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And eke the heavenly portis chrystalline
About the year 1529, the king knighted Lyndsay, Upwarps braid, the warld till illumine ;
and appointed him Chief Herald, or Lyon King The twinkling streamers of the orient
of Arms. Some years previously, the poet had Shed purpour spraings, with gold and azure ment.
married a lady, Janet Douglas, who held the office Under the bowis bene in lovely vales,
of sempstress to the king, with an annual fee or Within fermance and parkis close of pales,
pension of ten pounds. He seems to have posThe busteous buckis rakis furth on raw,
sessed talents for public business, as he was Herdis of hertis through the thick wood-shaw. The young fawns followand the dun daes,
employed on commercial missions to Flanders Kids, skippand through, runnis after raes.
and Denmark, and on various royal messages In lyssurs and on leyis, little lambs
and embassies, besides representing the burgh of Full tait and trig socht bletand to their dams.
Cupar in parliament in 1544-46. In his latter On salt streams walk Dorida and Thetis,
days, he retired to his seat, the Mount, where By rinnand strandis, Nymphis and Naiadis,
he died some time previous to the 18th of April Sic as we clepe wenches and damysels,
1555, when his brother succeeded to the entailed In gersy groves? wanderand by spring wells;
estate. The antiquated dialect, prolix narrative, Of bloomed branches and flowers white and red,
and frequent indelicacy of Lyndsay's writings, have Plettand their lusty chaplets for their head.
thrown them into the shade ; but they abound in Some sang ring-sanges, dances, leids, and rounds, With voices shrill, while all the dale resounds.
racy pictures of the times, in humorous and Whereso they walk into their caroling,
burlesque description, and in keen and cutting
satire." There are also passages evincing poetical For amorous lays does all the rockis ring, Ane sang : 'The ship sails oure the salt faem,
fancy and elevation of feeling. He lashed the Will bring the merchants and my leman hame.'3
vices of the clergy even with greater boldness Some other sings : ‘I will be blythe and licht, than Skelton, and from his public position and My heart is lent upon so goodly wicht.'3
the openness of his satire and invective, he must And thoughtful lovers rounis 4 to and fro,
materially have advanced the Reformed doctrines. To leis: their pain, and plein their jolly woe. He appears to have been sincerely and strongly After their guise, now singand, now in sorrow, attached to this cause, and was one of the influWith heartis pensive the lang summer's morrow. ential Reformers who urged Knox to become a Some ballads list indite of his lady;
preacher. That he escaped the vengeance of the Some livis in hope; and some all utterly
church in the early part of his career, must be Despairit is, and sae quite out of grace,
attributed to the partiality entertained for him by His purgatory he finds in every place. • Dame Nature's menstrals, on that other part,
the king, and to the broad humour and indelicacy Their blissful bay intoning every art,
mixed up with his satire, which could not fail to And all small fowlis singis on the spray,
be relished by that voluptuous monarch. James Welcome the lord of licht, and lampe of day,
also shewed some magnanimity in overlooking Welcome fosterer of tender herbis green,
the satirical shafts of Lyndsay directed against Welcome quickener of flouriest flouirs sheen,
his own 'pleasant vices' and defects. With the Welcome support of every root and vein,
bulk of his countrymen, Sir David was singularly Welcome comfort of all kind fruit and grain,
popular. His sarcastic lines and shrewd sayings Welcome the birdis bield upon the brier,
passed into proverbs, and are not yet wholly Welcome master and ruler of the year,
banished from the firesides of the peasantry. Welcome weelfare of husbands at the plows,
The works of Sir David Lyndsay were edited Welcome repairer of woods, trees, and bows, Welcome depainter of the bloomit meads,
by Mr George Chalmers, and published in three Welcome the life of every thing that spreads,
volumes (London, 1806). A new edition, revised Welcome storer of all kind bestial,
by Mr David Laing, and somewhat curtailed, Welcome be thy bricht beamis, gladdnan all !
appeared in two volumes (Edinburgh, 1871). The poet's first production, The Dreme, was written
about the year 1528. This was followed by The SIR DAVID LYNDSAY.
