THE PROLOUG

OF

THE SEVYNT BUIK

AS brycht Phebus, schene souerane, hevynnis E,
The opposit held of his chymmis hie,
Cleir schynand bemys, and goldin symmeris hew,
In lattoun colour altering haill of new;
Kithing no syng of heyt be his visage,
So neir approchit he his wynter staige;
Redy he was to entir the thrid morne
In cloudy skyis vndir Capricorne.
All thocht he be the hart and lamp of hevin,
Forfeblit wolx his lemand giltly lewyne,
Throw the declyning of his large round speir.
The frosty regioun ringis of the ȝeir,
The tyme and sessoune bitter cald and paill,
Thai schort days that clerkis clepe brumaill;
Quhen brym blastis of the northyne art
Ourquhelmit had Neptunus in his cart,
And all to schaik the levis of the treis,
The rageand storm ourwalterand wally seis ;
Reveris ran reid on spait with watteir broune,
And burnis hurlis all thair bankis downe,
And landbrist rumland rudely wyth sic beir,
So loud ne rummist wyld lioun or beir.
Fludis monstreis, sic as meirswyne or quhailis,
For the tempest law in the deip devallyis.
Mars Occident, retrograide in his speir,
Provocand stryff, regnit as lord that ȝeir;
Rany Orioune wyth his stormy face
Bewalit of the schipman by his rays;
Frawart Saturne, chill of complexioune,
Throw quhais aspect derth and infectioune
Bene causit oft, and mortale pestilens,
Went progressiue the greis of his ascens;
And lusty Hebe, Junois douchtir gay,
Stud spulȝeit of hir office and array.
The soill ysowpit into wattir wak,
The firmament ourkest with rokis blak,
The ground fadyt, and fauch wolx all the feildis,
Montayne toppis sleikit wyth snaw ourheildis,
On raggit rolkis of hard harsk quhyne stane,
With frosyne frontis cauld clynty clewis schane;
Bewtie wes lost, and barrand schew the landis,
With frostis haire ourfret the feildis standis.
Soure bittir bubbis, and the schowris snell,
Semyt on the sward ane similitude of hell,
Eeducyng to our mynd, in every steid,
Goustly schaddois of eild and grisly deid,
Thik drumly scuggis dirknit so the hevyne.
Dym skyis oft furth warpit feirfull levyne,
Flaggis of fyir, and mony felloun flawe,
Scharp soppis of sleit, and of the snypand snawe.
The dowy dichis war all donk and wait,
The law vaille flodderit all wyth spait,
The plane stretis and every hie way
Full of fluschis, doubbis, myre and clay.
Laggerit leys wallowit farnys schewe,
Broune muris kithit thair wysnit mossy hewe,
Bank, bra, and boddum blanschit wolx and bair;
For gurll weddir growyt bestis haire;
The wynd maid wayfe the reid weyd on the dyk,
Bedovin in donkis deyp was every syk;
Our craggis, and the front of rochis seyre,
Hang gret isch schoklis lang as ony spere;
The grund stude barrand, widderit, dosk and gray,
Herbis, flouris, and gersis wallowit away;
Woddis, forestis, wyth nakyt bewis blout,
Stud strypyt of thair weyd in every hout.
So bustuysly Boreas his bugill blew,
The deyr full dern dovne in the dalis drew;
Smal byrdis, flokand throw thik ronnis thrang,
In chyrmyng and with cheping changit thair sang,
Sekand hidlis and hirnys thaim to hyde
Fra feirfull thudis of the tempestuus tyde.
The wattir lynnis routtis, and every lynde
Quhyslyt and brayt of the swouchand wynde.
Puire laboraris and byssy husband men
Went wayt and wery draglyt in the fen;
The silly scheip and thair lytill hyrd gromis
Lurkis vndir le of bankis, wodys, and bromys;
And wthir dantit gretar bestial,
Within thair stabillis sesyt into stall,
Sic as mulis, horsis, oxin and ky,
Fed tuskit baris, and fat swyne in sty,
Sustenit war by mannis gouernance
On hervist and on symmeris purviance.
Widequhair with fors so Eolus schouttis schyll
In this congelyt sessiouno scharp and chyll,
The callour air, penetrative and puire,
Dasyng the bluide in every creature,
Maid seik warm stovis, and beyne fyris hoyt,
In double garment cled and wyly coyt,
Wyth mychty drink, and meytis confortive,
Agayne the storme wyntre for to strive.

