Imagens das páginas

And eke the heavenly portis chrystalline
Upwarps braid, the warld till illumine;
The twinkling streamers of the orient
Shed purpour spraings, with gold and azure ment....
Under the bowis bene in lovely vales,
Within fermance and parkis close of pales,
The busteous buckis rakis furth on raw,
Herdis of hertis through the thick wood-shaw.
The young fawns followand the dun daes,
Kids, skippand through, runnis after raes.
In lyssurs and on leyis, little lambs
Full tait and trig socht bletand to their dams.
On salt streams walk Dorida and Thetis,

By rinnand strandis, Nymphis and Naiadis,
Sic as we clepe wenches and damysels,
In gersy groves1 wanderand by spring wells;
Of bloomed branches and flowers white and red,
Plettand their lusty chaplets for their head.
Some sang ring-sanges, dances, leids, and rounds,
With voices shrill, while all the dale resounds.
Whereso they walk into their caroling,
For amorous lays does all the rockis ring.
Ane sang: The ship sails oure the salt faem,
Will bring the merchants and my leman hame.'3
Some other sings: 'I will be blythe and licht,
My heart is lent upon so goodly wicht.'3
And thoughtful lovers rounis to and fro,
To leis their pain, and plein their jolly woe.
After their guise, now singand, now in sorrow,
With heartis pensive the lang summer's morrow.
Some ballads list indite of his lady;
Some livis in hope; and some all utterly
Despairit is, and sae quite out of grace,
His purgatory he finds in every place.
Dame Nature's menstrals, on that other part,
Their blissful bay intoning every art,
And all small fowlis singis on the spray,
Welcome the lord of licht, and lampe of day,
Welcome fosterer of tender herbis green,
Welcome quickener of flouriest flouirs sheen,
Welcome support of every root and vein,
Welcome comfort of all kind fruit and grain,
Welcome the birdis bield upon the brier,
Welcome master and ruler of the year,
Welcome weelfare of husbands at the plows,
Welcome repairer of woods, trees, and bows,
Welcome depainter of the bloomit meads,
Welcome the life of every thing that spreads,
Welcome storer of all kind bestial,
Welcome be thy bricht beamis, gladdnan all!


The celebrated Lyon King of Arms, SIR DAVID LYNDSAY of the Mount, was born, about the year 1490, at the paternal seat in the parish of Monimail, Fifeshire. He was educated at the university of St Andrews, was early employed at the court of James IV.; and in 1511-12 had a salary of forty pounds. He was in attendance on the king at the church of St Michael, Linlithgow, when a supposed apparition warned the monarch against passing to England on his fatal project of invasion-an incident graphically delineated in Scott's Marmion. Lyndsay became the usher and companion of the young prince, afterwards James V.

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About the year 1529, the king knighted Lyndsay, and appointed him Chief Herald, or Lyon King of Arms. Some years previously, the poet had married a lady, Janet Douglas, who held the office of sempstress to the king, with an annual fee or pension of ten pounds. He seems to have possessed talents for public business, as he was employed on commercial missions to Flanders and Denmark, and on various royal messages and embassies, besides representing the burgh of Cupar in parliament in 1544-46. In his latter days, he retired to his seat, the Mount, where he died some time previous to the 18th of April 1555, when his brother succeeded to the entailed estate. The antiquated dialect, prolix narrative, and frequent indelicacy of Lyndsay's writings, have thrown them into the shade; but they abound in racy pictures of the times, in humorous and burlesque description, and in keen and cutting satire. There are also passages evincing poetical fancy and elevation of feeling. He lashed the vices of the clergy even with greater boldness than Skelton, and from his public position and the openness of his satire and invective, he must materially have advanced the Reformed doctrines. He appears to have been sincerely and strongly attached to this cause, and was one of the influential Reformers who urged Knox to become a preacher. That he escaped the vengeance of the church in the early part of his career, must be attributed to the partiality entertained for him by the king, and to the broad humour and indelicacy mixed up with his satire, which could not fail to be relished by that voluptuous monarch. James also shewed some magnanimity in overlooking the satirical shafts of Lyndsay directed against his own pleasant vices' and defects. With the bulk of his countrymen, Sir David was singularly popular. His sarcastic lines and shrewd sayings passed into proverbs, and are not yet wholly banished from the firesides of the peasantry.

