THE PROLOUG OF THE THRETTENE BUIK
OF ENEADOS EKIT TO VIRGILL BE
MAPHEUS VEGIUS.

TOWART the evin, amyd the summyris heyt,
Quhen in the Crab Appollo held his sete,
Duryng the joyous moneth tyme of June,
As gone neirwas the day, and suppar done,
I walkyt furth abowt the feildis tyte,
Quhilkis tho replenist stude full of delyte,
With herbis, cornis, catale and frute treis,
Plente of stoyr, birdis and byssy beis
In amerant medis fleand est and west,
Eftir laubour to tak the nychtis rest.

And as I blynkyt on the lift me by,
All byrnand reid gan walxin the evin sky :
The son enfyrit haill, as to my sycht,
Quhirlit about his ball with bemis brycht,
Declynand fast towart the north in deyd ;
And fyry Phlegon, his dym nychtis steid,
Dowkyt his heid sa deip in fludis gray
That Phebus rollis doun vnder hell away,
And Esperus in the west wyth bemis brycht
Vpspringis, as forridar of the nycht.

Amyd the hawchis, and euery lusty vaill,
The recent dew begynnis doun to scaill,
To meys the byrnyng quhar the son had schine,
Quhilk tho was to the neddir warld decline :
At euery pilis point and cornis croppis
The techrys stude, as lemand beriall droppis,
And on the hailsum herbis clene, but wedis,
Lyke cristall knoppis or small siluer bedis.
The lycht begouth to quynkill owt and faill,
The day to dyrkyn, decline, and devaill ;
The gummys rysis, doun fallis the donk rym,
Baith heyr and thair scuggis and schaddois dym.

Vpgois the bak wyth hir pelit ledderyn flycht ;
The lark discendis from the skyis hycht
Singand hyr compling sang, eftyr hyr gys,
To tak hyr rest, at matyn hour to rys.
Owt our the swyre swymmis the soppis of mist,
The nycht furthspred hyr cloke with sabill lyst,
That all the bewtie of the fructuus feyld
Was wyth the erthis vmbrage clene ourheild ;
Baith man and beste, fyrth, flude, and woddis wild,
Involuit in tha schaddois warrin sild.
Still war the fowlis fleis in the ayr,
All stoyr and catall seysit in thar lair,
And euery thing, quharso thame likis best,
Bownis to tak the hailsum nychtis rest
Eftir the days laubour and the heyt.

Closs warrin all and at thar soft quyet,
But sterage or removing, he or sche,
Ouder best, byrd, fysch, fowle, by land or se :
And schortlie, euery thing that dois repare
In firth or feyld, flude, forest, erth or ayr,
Or in the scroggis, or the buskis ronk,
Lakis, marrasis, or thir pulis donk,
Astabillit liggis still to slepe, and restis ;
Be the small birdis syttand on thar nestis,
The litill midgeis, and the vrusum fleyis,
Laboryus emmotis, and the byssy beyis ;
Als weill the wild as the taym bestiall,
And euery othir thingis gret and small,
Owtak the mery nychtgaill, Philomene,
That on the thorn sat syngand fra the splene.
Quhais myrthfull notis langing for to heyr,
Ontill a garth vndir a greyn lawrer
I walk onon, and in a sege down sat,
Now musand apon this and now on that.

I se the poill, and eik the Ursis brycht,
And hornyt Lucyne castand bot dym lycht,
Becaus the symmyr skyis schayn sa cleyr ;
Goldin Venus, the mastres of the ȝeir,
And gentill Jove, with hir participate,
Thar bewtuus bemis sched in blyth estayt :
That schortly, thar as I was lenyt doun,
For nychtis silens, and this byrdis sovn,
On sleip I slaid ; quhar sone I saw appeyr
Ane agit man, and said : quhat dois thou heyr
Vndir my tre, and willist me na gude ?
Me thocht I lurkit vp vnder my hude
To spy this auld, that was als stern of spech
As he had bene ane medycyner or lech ;
And weill persavit that hys weid was strange,
Tharto so auld, that it had nocht bene change,
Be my consait, fully that fourty ȝeir,
For it was threidbayr into placis seir.
Syde was his habyt, round, and closing meyt,
That strekit to the grund doun our his feyt ;
And on his hed of lawrer tre a croune,
Lyke to sum poet of the auld fassoune.

Me thocht I said to him with reuerens :
Fader, gif I haue done ȝou ony offens,
I sail amend, gyf it lyis in my mycht ;
Bot suythfastly, gyf I haue perfyte sycht,
Onto my dom, I saw ȝou nevir ayr :
Fayn wald I wyt quhen, on quhat wys, or quhayr,
Aganist ȝou trespassit ocht haue I.

