THE MUSES THRENODIE... extrait

Henry Adamson 1581-1637

 

1  Of Mr George Ruthven the tears and mournings,
2  Amidst the giddie course of fortune's turnings,
3  Upon his dear friend's death, Mr John Gall,
4  Where his rare ornaments bear a part, and wretched Gabions all.

FIRST MUSE.

5  Now must I mourn for Gall, since he is gone,
6  And ye, my Gabions, help me him to mone;
7  And in your courses sorrow for his sake,
8  Whose matchless Muse immortal did you make.
9  Who now shall pen your praise and make you knowne?
10  By whom now shall your virtues be forth showne?
11  Who shall declare your worth?-is any able?-
12  Who dare to meddle with Apelles table?
13  Ah me! there's none!-And is there none indeed?
14  Then must ye mourn of force,-there's no remeed:
15  And I for my part, with you in my turne
16  Shall keep a dolefull comfort whilst ye mourne:
17  And thus with echoing voice, shall howl and cry-
18  Gall, sweetest Gall, what ailed thee to die?
19  Now first my Bowes begin this dolefull song:
20  No more with clangors let your shafts be flung
21  In fields abroad, but in my cabine stay,
22  And help me for to mourn till dying day;
23  With dust and cobwebs cover all your heads,
24  And take you to your matins and your beads:
25  A requiem sing unto that sweetest soul,
26  Which shines now sainted above other pole.
27  And ye my clubs, you must no more prepare
28  To make your balls flee whistling in the air,
29  But hing your heads, and bow your crooked crags,
30  And dress you all in sackcloath and in rags,
31  No more to see the sun, nor fertile fields,
32  But closely keep your mourning in your bields;
33  And for your part the trible to you take,
34  And when you cry, make all your crags to crake,
35  And shiver when you sing, alas! for Gall!
36  Ah, if our mourning might thee now recall!
37  And ye, my loadstones, of Lednochian lakes,
38  Collected from the loughs, where watrie snakes
39  Do much abound, take unto you a part,
40  And mourn for Gall, who lov'd you with his heart;
41  In this sad dump and melancholick mood,
42  The burdown ye must bear, not on the flood,
43  Or frozen watrie plaines, but let your tuning,
44  Come help me for to weep by mournfull cruning;
45  And ye the rest my Gabions less and more,
46  Of noble kind, come help me for to roare!
47  And of my woefull weeping take a part-
48  Help to declare the dolour of mine heart:
49  How can I choose but mourn, when I think on
50  Our games Olympick-like in times agone?
51  Chiefly wherein our cunning we did try,
52  And matchless skill in noble archerie,
53  In these our days when archers did abound
54  In Perth, then famous for such pastimes found:
55  Among the first for archers we were known,
56  And for that art our skill was loudly blown:
57  What time Perth's credit did stand with the best
58  And bravest archers this land hath possesst;
59  We spar'd no gaines nor paines for to report
60  To Perth the worship, by such noble sport:
61  Witness the Links of Leith, where Cowper, Grahame,
62  And Stewart won the prize, and brought it home;
63  And in these games did offer ten to three,
64  There to contend: Quorum pars magna fui.
65  I mourn, good Gall, when I think on that stead,
66  Where yee did hail your shaft unto the head,
67  And with a strong and steadfast eye and hand,
68  So valiantly your bow yee did command:
69  A sliddrie shaft forth of its forks did fling,
70  Clank gave the bow, the whistling air did ring;
71  The bowlt did cleave the clouds, and threat the skyes,
72  And thence down falling to the mark it flies:
73  Incontinent the aimer gave a token,
74  The mark was kill'd, the shaft in flinders broken:
75  Then softly smiling, good Gall, thus quod I,
76  Now find I time my archerie to try;
77  And here by solemn vow I undertake,
78  In token of my love, even for thy sake,
79  Either to hit the mark, else shall I never
80  More with these arms of mine use bow and quiver;
81  Therewith my ligaments I did extend,
82  And then a noble shaft I did commend
83  Unto my bow, then firmly fix't mine eye,
84  And closely levell'd at Orion's knee-
85  A star of greatest magnitude, who ken'd it
86  So well as I, prays you be not offended;
87  (For I did use no magick incantation
88  For to conduct my shaft, I will find cation:)
89  Then cleverly my flen soone can I feather;
90  Upon my left arm was a brace of leather;
91  And with three fingers haling up the string,
92  The bow in semicircle did I bring;
93  With soft and tender lowse out went the shaft,
94  Amids the clouds the arrow flew aloft:
95  And as directed by a skilfull hand,
96  With speedie hand, the steadfast mark it fand;
97  The aimer gave his signe, furthwith was known,
98  The shot was mine, the boult in flinders flown;
99  Above his shaft, in such difficile stead,
100  Closely I hit the mark upon the head;
101  Then on the plain we caprel'd wonder fast,
102  Whereat the people gazing were agast:
103  With kind embracments did we thurst and thrimble,
104  (For in these days I was exceeding nimble,)