Complaynt to the King, evidently written in 1529; The celebrated Lyon King of Arms, SIR DAVID and The Testament and Complaynt of our SoveLYNDSAY of the Mount, was born, about the year rane Lordis Papyngo, Kyng James the Fyft, 1530. 1490, at the paternal seat in the parish of (The papyngo or popinjay is the old English name Monimail, Fifeshire. He was educated at the of the parrot.) These three works consist chiefly university of St Andrews, was early employed at of observations on the state and government of the court of James IV.; and in 1511-12 had a the kingdom during two of its dismal minorities. salary of forty pounds. He was in attendance on the other principal works of Lyndsay are: An the king at the church of St Michael, Linlithgow, Answer to the King's Flyting, 1536; The Deplorwhen a supposed apparition warned the monarch ation of the Death of Queen Magdalene, 1537; against passing to England on his fatal project Ane Supplication directît to the Kingis Grace, in of invasion-an incident graphically delineated in contemptioun of Syde Taillis, 1538 ; Kitties ConScott's Marmion. Lyndsay became the usher fessioun (a satire on auricular confession), 1541 ; and companion of the young prince, afterwards | The Tragedie of the Cardinall (Beaton), 1546 ; James V.
The Historie and Testament of Squyer William As ane chapman bears his pack,
Meldrum, about 1550; Ane Dialog betuir ExperiI bore thy Grace upon my back;
ence and ane Courteour, of the miserabyll estait of And sometimes stridlings on my neck, the World, 1553; and Ane Pleasant Satyre of the Dancing with mony bend and beck.
Thrie Estaitis. This last work is a rude dramatic The first syllables that thou did mute
composition, a satire upon the whole of the three Was Pa, Da, Lyn.
political orders—monarch, barons, and clergy-full 1 Grassy groves.
of humour and grossness, and curiously illustrative 4 Whisper. 5 Relieve.
of the taste of the times. Notwithstanding its
pungency, and, what is apt to be now more surpris- Because the matter been so vile,
To hear me with great patience :
Of stinking weeds maculate in the open air. The performance at Linlithgow
No man nay mak ane rose-chaplet. took place at the feast of Epiphany, January 6,
Sovereign, I mean of thir syde tails,
Whilk through the dust and dubs trails 1539-40, in the presence of the king, queen, the
Three quarters lang behind their heels, ladies of the court, the bishops, and a great con
Express again' all commonweals. course of people of all ranks. "It is probable that Though bishops, in their pontificals, some of the coarser passages were written, as Have men for to bear up their tails, Chalmers supposes, for the amusement of the For dignity of their office; lower classes during the intervals, when the chief Richt so ane queen or ane empress ; auditory had retired for refreshments. The His- Howbeit they use sic gravity, torie of Squyer Meldrum is perhaps the most Conformand to their majesty, pleasing of all Lyndsay's works. It is founded on Though their robe-royals be upborne, the adventures of a well-known person in Fife
I think it is ane very scorn, shire, William Meldrum, the laird of Cleish and
That every lady of the land
Should have her tail so syde trailand; Binns, who served in France during the war in
Howbeit they been of high estate, 1513, and on his return to Scotland was noted for
The queen they should nocht counterfeit. his spirit and gallantry. It is considered the last poem that in any degree partakes of the char- Wherever they go it may be seen acter of the old metrical romance. The Dialogue How kirk and causay they soop clean. betwixt Experience and a Courtier is otherwise The images into the kirk described as The Monarchie, and is an elaborate
May think of their syde taillis irk ;2 compendium of events in sacred and profane
For when the weather been maist fair,
The dust flies highest in the air, history, in the course of which the poet inveighs
And all their faces does begarie. against the corruptions of the church of Rome.
Gif they could speak, they wald them warie,3 .. of the dexterity with which Lyndsay could
But I have maist into despite point a satirical remark on an error of state-policy, Poor claggocks clad in raploch white, we may judge from the following very brief passage Whilk has scant twa merks for their fees, of his early work, the Complaynt, which refers to Will have twa ells beneath their knees. the revolution in the Scottish government during Kittock that cleckit was yestreen, the year 1524, when the king was twelve years of The morn, will counterfeit the queen : age, and the Douglases gained the ascendency. And Moorland Meg, that milked the yowes, We give the lines in the original orthography, from Claggit with clay aboon the hows, the text of Chalmers :
In barn nor byre she will not bide,
Without her kirtle tail be syde. Imprudentlie, lyk wytles fuilis,
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,
Norwald cleid fifty score of freirs. : .
