blent, for richt clere was the day,
Bot all thys lusty plesance wes away.
Me thocht that fare herbere maist lyk to hel
In till compare of this ye herd me tell.
Allace, allace, I thocht me than in pane
And langyt sare for till have swounyt agane.
The byrdis sang nor yit the mery flouris
Mycht not ameys my grevows gret dolouris.
All erdly thyng me thocht barrant and vyle.
Thus I remanyt into the garth twa houris,
Cursand the feildis with all the fare coullouris,
That I awolk, oft wariand the quhyle.
Always my mynd wes on the lusty yle
In purpose evir till have dwelt in that art
Of rethorik cullouris til have fund sum parte.
And maist of all my curage wes aggrevit
Becaus sa sone I of my dreme eschevyt,
Nocht seand quhow thay wrechis wer torment
That honour mankyt and honesté myschevyt.
Glaidly I wald amyd thys wryt have brevyt,
Had I it sene, quhow thay were slane or schent.
Bot fra I saw all thys weilfare wes went,
Till mak ane end, sittand under a tre,
In laude of Honour I wrait thir versis thre:
"O hie Honour, swete hevynly flour degest,
Gem vertuus, maist precius, gudlyest
For hie renoun, thow art guerdoun condyng,
Of worschyp kend the glorius end and rest,
But quham, in rycht, na worthy wicht may lest.
Thy gret puissance may maist avance all thyng
And poverale to myche avale sone bryng.
I thee requere, sen thow, but pere, art best,
That eftir this in thy hie blys we ryng.
"Of grace thy face in every place so schynys,
That swete all spreit baith heid and feit inclynis
Thy glore afore, for til implore remeid.
He docht rycht nocht quhilk out of thocht thee tynis.11
Thy name but blame, and riall fame, dyvine is,
Thow port, at schort, of our comfort and reid
Tyll bryng all thyng tyll gladyng eftir deid.
All wycht but sycht of thy gret mycht ay crinis.
O Schene, I mene, nane may sustene thy feid.
"Hail rois maist chois til clois thy foys gret mycht.
Hail stone quhilk schone apon the trone of lycht,
Vertew, quhais trew swet dew overthrew all vyce,
Was ay ilk day, gar say, the way of lycht,
Amend offend and send our end ay richt,
Thow stant ordant as sant of grant maist wyse
Til be supplé and the hie gre of pryce.
Delyte thee tite me quyte of syte to dycht,
For I apply schortly to thy devyse."
The auctor direkit his buke to the rycht
nobill Prynce James the Ferd, Kyng
Tryumphus laud with palm of victory,
The laurere crown of infynyte glory,
Maist gracius prince, our soverane James the Ferd,
Thy majesty mot have eternally,
Suppreme honour, renoun of chevalry,
Felycité perdurand in this erd,
With etern blys in the hevyn by fatal werd.
Resave this rusty, rurall rebaldry
Lakand cunnyng, fra thye puyr lege onlerd,
Quhilk in the sycht of thy magnificence,
Confydand in so gret benevolence,
Proponis thus my wulgare ignorance,
Maist humely wyth dew obedyence,
Besekand oft thy mychty excellence
Be grace til pardon all sic variance
With sum benyng respect of ferme constance,
Remyttand my pretendit negligence,
Throw quhais mycht may humyll thyng avance.
Breif, burall quair, of eloquence all quyte,
With russet weid and sentence imperfyte,
Til cum in plane se thow thow not pretend tha.
Thy barrant termis and thy vyle endyte
Sall not be min, I wyll not have the wyte,
For, as for me, I quytcleme that I kend tha.
Thow art bot stouth — thyft lovys lycht but lyte.12
Not worth a myte, pray ilk man till amend tha.
Fare on with syte, and on this wyse I end tha.
| (see note); (t-note)
When; sorrowful face; (see note)
mantle bordered; (see note)
Wrapped around with; elaborateness; (see note); (t-note)
kindly queen of [the] flowers
arose; perform my customary service; (see note)
entered into an enclosed garden; (see note)
ground painted; (see note); (t-note)
boughs; floriated changeability
skilfully; had adorned; (see note)
sprinkled; (see note)
Bathed with gentle dew; naturally
While warm vapors; well-mixed
on daisies [were] distilling; (see note)
incense; reflecting; (see note)
blooming; places; (see note)
tapestries; (see note)
which; harmonies; (see note); (t-note)
twigs; levels; (see note)
Whose high; filled with noise
From impacted air; echo resounds; (see note); (t-note)
Imbued; delight; (t-note)
raised his head; (see note)
mean; pulls according to plan
axle-tree; great worth; (see note)
Apollo; in the morning appears red
both; thickets; (t-note)
Revived; through Apollo's generosity; (t-note)
That; wrapped up
from stinging damp; (t-note)
shady; wrapped; (see note)
portrayed; fashioned; (see note)
By; enlivening; (see note)
pleasant; (see note)
bees constructed; (see note)
poured forth purified
Most nutritious for all growing things; (t-note)
Aeolus; chose not to be present; (see note)
deadly influence; (see note)
malevolent look unfavorable to
would not; walled garden stay
sparkling streams flowing; (see note)
banks; varying flashes (of light); (see note)
to see that entire heavenly place
cleansed; newly generated
embroidered; ore; (see note); (t-note)
do not know [if] it was; delusion
bushes; by myself; (see note)
garden full of all delight
heard; [as] clear; shone; (see note)
utmost example (acme) of happiness
month; (see note)
To; on earth [the] reviver
compels to grow
truly the basis for the
Whose noble spirit; constant care; (see note)
to bring forth
everything that assails nature
budding shoots; pleasant leaves
to sprout again and swell; able
brown hues; branches; (see note)
origin; increase of vitality
Mars' valor intensifies; (see note)
new increases; vigorous time of life
Whoever; constrained; love's passion
Preparing themselves; early
incumbent on you; (t-note)
raised; (see note)
Acutely alarmed; frenzy
Said I then; shall go astray
Restore; great fear; (see note)
earthly created beings
