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The Devil sae deavit was with their yell, That in the deepest pot of hell,

He smoorit them with smook.

Tidings fra the Session.

[A conversation between two rustics, designed to satirise the proceedings in the supreme civil law court of Scotland.]

Ane muirland man, of upland mak,
At hame thus to his neighbour spak,
What tidings, gossip, peace or weir?
The tother rounit in his ear,

I tell you under this confession,
But lately lichtit off my meare,

I come of Edinburgh fra the Session.
What tidings heard you there, I pray you?
The tother answerit, I sall say you:
Keep well this secret. gentle brother;

Is na man there that trusts another :
Ane common doer of transgression,

Of innocent folk preveens a futher :2
Sic tidings heard I at the Session.
Some with his fallow rouns him to please,
That wald for envy bite aff his nese ;3
His fa' some by the oxter leads;
Some patters with his mouth on beads,

That has his mind all on oppression;
Some becks full law and shaws bare heads,

Wad look full heigh were not the Session.
Some, bydand the law, lays land in wed ;5
Some, super-expended, goes to bed;
Some speeds, for he in court has means;
Some of partiality compleens,

How feid and favour flemis7 discretion;
Some speaks full fair, and falsely feigns:

Sic tidings heard I at the Session.

Some castis summons, and some excepts;
Some stand beside and skailed law kepps;
Some is continued; some wins; some tynes;
Some maks him merry at the wines;

Some is put out of his possession;
Some herried, and on credence dines:

Sic tidings heard I at the Session.
Some swears, and some forsakes God,
Some in ane lamb-skin is ane tod;8
Some in his tongue his kindness turses ;9
Some cuts throats, and some pykes purses;

Some goes to gallows with procession;
Some sains the seat, and some them curses:
Sic tidings heard I at the Session.

Religious men of diverse places
Comes there to woo and see fair faces

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And are unmindful of their profession, The younger at the elder leers:

Sic tidings heard I at the Session.

Of Discretion in Giving.

To speak of gifts and almos deeds:
Some gives for merit, and some for meeds;
Some, wardly honour to uphie;
Some gives to them that nothing needs;
In Giving sould Discretion be.
Some gives for pride and glory vàin ;
Some gives with grudging and with pain;

Some gives on prattick for supplie;
Some gives for twice as gude again:
In Giving sould Discretion be.

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Some gives for thank, and some for threat;
Some gives money, and some gives meat;
Some givis wordis fair and slie;
And gifts fra some may na man treit:
In Giving sould Discretion be.
Some is for gift sae lang required,
While that the craver be so tired,

That ere the gift delivered be,
The thank is frustrate and expired:
In Giving sould Discretion be.
Some gives so little full wretchedly,
That all his gifts are not set by,1

And for a hood-pick halden is he,
That all the warld cries on him, Fye!
In Giving sould Discretion be.
Some in his giving is so large,
That all o'er-laden is his barge;

Then vice and prodigalitie,
There of his honour does discharge:
In Giving sould Discretion be.
Some to the rich gives his gear,
That might his giftis weel forbear;

And, though the poor for fault2 sould die,
His cry not enters in his ear:

In Giving sould Discretion be.
Some gives to strangers with faces new,
That yesterday fra Flanders flew ; 3

And to auld servants list not see,
Were they never of sae great virtue:

In Giving sould Discretion be.
Some gives to them can ask and pleinyie,4
Some gives to them can flatter and feignie;
Some gives to men of honestie,
And halds all janglers at disdenyie :
In Giving sould Discretion be.
Some gettis gifts and rich arrays,
To swear all that his master says,

Though all the contrair weel knaws he;
Are mony sic now in thir days:

In Giving sould Discretion be.
Some gives to gude men for their thews;
Some gives to trumpours and to shrews;
Some gives to knaw his authoritie,
But in their office gude fund in few is:
In Giving sould Discretion be.
Some givis parochines full wide,
Kirks of St Bernard and St Bride,
The people to teach and to o'ersee,
Though he nae wit has them to guide:
In Giving sould Discretion be.
Of Discretion in Taking.
After Giving I speak of Taking,
But little of ony gude forsaking;

Some takes o'er little authoritie,
And some o'er mickle, and that is glaiking :5
In Taking sould Discretion be.
The clerks takes benefices with brawls,
Some of St Peter and some of St Paul's;
Tak he the rents, no care has he,

Suppose the devil tak all their sauls:
In Taking sould Discretion be.