Repaterit weill, and by the chymnay beykyt,
At evin be tyme dovne a bed I me streikit,
Warpit my heid, kest on claythis thrinfauld,
For till expell the perrellus peirsand cauld.
I crocit me, syne bownit for to sleip,
Quhair, lemand throw the glas, I did tak keip
Latonia, the lang irksum nycht;
Hir subtell blenkis sched and wattry lycht,
Full hie wp quhyrlyt in hir regioune,
Till Phebus rycht in oppositioune,
Into the Crab hir propir mansioune draw,
Haldand the hycht allthocht the son went law.
Hornit Hebawde, quhilk clepe we the nycht owle,
Within hir caverne hard I schout and ȝowle ;
Laithlie of forme, wyth crukit camschow beik,
Vgsum to heir was hir wyld elriche screik:
The wyld geis claking eik by nychtis tyde
Attoure the citie fleand hard I glyde.

On slummyr I slaid full sad, and slepit sownd
Quhill the oiȝont wpwart gan rebound.
Phebus crownit byrd, the nychtis orloger,
Clappand his.wyngis thryse had erawin cleir.
Approching neir the greiking of the day,
Wythin my bed I waikynnit quhair I lay,
So fast declinis Synthea the mone,
And kais keklis on the ruiff abone.
Palamedes byrdis Grouping in the sky,
Fleand on randoune schapin lik ane Y,
And as ane trumpat rang thair vocis soun,
Quhais cryis bene pronosticatioun
Off wyndy blastis and ventositeis.
Fast by my chalmir, in heych wysnit treis,
The soir gled quhislis loud wyth mony ane pew,
Quhairby the day was dawin weil I knew;
Bad beit the fyire, and the candill alycht,
Syne blissit me, and, in my wedis dycht
Ane schot wyndo vnschet a lytill on char,
Persawit the mornyng bla, wan, and har,
Wyth cloudy gum and rak ourquhelmyt the air,
The soulȝe stythlie, hasart, rowch and hair,
Branchis brattlyng, and blayknit schew the brays,
With hyrstis harsk of waggand wyndilstrays;
The dew droppis congelyt on stibyll and rynd,
And scharp hailstanis, mortfundit of kynd,
Hoppand on the thak and on the causay by.
The schot I clossit and drew inwart in hy,
Chiverand for cauld, the sessoun was so snell;
Schup wyth hait flambe to fleme the fresyng fell.

And, as I bownit me to the fyre me by,
Bayth wp and downe the hous I did aspy;
Arid seand Virgill on ane lettrune stand,
To writ anone I hynt ane pen in hand,
For tyll performe the poet grave and sad,
Quham sa fer furth, or than, begun I had;
And wolx ennoyit sum deyll in my hart,
Thair restit vncompleittit so gret ane part.
And til myself I said : In guid effect,
Thow man draw furth, the ȝok lyis on thi nek.
Wythin my mynd compasing thocht I so,
Na thing is done quhill ocht remanis to do.
For byssines, quhilk occurrit on cace,
Ourvoluit I this volume, lay ane space;
And, thocht I wery was, me lyst nocht tyre,
Full laith to leve our werk, swa in the myre,
Or ȝit to stynt for byttir storme or rane:
Heyr I assayit to ȝok our pleuch agane:
And, as I culd, with afauld diligence,
This nixt buike following of profund sentence
Has thus begoune in the chyll wyntir cauld,
Quhen frostis days ourfret bayth fyrth and fauld.

Explicit tristis prologus ;

Quhairof the altar sayis thus :

This Prolong smellis new cum furth of hell;
And, as our buik begouth his weirfair tell,
So, weill according, dewlie bene annext
Thow drery preambill, wyth ane bludy text.
Off sabyll be thi letteris illumynate,
According to thi process and estate.

THE PROLOUG
OF THE SEXT BUIK OF ENEADOS.

Heir begynnis preamblis of the Sext Buik,
and first tuiching the opinions that poetis
and auld philosophouris had of Hell and
placis tharof.