Of tails I will no more indite,
For dread some duddron? me despite :
Notwithstanding, I will conclude,
That of syde tails can come nae gude,
Sider nor may their ankles hide,
The remanent proceeds of pride,
And pride proceeds of the devil,
Thus alway they proceed of evil.
Ane other fault, sir, may be seen
They hide their face all but the een ; Satire on the Syde Tails, or Long Dresses, of the Ladies. When gentlemen bid them gude-day, Directed to the King's Grace, 1538.
Without reverence they slide away.
Without their faults be soon amended,
My Ayting, 8 sir, shall never be ended ;
But wald your Grace my counsel tak,
Ane proclamation ye should mak,
Baith through the land and burrowstouns,
To shaw their face and cut their gowns.
3 Curse or cry out 1 Whole, entire. 2 Merchandise or freight, and mariners. 4 Draggle-tails. 5 Hatched.
8 Scolding, brawling. 9 Burgh towns. 4
Women will say, this is nae bourds,
Here is ane relic, lang and braid,
Of Fin-mac-Coul the right chaft blade,
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 We subjoin a few passages from the Satire of Whaever beis hangit with this cord, the Three Estates, partly modernising the spelling.
Needs never to be drowned !
The culum 2 of Sanct Bride's cow,
The gruntle 3 of Sanct Antone's sow,
Whilk bore his haly bell : And I shall declare you the black verity.
Whaever he be hears this bell clink My father was ane auld man and ane hoar,
Give me ane ducat for till drink, And was of age fourscore of years and more.
He shall never gang to hellAnd Mald, my mother, was fourscore and fifteen,
Without he be of Belial born : And with my labour I did them baith sustein.
Masters, trow ye that this be scorn? We had ane mare that carried salt and coal,
Come, win this pardon, come ! And every ilk 4 year, she brocht us hame ane foal.
Wha loves their wives nocht with their heart, We had three kye, that was baith fat and fair,
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 ? And there began my poverty and woe.
Come take my dispensation ; Our gude gray mare was battened on the field,
Of that cummer I shall make you quit, And our land's laird took her for his hyreild.5
Howbeit yourselves be in the wyte, The vicar took the best cow by the head,
And make ane false narration. Incontinent, when my father was dead.
Come win the pardon! Now let see, And when the vicar heard tell how that my mother
For meal, for malt, or for moneyWas dead, frae hand, he took to him ane other :
For cock, hen, goose, or grise,
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, But with my bairns passed for till beg my meat.
And he her drounit into the quarry holes ; Now, have I tauld you the black verity,
And I ran to the Consistory, for to pleinzie, 5. How I am brocht into this misery.
And there I happenit amang ane greedie meinzie. Diligence. How did the parson? was he not thy
They gave me first ane thing they call citendum ; friend?
Within aucht days I gat but libellandum; Pauper. The devil stick him ! he cursed me for my Within ane month I gat ad opponendum ; teind,
In half ane year I gat inter-loquendum, And halds me yet under that same process
And syne I gat-how call ye it?-ad replicandum; That gart me want the sacrament at Pasche. 10
But I could never ane word yet understand him : In gude faith, sir, though he would cut my throat, And then they gart me cast out many placks? I have na gear, except ane English groat,
And gart me pay for four-and-twenty acts. Whilk I purpose to give ane man of law.
But or they came half gate to concludendum, Diligence. Thou art the daftest 11 fuil that ever I saw ;
The fiend ane plack was left for to defend him. Trow'st thou, man, by the law, to get remead
Thus they postponed me twa year with their train, Of men of kirk? Na, nocht till thou be dead.
Syne, hodie ad octo, bad me come again : Pauper. Sir, by what law, tell me, wherefore or why
And then thir rooks they roupit 8 wonder fast That ane vicar should take frae me three kye?
