92 The Fabillis
Schir (quod the husband) ane man may say in greif,
And syne ganesay fra he auise and se.
I hecht to steill, am I thairfoir ane theif?
God forbid, schir, all hechtis suld haldin be.
Gaif I my hand or oblissing quod he
Or haue ze witnes, or writ for to schau.
Schir reif me not, bot go and seik the lau.
Carll (quod the volff) ane lord and he be leill
That schrinkis for schame, or doutis to be repruuit,
His sau is ay als sickker as his seill.
Fy on the leid, that is not leill and lufit.
Thy argument is fals, and eik contrufit.
For it is said in prouerb: but lawte
All vther vertewis ar nocht worth ane fle.
Schir said the husband, remember of this thing,
Ane leill man is not tane at halff ane taill.
I may say, and ganesay, I am na king.
Quhair is zour witnes, that hard I hecht thame haill?
Than said the volff, thairfoir it sall nocht faill.
Lowrence (quod he) cum hidder of that schaw,
And say na thing, bot as thow hard and saw.
Lowrence come lourand, for he lufit neuer licht,
And sone appeirit befoir thame in that place.
The man leuch na thing, quhen he saw that sicht.
Lowrence quod the volff thow man declair this cace
Quhairof we sall schaw the suith in schort space.
Off Esope. 93
I callit on the leill witnes for to beir.
Quhat hard thou that this man hecht me lang eir?
Schir (said the tod) I can not hastelie
Swa sone as now gif sentence finall.
Bot wald ze baith submit zow heir to me,
To stand at my decreit perpetuall
To pleis baith I suld preif, gif it may fall.
Weill quod the volff I am content for me.
The man said swa am I, how euer it be.
Than schew thay furth thair allegeance but fabill,
And baith proponit thair pley to him compleit.
(Quod lowrence) now I am iuge amycabill.
Ze sall be sworne to stand at my decreit.
Quhether heirefter ze think it soure or sweit.
The volff braid furth his fute, the man his hand:
And on the toddis taill sworne thay ar to stand.
Than tuke the tod the man furth till ane syde.
And said him, freind, thou art in blunder brocht.
The volff will not forgif the ane oxe hyde
Zit wald myself fane help the, and I mocht.
Bot I am laith to hurt my conscience ocht.
Tyne nocht thy querrell in thy awin defence,
This will not throu but grit coist and expence.
Seis thou not buddis beiris bernis throw:
And giftis garris crukit materis hald full euin?
Sumtymis ane hen haldis ane man in ane kow