PLUTO, thow patron of the deip Acheron,
Fadir of turmentis in thine infernale see,
Amid the fludis Stix and Flegiton,
Lethe, Cochite, the wateris of oblivie,
With dolorus quhirling of furious sisteris thre,
Thyne now sal be my muse and drery sang ;
To follow Virgile in this dirk poese,
Convey me, Sibill, that I ga nocht wrang.

Quhat wenis fulis this sext buke bene bot japis
All full of leis or aid idolatreis ?
O hald ȝour pece, ȝe verray goddis apis !
Reid, reid agane, this volume, mair than tuise ;
Consider quhat hid sentence tharin lyis :
Be war to lak, les than ȝe knaw weill quhat ;
And gif ȝow list nocht wirk eftir the wise,
Heich on ȝour heid set wp the foly hat.

All is hot gaistis and elriche fantasies,
Of browneis and of bogillis full this buke.
Out on thir wanderand spiritis, wow ! thow cryis ;
It semis a man war manglit, tharon list luik,
Lyke dremis or dotage in the monis cruik,
Vane superstitionis aganis our rycht beleif.
Quhat of thir fureis, or Pluto that plukkit duke,
Or call on Sibil, deir of a revin sleif ?

Wald thow I suld this buke to the declair,
Quhilk war impossible til expreme at schort ?
Virgile is full of sentence our allquhair ;
Bot heirintill, as Seruius gan proport,
His hie knawledge he schawis, that euery sort
Of his clausis comprehend sic sentence,
Thair bene tharof, set thow think this bot sport,
Maid gret ragmentis of hie intelligence.

In all his werkis Virgile doith descrive
The stait of man, gif thow list onderstand ;
Baith life and deid in thir first buikis five ;
And now, into the saxt, we haif on hand,
Eftir thair deid in quhat plite saulis sall stand.
He writis like a philosophour naturall ;
Twichand our faith mony clausis he fand,
Quhilk bene conforme, or than collaterall.

Schawis he nocht heir the synnis capitall ?
Schawis he nocht wickit folk in endles pane ?
And purgatorie for synnis veniale,
And virtuus peple into the plesand plane ?
Ar all sic sawis fantasy and in vane ?
He schawis the way, euer patent, doun to hell,
And rycht difficil the gait to hevin agane,
With ma gud wordis than thow or I can tell.

Heir tretand vertu, taxis he pane for vice,
Feill wofull turmentis of wrechit cativis sary,
Notable historyis, and divers proverbis wise,
Quhilkis to rehers war our prolixt a tary.
Althocht he, as a gentile, sum tyme vary,
Full perfitlie he writis seir mysteris fell,
As how thir hethin childir thar weirdis wary,
Wepand and waland at the first port of hell.

And, thocht our faith neid nane authorising
Of gentilis buikis, nor by sic hethin sparkis,
Ȝit Virgile writis mony just claus conding,
Strenthand our belief, to confound payane werkis.
How oft rehersis Austyne, cheif of clerkis,
In his gret volume of the Cetie of God,
Hundreth versis of Virgile, quhilk he merkis
Agane Romanis, till vertu thaim to brod !

And of this sax buik walis he mony a scoir :
Nocht but guid ressoun; for, thocht Crist ground our faith,
Virgilis sawis ar worth to put in stoir.
Thai aucht nocht be hald wagabound nor waith ;
Full riche tresour thai bene and precius graith,
For oft by Sibillis sawis he tonis his stevin ;
Thus faithfully in his Buikolikis he saith,
The maid cumith bryngis new lynage fra hevin.

As tuiching hym, writis Ascencius :
Feill of his wordis bene lyke the appostillis sawis ;
He is ane hie theolog sentencing,
And maist profound philosophour he hym schawis.
Thocht sum his writis frawart our faith part drawis,
Na wondir ; he was na cristin man, per de ;
He was a gentile, and leifit on payane lawis,
And ȝit he puttis ane God, Fadir maist hie.

We trow a God, regnand in personis thre,
And ȝit angellis hevinlie spritis we call ;
And of the hevinlie wychtis oft carpis he,
Thocht he beleiffit thai wer nocht angelis all.
Quhill Cristis passioun, of Adam throw the fall,
All went to hell, thocht all wer nocht in pane.
Or Crist he wrait this buik, quhare reid ȝe sall
Destinet in hell specially placis twane.

