Robert Henryson ( )


Orpheus and Eurydice


The nobilnes and grit magnificens
Of prince or lord quhai list to magnifie,
His ancestre and lineall discens
Suld first extoll and his genolegie
So that his harte he mycht inclyne thairby
The moir to vertew and to worthines
Herand rehers his elderis gentilnes.

It is contrair the lawis of nature
A gentill man to be degenerat,
Nocht following of his progenitour
The worthe rewll and the lordly estait.
A ryall rynk for to be rusticat
Is bot a monsture in comparesoun,
Had in dispyt and foule derisioun.

I say this be the grit lordis of Grew
Quhich set thair hairt and all thair haill curage
Thair faderis steppis justly to persew
Eiking the wirschep of thair he lenage.
The ancient and sad wyse men of age
Wer tendouris to the yung and insolent
To mak thame in all vertewis excellent.

Lyk as a strand of watter of a spring
Haldis the sapour of the fontell well
So did in Grece ilk lord and worthy king,
Of forbearis thay tuk tarage and smell
Amang the quhilk, of ane I think to tell.
Bot first his gentill generatioun
I sall rehers with your correctioun.

Upone the mountane of Elicone
The most famous of all Arrabea,
A goddes dwelt, excellent in bewté,
Gentill of blude, callit Memoria
Quhilk Jupiter that god to wyfe can ta
And carnaly hir knew, quhilk eftir syne
Apone a day bare him fair dochteris nyne.

The first in Grew wes callit Euterpe,
In our language, Gud delectacioun.
The secound maid clippit Melpomyne
As Hony sweit in modelatioun.
Thersycore is Gud instructioun
Of everything, the thrid sister iwis
Thus out of Grew in Latyne translait is.

Caliope that madin mervalous
The ferd sistir, Of all musik maistres
And mother to the king ser Orpheous
Quhilk throw his wyfe was efter king of Trais,
Clio the fyift that now is a goddes
In Latyne callit Meditatioun
Of everything that has creatioun,

The sext sister was callit Herato
Quhilk Drawis lyk to lyk in every thing,
The sevint lady was fair Polimio
Quhilk cowth a Thowsand sangis sweitly sing,
Talia syne quhilk can our saulis bring
In Profound wit and grit agilité
Till undirstand and haif capacitie,

Urania the nynt and last of all
In oure langage quha couth it rycht expound
Is callit Armony celestiall
Rejosing men with melody and sound.
Amang thir nyne Calliope wes cround
And maid a quene be michty god Phebus
Of quhome he gat this prince ser Orpheous.

No wondir is thocht he wes fair and wyse,
Gentill and full of liberalitie,
His fader god and his progenetryse
A goddes, finder of all armony.
Quhen he wes borne scho set him on hir kne
And gart him souk of hir twa paupis quhyte
The sweit lecour of all musik perfyte.

Incressand sone to manhed up he drew,
Of statur large and frely fair of face,
His noble fame so far it sprang and grew
Till at the last the michty quene of Trace
Excellent fair, haboundand in riches,
A message send unto this prince so ying
Requyrand him to wed hir and be king.

Euridices that lady had to name
And quhene scho saw this prince so glorius
Hir erand to propone scho thocht no schame,
With wordis sweit and blenkis amorous
Said, Welcum, lord and lufe ser Orpheus,
In this provynce ye salbe king and lord.
Thay kissit syne and thus thay can accord.

Betwix Orpheus and fair Erudices
Fra thai wer weddit, on fra day to day
The low of lufe cowth kyndill and incres
With mirth and blythnes, solace and with play.
Of wardly joy allace, quhat sall I say,
Lyk till a flour that plesandly will spring
Quhilk fadis sone and endis with murnyng.

