THOW hie renown of Martis chevalry,
Quhilk glaidis euery gentill wicht to heyr,
Gif thow mycht Mars and Hercules deify,
Quhayrfor beyn nobillis to follow prowes sweyr ?
Weill auchtin eldris exemplis ws to steyr
Tyll hie curage, all honour till ensew :
Quhen we considder quhat wyrschip tharof grew,
All vice detest, and virteu lat ws leyr.

Prowes, but vyce, is provit lefull thyng
Be haly scriptur into syndry place,
Be Machabeus, Josue, Dauid kyng,
Mychael, and eyk his angellis full of grace,
That can the dragoun furth of hevynnis chace
With vailȝeand dyntis of ferm myndis contrar :
Nane vther strokis nor wapynnis had thai thar,
Nother speyr, buge, pol ax, swerd, knyfe, nor mace.

In takynning that in chevalry or fycht
Our myndis suld haue just ententioun,
The ground of batale fundyt apoun rycht ;
Nocht for thou lyst to mak discentioun,
To seik occasionis of contentioun,
Bot rype thy querrell, and discus it plane :
Wrangys to redres suld weyr be vndertane,
For na conquest, reif, skat, nor pensioun.

To speyk of moral vertuus hardyment,
Or rather of devyne, is myne entent ;
For warldly strenth is feble and impotent
In Goddis sight and insufficient.
The Psalmyst says, that God is nocht content
In mannys stalwart lymmys nor strenth of cors,
Bot into thame that trastis in his fors,
Askand mercy, and dredand jugement.

Strang fortitud, quhilk hardyment cleip we,
Ahuf the quhilk the virteu souerane
According princis, hecht magnanymite,
Is a bonte set betwix vicis tuane :
Of quham fuyl hardynes clepit is the tane,
That vndertakis all perrellis but avice ;
The tother is namyt schamefull cowardice,
Voyd of curage, and dolf as ony stane.

The fyrst is hardy all out by mesur,
Of tyme nor ressoun gevis he na cuyr,
No dowt he castis, bot all thinkis suyr,
Nocht may he suffir, nor his heyt indur :
The tother is of all prowes sa puyr,
That evir he standis in feyr and felloun dreyd,
And nevyr dar vndertak a douchty deyd,
Bot doith all curage and all manheid smuyr.

The first soundis towart virteu sum deyll,
Hardy lie is, couth he be avyse.
Of hardyment the tother has na feill :
Quhou may curage and cowardice agre ?
Of fortitud to compt ȝow euery gre,
As Aristotill in his Ethikis doith expres,
It wald, as now, contene our lang proces,
Quhayrfor of vther chevalry carp will we.

Gyf Crystis faithfull knychtis lyst ws be,
So as we aucht, and promyst hes at font,
Than man we byde baldly, and neuer fle,
Nowder be abasit, tepit, nor ȝit blunt,
Nor as cowartis to eschew the first dunt.
Paule witnessith, that nane sail wyn the croun,
Bot he quhilk dewly makis hym reddy boun
To stand wichtly, and fecht in the forfront.

And quha that sail nocht wyn the croun of meyd,
That is to say, the euerlastand blys,
The fyre eternall neidlyngis most thai dreyd.
For Christ into his gospell says, I wys,
Quha bydis nocht wyth me contrar me is :
And gif thou be aganist God, but weyr
Than art thou wageour onto Lucifer.
God salf ws all from sik ane fyre as this !

The armour of our chevalry, perfay,
So the Apostyll techis ws expres,
Nocht corporall bot spirituall bene thai ;
Our conquist haill, our vassalage and prowes,
Aganist spretis and princis of myrknes,
Nocht agane man, owr awin brother and mayt ;
Nor ȝit aganist our makar to debait,
As rabell tyll all virteu and gudnes.

