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THE PROLOUG

OF

THE TENTH BUIK




HIE plasmatour of thingis vniuersall,
Thou renewar of kynd, that creat all,
Incomprehensabill thy warkis ar to consaive,
Quhilk grantit hes to euery wyght to haue
Quhat thing mast ganis onto hys governall.

Quhou mervallus beyn divisions of thi gracis,
Distribut so to ilk thing in all placis !
The son to schyne our all, and schaw his lyght,
The day to laubour, for rest thou ordanyt nycht ;
For diuers causys schupe seir sessionis and spacis.

Fresche veir to burgioun herbis and sweit flouris ;
The hait symmyr to nurys corn all houris,
And breid all kynd of fowlis, fysch, and beste ;
Hervyst to rendir hys frutis maiste and leste :
Wyntyr to snyb the erth wyth frosty schouris.

Nocht at thou neidyt ocht, all thing thou wrocht,
Bot to that fyne thou maid all thing of nocht,
Of thi gudnes to be participant ;
Thy Godhed na rychar, nor ʒit mar skant,
Noudir now nor than, set thou ws wrocht and bocht.

Thy maist supreme indiuisible substance,
In ane natur thre personis, but discrepans,
Regnand etern, ressauis nane accident ;
For quhy ? thou art rycht at this tym present
It at thou was, and evir sal, but varians.

Set our natur God lies to hym vnyte,
Hys Godhed incommixt remanis perfyte,
The son of God havand verray naturis tuane
In a person, and thre personis all ane
In deite, natur, maieste, and delyte.

The Son the self thing with the Fader is ;
The self substans the Haly Gaist, I wys,
Is with thame baith ; thre distinct personage,
Ar, war, and be sall, evyr of ane age,
Omnipotent, a Lord, equale in blys.

Quhilk souerane substans, in gre superlative,
Na cunnyng comprehend may nor discrive ;
Nowther generis, generat is, nor doith proceid,
Allane begynnar of euery thing, but dreid,
And in the self remanis etern on live.

The Fader, of nane generat, creat, ne boyr,
His only Son engendris evirmoir ;
Nocht makis, creatis, bot engendris all way
Of his substans ; and all tyme of baith twa
Procedis the Haly Gaist, equal in glor.

Of baith from ane begynning, procedis he ;
So bene the warkis of the Trinite
Maist excellent, and wondirfull to consave :
Ʒit thame to traiste the mayr merite we haue,
That be na manis ressoun prevyt may thai be.

The Fader knawys hym self, quhilk knawlege spredis
Be generatioun etern, that evir bredis
His Son, his word and wysdom eternall :
Betwix thir twa is luf perpetuall,
Quhilk is the Haly Gaist fra baith procedis.

Not at the Faderis natur mynyst is,
Of hys substans he generis his Son in blys ;
Ne so the Son of hys kynd is ybor,
That he a part hes tharof, and na mor ;
Bot all he gevys his Son, and all is his.

The ilk thing he hym gevis, that he remanis :
Thys syngill substans indifferently thus ganis
To thre in ane, and ilk ane of the thre
The sammyn thing is in a maieste,
Thocht thir personis be seuerall in thre granis.

Lik as the sawle of man is ane, we wait,
Havand thre poweris distinct and separate,
Vnderstanding, raison, and memor.
Intelligens consideris the thing befor,
Rayson decernis, memor kepis the consait.

As thai beyn in a substance knyt all thre,
Thre personys ringis in a Deite.
We may tak als ane other similitude,
Grosly the sammyn purpos to conclude,
Flame, lycht, and heyt bene in a fyre we se.

Quhayr euyr the low is, lycht and heit bene thar ;
And had the fyre bene byrnand euermayr,
Evyr suld the flambe engendrit haue hys lyght,
And of the byrnand low the flambis brycht
Perpetualy suld heyt haue sprung alquhayr.

So generis the Fader the Son with hym etern ;
From baith procedis the Haly Gaist coetern.
Thus rude exemplis and figuris may we geif ;
Thocht, God by his awin creaturis to preif,
War mayr onlyknes than lyknes to decern.

Frend, ferly nocht, na caus is to complene,
Albeit thi wyt gret God may nocht attene ;
For, mycht thou comprehend be thine engyne
The maist excellent maieste devyne,
He mycht be reput a pretty God and mene.

