THE PROLOUG

OF

THE AUGHT BUIK.

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.