105  We leap't, we danc't, we loudly laugh't, we cry'd,
106  For in the earth such skill was never try'd
107  In archcrie, as we prov'd in these days,
108  Whereby we did obtain immortal praise:
109  Then, gossip Gall, quod I, I dare approve,
110  Thou hast a trusty token of my love.
111  What shall be said of other martial games?
112  None was inlaking from whence bravest stemmes;
113  Victorious trophees, palmes, and noble pynes,
114  Olives, and lawrels, such as auncient times
115  Decor'd the Grecian victors in their playes,
116  And worthie Romanes in their brave assayes,
117  For tryal of their strength each match'd with other,
118  Whose beauty was, sweat mix'd with dust together:
119  Such exercises did content us more
120  Than if we had possess'd King Cræsus' store.
121  But, O ye fields! my native Perth neerby,
122  Prays you to speak, and truly testifie,
123  What matchless skill we prov'd in all these places,
124  Within the compass of three thousand paces
125  On either side, while as we went a shooting,
126  And strongly strove who should bring home the booting;
127  Alongst the flowrie banks of Tay to Almond;
128  Ay when I hit the mark, I cast a gamound;
129  And there we view the place, where sometime stood,
130  The ancient Bertha now o'erflowed with flood
131  Of mighty waters, and that princely hold,
132  Where dwelt King William, by the stream down rol'd,
133  Was utterly defac'd, and overthrown,
134  That now the place thereof can scarce be known:
135  Then through these haughs of fair and fertile ground,
136  Which, with fruit trees, with corns and flocks abound,
137  Meandring rivers, sweet flowres, heavenly honey,
138  More for our pastime than to conquesh money:
139  We went a shooting both through plain and park,
140  And never stay'd till we came to Lows wark;
141  Built by our mighty Kings for to preserve us,
142  That thencefurth waters should not drown, but serve us;
143  Yet condescending it admits one rill,
144  Which all these plains with christal brooks doth fill;
145  And by a conduit, large three miles in length,
146  Serves to make Perth impregnable for strength,
147  At all occasions when her clowses fall,
148  Making the water mount up to her wall,
149  When we had view'd this mighty work at random,
150  We thought it best these fields for to abandon:
151  And turning home, we spar'd nor dye nor fowsie,
152  Untill we came unto the Boot of Bowsie,
153  Along this aqueduct, and there our station,
154  We made and viewed Balhousie's situation.
155  O'erlooking all that spacious pleasant valley,
156  With flowers damasked, levell as an alley,
157  Betwixt and Perth, thither did we repair,
158  (For why the season was exceeding fair:)
