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James Kinsley (ed.), The Poems of William Dunbar
Editor’s NoteEditor’s Note23. The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus1Schir Johine the Ros, ane thing thair is compild
- 2 In generale be Kennedy and Quinting
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus3Quhilk hes thame self aboif the sternis styld;
- 4 Bot had thay maid of mannace ony mynting
- 5 In speciall, sic stryfe sould rys but stynting;
- Critical Apparatus6Howbeit with bost thair breistis wer als bendit
- Editor’s Note7As Lucifer that fra the hevin discendit,
- Critical Apparatus8 Hell sould nocht hyd thair harnis fra harmis hynting.
- pg 779The erd sould trymbill, the firmament sould schaik,
- Critical Apparatus10 And all the air in vennaum suddane stink,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus11And all the divillis of hell for redour quaik,
- 12 To heir quhat I suld wryt with pen and ynk:
- Critical Apparatus13 For and I flyt, sum sege for schame sould sink,
- Critical Apparatus14The se sould birn, the mone sould thoill ecclippis,
- Critical Apparatus15Rochis sould ryfe, the warld sould hald no grippis,
- Editor’s Note16 Sa loud of cair the commoun bell sould clynk.
Quod Dumbar to Kennedy.
- Editor’s Note17Bot wondir laith wer I to be ane baird,
- Critical Apparatus18 Flyting to use for gritly I eschame;
- Critical Apparatus19For it is nowthir wynnyng nor rewaird
- Editor’s Note20 Bot tinsale baith of honour and of fame,
- Critical Apparatus21 Incres of sorrow, sklander and evill name:
- Critical Apparatus22Ȝit mycht thay be sa bald in thair bakbytting
- Critical Apparatus23To gar me ryme and rais the Feynd with flytting
- Critical Apparatus24 And throw all cuntreis and kinrikis thame proclame.
- Editor’s Note25Dirtin dumbar, quhome on blawis thow thy boist,
- 26 Pretendand the to wryte sic skaldit skrowis?
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus27Ramowd rebald, thow fall doun att the roist
- 28 My laureat lettres at the and I lowis:
- Editor’s Note29 Mandrag, mymmerkin, maid maister bot in mows,
- 30Thrys scheild trumpir with ane threid bair goun,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus31Say Deo mercy, or I cry the doun,
- 32 And leif thy ryming, rebald, and thy rowis.
- 33Dreid, dirtfast dearch, that thow hes dissobeyit
- 34 My cousing Quintene and my commissar;
- 35Fantastik fule, trest weill thow salbe fleyit;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus36 Ignorant elf, aip, owll irregular,
- Editor’s Note37 Skaldit skaitbird and commoun skamelar,
- pg 78Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus38Wan fukkit funling that natour maid ane yrle—
- 39Baith Johine the Ros and thow sail squeill and skirle
- 40 And evir I heir ocht of ȝour making mair.
Quod Kennedy to Dumbar. Juge in the nixt quha gat the war.
- 41Heir I put sylence to the in all pairtis;
- Critical Apparatus42 Obey and ceis the play that thow pretendis;
- Editor’s Note43Waik walidrag and verlot of the cairtis,
- 44 Se sone thow mak my commissar amendis,
- 45 And lat him lay sax leichis on thy lendis
- Critical Apparatus46Meikly in recompansing of thi scorne,
- 47Or thow sail ban the tyme that thow wes borne;
- Critical Apparatus48 For Kennedy to the this cedull sendis.
- Editor’s Note49Iersche brybour baird, vyle beggar with thy brattis,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus50 Cuntbittin crawdoun Kennedy, coward of kynd;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus51Evill farit and dryit as Denseman on the rattis,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus52 Lyk as the gleddis had on thy gulesnowt dynd;
- 53 Mismaid monstour, ilk mone owt of thy mynd,
- 54Renunce, rebald, thy rymyng; thow bot royis;
- Editor’s Note55 Thy trechour tung hes tane ane heland strynd—
- 56Ane lawland ers wald mak a bettir noyis.
- Critical Apparatus57Revin, raggit ruke, and full of rebaldrie,
- Critical Apparatus58 Scarth fra scorpione, scaldit in scurrilitie,
- 59I se the haltane in thy harlotrie
- 60 And in to uthir science no thing slie,
- 61 Of every vertew void, as men may sie;
- 62Quytclame clergie and cleik to the ane club,
- Critical Apparatus63 Ane baird blasphemar in brybrie ay to be;
- Editor’s Note64For wit and woisdome ane wisp fra the may rub.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus65Thow speiris, dastard, gif I dar with the fecht:
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus66 Ȝe dagone, dowbart, thairof haif thow no dowt.
- pg 7967Quhair evir we meit, thairto my hand I hecht
- Critical Apparatus68 To red thy rebald rymyng with a rowt.
- 69 Throw all Bretane it salbe blawin owt
- Critical Apparatus70How that thow, poysonit pelour, gat thy paikis;
- 71 With ane doig leich I schepe to gar the schowt,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus72And nowther to the tak knyfe, swerd nor aix.
- 73Thow crop and rute of tratouris tressonable,
- Critical Apparatus74 The fathir and moder of morthour and mischeif,
- Critical Apparatus75Dissaitfull tyrand with serpentis tung unstable,
- 76 Cukcald cradoun, cowart, and commoun theif:
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus77 Thow purpest for to undo our lordis cheif
- 78In Paislay with ane poysone that wes fell,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus79 For quhilk, brybour, ȝit sail thow thoill a breif:
- 80Pelour, on the I sail it preif my sell.
- Editor’s Note81 Thocht I wald lie, thy frawart phisnomy
- Critical Apparatus82Dois manifest thy malice to all men;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus83 Fy, tratour theif; fy, glengoir loun, fy, fy!
- Editor’s Note84 Fy, feyndly front far fowlar than ane fen!
- Critical Apparatus85My freyindis thow reprovit with thy pen;
- Critical Apparatus86Thow leis, tratour: quhilk I sail on the preif.
- 87 Suppois thy heid war armit tymis ten
- Critical Apparatus88Thow sail recryat, or thy croun sail cleif.
- 89Or thow durst move thy mynd malitius—
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus90 Thow saw the saill abone my heid up draw;
- 91Bot Eolus full woid and Neptunus,
- Critical Apparatus92 Mirk and moneles, us met with wind and waw
- Critical Apparatus93 And mony hundreth myll hyne cowd us blaw
- Critical Apparatus94By Holland, Seland, Ȝetland, and Northway coist
- Critical Apparatus95 In sey desert quhill we wer famist aw:
- 96 Ȝit come I hame, fals baird, to lay thy boist.
- pg 80Critical Apparatus97Thow callis the rethory with thy goldin lippis;
- Critical Apparatus98 Na, glowrand, gaipand fule, thow art begyld.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus99Thow art bot gluntoch with thy giltin hippis,
- Critical Apparatus100 That for thy lounry mony a leisch hes fyld.
- Critical Apparatus101 Wan visaged widdefow, out of thy wit gane wyld,
- Critical Apparatus102Laithly and lowsy, als lathand as ane leik,
- 103 Sen thow with wirschep wald sa fane be styld—
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus104Haill, soverane senȝeour! Thy bawis hingis throw thy breik.
- Editor’s Note105Forworthin fule, of all the warld reffuse,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus106 Quhat ferly is, thocht thow rejoys to flyte?
- Critical Apparatus107Sic eloquence as thay in Erschry use,
- Critical Apparatus108 In sic is sett thy thraward appetyte.
- Editor’s Note109 Thow hes full littill feill of fair indyte:
- 110I tak on me ane pair of Lowthiane hippis
- 111 Sail fairar Inglis mak, and mair parfyte,
- Editor’s Note112Than thow can blabbar with thy Carrik lippis.
- Editor’s Note113Bettir thow ganis to leid ane doig to skomer,
- Critical Apparatus114 Pynit pykpuris pelour, than with thy maister pingill.
- Critical Apparatus115Thow lay full prydles in the peis this somer
- Critical Apparatus116 And fane at evin for to bring hame a single,
- Critical Apparatus117 Syne rubbit at ane uthir auld wyfis ingle:
- 118Bot now in winter for purteth thow art traikit—
- Critical Apparatus119 Thow hes na breik to latt thy bellokis gyngill;
- Critical Apparatus120Beg the ane club for, baird, thow sail go naikit.
- Critical Apparatus121Lene larbar loungeour, baith lowsy in lisk and lonȝe;
- Critical Apparatus122 Fy, skolderit skyn, thow art bot skyre and skrumple;
- Editor’s Note123For he that rostit Lawarance had thy grunȝe,
- Critical Apparatus124 And he that hid sanct Johnis ene with ane wimple,
- 125 And he that dang sanct Augustyne with ane rumple
- pg 81126Thy fowll front had, and he that Bartilmo flaid:
- Critical Apparatus127 The gallowis gaipis eftir thy graceles gruntill
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus128As thow wald for ane haggeis, hungry gled.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus129Commirwald crawdoun, na man comptis the ane kers;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus130 Sueir swappit swanky, swynekeper ay for swaittis,
- Editor’s Note131Thy commissar Quintyne biddis the cum kis his ers—
- Critical Apparatus132 He luvis nocht sic ane forlane loun of laittis.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus133 He sayis thow skaffis and beggis mair beir and aitis
- Critical Apparatus134Nor ony cripill in Karrik land abowt;
- Critical Apparatus135 Uther pure beggaris and thow ar at debaittis—
- 136Decrepit karlingis on Kennedy cryis owt.
- Critical Apparatus137Mater annuche I haif, I bid nocht fenȝie,
- 138 Thocht thow, fowll trumpour, thus upoun me leid;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus139Corruptit carioun, he sall I cry thy senȝie.
- Critical Apparatus140 Thinkis thow nocht how thow come in grit neid
- Critical Apparatus141 Greitand in Galloway lyk to ane gallow breid,
- Critical Apparatus142Ramand and rolpand, beggand koy and ox?
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus143 I saw the thair in to thy wathemanis weid
- 144Quhilk wes nocht worth ane pair of auld gray sox.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus145Ersche katherene, with thy polk breik and rilling,
- 146 Thow and thy quene, as gredy gleddis ȝe gang
- Critical Apparatus147With polkis to mylne and beggis baith meill and schilling.