The flesch debatis aganyst the spiritual gost,
Hys hie curage with sensual lust to law,
And, be the body victour, baith ar lost ;
The spreyt wald vp, the cors ay down lyst draw.
Thi secund fa the warld, ane other thraw,
Makis strang assaltis of covatys and estait,
Aganist quham is full perrellus debait :
Thir fais familiar bene full quaynt to knaw. 10

Lyf in thy flesch as maister of thi corps,
Lyf in this warld as nocht ay to remane :
Resyst the feyndis slycht with all thi fors,
He is thy ancyent ennymy, werst of ane ;
A thousand wylis he hes, and mony a trane ;
He kendillis oft thy flesch in byrnand heyt,
He causis wrachit plesance seme full sweit,
And, for nocht, of this fals warld makis the fane.

He is thy fa and aduersar principall,
Of promissioun wald the expell the land ;
For he the sammyn lost, and caucht a fall.
Enfors the strangly contrar hym to stand :
Rays hie the targe of faith vp in thi hand,
On hed the halsum helm of hop onlace,
In cheryte thy body all embrace,
And of devote orison mak thi brand.

Stand at defens, and schrenk nocht for a schore :
Think on the haly martyris at ar went,
Think on the pane of hell, and endles glore,
Think quhou thy Lord for the on rude was rent,
Think, and thou fle fra hym, than art thou schent,
Think all thou sufferis ontill his pane nocht is,
Think with quhou precius price as thy saul bocht is,
And ay the moder of grace in mynd emprent.

Feill bene thi fais, fers, and full of slycht;
Bot be thou stalwart campioun and knycht,
In feild of grace with forsaid armour brycht
Thou may debait thame lichtly in ilk fycht :
For of fre will thyne acton is sa wycht
Nane may it pers, wilt thou resist and stand ;
Becum thow cowart, craudoun recryand,
And by consent cry cok, thi deid is dycht.

Think quhou that fa is waik and impotent,
May venques nane bot thame lyst be ourcum.
He sal the nevyr ourset but thy consent,
Eith is defens to say nay, or be dum ;
And for thi weill, lo, this is all and sum :
Consent nevir, and thou sail nevir be lost ;
By disassent thou may venquys ane ost,
And, for anys ȝa, tyne thi meid euery crum.

Na wondir is ; for by exemple we se,
Quha servis his souerane intill all degre
Full mony dais, and eftir syne gif he
Committis anys trayson suld he nocht de,
Les than his prince, of gret humanite,
Pardoun his fait for his lang trew seruis,
Gif he wald mercy craif ? The sammyn wys
We bene forgevin, so that repent will we.

Bot quhat avails begin a strang melle,
Syne ȝeild the to thy fa but ony quhy,
Or cowartlie to tak the bak and fle ?
Na ; thar sall nane optene hie victory,
Les thai sustene the bargane douchtely ;
And quha so perseueris to the end
Ane conquerour and campioun euir is kend,
With palm of triumphe, honour, and glory.

The maist onsilly kynd of fortoun is
To haue bene happy ; Boetius techis so ;
As to haue bene in welth and hartis blys,
And now to be dekeit and in wo :
Rycht so, quha vertuus was, and fallis tharfro,
Of verray ressoune malewrus hait is he ;
And ȝit, by grace and his fre volunte,
He may recovir meryt agane alsso.

I say, be grace ; for quhen thou art in grace,
Thou may eik grace to grace, ay moyr and moyr.
Bot quhen thou fallys be syn tharfra, allace !
Of thy meryte thou gettis hyr nevirmor :
Ȝit quhen thou dewly disponis the tharfor,
Doing all that in the thar may be done,
Of hys gudnes the etern Lord alssone
Restoryis the meryt, wyth grace in erlis of glore.

Haill thy meryt thou had tofor thi fall,
That is to say, thy warkis meritable,
Restorit ar agane, bayth gret and small,
And grace tharto, quhilk is sa profitable
That thou tharby to eik merit art habill :
Bot nocht ilk gre of grace thou had befor ;
That gettis thou nocht sa sone, quhill fordyrmor.
Be war tharfor, fall nocht, bot standis stabill.