3 Songs then popular. 6 Shelter.

The works of Sir David Lyndsay were edited by Mr George Chalmers, and published in three volumes (London, 1806). A new edition, revised by Mr David Laing, and somewhat curtailed, appeared in two volumes (Edinburgh, 1871). The poet's first production, The Dreme, was written about the year 1528. This was followed by The Complaynt to the King, evidently written in 1529; and The Testament and Complaynt of our Soverane Lordis Papyngo, Kyng James the Fyft, 1530. (The papyngo or popinjay is the old English name of the parrot.) These three works consist chiefly of observations on the state and government of the kingdom during two of its dismal minorities. The other principal works of Lyndsay are: An Answer to the King's Flyting, 1536; The Deploration of the Death of Queen Magdalene, 1537; Ane Supplication directit to the Kingis Grace, in contemptioun of Syde Taillis, 1538; Kitties Confessioun (a satire on auricular confession), 1541; The Tragedie of the Cardinall (Beaton), 1546; The Historie and Testament of Squyer William Meldrum, about 1550; Ane Dialog betuix Experience and ane Courteour, of the miserabyll estait of the World, 1553; and Ane Pleasant Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis. This last work is a rude dramatic composition, a satire upon the whole of the three political orders-monarch, barons, and clergy-full of humour and grossness, and curiously illustrative of the taste of the times. Notwithstanding its

pungency, and, what is apt to be now more surprising, notwithstanding the introduction of indecencies not fit to be described, the satire of the Three Estates was acted in presence of the court at Cupar, Linlithgow, and Edinburgh, the stage being in the open air. The performance at Linlithgow took place at the feast of Epiphany, January 6, 1539-40, in the presence of the king, queen, the ladies of the court, the bishops, and a great concourse of people of all ranks. It is probable that some of the coarser passages were written, as Chalmers supposes, for the amusement of the lower classes during the intervals, when the chief auditory had retired for refreshments. The Historie of Squyer Meldrum is perhaps the most pleasing of all Lyndsay's works. It is founded on the adventures of a well-known person in Fifeshire, William Meldrum, the laird of Cleish and Binns, who served in France during the war in 1513, and on his return to Scotland was noted for his spirit and gallantry. It is considered the last poem that in any degree partakes of the character of the old metrical romance. The Dialogue betwixt Experience and a Courtier is otherwise described as The Monarchie, and is an elaborate compendium of events in sacred and profane history, in the course of which the poet inveighs against the corruptions of the church of Rome.

Of the dexterity with which Lyndsay could point a satirical remark on an error of state-policy, we may judge from the following very brief passage of his early work, the Complaynt, which refers to the revolution in the Scottish government during the year 1524, when the king was twelve years of age, and the Douglases gained the ascendency. We give the lines in the original orthography, from the text of Chalmers:

Imprudentlie, lyk wytles fuilis,

Thay tuke that young prince frome the scuilis,
Quhare he, under obedience,
Was lernand vertew and science,
And haistelie platt in his hand
The governance of all Scotland;
As quho wald, in ane stormye blast,
Quhen marinaris bene all agast
Throw danger of the seis raige,
Wad tak ane chylde of tender aige,
Quhilk never had bene on the sey,
And to his biddyng all obey,
Gevyng hym haill the governall
Of schip, marchand and marinall,*
For dreid of rockis and foreland,
To put the ruther in his hand :
Without Goddis grace, is no refuge :
Geve thare be dainger, ye may juge.
I gyf thame to the devyll of hell,
Quhilk first devysit that counsell,
I wyll nocht say that it was treassoun,
Bot I dar sweir, it was no reassoun.
I pray God, lat me never se ryng,3
In to this realme, so young ane kyng.

Satire on the Syde Tails, or Long Dresses, of the Ladies. Directed to the King's Grace, 1538.

Sir, though your Grace has put great order
Baith in the Hieland and the Border,
Yet mak I supplication

Till have some reformation

Of ane small fault, whilk is nocht treason, Though it be contrary to reason,

1 Whole, entire.

3 Reign.

2 Merchandise or freight, and mariners.

Because the matter been so vile,
It may nocht have ane ornate style;
Wherefore I pray your Excellence
To hear me with great patience :
Of stinking weeds maculate
No man nay mak ane rose-chaplet.
Sovereign, I mean of thir syde tails,
Whilk through the dust and dubs trails
Three quarters lang behind their heels,
Express again' all commonweals.
Though bishops, in their pontificals,
Have men for to bear up their tails,
For dignity of their office;
Richt so ane queen or ane empress ;
Howbeit they use sic gravity,
Conformand to their majesty,
Though their robe-royals be upborne,
I think it is ane very scorn,
That every lady of the land
Should have her tail so syde trailand;
Howbeit they been of high estate,
The queen they should nocht counterfeit.
Wherever they go it may be seen
How kirk and causay they soop1 clean.
The images into the kirk

May think of their syde taillis irk ;2
For when the weather been maist fair,
The dust flies highest in the air,

And all their faces does begarie.

