60 The Fabillis
We wer repleit, and had grit aboundance,
Off alkin thingis, sic as to vs effeird.
The sweit sesoun prouokit vs to dance,
And mak sic mirth as nature to vs leird.
Ze lay so still, and law vpon the eird,
That be my sawll, we weind ze had bene deid.
Elles wald we not haue dancit ouer zour heid.
Thy fals excuse, the lyoun said agane,
Sall not auaill ane myte I vnderta.
I put the cace, I had bene deid, or slane,
And syne my skyn bene stoppit full off stra.
Thocht thow had found my figure lyand swa,
Because it bare the prent off my persoun,
Thow suld for feir on kneis haue fallin doun.
For thy trespas thow can mak na defence,
My nobill persoun thus to vilipend.
Off thy feiris, nor thy awin negligence,
For to excuse thow can na cause pretend.
Thairfoir thow suffer sall ane schamefull end,
And deith, sic as to tressoun is decreit,
Onto the gallous harlit be the feit.
A mercie lord, at thy gentrice I ase,
As thow art king off beistis coronate,
Sober thy wraith, and let thi yre ouerpas,
And mak thy mynd to mercy inclynate.
I grant offence is done to thyne estate,
Off Esope, 61
Quhairfoir I worthie am to suffer deid,
Bot gif thy kinglie mercie reik remeid.
In euerie iuge mercy and reuth suld be,
As assessouris, and collaterall.
Without mercie iustice is crueltie,
As said is in the lawis spirituall.
Quhen rigour sittis in the tribunall,
The equitie off law quha may sustene?
Richt few or nane but mercie gang betwene.
Alswa ze knaw the honour triumphall,
Off all victour, vpon the strenth dependis
Off his compair, quhilk manlie in battell,
Throw ieopardie of weir lang defendis.
Quhat pryce or louing quhen the battell endis,
Is said off him, that ouercummis ane man,
Him to defend quhilk nouther may, nor can
Ane thowsand myis to kill, and eik deuoir,
Is lytill manheid to ane strang lyoun.
Full lytill worschip haue ze wyn thairfoir,
To qwhais strenth is na comparisoun:
It will degraid sum part off zour renoun,
To sla ane mous, quhilk may mak na defence,
Bot askand mercie at zour excellence.
Also it semis not zour celsitude,
Quhilk vsis daylie meittis delitious,
To fyle zour teith, or lippis with my blude,