159  Then all alongst this valley did we hye,
160  And there the place we clearly did espye,
161  The precinct, situation, and the stead,
162  Where ended was that cruel bloody fead,
163  Between these cursed clans Chattan and Kay,
164  Before King Robert John upon the day
165  Appointed, then and there, who did convene,
166  Thirty 'gainst thirty match'd upon that greene,
167  Of martial fellows, all in raging mood,
168  Like furious Ajax, or Orestes wood,
169  Alonely arm'd with long two-handed swords,
170  Their sparkling eyes cast fire instead of words;
171  Their horride beards, thrown browes, brustled mustages
172  Of deadly blows t'inshew, were true presages.
173  Thus standing, fortune's event for to try,
174  And thousands them beholding, one did cry,
175  With loud and mighty voice, stay, hold your hands!
176  A little space, we pray, the case thus stands;
177  One of our number is not here to day-
178  This sudden speech did make some little stay
179  Of this most bloody bargain, th'one party fight
180  Would not, unless the number were made right
181  Unto the adverse faction, nor was any
182  That would take it in hand, among so many
183  Beholders of all ranks, into that place
184  On th'other side none would sustaine disgrace,
185  To be debarred from his other fellowes,
186  He rather hung seven years upon the gallowes.
187  Thus, as the question stood, was found at length,
188  One Henry Wind, for tryal of his strength
189  The charge would take, a sadler of his craft,
190  I wot not well, whether the man was daft,
191  But for an half French crown he took in hand,
192  Stoutly to fight so long as he might stand,
193  And if to be victorious should betide him,
194  They should some yearly pension provide him,
195  The bargaine holds; and then with all their maine,
196  Their brakens buckled to the fight again;
197  Incontinent the trumpets loudlie sounded,
198  And mightilie the great bagpipes were winded:
199  Then fell they to't as fierce as any thunder,
200  From shoulders arms, and heads from necks they sunder,
201  All raging there in blood, they hew'd and hash'd,
202  Their skincoats with the new cut were outslash'd;
203  And scorning death so bravely did outfight it,
204  That the beholders greatly were affrighted;
205  But chiefly this by all men was observed,
206  None fought so fiercely, nor so well deserved
207  As this their hired souldier, Henrie Winde,
208  For by his valour, victory inclinde
209  Unto that side; and ever since those dayes
210  This proverb current goes, when any sayes,
211  How come you here? this answer doth he finde,
212  I'm for mine owne hand, as fought Henrie Winde,
213  So finely fought he, ten with him escap't,
214  And of the other but one, in flood who leap't
215  And sav'd himself by swimming over Tay,
216  But to speak more of this we might not stay,
217  Thence did we take us to the other hand,
218  From this divided by a christal strand
219  From whence the King beheld with open sight,
220  The long time doubtfull event of this fight:
221  From off his pleasant gardens flowery wall,
222  Which we the gilted arbor yet do call.
223  And here some monuments we did descry,
224  And ruin'd heaps of great antiquity;
225  There stood a temple, and religious place,
226  And here a palace, but ah, woeful case!
227  Where murthered was one of the bravest Kings,
228  For wisdome, learning, valour, and such things
229  As should a Prince adorn; who trades and arts,
230  By men of matchless skill brought to thir parts,
231  From Italy, Low Germany, and France,
232  Religion, learning, policy to advance,
233  King James the first of everlasting name,
234  Kill'd by that mischant traitor Robert Grahame.
235  Intending of his crown for to have rob'd him,
236  With twenty eight wounds in the breast he stob'd him.
237  Unnatural paricide, most bloody traitor!
238  Accursed be thou above any creature!
239  And curst be all, for so it is appointed,
240  That dare presume to touch the Lord's anointed!
241  This Phœnix Prince our nation much decor'd,
242  Good letters and civility restored,
243  By long and bloudie wars which were defaced,
244  His royal care made them be re-embraced,
245  And he this city mightilie intended
246  To have enhanc'd, if fates had condescended,
247  For which, if power answer'd, good-will we would
248  With Gorgias Leontinus, raise of gold
249  A statue to him, of most curious frame,
250  In honour of his dear and worthy name.
251  He likewise built most sumptuously fair,
252  That much renown'd religious place and rare,
253  The Charterhouse of Perth a mighty frame,
254  Vallis Virtutis by a mystic name.
255  Looking along that painted spacious field,
256  Which doth with pleasure profit sweetly yield,
257  The fair South Inch of Perth and banks of Tay,
258  This Abbay's steeples, and its turrets stay;
259  While as they stood (but ah! where sins abound
260  The loftiest pride lies level'd with the ground!)
261  Were cunningly contriv'd with curious art,
262  And quintessence of skill in everie part?
263  My Grandsire many times to me hath told it;
264  He knew their names, this mighty frame who moldit:
265  Italian some, and some were Frenchmen borne,
266  Whose matchless skill this great work did adorne,
267  And living were in Perth, some of their race,
268  When that, alas! demolish'd was this place;
269  For greatness, beauty, stateliness so fair
270  In Britane's isle, was said, none might compare:
271  Even as Apelles for to prove his skill,
272  In limning Venus with a perfect quill,
273  Did not on some one beauty take inspection,