For sentence, silver, they cryit at the last. Diligence. They have na law except consuetude,
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 Speech of the Pardoner.
obtained some notoriety from having carried on a My patent pardons ye may see,
Ayting or altercation with Dunbar in rhyme. The Come frae the Khan of Tartarie,
productions on both sides are coarse and scurWeel sealed with oyster-shells;
rilous, though there was probably as much mirth Though ye have no contrition,
as malice at the bottom of the affair. Most of Ye shall have full remission,
these pieces, with several anonymous poems of no With help of buiks and bells.
small merit, were preserved in the Maitland and
i Scoffs, jests. 2 Cleanse.
4 Each. 5 A fine extorted by a superior on the death of his tenant. 6 Catched hold of. 7 Uppermost. 8 Coarse woollen gray cloth. 9 Tithe. 10 Easter. 11 Maddest.
12 St Giles.
i Jaw-bone. ? The tail, the fundament. 3 The snout.
6 Company, crew.
Bannatyne manuscripts of the sixteenth century. These worthy freckys 1 for to fight
Till the blood out of their basnets sprent ? poetry, in two volumes, ending with the year 1585.
As ever did hail or rain. These precious volumes were preserved in the
"Yield thee, Percy !' said the Douglas, Pepysian Library, in Magdalene College, Cam
And i' faith I shall thee bring bridge. The Bannatyne manuscript contains a Where thou shalt have an earl's wages similar collection made by George Bannatyne, a Of Jamie our Scottish king. merchant of Edinburgh, in the year 1568, when the prevalence of the plague compelled men in
“Thou shalt have thy ransom free, business to forsake their usual employments and
I hight thee hear this thing ;
For the manfullest man yet art thou retire to the country. In a valedictory address at the end of this compilation (containing upwards of
That ever I conquered in field-fighting.' 800 pages), Bannatyne says:
'Nay,' said the Lord Percy, Heir endis this Buik writtin in tyme of pest,
I told it thee beforn, Quhen we fra labour was compeld to rest.
That I would never yielded be
To ng man of a woman born.' A judicious selection from Bannatyne's manuscript was published by Lord Hailes in 1770, accom
With that there cam an arrow hastily panied with valuable notes and a glossary.
Forth of a mighty wane,
In at the breast-bane.
Thorough liver and lungs baith The early ballads of England and Scotland have The sharp arrow is gane, justly been admired for their rude picturesque That never after in all his life-days energy and simple pathos. Some of them-as He spake mo words but ane; those relating to King Arthur, St George of That was: 'Fight ye, my merry men, whiles ye may, England, Sir Gawaine, &c.--are of great antiquity, For my life-days be gane.' and refer to a period before the formal institu
The Percy leaned on his brand, tion of chivalry. Others of later date, whether em
And saw the Douglas dee ; bodying historical events, traditional romance, or
He took the dead man be the hand, domestic tragedies, illustrate the times in which
And said : Wo is me for thee! they were composed, though often altered and vulgarised in their progress downwards by recitation. 'To have saved thy life, I would have parted with Sir Philip Sidney said the old ballad of Chevy My lands for years three, Chase stirred him up like the sound of a trumpet ;
For a better man of heart nor of hand and the classic Addison devoted two papers in
Was not in all the north countrie.' the Spectator to a critique on a more modern
Of all that saw, a Scottish knight, version of the same artless but heroic metrical
Was called Sir Hugh the Montgomery, story. The ballads on the famous outlaw, Robin
He saw the Douglas to the death was dight,
He spended a spear, a trusty tree.
A hundred archery,
He never stinted nor never blane 4 Maid, Tak your Auld Cloak about ye, and num
Till he came to the good Lord Percy. erous others, have enjoyed great popularity. Sir Walter Scott drew his first and strongest poetical
He set upon the Lord Percy inspiration from the Minstrelsy of the Scottish A dint that was full sore, Border, which he carefully collected and edited. With a sure spear of a mighty tree Most of these must be assigned to the sixteenth Clean thorough the body he Percy bore, and seventeenth centuries, but many are older,
At the other side that a man might see including what Coleridge termed the grand old
A large cloth-yard and mair: ballad' of Sir Patrick Spens. James V. of Scot
Two better captains were not in Christiantie land is the reputed author of two excellent ballads,
Than that day slain were there. describing his own roving adventures. In Shakspeare and Beaumont and Fletcher are many As a specimen of the modernised ballad, supposed fragments of ballads popular in their day, most of to be of the time of Elizabeth or James, we quote which have been collected and published in Percy's a few stanzas, describing the death of Douglas : Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. To this the line we have printed in italics is a touch of valuable repository and to Scott's Minstrelsy we genius not in the old ballad: must refer the reader.