And principally the sted of fell turmentis,
With seir departingis in that laithlie hald ;
Ane vthir place quhilk purgatory representis,
And, dar I say, the Lymb of faderis auld,
With Lymbus puerorum, as I haif tauld.
Schawis he nocht eik, by werkis meritory,
How just peple, in welthis mony fauld,
Rejosis, singand sangis of hevinlie glory ?

And, as he tuichis greis seir in pane,
In blis, elykwise, sindry stagis puttis he.
Quhat sall I of his wondir werkis sane ?
For all the plesance of the camp Elise,
Octavian, in his Georgikis, ȝe may se.
He consalis nevir lordschip in hell desyre,
Bot evir in hevin, into sum hie degre,
To cheis his place, and nocht amang the fire.

Quhat cristnit clerk suld hym haue consalit bettir,
Althocht he nevir was catholik wight ?
He has writin full mony attentik lettre :
In that ilk buik he techis ws full rycht,
The warld begouth in veir, baith day and nycht ;
In veir he sais that God als formit man,
The son, the mone, and all the sternis brycht :
We grant in veir that first the warld began.

Happy wer he that knew the caus of all thingis,
And settis on syde all dreid and cuir, quod he,
Wndir his feit at treddis and doun thringis
Chancis vntretable of fatis and destany,
All feir of deid, and eik of hellis see.
Happy he callis sic wychtis, and sa do I ;
Quhair may we sua obtene felicite ?
Nevir bot in hevin, empire abone the skye.

Till write ȝow all his tryit and notable vers
Almaist impossible war, and half in vane :
For me behuvit repeting and rehers
In seir placis the samyn wordis agane.
This may suffice, I will na mair sane.
Ane mover, ane begynnar puttis he,
Sustenis all thing, and doith in all remane ;
And be our faith the sammyn thing grant we.

I say nocht all his werkis bene perfite,
Nor that saulis turnis in vthir bodeis agane ;
Thocht we traist, aud may preif be haly write,
Our saull and body sall anis togiddir remane.
At thar bene mony Goddis I will nocht sane ;
Thocht haly scripturis just men, Goddis, clepe.
Quhom call I Pluto, and Sibilla Cumane,
Hark ; for I will na fals Goddis wirschepe.

Sibylla, til interpret propirly,
Is clepit ane maid of Goddis secrete priue,
That has the spreit divine of prophecy.
Quha bettir may Sibilla namyt be,
Than may the glorius modir and madyn fre,
Quhilk of hir natur consavit Criste, and buir
Al hail the misteris of the Trinite,
And maist excelland werk had ondir cuir.

Thow art our Sibill, Cristis modir deir,
Prechit by prophetis and Sibilla Cumane ;
Thow brocht the hevinlie lynage in erd heir,
Modir of God, ay virgine doith remane,
Restoring ws the goldin warld agane.
Sathan the clepe I, Pluto infernale,
Prince in that dolorus den of wo and pane,
Nocht God tharof, bot gretast wreche of all.

To name the God, it wer a manifest le ;
Is bot a God, makar of euery thing.
I favour nocht the errour of Maniche :
Set thow to Vulcane haif full gret resembling,
And art sum tyme the minister of thundring,
Or sum blind Ciclopes of thi laithlie wra,
Thow art bot Jovis smyth, in the fire blawing
And dirk fornace of perpetuall Ethna.

Thow wrocht na thing, bot maid thi self a devill,
And that wes nocht to mak, bot rather faille,
For Austyne sayis, syn, myscheif, or euill
Is nocht at all ; for quhy ? thay nocht availȝe.
The dym dongeoun of Ditis to assailȝe,
Or in the lyknes thys misty poetry,
Help me, Mary ! for certis, vailȝe que vailȝe,
War at Pluto, I sall hym hunt of sty.

Finis Prologi Sexti Libri.

THE PROLOUG

OF

THE FYFT BUIK.

GLAD is the ground of the tender florist grene,
Birdis the bewis and thir schawis schene,
The wery hunter to fynd his happy pray,
The falconer the riche riveir our to flene,
The clerk reiosis his buikis our to seyne,
The luiffar to behald his lady gay,
Ȝoung folk thaim schurtis with gam, solace, and play ;
Quhat maist delytis or likis every wycht,
Therto steris thar curage day or nycht.