274  But of all beauties borrowed the perfection:
275  Even so this Prince, to policie inclinde,
276  Did not on some one fabrick set his minde,
277  To make the prototype of his designe,
278  But from all works, did all perfections bring,
279  And rarest patterns brought from every part,
280  Where any brave Vitruvius kyth'd his art,
281  So that this great and princely enterprise,
282  Perfections of all models did comprise;
283  And in this place, where he doth buried lye,
284  Was kept the relict wherein he did dye-
285  His doublet, as a monument reserv'd,
286  And when this place was raz'd, it was preserv'd,
287  Which afterwards I did see for my part,
288  With hols through which he stab'd was to the heart.
289  Then, good Gall, thus quod I, what shew of reason,
290  Mov'd this unnatural traitor work such treason?
291  Reason! good Mr Gall did thus reply,
292  Reason! so much in shew I do deny;-
293  Reason! no reason did he have at all;
294  But wormwood, bitter malice, Stygian gall
295  Within this traitor's heart did closely lurk,
296  Which moved him this tragedie to work;
297  And I would truly tell this woefull storie,
298  But that my tongue doth faile, mine heart's so sorrie;
299  Yet whiles that we unto the town do go,
300  Monsier, the true occasion will I show.
301  This worthie Prince, according to the taillie
302  Made by King Robert, when heirs male should faillie,
303  Of his son David then Earle of Stratherne,
304  So soon, I say, the King as he did learne
305  That heirs male of this David were surceast,
306  Into these lands he did himself invest:
307  For David leaving after him no son,
308  His lands by right come back unto the crown;
309  Yet after him one daughter did survive,
310  In marriage which to Patrick Grahame they give,
311  To whom she bore a son, one Melisse Grahame,
312  Whose parents dying young, Robert did claime,
313  As uncle, and as tutor, of these lands
314  To have the charge devolved in his hands,
315  Which when the King most justly did deny
316  To give, and gravelie shew the reason why,
317  This bloody traitor from his gorge did spew
318  Words treacherous, nor to be spoke, nor true;
319  For which he justlie Traitor was declar'd;
320  But he the King's authoritie nought car'd,
321  But more and more pursuing his intent,
322  To Walter, Earl of Athole, streight he went,
323  Whom well he knew to have the like designe
324  Above all things for to cut off the King,
325  And all the race sprung of Eliza Mure;
326  With witches did consult, and sp'rits conjure,
327  This to effect, and all th'infernal furies,
328  With draughts and spells, and such unlawful curies;
329  At length, he finding that incarnate fiend,
330  Believ'd his response should have steadfast end,
331  Which was, that he should once before he dye
332  Be crowned King, with great solemnitie:
333  Which came to pass indeed, but not with gold,
334  For his familiar sp'rit kept that untold:
335  Thus these two traitors cruelly did hatch
336  The treason which this good King did dispatch.
337  Both of these traitors at the crown did aime:
338  Th'one thought his nephew might it some time claime,
339  And he without all question would succeed;
340  For well he knew to cut the fatal threed;
341  Likewise that other hell-taught traitor, Walter,
342  Believ'd by no meanes his response could alter;
343  Thus both of them, fed with ambitious hopes,
344  Kept secret by themselves their partial scops,
345  But mutually this one thing they intend-
346  The King must die, and here their thoughts they spend.
347  But this Earle Walter, subtile more than th'other,
348  His quaint designe 'gan cunningly to smother;
349  Observing well the Grahame's proud haughty braine,
350  Greatly aggreag'd the wrongs he did sustaine,
351  Affirming that there was none had a heart,
352  But would avenged be; and for his part
353  He would assist, and when the turne were ended,
354  Against all deadly; Grahame should be defended;
355  Thus by ambition witch't, and rage demented,
356  This traitor execut what was intented,
357  Who from the famous Trojan had his name,
358  And from the woods when he did hear the fame
359  Of this infamous act, at Edinburgh then
360  Residing, to make peace between these men
361  Who of the Greek and Trojans are descended!
362  O how he was inrag'd! O how offended!
363  To see so brave a Prince so traiterouslie
364  Cut off, he roar'd and rail'd outragiouslie
365  'Gainst all the nation, but when he justice done,
366  Had seen upon the traitours, then his tune
367  He quickly chang'd, now have I seen, said he,
368  A cruel crime revenged cruellie.
369  This tragick task, Monsier, in hand to take,
370  Mine eyes do melt in tears, mine heart-strings crake,
371  What! shall I speak of Priam King of Troy,
372  By Pyrrhus kill'd? that cannot much annoy:
373  Or shall I of brave Julius Cæsar tell,
374  Whom these two traitors did in senate kill?
375  These may affect us with some small compassion,
376  But for to speak of this, is a tentation.
377  Cæsar for valour, learning, and meek mind;
378  And ah! too much like Cæsar in his end.
379  Excusa Moi, Monsier, mine heart's so sorie,
380  That I can tell you no more of this storie.
381  When I think with what gravitie and grace
382  This tragedie was told, tears weet my face;
383  And I do wish good Gall thou were on live,
384  That with Mæonian style thou mightst deserve
385  Such memorable acts, or else thy spirit
386  In some new body plac'd, it to inherit:
387  Ah me! this cannot be, which makes me cry,-
388  Gall, sweetest Gall, what ailed thee to die?

SECOND MUSE.