For lyke as quha offendit had his lord,
That lang tofor hys trew servand had bene,
And syne agane becumis at ane accord
With hys master, allthocht his lord wald meyne
On hys aid seruis, ȝit netheles, I weyn,
He sall nocht sone be tendir, as he was air :
Be war tharwith, and kepe ȝou fra the snair,
Tyne nocht ȝour laubour and ȝour thank betwene.

Exemple takis of this prynce Enee,
That, for his fatale cuntre, of behest
Sa feill dangeris sustenit on land and see,
Syk stryfe in stour sa oft, with speir in rest,
Quhill he his realme conquest bath west and est :
Sen all this dyd he for a temporall ryng,
Pres ws to wyn the kynryk ay lestyng,
Addres ws fast for till optene that fest.

He may be callit, as says Sanct Augustyn,
Ane delicait, our esy, crystyn knycht,
Refusis to thoill travel, sturt, or pyne,
And but debait wenys till optene the fycht.
To wyn the feyld, and nevir preif thy mycht,
That war nice thing : thy kyng Cryste in batell
Quhat sufferit he for the, O cative wicht !
Lyis thou at eys, thy prynce in bargane fell ?

Aschamis of our sleuth and cowerdice !
Seand thir gentillis and the paganis auld
Ensew vertu and eschew euery vyce,
And for sa schort renovne warryn so bald
To sustene weir and panis teir ontald :
Than lat ws strive that realm for to posseid,
The quhilk was hecht till Abraham and his seyd :
Lord, at ws wrocht and bocht, grant ws that hald !

Heyr endis the Prolong one the Lewynt Buik, and eftyr
cummys syne the buik of samyng vytht the fyrst cheptour.




HIE plasmatour of thingis vniuersall,
Thou renewar of kynd, that creat all,
Incomprehensabill thy warkis ar to consaive,
Quhilk grantit hes to euery wyght to haue
Quhat thing mast ganis onto hys governall.

Quhou mervallus beyn divisions of thi gracis,
Distribut so to ilk thing in all placis !
The son to schyne our all, and schaw his lyght,
The day to laubour, for rest thou ordanyt nycht ;
For diuers causys schupe seir sessionis and spacis.

Fresche veir to burgioun herbis and sweit flouris ;
The hait symmyr to nurys corn all houris,
And breid all kynd of fowlis, fysch, and beste ;
Hervyst to rendir hys frutis maiste and leste :
Wyntyr to snyb the erth wyth frosty schouris.

Nocht at thou neidyt ocht, all thing thou wrocht,
Bot to that fyne thou maid all thing of nocht,
Of thi gudnes to be participant ;
Thy Godhed na rychar, nor ȝit mar skant,
Noudir now nor than, set thou ws wrocht and bocht.

Thy maist supreme indiuisible substance,
In ane natur thre personis, but discrepans,
Regnand etern, ressauis nane accident ;
For quhy ? thou art rycht at this tym present
It at thou was, and evir sal, but varians.

Set our natur God lies to hym vnyte,
Hys Godhed incommixt remanis perfyte,
The son of God havand verray naturis tuane
In a person, and thre personis all ane
In deite, natur, maieste, and delyte.

The Son the self thing with the Fader is ;
The self substans the Haly Gaist, I wys,
Is with thame baith ; thre distinct personage,
Ar, war, and be sall, evyr of ane age,
Omnipotent, a Lord, equale in blys.

Quhilk souerane substans, in gre superlative,
Na cunnyng comprehend may nor discrive ;
Nowther generis, generat is, nor doith proceid,
Allane begynnar of euery thing, but dreid,
And in the self remanis etern on live.

The Fader, of nane generat, creat, ne boyr,
His only Son engendris evirmoir ;
Nocht makis, creatis, bot engendris all way
Of his substans ; and all tyme of baith twa
Procedis the Haly Gaist, equal in glor.

Of baith from ane begynning, procedis he ;
So bene the warkis of the Trinite
Maist excellent, and wondirfull to consave :
Ȝit thame to traiste the mayr merite we haue,
That be na manis ressoun prevyt may thai be.