I say this be Erudices the quene
Quhilk walkit furth into a May mornyng
Bot with a madyn in a medow grene
To tak the dewe and se the flouris spring,
Quhair in a schaw neirby this lady ying
A busteous hird callit Arresteus
Kepand his beistis lay undir a bus

And quhen he saw this lady solitar
Bairfut with shankis quhyter than the snaw,
Preckit with lust he thocht withoutin mair
Hir till oppres and till hir can he draw.
Dreidand for scaith, sche fled quhen scho him saw
And as scho ran all bairfute in a bus
Scho strampit on a serpent vennemus.

This cruwall venome was so penetrife
As natur is of all mortall pusoun,
In peisis small this quenis harte can rife
And scho anone fell on a deidly swoun.
Seand this cais, Proserpyne maid hir boun,
Quhilk clepit is the goddes infernall,
Ontill hir court this gentill quene can call

And quhen scho vaneist was and unvisible,
Hir madyn wepit with a wofull cheir,
Cryand with mony schowt and voce terrible
Quhill at the last king Orpheus can heir
And of hir cry the caus sone cowth he speir.
Scho said, Allace, Erudices your quene
Is with the phary tane befoir my ene.

This noble king inflammit all in yre
And rampand as a lyoun revanus
With awfull luke and ene glowand as fyre
Sperid the maner and the maid said thus,
Scho strampit on a serpent venemus
And fell on swoun. With that the quene of fary
Clawcht hir up sone and furth with hir cowth cary.

Quhen scho had said, the king sichit full soir,
His hert neir birst for verry dule and wo,
Half out of mynd he maid no tary moir
Bot tuk his harp and to the wod cowth go
Wrinkand his handis, walkand to and fro
Quhill he mycht stand, syne sat doun on a stone
And till his harp thusgait he maid his mone,

O dulfull herp with mony dully string
Turne all thy mirth and musik in murning
And seis of all thy sutell sangis sweit.
Now weip with me thy lord and cairfull king
Quhilk lossit hes in erd all his lyking
And all thy game thow change in gole and greit
Thy goldin pynnis with mony teris weit
And all my pane foll to report thow preis,
Cryand with me in every steid and streit
Quhair art thou gone, my luve Ewridices?

Him to rejos yit playit he a spring
Quhill that the fowlis of the wid can sing
And treis dansit with thair levis grene
Him to devoid from his grit womenting
Bot all in vane, that vailyeit him nothing,
His hairt wes so upoun his lusty quene
The bludy teiris sprang out of his ene,
Thair wes na solace mycht his sobbing ses
Bot cryit ay with cairis cauld and kene,
Quhair art thow gone, my lufe Euridices?

Fairweill my place, fairweill plesance and play
And wylcum woddis wyld and wilsum way.
My wicket werd in wildirnes to ware,
My rob ryell and all my riche array
Changit salbe in rude russet and gray,
My dyademe intill a hate of hair,
My bed salbe with bever, brok, and bair
In buskis bene with mony busteous bes,
Withowttin sang, sayand with siching sair,
Quhair art thow gone, my luve Euridices?

I thee beseik, my fair fadir Phebus,
Haif pety of thy awin sone Orpheus,
Wait thow nocht weill I am thy barne and chyld?
Now heir my plaint panefull and peteus,
Direk me fro this deid so dolorus
Quhilk gois thus withouttin gilt begyld.
Lat nocht thy face with cluddis be oursyld,
Len me thy lycht and lat me nocht go leis
To find that fair in fame that nevir was fyld,
My lady quene and lufe Euridices.

O Jupiter, thow god celestiall
And grantser to myself, on thee I call
To mend my murning and my drery mone,
Thow gif me fors that I nocht fant nor fall
Till I hir fynd, for seke hir suth I sall
And nowther stint nor stand for stok na stone,
Throw thy godheid gyde me quhair scho is gone,
Gar hir appeir and put my hairt in pes 
King Orpheus thus, with his harp, allone,
Soir weipand for his wyfe Euridices.

