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This being said, this Lady luminuss
Fra my presens her persoun did depairt ;
Syne tuk my pen and put all in report,
As ye haif hard.—Thairfor I you exhort,
And you to serve seik suddanly this sort ; Sen veritie this counsale to you send. These nervous lines, with scarce any further alteration than the occasional substitution of the modern for the ancient spelling, will become perfectly intelligible to the English reader :
Then spoke this bird-of beauty most bening,
And fed all doubts before her argument:
From council, session, peers and parliament,
Whose names and crimes in manner subsequent
Before from this sad realm my steps are bent;
Then hidden Hatred have his death decreed,
Next vile Self-Seeking, that doth richly feed;
And rank Dissembling, who the Law doth lead;
And Ignorance, that sows his rankest seed
And Murder have a tippet made of tow;
Be straight condemn'd, spite all his flattering show.
Till this be done no respite shall ye know,
Shall overtake thy lieges high and low:
That all these caitiffs from the realm be chas'd,
Or put to silence, as I have devised,
Whom since dark Flodden have been all despised
In this poor country, though in others prized.
Question me not—but having well advised,
With Common-weal and oll Experience ;
Love, Fealty, Science, and Obedience,
Conscience upright, Truth, and Intelligence,
These in his court must make their residence,
In radiant clouds her glorious shape withdrew;
And penned the vision, in a parchment true,
As ye have heard. Then let me counsel you,
Search out with pious zeal this blessed crew,
From thy fair borders instant banish'd be;
To bring thy little flock to penury.
Thy God that on earth's circle sits must see
Then list, oh list the bruised poor man's plea,
The reader will forgive a somewhat long extract, when he learns that this vigorous picture of the anarchy of Scotland, during the minority of James V., is unpublished, and the effusion of a poet, William Stewart, whose talent cannot be
questioned, but whose life and works are little else than a blank in our national literature.
It was soon after the king's recovery of his personal freedom, and the termination of the power of the Douglases, that Lindsay addressed to the monarch his · Complaint,' in which he states his own services, remonstrates in a manly tone against the neglect with which he had been treated, and compliments his master upon the efforts which were already made for the establishment of order and good government throughout the realm. It is written throughout, to use the words of Warton, no mean judge of poetry, with vigour, and occasionally with much tenderness and elegance; whilst its pictures of the government and manners of the times, and its digres
the author's individual history and feelings, renderit interesting and valuable. It is singularly bold in its remonstrances against the injury inflicted both upon the monarch and the kingdom by the reins of government being entrusted too early to his hands. “They who iattered and indulged thee,' says he, “ for their own selfish ends, took thee, when still a boy, from the schools, and haistely entrusted to thine inexperience the governance of all Scotland:'—
Imprudently, like witless fools,
• I may not call it treason,' he continues, but was it not folly and madness ? May God defend us from again seeing in this realm so young a king! It were long to tell,' he continues, " in what a strange manner the court was then guided by those who petulantly assumed the whole power, how basely they flattered the young monarch.' The passage is not only spirited and elegant, but valuable in an historical point of view. I shall give it, only altering the ancient language or spelling, and nearly word for word:
Sir, some would say, your Majesty
They neither spared the spur nor wand.
Casting galmonds, with benns and becks,
And still Sir Flattery bore the price. Lindsay, with much spirit and humour, represents the interested and avaricious motives with which all this was done: the courtiers and governors of the young monarch engrossing and dividing amongst themselves the richest offices :
Roundand and whispering to each other,
To see that fair, young, tender king, any office shall become vacant. both lease and tithe.