The Fader knawys hym self, quhilk knawlege spredis
Be generatioun etern, that evir bredis
His Son, his word and wysdom eternall :
Betwix thir twa is luf perpetuall,
Quhilk is the Haly Gaist fra baith procedis.

Not at the Faderis natur mynyst is,
Of hys substans he generis his Son in blys ;
Ne so the Son of hys kynd is ybor,
That he a part hes tharof, and na mor ;
Bot all he gevys his Son, and all is his.

The ilk thing he hym gevis, that he remanis :
Thys syngill substans indifferently thus ganis
To thre in ane, and ilk ane of the thre
The sammyn thing is in a maieste,
Thocht thir personis be seuerall in thre granis.

Lik as the sawle of man is ane, we wait,
Havand thre poweris distinct and separate,
Vnderstanding, raison, and memor.
Intelligens consideris the thing befor,
Rayson decernis, memor kepis the consait.

As thai beyn in a substance knyt all thre,
Thre personys ringis in a Deite.
We may tak als ane other similitude,
Grosly the sammyn purpos to conclude,
Flame, lycht, and heyt bene in a fyre we se.

Quhayr euyr the low is, lycht and heit bene thar ;
And had the fyre bene byrnand euermayr,
Evyr suld the flambe engendrit haue hys lyght,
And of the byrnand low the flambis brycht
Perpetualy suld heyt haue sprung alquhayr.

So generis the Fader the Son with hym etern ;
From baith procedis the Haly Gaist coetern.
Thus rude exemplis and figuris may we geif ;
Thocht, God by his awin creaturis to preif,
War mayr onlyknes than lyknes to decern.

Frend, ferly nocht, na caus is to complene,
Albeit thi wyt gret God may nocht attene ;
For, mycht thou comprehend be thine engyne
The maist excellent maieste devyne,
He mycht be reput a pretty God and mene.

Consider thy ressoune is so febyll and lyte,
And hys knawlege profund and infynyte.
Consider quhou he is onmensurabyll :
Him, as he is, to knaw thou art not abyll ;
It sufficis the beleif thy crede perfyte.

God is, I grant, in all thing nocht includyt ;
Gevis all gudnes, and is of nocht denudyt ;
Of hym hes all thing part, and he nocht mynist ;
Hail he is alquhayr, nocht diuidit, ne fynist ;
Wythout all thing he is, and nocht excludyt.

O Lord, thy ways beyn investigabill !
Sweit Lord, thy self is sa inestimabill,
I can write nocht bot wondris of thy mycht,
That lawit sa far thy maiestie and hycht
To be born man intill ane oxis stabill.

Thou tuke mankynd of ane onwemmyt mayd,
Inclosit within a virginis bosum glaid,
Quham all the hevynnys mycht nevyr comprehend;
Angellis, scheipherdis, and kingis thy Godhed kend,
Set thou in cryb betwix twa bestis was laid.

Quhat infynite excellent hie bonte
Abufe thy warkis all, in wonderfull gre !
Lord, quhen thou man wrocht to thine awin ymage,
That tynt him self throu hys fulych dotage,
Thou man becam, and deit to mak hym fre.

Mayd thou nocht man first president vnder the,
To dant the bestis, fowlis, and fysch in see ;
Subdewit to him the erth, and all tharin ;
Syne paradice grantit hym and all his kyn,
Gave hym fre wyll, and power nevir to dee ?

Enarmyt hym wyth ressoun and prudence ;
Only bad hym kepe thyne obedience,
And to hym suld all creaturis obey ?
Bittyr was that frute for his ofspring, and fey,
Mayd deid onknawin be fund, and lyfe go hens.

O thine inestimable luf and cheritie !
Becom a thrall to mak ws bondis fre,
To quykkin thy sclavys tholit schamfull ded maiste fell.
Blyssyt be thou virginal frute, that hereit hell,
And payit the pryce of the forbodin tre !

Thocht thou large stremys sched apon the rude,
A drop had bene sufficient of thy blude,
A thousand warldis to haue redemyt, I grant ;
Bot thou the well of mercy wald nocht skant,
Ws to provok to luf the, and be gude.

