Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
Extracts from The Testament and Complaynt of the Papingo
By Sir David Lindsay (1490?–1555)
KYNG JAMES the First, the patroun of prudence,
  Gem of ingyne, 1 and peirll of polycie,
Well of Justice, and flude of eloquence,
  Quhose vertew doith transcende my fantasie
  For tyll discryve; yit quhen he stude most hie        5
Be fals exhorbitant conspiratioun
That prudent Prince was piteouslie put down.
Als, James the Secunde, roye of gret renoun,
  Beand in his superexcelland glore,
Throuch reakless schuttyng of one gret cannoun        10
  The dolent deith, allace! did hym devore.
  One thyng thare bene, of quhilk I marvell more,
That Fortune had at hym sic mortall feid 2
Throuch fyftie thousand, to waill 3 him by the heid.
My hart is peirst with panes, for to pance, 4        15
  Or wrytt, that courtis variatioun
Of James the Third, quhen he had governance,
  The dolour, dreid, and desolatioun,
  The change of court and conspiratioun;
And quhou that Cochrane, with his companye,        20
That tyme in courte clam so presumpteouslye.
*        *        *        *        *
Allace! quhare bene that rycht redoutit roye,
  That potent prince, gentyll King James the Feird? 5
I pray to Christe his saule for to convoye:
  Ane greater nobyll rang 6 nocht in to the eird.        25
  O Atropus! warye 7 we maye thy weird;
For he wes myrrour of humylitie,
Lode sterne and lampe of liberalytie.
And of his court, throuch Europe sprang the fame,
  Of lustie Lordis and lufesum Ladyis ying,        30
Tryumphand tornayis, justyng, and knychtly game,
  With all pastyme, accordyng for ane kyng:
  He wes the glore of princelie governyng,
Quhilk, throuch the ardent lufe he had to France,
Agane Ingland did move his ordinance. 8        35
Of Floddoun Feilde the rewyne to revolve,
  Or that most dolent daye for tyll deplore,
I nyll, for dreid that dolour yow dissolve,
  Schaw how that prince, in his tryumphand glore,
  Distroyit was, quhat nedeith proces more?        40
Nocht be the vertew of Inglis ordinance
Bot, be his awin wylfull mysgovernance.
Note 1. understanding. [back]
Note 2. feud. [back]
Note 3. choose. [back]
Note 4. think. [back]
Note 5. fourth. [back]
Note 6. reigned. [back]
Note 7. curse. [back]
Note 8. array. [back]

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