Quhen endit wer thir songis lamentable
He tuk his harp and on his breist can hing,
Syne passit to the hevin as sayis the fable
To seik his wyfe bot that velyeid nothing.
By Wedlingis Streit he went but tareing,
Syne come doun throw the speir of Saturne ald
Quhilk fadir is to all the stormis cald.

Quhen scho wes socht outhrow that cauld region,
Till Jupiter his grandsyr can he wend
Quhilk rewit soir his lamentation
And gart his spheir be socht fro end to end.
Scho was nocht thair, and doun he can descend
Till Mars the god of battell and of stryfe
And socht his spheir yit gat he nocht his wyfe.

Than went he doun till his fadir Phebus
God of the sone with bemis brycht and cleir,
Bot quhen he saw his awin son Orpheus
In sic a plicht, that changit all his cheir
And gart annone ga seik throw all his spheir
Bot all in vane, his lady come nocht thair.
He tuk his leif and to Venus can fair.

Quhen he hir saw, he knelit and said thus,
Wait ye nocht weill I am your awin trew knycht,
In luve nane leler than ser Orpheus
And ye of luve goddes and most of micht,
Of my lady help me to get a sicht.
Forsuth, quod scho, Ye mone seik nedir mair.
Than fra Venus he tuk his leif but mair.

Till Mercury but tary is he gone
Quhilk callit is the god of eloquens,
Bot of his wyfe thair knawlege gat he none.
With wofull hairt he passit doun frome thens,
Onto the mone he maid no residens.
Thus frome the hevin he went on to the erd
Yit be the way sum melody he lerd.

In his passage amang the planeitis all
He hard a hevinly melody and sound
Passing all instrumentis musicall
Causit be rollyn of the speiris round
Quhilk armony throu all this mappamound,
Quhill moving seis, unyt perpetuall,
Quhilk of this warld Plato the saule can call.

Thair leirit he tonis proportionat
As duplare, triplare, and emetricus,
Emolius and eik the quadruplait,
Epogdeus rycht hard and curius.
Of all thir sex sweit and delicious,
Rycht consonant, fyfe hevinly symphonys
Componyt ar, as clerkis can devyse.

First diatasserone full sweit iwis
And dyapasone semple and dowplait
And dyapente componyt with the dys,
Thir makis fyve of thre multiplicat.
This mirry musik and mellefluat
Compleit and full of nummeris od and evin
Is causit be the moving of the hevin.

Of sik musik to wryt I do bot doit,
Thairfoir of this mater a stray I lay
For in my lyfe I cowth nevir sing a noit,
Bot I will tell how Orpheus tuk the way
To seik his wyfe attour the gravis gray,
Hungry and cauld our mony wilsum wone
Withouttin gyd, he and his harp allone.

He passit furth the space of twenty dayis
Fer and ful fer and ferrer than I can tell
And ay he fand streitis and reddy wayis
Till at the last unto the yet of hell
He come and thair he fand a porter fell
With thre heidis, wes callit Serberus,
A hound of hell, a monster mervellus.

Than Orpheus began to be agast
Quhen he beheld that ugly hellis hound.
He tuk his harp and on it playit fast
Till at the last throw sweitnes of the sound
This dog slepit and fell doun on the ground,
Than Orpheus attour his wame in stall
And neddirmair he went as ye heir sall.

He passit furth ontill a ryvir deip,
Our it a brig and on it sisteris thre
Quhilk had the entre of the brig to keip.
Electo, Megera and Thesaphone
Turnit a quheill wes ugly for to se
And on it spred a man hecht Exione
Rolland about rycht windir wobegone

Than Orpheus playd a joly spring,
The thre susteris full fast thay fell on sleip,
The ugly quheill seisit of hir quhirling,
Thus left wes none the entre for to keip,
Thane Exione out of the quheill gan creip
And stall away and Orpheus annone
Without stopping atour the brig is gone,

Nocht far frome thyne he come unto a flude
Drubly and deip that rathly doun can rin
Quhair Tantelus, nakit, full thristy stude
And yit the wattir yeid aboif his chin.
Quhen he gaipit, thair wald no drop cum in.
Quhen he dowkit, the watter wald discend.
Thusgat he nocht his thrist to slake no mend.