Our all this syne, thine infynite Godhed,
Thy flesch and blude in form of wyne and breid,
To be our fude of grace, in plege of glor,
Thou hest ws geif, in perpetuall memor
Of thy passioun and dolorus panefull deid.

Quhat thankis dew or ganeȝeld, Lord benyng,
May I, maist wrachit synfull catyve inding,
Rendir for this souerane peirles hie bonte ?
Sen body, saule, and all, I haue of the,
Thou art my pryce, mak me thy praye conding.

My makar, my redemar, and support,
Fra quham all grace and gudnes cumis at schort,
Grant me that grace my mysdedis til amend,
Of this and all my warkis to mak gud end :
Thus I beseik the, Lord, thus I exhort.

From the, begynning and end be of my muse :
All other Jove and Phebus I refus.
Lat Virgyll hald his mawmentis to hym self;
I wirschip noder idoll, stok, nor elf,
Thocht furth I wryte so as myne autour dois.

Is nane bot thou, the Fader of Goddis and men,
Omnipotent eternal Jove I ken.
Only the, helply fader, thar is nane vther :
I compt nocht of thir paygane Goddis a fudder,
Quhais power may nocht help a haltand hen.

The scripture clepis the God, of Goddis Lord ;
For quha thy mandat kepys, in ane accord,
Bene ane wyth the, nocht in substans, bot grace,
And we our Fader the clepis in euery place :
Mak ws thy sonnys in cherite, but discord.

Thow haldis court our cristall hevynnis cleyr,
With angellis, sanctis, and hevynly spretis seyr, 10
That, but cessing, thy glor and loving singis :
Manifest to the, and patent, bene all thingis ;
Thy spous, and queyn maid, and thy moder deyr.

Concord for ever, myrth, rest, and endles blys,
Na feyr of hell, nor dreid of deyd, thar is
In thy sweit realm, nor na kynd of ennoy ;
Bot all weilfair, eys, and euerlestand joy,
Quhais hie plesance, Lord, lat ws neuer mys ! Amen.

Finis Prologi Decimi Libri.




THIR lusty warkis of hie nobilite
Agilyte dyd wryte of worthy clerkis,
And tharin merkis wisdome, vtilite,
Na vilite, nor sic onthryfty sparkis :
Scurrilite is bot for doggis at barkis,
Quha tharto harkis fallis in fragilite.

Honeste is the way to worthynes,
Virtu, doutles, the perfit gait to blys ;
Thou do na mys, and eschew idilnes,
Persew prowes, hald na thing at is his ;
Be nocht rakles to say sone ȝa, I wys,
And syne of this the contrar wyrk expres.

Do tyll ilk wyght as thou done to wald be ;
Be nevir sle and double, nor ȝit our licht ;
Ois nocht thi mycht abuf thyne awin degre,
Clym nevir our hie, nor ȝit to law thow lycht ;
Wirk na malgre, thocht thou be nevir sa wyght,
Hald with the rycht, and preis the nevir to le.