Knychtis delytis to assay sterand stedis,
Wantoun gallandis to traill in sumptuus wedis ;
Ladeis desyris to behald and be sene ;
Quha wald be thrifty courteouris sais few credis ;
Sum plesance takis in romanis that he redis.
And sum has lust to that was never sene :
How mony hedis als feil consatis bene ;
Tua appetitis vneith accordis with vther ;
This likis the, perchance, and nocht thi brodir.

Plesance and joy rycht halesum and perfyte is,
So that the wys therof in prouerb writis,
Ane blyth spreit makis greyn and flurist age.
Myn author eik in Bucolikis enditis,
The ȝoung infant first with lauchter delytis
To knaw his modir, quhen he is litil page ;
Quha lauchis nocht, quod he, in his barnage,
Genyus, the God, delitith nocht thair table,
Nor Juno thaim to keip in bed is able.

The hie wisdome and maist profound ingyne
Of myne author Virgil, poet divyne.
To comprehend, makis me almaist forvay,
So crafty wrocht his werk is, lyne be lyne.
Thairon aucht na man irk, complene, nor quhryne ;
For quhy ? he alteris his stile sa mony way ;
Now dreid, now strif, now luf, now wo, now play,
Langer in murning, now in melody.
To satisfy ilk wichtis fantasy ;

Lyke as he had of every thing a feill.
And the willis of every wycht did seill ;
And therto eik sa wislie writis he
Twiching the proffet of the commond weill,
His sawis bene full of sentence every deill.
Of morale doctryne, that men suld vicis fle ;
Bot gif he be nocht joyous lat ws se ;
For quha sa list seir glaidsum gemmis leir.
Full mony mery abaittmentis followis heir.

Now harkis sportis, mirthis, and mery playis.
Full gudlie pastance on mony syndry wayis,
Endite by Virgile, and heir by me translait,
Quhilk William Caxtoun knew neuir all his dayis ;
For, as I said tofoir, that man forvayis ;
His febill prois bene mank and mutilait ;
Bot my propyne coym fra the pres fuit halt,
Vnforlatit, not jawyn fra tun to tun,
In fresche sapour new fro the berrie run.

Bacchus of glaidnes, and funerall Proserpyne,
And Goddes of triumph clepit Victory,
Sall I ȝow call, as ȝour naim war divyne ?
Na, na, it suffisith of ȝow full small memory ;
I bid nothir of ȝour turmentis nor ȝour glory ;
Bot he quhilk may ws glaid perpetually,
To bring ws till his blis, on hym I cry.

Sen erdlie plesour endis oft with sorrow, we se.
As in this bulk nane examplis ȝe want,
Lord, our protectour, to all traistis in the.
But quham na thing is worthy nor pissant ;
To ws thi grace and als grete mercy grant,
So for to wend by temporall blythnes
That our eternail joy be nocht the les !

Finis Prologi Quinti Libri.

THE PROLOUG

OF

THE FOWRT BUIK OF ENEADOS.

WITH bemys schene,tliow bricht Cytherea,
Quhilk onlie schacldomst amang stems lite,
And tlii blindit wingit son, Cupide, ȝe twa
Fosteraris of birnyng, carnale, halt delite,
Your joly wo neidlingis most I indite,
Begynnyng with ane fenȝet faynt plesance,
Continewing with lust and endit with pennance.

In fragill flesche 3our fekill seid is saw,
Rutit in delite, welth, and fyide deligate,
Nursit with sleuth, and mony vnsemelie saw.
Quhar schame is lost, thair spredis ȝour burgeonis hait ;
Oft to revolf ane vnlefull consait
Ripis ȝour perellus frutis and oncorn ;
Of vickit grane quhow sail gud schaif be schorn ?

Quhat is ȝour force bot feblinsr of the strenth ?
Ȝour curius thochtis quhat bot musardry ?
Ȝour fremmyt glaidnes lestis nocht ane houris lenth ;
Ȝour sport for scham 36 dar nocht specify ;
Ȝour frute is bot vnfructuus fantasy ;
Ȝour sary joyis bene bot jangling and japis,
And ȝour trew seruandis silly goddis apis.