Comfort; delusion perishes; (t-note)
spirit downcast; all mental faculties
fear, both arteries, veins; (t-note)
fated destiny; curse; (see note)
dazed head which lack; made wander; (t-note)
fearful spirit, feeble paltry faculties
Betaking myself home; wanted; tarry
came a flash; (see note)
light; trance; swoon
shrubbery; utterly into a stupor
As enfeebled as a feminine being
flash; dazed; strength; (t-note)
Until; remained neither
natural warmth; (t-note)
Never did [any] man see; living being
no wonder; overly intense light (see note)
Corrupts; mind; causes; descend; (t-note)
Into; so that no danger affects it
(the blood) is congested, parts of the body
thus beset me
But; know not how; time; (t-note)
dream I dreamed a weird occurrence; (see note)
imagined myself put; deserted
rough rustic words; (t-note)
sterile; overwhelmed; (see note)
Show; skill; memory
deplorable silliness; (see note)
writing; scandal to rhetoric
scrounged; more; thrice; (see note)
rigmaroles; thy ribaldry; (t-note)
diligence; these frenzies; (t-note)
Which; paltry skill exposed
abducted spirit; (see note); (see note)
Cocytus; (see note)
commotion; (see note); (t-note)
As if it
bare banks; crags split; about
Upon which no grass or plants
Only knolls scorched by north winds; (see note); (t-note)
loathsome; rumbling; roared
which; yelling; elves shouted; (see note)
deafened my hearing
shrank from and dreaded; (t-note)
Nothing; decayed trees; (see note)
Burnt, sterile, unblossomed; leafless
stumps in which; left
Soggy; withered; branches broken
The sort of ravine; murderers; robbed
[I] myself; afraid
which in no way; comforting
dark; fog; (t-note)
whistling; fierce gust
Tree stumps creaked, and hardly could
crept; (see note)
nothing but marsh, mud
not without; dismayed; (see note)
is there no other solution?; (see note); (t-note)
shall; so soon; dead
expect no other recourse
by some ravenous beast
wail; lament; plead
pleasure is of what advantage?
sinks; (see note)
humble; gains status
sick; healthy; weary; not troubled
you promise; you refuse
woeful; fortunate; firm; flighty
fun; distress; extols; renounces
Certainly; Nobody. Surely yes; (see note); (t-note)
risk of harm intimidate me thus?
From whence; come; fast; dismal spot; (t-note)
spring turned into raging winter
loud noise; heard come close by me
As from a herd
then; knows how frightened I was; (t-note)
Expecting to; trampled by livestock
hollow tree-stump; stealthily; crept; (see note); (see note)
Where, looking; straightaway
fine herd; intelligent animals; (see note); (t-note)
matching clothing; contented
serious manner; wisdom abounded
maneuvered their saddle-horses; (see note)
traditional practices; did not err
and cut no corners
fine ceremoniousness at which
unafraid to look about
ride forth, seated with assurance
Amongst whom, carried; chariot
lovely as a lily; neck; (see note)
purple; edged; each gore (decorative pleat); (see note)
bejeweled clasps all fastened exactly
Then; arrayed in cloth thoroughly dyed violet; (see note)
each according to their rank; (t-note)
seemed; her council; confidential
fine throng; knows
ecclesiastical leader; (see note)
Both; high and low rank
passed by me
gentle pace; ride along the path
donkey, a noose around his head; (see note)
on a hideous horse; (t-note)
came out; eagerly; ask
What sort of men; in reply
sly tricks have killed many
Do you know
expelled from there, indeed
around her; (t-note)
Sybils; (see note)
Circe; (see note)
prophetess; (see note); (t-note)
Who are grounded; knowledge
Scholars; skilled with hard questions
source of wisdom
replete with knowledge; (t-note)
Seneca; (see note)
Pythagoras, Porphyry, Parmenides; (see note)
sayings without refutation; (see note)
Sidrak; Solinus; (see note)
Nectanabus; (see note)
Enoch, Lamech; (see note)
eloquent; (see note)
[It] is located; leagues; hundred
often, before; stumble
Goodbye; stay here
earthquake; (see note)
shower of rain
We are just like that among
always satisfied; (t-note)
adverted my advice; (see note)
killed, for which reason; neck
foiled so shamefully
traitorously; to be taken across; (t-note)
So that he brought in; [Trojan] Horse; (t-note)
By which; was rapidly destroyed
are both villains; (t-note)
get no access to that entrance; (t-note)
Unless; through; spells; (see note)
suffices for us to see; flourish
who has ruined many
as if; scared
elvish man; (see note)
Crept; decayed ruined oak stump
Taking thought often about; (t-note)
remedy but death by
overcomes weak insufficiency
could no say [for sure]
rustling; mouse; sight; (t-note)
Desiring keenly; token
transformed deer; close; (see note)
Lacerated by dogs; whom; avenged
previously announced her arrival; (t-note)
accurately, therefore; understood; sign
Actæon who; watched
has turned into the form of a hart
incited against him
Backward he glanced; understanding
tore at; that baited them; (see note)
Then; golden; (see note)
And clothing; female forest-dwellers
high; (see note)
As a sign; grows in chastity
Rode; who prepares women's hearts
To be loyal
knows; changeable; (see note)
[are] chaste and profess true virginity
do not know; associate with Diana
Jephthah's daughter; fine noble lady; (see note)
Polyxena indeed; (see note)
Penthesilea; fortitude; (see note)
Iphigenia; Virginius' noble daughter; (see note); (t-note)
They all rode past; tree
dispersed, scattered asunder
boughs; battered upon
lizards, asps, adders wallowed
fang; venomous squirts
Polluting; by toxic vapor
Very massive; poisonous; rumbled
dazed head, stupefied dizzily
appeared to my mind's eye
shining; north-east; (see note)
I heard sweetest sounds pipe melody; (t-note); (t-note)
attentiveness to hear; pay heed