Gif they could speak, they wald them warie.3.. But I have maist into despite

Poor claggocks clad in raploch white,

Whilk has scant twa merks for their fees,
Will have twa ells beneath their knees.
Kittock that cleckit was yestreen,
The morn, will counterfeit the queen :
And Moorland Meg, that milked the yowes,
Claggit with clay aboon the hows,"
In barn nor byre she will not bide,
Without her kirtle tail be syde.
In burghs, wanton burgess wives
Wha may have sydest tails strives,
Weel bordered with velvet fine,
But followand them it is ane pyne:
In summer, when the streets dries,
They raise the dust aboon the skies;
Nane may gae near them at their ease,
Without they cover mouth and neese. . .
I think maist pane after ane rain,
To see them tuckit up again;

Then when they step furth through the street,
Their fauldings flaps about their feet;
They waste mair claith, within few years,
Nor wald cleid fifty score of freirs. . .
Of tails I will no more indite,

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Women will say, this is nae bourds,1
To write sic vile and filthy words;
But wald they clenge their filthy tails,
Whilk over the mires and middens trails,
Then should my writing clengit be,
None other mends they get of me.

Quoth Lyndsay, in contempt of the syde tails, That duddrons and duntibours3 through the dubs trails.

We subjoin a few passages from the Satire of the Three Estates, partly modernising the spelling.

Abuses of the Clergy.

Pauper. Gude man, will ye give me of your charity, And I shall declare you the black verity. My father was ane auld man and ane hoar, And was of age fourscore of years and more. And Mald, my mother, was fourscore and fifteen, And with my labour I did them baith sustein. We had ane mare that carried salt and coal, And every ilk year, she brocht us hame ane foal. We had three kye, that was baith fat and fair,

Nane tidier into the toun of Air.

My father was so weak of blude and bane,

That he died, wherefore my mother made great mane :

Then she died, within ane day or two;

And there began my poverty and woe.

Our gude gray mare was battened on the field,
And our land's laird took her for his hyreild.5
The vicar took the best cow by the head,
Incontinent, when my father was dead.
And when the vicar heard tell how that my mother
Was dead, frae hand, he took to him ane other:

Then Meg, my wife, did mourn baith even and morrow,
Till at the last she died for very sorrow :

And when the vicar heard tell my wife was dead,

The third cow he cleekit by the head.



Their umest claithes, that was of raploch gray,&
The vicar gart his clerk bear them
When all was gane, I might mak na debate,
But with my bairns passed for till beg my meat.
Now, have I tauld you the black verity,
How I am brocht into this misery.

Diligence. How did the parson? was he not thy friend?

Pauper. The devil stick him! he cursed me for my teind,9

And halds me yet under that same process
That gart me want the sacrament at Pasche.10
In gude faith, sir, though he would cut my throat,
I have na gear, except ane English groat,
Whilk I purpose to give ane man of law.

Diligence. Thou art the daftest 11 fuil that ever I saw ;
Trow'st thou, man, by the law, to get remead
Of men of kirk? Na, nocht till thou be dead.

Pauper. Sir, by what law, tell me, wherefore or why That ane vicar should take frae me three kye?

Diligence. They have na law except consuetude, Whilk law, to them, is sufficient and gude.

Pauper. Ane consuetude against the common weal, Should be na law, I think, by sweet Sanct Geil.12

Speech of the Pardoner.

My patent pardons ye may see, Come frae the Khan of Tartarie,

Weel sealed with oyster-shells; Though ye have no contrition, Ye shall have full remission, With help of buiks and bells.

4 Each.

1 Scoffs, jests.
2 Cleanse.
3 Harlots.
A fine extorted by a superior on the death of his tenant.

6 Catched hold of. 7 Uppermost. 8 Coarse woollen gray cloth.
10 Easter.
11 Maddest.
12 St Giles.

9 Tithe.

Here is ane relic, lang and braid,
Of Fin-mac-Coul the right chaft blade,1
With teeth and all togidder;
Of Colin's cow here is ane horn,
For eating of Makconnal's corn,
Was slain into Balquhidder.

Here is ane cord, baith great and lang, Whilk hangit John the Armistrang:

Of gude hemp soft and sound; Gude haly people, I stand for'd Whaever beis hangit with this cord, Needs never to be drowned!

The culum 2 of Sanct Bride's cow,
The gruntle3 of Sanct Antone's sow,
Whilk bore his haly bell:
Whaever he be hears this bell clink
Give me ane ducat for till drink,

He shall never gang to hell-
Without he be of Belial born:
Masters, trow ye that this be scorn?
Come, win this pardon, come!
Wha loves their wives nocht with their heart,

I have power them for till part;
Methink you deaf and dumb.

