72 The Fabillis
For clerkis sayis, it is nocht sufficient,
To considder that is befoir thyne ee.
Bot prudence is ane inwart argument,
That garris ane man prouyde befoir and se,
Quhat gude, quhat euill is liklie for to be,
off euerilk thingis at the fynall end.
And swa fra perrell ethar him defend.
The lark lauchand the swallow thus couth scorne
And said scho fischit lang befoir the net.
The barne is eith to busk that is vnborne.
All growis nocht, that in the ground is set.
The nek to stoup quhen it the straik sall get,
Is sone aneuch: deith on the fayest fall.
Thus scornit thay the swallow ane and all.
Despysing thus hir helthsum document
The foulis ferlie tuke thair flicht anone,
Sum with ane bir thay braidit ouer the bent:
And sum agane ar to the grene wod gone.
Vpon the land quhair I wes left allone,
I tuke my club, and hamewart couth I carie
Swa ferliand, as I had sene ane farie.
Thus passit furth quhill iune that iolie tyde,
And seidis that wer sawin off beforne,
Wer growin hie, that hairis mycht thame hyde:
And als the quailze craikand in the corne.
I mouit furth betuix midday and morne,
Off Esope. 73
Vnto the hedge vnder the hawthorne grene,
Quhair I befoir the said birdis had sent.
And as I stude be auenture and cace,
The samin birdis as I haif said zow air,
I hoip, because it wes thair hanting place,
Mair off succour, or zit mair solitair,
Thay lychtit doun: and quhen thay lychtit wair,
The swallow swyth put furth ane pietuous pyme,
Said, wo is him can not bewar in tyme.
O blind birdis, and full off negligence,
Vnmyndfull off zour awin prosperitie.
Lift vp zour sicht, and tak gude aduertence,
Luke to the lint, that growis on zone le.
Zone is the thing I bad forsuith, that we
Quhill it wes seid suld rute furth off the eird.
Now is it lint: now is it hie on breird.
Go zit, quhill it is tender zoung and small,
And pull it vp, let it na mair incres.
My flesche growis, my bodie quaikis all,
Thinkand on it I may not sleip in peis.
Thay cryit all, and bad the swallow ceis.
And said, zone lint heirefter will do gude,
For linget is to lytill birdis fude,
We think quhen that zone lint bollis ar ryip,
To mak vs feist, and fill vs off the seid,
Magre zone churll, and on it sing and pyip.