Ȝour sweit myrthis ar myxt with bittirnes ;
Quhat is ȝour drery gemme ? a mery pane ;
Ȝour wark onthrift, 30ur quiet is restles,
Ȝour lust lyking in langor to remane,
Frendschip turment, ȝour traist is hot a trane :
O luif, quhiddir ar ȝow joy or fulichnes,
That makis folk sa glaid of thair distres ?

Salomonis wit, Sampsoun thow rubbist his force,
And Dauid thow byreft his prophesy ;
Men sayis thow bridillit Aristotle as ane hors,
And crelit wp the flour of poetry ;
Quhat sail I of thi myelitis notify ?
Fare weill, quhar that thi lusty dart assalis,
Wit, strenth, ryches, na tiling bot grace avails.

Thow chene of luif, ha benedicite !
How hard strenis thi baiidis every wycht ?
The God abufe, from his hie maieste,
With the ibund, law in a maid did lycht :
Thow vencust the strang gyant of gret mycht ;
Thow art mair forcy than the deid sa fell ;
Thow plenest paradise, and thow heriet hell.

Thow makis febill wycht, and lawest the hie ;
Thow knittis frendschip quhar thar bene na parage ;
Thow Jonathas confidderat with Dauy ;
Thow dantit Alexander for all his wassalage ;
Thow festinit Jacob fourteyn ȝeir in bondage
Thow techit Hercules go lerne to spyn,
Eeik Dyoniere his mais and lyon skyn.

For luffe Narcissus pereschit at the well ;
For luffe thow stervist maist dowchtie Achill ;
Theseus, for luf, his fallow socht to hell ;
The snaw quhite dow oft to the gray maik will.
Alace ! for luff quhow mony thaim self did spill !
Thy fury, luf, moderis-taucht, for dispyte,
Fyle handis in blud of thar ȝoung childer lyte.

O Lord, quhat writis myne autor of thi force,
In his Georgikis ! quhow thine vndantit mycht
Constrenis so sum tyme the stonit hors,
That, by the sent of a mere far of sycht,
He braidis brayis anon, and takis the flycht
Na bridle may him dant nor bustius dynt,
Nothir bray, hie roche, nor braid fludis stynt.

The bustius bullis oft, for the ȝowng ky,
With horn to horn wirkis vther mony ane wound,
So rummesing with hiddouis lowand cry
The feildis all doith of thar roustis resound ;
The meik hartis, in belling, oft ar found
Mak fers bargane, and rammys togiddir ryn ;
Baris twyt thar tuskis, and fret vtheris skyn.

The reuthfull smert and lamentable cace
Quhilk thar he writis of Leander ȝing,
How for thi luiff, Hero, alace, alace !
In fervent flamb of halt desyre birnyng,
By nychtis tyde, the hevynis lowd thundring,
And, all with storme trubillit, the seis flude
Bettand on the rolkis, and rowtand as it war wode,

Set he him nocht to swym our, well away !
The fyrth betwixt Sestos and Abidane,
In Europ and in Asia citeis twa ;
His fadir and modir mycht him nocht call agane ;
O God, quhat herme ! thar was he drint and slane ;
And quhen his lufe saw this mischeif, attanis
Out our the wall scho lap, and brak hir banis.

Lo, quhow Venus can hir seruandis acquyte !
Lo, how hir passionis vnbridillis all thar witt !
Lo, quhow thai tyne thaim self for schort delyte !
Lo, quhow from grace to all mischeif they flit,
Fra weill to sturt, fra pane to deid ! and ȝit
Thar bene bot few example takis of vther,
Bot wilfully fallis in the fyre, leif brother.

Be nevir ourset, myne author teichis so,
With lust of wyne, nor werkis veneriane ;
Thai febill the strength ; rewelys secreit baith twa
Strif and debait engeneris, and feill lies slane ;
Honestie, prowes, dreid, schame and luk ar gane
Quhar thai habound ; attempir thaim forthy.
Childir to engener ois Venus, and nocht in vane ;
Haue na surphat, drink nocht bot quhen thow art dry.

Quhat ? is this luif, nys lufferis, at ȝe mene,
Or fals desait, fair ladeis to begyle ?
Thame to defoull, and schent ȝour self betwene.
Is all ȝour lyking, with mony subtell wyle.
Is that trew luif, guid faith and fame to fyle ?
Gyff luff be vertu, than is it lefull thing ;
Gyf it be vice, it is ȝour ondoing.