Eneuch of this, ws nedis prech na moyr,
Bot, accordyng the purpos said tofoyr,
The ryall style, clepyt heroycall,
Full of wirschip and nobillnes our all,
Suld be compilit but tenchis or voyd word,
Kepand honest wys sportis quhayr thai bourd,
All lous langage and lychtnes lattand be,
Observand bewte, sentens, and grauite.
The sayar eik suld weil consider this,
His mater, and quhamto it entitillit is,
Eftyr myne authouris wordis ; we aucht tak tent
That baith accord, and bene convenient,
The man, the sentens, and the knychtlik stile,
Sen we mon carp of vassalage a quhile.
Gyf we descryve the woddis, the treis, quod he,
Suld conform to that mannis dignite
Quhamto our wark we direct and endite.
Quhat helpis it ? Full litill it wald delite
To write of scroggis, broym, haddir, or rammale :
The lawrer, cedir, or the palm triumphale,
Ar mayr ganand for nobillis of estait :
The muse suld wyth the person aggre algait.
Stra for to spek of gayt to gentill wyght ;
A hund, a steid, mar langis for a knyght,
Quhamto efferis hant na rebald daile ;
Thar suld na knyght reid bot a knychtly taile.
Quhat forsis him the byssart on the breyr,
Set weil hym semys the falcon heroneyr ?
He comptis na mair the gled than the fewlume,
Thocht weil hym likis the goishalk glaid of plume.
The cur, or mastis, he haldis at small availl,
And culȝeis spanȝellis to chace pertryk or quaill.
Ne byd I nocht into my stile, forthy,
To speke of trufis, nor nane harlotry ;
Sen that myne author with sic eloquens
Hys buke illuimnit hes, and hie sentens
Sa fresche endyte, and sang poeticall,
That it is clepit the wark emperiall,
Endyte onto the gret Octauiane,
The Emperour excelland and maste souerane
By quham, the gospell makis mensioun,
The hail warld put was to discriptioun,
To nomyr all the pepill tharin suld be,
So, but rebellioun, alquhar obeyit was he.
Bot, sen that Virgill standis but compar,
Thocht in our leid hys sayingis to declayr
I haue in ryme thus far furth tane the cuir,
Now war me laith my lang laubour mysfur :
Allthocht my termis be nocht polist alway,
Hys sentence sal I hald as that I may.
Gyf ocht be weill, thank Virgill and nocht me ;
Quhar ocht is bad, gais mys, or owt of gre,
My lewitnes, I grant, hes all the wyte,
Kouth nocht ensew hys ornat fresche endyte,
Bot, wyth fuilhardy curage malapert,
Schup to enterprit, and dyd perchance pervert,
Thys maist renovnit prince of poetry :
Quhar I sa dyd, mea culpa, I cry.
Ȝit, by my self, I fynd this proverb perfyte :
The blak craw thinkis hir awin byrdis quhite.
Sa faris with me, bew Schirris, will ȝe hark,
Can nocht persaue a falt in all my wark,
Affectioun sa far my raysson blyndis.
Quhar I mysknaw myne errour, quha it fyndis
For cherite amendis it, gentil wycht,
Syne pardon me, sat sa far in my lycht,
And I sal help to smore ȝour falt, leif brother ;
Thus, vaill que vaill, ilk gude deyd helpis other.
And for I haue my work addressyt and dycht,
I dar sa, baith to gentill barroun and knycht,
Quhais name abufe I haue done notyfy ;
And now of prowes and hie chevelry
Behuffis me to write and carp a quhile,
The mair glaidly I sal enfors my stile,
And for hys saik do scharp my pen all new,
My maste renownyt author to ensew,
That thar sal be, will God, litle offens,
Salvand our bustuus wulgar differens.
     Na mayr as now in preambill me list expone,
The nynt buke thus begouth Eneadon.

Finis Prologi Libri Noni.




OF drafting and dremis quhat dow it to endyt ?
For, as I lenyt in a ley in Lent this last nycht,
I slaid on a swevynnyng, slummerand a lite;
And sone a selcouth sege I saw to my sycht,
Swownand as he suelt wald, soupit in site,
Was nevir wrocht in this warld mayr wofull a wycht,
Ramand : Ressoun and rycht is rent by fals rite,
Frendschip flemyt is in France, and fayth hes the flycht;
Leis, lurdanry, and lust ar our laid stern ;
     Pece is put out of play,
     Welth and weilfair away,
     Lufe and lawte bayth tuay
           Lurkis full dern.

Langour lent is in land, all lychtnes is lost,
Sturtyn study hes the steyr, distroyand our sport ;
Musing marris our myrth half mangit allmost,
So thochtis thretis in thra our breistis ourthwort ;
Bailfull byssynes bayth blys and blythnes can bost :
Thair is na sege for na schame that schrinkis at schort,
May he cum to his cast be cloking, but cost,
He rekkys nowthir the rycht nor rakles report ;
All is wele done, God wait, weild he his will.
     That bern is best can nocht blyn
     Wranguis guidis to wyn :
     Quhy suld he spair, for ony syn,
          Hys lust to fulfyll ?