Befoir his face ane naple hang also
Fast at his mouth upoun a tolter threde.
Quhen he gapit, it rokkit to and fro
And fled as it refusit him to feid.
Than Orpheus had reuth of his gret neid,
He tuk his harp and fast on it can clink.
The wattir stud and Tantalus gat drink.

Syne our a mure with thornis thik and scherp
Wepand allone a wilsum way he went
And had nocht bene throw suffrage of his harp
With fell pikis he had bene schorne and schent.
As he blenkit besyd him on the bent
He saw speldit a wonder wofull wycht
Nalit full fast and Ticius he hicht

And on his breist thair sat a grisly grip
Quhilk with his bill his belly throw can boir,
Both maw, myddret, hart, lever, and trip
He ruggit out, his panis war the moir.
Quhen Orpheus thus saw him suffir soir,
He tuke his herp and maid sweit melody,nobr>
The grip is fled and Ticius left his cry.

Beyond this mure he fand a feirfull streit
Myrk as the nycht, to pas rycht dengerus,
For sliddrenes skant mycht he hald his feit,
In quhilk thair wes a stynk rycht odius
That gydit him to hiddous hellis hous
Quhair Rodomantus and Proserpina
Wer king and quene, and Orpheus in can ga.

O dully place and grundles deip dungeoun,
Furnes of fyre with stink intollerable,
Pit of dispair without remissioun,
Thy meit vennome, thy drink is pusonable,
Thy grit panis to compt unnumerable,
Quhat creature cumis to dwell in thee
Is ay deand and nevirmoir may de.

Thair fand he mony cairfull king and quene
With croun on heid of brass full hate birnand
Quhilk in thair lyfe rycht maisterfull had bene,
And conquerouris of gold, riches, and land.
Hectore of Troy and Priame thair he fand
And Alexander for his wrang conqueist,
Antiochus als for his foull incest,

And Julius Cesar for his crewaltie
And Herod with his brudiris wyfe he saw
And Nero for his grit iniquitie
And Pilot for his breking of the law,
Syne undir that he lukit and cowth knaw
Cresus that king, none mychtiar on mold,
For cuvatyse yet full of birnand gold.

Thair saw he Pharo for oppressioun
Of Godis folk, on quhilk the plaigis fell,
And Sawll eke for the grit abusioun
Of justice to the folk of Israell,
Thair saw he Acob and quene Jesabell
Quhilk silly Nabot that wes a propheit trew
For his wyne yaird withouttin mercy slew.

Thair saw he mony paip and cardynall
In haly kirk quhilk dois abusioun
And archbischopis in thair pontificall
Be symonie and wrang intrusioun,
Abbottis and men of all religioun
For evill disponyng of thair placis rent
In flame of fyre wer bittirly torment.

Syne neddirmair he went quhair Pluto was
And Proserpyne and hiddirwart he drew
Ay playand on his harp quhair he cowth pas
Till at the last Erudices he knew
Lene and deidlyk, peteous and paill of hew,
Rycht warsche and wane and walluid as the weid,
Hir lilly lyre was lyk unto the leid.

Quod he, My lady leill and my delyt,
Full wo is me till se yow changit thus.
Quhair is your rude as ros with cheikis quhyte,
Your cristell ene with blenkis amorus,
Your lippis reid to kis delicius?
Quod scho, As now I der nocht tell perfay
Bot ye sall wit the caus ane uther day.

Quod Pluto, Ser, thocht scho be lyk ane elf,
Scho hes no caus to plenye and for quhy
Scho fairis alsweill daylie as dois myself
Or king Herod for all his chevelry.
It is langour that putis hir in sic ply.
War scho at hame in hir cuntré of Trace,
Scho wald refete ful sone in fax and face.