Lust is na luif, thocht ledis lyk it weil ;
This furius flamb of sensualite
Ar nane amoris hot fantasy ȝe feill ;
Carnale plesance, but sycht of honeste,
Hatis him self forsuith, and luffis nocht the;
Thar bene twa luffis, perfyte and imperfyte,
That ane lefull, the tother foull delite.

Luffe is ane kyndlie passioun, engenerit of heit
Kendlit in the hert, ourspredand all the cors ;
And, as thow seis sum persoun waik in spreit,
Sum hert hait brenyng as ane vnbridillit hors ;
Lyke as the pacient lies heit of our gret force,
And in ȝoung babbeis warmnes insufficient,
And in to agit failȝeis, and is out quent.

Rycht so in lufFe thou may be excessive,
Inordinatlie luiffand ony creature ;
Thi luff also it may be defective.
To luff thi awin and gyf of vtheris na cuir ;
Bot quhar that luff is rewlit with mesure,
It may be lyknit to ane haill mannis estait,
In temperat warmnes, nother to cald nor hait.

Than is thi luiff inordinat, say I,
Quhen ony creatur mair than God thow luffis ;
Or ȝit luffis ony to that fyne, quharby
Thi Self or thaim thow frawart God removis :
For till attempir thine amouris the behuffis ;
Luf euery wycht for God, and to gud end,
Thame be na wise to harm, bot to amend.

This is to knaw, luif God for his gudnes,
With hert, haill mynd, trew seruice, day and night ;
Nyxt luif thi self, eschewand wekitnes ;
Luf syne thi nychtbouris, and wyrk thame nane vnricht,
Willing that thow and thai may haif the sycht
Of hevinis blis, and tyst thaime nocht tharfra,
For, and thow do, sic luif dow nocht a stra.

Faint luif, but grace, for all thi fenȝeit layis,
Thi wantoun willis ar verray vanite ;
Graceles thow askis grace, and thus thow prayis ;
Haif mercy, lady, haif reuth and sum piete !
And scho, reuthles, agane rewis on the.
Heir is na peramouris found, bot all haterent,
Quhar nother to weill nor ressoun tak thai tent.

Callis thow that reuth, quhilk of thar self ne rekkis ?
Or is it grace to fall fra grace ? Nay, nay ;
Thow seikis mercy, and tharof mischeif makis :
Renoun and honour quhy wald thow drive away ?
A brutall appetite makis ȝong fulis forvay,
Quhilk be resoun list nocht thar heit refrane,
Halding opinioun der of a borit bane.

Sayis nocht ȝour sentence thus, scant worth a fas,
Quhat honestie or renoun is to be dram ?
Or for to droup like a fordullit as ?
Lat ws in riot leif, in sport and gam.
In Venus court, sen born thar to I am ?
My tyme weill sal I spend. Wenis thow nocht so ?
Bot all ȝour solace sall returne in gram,
Sic thewles lustis in bittir pane and wo.

Thow ald hasart lychour, fy for schame
That flotteris furtli euermair in sluggardry ;
Out on the, ald trat, agit wdfe, or dame,
Eschamis na thing in roust of syn to ly !
Thir Venus werkis in ȝoutheid ar foly,
Bot in to eild thai turne in fury rage ;
And quha schameles dowblis thar syn, ha fy !
As doith thir vantouris othir in ȝouth or age ?

Quhat nedis avant ȝow of ȝour wickitnes,
Ȝe that bene forcy alane in villance deid ?
Quhy gloir ȝe in ȝour awin onthriftynes ?
Eschame ȝe nocht rehers and blaw on breid
Ȝour awin defame, havand of God na dreid,
Nor ȝit of hell, prouokand vtheris to syn,
Ȝe that list of ȝour palȝardry neuir blyn ?

Wald God ȝe purchest bot ȝour awin mischance.
And war na banareris for to perische mo !
God grant sum tyme ȝe turne ȝow to penance,
Refrenyng lustis inordinat, and cry ho !
And thar affix ȝour luif, and myndis also,
Quhar euer is verray joy without offence,
That all sic beistlie fury ȝe lat go hence.