- 148 Thair is bot lys and lang nailis ȝow amang.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus149 Fowll heggirbald, for henis thus will ȝe hang;
- 150Thow hes ane perrellus face to play with lambis;
- Critical Apparatus151 Ane thowsand kiddis, wer thay in faldis full Strang,
- Critical Apparatus152Thy lymmerfull luke wald fle thame and thair damis.
- 153In till ane glen thow hes owt of repair
- Editor’s Note154 Ane laithly luge that wes the lippir menis;
- pg 82155With the ane sowtaris wyfe off blis als bair,
- 156 And lyk twa stalkaris steilis in cokis and henis—
- Critical Apparatus157 Thow plukkis the pultre and scho pullis of the penis.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus158All Karrik cryis, God gif this dowsy be drownd!
- 159 And quhen thow heiris ane guse cry in the glenis
- Critical Apparatus160Thow thinkis it swetar than sacrand bell of sound.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus161Thow lazarus, thow laithly lene tramort,
- Critical Apparatus162 To all the warld thow may example be
- 163To luk upoun thy gryslie peteous port;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus164 For hiddowis, haw and holkit is thyne ee,
- Critical Apparatus165 Thy cheik bane bair, and blaiknit is thy ble;
- Critical Apparatus166Thy choip, thy choll, garris men for to leif chest;
- 167 Thy gane it garris us think that we mon de:
- Critical Apparatus168 I conjure the, thow hungert heland gaist!
- Critical Apparatus169The larbar lukis of thy lang lene craig,
- 170 Thy pure pynit thrott peilit and owt of ply,
- Editor’s Note171Thy skolderit skin hewd lyk ane saffrone bag
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus172 Garris men dispyt thar flesche, thow spreit of Gy:
- Critical Apparatus173 Fy, feyndly front! fy, tykis face, fy, fy!
- 174Ay loungand lyk ane loikman on ane ledder;
- Critical Apparatus175 With hingit luik ay wallowand upone wry
- Critical Apparatus176Lyk to ane stark theif glowrand in ane tedder.
- 177Nyse nagus, nipcaik, with thy schulderis narrow,
- Critical Apparatus178 Thow lukis lowsy loun of lownis aw;
- Critical Apparatus179Hard hurcheoun, hirpland hippit as ane harrow,
- Critical Apparatus180 Thy rigbane rattillis and thy ribbis on raw;
- Critical Apparatus181 Thy hanchis hirklis with hukebanis harth and haw,
- Critical Apparatus182Thy laithly lymis ar lene as ony treis.
- Critical Apparatus183 Obey, theif baird, or I sall brek thy gaw;
- Editor’s Note184Fowll carrybald, cry mercy on thy kneis.
- pg 83Critical Apparatus185Thow pure pynhippit ugly averill
- Critical Apparatus186 With hurkland banis holkand throw thy hyd,
- Editor’s Note187Reistit and crynit as hangitman on hill
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus188 And oft beswakkit with ane ourhie tyd
- 189 Quhilk brewis mekle barret to thy bryd:
- 190Hir cair is all to clenge thy cabroch howis
- Critical Apparatus191 Quhair thow lyis sawsy in saphron bak and syd,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus192Powderit with prymros, savrand all with clowis.
- Editor’s Note193Forworthin wirling, I warne the it is wittin
- Editor’s Note194 How, skyttand skarth, thow hes the hurle behind;
- Critical Apparatus195Wan wraiglane wasp, ma wormis hes thow beschittin
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus196 Nor thair is gers on grund or leif on lind.
- Critical Apparatus197 Thocht thow did first sic foly to me fynd
- 198Thow sall agane with ma witnes than I;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus199 Thy gulsoch gane dois on thy bak it bind,
- Critical Apparatus200Thy hostand hippis lattis nevir thy hos go dry.
- 201Thow held the burch lang with ane borrowit goun
- Critical Apparatus202 And ane caprowsy barkit all with sweit,
- Critical Apparatus203And quhen the laidis saw the sa lyk a loun
- 204 Thay bickerit the with mony bae and bleit:
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus205 Now upaland thow leivis on rubbit quheit;
- 206Oft for ane caus thy burdclaith neidis no spredding,
- Critical Apparatus207 For thow hes nowthir for to drink nor eit
- 208Bot lyk ane berdles baird that had no bedding.
- Editor’s Note209Strait Gibbonis air that nevir ourstred ane hors,
- 210 Bla berfute berne, in bair tyme wes thow borne;
- Editor’s Note211Thow bringis the Carrik clay to Edinburgh cors
- Editor’s Note212 Upoun thy botingis hobland, hard as horne;
- Critical Apparatus213 Stra wispis hingis owt quhair that the wattis ar worne:
- 214Cum thow agane to skar us with thy strais,
- 215 We sall gar scale our sculis all the to scorne
- 216And stane the up the calsay quhair thow gais.
- pg 84Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus217Off Edinburch the boyis as beis owt thrawis
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus218 And cryis owt ay, Heir cumis our awin queir clerk!
- Editor’s Note219Than fleis thow lyk ane howlat chest with crawis,
- Critical Apparatus220 Quhill all the bichis at thy botingis dois bark.
- Editor’s Note221 Than carlingis cryis, Keip curches in the merk—
- Critical Apparatus222Our gallowis gaipis—lo! quhair ane greceles gais!
- 223 Ane uthir sayis, I se him want ane sark—
- 224 I reid ȝow, cummer, tak in ȝour lynning clais.
- Editor’s Note225Than rynis thow doun the gait with gild of boyis
- Critical Apparatus226 And all the toun tykis hingand in thy heilis;
- 227Of laidis and lownis thair rysis sic ane noyis
- Critical Apparatus228 Quhill runsyis rynis away with cairt and quheilis,
- 229 And caiger aviris castis bayth coillis and creilis
- 230For rerd of the and rattling of thy butis;
- Critical Apparatus231 Fische wyvis cryis, Fy! and castis doun skillis and skeilis,
- 232 Sum claschis the, sum cloddis the on the cutis.
- 233Loun lyk Mahoun, be boun me till obey,
- 234 Theif, or in greif mischeif sall the betyd;
- Critical Apparatus235Cry grace, tykis face, or I the chece and fley;
- Editor’s Note236 Oule, rare and ȝowle—I sall defowll thy pryd;
- 237 Peilit gled, baith fed and bred of bichis syd
- 238And lyk ane tyk, purspyk—quhat man settis by the!
- 239 Forflittin, countbittin, beschittin, barkit hyd,
- Critical Apparatus240Clym ledder, fyle tedder, foule edder: I defy the!
Quod Dumbar to Kennedy.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus241Mauch muttoun, byt buttoun, peilit gluttoun, air to Hilhous,
- Critical Apparatus242 Rank beggar, ostir dregar, foule fleggar in the flet,
- Editor’s Note243Chittirlilling, ruch rilling, lik schilling in the milhous,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus244 Baird rehator, theif of nator, fals tratour, feyindis gett,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus245 Filling of tauch, rak sauch—cry crauch, thow art oursett;
- pg 85246Muttoun dryver, girnall ryver, ȝadswyvar—fowll fell the;
- Critical Apparatus247 Herretyk, lunatyk, purspyk, carlingis pet,
- Editor’s Note248Rottin crok, dirtin dok—cry cok, or I sall quell the.
- Editor’s Note249Dathane deivillis sone and dragone dispitous,
- Editor’s Note250 Abironis birth and bred with Beliall,
- 251Wod werwoif, worme and scorpion vennemous,
- Critical Apparatus252 Lucifers laid, fowll feyindis face infernall,
- 253 Sodomyt, syphareit fra Sanctis celestiall:
- 254Put I nocht sylence to the, schiphird knaif,
- Critical Apparatus255And thow of new begynis to ryme and raif,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus256 Thow salbe maid blait, bleir eit, bestiall.
- Editor’s Note257How thy forbearis come, I haif a feill,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus258 At Cokburnis peth, the writ makis me war,
- 259Generit betuix ane scho beir and a deill:
- Critical Apparatus260 Sa wes he callit Dewlbeir and nocht Dumbar.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus261 This Dewlbeir, generit of a meir of Mar,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus262Wes Corspatrik erle of Merche, and be illusioun
- 263The first that evir put Scotland to confusioun
- 264 Wes that fals tratour, hardely say I dar.
- 265Quhen Bruce and Balioll differit for the croun
- 266 Scottis lordis could nocht obey Inglis lawis;
- 267This Corspatrik betrasit Berwik toun
- Critical Apparatus268 And slew sevin thowsand Scottismen within thay wawis;
- 269 The battall syne of Spottismuir he gart caus,
- Editor’s Note270And come with Edwart Langschankis to the feild
- Critical Apparatus271Quhair twelve thowsand trew Scottismen wer keild
- Critical Apparatus272 And Wallace chest, as the carnicle schawis.
- 273Scottis lordis chiftanis he gart hald and chessone
- 274 In firmance fast quhill all the feild wes done
- pg 86275Within Dumbar, that auld spelunk of tressoun;
- Critical Apparatus276 Sa Inglis tykis in Scottland wes abone.
- Editor’s Note277 Than spulȝeit thay the haly stane of Scone,
- Critical Apparatus278The croce of Halyrudhous, and uthir jowellis.
- 279He birnis in hell, body, banis and bowellis,
- 280 This Corspatrik that Scotland hes undone.
- Editor’s Note281Wallace gart cry ane counsale in to Perth
- 282 And callit Corspatrik tratour be his style;
- Critical Apparatus283That dampnit dragone drew him in diserth
- 284 And sayd, he kend bot Wallace, king in Kyle:
- 285 Out of Dumbar that theif he maid exyle
- Critical Apparatus286Unto Edward and Inglis grund agane;
- Critical Apparatus287 Tigiris, serpentis and taidis will remane
- 288In Dumbar wallis, todis, wolffis and beistis vyle.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus289Na fowlis of effect amangis tha binkis
- Critical Apparatus290 Biggis nor abydis for no thing that may be;
- 291Thay stanis of tressone as the bruntstane stinkis.