Than Orpheus befoir Pluto sat doun
And in his handis quhit his herp can ta
And playit mony sweit proportioun
With bais tonis in ypodorica,
With gemilling in yporlerica,
Quhill at the last for rewth and grit petie
Thay weipit soir that cowth him heir and se.

Than Proserpene and Pluto bad him as
His waresoun and he wald haif rycht nocht
Bot licience with his wyfe away to pas
To his cuntré, that he so far had soucht.
Quod Proserpyne, Sen I hir hiddir brocht
We sall nocht pairte without conditioun.
Quod he, Thairto I mak promissioun.

Euridices than be the hand thow tak
And pas thi way, bot undirneth this pane,
Gife thou turnis or blenkis behind thy bak,
We sall hir haif to hell forevir agane.
Thocht this was hard, yit Orpheus was fane
And on thay went talkand of play and sport
Till thay almost come to the outwart port.

Thus Orpheus, with inwart lufe repleit,
So blindit was with grit effectioun,
Pensyfe in hart apone his lady sweit,
Remembrit nocht his hard conditioun.
Quhat will ye moir, in schort conclusioun,
He blent bakwart and Pluto come annone
And onto hell with hir agane is gone.

Allace it was grete hartsare for to heir
Of Orpheus the weping and the wo
How his lady that he had bocht so deir
Bot for a luk so sone wes tane him fro.
Flatlingis he fell and micht no fordir go
And lay a quhile in swoun and extasy.
Quhen he ourcome, thus out on lufe can cry,

Quhat art thou, luve, how sall I thee defyne?
Bittir and sweit, crewall and merciable,
Plesand to sum, to uthir plent and pyne,
Till sum constant, to uthir variable,
Hard is thy law, thy bandis unbrekable,
Quho servis thee, thocht thay be nevir sa trew,
Perchance sumtyme thay sall haif caus to rew.

Now find I weill this proverb trew, quod he,
Hart on the hurd and handis on the soir,
Quhair luve gois, on fors mone turne the e.
I am expart and wo is me tharfoir.
Bot for a luke my lady is forloir.
Thus chydand on with luve our burne and bent
A wofull wedo hamewart is he went.