intervals full; (see note)
afar, was carried by the deep water; (t-note)
can hear sounds; (see note)
Soaks up air; is disturbed
Cannot enter; moves here and there
is conveyed over
though because of noise [as] by
breaks and disturbs the air
beyond doubt; hears
also indeed, unless; scholars tell lies
no air within; seas; (t-note)
Without which; teach
Just as without light; sees
Enough; do not know what
showed before; (t-note)
Long before; twice; (t-note)
heard, as if from angels it had come
making all the skies resound
everyone might be delighted by it
Except; dulled by despair
angry; insane; (t-note)
apparently then, so happened with me
compelled me to express grief
the world below since
in due proportion; (t-note)
beauty; fine mode of existence
pastime; [musical] performance
Even if; intelligence
gloomy understanding; (t-note)
as readily shall I say
angelic and divine
To see seemed to me; heavenly
Proceeding; was pulled; (see note)
twelve stallions caparisoned; velvet; (t-note)
carriage-shafts; burnished; knew
axle-tree; wheels; avow; (see note)
Ivory collar-frames; such [a] purpose; (see note)
collars hang over their necks
chariot of ivory
chrysolites; (see note)
encrusted; due; (see note)
Furnished; divine; abode
tassel; fringes; (see note)
enameled [in] every pattern; (t-note)
these tiny bells
finest gold from Arabia
rings so harmoniously
compels every person
hierarchies; nine orders of angels; (see note); (t-note)
abounding in delight
whose bidding; (t-note)
is most to be praised
Surpasses; could be no equal
at the zenith of his orbit
shone, casting; intense a reflection
prettiness; overwhelmed both
peerless of figure; looks
used up her skill
manners; no one like her
of what material was her robe; (see note)
nothing but; could I see
Because of which
[Any] more; sun can; bat's eye(sight); could not; (see note)
Whoever saw her; always revived
[her] head; (see note)
no one escaped who got a sight
However loyal or virtuous he might be
But; avows himself [to be] her servant
eyes so overcome
sweet glances; none; un-pursued
Unless; like the saints
wondered greatly; obsess; (t-note)
[who] was so beautiful
seated; powerful limbs
well built all over; (t-note)
carried; blue-gray as lead; (see note)
eyes; (see note)
which seldom remains constant
But even so their; (t-note)
Sound, and actual performance
skilfully gratifying to the vital spirits
No one ever heard such, I suppose
Fine young men played along besides
pure voice; (t-note)
Sweet harmonies; melodic responses
Fine musical intervals
Seconds, thirds, fourths; (see note)
Eleventh and tenth converge; (t-note)
Melodic range[s]; different
played by many skilled musicians; (t-note)
Fauxbourdon; counter-melodies; (see note)
Chant, ornament; gemel; (see note)
bowed lyre; dance; (see note); (see note)
Shawms; portatives I heard resound; (see note)
Monochord; tympani; cymbal; (see note)
Citole; psaltery; (see note)
ornamentations; performance; (see note)
Rhythms subdividing; converging; (see note)
Arcadia; (see note)
whose playing; (see note)
Exorcized; overcame King Saul; (t-note)
well-made songs; (see note)
Who built the walls of Thebes
invented the refined techniques; (see note)
well schooled; (t-note)
system a tenth part as much at all
these musical proportions; (see note)
Except; sweet sounds seem to me
describe their sweet warblings; (see note)
heavenly spheres; (see note)
the harp of Orpheus of Thrace
Glascurion; no sound equal [to them]; (see note)
at no juncture; discordant
ladies [who] knew more about lust's
others; do not interest me to consider
poorest garment; gold and dark green; (see note); (t-note)
elegant clothes; different fashions; (see note)
Purple; red-purple; bright red hues; (see note)
made; ample cut; (see note)
Damask; striped variously
Crimson; velvet embroidered; rows; (see note); (t-note)
Foundation damask of triple thickness; (see note)
Gilt embroidery with pearls
attire; peerless; (see note)
however much I wished
caparisoned steed; profuse silks
breastplate ribbed; noticed; (see note); (t-note)
many [a] fine riding horse; lovely; (see note); (t-note)
armored warhorse big and bold
offensive weapon; carried
limbs; built; strong
width of an outstretched hand easily
broad, with wavy; curling hair
too burly; too tall
calls wherever; or walk; (see note)
Arcite; (see note); (see note); (see note)
by fair Emily; (t-note)
Aeneas; (see note)
attractive; pleasing; (see note)
Faithful; loyal; (see note)
Procne; sorrowful Philomela; (see note)
David's love; Bathsheba; (see note)
angry; (see note)
Phyllis; (see note); (t-note)
Artful; (see note)
Vienne; (see note); (t-note)
Phaedra; Ariadne; (see note)
Ahasuerus, Esther, unimpeachable; (see note)
ill-omened Delilah; (see note)
accursed Deianeira; (see note)
Accursed Byblis; (see note)
Hypsipyle; Scylla; (see note)
Tristram, Iseult, Elkanah; (see note)
Hesione; (see note)
Griselda; (see note)
broke his head; (see note)
spouse; (see note)
indentured; firm, unchanging heart; (t-note)
such nowadays; dare say; (see note)
fine linen cloth
Up till now; found to be so dependable
describe; too weak
sweet glances; young vitality
dalliance; ride forth together
Some live; servitude; (see note)
many rose chaplets
Until; stirred my energy
To sing this song; hear; (see note)
Constrained; enwrapped; (see note); (t-note)
Lament; grievous woes
Feeling regret; since
repaid in hatred
enveloped; sorrow; (see note); (t-note)
two; pour forth all at once; (see note)
Great grievance; writing
made subject to; (t-note)
Destined [to be] so empty
engraved into my heart
hang in their weighig scales
misdeeds; [the] great sorrow
well-being after submission
wretch; can; receive; (see note)