- 292 Dewlbeiris moder, cassin in by the se,
- 293 The wariet apill of the forbiddin tre
- Critical Apparatus294That Adame eit quhen he tynt Parradyce
- Critical Apparatus295Scho eit, invennomit lyk a cokkatryce,
- 296 Syne merreit with the Divill for dignite.
- 297Ȝit of new tressone I can tell the tailis
- Critical Apparatus298 That cumis on nycht in visioun in my sleip:
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus299Archbald Dumbar betrasd the hous of Hailis
- 300 Becaus the ȝung lord had Dumbar to keip;
- Critical Apparatus301 Pretendand throw that to thair rowmis to creip,
- 302Rycht crewaly his castell he persewit,
- Critical Apparatus303Brocht him furth boundin and the place reskewit,
- Critical Apparatus304 Sett him in fetter is in ane dungeoun deip.
- pg 87Critical Apparatus305It war aganis bayth natur and gud ressoun
- Critical Apparatus306 That Dewlbeiris bairnis wer trew to God or man,
- Critical Apparatus307Quhilkis wer baith gottin, borne and bred with tressoun,
- Editor’s Note308 Belgebubbis oyis and curst Corspatrikis clan.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus309 Thow wes prestyt and ordanit be Sathan
- 310For to be borne to do thy kin defame
- 311And gar me schaw thy antecessouris schame;
- 312 Thy kin that leivis may wary the and ban.
- 313Sen thow on me thus, lymmer, leis and trattillis
- Critical Apparatus314 And fyndis sentence foundit of invy,
- Critical Apparatus315Thy elderis banis ilk nycht rysis and rattillis:
- Critical Apparatus316 Apon thy cors vengeance, vengeance thay cry,
- 317 Thou art the cause thay may not rest nor ly;
- Critical Apparatus318Thou sais for thame few psaltris, psalmis or credis,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus319Bot geris me tell thair trentalis of mysdedis
- 320 And thair ald sin wyth new schame certify.
- Editor’s Note321Insensuate sow, cesse, false Eustase air,
- 322 And knaw, kene scald, I hald of Alathya,
- Critical Apparatus323And cause me not the cause lang to declare
- Critical Apparatus324 Off thy curst kyn, Deulber and his allya:
- Critical Apparatus325 Cum to the croce on kneis and mak a crya;
- Critical Apparatus326Confesse thy crime, hald Kenydy the king,
- 327And wyth ane hauthorne scurge thy self and dyng;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus328 Thus dree thy penaunce wyth deliquisti quia.
- 329Pas to my commissare and be confest,
- Editor’s Note330 Cour before him on kneis, and cum in will,
- Editor’s Note331And syne ger Stobo for thy lyf protest;
- Critical Apparatus332 Renounce thy rymis, bath ban and birn thy bill,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus333 Heve to the hevyn thy handis, ande hald the still;
- pg 88Critical Apparatus334Do thou not thus, bogane, thou salbe brynt
- Critical Apparatus335Wyth pik, fire, ter, gun puldre or lynt
- Editor’s Note336 On Arthuris Sete or on ane hyar hyll.
- Editor’s Note337I perambalit of Pernaso the montayn,
- 338 Enspirit wyth Mercury fra his goldyn spere,
- Critical Apparatus339And dulcely drank of eloquence the fontayne
- Critical Apparatus340 Quhen it was purifit wyth frost and flowit clere;
- 341 And thou come, fule, in Marche or Februere
- 342Thare till a pule, and drank the padok rod
- Critical Apparatus343That gerris the ryme in to thy termes glod
- Critical Apparatus344 And blaberis that noyis mennis eris to here.
- 345Thou lufis nane Irische, elf, I understand,
- Editor’s Note346 Bot it suld be all trew Scottis mennis lede;
- 347It was the gud langage of this land,
- 348 And Scota it causit to multiply and sprede
- 349 Quhill Corspatrik, that we of tresoun rede,
- 350Thy fore fader, maid Irisch and Irisch men thin,
- Editor’s Note351Throu his tresoun broght Inglise rumplis in:
- Critical Apparatus352 Sa wald thy self, mycht thou to him succede.
- Critical Apparatus353Ignorant fule, in to thy mowis and mokis
- 354 It may be verifyit that thy wit is thin;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus355Quhare thou writis Densmen dryit apon the rattis,
- 356 Densmen of Denmark ar of the kingis kyn.
- 357 The wit thou suld have had was castin in
- Critical Apparatus358Evyn at thyne ers, bakwart, wyth a staf slong.
- 359Herefore, false harlot, hursone, hald thy tong;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus360 Deulbere, thou devis the Devill thyne eme wyth dyn.
- Critical Apparatus361Quhare as thou said that I stall hennis and lammys,
- Critical Apparatus362 I latt the witt I have land, store and stakkis;
- pg 89Critical Apparatus363Thou wald be fayn to gnaw, lad, wyth thy gammys,
- Critical Apparatus364 Undir my burd, smoch banis behynd doggis bakkis:
- Critical Apparatus365Thou has a tome purs, I have stedis and takkis;
- Critical Apparatus366Thou tynt cultur, I have cultur and pleuch,
- Critical Apparatus367Substance and gere; thou has a wedy teuch
- Editor’s Note368 On Mount Falconn, about thy crag to rax.
- 369And yit Mount Falconn gallowis is our fair
- 370 For to be fylde wyth sik a fruteles face;
- Critical Apparatus371Cum hame and hyng on oure gallowis of Aire—
- 372 To erd the undir it I sall purchas grace;
- Critical Apparatus373 To ete thy flesch the doggis sall have na space,
- 374The ravyns sall ryve na thing bot thy tong rutis,
- Critical Apparatus375For thou sik malice of thy maister mutis
- 376 It is wele sett that thou sik barat brace.
- Critical Apparatus377Small fynance amang thy frendis thou beggit,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus378 To stanch the storm wyth haly muldis thou loste;
- Critical Apparatus379Thou sailit to get a dowcare for to dreg it,
- 380 It lyis closit in a clout on Seland cost;
- Editor’s Note381 Sik reule gerris the be servit wyth cald rost
- Critical Apparatus382And sitt unsoupit oft beȝond the sey
- Critical Apparatus383Criant caritas at duris amore Dei
- 384 Barefut, brekeles, and all in duddis updost.
- Critical Apparatus385Deulbere has not ado wyth a Dunbar;
- Editor’s Note386 The erl of Murray bure that surname ryght
- Critical Apparatus387That evyr trew to the king and constant ware,
- Critical Apparatus388 And of that kyn come Dunbar of Westfelde knyght.
- Critical Apparatus389That successione is hardy, wyse and wycht,
- 390And has na thing ado now wyth the Devile;
- Critical Apparatus391Bot Deulbere is thy kyn and kennis the wele
- Critical Apparatus392 And has in hell for thee a chaumir dicht.
- pg 90393Cursit croapand craw, I sall ger crop thy tong
- Editor’s Note394 And thou sall cry cor mundum on thy kneis;
- Critical Apparatus395Duerch, I sall dyng the quhill thou dryte and dong
- 396 And thou sal lik thy lippis and suere thou leis:
- Editor’s Note397 I sall degrade the, graceles, of thy greis,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus398Scaile the for scorne and shere the of the scule,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus399Ger round the hede transforme the till a fule
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus400 And syne wyth tresone trone the to the treis.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus401Raw mowit ribald, renegate rehatour,
- Critical Apparatus402 My linage and fore bearis war ay lele;
- Critical Apparatus403It cumis of kynde to the to be a traytoure,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus404 To ryde on nycht, to rug, to reve and stele.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus405 Quhare thou puttis poysoun to me, I appelle
- Critical Apparatus406The in that part, preve it, pelour, wyth thy persone;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus407Clame not to clergy, I defy the, gersone,
- Critical Apparatus408 Thow sall by it dere wyth me, duerche, and thou dele.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus409In Ingland, oule, suld be thyne habitacione;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus410 Homage to Edward Langschankis maid thy kyn,
- Critical Apparatus411In Dunbar thai ressavit hym, the false nacione:
- 412 Thay suld be exilde Scotland mare and myn.
- 413 A stark gallowis, a wedy and a pyn
- Critical Apparatus414The hede poynt of thyne elderis armes ar;
- Critical Apparatus415Wryttyn abone in poesie, Hang Dunbar;
- Critical Apparatus416 Quarter and draw, and mak that surname thin.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus417I am the kingis blude, his trew speciall clerk
- Critical Apparatus418 That nevir yit ymaginit hym offense,
- Critical Apparatus419Constant in myn allegeance, word and werk,
- Critical Apparatus420 Onely dependand on his excellence;
- pg 91421 Traistand to have of his magnificence
- 422Guerdoun, reward and benefice bedene,
- Critical Apparatus423Quhen that the ravyns sall ryve out bath thine ene
- Editor’s Note424 And on the rattis salbe thy residence.
- Editor’s Note425Fra Etrike Forest furthward to Drumfrese
- 426 Thou beggit wyth a pardoun in all kirkis,
- 427Collapis, cruddis, mele, grotis, grisis and geis,
- Critical Apparatus428 And ondir nycht quhile stall thou staggis and stirkis.
- Critical Apparatus429 Because that Scotland of thy begging irkis
- Critical Apparatus430Thou scapis in France to be a knycht of the felde;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus431Thou has thy clamschellis and thy burdoun kelde,
- 432 Unhonest wayis all, wolroun, that thou wirkis.
- Editor’s Note433Thou may not pas Mount Barnard for wilde bestis,
- Critical Apparatus434 Nor wyn throu Mount Scarpre for the snawe;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus435Mount Nycholas, Mount Godart thare arestis
- Critical Apparatus436 Brigantis sik bois and blyndis thame wyth a blawe.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus437 In Parise wyth the maister buriawe
- 438Abyde, and be his prentice nere the bank
- 439And help to hang the pece for half a frank,
- Critical Apparatus440 And at the last thy self sall thole the lawe.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus441Haltane harlot, the devill have gude thou hais!
- Critical Apparatus442 For fault of puissance, pelour, thou mon pak the;
- Critical Apparatus443Thou drank thy thrift, sald and wedsett thy clais;
- Critical Apparatus444 Thare is na lorde that will in service tak the.