Consider thy ressoune is so febyll and lyte,
And hys knawlege profund and infynyte.
Consider quhou he is onmensurabyll :
Him, as he is, to knaw thou art not abyll ;
It sufficis the beleif thy crede perfyte.

God is, I grant, in all thing nocht includyt ;
Gevis all gudnes, and is of nocht denudyt ;
Of hym hes all thing part, and he nocht mynist ;
Hail he is alquhayr, nocht diuidit, ne fynist ;
Wythout all thing he is, and nocht excludyt.

O Lord, thy ways beyn investigabill !
Sweit Lord, thy self is sa inestimabill,
I can write nocht bot wondris of thy mycht,
That lawit sa far thy maiestie and hycht
To be born man intill ane oxis stabill.

Thou tuke mankynd of ane onwemmyt mayd,
Inclosit within a virginis bosum glaid,
Quham all the hevynnys mycht nevyr comprehend;
Angellis, scheipherdis, and kingis thy Godhed kend,
Set thou in cryb betwix twa bestis was laid.

Quhat infynite excellent hie bonte
Abufe thy warkis all, in wonderfull gre !
Lord, quhen thou man wrocht to thine awin ymage,
That tynt him self throu hys fulych dotage,
Thou man becam, and deit to mak hym fre.

Mayd thou nocht man first president vnder the,
To dant the bestis, fowlis, and fysch in see ;
Subdewit to him the erth, and all tharin ;
Syne paradice grantit hym and all his kyn,
Gave hym fre wyll, and power nevir to dee ?

Enarmyt hym wyth ressoun and prudence ;
Only bad hym kepe thyne obedience,
And to hym suld all creaturis obey ?
Bittyr was that frute for his ofspring, and fey,
Mayd deid onknawin be fund, and lyfe go hens.

O thine inestimable luf and cheritie !
Becom a thrall to mak ws bondis fre,
To quykkin thy sclavys tholit schamfull ded maiste fell.
Blyssyt be thou virginal frute, that hereit hell,
And payit the pryce of the forbodin tre !

Thocht thou large stremys sched apon the rude,
A drop had bene sufficient of thy blude,
A thousand warldis to haue redemyt, I grant ;
Bot thou the well of mercy wald nocht skant,
Ws to provok to luf the, and be gude.

Our all this syne, thine infynite Godhed,
Thy flesch and blude in form of wyne and breid,
To be our fude of grace, in plege of glor,
Thou hest ws geif, in perpetuall memor
Of thy passioun and dolorus panefull deid.

Quhat thankis dew or ganeʒeld, Lord benyng,
May I, maist wrachit synfull catyve inding,
Rendir for this souerane peirles hie bonte ?
Sen body, saule, and all, I haue of the,
Thou art my pryce, mak me thy praye conding.

My makar, my redemar, and support,
Fra quham all grace and gudnes cumis at schort,
Grant me that grace my mysdedis til amend,
Of this and all my warkis to mak gud end :
Thus I beseik the, Lord, thus I exhort.

From the, begynning and end be of my muse :
All other Jove and Phebus I refus.
Lat Virgyll hald his mawmentis to hym self;
I wirschip noder idoll, stok, nor elf,
Thocht furth I wryte so as myne autour dois.

Is nane bot thou, the Fader of Goddis and men,
Omnipotent eternal Jove I ken.
Only the, helply fader, thar is nane vther :
I compt nocht of thir paygane Goddis a fudder,
Quhais power may nocht help a haltand hen.

The scripture clepis the God, of Goddis Lord ;
For quha thy mandat kepys, in ane accord,
Bene ane wyth the, nocht in substans, bot grace,
And we our Fader the clepis in euery place :
Mak ws thy sonnys in cherite, but discord.

Thow haldis court our cristall hevynnis cleyr,
With angellis, sanctis, and hevynly spretis seyr, 10
That, but cessing, thy glor and loving singis :
Manifest to the, and patent, bene all thingis ;
Thy spous, and queyn maid, and thy moder deyr.

Concord for ever, myrth, rest, and endles blys,
Na feyr of hell, nor dreid of deyd, thar is
In thy sweit realm, nor na kynd of ennoy ;
Bot all weilfair, eys, and euerlestand joy,
Quhais hie plesance, Lord, lat ws neuer mys ! Amen.

Finis Prologi Decimi Libri.