Weill, quod the tother, wald thou mercy cry
And mak amendis, I sal remyt this falt ;
Bot, other wais, that sete sal be full salt.
Knawis thou nocht Mapheus Vegius, the poet,
That onto Virgillis lusty bukis sweit
The threttene buke ekyt Eneadane ?
I am the sammyn, and of the na thing fane,
That hes the tother twelf into thy tung
Translait of new, thai may be red and sung
Our Albyon ile, into ȝour wlgar leid ;
Bot to my buke ȝit list the tak na heid.

Mastir, I said, I heir weill quhat ȝe say,
And in this cace of perdon I ȝou pray :
Nocht that I haue ȝou ony thing offendit,
Bot rathyr that I haue my tyme mysspendit,
So lang on Virgillis volume for to stair,
And laid on syde full mony grave mater,
That, wald I now write in that trety more,
Quhat suld folk deme bot all my tyme forlore ?
Als, syndry haldis, fader, trastis me,
Ȝour buik ekyt but ony necessite,
As to the text according neuer a deill,
Mair than langis to the cart the fyft quheyll.
Thus, sen ȝe bene a cristin man, at large
Lay na sik thing, I pray ȝou, to my charge ;
It may suffice Virgill is at ane end.
I wait the story of Jherom is to ȝou kend,
Quhou he was dung and beft intill hys sleip,
For he to gentilis bukis gaif sik keip.
Full scharp repreif to sum is write, ȝe wist,
In this sentens of the haly Psalmist :
Thai ar corruppit and maid abhominabill
In thar studeyng thingis onprofitabill.
Thus sayr me dredis I sal thoill a heyt,
For the grave study I haue so long forleyt.

Ȝa, smy, quod he, wald thou eschaipe me swa ?
In fayth we sall nocht thus part or we ga !
Quhou think we he essonȝeis him to astart,
As all for consciens and devoit hart,
Fenȝeand him Jherom for to contirfeyt,
Quhar as he liggis bedowin, lo, in sweit !
I lat the wyt I am na hethin wycht ;
And gyf thou hes afore tyme gayn onrycht,
Followand sa lang Virgill, a gentile clerk,
Quhy schrynkis thou with my schort cristine werk ?
For thocht it be bot poetry we say,
My buike and Virgillis morall bene, bayth tway.
Lene me a fourtene nycht, how evir it be,
Or, be the faderis sawle me gat, quod he,
Thou sall deyr by that evir thou Virgill knew.

And, with that word, doun of the sete me drew :
Syne to me wyth his club he maid a braid,
And twenty rowtis apoun my rigging laid,
Quhil Deo, Deo, mercy did I cry ;
And be my rycht hand strekit vp in hy,
Hecht to translait his buike, in honour of God
And his Apostolis twelf, in the numbyr od.
He, glaid tharof, me be the hand vptuike ;
Syne went away, and I for feir awoik,
And blent abowt to the north est weill far,
Saw gentill Jubar schynand, the day star,
And Chiron, clepit the sing of Sagittary,
That walkis the symmirris nycht, to bed gan cary.

Ȝondyr dovn dwynis the evin sky away,
And vpspryngis the brycht dawing of day
Intill ane other place nocht far in sundir.
That to behald was plesans, and half wondir :
Furth quynching gan the starris, one be one,
That now is left bot Lucifer allone.
And forthirmor to blason this new day,
Quha mycht discrive the byrdis blyssfull bay ?
Belyve on weyng the bissy lark vpsprang,
To salus the blyth morrow with hir sang :
Sone our the feildis schinis the lycht cleyr,
Welcum to pilgrym baith and lauborer :
Tyte on his hynis gaif the greif a cry,
Awaik on fut, go till our husbandry ;
And the hird callis furth apon his page,
Do drive the catell to thar pasturage.
The hynnis wyfe clepis vp Katheryn and Gill :
Ȝa, dame, sayd thai, God wait, wyth a gude will.
The dewy grene, pulderit with daseis gay,
Schew on the sward a cullour dapill gray ;
The mysty vapouris springand vp full sweit,
Maist confortabill to glaid all mannis spreit ;
Tharto, thir byrdis singis in the schawis,
As menstralis playng, The joly day now dawis.

Than thocht I thus : I will my cunnand kepe,
I will nocht be a daw, I will nocht slepe,
I will compleit my promis schortly, thus
Maid to the poet maister Mapheus,
And mak vpwark heirof, and clos our buke,
That I may syne bot on grave materis luke.
For, thocht hys stile be nocht to Virgill like,
Full weill I wayt my text sall mony like,
Sen eftir ane my toung is and my pen,
Quhilk may suffice as for our wulgar men.

Quha evir in Latyn hes the bruit or glore,
I speke na wers than I haue done before :
Lat clerkis ken the poetis different,
And men onletteryt to my wark tak tent ;
Quhilk, as twiching this threttene buke in feir,
Begynnis thus, as forthwith followis heir.

Explicit Prologus decimi tertii Libri Eneados ;
sequitur Liber decimus tertius Maphei Vegii,
carmen traductum per eundem qui supra
interpretem.            GAVINUS DOUGLACE.