Death, prepare thyself; send
A curse upon such; grievous; (see note)
severe, grevious distress; (t-note)
makes me die
could, utterly constrained by misery
sang; did not make up a syllable
Then; (see note)
[for] committing such [an] offence
they search ceaselessly
one found me; anger, disgusted; (see note); (t-note)
Come out, churl
crept and low; cower
many heavy blows
crow; de-plume the rook; (see note)
Pulling; boot-blacking; stain; (see note)
[the] lively gave; hit; (see note)
jaws trembled; (see note)
Tortured with injuries; spiteful
Who; seated in; chariot
overcome in that terrible encounter; (see note)
The field seemed to me overspred; (t-note)
formerly scorched, barren
soothe my grievous pain most sore
Enthroned; (see note)
Then arose an attorney named; (see note); (t-note)
To accuse me; capital crime; (see note); (t-note)
began; read an indictment
insane and raging
betray, lay in wait since sunrise
know, my fate seemed to me sealed
quavering; cold; (see note)
did beg for mercy
myself, without any further plea
To obey Venus' command and wish
Mercy; withheld; effort wasted
gave orders to proceed
fiercely to scare me
Imposing silence [not] to
spirit utterly downcast; (see note)
Once; help; (t-note)
dismayed, at once I blurted out
Though; these; imputed to me
against; whom I see here
improper; irregular proceedings
Bowing low; pitiful; (see note)
legally represent myself; may it please
without more [delay]; (t-note)
are nowhere allowed to be judges
furthermore; no lay-person
lacking in learning; (see note)
I am called; duration; (t-note)
referred; ecclesiastical judge
beseech; relentless earnestness
pleas; put forward just now
Decided swiftly; harsh
What do you intend; debase; (t-note)
shall not be so; direction
adjudge you; undergo
Nothing about a clergyman; uphold
firm intent; (see note)
submitted thyself to
it seems to me you fail too soon
suppose; ails you
skilled with cunning words; (see note); (t-note)
deed; keen; snails
You are; [who] disclose
many wicked words
call yourselves; loyal
vow; get your way by fraud
Then; renounce; faith; (see note)
"Stop," she said; Immediately
authority can deliver sentence on
know whether; blithe
feverish hue; show; (see note)
distress; dread; (see note)
Completely overwhelmed me; Creed
I didn't give half a fly; (see note)
fear; die; (t-note)
monstrous beast transform; (see note); (t-note)
bear; a boar; an owl
If it had changed; touch my face
also; made to keep; (see note)
Io who was miserable for a long time
Argus guarded her; eyes; (see note)
Mercury put to sleep
And rescued her from
Lot transformed [note]; (see note)
called to mind; (see note)
mighty Nebuchadnezzar; (see note)
form of a beast; dwell
fearful wonders made
sees his neighbor stumble
One's mishap; another's lesson
horrify my heart
no one; no way at all
Unanimously; against me
Awaiting constantly; die
reigning; (see note); (t-note)
By; spirit's communication
made, I believe
forgot; fanciful notion[s]
wholly; then; at once
I did not know why
did not grieve my heart; (t-note)
throng out from; emerged
goodness, if I do not disagree
Hardly can be recorded in a text
laurel; long gowns; (see note)
one design; hue
whose youthful beauty was evident
in their way
style; to hear
accompanied by the lyre; (see note)
Such; until; cliffs
Sapphic meter; elegiac; (see note)
mostly; long fiddles; (see note)
With only one; peg went wrong
timbres skillfully; (see note); (t-note)
Articulated; sustained the full note value; (t-note)
sweet voices; (see note)
Eloquent letters; previously; wrote; (see note)
not knowing his state
killed; captured; (see note)
Acontius to Cedippe promptly
their diverse lays
no peer at all; (t-note)
ingenious expressions; (see note)
steady, regular meter
voyage; maintaining straight
tormented; horrible suffering
group just named
Traveled; the route; (t-note)
I knew not; (see note)
felt myself [to be] gladdened by
That fine throng; companion; (see note); (t-note)
administer justice to this monster; (see note)
polished words, lyric song; (t-note)
firm foundation; (t-note)
From which Helicon flows
who comfort; mood
rough language; all gleam with
elaborate style, enticing
adapt to their teaching
after; first-born; (see note)
Clio, who skilfully puts in writing
Ancient histories just as [if]; (t-note)
sounds; without cease
fix in the mind; (t-note)
fourth composes; tear-stained cheeks; (t-note)
fifth; gentle sound; (t-note)
Makes melody on psalteries; (see note)
these wild lovers
dance, and leap; (t-note)
Polyhymnia; (see note)
Composes these; colors of rhetoric
eighth; fair; (t-note)
Chronicles; stars all fully; (t-note)
to whom; equal
great virtues shine
nobles' fates; control; (t-note)
heroic; (see note); without doubt; (see note)
Highest; writing just as she is mistress
Fanae; these ancient temles; (see note); (t-note)
Pierides, Wood-nymphs, Satyrs
Nereids, Aonians, Napaeae
good qualities need not be listed
judged; diversely; (t-note)
[that] previously was cold; (see note); (t-note)
unexpected; stable; named previously; (t-note)
[that] previously was pale; (t-note)
In; the welcome warmth returned; (t-note)
overcame all dejectedness
well-versed in poetry
Greek; spoke; (t-note)
knowledge; (see note)
Dictys, Darius; truthful; (see note)
Poggio, Persius; (see note)
Terence, Donatus; (see note)
Valerius Flaccus; (see note)
Aesop, Cato, and Alan; (see note)
Boethius; (see note)
satiric; (see note)
versatile; Martial; (see note)
fame; Statius; (see note)
Lorenzo Valla; (see note); (t-note)
Pomponazzi; doubtless; (see note)
Horace; (see note)
writers; great; (t-note)
Brunellus; Claudian; Boccaccio; (see note)
crowd; came near us
hundredth; [of] their names; (t-note)