Moralitas
Now wirthy folk, Boece that senatour
To wryt this fenyeit fable tuk in cure
In his gay buke of Consolatioun
For our doctrene and gud instructioun
Quhilk in the self suppois it fenyeid be
And hid undir the cloik of poesie,
Yit maister Trivat, doctour Nicholas,
Quhilk in his tyme a noble theologe was
Applyis it to gud moralitie,
Rycht full of fruct and seriositie.
Fair Phebus is the god of sapience,
Caliope his wyfe is eloquence,
Thir twa mareit gat Orpheus belyfe,
Quhilk callit is the pairte intellective
Of manis saule and undirstanding, fre
And seperat fra sensualitie.
Euridices is oure effectioun
Be fantesy oft movit up and doun,
Quhile to ressone it castis the delyte,
Quhyle to the flesche it settis the appetyte.
Arestius, this herd that cowth persew
Euridices, is nocht bot gud vertew
That bissy is to keip our myndis clene
Bot quhen we fle outthrow the medow grene
Fra vertew till this warldis vane plesans,
Myngit with cair and full of variance,
The serpent stangis that is the deidly sin
That posownis the saule without and in,
And than is deid and eik oppressit doun
Till wardly lust all our affectioun.
Thane perfyte reson weipis wondir sair,
Seand thusgait our appetyte misfair
And to the hevin he passis up belyfe,
Schawand to us the lyfe contemplatyfe,
The perfyte will and eik the fervent luve
We suld haif allway to the hevin abuve,
Bot seildin thair our appetyte is fundin,
It is so fast within the body bundin,
Thairfoir dounwart we cast our myndis e,
Blindit with lust and may nocht upwartis fle.
Sould our desyre be socht up in the spheiris
Quhen it is tedderit in thir warldly breiris,
Quhyle on the flesch, quhyle on this warldis wrak,
And to the hevin small intent we tak.
Schir Orpheus, thow seikis all in vane
Thy wyfe so he, tharfoir cum doun agane
And pas unto the monster mervellus
With thre heidis that we call Cerberus
Quhilk fenyeid is to haif so mony heidis
For to betakin thre maner of deidis.
The first is in the tendir yong bernage,
The secound deid is in the middill age,
The thrid is in greit eild quhen men ar tane.
Thus Cerberus to swelly sparis nane,
Bot quhen our mynd is myngit with sapience
And plais upoun the herp of eloquence,
That is to say, makis persuasioun
To draw our will and our affectioun
In every eild fra syn and fowll delyte,
The dog our sawll na power hes to byte.
The secound monstour ar the sistiris thre,
Electo, Migera, and Thesaphany.
Ar nocht ellis, in bukis as we reid,
Bot wicket thoucht, ill word and thrawart deid:
Electo is the bolling of the harte,
Mygera is the wikkit word outwert,
Thesaphony is operatioun
That makis fynall executioun
Of deidly syn, and thir thre turnis ay
The ugly quheill, quhilk is nocht ellis to say
Bot warldly men sumtyme ar cassin he
Upone the quheill in gret prosperitie
And with a quhirle onwarly or thai wait
Ar thrawin doun to pure and law estait.
Of Exione that on the quheill was spred
I sall yow tell sum part as I haif red.
He was of lyfe brukle and lecherous
And in that craft hardy and curagus
That he wald luve into no lawar place
Bot Juno, quene of nature and goddace,
And on a day he went upon the sky
And socht Juno, thinkand with hir to ly.
Scho saw him cum and knew his foull entent.
A rany clud doun fra the firmament
Scho gart discend and kest betwix thaim two
And in that clud his natur yeid him fro,
Of quhilk was generat the sentowris,
Half man, half hors, upoun a ferly wis.
Thane for the inwart crabing and offens
That Juno tuke for his grit violens,
Scho send him doun unto the sistiris thre
Upone a quheill ay turnyt for to be.
Bot quhen ressoun and perfyte sapience
Playis upone the herp of eloquens
And persuadis our fleschly appetyte
To leif the thocht of this warldly delyte,
Than seisis of our hert the wicket will,
Fra frawart language than the tong is still,
Our synfull deidis fallis doun on sleip.
Thane Exione out of the quheill gan creip,
That is to say the grit solicitud,
Quhyle up quhyle doun, to win this warldis gud
Seisis furthwith and our affectioun
Waxis quiet in contemplatioun.
This Tantalus of quhome I spak of aire,
Quhill he levit he was a gay ostlaire,
And on a nycht come travilland thairby
The god of riches and tuk harbery
With Tantalus, and he till his supper
Slew his awin sone that was hym leif and deir,
And gart the god eit up his flesche ilk deill
Intill a sew with spycis soddin weill.
