Anonymous Sonnets 1 - 16

Ane anser to ane Inglis railar praysing his awin genalogy

Ye Inglische hursone suntyme wil avant

Your progeny frome Brutus to haif tane

And sumtyme frome ane angell or ane sanct

As Angelus and Anglus bayth war ane

Angellis in erth yit hard I few or nane

Except the feyndis with Lucifer that fell

Avant yow villane of that Lord allane

Tak thy progeny frome Pluto prence of Hell

Becauss ye vse in hoillis to hyd your sell

Anglus is cum frome Angulus in deid

Aboive all vderis Brutus bure the bell

Quha slew his fader howping to succeid

Than chuss yow ane of thais I rek not ader

Tak Beelzebub or Brutus to your fader.



Lyke as the litill emmet haith hir gall

The sorie banestikkill haith hir fin we sie

The lawest treis hes cropis thocht thay be small

The wran haith wingis with grittar fowlis to flie

Thair is ane drone sang also in the bie

Althocht I grant it may not mache the merle

Flynt is ane stone althocht in to the eie

It may not be so pretious as the perle

And Mantua is not half so fair we sie

As royall Rome, yit thay ar both bot townis

And schellops saillis alsweill as schippis most hie

And pennyis passis alsweill as goldin crownis

Strypis hes stremes alsweill as fludes hes springis

So luve is luve in peure men as in kingis.


Ane Dreame

I dreamit ane dreame, o that my dreame wer trew!

Me thocht my maistris to my chalmer came,

And with hir harmeles handis the cowrteingis drew,

And sueitlie callit on me be my name:

'Art ye on sleip,' quod sche, 'o fy for schame!

Haue ye nocht tauld that luifaris takis no rest?'

Me thocht I ansuerit, 'Trew it is, my dame,

I sleip nocht, so your luif dois me molest.'

With that me thocht hir nicht-gowne of sche cuist,

Liftit the clais and lichtit in my armis;

Hir rosie lippis me thocht on me sche thirst,

And said, 'May this nocht stanche yow of your harmes!'

'Mercy, madame,' me thocht I menit to say,

Bot quhen I walkennit, alace, sche was away.



Your outuard gesture, forme, and fassoins fair

Decleris the invard secrettis of ingyne,

Quheir is contenit sic verteuis hed and cair

That al the warld dois se in yow to schyne,

Resembling weil the verteuis raice and lyne

Quhairof ye com; quhois name to last for ay

Is eternissid be yow, and mede devyne

In register that never sal decay.

Quhairby I hoip, mestres, hap quhat so mey,

For sic revard as justly I expect

To cum fra hir, quhair vertew beiris the sway,

Quhilk alvayis suld produice the awin effect.

Sens as be nature so ye ar inclynde

Plece constancie into this verteuis mynde.



I serve ane dame moir quheiter than the snaw,

Quhois straichtnes dois the ceder treis exceid,

Quhois teith surpassis the oriant peirle in hew,

Quhois collourit lippis surmountis the skarlet threid.

The hinging lokkis that cummis from hir heid

Dois staingye the grace and glorie of the gold;

The braith quhilk dois out of hir mouth proceid

Dois moir than flouris a sweitar smell vnfauld.

Yit sche, allace, within hir breist dois hauld

Moir feirsnes than the lyoun feirs and vyld;

Sche hes ane hairt for seasoun hard and cauld,

That from my mynd all pleassur hes exyld.

Loo, this my dame dois work my lesting soir;

Yit will I serve, althocht I die thairfore.



The royall palice of the heichest hewin,

The staitlie fornace of the sterrie round,

The loftie wolt of wandring planettis sewin,

The air, the fyre, the wattir and the ground --

Suppois of thais the science be profound,

Surppassing far our gros and sillie sens,

The pregnant spreittis yit of the leirnit hes fund

By age, by tyme, and lang experience,

Thair pitche, thair powir and inflwence,

The cowrs of natwre and hir mowingis all;

Sa that we neid nocht now be in suspence

Off erthelie thingis, nor yit celestiall;

Bot onlie of this monstwre luif we dout,

Quhais craftie cowrs no cwning can find out.



The tender snow, of granis soft and quhyt,

Is nocht so sone conswmit vith Phebus heit

As is my breist, beholding my delyte,

Pyneit vith the presence of my lady sueit.

The surgeing seyis, with stormie streameis repleit,

Tormoylit nocht the wandring shipis sa sair

As absence dois torment my werie spreit,

Fleitting a flocht betuixt hoip and dispair.

My cative corps consumis with cursed cair;

Mistrust and dreid hes baneist esperance,

That I am forceit to perische quhae sould mair,

And trast the wyte vpon rememberance;

Than absence, presence, remembrance, all thre,

Torment me for hir saik eternallie.


Ane Scottis Sonnett

First serve, syne sute, quhiles seme to lichlie luif,

Gif thow intend to sin thy ladyis grace;

Serve hir, and sche thy constancie sall pruif,

Gif in hir mynd that modestie haue place;

Persewing hir may rander the relaise,

Or ellis thow can nocht conqueis hairtis desyre.

Appeirantlie sumtyme to forgett I gaise,

Hes na les force to kendill Cupydis fyre.

Hes thow nocht hard of mony leirant schyre

Thus sayit, 'flie luif and it will fallow the'?

Quhilk na wayis commandis the to espyire,

Bot wald thow suld nocht perrell libertie.

Be trew, craue tyme, assoyt nocht gif thow can:

Find sche the deschit, thow art ane marterit man.