Barons taks fra the tenants puir
All fruit that growis on the fur,


In mails and gersoms6 raisit o'er hie; gars them beg fra door to door:

In Taking sould Discretion be.

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6 Rents and fines of entry.

4 Complain.


pying a prominent place in the history of his country, he died of the plague in London in the year 1522. Douglas shines as an allegorical and descriptive poet. He wants the vigorous sense, and also the graphic force, of Dunbar; while the latter is always close and nervous, Douglas is soft and ver- !! bose. The genius of Dunbar is so powerful, that manner sinks beneath it; that of Douglas is so much matter of culture, that manner is its most striking peculiarity. This manner is essentially scholarly. He employs an immense number of words derived from the Latin, as yet comparatively a novelty in English composition. And even his descriptions of nature involve many ideas, very beautiful in themselves, and very beautifully expressed, but inappropriate to the situation, and obviously introduced merely in accordance with literary fashion.

The principal original composition of Douglas is a long poem, entitled The Palace of Honour. It was designed as an apologue for the conduct of a king. and therefore addressed to James IV. The poet represents himself as seeing, in a vision, a large company travelling towards the Palace of Honour. He joins them, and narrates the particulars of the pilgrimage. The well-known Pilgrim's Progress bears so strong a resemblance to this poem, that Bunyan could scarcely have been ignorant of it. King Hart, the only other long poem of Douglas, presents a metaphorical view of human life. But the most remarkable production of this author was a translation of Virgil's Eneid into Scottish verse, which he executed in the year 1513, being the first version of a Latin classic into any British tongue. It is generally allowed to be a masterly performance, though in too obsolete a language ever to regain its popularity. The original poems, styled prologues, which the translator affixes to each book, are esteemed amongst his happiest pieces.

5 Purple streaks mingled with gold and azure. 6 Yellowish brown. 7 Nostrils.

8 Glittering. * Part of the prologue to the 12th book of the Æneid.

Furth of his palace royal ishit Phoebus,
With golden crown and visage glorious,
Crisp hairs, bricht as chrysolite or topaz;
For whase hue micht nane behald his face.
The auriate vanes of his throne soverane
With glitterand glance o'erspread the oceane;
The largé fludes, lemand all of licht,
But with ane blink of his supernal sicht.
For to behald, it was ane glore to see
The stabled windis, and the calmed sea,
The soft season, the firmament serene,
The loune illuminate air and firth amene.
And lusty Flora did her bloomis spread
Under the feet of Phoebus' sulyart2 steed;
The swarded soil embrode with selcouth3 hues,
Wood and forest, obnumbrate with bews.4
Towers, turrets, kirnals,5 and pinnacles hie,
Of kirks, castles, and ilk fair citie,
Stude painted, every fane, phiol,6 and stage,7
Upon the plain ground by their awn umbrage.
Of Eolus' north blasts havand no dreid,
The soil spread her braid bosom on-breid;
The corn crops and the beir new-braird
With gladsome garment revesting the yerd.8
The prai9 besprent with springand sprouts dispers
For caller humours10 on the dewy nicht
Rendering some place the gerse-piles their licht;
As far as cattle the lang summer's day
Had in their pasture eat and nip away;
And blissful blossoms in the bloomed yerd,
Submits their heids to the young sun's safeguard.
Ivy leaves rank o'erspread the barmkin wall;
The bloomed hawthorn clad his pikis all;
Furth of fresh bourgeons11 the wine grapes ying12
Endland the trellis did on twistis hing;
The loukit buttons on the gemmed trees
O'erspreadand leaves of nature's tapestries;
Soft grassy verdure after balmy shouirs,
On curland stalkis smiland to their flouirs.
The daisy did on-breid her crownal small,
And every flouer unlappit in the dale.
Sere downis small on dentilion sprang,

The young green bloomed strawberry leaves amang;
Jimp jeryflouirs thereon leaves unshet,
Fresh primrose and the purpour violet;
Heavenly lillies, with lockerand toppis white,

Opened and shew their crestis redemite.