With that there came an arrow keen
Out of an English bow,
Which struck Earl Douglas to the heart, the time of Henry VI. or between 1422 and 1461. The oldest MS.
A deep and deadly blow : is in the Bodleian Library, with the name attached of 'Richard Sheale, a ballad-singer or reciter of the reigns of Mary and Eliza- Who never spoke more words than thesebeth. In the following extract, we have simplified the spelling,
* Fight on, my merry men all; which in the original is careless and uncouth.
For why, my life is at an end, At last the Douglas and the Percy met,
Lord' Percy sees my fall.' Like to captains of might and of main ;
1 Men (Ang.-Sax. freca, a man). They swapt together till they both swat,
3 Ane, one man With swords that were of fine Milan.
2 Out of their helmets spirted.
4 Ceased (Ang.-Sax, blinnan, linnan, to cease).
Then leaving strife, Earl Percy took
The dead man by the hand; And said: 'Earl Douglas, for thy life,
Would I had lost my land ! "O Christ! my very heart doth bleed
With sorrow for thy sake;
Mischance did never take.'
Sir Patrick Spens.* The king sits in Dunfermline town,
Drinking the blude-red wine ;
To sail this ship of mine?'
Sat at the king's right knee-
That ever sailed the sea.'
And sealed it with his hand,
Was walking on the strand. *To Noroway, to Noroway,
To Noroway o'er the faem; The king's daughter of Noroway,
'Tis thou maun bring her hame.' The first word that Sir Patrick read,
Sae loud loud laughed he;
The tear blinded his e'e.
And tauld the king o' me,
To sail upon the sea ?
Our ship maun sail the faem;
'Tis we must fetch her hame. They hoysed their sails on Monenday morn,
Wi' a' the speed they may;
Upon a Wodensday.
In Noroway, but twae,
Began aloud to say
And a' our queenis see.' Ye lie, ye lie, ye liars loud !
Fu' loud I hear ye lie; 'For I ha'e brought as much white monie
As gane my men and me,
Out o'er the sea wi' me.
Our gude ship sails the morn.'
"I saw the new moon, late yestreen,
Wi' the auld moon in her arm;
I fear we'll come to harm.'
A league but barely three,
And gurly grew the sea.
It was sic a deadly storm;
Till a' her sides were torn.
To take my helm in hand,
To see if I can spy land ?' "O here am I, a sailor gude,
To take the helm in hand, Till you go to the tall top-mast;
But I fear you'll ne'er spy land.'
A step but barely ane,
And the salt sea it came in.
Another o' the twine,
And let nae the sea come in.'
Another o' the twine,
But still the sea came in.
To weet their cork-heeled shoon!
They wat their hats aboon.
That floated on the faem;
That never mair cam hame.
The maidens tore their hair,
For them they'll see nae mair.
Wil their fans into their hand,
Come sailing to the strand !
With their goud kaims in their hair,
For them they'll see nae mair. Half owre, half owre to Aberdour,
'Tis fifty fathoms deep, And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,
Wi' the Scots lords at his feet.
I fear a deadly storm!
* Supposed to refer to the incident thus related by Fordun: 'In the year 1281, Margaret, daughter of Alexander III. was married to the king of Norway; who leaving Scotland on the last day of July, was conveyed thither in noble style, in company with many knights and nobles. In returning home after the celebration of her nuptials, the Abbot of Balmerinoch, Bernard of Monte-Alto, and many other persons were drowned.' 1 Next.
2 Bushel. 52
The Nut-brown Maid. The long and interesting ballad of the Nut-brown Maid was first printed in Arnold's Chronicle about 1502, then reprinted in The Muses' Mercury, 1707, and afterwards formed the groundwork of Prior's Henry and Emma. The object of old author was to prove that the faith of woman is stronger than worldly men believe.
I say not nay, but that all day
It is both writ and said
All utterly decayed ;