64 The Fabillis
And off the lyoun hard the pietuous beir.
And suddanlie it come in till hir mynd,
That it suld be the lyoun did hir grace,
And said, now wer I fals, and richt vnkynd,
Bot gif I quit sumpart thy gentilnes,
Thow did to me: and on with that scho gais,
To hir fellowis and on thame fast can cry.
Cum help, cum help, and thay come all in hy.
Lo (quod the mous) this is the samin lyoun,
That grantit grace to me, quhen I wes tane.
And now is fast heir bundin in presoun,
Brekand his hart, with sair murning and mane.
Bot we him help off souccour wait he nane.
Cum help to quyte ane gude turne for ane vther.
Go lous him sone, and thay said ze gude brother.
Thay tuke na knyfe, thair teith wes scharpe anewch:
To se that sicht, forsuith it wes grit wounder,
How that thay ran amang the rapis tewch,
Befoir, behind, sum zeid abone, sum vnder.
And schuir the raipis off the mastis in schunder.
Syne bad him ryse, and he start vp anone,
And thankit thame, syne on his way is gone.
Now is the lyoun fre off all danger,
Lows and delyuerit to his libertie,
Be lytill beistis off ane small power.
As ze haue hard, because he had pietie.
Off Esope, 65
Quod I maister is thair ane moralitie
In this fabill? Zea sone he said richt gude.
I pray zow schir quod I ze wald conclude.
As I suppois, this mychtie gay lyoun,
May signifie ane prince, or empriour.
Ane potestate, or zit ane king with croun,
Quhilk suld be walkrife gyde, and gouernour,
Of his pepill and takis na labour
To reule, and steir, the land, and iustice keip,
Bot lyis still in lustis, sleuth, and sleip.
The fair forest with leuis lowne and le,
With foulis sang, and flouris ferlie sweit,
Is bot the warld, and his prosperitie,
As fals plesance myngit with cair repleit.
Richt as the rois, with froist, and wynter weit
Faidis, swa dois the warld, and thame desauis,
Quhilk in thair lustis maist confidence hauis.
Thir lytill myis, ar bot the commountie,
Wantoun, vnwyse, without correctioun.
Thair lordis, and princis quhen that thay se,
Of iustice mak nane executioun,
Thay dreid na thing to mak rebellioun,
And disobey: for quhy thay stand nane aw,
That garris thame thair soueranis to misknaw.
Be this fabill, ze lordis of prudence,
May considder the vertew of pietie.
And to remit sumtyme ane grit offence,
And mitigate with mercy crueltie.