All leidis langis in land to lauch quhat thaim leif is :
Luffaris langis only to lok in thair lace
Thair ladeis lufely, and louk but let or releifis ;
Quha sportis thaim on the spray sparis for na space ;
The galiart grum grunschis at grammis hym greuis ;
The fillok hir deformit fax wald haue a fair face,
To mak her maikles of hir man at myster mischeif is ;
The gude wyffe gruling befor God gretis efter grace ;
The lard langis eftir land to leif to his air ;
     The preist for a personage,
     The seruand efter his wage,
     The thrall to be of thirllage,
          Langis full sayr.

The myllar mythis the multur wyth a met scant,
For drouth had drunkin vp his dam in the dry ȝeir ;
The cadgear callis furth his capill wyth crakis waill cant,
Calland the collȝear ane knaif and culroun full queyr ;
Sum schippart slayis the lordis sheip, and sais he is a sant,
Sum grenis quhill the gers grow for his gray meyr,
Sum sparis nothir spirituall, spousit wyf, nor ant,
Sum sellis folkis sustinance, as God sendis the feyr,
Sum glasteris, and thai gang at all for gayt woll ;
     Sum spendis on the aid vse,
     Sum makis a tume ruse,
     Sum grenis eftir a gus,
          To fars his wame full.

The wrache walis and wringis for this warldis wrak,
The mukerar murnis in his mynd the meyll gaue na price,
The pirat pressis to peyll the pedder his pak,
The hasartouris haldis thaim heryit, hant thay nocht the dice ;
The burges byngis in his buith, the broun and the blak
Byand byssely, and bane, buge, beuir and bice ;
Sum leidis langis on the land, for luf or for lak,
To semble wyth thair schaftis, and sett apon syse ;
The schipman schrenkis the schour, and settis to schore ;
     The hyne crinis the corn,
     The broustare the beir schorn,
     A feist the fydlar to mom
          Covaitis full ȝoir.

The raiȝear raknis na wordis, but ratlis furth ranis,
Full rud and ryot ressonis baith roundalis and ryme ;
Swingeouris and scurrevagis, swankeis and swanis,
Gevis na cur to cun craft, nor comptis for na cryme,
Wyth beirdis as beggaris, thocht big be thair banis,
Na labour lyst thai luk till, thare luffis ar byrd lyme ;
Get ane bysmeyr ane barn, than all hir blys gane is,
Scho will nocht wirk thocht scho want, but waistis hir tym
In thiggin, as it thrift war, and vthir vane thewis,
     And slepis quhen scho suld spyn,
     Wyth na will the warld to wyn ;
     This cuntre is full of Caynis kyne,
          And sic schyr schrewis.

Quhat wickitnes, quhat wanthrift now in warld walkis !
Baill has banist blythnes, bost gret brag blawis,
Prattis ar reput policy and perellus paukis ;
Dignite is laid doune, darth to the dur drawis ;
Off tratlis and tragedeis the text of all talk is ;
Lordis ar left landles be vnleyll lawis ;
Burges bringis hamethe boithe to breid in thar baulkis ;
Knychtis ar kouhubis, and commonis plukyt crawis ;
Clerkis for oncunnandnes mysknawis ilk wycht ;
     Wyfis wald haue all thair will,
     Eneuch is nocht half fyll,
     Is nothir ressoun nor skyll
          In erd haldin rycht.

Sum latit lattoun, but lay, lepis in laud lyte,
Sum penis furth a pan boddum to prent fals plakkis ;
Sum goukis quhill the glas pyg grow full of gold ȝit,
Throw cury of the quentassens, thocht clay mugis crakis ;
Sum warnour for this warldis wrak wendis by his wyt;
Sum trachour crynis the cunȝe, and kepis corn stakis;
Sum prig penny, sum pyk thank wyth privy promyt;
Sum garris wyth a ged staf to jag throw blak jakkis.
Quhat fynȝeit fayr, quhat flattry, and quhat fals talis !
     Quhat misery is now in land !
     How mony crakyt cunnand !
     For nowthir aiths, nor band,
          Nor selis avalis.