- 445 A pak of flaskynnis, fynance for to mak the,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus446Thou sall ressave in Danskyn of my tailye;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus447With de profundis fend the, and that failye,
- Critical Apparatus448 And I sall send the blak devill for to bak the.
- Editor’s Note449In to the Katryne thou maid a foule cahute,
- 450 For thou bedrate hir doune fra starn to stere;
- pg 92Critical Apparatus451Apon hir sydis was sene that thou coud schute—
- Critical Apparatus452 Thy dirt clevis till hir towis this twenty yere:
- Critical Apparatus453 The firmament na firth was nevir cler
- Critical Apparatus454Quhill thou, Deulbere, devillis birth, was on the see;
- Critical Apparatus455The saulis had sonkyn throu the syn of the
- Critical Apparatus456 War not the peple maid sa grete prayere.
- 457Quhen that the schip was saynit and undir saile
- Critical Apparatus458 Foul brow in holl thou preposit for to pas;
- 459Thou schot, and was not sekir of thy tayle,
- 460 Beschate the stere, the compas and the glas;
- 461 The skippar bad ger land the at the Bas:
- 462Thou spewit and kest out mony a lathly lomp
- Critical Apparatus463Fastar than all the marynaris coud pomp,
- Critical Apparatus464 And now thy wame is wers than evir it was.
- Critical Apparatus465Had thai bene prouvait sa of schote of gune
- 466 By men of were but perile thay had past;
- 467As thou was louse and redy of thy bune
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus468 Thay mycht have tane the collum at the last;
- Critical Apparatus469 For thou wald cuk a cartfull at a cast.
- Critical Apparatus470Thare is na schip that wil the now ressave;
- Critical Apparatus471Thou fylde faster than fyftenesum mycht lave,
- Critical Apparatus472 And myrit thaym wyth thy muk to the myd mast.
- 473Throu Ingland, thef, and tak the to thy fute
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus474 And boune with the to have a false botwand;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus475A horse marschall thou call the at the mute
- 476 And with that craft convoy the throu the land.
- Critical Apparatus477 Be na thing argh, tak ferily on hand—
- Critical Apparatus478Happyn thou to be hangit in Northumbir
- pg 93479Than all thy kyn ar wele quyte of thy cumbir,
- Critical Apparatus480 And that mon be thy dome, I undirstand.
- Editor’s Note481Hye souverane lorde, lat nevir this synfull sot
- Critical Apparatus482 Do schame fra hame unto your nacioun,
- Critical Apparatus483That nevir nane sik ane be callit a Scot,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus484 A rottyn crok, louse of the dok, thare doune.
- 485 Fra honest folk devoide this lathly lowne;
- Critical Apparatus486In sum desert quhare thare is na repaire,
- 487For fylyng and infecking of the aire,
- Critical Apparatus488 Cary this cankerit corrupt carioun.
- Editor’s Note489Thou was consavit in the grete eclips,
- Critical Apparatus490 A monstir maid be god Mercurius;
- Critical Apparatus491Na hald agayn, na hoo is at thy hips,
- 492 Infortunate, false and furius,
- 493 Evill schryvin, wan thryvin, not clene na curius;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus494A myten full of flyting, flyrdom like,
- Critical Apparatus495A crabbit, scabbit, evill facit messan tyke,
- Critical Apparatus496 A schit but wit, schyre and injurius.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus497Greit in the glaykis gude maister Gilliam gukkis,
- Critical Apparatus498 Our imperfyte in poetry or in prose,
- 499All clocis undir cloud of nycht thou cukkis;
- 500 Rymis thou of me, of rethory the rose?
- 501 Lunatike, lymare, luschbald, louse thy hose
- Critical Apparatus502That I may touch thy tone wyth tribulation
- 503In recompensing of thy conspiration,
- Critical Apparatus504 Or turse the out of Scotland; tak thy chose.
- Editor’s Note505Ane benefice quha wald gyve sic ane beste,
- 506 Bot gif it war to gyngill Judas bellis;
- pg 94Critical Apparatus507Tak the a fidill or a floyte, and geste—
- 508 Undought, thou art ordanyt to not ellis!
- 509 Thy cloutit cloke, thy skryp and thy clamschellis,
- Critical Apparatus510Cleke on thy cors, and fare on in to France
- Critical Apparatus511And cum thou nevir agayn but a mischance;
- Critical Apparatus512 The fend fare wyth the forthwarde our the fellis.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus513Cankrit Caym, tryit trowane, Tutivillus,
- 514 Marmaidyn, mymmerken, monstir of all men,
- Editor’s Note515I sall ger bake the to the lard of Hill house
- 516 To suelly the in stede of a pullit hen.
- Editor’s Note517 Fowmart, fasert, fostirit in filth and fen,
- Critical Apparatus518Foule fond, fiend fule, apon thy phisnom fy!
- Critical Apparatus519Thy dok of dirt drepis and will nevir dry;
- Critical Apparatus520 To tume thy tone it has tyrit carlingis ten.
- Critical Apparatus521Conspiratour, cursit cocatrice, hell caa,
- Editor’s Note522 Turk, trumpour, traitour, tyran intemperate;
- Editor’s Note523Thou irefull attircop, Pilate apostata,
- Editor’s Note524 Judas, jow, juglour, lollard laureate;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus525 Saraȝene, symonyte, provit pagane pronunciate,
- 526Machomete, manesuorne, bugrist abhominabile,
- 527Devill, dampnit dog, sodomyte insatiable,
- Editor’s Note528 With Gog and Magog grete glorificate.
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus529Nero thy nevow, Golyas thy grantsire,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus530 Pharao thy fader, Egipya thy dame,
- 531Deulbere, thir ar the causis that I conspire,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus532 Termygantis temptise the, and Vaspasius thine eme;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus533 Belȝebub thy full brothir will clame
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus534To be thyne air, and Cayphas thy sectour;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus535Pluto thy hede of kyn and protectour,
- Critical Apparatus536 To hell to lede the on lycht day and leme.
- pg 95Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus537Herode thyne othir eme, and grete Egeas,
- Editor’s Note538 Marciane, Machomete, and Maxencius,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus539Thy trew kynnismen Antenor and Eneas,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus540 Throp thy nere nece, and austerne Olibrius,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus541Puttidew, Baal and Eyobulus:
- Critical Apparatus542Thir fendis ar the flour of thy four branchis
- 543Sterand the potis of hell, and nevir stanchis;
- Critical Apparatus544 Dout not, Deulbere, tu es dyabolus.
Critical Apparatus553 Quod Kennedy to Dumbar: 554 Juge ȝe now heir quha gat the war.
- 545Deulbere, thy spere of were but feir thou yelde,
- Critical Apparatus546 Hangit, mangit, eddirstangit, strynde stultorum,
- 547To me, maist hie Kenydie, and flee the felde,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus548 Prickit, wickit, convickit lamp Lollardorum
- Critical Apparatus549 Defamyt, blamyt, schamyt primas paganorum.
- Critical Apparatus550Out, out, I schout, apon that snowt that snevillis;
- 551Tale tellare, rebellare, induellar wyth the devillis,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus552 Spynk, sink wyth stynk ad Tertara termagorum.
23. The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie. This is the earliest surviving example of a 'flyting'—a blend of primitive literary criticism and lampoon apparently popular in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Scotland. It is not the only evidence of lively dispute among Scotch literati: Dunbar rails against Mure, who 'indorsit myn indyting/ With versis off his awin hand wryting' (26), and Gavin Douglas in his Eneados (STS, iv. 192) remarks'detractouris intil every place' who'or evir thai reid the wark, byddis byrn the buke'. Few other 'flytings' have survived: James V 'flyted' Sir David Lindsay (Lindsay, Works, STS, i. 101), and Montgomerie and Polwart's Flyting is cited by James VI in Ane Schort Treatise, 1584 (STS, i. 81), to illustrate 'Rouncefallis or Tumbling verse' for 'flyting or Inuectiues'—which may point to an established fashion. The antecedents of the form are obscure. Suggested models closest to Dunbar in time and place include the Provençal sirvente and tenso (débat; see 16) and partimen (jeuparti); see Smith, pp. 51–7, for a cautious argument in favour of Continental influence; cf. E. K. Chambers on the 'minstrel repertory' in The Medieval Stage, 1903, i. 79–81. Dunbar may well have known the invectives of the Italian humanist Poggio Bracciolini (1380–1459) against Filelfo and Lorenzo Valla, named among the poets in Gavin Douglas, Palice of Honour (c. 1501), ll. 1232–3: 'And Poggius stude with mony girne and grone / On Laurence Valla spittand and cryand fy!' Skelton was probably also writing in a Continental tradition in his exchanges with Garnesche (c. 1515), although Maurice Pollet reads these (John Skelton, 1971, p. 76) as imitations of Scotch 'flyting'; and there is a Latin tradition in invective from S. Jerome to Dunbar's contemporary Erasmus.