Ane paradise it seemed to draw near


Thir galyard gardens and each green herbere
Maist amiable wax the emeraut meads;

Swarmis souchis through out the respand reeds.
Over the lochis and the fludis gray,
Searchand by kind ane place where they should lay.
Phoebus' red fowl,13 his cural crest can steer,
Oft streikand furth his heckle, crawand cleer.
Amid the wortis and the rutis gent
Pickand his meat in alleys where he went,
His wivis Toppa and Partolet him by-
A bird all-time that hauntis bigamy.

The painted pownel4 pacand with plumes gym,
Kest up his tail ane proud plesand wheel-rim,
Ishrouded in his feathering bright and sheen,
Shapand the prent of Argus' hundred een.
Amang the bowis of the olive twists,
Sere small fowls, workand crafty nests,
Endlang the hedges thick, and on rank aiks
Ilk bird rejoicand with their mirthful makes.
In corners and clear fenestres of glass,

Full busily Arachne weavand was,
To knit her nettis and her wobbis slie,
Therewith to catch the little midge or flie.

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So dusty powder upstours in every street,
While corby gaspit for the fervent heat.
Under the bowis bene in lufely 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 leisurs and on leyis, little lambs
Full tait and trig socht bletand to their dams.
On salt streams wolk? Dorida and Thetis,
By rinnand strandis, Nymphis and Naiadis,
Sic as we clepe wenches and damysels,
In gersy graves3 wanderand by spring wells;
Of bloomed branches and flowers white and red,
Plettand their lusty chaplets for their head.
Some sang ring-songes, dances, leids,4 and rounds.
With voices shrill, while all the dale resounds.
Whereso they walk into their caroling,

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For amorous lays does all the rockis ring.
Ane sang, 'The ship sails over the salt faem,
Will bring the merchants and my leman hame."
Some other sings, I will be blythe and licht,
My heart is lent upon so goodly wicht."5
And thoughtful lovers rounis to and fro,
To leis7 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 lay 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 flourist flouirs sheen,
Welcome support of every rute and vein,
Welcome comfort of all kind fruit and grain,
Welcome the birdis beild upon the brier,
Welcome master and ruler of the year,
Welcome weelfare of husbands at the plews,
Welcome repairer of woods, trees, and bews,
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, gladdand all. *


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JOHN SKELTON flourished as a poet in the earlier part of the reign of Henry VIII. He was rector of Dysse, in Norfolk, and chiefly wrote satires upon his own order, for which he was at one time compelled to fly from his charge. The pasquils of Skelton are copious and careless effusions of coarse humour, displaying a certain share of imagination, and much rancour; but he could also assume a more amiable and poetical manner, as in the following canzonet:To Mistress Margaret Hussey.

Merry Margaret,

As midsummer flower,
Gentle as falcon,

Or hawk of the tower;
With solace and gladness,
Much mirth and no madness,
All good and no badness;

So joyously,
So maidenly,
So womanly,
Her demeaning,

2 Sultry.

7 Storey.

12 Young.

9 Meadow. 18 The cock.

10 Cool vapours.

11 Sprouts.

1 Rises in clouds.

5 Songs then popular.

14 The peacock.

2 Walked.

8 Grassy groves. Whisper. 7 Relieve.

• Lays.

8 Shelter.

In everything,
Far, far passing
That I can indite,
Or suffice to write,
Of merry Margaret,
As midsimmer flower,
Gentle as falcon
Or hawk of the tower;
As patient and as still,
And as full of goodwill,
As fair Isiphil,
Sweet Pomander,
Good Cassander;
Stedfast of thought,

Well made, well wrought
Far may be sought,
Ere you can find
So courteous, so kind,
As merry Margaret,
This midsimmer flower,
Gentle as falcon,

Or hawk of the tower.