of the English nation; (see note); (t-note)
paragon, unequaled; (see note); (t-note)
pondering by himself; (see note); (t-note)
nation [of Scotland]; immediately; (see note)
not yet dead
little hat; (see note)
Even if I could put in words
virtues; sufficiently; (t-note)
abundant, exceeding my thinking
Concerning; narrative; grief; (t-note)
turn their course
tied up; plight
Awaiting; or else; (t-note)
Directly; together; rode; (t-note)
in return gave; greeting
Very ceremoniously; arose
while here; (t-note)
Asked; person; upset
making a halt; (t-note)
monstrous villain; (t-note)
rascal; take good notice of his hue; (t-note)
directed her attention
make my reputation vanish
hateful, spiteful rhyme craftily; (t-note)
Has composed, reciting loud and clear; (t-note)
Slander, scorn; lamentation; (t-note)
also; forever; (t-note)
adjudge; renegade; (t-note)
debasement; noble rank
Utterly; before such controversy; (t-note)
fool; checkmate; (see note); (t-note)
So what for his slander; blown (spread); (see note); (t-note)
Give; tone down; (see note)
by my judgment; is so afraid
never afterward merit further; (t-note)
Nothing; death can you; except
offending speech; (t-note)
proclaim your bidding everywhere
spirits revived; before; (t-note)
without; bribe; (see note)
Won; frivolous lawsuit; (t-note)
Meanwhile; in strict contemplation
show mercy; (t-note)
Reduce; set aside all rancor
fierce; (see note); (t-note)
not equal; injustice; (t-note)
trouble; deserve no reproof; (t-note)
Venus said then to [Calliope]
Shall be forgotten if; recite; letter
ballade; in opposition to
Great thanks; guarantee
ordered my arrest be dropped
released from every restraint; (t-note)
discussion ceased; (see note); (t-note)
great amity; pity
tree stump; seated myself; (see note)
promptly wrote this song
Unblemished; rescued from; (see note); (t-note)
Released free from; (t-note)
Accept; make; alleviate
late and early [always]; (t-note)
Prepare; youthful stage of life
Who; well-being; (see note)
kept apart from strife; (t-note)
lives; hope [both times]
glad early and late; (t-note)
causes to advance; (t-note)
well provided; (t-note)
Abound; love; (t-note)
without suffering or grievous pains
youth; (see note); (t-note)
rescued from (the lady's) disdain; (t-note)
read in public hearing
remain satisfied; (see note)
advocate and legal representative; (t-note)
said also; atonement
were gone; (t-note)
remained; field; (see note); (t-note)
condemned to die
ask Lord God; (see note)
to repay, befitting; renown
is not within my capacity
To repay a tenth part of this reward
praise, and suitable respect; (see note)
requite; for so high
enough on this account
decree; go to see more marvels; (t-note)
has entrusted me
comely; (see note)
got; richly decked out
harnessed; woodbine leaves; (see note)
In; fashion; trappings; low; (t-note)
together; rode; together
thought; (see note)
guided me out of the crowd
see what they intended
tuning-peg went awry
many countries; woods; cliffs; (see note); (see note)
valleys, plains; wave-tossed sea
fine rivers; impassable; (t-note)
flew rather than ran; it seemed to me; (see note)
carried into Tuscany
high; southern Germany; (see note)
Rhine; the Po; Tiber; (see note)
Pisa; (see note)
That flows underground into the sea
Rhône; Seine; Loire; (see note)
Oeta; (see note)
Cilicia; (see note)
Continued living, Elijah and Elisha
Thermodon; (see note)
crossed; Citheraon; (see note)
white sheep; immediately; (t-note)
river; Syria Orontes; (see note)
Armenian; (see note)
holy; (see note)
Phrygia, Dindyma; (see note)
Cold Caucasus; Scythia
Libya; (see note)
Straight; Hippocrene; (see note)
shining brook; calm; (t-note)
together, of lowest status
meadow; all sorts of flowers
throng crowded me
drop; (see note)
pleasant open space; (t-note)
shaded; cedar trees
sparkling; flowing over glittering steps; (see note); (t-note)
Made (a) gentle sound; wood resounded back
dancing over the fields
Of these things [it]
transformed; (see note)
imagine; describe; (see note)
rack my brains
forward; direct my feeble course
straight; royal place
gate-keeper; stubborn; (t-note)
Sitting; dais, familiar servants; (t-note)
spiced wine and mead
Tasty; many delicacies also; (see note)
ate; interludes between [courses]; (see note)
Posed various problems; questions; (see note)
Asking; had been best in their times
Who [were] faithful; youthful years
commands to come forward; (see note)
official recorder, fully
Crowned with laurel; (t-note)
feats; (see note); (see note)
many; struck; (t-note)
narrated the long wars; (see note); (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
brothers' death; then; sister's lament
son of King Priam, Aesacus; (see note)
how the Greeks come ashore
fierce; (see note)
Cycnus, Neptune's dearest son
Who during; arrival, beaches
Fought; completely dulled his spear
Until; tore the straps off his helmet
strangled; by force despite; mightiness
metamorphoses; (see note)
hundreds more; identified; (t-note)
expounded on discourses of love
frenzy [of] lusts; expelled
topics; expressed opinions
considering his; witty discourses
appeared; (see note)
Virgil the great promptly stood up; (see note); (t-note)
Parmeno, Thraso; Gnatho; (see note)
mocker by himself; (see note)
cook to roast; boil, stuff; (see note)
snarl and groan; (see note)
On entertainments; tasty dishes
[having] feasted befitting their rank
giving the order to decamp
Retreat; signaled; (see note)
kept at top speed
Shining; sweat; anointed; (see note); (t-note)
jot out of place
together in fine style
Vale of Hebron; Field; (see note)
dark, through fine
ultimate destination; travel
flat expense; crag; descry
bow their heads low
rock; ride; (t-note)