Whether or not Dunbar was directly influenced by Continental models, it seems very unlikely that the 'flyting' style and vocabulary used here, rhetorically mature and assured, and linguistically rich and varied, are his invention. Kennedy and his 'cousing Quintene' (l. 34) had 'ane thing … compild', which apparently was not only a 'bost' (ll. 3, 6) but 'bakbytting' (l. 22); and it is Kennedy, not Dunbar, who has the first brutally accomplished innings in the Flyting. It may be plausibly argued that Kennedy (and probably Quintene) wrote not out of Continental but ?ut of Gaelic tradition. Dunbar associates the dubious craft of 'flyting' with bards (ll. 17–21, 49, 120); and although his pejorative use of ba(i)rd is reflected in early acts against vagabond minstrels ('bardis, or sic lik utheris rynnaris aboute', 'sornaris, bardis, maisterfull beggaris or fenȝeit fulys'; 1449, 1457, Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 1814–75, ii. 36 and 51), there is some evidence that 'bards' were specifically associated with invective. Cf. infra, ll. 105–8; Holland, The Buke of the Howlat (c. 1450), l. 811, 'The bard … bitterlye coud ban'; Aberdeen Ecclesiastical Records, 1562, 'All commoun skoldis, flyttaris, and bardis to be baneist'; the translation of ON skāld, a poet, into English scold. In Holland's Buke of the Howlat (ll. 791–804) the Rook comes as 'a bard out of Irland with "banachadee" [God's blessing]', speaking a gallimaufry of Scots and Gaelic, citing the Irish kings and threatening to ryme (Asloan MS; Bannatyne MS, 'ryve') if he is denied food and drink. Cf. Spenser, View of the Present State of Ireland, 1596, 'None dare displease [the Bardes] for feare to runne into reproch throughe their offence, and to be made infamous in the mouthes of all men'; J. E. Caerwyn Williams, in Proc. Brit. Academy, lvii (1971), 116–17. The Celtic associations were still live in 1574, when an Act was passed that 'na Irische and hieland bairdis and beggaris be brocht … in the lawland' (Acts, iii. 89). The practice of satire by Gaelic bards, in both Ireland and Scotland, is old. Altercations between poets go well back in tradition, and the aoir, a poetical invective, survived from the medieval Irish period down to modern times. The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy 'is as typical of the aoir as any Gaelic example could be' (James Ross, 'A Classification of Gaelic Folk-Song', Scottish Studies, i (1957), 119–21 and 149; cf. John MacInnes, 'The Oral Tradition in Scottish Gaelic Poetry', ibid, xii (1968), 33–40). The Flyting indeed 'reflects a common human resort under passion to improvised abuse' (Mackenzie, p. xxxii); Mackenzie illustrates the 'psychology' of the genre from a novel of 1931, and a jocular but freely abusive 'flyting' habit between a Scot and an Englishman in Burma in the Second World War is recorded in J. H. Williams, Elephant Bill, 1950, ch. 13. But the poetic mode of satire exemplified in the Flyting probably came into the Scottish court from Gaelic tradition before the time of Dunbar.
The Flyting may have been developed in a series of attacks and counter-attacks circulated in manuscript at court; it may, at least in its final form, have been recited before the king as a stylized duel in verse. As it has survived, it consists of Dunbar's initial challenge (ll. 1–24), Kennedy's counter-challenge (ll. 25–48), and a sustained piece of invective from each poet (ll. 49–248, 249–552). The stanza (ababbccb5) is not used elsewhere in Dunbar's extant poems. Alliterative four-stress patterns are interwoven with the syllabic metre, and the last stanzas of each poet's main contribution (ll. 233–48, 545–52) have additional internal rhyme. There is in Dunbar's sections an astonishing variety of language: melodramatic rhetoric, a 'langage rude' of calculated harshness and fine precision in the caricature of Kennedy, and a wildly vituperative climax which is just as much a tour de force in diction as any passage in the 'aureate poems. For a d?scussion of Schipper's unnecessary but at one time influential rearrangement of the text of the Flyting—an exercise in 'arbitrary ingenuity'—see Baxter, Appendix VI.
I have followed the Chepman and Myllar print from l. 316, where the fragment begins, as the version contemporary with (and possibly overseen by) Dunbar. For the first part of the poem I have followed Bannatyne, which is not only more legible than the Maitland Folio, but is properly ordered. Maitland's scribe took his text from a copy which had two leaves interchanged (ll. 65–128, 129–192), and so got these sets of stanzas in the wrong order; and when Reidpeth copied the MS he added further confusion (see W. A. Craigie, The Maitland Folio Manuscript, STS, ii. 69–70). Sequence apart, the differences between these two main MSS are numerous; and the many variants in Bannatyne against the Chepman and Myllar print suggest that the first part of the Bannatyne version (11. 1–315) too was not copied, however carelessly, from the lost opening of the print. Bannatyne is not at all points superior to Maitland—sometimes weaker in diction or metre, and sometimes obviously erroneous. Generally, however, the Maitland Folio MS is inferior to Bannatyne: weaker rhetorically or in metre (e.g. ll. 1, 11, 13, 24, 46, 52, 72, 88, 100, 101, 104, 137, 140, 168, 180, 195, 207, 258, 289, 314, 344, 379, 383, 417, 471, 498); weaker in diction or imagery (e.g. ll. 8, 14, 50, 75, 98, 101, 107, 132, 183, 188, 252, 255, 268, 283, 287, 301, 339, 428); simplified (e.g. ll. 18, 66, 88, 94, 106, 115, 129, 135, 172, 202(?), 228, 240, 256, 319, 477; and erroneous (e.g. ll. 19, 21, 27, 36, 83, 93, 117, 121, 127, 130, 161, 179, 192, 242, 260, 289, 328, 340, 343, 373, 415, 416, 434, 437, 452, 497, 498, 520, 521, 539, 540, 541).
Attempts have been made to date the Flyting on internal evidence. The Chepman and Myllar print is of little help; though it must be later than September 1507, when the royal licence was granted to the printers, and is probably earlier than 1510, by when Myllar (whose device ends the print) was apparently dead. But the poem itself cannot be regarded as having been published c. 1508, soon after its success at court, for Stobo (referred to by Kennedy at l. 331) died before 13 July 1505 (see 62. 86 n.). Baxter argues (ch. vi) for a date of composition 1500–5–probably 1500–1–when a prolonged gap in the payments of Dunbar's pension was probably caused by his long sea voyage, made just before his attack on Kennedy (ll. 89–96). M. P. MacDiarmid, reviewing Baxter in SHR (xxxiii, 1954), plausibly identifies the catastrophic voyage on the Katryne (ll. 449–72) as one recorded in July 1490 (Protocol Book of James Young, 1485–1515, Scott. Record Soc, 1952, p. 370); but he injudiciously reads Kennedy's obviously extravagant line, 'Thare is na schip that wil the now ressave' (470), as evidence that the Katryne voyage 'must have been actually Dunbar's latest excursion by sea', and concludes that the Flyting was written c. 1490. This conjecture would force us to read l. 452 as referring to future time, contrary to normal usage. But what decisively rules out MacDiarmid's dating is the portrayal of Kennedy as syphilitic (ll. 50, 52, 190–2); the disease entered Scotland in the late 1490s (see 32, intro. note). Baxter's arguments for 1500–5 stand, if we read l. 452 ('this twenty yere') as an exaggeration in round figures.
Dunbar's adversary was Walter Kennedy, Master of Arts of the University of Glasgow (1478?; third son of Gilbert, first Lord Kennedy of Dunure in Ayrshire; grandson of Sir James Kennedy and Mary, Countess of Angus, who was a daughter of Robert III (cf. l. 417, 'I am the kingis blude'); nephew of James, Bishop of Dunkeld and St. Andrews and founder of St. Salvator's, St. Andrews; and uncle of David Kennedy, privy councillor to James IV and (1509) first Earl of Cassillis. In this context of high rank and family power, Dunbar's representation of Kennedy in the Flyting is bizarre satiric fantasy. A handful of Kennedy's poems—moral and religious—survive in the Bannatyne and Maitland Folio MSS, and in MS Arundel 285; but he is celebrated by Lindsay in the Testament of the Papyngo (1530), between the English Chaucerians and Dunbar, for his excellence in 'termes aureait' (ll. 15–16); he is set in the same company—'Greit Kennedie and Dunbar ȝit vndeid'—in Douglas's Palice of Honour (c. 1501; ll. 922–3); and Dunbar laments his imminent death in 62. 89–92. Dunbar's assault on Kennedy's poetry is no more justified, on what evidence we have, than his account of Kennedy's life-style and (presumably) appearance; conversely, despite the 'biographers', we ought to believe little of what Kennedy says about Dunbar.
Kennedy's 'cousing Quintene and … commissar' (ll. 2, 34) is a ghost now: he was apparently Kennedy's kinsman, but I have not traced a 'cousing' of that name; and his poetry has not survived. He is, however, placed with Kennedy and Dunbar by Douglas in The Palice of Honour (ll. 922–4), obscurely adorned 'with ane Huttok on his heid'; and his work was still read in 1530, when Lindsay put him into the Testament of the Papyngo (ll. 19–21):
- Quintyng, Mersar, Rowle, Henderson, Hay and Holland,
- Thocht thay be ded, thair libells bene leuand,
- Cf. 27. 37. Quhilkis to reheirs makeith redaris to reiose.
The identity of Dunbar's 'commissar', Sir John the Ross (l. 1), is uncertain. He is among the dead poets in 62 (l. 83); the catalogue in that poem is roughly chronological; Sir John the Ross appears with Henryson just before Stobo and Shaw 'tane last of aw', and Stobo died in the summer of 1505. M. P. MacDiarmid (SHR, xxxiii (1954), 50) takes him to be Sir John the Ross of Montgrenan in Ayrshire, who died in 1494 (Exchequer Rolls, x. 416). A more likely alternative, if we accept c. 1500 as the date of the Flyting, is Sir John Ross of Halkhead, sheriff of West Lothian and a convivial companion of James IV's, dead by 1502 (Great Seal Register, ii, no. 2629)—or his grandson of the same name, who succeeded him both in title and in social function at court.
1 ane thing thair is] thair is ane thing MF
1–2. compild / In generate: written as a 'bost' (l. 6), without specific reference, but apparently containing an implicit threat to the reputation of Dunbar.
3 thame] thair MF
3. styld: honoured with titles. Cf. Lindsay, Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaits, ed. Kinsley, 1954, p. 59, 'Howbeit I haif lang tyme bene exyllit, / I traist in God my name sall ȝit be styllit'.
6 Howbeit] Albeit MF
breistis wer als] breist war als hie MF
7. Lucifer … discendit: 'Quomodo cecidisti de caelo, Lucifer, qui mane oriebaris … Qui dicebas in corde tuo: In caelum conscendam, super astra Dei exaltabo solium meum …' (Isa. xiv. 12–14).
8 harnis] heid MF
10 in vennaum suddane] suld of the Venning MF (the in later hand)
11 of] in MF
for redour] sail for reddour MF (sail deleted in later hand and d prefixed to reddour)
11. for redour quaik. Cf. Douglas, Eneados, IX. xii. 67, 'Of dreidfull reddour trymlyng for affray'.
13 sege] segis MF
for schame sould sink] suld for schame sink MF (altered in later hand to suld schame think)
14 mone] sone MF
thoill] tak MF
15 sould hald] micht hald MF
16. Sa loud … clynk. The bathos of Dunbar's climax shows his burlesque intention at the outset. Cf. ll. 22–4; Burns, The Holy Fair, l. 181, 'now the L—'s ain trumpet touts', of: because of.
