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Poem by William Dunbar

The Antichrist

Lucina schyning in silence of the nycht,
The hevyn all being full of sterris bricht,
To bed I went, bot thair I tuke no rest.
With havie thocht so sair I wes opprest
That sair I langit eftir the dayis licht.

Of Fortoun I complenit havalie
That scho to me stude so contrariouslie,
And at the last, quhone I had turnit oft,
For werynes on me a slumer soft
Come with a dreming and a fantasie.

Me thocht Dame Fortoun with a fremmit cheir
Stude me beforne, and said on this maneir:
"Thow suffir me to wirk gif thow do weill,
And preis thee not to stryve aganis my quheill,
Quhilk everie wardlie thing dois turne and steir.

"Full mony ane I set upone the heycht,
And makis mony full law doun to lycht.
Upone my stagis or that thow do ascend,
Traist wele thi trouble is neir at ane end,
Seing thir takynnis; quhairfoir thow mark thame richt.

"Thy trublit gaist sall never be degest,
Nor thow into no benefice possest,
Quhill that ane abbot him cleythe in eirnis pennys
And fle up in the air amang the crennys,
And as a falcoun fair fro eist to west.

"He sall ascend as ane horrible griphoun.
Him meit sall in the air ane scho dragoun.
Thir terribill monsturis sall togiddir thrist,
And in the cluddis get the Antechrist,
Quhill all the air infect of thair poysoun.

"Undir Saturnus fyrie regioun
Symon Magus sall meit him, and Mahoun,
And Merleyn at the mune sall him be bydand,
And Jonet the Wedo on a busum hame rydand,
Of wytchis with ane wondrus garesoun.

"And syne thai sall discend with reik and fyre,
And preiche in eird the Antechristis impyre;
And than it sal be neir the warldis end."
With that this ladie did schortlie fra me wend.
Sleipand and walkand wes frustrat my desyre.

Quhone I awoyk, my dreme it wes so nyce,
Fra everie wicht I hid it as a vyce,
Quhill I hard tell be mony suthfast wy,
Fle wald ane abbot up into the sky
And all his feddrem maid wes at devyce.

Within my hert confort I tuke full sone.
"Adew," quod I, "My drerie dayis ar done.
Full weill I wist to me wald never **** thrift
Quhill that twa munis wer first sene in the lift,
Or quhill ane abbot flew abone the moyne."

William Dunbar

William Dunbar's other poems:
  1. The Tretis of the Twa Mariit Women and the Wedo
  2. To the King [Of benefice, sir, at everie feist]
  3. Best to Be Blithe
  4. On the Resurrection of Christ [Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro]
  5. The Ballad of Kynd Kittock

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