389  But this sad melancholick disquisition,
390  Did not befit our jovial disposition,
391  In these our days; therefore when we had mourned
392  For this good King, we to the town returned,
393  And there to cheere our hearts, and make us merrie,
394  We kindely tasted of the noble berrie;
395  Melancholie and grief are great men-killers:
396  Therefore from Tamarisk, with some capillars
397  Infusde we drank, for to preserve our splens
398  From grief, our lungs from cough, and purge our reins;
399  But this receipt Gall did not keep alway,
400  Which made him die, alas! before his day.
401  Then home we went, into our beds to rest us-
402  To-morrow again we to the fields addrest us;
403  And in my bed as I did dreaming ly,
404  Me thought I heard with mighty voice, one cry,
405  Arise, Monsier! the day is wondrous fair-
406  Monsier, arise; then answered I, who's there?
407  Arise, Monsier, the third time did it call;
408  Who's there? quoth I, it is I Mr Gall,
409  Then I awoke, and found it so indeed,
410  Good-morrow, Mr Gall, Monsier, God speed.
411  Good Mr Gall, dreams did me much molest
412  This night, and almost rave me of my rest,
413  Monsier, quoth Gall, what motion might that be?
414  Said I, I dream'd I was in archerie,
415  Out match'd so far, that I was striken dumbe,
416  For very grief to be so overcome,
417  Monsier, said he, that's been a mightie passion,
418  That hath you striken dumb in such a fashion.
419  A passion so great that I did sweat,
420  My sinews tremble, and my heart did beat.
421  At length, respiring, these few words did speak:-
422  O noble heart of force, now must thou break!
423  For to these days was never in this land
424  That did o'ercome this matchless maiden hand;
425  And dreaming, as I judg'd with Mr Gall,
426  Incontinent a voice on me did call,
427  Arise, Monsier, arise: then I awoke,
428  And found it was Gall's voice unto me spoke,
429  Which made me doubt if so could come to passe:
430  Then answer'd Gall, altho' your bow were brasse,
431  That might be done; and I'm the man will do it,
432  What say you Gall? quod I, then let us to it.
433  Furthwith we dress'd us in our archer grath,
434  And to the fields we came, like men in wrath:
435  When we our nerves and tendons had extended,
436  Incontinent our bowes were bravely bended:
437  The skie was wondrous cleer, Apollo fair,
438  Greatly delighted to behold us there:
439  And did disperse the clouds, that he might see
440  What matchless skill we prov'd in archerie.
441  The cristal river Phœbus beams reflected,
442  As glad of us, them in our face directed:
443  The flowerie plains, and mountains all the while
444  That we were shooting merrilie did smile.
445  Mean while, for honours praise, as we were swelting
446  The sweat from off our brows and temples melting,
447  Phœbus, as seeming to envie our skill,
448  His quiver with some fierie shafts did fill,
449  And from his silver bow, at us he darted
450  These shafts, to make us faint and feeble-hearted:
451  Whose mighty force we could not well oppose,
452  Under a shade we therefore did repose
453  A pretty while hard by a silver streame,
454  Which did appeare some melodie to frame,
455  Running alongst the snow-white pibble stones
456  Mourning, did murmure joys, commix't with moanes.
457  A cup I had with woodbind of the wall,
458  And drinking said, this to you Mr Gall,
459  Quoth he, Monsier, since that we have no better,
460  With all mine heart, I will you pledge in water.
461  This brook alongst the flowerie plain meanders,
462  And in a thousand compasses it wanders;
463  And as it softly slides so many wayes,
464  It sweetly sings as many roundelayes,
465  And harmonie to keep, the honie bees
466  Their trumpets sound amongst the flowers and trees.
467  Their shadowes from their shaggie tops down sending
468  Did bow, in token of their homage rendring:
469  But in short while Phœbus his face withdrew,
470  Then freshly fell we to't again of new;
471  Any Kyth most skilful and most pleasant game,
472  While to the lands of Loncartie we came;
473  Then thus, quod I, good Gall, I pray thee show,
474  For cleerly all antiquities yee know:
475  What mean these skonses, and these hollow trenches,
476  Throughout these fallow fields and yonder inches?
477  And these great heaps of stones like piramids,
478  Doubtless all these ye knew, that so much reads;
479  These trenches be, Gall answering, did reply,
480  Where these two armies, Scots and Danes, did ly
481  Incamped, and these heaps the trophies be,
482  Rear'd in memorial of that victory,
483  Admir'd unlook'd for, conquest in that day,
484  By th'only virtue of a hyndsman, Hay,
485  And his two sons, from whence immortal praise
486  He gain'd, and glory of his name did raise
487  To all succeeding ages: as is said
488  Of Briareus, an hundred hands who had,
489  Wherewith he fought, or rather as we see
490  A valiant Sampson, whose activitie,
491  With his ass-bone kills thousands, or a shangar
492  With his oxe-goad kills hundreths, in his anger:
493  Even so this war-like wight with oxens yoak
494  Beats squadrons down by his undaunted stroke,
495  And did regain the victorie neere lost,
496  Unto the Scots, by his new gathered host,
497  Of fearfull fleers, in a woful plight,
498  By his encouragements infusing might
499  Into their nerves, new spirits in their arters,
500  To make them fight in blood, unto the garters,
501  Against their hatefull foes, who for to be
502  Did fight, more than for price or victorie.
503  Such cruelties their bloudie hearts possest,
504  To have old quarrels on us Scots redrest,
505  For utterly quell'd Pights, and for their own
506  Armies by us so often overthrown.
507  This worthy chieftain's happy enterprize,
508  Which sav'd this countrie from the tyrannies
509  Of cruel Danes, and his two Mar's-like sons,
510  Do for all ages wear the quernal crowns,
511  Like Thrasibulus; ever bluming bayes,
512  Do add much splendour to the worthie Hayes.
513  And always since, they for their weapons wield
514  Three rubrick targets in a silver shield.
515  Which shield the soaring falcon doth sustaine,
516  To signifie these three men did obteine
517  The publick safetie, and the falcon's flight
518  By mounting, shews their worth by lighting right
519  Unto their lands; for honours high regard;
520  Which in all ages should have due reward.
521  Like all shall finde, who loyal to the state
522  And countries well do prove, tho' small or great:
523  Men shall them praise, God shall preserve their stemme
524  Immortal fame shall canonize their names.
525  Thence forward went we unto Campsie Lin,
526  From whence the river falling makes such din
527  As Nilus Catadups: there so we sported,
528  It is impossible for to report it:
529  Whether we walk'd, or did we sit, or stand,
530  Quiver was tied to side, and bow in hand;
531  So that none thought us to be mortal wights,
532  But either Phœbus or fair Phœbe's knights;
533  There we admir'd to see the salmond leap,
534  And over-reach the waters mighty heap.
535  Which from a mountain falls, so high, and steep,
536  And tumbling down devals into the deep,
537  Making the boyling waters to rebound,
538  Like these great surges near by Greenland found,
539  Yet these small fish o'ercome these wat'rie mountains,
540  And kindly take them to their mother fonntains.
541  With what affection everie creature tenders
542  The native soil! hence comes, great Jove remembers
543  His cradle Creet, and worthie more than he,
544  Let th'idle Cretians at their pleasure lie,
545  Even these most worthy Kings of mighty race,
546  Come of great Fergus, long to see the face
547  Of their dear Caledonia, whose soyle
548  Doth make their kindly hearts within them boyle,
549  To view these fields where martial men of arms,
550  Great monuments have rais'd with loud alarms
551  Of thundring trumpets, by a hundred kings
