Gavin Douglas poems

Gavin Douglas(1474 - September 1522 / Scotland)
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The Aeneid (excerpts)

- by Gavin Douglas 39

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Laude, honor, prasingis, thankis infynite
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To the, and thi dulce ornate fresch endite,
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Mast reverend Virgill, of Latyne poetis prince,
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Gemme of ingine and fluide of eloquence,
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Thow peirles perle, patroun of poetrie,
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Rois, register, palme, laurer, and glory,
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Chosin cherbukle, cheif flour and cedir tree,
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Lanterne, leidsterne, mirrour, and a per se,
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Master of masteris, sweit sours and springand well,
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Wyde quhar our all ringis thi hevinle bell:
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I mene thi crafty werkis curious,
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Sa quik, lusty, and mast sentencious,
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Plesable, perfyte, and felable in all degre,
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As quha the mater held to foir thar ee;
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In every volume quhilk the list do write,
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Surmonting fer all uther maneir endite,
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Lyk as the rois in June with hir sueit smell
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The marygulde or dasy doith excell.
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Quhy suld I than, with dull forhede and vane,
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With ruide engine and barrand emptive brane,
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With bad harsk speche and lewit barbour tong,
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Presume to write quhar thi sueit bell is rong,
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Or contirfait sa precious wourdis deir?
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Na, na, nocht sua, bot knele quhen I thame heir.
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For quhat compair betuix midday and nycht,
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Or quhat compare betuix myrknes and lycht,
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Or quhat compare is betuix blak and quhyte,
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Far gretar diference betuix my blunt endyte
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And thi scharp sugurat sang Virgiliane,
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Sa wyslie wrocht with nevir ane word in vane;
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My waverand wit, my cunnyng feble at all,
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My mynd mysty, thir ma nocht myss ane fall.
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Stra for this ignorant blabring imperfyte
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Beside thi polyte termis redemyte;
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And no the les with support and correctioun,
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For naturall luife and freindfull affectioun
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Quhilkis I beir to thi werkis and endyte,
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Althocht, God wait, I knaw tharin full lyte,
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And that thi facund sentence mycht be song
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In our langage als weill as Latyne tong--
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Alswele, na, na, impossible war,per de,
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Yit with your leif, Virgill, to follow the,
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I wald into my rurale vulgar gros,
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Write sum savoring of thi Eneados.
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Bot sair I drede for to distene the quyte,
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Throu my corruptit cadens imperfyte;
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Distene the, na forsuith, that ma I nocht,
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Weill ma I schaw my burell busteous thocht;
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Bot thi work sall enduire in laude and glory,
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Bot spot or falt, conding eterne memory.
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Thocht I offend, onhermit is thine fame,
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Thyne is the thank, and myne sal be the shame.

...

THE FIRST BUIK OF ENEADOSCAP. XII
Eneas first excusis him, and syne
Addressis to rehers Troys rwyne.

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Thai ceissit all at anis incontinent,
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With mowthis clois, and visage takand tent.
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Prince Eneas, frome the hie bed, with that,
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Into his seige riall quhar he sat,
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Begouth and said: Thi desyir, lady, is
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Renewing of ontellable sorow, I wis,
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To schaw how Grekis did spuilye and destroy
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The greit riches and lamentable realm of Troy,
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And huge misery quhilk I thair beheld,
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Quharof myself ane greit part bair and feld;
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Quhat Marmidon, or Gregion Dolopes,
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Or knycht wageor to cruell Ulixes,
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Sic materes to rehers, or yit to heir,
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Mycht thaime contene fra weping mony ane teir?
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And now the hevin ourquhelmis the donk nycht,
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Quhen the declining of the sternis brycht
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To sleip and rest perswades our appetite;
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But sen thou hes sic plesour and delite
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To knaw our chance, and fall of Troy in weir,
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And schortlie the last end thairof wald heir,
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Albeit my spreit abhorris, and doth grise
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Thairon for to ramembir, and oft sise
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Murnand eschewis thairfra with greit diseis,
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Yit than I sall begyne yow for to pleis.

Finis Libri Primi.

Conscience

- by Gavin Douglas 1

QUHEN halie Kirk first flurist in ?outhheid,
Prelatis wer chosin of all perfectioun;
For Conscience than the brydill had to leid,
And Conscience maid the hale electioun,
Syne eftir that come schrewit correctioun,
And thocht that Conscience had our large ane weid,
And of his habite out cuttit thay ane skreid.

And fra Conscience the Con thay clip away,
And maid of Conscience Science and na mair;
Bot ?it the Kirk stude weill, full mony day, 10
For it wes rewlit be mene of wit and layre;
Syn eftir that Sciens began to payr,
And thocht at Sciens was our lang ane jaip,
The Sci away fast can thay rub and scraip;

And fra Sci of Science wes adew,
Than left thai nocht bot this sillab Ens,
Quhilk in our language singnifies that schrew
Riches and geir, that gart all grace go hens;
For Sciens baith and faythfull Consciens
Sa corruptit ar with this warldis gude,
That falset joukis in everie clerkis hude.

O hungrie Ens! cursit with cairis calde,
All kynd of folk constrenis thow to wirk;
For thé that thief Judas his Maister said;
For thé Symon infectit Halie Kirk;
To poysoun Justice thow dois nevir irk;
Thow fals Ens, go hens, thou monsture peralous,
God send Defens with Conscience in till ws!

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