Has nane of you curst wicked wives That halds you intill sturt and strifes? Come take my dispensation;

Of that cummer I shall make you quit, Howbeit yourselves be in the wyte, And make ane false narration.

Come win the pardon! Now let see,
For meal, for malt, or for money—
For cock, hen, goose, or grise,1
Of relics here I have ane hunder,
Why come ye nocht? This is ane wonder;
I trow ye be nocht wise.

The Law's Delay.

Marry, I lent my gossip my mare, to fetch hame coals,
And he her drounit into the quarry holes ;
And I ran to the Consistory, for to pleinzie,
And there I happenit amang ane greedie meinzie.6
They gave me first ane thing they call citendum;
Within aucht days I gat but libellandum ;
Within ane month I gat ad opponendum;
In half ane year I gat inter-loquendum,
And syne I gat-how call ye it?-ad replicandum;
But I could never ane word yet understand him:
And then they gart me cast out many placks,7
And gart me pay for four-and-twenty acts.
But or they came half gate to concludendum,
The fiend ane plack was left for to defend him.
Thus they postponed me twa year with their train,
Syne, hodie ad octo, bad me come again :
And then thir rooks they roupit wonder fast
For sentence, silver, they cryit at the last.
Of pronunciandum they made me wonder fain,
But I gat never my gude gray mare again.


There were several other Scottish poets of this period, one of whom, WALTER KENNEDY, has obtained some notoriety from having carried on a flyting or altercation with Dunbar in rhyme. The productions on both sides are coarse and scurrilous, though there was probably as much mirth as malice at the bottom of the affair. Most of these pieces, with several anonymous poems of no small merit, were preserved in the Maitland and

3 The snout.

1 Jaw-bone. 2 The tail, the fundament.

4 The pig. 5 Complain.

6 Company, crew. 7 Plack, a Scotch coin equal to the third of an English penny. 8 Cried, shouted.

Bannatyne manuscripts of the sixteenth century. The first was begun in 1555 by Sir Richard Maitland, and consists of a collection of miscellaneous poetry, in two volumes, ending with the year 1585. These precious volumes were preserved in the Pepysian Library, in Magdalene College, Cambridge. The Bannatyne manuscript contains a similar collection made by George Bannatyne, a merchant of Edinburgh, in the year 1568, when the prevalence of the plague compelled men in business to forsake their usual employments and retire to the country. In a valedictory address at the end of this compilation (containing upwards of Soo pages), Bannatyne says:

Heir endis this Buik writtin in tyme of pest, Quhen we fra labour was compel'd to rest.

A judicious selection from Bannatyne's manuscript was published by Lord Hailes in 1770, accompanied with valuable notes and a glossary.


The early ballads of England and Scotland have justly been admired for their rude picturesque energy and simple pathos. Some of them-as those relating to King Arthur, St George of England, Sir Gawaine, &c.—are of great antiquity, and refer to a period before the formal institution of chivalry. Others of later date, whether embodying historical events, traditional romance, or domestic tragedies, illustrate the times in which they were composed, though often altered and vulgarised in their progress downwards by recitation. Sir Philip Sidney said the old ballad of Chevy Chase stirred him up like the sound of a trumpet ; and the classic Addison devoted two papers in the Spectator to a critique on a more modern version of the same artless but heroic metrical story. The ballads on the famous outlaw, Robin Hood, fill a volume. Another, The Nut-brown Maid, was imitated by Prior, who failed to excel the simple original. Sir Lancelot du Lake, the Heir of Linne, King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid, Tak your Auld Cloak about ye, and numerous others, have enjoyed great popularity. Sir Walter Scott drew his first and strongest poetical inspiration from the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, which he carefully collected and edited. Most of these must be assigned to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but many are older, including what Coleridge termed 'the grand old ballad' of Sir Patrick Spens. James V. of Scotland is the reputed author of two excellent ballads, describing his own roving adventures. In Shakspeare and Beaumont and Fletcher are many fragments of ballads popular in their day, most of which have been collected and published in Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. To this valuable repository and to Scott's Minstrelsy we must refer the reader.

The Deaths of Douglas and Percy.

The ballad of Chevy Chase is supposed to have been written in the time of Henry VI. or between 1422 and 1461. The oldest MS. is in the Bodleian Library, with the name attached of 'Richard Sheale, a ballad-singer or reciter of the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth. In the following extract, we have simplified the spelling, which in the original is careless and uncouth.

At last the Douglas and the Percy met,

Like to captains of might and of main; They swapt together till they both swat, With swords that were of fine Milan.

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That woman's faith is, as who sayeth, All utterly decayed;

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