17–24. Bot wondir laith … proclame. For baird see supra, intro. note. Perhaps already a stock stance in Celtic satire. Cf. James McIntyre's aoir (1775) against Dr. Johnson (Trans. Gaelic Soc. Inverness, xxii (1898), 177–8) which, after a catalogue of foul metaphors, ends, 'And if it were not that I do not like the name of satirist, I myself would earnestly desire to abuse you'.
18 for] richt MF
19 For] At MF
20. tinsale: loss, deprivation (ON týna, lose, destroy); in Scots law, forfeiture; cf. Aberdeen Burgh Records, 1412 (i. 389), 'Vnder payne of lyffe and tynsale of gudis'.
21 Incres] Entres MF
22 mycht]may MF
23 with] in MF
24 cuntreis and kinrikis] kinrikis andcuntreis MF
25. blawis … thy boist: a stock phrase. Cf. Barbour, Brus, iv. 121–2, 'For the pomp oft the prid furth shawis, / Or ellis the gret bost that it blawis'.
27 Ramowd] Raw mowit MF
fall … att] sail … to MF
27. roist: (?) contest, encounter. Cf. 'rule the roast', be master, hold sway (fifteenth century); Lindsay, The Tragedie of the Cardinall, l. 372, 'rebaldis new cum frome the roste'.
29. mymmerkin: dwarfish creature. Cf. Prester John (c. 1510; BM Royal MS 17 D xx, f. 311v, 'litill men or memmerkynis lik barnes of fyve or sax yeir aid' (DOST), bot in mows: as a mere joke, not to be taken seriously.
31 I cry] I sail cry MF
31. cry … doun: suppress by proclamation (DOST, s.v. 7a).
36 aip, owll] owle aip and MF
37. Skaldit skaitbird: scabby bird of prey (scall, a skin disease). The precise identity of the skaitbird is uncertain; but the context of skamelar suggests a scavenger. See Glossary.
38 Wan fukkit] Wanfulkit MF
38. Wan fukkit: ineptly, weakly conceived. Dunbar is a foundling dwarf (yrle).
42 the] thy MF
43. verlot of the cairtis: knave (of the cards); perhaps a reference to the card-playing popular at court (cf. LHTA, i. cclv and index).
46 recompansing] recompensatioun MF
48 For … sendis] in margin in B
50 coward] theif MF
51 farit] faceit MF
Denseman] Densmen MF
51. rattis: wheels on which a criminal, in Scandinavia and some Continental countries, was executed and left exposed. Rarely applied in Scotland; see G. F. Black's note in Rolland, The Sevin Seages, STS edn. Cf. infra, ll. 355, 424; Rolland, op. cit., l. 10696, 'On the Rattis reuin, hangit, drawin, and quarterit.…'.
52 had … dynd] on thy gule snowt had dynd MF
55. strynd: character, quality. Cf. Alexander Scott, The Slicht Remeid of Luve, ll. 5–6, 'For knew ȝe wemens nature, course and strynd, / Ȝe wald nocht be so true to thair untruth'.
57 raggit] riggit MF
and] all MF
58 Scarth … scaldit] Skitterand scorpioun scauld MF
63 ay] om. MF
64. For wit … rub: 'for a mere handful of hay might wipe off such wit and wisdom as you have'.
65 preceded by ll.129–02 in MF
65, 97. Thow speiris … Thow callis the rethory. Apparently references to the initial 'thing … compild' by Kennedy and Quintene.
66 dagone] dragone MF
dowbart] added at end of line in MF
66. dagone: villain; originally the Philistine deity. 1 Sam. v; cf. Milton, Paradise Lost, i. 457 ff.
68 thy] this MF
70 that] om. MF
72 to the tak] tak to the MF
72. knfye, swerd nor aix. With the phrasing cf. Blind Hary, Wallace, xii. 82; Douglas, Eneados, VI. ii. 142; Lindsay, The Historie of Squyer Meldrum, ed. Kinsley, 1959, l. 50 n.
74 The] Thow MF
75 tyrand] serpent MF
serpentis tung] teirrand mynd MF
77 purpest for to] purposit till MF
our lordis] the lord thy MF
77–8. Thow purpest … in Paislay, etc. Plausibly taken as an allusion to the rebellion of the Earl of Lennox and Lord Lyle against the new king James IV in 1489, when the king's forces moved against Lennox's castle at Crookston and Lyle's at Duchal, both in Renfrewshire; LHTA, i. lxxxviii–xcix; in viewof the standing of the Kennedys and of Walter himself (see infra, l. 417 n.), doubtless another libel by Dunbar. The charge here is probably treason, not attempted murder. Cf. Blind Hary, Wallace, xi. 96–8:
- Tresonable folk thar mater wyrkis throu lyst [craft
- Poyson sen syn 'at the Fawkyrk' is cald,
- Throu treson and corrupcion off ald.
79 For] [For] the MF
79. thoill a breif: answer an indictment.
81–2. thy frawart phisnomy … men. Cf. Henryson, Fabillis, ll. 2830–2:
- Ane thrawart will, ane thrawin phisnomy,
- The auld proverb is witnes off this lorum— [conclusion
- Distortum vultum sequitur distortio morum.
82 to] till MF
83 glengoir loun] ganȝelon MF
83. glengoir: pox(ed); cf. infra, ll. 154, 161. On the medieval association of syphilis and leprosy see Denton Fox's edition of Henryson, The Testament of Cresseid, 1968, pp. 24–30.
84. fen: midden. (Variant readings of Henryson, Fabillis, l. 111, are 'midding: fene'.)
85 My … pen] om. MF
86 leis] leit MF
88 recryat] recryit MF
or thy] or than thy MF
90 abone] abuif MF
90–6. Thow saw the saill, etc. Baxter (p. 82) declares that in this recent voyage Dunbar was not bound for Scandinavia but was 'tempestdriven towards it', and conjectures that he was making for Zeeland at the mouth of the Scheldt, on the way to Italy. But if Seland is Zeeland, the geographical course from Holland to Zeeland to Ȝetland is inexplicable; and Dunbar says only that the voyage was stormy, not that he was off course. I read the stanza as an account of a rough, dark voyage from northern Holland up the west coast of Jutland and round into the Kattegat past Zealand; and thereafter to the south of Norway on the return journey—the destination being Denmark, with which Scotland at this time had active diplomatic relations. Dr. Karl Sandred of Uppsala supports my identification of Ȝetland with Jutland.
92 us] wes B wind and MF: woundis B
93 mony] monye ane MF
blaw] draw MF
94 Holland, Seland] hiland forland MF
Northway] Norroway MF
95 sey desert quhill MF: desert quhair B
97 thy] tne MF
98 glowrand] gonnand MF
99 gluntoch] glunto MF
99. gluntoch with thy giltin hippis: (a) bare-kneed (Highlander) with your yellowed hips (Gael glùn, knee; Mackenzie).
100 lounry … fyld] lymmerie hes money leische befylit MF
101 Wan visaged] Vane vagabund MF
102 lathand] lauchtane MF
104 bawis] ballokis MF
104. Thy bawis … breik. The kilted Highlander has no breik; cf. infra, l. 119.
105. of all the warld reffuse. Cf. Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, i. 570, 'That am refus of every creature'.
106 ferly] marvele MF
106–12. Quhat ferly is, etc. A clear enough statement that 'flyting' is a Celtic craft. See 10. 259 n.
107 thay in Erschry] thow in eriche dois MF
108 thraward] fraward MF
112. Carrik: the southern district of Ayrshire, largely Gaelic-speaking until the Reformation. See W. L. Lorimer, 'The Persistence of Gaelic in Galloway and Carrick', Scottish Gaelic Studies, vi (1949), 114–36; John MacQueen, 'The Gaelic Speakers of Galloway and Carrick', Scottish Studies, xvii (1973), 17–33.
113. leid ane doig to skomer. Cf. Master of Game (c. 1400), xx, 'teche þe childe to leede þe houndes to scombre twyse on þe daye' (OED).
114–20 line–endings defective in MF; supplied from Reidpeth (R)
115 peis this] heit of R
116 for] om. MF
117 Syne rubbit] And rub it MF
auld] om. R
119 breik] breikis R
bellokis] balgis R
120 club] bratt R
121 larbar loungeour] lundyr and lairbair MF (baith deleted)
122 skyn] skyrne MF
123–6. For he … flaid. A tradition passed down from S. Ambrose has it that S. Laurence, commanded by the Roman prefect to hand over the Church's treasure, distributed it among the poor with 'These are the treasure of the Church', and was martyred by roasting on a gridiron. There is a fresco of his life and martyrdom in the Church of S. Lorenzo in Rome. There are frescos in England at Abbots Langley and Frindsbury. sanct Johnis ene: almost certainly a reference to John the Baptist. The notion that he was blindfolded before being beheaded may be an echo of the blindfolding of Christ. In the Luttrell Psalter (c. 1340; BM Add. MS 42130, f. 53v) S. John is represented at his prison window, before his executioner, with a head-dress; and alongside is a grotesque wearing a wimple. Bellenden, in his translation of Boece's History (c. 1531), repeats the traditional story that the English, not approving the preaching of Augustine of Canterbury, 'sewit fische talis on his abil ȝeament. Vtheris allegis þai dang him with skaitt rumpillis … God tuke on þame sic vengeance þat þay and all þair posterite had lang talis mony ȝeris eftir'. Scotichronicon, ix. 32. S. Bartholomew is said to have been flayed alive at Albanopolis in Armenia, and then crucified. He is portrayed carrying a knife, and sometimes with a human skin over one arm. Cf. the Luttrell Psalter, ff. 107v and 108r; Berenson, Italian Pictures, 1932, p. 242; O. Sirén, Giotto, 1917, ii, pl. 194. With l. 124 cf. Legends of the Saints, STS, ii. 251, 'Dowchtir … lene me þi curch to heile me, / Till þat myn hewid of strikin be'.
124 ene] corr. heid in B
127 graceles] gratious MF
128 followed by l.193 in MF
128. ane haggeis: the first Scotch reference to this variety of pudding, apparently popular in England in the fifteenth century. It derives much of its emblematic virtue from Burns's Address. For an eighteenth-century recipe see Burns, Poems and Songs, ed. Kinsley, 1968, iii. 1221–2. Dunbar seems to disparage the haggis as peasant fare. On the hungry gled see 42. 13 n.
