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THE PROLOUG

OF

THE NYNT BUIK




THIR lusty warkis of hie nobilite
Agilyte dyd wryte of worthy clerkis,
And tharin merkis wisdome, vtilite,
Na vilite, nor sic onthryfty sparkis :
Scurrilite is bot for doggis at barkis,
Quha tharto harkis fallis in fragilite.

Honeste is the way to worthynes,
Virtu, doutles, the perfit gait to blys ;
Thou do na mys, and eschew idilnes,
Persew prowes, hald na thing at is his ;
Be nocht rakles to say sone ʒa, I wys,
And syne of this the contrar wyrk expres.

Do tyll ilk wyght as thou done to wald be ;
Be nevir sle and double, nor ʒit our licht ;
Ois nocht thi mycht abuf thyne awin degre,
Clym nevir our hie, nor ʒit to law thow lycht ;
Wirk na malgre, thocht thou be nevir sa wyght,
Hald with the rycht, and preis the nevir to le.

Eneuch of this, ws nedis prech na moyr,
Bot, accordyng the purpos said tofoyr,
The ryall style, clepyt heroycall,
Full of wirschip and nobillnes our all,
Suld be compilit but tenchis or voyd word,
Kepand honest wys sportis quhayr thai bourd,
All lous langage and lychtnes lattand be,
Observand bewte, sentens, and grauite.
The sayar eik suld weil consider this,
His mater, and quhamto it entitillit is,
Eftyr myne authouris wordis ; we aucht tak tent
That baith accord, and bene convenient,
The man, the sentens, and the knychtlik stile,
Sen we mon carp of vassalage a quhile.
Gyf we descryve the woddis, the treis, quod he,
Suld conform to that mannis dignite
Quhamto our wark we direct and endite.
Quhat helpis it ? Full litill it wald delite
To write of scroggis, broym, haddir, or rammale :
The lawrer, cedir, or the palm triumphale,
Ar mayr ganand for nobillis of estait :
The muse suld wyth the person aggre algait.
Stra for to spek of gayt to gentill wyght ;
A hund, a steid, mar langis for a knyght,
Quhamto efferis hant na rebald daile ;
Thar suld na knyght reid bot a knychtly taile.
Quhat forsis him the byssart on the breyr,
Set weil hym semys the falcon heroneyr ?
He comptis na mair the gled than the fewlume,
Thocht weil hym likis the goishalk glaid of plume.
The cur, or mastis, he haldis at small availl,
And culʒeis spanʒellis to chace pertryk or quaill.
Ne byd I nocht into my stile, forthy,
To speke of trufis, nor nane harlotry ;
Sen that myne author with sic eloquens
Hys buke illuimnit hes, and hie sentens
Sa fresche endyte, and sang poeticall,
That it is clepit the wark emperiall,
Endyte onto the gret Octauiane,
The Emperour excelland and maste souerane
By quham, the gospell makis mensioun,
The hail warld put was to discriptioun,
To nomyr all the pepill tharin suld be,
So, but rebellioun, alquhar obeyit was he.
Bot, sen that Virgill standis but compar,
Thocht in our leid hys sayingis to declayr
I haue in ryme thus far furth tane the cuir,
Now war me laith my lang laubour mysfur :
Allthocht my termis be nocht polist alway,
Hys sentence sal I hald as that I may.
Gyf ocht be weill, thank Virgill and nocht me ;
Quhar ocht is bad, gais mys, or owt of gre,
My lewitnes, I grant, hes all the wyte,
Kouth nocht ensew hys ornat fresche endyte,
Bot, wyth fuilhardy curage malapert,
Schup to enterprit, and dyd perchance pervert,
Thys maist renovnit prince of poetry :
Quhar I sa dyd, mea culpa, I cry.
ʒit, by my self, I fynd this proverb perfyte :
The blak craw thinkis hir awin byrdis quhite.
Sa faris with me, bew Schirris, will ʒe hark,
Can nocht persaue a falt in all my wark,
Affectioun sa far my raysson blyndis.
Quhar I mysknaw myne errour, quha it fyndis
For cherite amendis it, gentil wycht,
Syne pardon me, sat sa far in my lycht,
And I sal help to smore ʒour falt, leif brother ;
Thus, vaill que vaill, ilk gude deyd helpis other.
And for I haue my work addressyt and dycht,
I dar sa, baith to gentill barroun and knycht,
Quhais name abufe I haue done notyfy ;
And now of prowes and hie chevelry
Behuffis me to write and carp a quhile,
The mair glaidly I sal enfors my stile,
And for hys saik do scharp my pen all new,
My maste renownyt author to ensew,
That thar sal be, will God, litle offens,
Salvand our bustuus wulgar differens.
     Na mayr as now in preambill me list expone,
The nynt buke thus begouth Eneadon.

Finis Prologi Libri Noni.