From Chaucer, or at least from James I., the writers of verse in England had displayed little of the grace and elevation of true poetry. At length a worthy successor of those poets appeared in Thomas Howard, eldest son of the Duke of Norfolk, and usually denominated the EARL OF SURREY. This nobleman was born in 1516. He was educated at Windsor, in company with a natural son of the

Howard, Earl of Surrey.

king, and in early life became accomplished, not only in the learning of the time, but in all kinds of courtly and chivalrous exercises. Having travelled into Italy, he became a devoted student of the poets of that country-Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Ariosto--and formed his own poetical style upon theirs. His poetry is chiefly amorous, and, notwithstanding his having been married in early life, much of it consists of the praises of a lady whom he names Geraldine, supposed to have been a daughter of the Earl of Kildare. Surrey was a gallant soldier as well as a poet, and conducted an important expedition, in 1542, for the devastation of the Scottish borders. He finally fell under the displeasure of Henry VIII., and was beheaded on Tower Hill in 1547. The poetry of Surrey is remarkable for a flowing melody,

correctness of style, and purity of expression; he was the first to introduce the sonnet and blank verse into English poetry. The gentle and melancholy pathos of his style is well exemplified in the verses which he wrote during his captivity in Windsor Castle, when about to yield his life a sacrifice to tyrannical caprice :

Prisoner in Windsor, he recounteth his Pleasure there passed.

So cruel prison how could betide, alas !

As proud Windsor? where I, in lust and joy, With a king's son, my childish years did pass, In greater feast than Priam's son of Troy: Where each sweet place returns a taste full sour! The large green courts where we were wont to hove, With eyes cast up into the Maiden Tower,

And easy sighs such as folk draw in love.

The stately seats, the ladies bright of hue;
The dances short, long tales of great delight,
With words and looks that tigers could but rue,
Where each of us did plead the other's right.
The palm-play, where, despoiled for the game;
Have missed the ball and got sight of our dame,
With dazed eyes oft we by gleams of love,
To bait her eyes, which kept the leads above.
The gravel ground, with sleeves tied on the helm
Of foaming horse,2 with swords and friendly hearts;
With cheer, as though one should another whelm,
Where we have fought, and chased oft with darts;
With silver drops the mead yet spread for ruth,
In active games of nimbleness and strength,
Where we did strain, trained with swarms of youth,
Our tender limbs that yet shot up in length:
The secret groves which oft we made resound,
Of pleasant plaint, and of our ladies' praise,
Recording oft what grace each one had found,
What hope of speed what dread of long delays:
The wild forest, the clothed holts with green,
With reins availed3 and swift ybreathed horse;
With cry of hounds and merry blasts between,
Where we did chase the fearful hart of force.
The wide vales, eke, that harboured us each night,
Wherewith, alas, reviveth in my breast,
The sweet accord such sleeps as yet delight,
The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest:
The secret thoughts imparted with such trust,
The wanton talk, the divers change of play,
The friendship sworn, each promise kept so just;
Wherewith we passed the winter night away.
And with this thought, the blood forsakes the face,
The tears berain my cheeks of deadly hue,
The which, as soon as sobbing sighs, alas,
Upsupped have, thus I my plaint renew:

O place of bliss! renewer of my woes,

Give me accounts, where is my noble fere ;4
Whom in thy walls thou dost each night enclose;
To other leef,5 but unto me most dear:
Echo, alas! that doth my sorrow rue,

Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint.
Thus I alone, where all my freedom grew,
In prison pine with bondage and restraint,
And with remembrance of the greater grief
To banish the less, I find my chief relief.
1 Hover; loiter.


2 A lover tied the sleeve of his mistress on the head of his horse. 3 Reins droppod. 4 Companion. 5 Agreeable.

Description and Praise of his Love Geraldine.