Thocht Polibus, Pisander, and vith them

Antinous, vith monie wowaris, than

Did preis for to suppryse, and bring to schame,

Penellope, in absence of hir man,

Yit sche remanit chast as sche began,

To tyme Vlisses happinit to cum hame;

That nane of thais as yit, do quhat thai can,

Lang saxtene yeiris dowcht to defyle hir fame.

Ewin so, most sueit, discreit and mansueit muse,

Remember on your yoldin seruiture:

Thoill nane your blaseme bewtie to abuse,

Thocht thai vith leing lippis vald yow allure;

Bot sen my lyffe dois on your luife depend,

In trew luiff with Penellope contend.



Nevere, madame, of your mercie me infold,

That I may remerciat, throuch your mercie so,

To crave your mercie, gif I durst be so bold:

Without your mercie, my lyfe can haif no ho.

Craiffing your mercie, as hes done mony mo,

Your merciles peirles persoun, most preclair,

Imprent with mercie intill all tyme ago,


That, but your mercie, is trappit in your snair.

Abyding your mercie, and can no wayis eschew,

Sen bountie and bewetie, but mercie, ar but rair,

Haue mercie on me that is your lufair trew,

For except that ye mak mercie of remeid,

My awin tua handis, but mercie, salbe my deid.


Ane Sonet to the Authour in commendatioun of his buik

Your predicessouris prayse and prowes hie,

Thair hardie hairtis, hawtie, heroicall,

Of dew desert deseruis neuer to die,

Bot to be pennit and placit as principall

And metest mirrour of manheid martiall,

Vnto thair lyne and linage to give licht;

Of quhome ye come, quhose offspring yow to call,

Ye merit weill, ressembling thame so richt;

Thocht thay wer manfull men of mekill micht,

Thair douchtie deidis in yow hes not decayit.

Ye, wittie, wyse and valyeant warriour wicht,

Hes with the pen the poetis pairt weill playit,

Quhairby your lordschip enlairgit hes thair fame,

And to your self maid ane immortall name.


Epitaphe vpon the death of the right honorable Sir Richard Metland, Knight, Lord of Leidingtoun

This hallow grave within her bounds dois close

An worthy knight, baith valiant, grave and wyse,

And in the same his breathles banes repose

Quhase lyflye spreit did warldly things despyse;

Within this place the maist vnspotted lyese,

And blamles judge that justice did maintene,

Yit from his tombe (thought he be deid) doith ryse

The glorious praise to verteuous dois pertene;

For in his breist quhilk wisdome did contene

Lay steidfast treuth and vncorrupted fayth;

His honest hands from brybing did abstene,

His fautles feit did marthle in honours paith.

His feit, hands, breist lye buried in this grave,

Bot this his saule the heavens dois receave.


In commendatioun of the right honorable Syr Johne Maitland of Thirlstaine, Knight, Secretair to the King his majestie: The first visioun (1:4)

Before my face this nyght to me appeird

My silent muse, in sorrou all confound,

And half dismayd, this questioun at me speird:

Quhy doe we not his glorious praise resound?

Quhase goodnes we beyond our hope hes found,

Quhase fauour hes surmounted our desert,

And as he dois in pouer maist abbund,

So to our ayd the same he dois conuert.

O muse (quod I) euen with a willing hairt

I sall fulfill this chairge with bent desyre,

So, that to me your furye ye impart,

And thir my verse, with lerned skill inspyre,

For sen I suld (the maist renound) commend,

Ye lykwyse ought your ayde and help extend.


2 Visioun (2:4)

Thus as I spak I saw the Muses nyne,

With harpes in hand, about me sone repair,

Sa that thair hymns, and voces maist devyne,

By sympathie resonded in the air.

Sing, lett vs sing, and by our sangs declair

His worthye stock baith valiant, stout and wyse,

From quhilk hes sprung, of Muses all the cair,

Yea, of the gods, from quhome all grace dois ryse;

His father deir, quha neir his buriall lyess,

Ane Homer auld, of euerlaisting fame,

A judge maist just, and lord, quha hes the pryse

For conscience pure, of ane vnspotted name,

Off prences loued, in honour lang he liuis,

Quhase memorie his learned sones reuiuis.


3 Visioun (3:4)

And heir they stayd, till they had drawen thair breath,

Than they began with schiller toons of joy.

A Uterpe sang: his fame suruiueth death;

And Clio sayd: no force sal him destroy.

Thalia spak: lat vs our sangs employ

To blaise his praise, and eternise his glore;

Polhymina sayde: I will and sall conuoy

His consell, witt (quhilk he hes in greate store)

Through all the warld, and will him sa decore

That, as he now surpassis with his prence

In grace and loue all vthers, so before

He sall thame pass in creddit, but offence.

Lang sal he liue in ioy, in bliss, and helth,

And on his bak sall leane this coumoun welth.


4 Visioun (4:4)

As they did end, than Ouide from exy[l]e

Of Pontus cam, quhair he til death remaind,

Induiring cauld and hounger all that quhyle,

Conseumd with woe, that August him disdaind.

Alas, sayd he, in vaine have I complaind

For to assvuage Augustus yre and wreath,

And thought that thou, quho fauourd is of death.

Thy monarch, and thy great Augustus heth,

Extend his grace att thy good lords requeist

Quhose honour thou, til waisted be thy breath

Sall keip in mynde, within thy thankfull breist:

Thou sall his glore, with his desairts, proclame

And celebrat, within the kirk of fame.


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