552  And seven one queen; what antient poet sings,
553  The like descent of princes, who their crowns
554  And scepters have bestow'd upon their sons,
555  Or neerest kinsmen? neither is it so
556  That this continued line had never foe
557  To interrupt the same, witness these standers
558  That bear the Roman eagle, great commanders
559  Of most part of the globe, and cruel Danes
560  Victorious elsewhere, but not in our planes;
561  Pights and old Britans, more than these to tell,
562  Who in the compasse of this island dwell,
563  But praisde be God, Britaine is now combinde,
564  In faith and truth, one King, one God, one minde.
565  Let scoffers say that neither wine nor oyle,
566  (Whose want stay'd conquest) grows within this soyle,
567  Yet if gold, pearl, or silver better be,
568  As most men them account, it doth supplie;
569  Yea, things more needful for man's use it yeelds:-
570  Herds, flocks, and cornes abound here in our fields,
571  Will beasts in forests of all kinds in plentie;
572  Rare fowls, fruits, fishes, and what else is daintie;
573  Perpetual fire, to speak it in a word,
574  The like no where is found, it doth afford.
575  Thus Providence divine hath it ordained,
576  That human commerce may be entertained,
577  All soyls should have, yet none brings all things forth,
578  Yea, grounds most barren oft have greatest worth
579  Contained in their bowels, this to tell us,
580  Non omnia producit omnis tellus;
581  Hence comes that men their gold for yron change,
582  And so, far from their native countrys rainge,
583  Their softest silk for coarsest canvasse give,
584  Because by commerce men do better live,
585  Then by such things their native grounds forth measure,
586  By traffike they do find more gain and pleasure;
587  Yea, things more simple, much more useful are,
588  And for man's well more profitable far.
589  Thus yron serves for all brave arts, much more
590  Than gold, let Midas heap it up in store;
591  And canvasse serves for ventrous navigation,
592  Where silks are only for cloths green sick fashion;
593  And tho' wine glad the heart, yet stirs it strife,
594  But grain the staffe is which sustains our life:
595  So humane fellowship to entertaine,
596  Our fishes and our cornes bring oile and wine.
597  But above all our soyle throughout all parts,
598  Bears bravest Chieftains with couragious hearts:
599  These be the bar of conquest and the wall,
600  Which our most hateful foes could never scall.
601  Would you behold one Hannibal o'erturne
602  Fourscore of thousands, look to Bannockburne,
603  Or would you see Xerxes his overthrow,
604  And flight by boat; Edward the second know;
605  Or Carthaginean towers with all their mights
606  Destroyed? View Camelon with faithlesse Pights.
607  Or would ye know great Castriot whose bones
608  Could martial virtue give, dig'd from the stones,
609  Where he did buried ly? take for that part
610  The Bruce, and Douglas carrying his heart
611  Through many lands, intending it to have
612  Solemnly buried in the holy grave.
613  This heart, though dead, within their hearts begetting
614  Brave hearts, 'gainst dangers their bold hearts outsetting.
615  Would you a King for zeal unto God's house
616  Like Israel's David, our Saint David chuse?
617  Or know King James the First? like Julius Cæsar,
618  Or Gregorie? like Alexander; these are,
619  With many more, the worthies, whose renown
620  By martial deeds, have keeped close this crown;
621  Yea, more to speak of such heroick themes,
622  Who knoweth not the worthy great King James
623  Of Britain's union first? whose virtues great
624  Were more than equal to his royal seat;
625  Whose matchless wisdom, and whose learned quill,
626  Did nectar and ambrosia distill;
627  And ravish't with amasement all who heard him;
628  But most for active prudence all admired him.
629  Happie in all his life, whose worthie name,
630  A peaceable Augustus did proclaime.
631  Who conquered more by wit, than by the sword,
632  And made all Europe much regard his word.
633  And good King Charles the son of such a father,
634  Thrice happie by thy virgine crown; yea, rather
635  More happie, if more happinesse can be,
636  In earthlie things, by thy high pedegrie;
637  But most of all by Heaven, which hath appointed
638  The maiden crown for thee, the Lord's anointed,
639  The man of his right hand, and for thy seed,
640  Which God mot blesse, and all who shall proceed
641  Forth of thy loines, and stablish in thy place,
642  So long as sun and moone shall run their race;
643  Then reigne, Great Charles, our nostrils sweetest breath;
644  Long may thou reigne, Defender of the Faith,
645  Enthron'd among these worthie peerlesse pearles,
646  And let all say, God save our good King Charles;
647  And deeplie in his heart imprint that zeale,
648  To make the law supreme the people's weall.
649  What shall we speak of martial Chiftans more?
650  Of Gideons and of Sampsons we have store,
651  Whom God did raise for to defend our state
652  Miraculouslie, in times most desperate.
653  What braver Heetor, or more brave Achilles
654  In Greece, or Phrygia, than Sir William Wallace?
655  And John the Grahame, his mate and brother sworn,
656  Whose living fame his name doth much adorne.
657  And if we lift this subject more to handle,
658  What governour like good Earl Thomas Randale?
659  Or doughty Douglass with courageous heart,
660  Whose name wrought dreadful terror in each part?
661  But this heroic theme, so passing great,
662  Impossible it is all to relate;
663  Our worthie rulers even unto thir days,
664  They do not want their own deserved praise;
665  Nor shall they for my part want due renown-
666  Virtue t'advance and vice to trample down.
667  These be the wall of God's own work and framing
668  Against our foes, and of his own mantaining;
669  Wherefor we bless his holy name that made us;
670  And pray that never foreign scepter lead us
671  T'impose hard laws, and tributaries make us,
672  To chastise us with scorpions, and to rake us;
673  And likewise pray that Ajax like we would not
674  Undo ourselves, while all our enemies could not.
675  But, O dear Caledonia! what desire
676  Have all men who have heard thy fame t'admire
677  Thy monuments? how much more these who be
678  Thy sons, desire thy maiden soil to see?
679  Thy maiden castle and fair Maidenburgh.
680  The stately winged city, which is through
681  All ages much renown'd with streets so fair,
682  And palaces so mounted in the air:
683  That if the deepness of imagination
684  Could limn a land-schape by deep meditation;
685  Scarce could it match where bravest youths abound,
686  And gravest counsellours are alwise found;
687  Which justice joineth hand with true religion,
688  And golden virtue keeps the middle region,
689  As register, where these acts are enrol'd,
690  Better than in Corinthian brass or gold.
691  Let poetaster Parasites who feign,
692  Who fawn, and crouch, and coutch and creep for gain,
693  And, where no hope of gain is, huffe and hur,
694  And bark against the moon, as doth a cur;
695  Let such base curs, who nought but gobbets smell,
696  With thee disgrac'd, and deeplie sunk in hell,
697  Whither themselves do go; yet shalt thou stand,
698  And see them ruin'd, all who thee withstand:
699  God shall befriend thy friends, and shall all those
700  Array with shame, who causeless be thy foes:
701  Thou art this antient kindoms bravest part,
702  For wit and worth, thou art its hand and heart:
703  And who the kingdoms compend brave would see,
704  Needs do no more but survey take of thee:
705  Hence these desires fair Caledonia's soil
706  To view, when bravest stratagems with toil
707  Have acted been, hence come these kindlie wishes,
708  To see these fields, even like these kindlie fishes,
709  Which we behold o'ercome this mightie lin,
710  And seek the fountains where they did begin.

THIRD MUSE.

