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.