fear my pen trembles; (see note)
heart; man's tongue; (see note)
hear; can the eye see
could not show, even if
Though; body parts were tongues in a row; (see note)
the thousands of times; show
whether; (see note)
perfect in every way
Also if; vision
Fault-finders; deride; feel no dread
Away with; penny; (see note)
Since; is known to me to be all truth
consider; to end here
to say anything; upset listeners
On the opposing side; they mock me
truth; censure such fault-finding
help, and aid
continue this discourse; propose
Trusting; to achieve my purpose
Even though; detail
Capture; memory; (t-note)
onward; fine opportunity
maturely bethink thyself
lively and witty, purged of inconsistency
at my aid; (t-note)
ample; eloquent techniques; (see note)
Lend; undiminished, keen, vivid
appropriately to compose
grace-endowed delightfulness; embed
listeners compliant and attentive; (see note)
Reading; enlightened; teaching
to proceed concisely to my main point
Around; hill; paths
only one pathway carved out up to the summit
Hewn; slippery; (see note)
In the sunlight
difficult to plan out; (t-note)
Still; base; two lingered
fine gentleman! Then; fear; trembled
rushed up the narrow path
great difficulty; climbed towards; peak; (t-note)
deep as hell; (t-note)
brimstone, pitch, and boiling lead; (t-note)
wretches; yelling in [a] high [voice]
a ravine that could well be compared
Xanthus; cold; (see note)
Burning; command against
thought I could [go] no further up; (t-note)
attempt; for this wide world
Trembling; [at] high speed; (t-note)
noticed my face; Enough; (t-note)
suffer; here [is] the reason
entrusted; take care of you
pitiful; this helpful chasm
Were wretches who in vigorous years
Put themselves forward to; creep; (t-note)
drowned; lake of sorrow; (t-note)
summit; (see note)
Habakkuk; brought into Babylon
Determine in what condition
estimate now [to be]
looked down; felt; tremble
crumbling; little to be commended; (see note); (see note)
It seemed to me; burn
which could in no way relent
to house; (see note); (t-note)
Innumerable; floundering together
were sunk in the tossing waves
Beset by seas; surge
rigged secure in order; (see note)
securely watertight; built
swollen waves utterly capsized; (t-note)
In opposition; rough; blow; (t-note)
heavy squalls, so; could navigate; (t-note)
sandbar; broke apart; split; (t-note)
hear; sorrowful; ran aground
famished, wet, defeated, tired; weak
rigging; mast; (t-note)
[dislodged] from; washed away
Some drowned; crag floated; (t-note)
ropes or planks then; climbed
many fearsome portents; (t-note)
drowned people; (see note); (t-note)
Fail to acknowledge God
wrecked and lost
She is called
guess; (see note)
beset by storms; uncertainty
Stay with that, these shall bring you
concerning this direction
Turn back; district
write afterwards; (t-note)
abundance of language; scant
raised up high
for any earthly being; (see note)
can only make paper blackened; (see note)
must pull onward; the yoke lies upon; (see note)
offer my ignorant opinion
Filled with delight; (see note)
plain; peerless beauty
In which abounded all
olive oil; timber
fowls; every [sort of] foodstuff
salt and fresh water
polished, shiny silver
hurt the small animals; (see note)
birds of prey; little birds
Always in season everything; (see note); (t-note)
without either hurt or harm; (t-note)
To; would be impossible; (t-note)
meadow abounding with; (t-note)
stood; magnificent towers; (see note)
ingenious crenels; many
Turrets, finials, spiral staircases
Gilded, polished knobs
Ledges, recesses; battlements; (see note)
Sculpted foliage; borders; precious
gate; in every way
knocked to the ground
also; mortal combat
spend time in service of Venus
I stood inspecting; without peer
Bezaleel; Aholiab, without doubt; (see note)
The Ark of the Covenant
built; Ilion; (see note); (t-note)
constructed; (see note)
carry out a project so skilfully
While [I was] gazing at this
in a state of wonderment; stupefied; (see note)
Gaping; viewed; (see note)
tiresome; Quickly turn thy back
pay close attention
take care; (see note); (t-note)
adorned with costly jewels
who sees nothing
entered; information could
right in front of; directly
emerald tiers; steps; (t-note)
Carrying; before the goddess' face; (t-note)
ingeniously supported by them
Of what substance it was made; sense
I cannot adequately describe
circular frame; detail
frame, base and edging
powerful jewels set; bleeding; stop; (see note)
whoever was wounded
Became healed once; looked
Half of whose powers; I cannot; (t-note)
[with] such very lovely reflections
Exceeding; by my opinion
ingenious, elegant mirror
deeds and feats; eathly being
banished into the world; (see note)
Babel built; such
massive overthrow; (see note); (t-note)
Horned; (see note)
Red Sea; one after another; (see note)
drowned; would never acknowledge; (t-note)
walked dry-shod across it
Joshua; honorable wars; (see note)
Judges; fierce battles straightaway; (t-note)
Abimelech; homicide[s]; (see note)
brave; (see note)
a donkey's [jaw]-bone
Shamgar; (see note)
mirror; (see note)
vanquish; army by himself
[I saw] Young David saly; Goliath
Whose spear-head['s] weight; ounces
of great might; (see note)
Lay dead at the hands of brave David; (t-note)
six fingers; each; without doubt
also; surprised at an ambush
a fatal wound
he forced out of his hand
Boldly; go; (t-note)
snow did plenty of harm
Rehoboam; overweening; (see note)
Lost; lieges' loyalty; action
ten separated from him
at night; (see note)
Sennacherib's army; (t-note)
wage war; Judea; much threatening
Hezekiah; (see note)
Elijah; (see note)
In a blazing chariot
Ezra; Nehemiah; (see note)
broke and destroyed Bel
