4 The fabillis
Sa dois the mynd that is ay diligent,
In ernistfull thochtis, and in studying,
With sad materis sum merines to ming.
Accordis weill thus esope said I wis,
Dulcius arrident seria picta iocis.
Of this poete my maisteris with zour leif,
Submitting me to zour correctioun:
In mother toung of latyng I wald preif,
To mak ane maner of translatioun.
Nocht of my self, for vane presumptioun,
Bot be requeist, and precept of ane lord,
Of quhome the name it neidis not record.
In hamelie language and in termes rude,
Me neidis wryte: for quhy of eloquence.
Nor rethorike, I neuer vnderstude.
Thairfoir meiklie I pray zour reuerence,
gif that ze find it throw my negligence
Be deminute, or zit superfluous,
Correct it at zour willis gratious.
My author in his fabillis tellis how,
That brutal beistis spak, and vnderstude,
And to gude purpois dispute, and argow.
Ane sillogisme propone, and eik conclude.
Putting exempill, and similitude,
of Esope 5
How mony men in operatioun,
Ar like to beistis in conditioun.
Na meruell is, ane man be lyke ane beist,
Quhilk lufis ay carnall and foull delyte:
That schame can not him renze, nor arreisst,
Bot takis all the lust and appetyte,
Quhilk throw custum, and the daylie ryte.
Syne in the mynd sa fast is radicate,
That he in brutal beist is transformate,
This nobill clerk, esope, as I haif tauld,
In gay metir, and in facound purpurate
Be figure wrait his buke: for he nocht wald.
Tak the disdane off hie, nor low estate.
And to begin, first of ane cok he wrate,
Seikand his meit,quhilk fand ane iolie stone,
Of quhome the fabill ze sall heir anone.