THE MUSES THRENODIE... extrait
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.
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?
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.
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?