129 naman … kers] that na man curis ane kers MF
129. na man comptis the ane kers: proverbial; Whiting, C546.
130 ay for] fra MF
130. swappit: whopping, great big (?).
131. kis his ers: an act of homage, in mimicry of the witchrite of kissing the Devil's arse (osculum infame). Cf. 33. 23; the comedy of the contractual kiss in Lindsay, Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaits, ed. Kinsley, 1954, p. 115; Gammer Gurton's Needle, 1575, II. i. 68 ff.
132 nocht sic ane] nane sic MF
133 mair] corr. thair in B
133 skaffis: scrounge. Perhaps from the Du and G schaffen, to procure food; brought in by soldiers from Continental campaigns.
134 Nor]Than MF
135 thow are at] thow for wage MF
137 Mater … haif] I have mater aneuche MF
139 he sail I] heir I sail MF
139. senȝie: war-cry. See DOST, s.v. ensenȝe. Cf. Barbour, Brus, xv. 497, 'Than his ensenȝe he can hye cry'; Douglas, King Hart, l. 222, 'Thay cryit on hicht thair seinȝe wounder lowde'. Dunbar's use of the formula is ironic: he will display Kennedy in his 'true colours' in what follows.
140 in grit] in thy grit MF
141 to] om. MF
142 koy] kow MF
143 wathemanis: wachemanis B: wathman MF
143. wathemanis weid: outlaw's dress (waith, hunting). Cf. 54. 8; The Murning Maiden, ll. 64–9 (Maitland Folio MS, p. 303):
- In waithman weyd Sen I ȝow find
- In this wod walkand ȝour alone
- Ȝour mylk quhyt handis we sail bind
- Quhill that the blude burst fra the bone
- Chargeand ȝow to prwsoun
- To the kingis deip dwngoun ….
145 polk breik] pok brat MF
147 mylne] mill MF
149 thus … ȝe] ȝit … thow MF
149–52. Fowll heggirbald … damis. heggirbald is obscure; the image in ll. 150–2 is of a predatory fox or wolf.
151 faldis] fauld MF
152 lymmerfull] lymmair MF
154. Ane laithly luge … menis: identified by editors as the house of Glentig (Tig Water is a tributary of the River Stinchar in Carrick); according to Paterson (Life and Poems of Dunbar, 1860, p. 24), acquired by Kennedy from John Wallace in 1504. But the transaction is not documented (see Baxter, pp. 75–6), and there is no evidence of Glentig having been a leper-house. Dunbar is probably romancing; Kennedy's reply (infra, ll. 361–7) has the ring of truth about it.
157 plukkis] pykis MF
158 this dowsy be] that deuse war MF
158. dowsy. Cf. More (1529), 'Beeing so dowsie drunke, that he could neither stande nor reele' (OED).
160 it] thame MF
sacrand: seccrind B: sacryne MF
of] that MF
161 lene] bene MF
162 the] this MF
164 For] Full MF
164–5. For hiddowis, haw … ble. Cf. Henryson, Testament of Cresseid, ll. 337–41.
165 cheik bane] cheikblaid MF
166 Thy … garris] Thy choulk, thi chollare, makis MF
168 hungert heland] heiland hungart MF
169 lukis] linkis MF
171. lyk ane saffrone bag: orange-red, yellow. Saffron was used for colouring, flavouring, and medicinally. Cf. Whiting, S11; infra, l. 191.
172 dispyt] dispyse MF
172. spreit of Gy: the spirit of Guido de Corvo, which haunted his widow and was ultimately exorcized by four Dominican friars (Scotichronicon, xiii. 6–9; Mackenzie).
173 tykis face, fy] verray tyk face MF
175 With … wry MF. om. B
176 to] till MF
178 lowsy loun] lyk ane (lousiedel.) lowne MF
179 hirpland hippit] hippit harpand MF
180 ribbison] ribbis all on MF
181 harth] hard MF
182 ar] als MF
183 baird] carle MF
185 pure pynhippit MF: purehippit B
186 holkand … thy] holland … the MF
187. Reistit … hill. Cf. supra, l. 51.
188 And oft … ourhie] And all beskitterrit everie tyme and MF
188. beswakkit… tyd. Cf. Douglas, Eneados, I. iii. 22–3, 'Heich as a hill the iaw of watir brak / And in ane hepe cam on thame with a swak'.
191 sawsy] soust MF
192 all with clowis] of no clowse MF
192. clowis: 'the dried flower-bud of Caryophyllus aromaticus, much used as a pungent aromatic spice' (OED).
193. wirling. Origin unknown; but cf. The Wars of Alexander (1400/1450), l. 1733, 'A selly noumbre of wrichis and wirlingis' (OED).
194. the hurle behind: diarrhoea. Cf. Stewart in the Bannatyne MS, f. 140v, 'They haif the hurle ay behind / The stynk that thay mak in the wind / Will Flanderis infeck'.
195 beschittin] schittin MF
196 Nor] Than MF
or] and MF
196. gers on grund or leif on lind. Burlesque application of common alliterative phrases.
197 foly] fulty MF
me MF: my B
199 Thy] The MF
199. Thy gulsoch gane … bind. I take this metaphor of a jaundiced face bound to Kennedy's back as a grotesque way of saying that his jaundice has run into a flux. Cf. Gilbert of the Haye's Prose Manuscript (1456; STS, ii. 139), 'Wateris of pulis and dubbis … engenderis evill collis [bilious humours] that byndis mannis body and mistemperis it …'.
200 go] be MF
202 caprowsy] cap roustit MF
203 laidis] laddis MF
205 on] corr. apone in MF
205. rubbit quheit: wheat rubbed in the hands to extract the grain. Cf. supra, ll. 116–17.
207 for … eit] to drink nor ȝit to (interlined) eit MF
209. Strait Gibbonis air. In 1503 a payment was made to 'Strait [stingy] Gibbon' by royal command; LHTA, ii. 395. He was possibly a court jester.
212. hard as horne. Cf. Lydgate, The Assembly of the Gods, l. 618; Whiting, H481.
213 that] om. MF
217–22 MF worn; supplied from Reidpeth (R)
217 Off] In R
217. as beis owt thrawis: a stock simile. Cf. Chaucer, CT, III. 1693, 'Right so as bees out swarmen from an hyve'; Whiting, B117.
218 ay] hay MF
218. our awin queir clerk. Cf. infra, l. 417 n.
220 Quhill … dois] Sa all the brachattis at thy bottnis R
222 gaipis] om. R
225. gild. Cf. Douglas, Eneados, I. xi. 107–8 (transl. Virgil's l. 747), 'The gyld and ryot Tyrryanys dowblit for ioy, / Syne the rerd followit of the ȝonkeris of Troy'. 233. Mahoun. See 14. 101 n.
226 hingand] hingis MF
228 cairt] cartis MF
231 skillis] squell MF
235 tykis] tyk MF
fley] corr. flee in MF
236. rare: i.e. in lamentation; cf. Barbour, Brus, v. 97; Douglas, Eneados,V xi. 26, 'al togiddir gan to weip and rair'. defowll: the literal sense is of trampling underfoot; cf. Brus, ii. 359; Kennedy, The Passioun of Crist, l. 444 (Devotional Pieces, p. 22).
240 fyle] fill MF
241 Mauch] Myche MF
byt MF: byle B
241. Hilhous: an obscure allusion to Sir John Sandilands of Hillhouse near Edinburgh.
242 Rank] Bannok MF
foule] flay MF
fleggar MF: fleggaris B
243. Chittirlilling. DOST glosses 'obscure term of abuse'; but probably a playful variant (for rhyming) of chitterling, pig's guts (cf. l. 241, mauch muttoun).
244 rehator] rebeatour MF
tratour, feyindis] tratour and feyndis MF
244. rehator. See also l. 401. Origin and meaning obscure; but cf. Douglas, Eneados, XIII. vi. 117 (transl. 'improbus', wicked, vile).
245 Filling] filine MF
rak sauch] rak a sauche MF
245. rak sauch: 'stretch-the-withy', 'gallows-bird'. Cf. Satirical Poems of the Reformation (1570), xii. 56, 'For this foule deid ȝour seid man rak ane sauch' (OED, s.v. saugh).
247 purspyk, carlingis] purspyk and carlingis MF
248. cry cok: admit defeat. Cf. Douglas, Eneados, xi, Prologue, ll. 119– 20, 'Becum thow cowart, crawdoun recryand, / And by consent cry cok, thy ded is dycht'.
249. Dathane deivillis sone: son of the devil Dathan, who with Abiron (l. 250) rebelled against Moses and was swallowed up in the earth (Num. xvi).
252 fowll] and MF
255 thow of new begynis] now beginnit of new MF
256 bleir eit] bleirit MF
256. blait … bestiall. For the sense of beaten into ox-like submissiveness cf. Stewart, Buik of the Croniklis, 1535, l. 12880, 'calland ws sa bestiall bodeis blait … But mycht and strenth'.
257. thy for bearis:, the earls of Dunbar and March, descended from Gospatrick, Earl of Northumberland, who retired into Scotland in 1068 after the Conquest and in 1072 was given the manor of Dunbar and lands in the Merse by Malcolm Canmore. Patrick, eighth Earl of Dunbar and first Earl of March (d. 1308), adhered to the interest of Edward I of England (ll. 261–4, 270). His part in opening Berwick to Edward's attack (ll. 267–8) is told in Blind Hary's Wallace (the 'carnicle' of l. 272), i. 78 ff.: 'Eduard entrit and gert sla hastely / Off man and wiff vii thousand and fyfty, / And barnys als.' For the Battle of Spottismuir (Dunbar, 1296; ll. 269–72) see Wallace, viii. 180 ff.
258 the writ] as the wryting MF
258. Cokburnis peth: in Berwickshire, where a tower belonged originally to the earls of March.
260 Sa … callit] Was he and callit MF
261 of a meir] on ane meir MF
261. a meir of Mar. DOST cites Major's Historia, 1740, vi. 14, 'Many Scots are wont privately to compare the Stewarts to the horses of Mar, which are good when they are young but bad when they are old'.
