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Of this accomplished creature ; for my place
And soon far wiser than my lore she grew,
And other wond'rous things full well she knew;
She counterfeited every bird that flew,-
Bark'd as a hound, or bleated like a sheep;
Next, like a tight-rope dancer would she leap,
And swing, and fall, and slyly seem to weep,
So happily she knew to play the fool-
She might have been a minstrel sweet at Yule.
I bore to her a love that ne'er could cool,
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 ;
The greedie gled I dreid she thee assailzie.
With wing displayit, scho sat full wantonlye ;
Quhilk brak 5 the branch, and blew her suddanlye
Down to the ground, with mony careful crye.
To see that fowl Hychter 6 amang the flowirs,-
Now cummin are, she said, the fatal houris
Of bitter death; now mon I thole 7 the schouris.
And to dispone my geire, or I departe,--
Allane, except the deith, heir with his dart,
With awful cheir, reddy to perse my hart.
And salt teris distilling from myne ene,
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
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 her green wings most wantonly outspread ;
Broke the slim perch-then down she dropt like lead
Upon a stake-a fearful wound it made
To see my favourite weltering mid the flowers,
Adieu, she cried ; adieu, my happy hours !
I have some wealth to leave ere I depart;
Thus kindly and considerate was the heart
Of poor papingo ; but a sudden sinart
Down my warm cheek there dropt full many a tear;
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
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.
Pray thou to Him that rent wes on the rude,
The to defend from deidis' of defame,
For princis days induris bot ane drame;
Sen fyrst king Fergus bure ane dyadame
Quhilk mon : at neid thee and thy realm defend. '
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.