From Tuscan' came my lady's worthy race;
Fair Florence was some time their ancient seat;
The western isle, whose pleasant shore doth face
Wild Camber's cliffs, did give her lively heat:
Fostered she was with milk of Irish breast;

Her sire, an earl; her dame of princes' blood:
From tender years, in Britain she doth rest

With king's child, where she tasteth costly food. Hunsdon did first present her to mine een :

Bright is her hue, and Geraldine she hight: Hampton me taught to wish her first for mine:

And Windsor, alas, doth chase me from her sight. Her beauty of kind, her virtues from above; Happy is he that can obtain her love!

How no age is content with his own estate, and how the age of children is the happiest, if they had skill to understand it.

Laid in my quiet bed,

In study as I were,

I saw within my troubled head,

A heap of thoughts appear.

And every thought did show

So lively in mine eyes,

That now I sighed, and then I smiled, As cause of thoughts did rise.

I saw the little boy,

In thought how oft that he

Did wish of God, to scape the rod,
A tall young man to be.

The young man eke that feels

His bones with pains opprest, How he would be a rich old man, To live and lie at rest:

The rich old man that sees

His end draw on so sore, How he would be a boy again, To live so much the more.

Whereat full oft I smiled,

To see how all these three,
From boy to man, from man to boy,
Would chop and change degree:

And musing thus, I think,

The case is very strange,

That man from wealth, to live in woe, Doth ever seek to change.

Thus thoughtful as I lay,

I saw my withered skin,

How it doth show my dented thws,
The flesh was worn so thin;
And eke my toothless chaps,
The gates of my right way,
That opes and shuts as I do speak,
Do thus unto me say:
The white and hoarish hairs,
The messengers of age,
That show, like lines of true belief,
That this life doth assuage;
Bids thee lay hand, and feel

Them hanging on my chin.
The which do write two ages past,
The third now coming in.
Hang up, therefore, the bit

Of thy young wanton time;
And thou that therein beaten art,
The happiest life define:

Whereat I sighed, and said,
Farewell my wonted joy,
Truss up thy pack, and trudge from me,
To every little boy;

And tell them thus from me,

Their time most happy is,
If to their time they reason had,
To know the truth of this.

The Means to attain Happy Life.
Martial, the things that do attain
The happy life, be these, I find,
The riches left, not got with pain;

The fruitful ground, the quiet mind, The equal frend; no grudge, no strife; No charge of rule, nor governance; Without disease, the healthful life; The household of continuance: The mean diet, no delicate fare; True wisedom joined with simpleness; The night discharged of all care;

Where wine the wit may not oppress. The faithful wife, without debate; Such sleeps as may beguile the night; Contented with thine own estate,

Ne wish for death, ne fear his might.



In amorous poetry, which may be said to have taken its rise in this age, Surrey had a fellow-labourer in SIR THOMAS WYATT (1503–1541), another distinguished figure in the court of Henry VIIL Wyatt was a man highly educated for his age, a great traveller, and generally accomplished. died of a fever caught by riding too fast on a hot day from Falmouth, while engaged on a mission to conduct the ambassador of the emperor, Charles V., to court. The songs and sonnets of this author, in praise of his mistress, and expressive of the various feelings he experienced while under the influence of the tender passion, though conceited, are not without refinement, and some share of poetical feeling.

The lover's lute cannot be blamed, though it sing
of his lady's unkindness.

Blame not my Lute! for he must sound
Of this or that as liketh me;

For lack of wit the Lute is bound

To give such tunes as pleaseth me;
Though my songs be somewhat strange,
And speak such words as touch my change,
Blame not my Lute!

My Lute, alas! doth not offend,
Though that per force he must agree
To sound such tunes as I intend,

To sing to them that heareth me;
Then though my songs be somewhat plain,
And toucheth some that use to feign,
Blame not my Lute!

My Lute and strings may not deny,
But as I strike they must obey;
Break not them then so wrongfully,

But wreak thyself some other way,
And though the songs which I indite,
Do quit thy change with rightful spite,
Blame not my Lute!

Spite asketh spite, and changing change,
And falsed faith, must needs be known;
The faults so great, the case so strange;
Of right it must abroad be blown :
Then since that by thine own desert
My songs do tell how true thou art,
Blame not my Lute!

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