76 The Fabillis
Reddie to draw: in tyme be war for thy.
Grit fule is he that puttis in dangeir
His lyfe, his honour, for ane thing off nocht.
Grit fule is he, that will not glaidlie heir
Counsall in tyme, quhill it auaill him mocht.
Grit fule is he, that hes na thing in thocht,
Bot thing present: and efter quhat may fall,
Nor off the end hes na memoriall.
Thir small birdis for hunger famischit neir,
Full besie scraipand for to seik thair fude.
The counsall off the swallow wald not heir.
Suppois thair laubour dyd thame lytill gude.
Quhen scho thair fulische hartis vnderstude
Sa indurate, vp in ane tre scho flew.
With that this churll ouer thame his nettis drew,
Allace it wes grit hart sair for to se
That bludie bowcheour beit thay birdis doun.
And for till heir, quhen thay wist weill to de,
Thair cairfull sang and lamentatioun.
Sum with ane staf he straik to eirth on swoun:
Off sum the heid: off sum he brak the crag:
Sum half on lyfe, he stoppit in his bag.
And quhen the swallow saw that thay wer deid.
Lo quod scho thus it happinnis mony syis,
On thame that will not tak counsall nor reid
Off prudent men, or clerkis that ar wyis.
off Esope. 77
This grit perrell I tauld thame mair than thryis.
Now ar thay deid, and wo is me thairfoir.
Scho tuke hir flicht, bot I hir saw no moir.
Lo worthie folk esope that nobill clerk,
Ane poet worthie to be lawreate.
Quhen that he waikit from mair autentik werk,
With vther ma, this foirsaid fabill wrate.
Quhilk at this tyme may weill be applicate,
To gude morall edificatioun,
Haifand ane sentence, according to ressoun.
This carll, and bond of gentrice spoliate,
Sawand this calf, thir small birdis to sla.
It is the feind, quhilk fra the angelike state,
Exylit is, as fals apostata.
Quhilk day and nycht weryis not for to ga,
Sawand poysoun and mony wickit thocht,
In mannis saull, quhilk christ full deir hes bocht.
And quhen the saull, as seid in to the eird,
Geuis consent vnto delectatioun,
The wickit thocht beginnis for to breird,
In deidlie sin, quhilk is dampnatioun.
Ressoun is blindit with affectioun.
And carnall lust grouis full grene and gay,
Throw consuetude hantit from day to day.
Proceding furth be vse and consuetude,
The sin ryipis, and schame is set on syde.
The feynd plettis his nettis scharp and rude,