711  Thus as we did behold the salmon sporting,
712  We spied some countrie clowns to us resorting,
713  Who striken were with sudden admiration,
714  To see us graithed in such antique fashion,
715  Their staring eyes grew blind, their tongues were dumb,
716  A chilling cold their senses did benumb:
717  Said we, What moves yon ghosts to look so griesly?
718  They scarcely muttering, answered, and not wiselie,
719  Oft have we heard of such strange wights as ye,
720  But to this time we did them never see;
721  If ye be men or not, scarce can we tell-
722  Ye look like men, yet none such here do dwell;
723  Then said good Gall, Monsier, these fellows stupid,
724  Doubtless take me for Mars, and you for Cupid:
725  Therefore let us begone, we will not tarie,
726  Yon clowns will swear that they have seen the fairie;
727  When they come home at night, and by the fire,
728  Will tell such uncouth tales, all will admire,
729  Both man ane wife, the lads and all the lasses;
730  For be ye sure such clowns are very asses.
731  Thence down the river bank as we did walk,
732  And merrilie began to chant and talk,
733  A pretty boat with two oars we espy'd,
734  Fleeting upon the waters, then we cry'd,
735  HOW, boatmen, come; two fisher men near by,
736  Thus answer'd us again, and who doth cry?
737  Said we, good friends, to favour us delay not,-
738  The day is very hot, and walk we may not;
739  Therefore your kindly courtesie implores,
740  To let us have these little pair of oars;
741  For down the river we would make our way,
742  And land at Perth;-With all our heart, said they;
743  For we likewise at Perth would gladly be,
744  Only we want such companie as yee.
745  All men were glad of us, none did refuse,
746  Whatever thing it pleasde us, ask or chuse;
747  Then we imbarked with two boys in train,
748  Who recollect our shafts, and these two men,
749  As down the river did we softly slide;
750  The banks most sweetly smil'd on either side:
751  To see the flowres our hearts did much rejoice-
752  The banwort, dazie, and the fragrant rose;
753  Favonius in our faces sweetly blew
754  His breath, which did our fainting sp'rits renew;
755  Then with Sicilian muse, can we dissemble
756  Our secret flames? making our voices tremble;
757  While as we sweetly sung kind Amaryllis,
758  And did complain of four sweet lovely Phyllis:
759  So sadly, that the nymphs of woods and mountains,
760  And these which also haunt the plains and fountains;
761  Barelegged to the brawns, arms bare,-and breast,
762  Like whitest ivory,-bare unto the waste:
763  The lillies and the roses of their faces,
764  Running more pleasant made their waving tresses,
765  Well curled with the winde: all these drew nigh,
766  The waters brink, in song to keep reply,
767  Treading the flowres, when Gall them so espy'd:
768  O! how he cast his eyes on either side
769  And wish'd t'have smell'd on flow'r where they had trac'd.
770  Judge what he would have given to have embraced.
771  But chiefly echo fetter'd was in love.
772  At everie work we spoke her tongue did move,
773  Then did we call, sweet nymph, pray thee draw nigh:
774  She answer'd us most willingly, said, I.
775  Draw near, said Gall, for gladly would I please thee;
776  Do not deny to hear me, she said, ease thee:
777  Then come, sweet nymph, thy face fain would I know,
778  She quickly answered him again, said, No:
779  Why so? said he:-Here is there no Narcissus:
780  To this her old love's name did answer, Kiss us;
781  Kiss us! said she, with all my heart again.
782  This is the thing I would: She answered, gain:
783  Gain! such a gain, said he, I crave alway;-
784  No countenance she shews, yet answers, ay;
785  And bashfully obscures her blushing face,
786  Lest from Cephisus son, she finds disgrace;
787  But if that she had known Gall's tender mind,
788  She had not prov'd so bashful and unkind:
789  When ended were our songs with perfect close,
790  We thought it best to merrie be in prose:
791  Then seriously and truely to discourse,
792  Of diverse matters grave, we fell by course,
793  But chiefly of this blind world's practice had,
794  Preferring unto learning any trade;
795  For these ill times had not in such account
796  Men learned, as the former ages wont;
797  But if the worth of learning well they knew,
798  Good Gall, quoth I, they would make much of you,
799  In poetry so skill'd, and so well read
800  In all antiquitie, what can be said,
801  Whereof you fluently can now discourse,
802  Even like the current of this river's course:-
803  Things absent, you can present make appear,
804  And things far distant, as if they were near;
805  Things senseless, unto them give sense can yee,
806  And make them touch, taste, smell, and hear and see:
807  What cannot poets do? they life can give,
808  And after fatal stroke can make men live;
809  And if they please to change their tune or note,
810  They'l make mens' names to stink and rot.
811  Who did fix Hercules among the stars?
812  And Diomedes for his wit in wars
813  Made equal to the gods; but odious
814  For vice Thersites vile, and Sisyphus?
815  Thus were the immortal Muses, who do sing,
816  As vice and virtue do their subjects bring;
817  Therefore this counsel wisdom doth impart you,
818  Flee filthie vice and entertain fair virtue:-
819  Yet 'tis not so that everie spirit fell,
820  Whose wicked tongue is set on fire of hell;
821  Nor everie Momus nor Archilochus,
822  Whose mouths do vomit venom poysonous,
823  Hath inspiration of the sacred Muses,
824  Such wickednesse the Aonian band refuses;
825  But he who will most gravely censure can,
826  And virtues praise advance in any man
827  With perfect numbers, such one is a poet,
828  But in thir days, alasse! few men do know it,
829  Like my dear Gall who gravely did reply,
830  A good Mœcenas lets no poets die;
831  Poets make men on gold-wing'd fame to flie,
832  When lands with loss, life chang'd with death shall be.
833  As we thus talk'd, our barge did sweetly pass
834  By Scone's fair palace, sometime abbay was:
835  Strange change indeed! yet is it no new guyse,
836  Both spiritual lands, and men to temporize;
837  But palace fair which doth so richly stand,
838  With gardens, orchards, parks on either hand,
839  Where flowers, and fruits, the hart, and fallow-deer;
840  For smell, for taste, for venison and cheer,
841  The nose, the mouth, and palate which may please,
842  For gardens, chambers, for delight and ease-
843  Damask't with porphyrie and alabaster;
844  Thou art not subject for each poetaster,
845  But for a poet master, in his art,
846  Which thee could whole describe, and everie part;
847  So to the life as 'twere in perspective,
848  As readers that they see thee might believe:
849  Mean while our boat doth with the river slide,
850  The countrie nymphs who in these parts abide,
851  With many a shout moving both head and hand,
852  Did us invite that we might come a land,
853  Not now, said we, and think it not disdain;
854  For we do promise for to come again,
855  And view where sometime stood your cathedral
856  And mount, which omnis terra you do call.
857  Just by this time we see the bridge of Tay,
858  Oh happy sight indeed was it that day;
859  A bridge so stately with eleven arches,
860  Joining the south and north, and common march is
861  Unto them both, a bridge of squared stone,
862  So great and fair, which when I think upon,
863  How in these days it did so proudlie stand,
864  O'erlooking both the river and the land,
865  So fair, so high, a bridge for many ages
866  Most famous; but, alas! now through the rages
867  Of furious swelling waters thrown in deep,
868  My heart for sorrow sobs, myne eyes do weep:
869  And if my tongue should cease to cry and speak,
870  Undoubtedlie my griefs swoln heart would break.
871  But courage, Monsier, my good genius says,
872  Remember ye not how Gall in those days
873  Did you comfort, lest melancholius fits
874  Had you opprest, your spleen so nearly sits,
875  And told you in the year threescore thirteen,
876  The first down-fall this bridge did e'er sustain,
877  By ruin of three arches next the town,
878  Yet were rebuilt, thereafter were thrown down
879  Five arches in the year fourscore and two
880  Re edified likewise, and who doth know
881  Monsier, but ah, mine heart can scarcely tober!
882  Even that great fal the fourteenth of October,
883  Six hundred twenty one, repair'd may be:
884  And I do wish, the same that I might see:
885  For Britain's monarch will it sure repair,
886  Courage, therefore, Monsier, do not despair!
887  Is't credible to be believed or told,
888  That these our Kings who did possess of old
889  Scotland alone, should such a work erect,
890  And Britain's mighty Monarch it neglect?
891  Absurd it is to think, much more to speak it;
892  Therefore, good Monsier, yee do far mistake it,
893  For never yet a King was more inclin'd,
894  To do great works, nor of a braver mind,
895  Providing he can have due information,
896  His word will prove of powerful operation:
897  For Kings are gods on earth, and all their actions
898  Do represent the Almightie's great perfections.
899  Thus Gall's sweet words often do me comfort,
900  And my good genius truly doth report
901  Them unto me, else sure my splene would wholy
902  Be evercome with fits of melancholie.
903  Therefore I courage take, and hope to see
904  A bridge yet built, although I aged be;
905  More stately, firm, more sumptuous and fair,
906  Than any former age could yet compare.
907  Thus Gall assured me it would be so,
908  And my good genius truly doth it know:
909  For what we do presage is not in grosse,
910  For we be brethren of the rosie cross;
911  We have the mason-word and second sight,
912  Things for to come we can foretell aright,
913  And shall we show what misterie we mean,
914  In fair acrosticks Carolus Rex is seen,


/ En 1296 la Pierre de Scone, dite Pierre du Couronnement ou Pierre des Rois (en Scott - Liath Fail ) fut dérobée par Edward Prmier d'Angleterre qui la plaça dans la cathèdre en bois de l'Abbaye de Westminster connue sous le nom de Trône du Roi Edward et sur laquelle un grand nombre de rois d'Angleterre furent couronnés. Cependant, au delà du symbole qui consiste à couronner les Rois d'Angleterre sur la Pierre qui servait à couronner les Rois Celtes d'Ecosse, une légende scott affirme que la véritable Pierre fut protégée des atteintes britanniques par le fait qu'elle fut enterrée par les moines culdéens soit dans la rivière Tay, soit, selon d'autre sources, à Dunsinane Hill. La Pierre sur laquelle s'assoeint donc les Anglais ne serait qu'un leurre./

 