Of brokaris and of sic bawdry quhow suld I write,
Of quhom the filth stinkis in Godis neis ?
With Venus henvifis quhat wyse may I flite,
That strakis thir wenchis hedis thaim to pleis ?
Dochtir, for thi luif this man hes gret diseis,
Quod the bismeir with the slekit speche :
Rew on him, it is merit his pane to meis.
Sic poyd makrellis for Lucifer bene leche.

Eschame, ȝing virginis, and fair damicellis,
Furth of wedlok for to distene ȝour kellis !
Traist nocht all talis that wantoun woweris tellis,
Ȝow to difflour purposing, and nocht ellis ;
Abhor sic price or prayer wirschip sellis ;
Quhar schame is lost quyte schent is womanheid.
Quhat of bewte, quhar honestie lyis deid ?

Rew on ȝour self, ladyis and madynis ȝing,
Grant na sic reuth for evir may cans ȝow rew.
Ȝe fresche gallandis, in hait desyr brening,
Refrene ȝour curage sic peramouris to persew ;
Ground ȝour amouris on cherite all new ;
Found ȝow on resoun ; quhat nedis mair to preche ?
God grant ȝow grace in luif, as I ȝow teche !

Fy on desait and fals dissimulance,
Contrar to kynd wyth fenȝeit cheir smyling,
Wndir the cloke of luffis obseruance,
The venom of the serpent redy to sting !
Bot all sic crymes in luffis cans I resing
To the confessioun of morall Ihon Gower ;
For I mon follow the text of our mater.

Thy dowble wound, Dido, to specify,
I mene thine amouris, and thi funerale fait,
Quhay may endite, but teris, with ene dry ?
Augustyne confessis him self wepit, God wait,
Reding thi lamentable end infortunate.
By the will I repeit this vers agane,
Temporall joy endis with wo and pane.

Allace, thi dolorus cace and hard myschance !
From blis to wo, fra sorow to fury rage,
Fra nobillnes, welth, prudence and temperance,
In brutall appetite fall, and wild dotage ;
Danter of Affrik, Quene fundar of Cartage,
Vmquhile in riches and schynyng gloir ryngyng,
Throw fuliche lust wrocht thi awin vndoing.

Lo ! with quhat thocht, quhat bitternes and pane
Luif vnseilly breidis in euery wycht !
How schort quhile dois his fals plesance remane !
His restles blis how sone takis the flycht !
His kyndnes alteris in wraith within a nycht :
Quhat is, bot turment, all his langsum fair,
Begun with feir, and endit in dispair ?

Quhat sussy, cuir, and strang ymagyning,
Quhat wayis vnlefull, his purpois to attene,
Has this fals lust at his first bigynnyng !
Quhow subtell wills, and mony quiet mene !
Quhat slycht dissait quently to flat and fene ;
Syne in a throw can nocht him selfin hyde,
Nor at his first estate no quhile abyde !

Thow swelth, deuorer of tyme vnrecouerable,
O lust, inferiiale furnis, inextinguible,
Thy self consumyng worthis insaciable,
Quent feyndis net, to God and man odible !
Of thi trigittis quhat toung can tell the trible ?
With the to wersill, thow waxis euirmoir wycht ;
Eschew thine hant, and mynnis sall thi mycht.

Se, quhow blind luifis inordinat desyre
Degradis honour, and resoun doith exile !
Dido, of Cartage flour, and lamp of Tyre,
Quhais hie renoun no strenth nor gift mycht file,
In hir faynte lust so mait, within schort quhile.
That honestie baith and gud fame wer adew,
Syne for disdene, alace ! her selfin slew.

O! quhat avalit thi bruit and glorious name,
Thi moblis, tressour, and werkis infinite,
Thi ceteis beilding, and thi riall hame,
Thi realmis, conquest, weilfare and delite ?
To stint all thing salue thine awin appetite.
So was in luif thi frawart destanie ;
Alace the quhile thow knew the strang Enee !

And sen I suld thi trigidy endite,
Heir nedis nane vther inuocatioun :
Be the command I lusty ladyis quhite,
Be war with strangeris of vncouth nacioun
Wirk na sic wondris to their dampnacioun ;
Bott till atteyne wild amoris at the thai leir ;
Thi lusty pane begouth on this maneir.

Finis Prologi Quarti Libri.