For this dispyt quhen he was deid annone
Was dampnit in the flud of Acherone
Till suffer hungir, thrist, nakit and cawld,
Rycht wobegone as I befoir haif tould.
This hungry man and thristy, Tantalus,
Betaknis men gredy and covetous,
The god of riches that ar ay reddy
For to ressaif and tak in herbery
And till him seith thair sone in pecis small,
That is thair flesch and blud, with grit travell
To fill the bag and nevir fynd in thair hairt
Upoun thameself to spend nor tak thair pairte.
Allace in erd quhair is thare mair foly
Than for to want and haif haboundantly,
Till haif distresse on bak, on bed and burd
And spair till othir men of gold a hurd
And in the nycht sleip soundly thay may nocht,
To gaddir geir so gredy is thair thocht.
Bot quhen that ressoun and intelligence
Smytis upoun the herp of conscience,
Schawand to us quhat perrell on ilk syd
That thai incur quhay will trest or confyd
Into this warldis vane prosperitie
Quhilk hes thir sory properteis thre,
That is to say, gottin with grit labour,
Keipit with dreid and tynt with grit dolour.
This avaris be grace quha undirstud
I trow suld leif thair grit solicitude
Of ythand thochtis and he besines
To gaddir gold, syne leif in distres,
Bot he suld eit and drink quhenevir he list
Of cuvatyse to slaik the birnand thrist.
This Ticius lay nalit on the bent
And wyth the grip his bowellis revin and rent,
Quhill he levit set his intentioun
To find the craft of divinatioun
And lerit it unto the spamen all
To tell befoir sic thingis as wald befall,
Quhat lyfe, quhat deth, quhat destany and werd
Provydit ware to every man on erd.
Appollo than for his abusioun,
Quhilk is the god of divinatioun,
For he usurpit in his facultie,
Put him to hell and thair remanis he.
Ilk man that heiris this conclusioun
Suld dreid to sers be constillatioun
Thingis to fall undir the firmament,
Till Ye or Na, quhilk ar indefferent
Without profixit causis and certane,
Quhilk nane in erd may knaw bot God allane.
Quhen Orpheus upoun his harp can play,
That is our undirstanding for to say,
Cryis, O man, recleme thi folich harte!
Will thow be god and tak on the his pairte,
To tell thingis to cum that nevir wil be
Quhilk God hes kepit in his prevetie?
Thow ma no mair offend to God of micht
Na with thi spaying reif fra him his richt.
This perfyte wisdome with his melody
Fleyis the spreit of fenyeid profecy
And drawis upwart our affectioun.
. . .
Fra wichcraft, spaying, and sorsery,
And superstitioun of astrolegy,
Saif allanerly sic maner of thingis
Quhilk upoun trew and certane causis hingis,
The quhilk mone cum, to thair caus indure,
On verry fors and nocht throw avanture,
As is the clippis and the conjunctioun
Of sone and mone be calculatioun,
The quhilk ar fundin in trew astronomy
Be moving of the speiris in the sky.
All thir to speik it may be tollerable
And none udir quhilk no causis stable.
This ugly way, this myrk and dully streit
Is nocht ellis bot blinding of the spreit
With myrk cluddis and myst of ignorance,
Affetterrit in this warldis vane plesance
And bissines of temporalite.
To kene the self a styme it may nocht se,
For stammeris on eftir effectioun.
Fra ill to war ale thus to hell gois doun,
That is wanhowp throw lang hanting of syn
And fowll dispair that mony fallis in.
Than Orpheus our ressoun is full wo
And twichis on his harp and biddis Ho,
Till our desyre and fulich appetyte
Bidis leif this warldis full delyte.
Than Pluto god, and quene of hellis fyre,
Mone grant to ressoun on fors the desyre.
Than Orpheus has wone Euridices
Quhen oure desyre with ressoun makis pes
And seikis up to contemplatioun,
Of syn detestand the abusioun,
Bot ilk man suld be wyse and warly se
That he bakwart cast nocht his myndis e
Gifand consent and delectatioun
Of fleschly lust for the affectioun,
For thane gois bakwart to the syn agane,
Our appetyte as it befoir was, slane
In warldly lust and vane prosperite,
And makis ressoun wedow for to be.
Now pray we God sen our affectioun
Is allway promp and reddy to fall doun
That he wald undirput his haly hand
Of mantenans and gife us fors to stand
In perfyte lufe as he is glorius
And thus endis the taill of Orpheus.



Robert Henryson's other poems:
  1. The Wolf and the Lamb
  2. The Ressoning betwix Aige and Yowth
  3. The Preaching of the Swallow
  4. The Bludy Serk
  5. Ane Prayer for the Pest


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