915  Describ'd upon that bridge in perfect gold,
916  By skilfull art this cleerlie we behold,
917  With all the scutcheon of Great Britain's king,
918  Which unto Perth most joyfull news shall bring.
919  Loath would we be this misterie to unfold,
920  But for King Charles his honour we are bold,
921  And as our boat most pleasantly did pass,
922  Upon the crystal river clear as glass:
923  My dearest Gall, quoth I, long time I spend,
924  Revolving from beginning to the end;
925  All our records yet searching cannot finde,
926  First when this bridge was built, therefore thy mind
927  Fain would I know, for I am verrie sorrie
928  Such things should be omitted in our storie
929  Monsier, said Gall, things many of that kind
930  To be omitted often do we find;
931  Yea, time hath also greatest works destroyed,
932  Wherein the learn'dest pennes have been employed:
933  But if that I should tell what I do know,
934  An antient storie I could to you show,
935  Which I have found in an old manuscript,
936  But in our late records is overslipt:
937  Which storie no less probable is than true,
938  And my good Monsier I will shew it you.
939  I leave to speak what Hollinshed hath told
940  Of Cunidad, was Britane's King of old,
941  The time Uzziah was of Judah King,
942  And Jeroboam did over Israel reign;
943  Ere Rome a city was years forty-five;
944  Ere sons of Rhea did for masterie strive;
945  How that this heathen built three cells of stone:
946  To Mercurie at Bongor built he one,
947  His way for to direct: then to Apollo
948  At Cornuel another did he hallow,
949  For favourable response: the third to Mars,
950  Where Perth now stands, for to assist his wars.
951  But good Monsier this story is too old,
952  Therefore I leave the rest of it untold.
953  The time will not permit me to out read it,
954  I'm sure in Hollinshed yee often read it.
955  I will a storie of no less credit tell,
956  In after ages truely what befell.
957  When mightie Romaines came into this soil,
958  With endless labour and undaunted toil,
959  After great conflicts and uncertain chance
960  Of fortune's dye, they did in arms advance;
961  At length unto these parts where Perth doth stand,
962  Under the conduct and victorious hand
963  Of that most valiant chieftain of great fame,
964  Brave Julius Agricola by name;
965  And there, hard by a river side, they found
966  The fairest and most pleasant plat of ground,
967  That since by bank of Tiber they had been,
968  The like for beauty seldom had they seen,
969  Of eighteen hundred paces good in length,
970  From Muretown braes to foot of Carnac's strength,
971  King of the Pights which stood on Moredun hill,
972  The foot thereof from Friers dwelt thereintill,
973  Now named is, in breadth eight hundred paces,
974  Painted with white, red, yellow, flowerie faces.
975  So equal fair, which when they did espy,
976  Incontinent they Campus Martius cry,
977  And as an happie presage they had seen,
978  They fix their tents amidst that spacious green,
979  Right where now Perth doth stand, and cast their trenches,
980  Even where Perth's fowsies are, between these inches,
981  The south and north; and bastiles they make,
982  The power and strength of Scots and Picts to break,
983  Who presentlie would fight, by wise cunctation,
984  They frustrate all their hope and expectation:
985  For well this most victorious Roman knew,
986  T'abate his enemies rage and courage too,
987  Finding the place even to their hearts desire,
988  With grass for pasture stored, and wood for fire.
989  The river likewise very opportune,
990  For lighter vessels to pass up and down,
991  And correspondence with their navy make,
992  As soldiers wise, they all occasions take.
993  And do conclude to winter in that place,
994  To foil their foes by voluntarie chace.
995  Mean while courageouslie they do advise,
996  A bridge to build, for further enterprise;
997  Then furthwith fall they with redoubled stroaks,
998  To fell the tall fir trees, and aged oaks,
999  Some square the timber with a stretched line,
1000  Some do the tenons and the morties joine,
1001  Some frame an oval, others make a cub,
1002  Some cut a section, other some go grub,
1003  Some with great compasse semicircles forme,
1004  Some drive the wages, painfullie some worme,
1005  Some do hoise up the standers, others fixe them;
1006  And some lay goodlie rafters o'er betwixt them;
1007  What strength or skill can work from point to point,
1008  They cunninglie contrive with angular joint,
1009  And do most stronglie bind these contignations,
1010  To make them stand against all inundations.
1011  All men are set to frame, all hands are working,
1012  And all engines are busied without irking:
1013  Thus in short space, a bridge they stronglie make,
1014  With passage fair, and for their safties sake,
1015  A mightie strength to be; they frame withall,
1016  On either end, a bridge to lift and fall,
1017  That soldiers might within it keep at ease,
1018  Admitting or repelling as they please,
1019  Thus fortified, lest that they should neglect
1020  Due honour to their gods, they did erect,
1021  To Mars a temple-rather did restore
1022  The temple built by Cunidad before;
1023  For time on all things worketh demolition,
1024  And heathen men maintaine like superstition.
1025  Then did this valiant chieftaine name the river
1026  In Italies rememberance New Tiber,
1027  Which afterwards it kept for many a day-
1028  How long I know not; now 'tis called Tay;
1029  Likewise an house of mighty stone he framed,
1030  From whence our Castle-gavil as yet is named;
1031  And if Domitian had not call'd him home,
1032  I think he should have built another Rome.
1033  But all these monuments were worn away,
1034  Ere did King William Perth's foundations lay,
1035  Only Mar's temple stood upon that greene,
1036  And th'house built by Agricola was seene,
1037  And some characters cunninglie incisde,
1038  With Julius Agricola imprisde
1039  In solid marmor; and some print was found,
1040  Where camped had an armie, and the ground
1041  Where there had been a bridge: all which did yield
1042  Occasion to King William for to build
1043  After old Bertha's overthrow, that city,
1044  These antient walls, and famous bridge; ah! pitie
1045  If they were as! but what doth not the rage
1046  Of men demolish, and consuming age?
1047  For good King William seeing where had beene
1048  Of old a passage, forthwith did ordaine
1049  A mightie bridge of squaired stone to be,
1050  These famous walls and fowsies which we see,
1051  Perth his chief strength to make, and seat of power,
1052  Did with most ample priviledge indue her.
1053  These be the first memorials of a bridge,
1054  Good Monsier, that we truely can alledge.
1055  Thus spoke good Gall, and I did much rejoyce
1056  To hear him these antiquities disclose;
1057  Which I remembering now, of force must cry-
1058  Gall, sweetest Gall, what ailed thee to die?

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