Preistis, suld be patereris and for the peple pray,
To be Papis of patrimone and prelatis pretendis ;
Ten tendis ar a trump, bot gif he tak ma
Ane kinrik of paroch kyrkis cuppillit with commendis.
Quhay ar wirkaris of this weir, quha walkynaris of wa,
Bot incompetabill clergy, that Cristyndome offendis ?
Quha revis, quha ar riotus, quha rakles, hot tha ?
Quha quellis the puyr commonis bot kyrkmen, well kend is ?
Thar is na stait of thar stile that standis content,
     Knycht, clerk, nor common,
     Burges, nor barroun ;
     All wald haue vp that is dovne,
          Weltrit the went.

And as this leid at the last lyggand me seys,
With a luik vnlufsum he lent me sik wordis :
Quhat bern be thou in bed, with heid full of beis,
Grathit lyke sum knappar, and, as thi greis gurdis,
Lurkand like a longeour ? quod I, Lovne thou leis.
Ha, wald thou fecht ? quod the freik ; we have bot few swordis ;
Thar is sic haist in thi heid, I hop thou wald neys,
That braulis thus with thi host quhen bernis with the bourdis.
Quod I, Churle, ga chat the and chyd with ane vther.
     Move the nocht, said he than,
     Gyf thou be a gentill man,
     Or ony curtasy can,
          Myne awin leif brother.

I speik to the vnto sport ; spell me this thing :
Quhat likis ledis in land ? Quhat maist langis thou ?
Quod I, Smak, lat me sleip ; sym skynnar the hing :
I wene thou byddis na better bot I brek thi brow.
To me is myrk mirrour ilk mannis menyng ;
Sum wald be court man, sum clerk, and sum a cachekow,
Sum knycht, sum capytane, sum Caisar, and sum King,
Sum wald haue welth at thair will, and sum thare wame fow,
Sum langis for the liffyr ill to lik of ane quart,
     Sum for thar bonty or bone,
     Sum to se the new mone ;
     I lang to haue our buik done,
          I tell the mi part.

Thy buik is bot bribry, said the berne than,
Bot I sail leir the ane lessoun to leys all thi pane.
Wyth that he raucht me a roll : to reyd I begane
The riotest ane ragment wyth mony rat rane,
Off all the mowis in this mold, sen God merkit man :
The moving of the mappamond, and how the mone schane,
The pleuch, and the polys, the planettis begane,
The sou, the sevin sternis, and the Charll wane,
The elwand, the elementis, and Arthuris hufe,
     The home and the hand staff,
     Prater John and Port Jaff,
     Quhy the corn hes the caff,
          And kow weris clufe.

Thir romanis ar bot rydlis, quod I to that ray ;
Leid, lerne me ane vther lessoun, this I ne lyk.
I persaue, Schir parsoun, thi purpos, perfay,
Quod he, and drew me dovn dern in dolf by ane dyk ;
Had me hard by the hand quhair ane hurd lay,
Than prively the pennis begouth vp to pyk :
Bot, quhen I walkynnit, all that welth was wiskyt away,
I fand not in all that feild, in faith, a be bike ;
For as I grunchit at this grum, and glysnyt about,
     I grapit graithly the gyll,
     Every modywart hyll,
     Bot I mycht pyk thair my fyll
          Or penny com out.

Than wolx I tene at I tuk to sic trufis tent,
For swevynis ar for suengouris that slummeris nocht weil;
Mony marvalus mater, neuer merkyt nor ment,
Will seggis se in thair sleip, and sentence but seill ;
War all sic sawis suithfast, wyth schame we war schent.
This was bot faynt fantasy, in fayth, that I feyll ;
Neuer word in veritie, but all in waist went,
Throu royitnes and raving that mayd myne ene reyll.
Thus lysnit I, as lossingeir, sic lewidnes to luik :
     Bot, quhen I saw nane vther bute,
     I sprent speidely on fut,
     And vnder a tre ruit
          Begouth this aucht buik.

Finis Prolgi Octavi Libri.