three youths into; (see note)
exile into; (see note)
Raphael; (see note)
Marry; daughter of Raguel
cut off Holophernes' head; (see note)
At night time; freed her; destruction
whale's belly three days; (see note)
vomited forth afterwards; Nineveh
conquered almost the whole world
tyrannically; Judea; oppressed; (t-note)
Judas Maccabeus; deed; (see note); (t-note)
made; hold back; fear
To peace brought
during their lifetimes
I saw the protracted wars of Thebes; (see note)
mighty champions of Greece
until; forces; (t-note)
conquered despite; tricks
Statius; (see note)
could perceive; (see note)
black clothes; barefoot walk together; (t-note)
To the seige of Thebes, after
indecisive; (see note)
flightly of behavior; generosity
expect [that]; in no text elsewhere
Recognize; to be praised
wedding; time; (see note)
carried off the bride
is widespread; (see note)
Hesione down; shore
fleece; then; (see note)
nobles along with Jason
Hypsipyle was ruined; (see note)
suffered from; injustices
was destroyed by; forces
then; (see note)
apple; poets recount
the most beautiful goddess
sailed; with speed
by; (see note)
By what means; discovered; brought
quarrel; lengthy hostilities
siege; showed me
Protracted; amid [the] Trojans; (see note)
courageous deeds aplenty
Whom fierce; (see note)
horse built; then destroyed
all burnt up in flames
many lands was; sea's
sheltered, both; child
Charon; rough-mannered ferryman
four rivers; could I see; (see note)
rolling; cause; much grief; (see note)
Elysian Fields; (see note)
converse; Aeneas; (see note)
by descent; lineage
Of which; sequence; itemize
Would be too lengthy
also I saw in what manner
Great hunger afflicted his entire navy; (see note)
great difficulty; (see note); (t-note)
slew Turnus; Rutulians; (see note)
first built by; (see note)
ruled over the people
children, by; (t-note)
exiled [from]; unendurable
narrative; show would be
most beautiful and virtuous
Punic Wars; (see note)
for the reason that pious Aeneas
because of many warnings
Between their nations; protracted war; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
public benefit chose to die
Servius Tullius valiant in his lifetime; (see note)
Curtius; also; (see note); (t-note)
Who because of his courage; abyss; (t-note)
Mounted; without weapons; leapt
destined advantage; (see note)
defeat; on the battlefield
to ultimate destruction
has killed his brothers; (see note)
also, and the outcome of his war
civil wars; (see note)
between; (see note); (t-note)
in short; mighty exploit; (see note)
read [in] chronicle[s]
both misery and indigence
Concerning worldly false instability
Devil ceaselessly; lure into vices
recreations, whoever; tells
all kinds [of] entertainments; (see note)
falcons on their way to the river
Chasing; danger of death; (see note); (t-note)
Bringing them in by flocks; species
during the dive, some; treated roughly
weary; busy early
boar; doe; roe-deer
Ralph the Collier; frowning; (see note); (see note); (t-note)
Irritable; Reeve; Colkelbie's; (see note)
wren; Ailsa Craig; (see note)
well-fed; (see note)
Goll mac Morna; Finn mac Cumhaill; (see note)
used to be
Fairyland; (see note)
Bonatti, Bungay; friar; (see note); (t-note)
feat of conjuring; (see note)
pack-saddle; sighing; (see note)
nutmeg; made; in haste
parish church; pie; (see note); (t-note)
cunning jest; trick
briefly to state the truth
pastime and games; could
summit; (see note)
do not know any more; sheep; (see note)
No matter about that; Since
pleases; entertainment and ceremony
liberated; which; need not be specified
in a serious tone of voice
she took a book; (see note)
she entrusted to me before
narrative; then utterly lost; (see note)
even before she was finished
Receiving the book; to try my skill
made my exit
Concerning; perhaps; hear; (t-note)
leisure; (see note)
walked onward together side by side
see all special favors
much delight straight
try to get entry; (t-note)
Pushing forward to climb the walls
Catiline; indeed; (see note)
push to gain entry
struck; until; jaws trembled
those fine stone walls
grip could hold there; slipperiness
Thronging; many thousands
tower watchman; (t-note)
made their hearts quake
Away with falsehood
named Loyalty, guard; stronghold; (t-note)
exerting themselves; once; bold
grew old; (see note)
entirely on; fixed; (t-note)
gatekeeper; named; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
is called high
Who is served by; loyal; (t-note)
the paragon of virtue; (t-note)
that shining tower
Treasurer; (see note)
as is fitting
chapel clerks; grooms of the chamber; (see note)
Comptroller; named; (t-note)
ushers; chamber; morning; (t-note)
cook; taste and test
carver; who wishes to grieve no one; (see note); (t-note)
assessors; one mind
wish to commit; (t-note)
auditors; oversee; (see note); (t-note)
estate officers; purchasers; (see note)
almoner; (see note); (t-note)
whoever wants to report accurately
deputy; unfortunate people
familiar servant whispering; (see note)
[who] never harmed a loyal man
survey this edifice
paused to view the gateway
wanted nothing more
well-being; in this life
gate; burnished; (see note)
On which; inticately engraved; (t-note)
phenomena; consider in the world
surrounded by the sea; (see note)
On which I could see the ships sailing
Spheres; (see note)
twelve [astrological] signs; degree; (see note); (t-note)
just as books expound
Pole; keeps himself out of sight; (see note)
two Bears; (see note)
Pleiades; Phaethon; Ursa Major
engraved; (see note)
made chief butler to Jupiter
attractive in their fine clothes; (see note)
Doris; without doubt
drying their blonde hair
unlike; whoever sees them
understand; are all sisters
conjunctions (see note)
