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90 The Fabillis

That settis on auarice thair felicitie.
That thay forzet the cadgear cummis behind,
To stryke thame of, quhat stait sa euer thay be.
Quhat is mair dirk, than blind prosperitie?
Quhairfoir, I counsell mychtie men to haif mynd,
Of the nekhering interpreit in this kynd.


The taill of the foxe, that begylit the
Wolf, in the schadow of the mone

In elderis dayis, as esope can declair,
Thair wes ane husband, quhilk had ane plewch to steir
His vse wes ay, in morning to ryse air.
Sa happinnit him in streiking tyme off zeir,
Airlie in the morning to follou furth his feir,
Vnto the pleuch, bot his gadman and he.
His stottis he straucht with benedicite.

The caller cryit, how, haik, vpon hicht,
Hald draucht my dowis, syne broddit thame full sair.
The oxin wes vnwsit zoung and licht,
And for fersnes thay couth the fur forfair.
The husband than woxe angrie as ane hair.
Syne cryit, and caist his patill, and grit stanis,
The volff quod he mot haue zou all at anis.

Bot zit the volff wes neirar nor he wend,
For in ane busk he lay, and lowrence baith,

Off Esope 91

In ane rouch rone wes at the furris end.
And hard the hecht: than lowrence leuch full raith.
To tak zone bud quod he it wer na skaith:

Weill quod the volff I hecht the be my hand,
Zone carlis word as he wer king sall stand.

The oxin waxit mair reulie at the last.
Syne efter thay lousit, fra that it worthit weill lait.
The husband hamewart with his cattell past.
Than sone the volff come hirpilland in his gait.
Befoir the oxin, and schupe, to mak debait.
The husband saw him, and worthit sumdeill agast.
And bakwart with his beistis wald haif past.

The volff said, quhether dryuis thou this pray?
I chalenge it, for nane off thame ar thyne.
The man thairoff wes in ane felloun fray.
And soberlie to the volff answerit syne.
Schir, be my saull, thir oxin ar all myne.
Thairfoir I studdie, quhy ze suld stop me.
Sen that I faltit neuer to zou trewlie.

The volff said, carll, gaif thou not me this drift
Airlie, quhen thou wes eirrand on zone bank?
And is thair oucht sayis thou frear than gift?
This tarying wyll tyne the all thy thank.
Far better is frelie for to giff ane plank,
Nor be compellit on force, to giff ane mart.
Fy on the fredome, that cummis not with hart.

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