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Of this accomplished creature ; for my place
Was, in my youth, at court, an usher to his grace.
And soon my pleasing labour I began,

And soon far wiser than my lore she grew,
For she would talk like any Christian man,

And other wond'rous things full well she knew;

She counterfeited every bird that flew,-
Like thrushes chaunted, trilled like sky-lark clear,
Pew'd as a hawk, or crowed, as loud as chanticleer;
Like bull she groaned, then chattered as a jay,

Bark'd as a hound, or bleated like a sheep;
The cuckoo-note full well she knew, perfay;

Next, like a tight-rope dancer would she leap,

And swing, and fall, and slyly seem to weep,
Whilst to her face her cunning claw she prest;
Then would she start, and laugh, and swear 'twas all

in jest.
With her conversing not an hour was sad,

So happily she knew to play the fool-
So many a song, so many a trick she had

She might have been a minstrel sweet at Yule.

I bore to her a love that ne'er could cool,
And she to me; where'er I turned my feet

This dear papingo had, upon my wrist, her seat. With his pleasant companion sitting on his hand, Lindsay, one sweet summer's morning, strolls into a garden to enjoy himself

Amang the fragrant flowers Walking alane, nane but my bird and I. He wishes to say his hours,' — to repeat his morning orisons-and, in the interval, places his little green friend on a branch beside him; and she, delighted with her liberty, instantly begins to climb from twig to twig, till she reaches the dizzy height of the topmost bough

Sweet bird, said I, bewair ! mount not ouir hie",

Returne in tyme, perchance thy feet may failzie ;
Thou art richt fat, and nocht weill us'd to fie-

The greedie gled I dreid she thee assailzie.
I will, said she, ascend, vailzie quod vailzie ;
It is my kyne to climb aye to the hicht;
Of feather and bone I wat weill I am wicht 3.)
So on the heichest lytill tendir twist*,

With wing displayit, scho sat full wantonlye ;
But Boreas blew ane blast, or e'er she wist,

Quhilk brak 5 the branch, and blew her suddanlye

Down to the ground, with mony careful crye.
Trow ye, gif that my hart was wo-begone

To see that fowl Hychter 6 amang the flowirs,-
Quhilk, with greit murnyng, gan to make her mone.

Now cummin are, she said, the fatal houris

Of bitter death; now mon I thole 7 the schouris.
Oh, dame Nature ! I pray thee, of thy grace,
Lend me laiser to speik ane lytill space,
For to complene my fate infortunate,

And to dispone my geire, or I departe,--
Sen of all comfort I am desolate,

Allane, except the deith, heir with his dart,

With awful cheir, reddy to perse my hart.
And with that word she tuke ane passioun,
Syne flatlyngis fell and swappit into swoun'.
With sorry hart, persit 10 with compassioun,

And salt teris distilling from myne ene,
To heir that birdis lamentatioun,

I did approche undir ane hawthorne grene,

Quhair micht hear, and see, and be unseen ; And quhen this bird had swooned twice or thryse, Scho

gan to speik”, saying upon this wyse. Thus modernised

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Sweet bird, said I, beware! mount not too high,

Hawks may be near-perchance thou'lt slip thy foot ; Besides thou'rt very fat, nor used to fly.

Tush, I will mount, she answered, coûte qui coûte; ;

Am I a bird ? a popinjay to boot?
And shall I not climb up a sorry tree?
Have I my nature lost ? talk not such stuff to me.
So climbing to the highest twig she past,

And her green wings most wantonly outspread ;
But e'er she wist fell Boreas sent a blast,

Broke the slim perch-then down she dropt like lead

Upon a stake-a fearful wound it made
In her fair breast-out rushed the sanguine rill,
Whilst in faint tones she cried, I wish to make my will.
Thou canst not doubt my heart was woe-begone,

To see my favourite weltering mid the flowers,
Fluttering in death, and pouring forth her moan.

Adieu, she cried ; adieu, my happy hours !
Now cruel death thy shadow o'er me lours.
Thus spoke my sweet and most poetic bird,
Ah spare me but a while, my last request regard !
Though I have much mismanaged mine estate,

I have some wealth to leave ere I depart;
Friends may be blest, though I be desolate.

Thus kindly and considerate was the heart

Of poor papingo ; but a sudden sinart
Now coming o'er her, from the mortal wound,
Shook every inmost nerve, and falling flat she swoon'd.
Pierced with compassion at her wretched plight,

Down my warm cheek there dropt full many a tear;
Yet I was anxious to be out of sight,

That her last words I might more truly hear.

So by the hawthorns screen'd I drew me nearThrice did she swoon, by poignant pain opprest, Then oped her languid eyes, and thus her woes exprest. In her last moments, the unfortunate papingo addresses an epistle, first to the king, her royal master, as in duty bound, next to her brethren at

VOL. III.

court, and, lastly, she enters into a long expostulation with her executors, a pye, a raven, and a hawk, who personate the characters of a canon regular, a black monk, and a holy friar. In this manner, somewhat inartificial, if we consider that the poem is long, and the papingo in the agonies of death, Lindsay contrives to introduce his advice to the king, his counsel to the courtiers and nobles, and his satire upon the corruptions of the clergy. Much in each of these divisions is excellent, the observations are shrewd, the political advice sound and honest, the poetry always elegant, often brilliant, and the wit of that light and graceful kind, which, unlike some of his other pieces, is not de. formed by coarseness or vulgarity. It may indeed be generally remarked of Lindsay's poetry, that there is in it far greater variety, both in subject and invention, than in any of his predecessors, not excepting even Dunbar or Douglas. I regret that I may not delay long upon any of these epistles. A stanza or two from each will be sufficient to prove the truth of my criticism. In the epistle to the king, after alluding to his fine natural genius and accomplishments, he introduces these nervous lines :

Quharefore sen thou hes sic capacitie

To lerne to play sae pleasandly, and sing, Ride hors, rin speiris, with grit audacitie ;

Schute with handbow, crossbow, and culvering; Amang the rest, sir, learn to be ane king. Kyith on that craft, thy pregnant fresh ingyne, Grantit to thee by influence divine.

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Pray thou to Him that rent wes on the rude,

The to defend from deidis' of defame,
That na poeit report of the bot gude,

For princis days induris bot ane drame;

Sen fyrst king Fergus bure ane dyadame
Thou art the last king of five scoir and fyve,
And all are deid, and nane bot thou on lyve.
Treit ilk trew baron as he wes thy brother,

Quhilk mon : at neid thee and thy realm defend. '
Quhen suddanlie ane doth oppress ane other,

Let justice, mixed with mercy, thame amend,

Have thou their hartis, thou hes yneuch * to spend.] And be the contrair thou art bot king of bone,

From tyme thy lordis' harts bene fro the gone*. The epistle to his dear brother at court contains an excellent commentary on the disasters to which kings and nobles have been generally exposed in all countries, with a more particular allusion to the history of Scotland, from the period of Robert the Third to the fatal field of Flodden, and the troubled minority of his own sovereign. In the rapid sketches which he gives of the characters and misfortunes of the various monarchs who pass before us, the poet shows great discrimination, as well as a remarkable command of powerful and condensed versification. The miserable assassination of the Duke of Rothsay, the broken heart of his royal father, the captivity and cruel murder of James the First, the sudden death of his successor, the rebellion of the nobles, and of his

son against James the Third, the hanging of Cochrane and his · Cative Companie' over Lander Brig, the brilliant and gallant court, and i deeds. nothing but good.

+ enough. * Poems, vol. i., pp. 300, 302, 303.

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