epicycles; (see note); (t-note)
subside; (see note); (t-note)
positions; deviations; (see note)
fine lifelike depictions
many times; (see note)
Puzzling over this; without pause
annoyance shoved; gate; (see note)
What the devil; else to do; (see note)
foolishness; sweat; (see note)
[If it] please you to see marvels
overmuch, out of fear you will rave
had a view
courtyard; delights to enjoy
empyrean sphere; (see note)
cedar surpasses the shrub; (see note); (t-note)
earthly vain delight
reflection from; shone; (t-note)
scarcely look upon; could
truly as it seemed to me; (t-note)
Instead; cement; habitation
joined together and fitted
courtyard was paved; (t-note)
doors; paneled; (see note)
polished ivory; (see note)
shingled well; skilfully; covered
Ornamental knots; intricate pattern; (see note); (t-note)
steps of topaz; (see note)
Shut; peephole I looked; (see note); (t-note)
appearance; (see note)
miserable wretch beheld
floor; amethyst; (see note)
what substance; walls were; not know; (t-note)
abundant precious stones
Could; powerful beauty
wreathed sapphires; (see note)
tables; greatest costliness
sardonyx; jasper; smaragd (emerald); (see note)
plated and well-wrought armor
Enthroned; warlike god; (see note); (t-note)
looked; (see note)
ashen complexion; (t-note)
Until; has picked me up
health-giving air; (t-note)
she was in great doubt
to awake; busy
death-like swoon; (t-note)
suddenly awoke; eyes; open
I'd bet my head
Old woman; was it that thou; (see note); (t-note)
Easy, you; quarrel
always courteous with their wives; (see note); (t-note)
you have become so strong
annoyed a flea
What troubled you (that made you) fall
could not remain standing; true; Yes
understand; tender heart; (see note); (t-note)
ladies'; (see note)
side door; flower-garden
eagerly; asked; (t-note)
[who] stayed; (t-note)
whoever describes the truth
greatest of strength; (t-note)
honor and loyalty
Illumined with generosity
only displays of earthly
rank or lineage, power, or such things
Shall be honored for virtue only
nothing but; (see note)
(see note); (t-note)
slippery and transitory; (t-note)
low; before; (t-note)
formerly; poor; mother
sunbeam; (see note)
tosses; stormy sea
Once; let [us] see who waits on them
except the glory of their positions
nothing else except; rightly; (see note)
Forever; reigns; enduring; bright
saints [out] of wicked people
nothing else, to everlasting honor; (t-note)
wicked people exalted
soon after; vanishes; (t-note)
Examples of which; see
supplied with no earthly friend
Except; It goes well for; comrade
Samson the strongest; inside; dwelling
strong, mighty; bold
fierce; Nine Worthies; (see note); (t-note)
elder; (see note)
are already mentioned; (t-note)
among those; too
Tamar; Hippolyta; (see note)
Penthesilea, Medusa, Zenobia; (see note)
shall not be listed here; (t-note)
Cursed; forever; puny
remained; that place
way; conversed; (t-note)
Sorrow fall upon; impaired
numerous; punished; crime; (see note)
treachery; uncorrected deceit; (t-note)
Exert; to advance themselves; (t-note)
sly; without loyalty or dependability
deceit and tricks now praised
promote themselves; lying mouths
their earthly glory to dim
descended; (see note); (t-note)
give no respect to
Except; false; no one is esteemed
Wisdom is banished
pays heed; these
without delay; (see note)
great, definitive judgment
Concerning; legal case; punishment
Carried out; alive
no longer prevail
eagerly; (see note)
benefits; (see note)
tall cypress; scent most
busy; bees; (see note)
flowery; rhetoric; (see note); (t-note)
filled; that abode; (t-note)
stones do abound on trees; (t-note)
ditch far around
Was set about; aplenty
swimming there briskly
Also; sprouting; breed; (see note)
water; assorted colors; (t-note)
over which we had to go; (see note)
of what kind it was
commanding; follow; (t-note)
the route to identify
brains trembled ceaselessly; (t-note)
slipped away; (see note)
about to drown
What with; shock
I looked about
pleasant place had disappeared
flower-garden; hell; (t-note)
In comparison with; heard; (t-note)
wished very much; (t-note)
soothe my grievous; woes
seemed to me barren
awoke; reviling meanwhile
colors of rhetoric; (see note)
mood was distressed; (see note)
departed from my dream
Not seeing how those
Who; impaired; damaged
into this text; recorded
If I had seen it; destroyed
after; good fortune had vanished away
sitting; (see note)
sweet, dignified, heavenly flower; (see note); (see note); (see note); (t-note)
Powerful gem; worthiest
you are [the] fitting reward; (t-note)
renown known [to be]; goal
Without which, indeed; last
poor people; much good soon; (see note); (t-note)
request, since; without peer
continue; (see note)
courteously every being; lowers
without; is divine
gateway, in brief; guidance
without; always dwindles
Beautiful (one); endure; hostility
choicest rose; stop; foes'; (see note)
gem that shone; throne
sweet dew; (see note)
each; cause to say
misdeed; always justly
remain dedicated; saint; favor; (see note)
[a] support; platform; worthiness; (see note)
Please; quickly; free of misery; make
commit [myself]; plan
May your kingship
crude, rustic discourse
Lacking; poor untaught subject (liege man)
Depending on such
humbly; due; (t-note)
By; to; such imperfection; (see note)
kindly consideration; firm stability
Presenting; acknowledged; (see note)
Through whose; humble; find favor
rustic book; divested; (see note); (t-note)
into the open; assert thyself; (see note); (t-note)
fruitless words; writing; (see note); (see note)
renounce; knew you; (see note); (t-note); (t-note)
penny; correct thee; (see note)
Journey on with sorrow
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