20 The Fabillis
The bair busteous, the volff, the wylde lyoun:
The fox fenzeit craftie and cawtelows:
The dog to bark on nicht and keip the hows.
Sa different thay ar in properteis,
Vnknawin unto man, and infinite,
In kynd hauand sa fell diuersiteis.
My cunning I excedis for to dyte.
For thy as now I purpose for to wryte.
Ane cais I fand quhilk fell this ather zeir,
Betwix ane foxe, and gentill chantecleir,
Ane vedow dwelt, in till ane drop thay dayis,
Quhilk wan hir fude off spinning on hir rok.
And na mair had forsuth as the fabill sayis,
Except off hennis scho had ane lyttill flok,
And thame to keip scho had ane iolie cok:
Richt curageous, that to this wedow ay
Deuydit nicht and crew befoir the day.
Ane lyttill fra this foirsaid vedowis hows,
Ane thornie schaw thair wes off grit defence.
Quhairin ane foxe craftie, and cautelous,
Maid his repair, and daylie residence.
Quhilk to this wedow did grit violence,
In pyking off pultrie baith day and nicht,
And na way be reuengit on him scho micht.
This wylie tod quhen that the lark couth sing,
Full sair hungrie vnto the toun him drest,
Of Esope 21
Quhair chantecleir in to the gray dawing,
Werie for nicht wes flowen fra his nest.
Lowrence this saw, and in his mynd he kest,
The ieperdies, the wayis, and the wyle,
Be quhat menis he micht this cok begyle.
Dissimuland in to countenance and cheir,
On kneis fell, and simuland thus he said.
Gude morne my maister gentill chantecleir.
With that the cok start bakwart in ane braid.
Schir be my saull, ze neid not be effraid,
Nor zit for me to start nor fle abak,
I come bot heir seruice to zow to mak.
Wald I not serve to zow it wer bot blame,
As I haue done to zowr progenitouris.
Zour father oft fulfillit hes my wame.
And send me meit fra midding to the muris.
And at his end I did my besie curis,
To hald his heid, and gif him drinkis warme.
Syne at the last the sweit swelt in my arme.
Knew ze my father quod the cok and leuch,
Zea, my fair sone, forsuth I held his heid,
Quhen that he deit vnder ane birkin beuch.
Syne said the dirigie quhen that he wes deid,
Betuix vs twa how suld thair be ane feid?
Quhame suld ze traist bot me zour seruitour,
That to zour father did sa grit honour.