262 Wes] om. MF
262–3. be illusion, etc. Cf. Wallace, vii. 5–6, the 'Inglismen … With suttelte and wykkit illusione / The worthi Scottis to put to confusione.'
268 sevinthowsand: vijm B
within thay] in the MF
270. Edwart Langschankis: Edward I, so nicknamed in the chroniclers. Cf. infra, l. 410.
271 twelve: xij B
272 chest,as the carnicle] choissit as us the cronicles MF
276 wes] war MF
277–8. Than spulȝeit thay … jowellis. Cf. Wallace, i. 115 ff.
278 and] with MF
281–4. Wallace gart cry … king in Kyle. Wallace, viii. 1–22: 'Corspatrik'
- Lychtly … lowch, in scorn as it had beyn,
- And said he had sic message seyldyn seyne:
- 'That Wallace now as gouernour sall ryng,
- Her is gret faute off a gud prince or kyng.
- That king off Kyll I can nocht wndirstand.
- Off him I held neuir a fur off land …
283 dampnit] depryvit MF
in] in till MF
286 Unto] On to MF
287 Tigiris] Teirandis R (MF faded)
serpentis and taidis] tadis and serpentis MF
289–96 MF partly faded; supplied from Reidpeth (R)
289 effect amangis: effectis amangis B: effect of gude amang MF R
289. fowlis of effect. Cf. Holland, The Buke of the Howlat, l. 165, 'Thir ar fowlis of effect, but fellony or feid'.
290 nor abydis] na bydis R
294 eit]bayt R
295 lyk a] as ane MF
298 That] It MF
299 Archbald: Archbard B
299–304. Archbald Dumbar … deip. In 1446 'Attour Archebald Dunbar seigit the castell of Haillis [near Haddington] in Lowtheane and at the first assault he wan the samin and slew them all that he fand thairin. He schortlie thairefter was beseigit be James Douglas in quhois will he put himself and the castell but ony farder debaitt' (Pitscottie, i. 56). George, eleventh Earl of Dunbar and March, had his earldom and estates forfeited in 1435; Hepburn of Hailes was one of those sent to take possession of March's castle at Dunbar, and remained there as constable. Archibald Dunbar, possibly a son of the eleventh Earl, seems to have been taking his revenge.
301 throw that to thair] thairthrow to uther MF
303 the]his MF
304 in ane] in till ane MF
305 bayth] om. MF
306 or] and MF
307 Quhilkis … borne] That war bayth borne gottin MF
309 prestyt] blank in MF
309. Thow wes prestyt and ordanit be Sathan. A slur on Dunbar's true ordination (cf. infra, ll. 505–8), which took place before 15 August 1500, when he was awarded a pension of £10 'for al the dais of his life or quhil he be promovit be oure soverane lord to a benefice of xl lib.' (Baxter, p. 61), and possibly much earlier.
314 sentence foundit] sentence thus foundit MF
315 Thy] Thyn MF
316 Chepman & Myllarfragment begins
Apon] And on B
318 psaltris, psalmis] psalmes psalteris MF
319 trentalis of mysdedis] rentellis and misdeidis B: tres-sonabill deidis MF
319. trentalis: 'great numbers'; a trental is properly a set of thirty requiem masses for the repose of a soul.
321–2. cesse, false Eustase air … Alathya. An allusion to the Ecloga Theoduli, a Carolingian Latin pastoral familiar as a textbook in the Middle Ages (Raby, SLP, i. 228–9). It describes a poetical contest between an Athenian shepherd Pseustis, who draws on pagan mythology, and Alithia, a shepherdess of the line of David, who counters with biblical analogues. Cf. Chaucer, The House of Fame, l. 1228. hald of: am a vassal, tenant, of. For this sense cf. the Asloan MS (STS, i. 194), 'Thai held of him in Yngland, richt as the Ynglis king held and suld hald of the king of Fraunce'.
323 the cause] the cais MF
324 allya: Allya C&M
325 kneis: keneis C&M
326 the king] thy king B MF
328 wyth] om. B
deliquisti] de eli quisti MF; see Commentary
328. deliquisti quia, 'because you have sinned'. The Maitland Folio MS reading 'de eli quisti quia' is perhaps a clumsy echo of Ps. xxii. 1, 'Deus, Deus meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti'. This is not a penitential psalm, and has no relevance here.
330. cum in will: not sacramental, but military; 'submit to his will'. Cf. Blind Hary, Wallace, x. 289–90, 'And kep thaim in, quhill thai for hungyr sor / Cum in his will or ellis de tharfor'.
332 bill: bull C&M
333 hald the] corr. hald thy in MF
333. Heve … handis: a posture of prayer and thanksgiving. Cf. Gilbert of the Haye, Buke of Knychthede, STS, p. 10; Wallace, xii. 544, 'Heyffyt wp thar handis and thankit God off grace'.
334 thus] this MF
bogane] brigane B: bogill MF
335 pik, fire] pik and fyre MF
or] and B MF
336. Arthuris Sete: a hill (822 ft.) immediately south of Holyrood in Edinburgh.
339 dulcely] dulely B
fontayne] well and fontane MF
340 wyth] fra MF
343 the] thy MF
glod] gude B
344 blaberis that] blaberis and billis that MF
eris] heiris B
351. Inglise rumplis. See supra, ll. 123–6 n. (quotation from Bellenden).
352 him: hun C&M
353 mokis] crakkis MF
355 apon] on B MF
355–6. Quhare thou writis, etc. See supra, l. 51 n. The king's father, James III, had married Princess Margaret of Denmark in 1468. A mission was sanctioned in 1489 to renew the alliance between the two countries (Acts of the Parliaments, ii. 214), and Sir James Ogilvie concluded a treaty of peace and alliance in Denmark on 21 June 1492.
358 thyne] thy B
360 thyne] thy B MF
361 that] om. B MF
362 land] landis B
363 gnaw, lad] knaw laird B
364 smoch] snoch B: smust MF
365 purs, I] purs and I MF
366 cultur, I] cultyre, and I MF
367 Substance] For substance B
thou has] and ȝow MF
368. Mount Falconn: the gallows-hill of Paris. Dunbar, according to Kennedy, was soon to travel to France and Italy. Cf. infra, ll. 433–40.
371 on] undir B
373 na]sum MF
375 of] on MF
377 amang] amangis B
378 the storm] thy scorne B: the stormes MF
378. muldis: graves, burial mounds, where Dunbar lost his 'small fynance' in the sea off Zealand (supra, ll. 90–6 n.).
379 sailit to] saill it for to MF
381. reule: conduct. For this sense cf. York Mystery Plays, ed. L. Toulmin Smith, 1885, xxvi. 31–2, 'þer is a ranke swayne / Whos rule is noȝt right'.
382 the]ȝon MF
383 caritas at duris] at durris Carritas B
amore] proamore MF
385 a] om. MF
386–8. The erl of Murray … W estfelde knyght. Patrick, ninth Earl of Dunbar and March, became Earl of Moray when his wife, Lady Agnes Randolph, assumed the title of Countess of Moray on the death of her brother in 1346. Kennedy is, however, selective; he does not mention Archibald Earl of Moray, who was killed fighting against James II in May 1455 and attainted of treason. The earldom was then vested in the crown, and conferred by James IV on his natural son James Stewart in 1501. James de Dunbar, cousin and heir of Thomas, third Earl of Moray (d. c. 1430), was father of Sir Alexander Dunbar of Westfield.
387 trew … ware] trew and constant to the king grace war B
388 that B MF: tha C&M
389 wycht: wyth C&M: wicht B MF
391 kyn] king MF
392 dicht: ditht C&M
394. cry cor mundum on thy kneis: Ps. li. 1,10, 'Miserere mei, Deus … Cor mundum crea in me'; said at lauds on the first Sunday in Lent.
395 Duerch: Duerth C&M: derch B: Duerche MF
thou dryte] thow bayt(h)dryt B: thou sall dryt MF
397. degrade … greis: deprive … academic degrees. If Dunbar was the man of that name listed in the records of St. Andrews as a 'determinant' (bachelor) in 1477, he probably matriculated in 1475 and he graduated Master of Arts in 1479.
398 shere … the scule] scar … thy swle B
398. Scaile … and shere the of the scule: 'dismiss … and cut you off from the university'.
399 the hede] thy heid B MF
till] as B
400 syne] om. B
wyth] for MF
trone the to] gar trone the on B
400. trone … to the treis: (?) pillory, trone: weighing-beam often associated with a pillory (cf. 75. 24 n.). For this use of the verb cf. William Stewart, To the King (Maitland Folio MS, p. 299), ll. 49–50, 'Than trasoun man be thrwnit to ane tre / And mwrthour markit for his grit mischeiff'.
401 rehatour] rebeature MF
401. rehatour. See supra, l. 244 n.
402 linage and] lenagis MF
war] was MF
403 of kynde] oft B
404 rug] rin B
and] to B MF
404. ryde on nycht: 'ride out under cover of dark'. Cf. infra, l. 428.
405 Quhare] Quhen B MF
405. Quhare … poysoun to me: supra, ll. 77–8.
406 preve … wyth] and preif … with MF: and preif it on B
407 clergy, I] clergy for I B
407. Clame not to clergy: 'do not claim your ecclesiastical status'.
408 wyth me duerche … dele] annuch derch of the deill B
409 thyne] thy B
410 thy] thyn MF
410. Edward Langschankis. See supra, l. 270 n.
411 thai] om. B
the] thy B: that MF
414 thyne] thy B MF
415 abone in poesie] in poysie abone B: abone be prophecy MF
416 that] thy MF
417 am the] am of the MF
blude, his] blude and his MF
417. I am the kingis blude. See supra, intro note, his trew speciall clerk. Walter may have acted as deputy for Lord Kennedy of Dunure, hereditary bailie of Carrick (Baxter, p. 63). He is described in an action of 1491 as 'pretendit bailye depute of Carrik' (Acts of the Lords of Council, i, 1478–1495, 212a).
418 hym] his B
419 mynallegeance] mynd in tho(ch)t B
420 on] upoun B
423 Quhen] Quhair B
ryve] rug MF
thine] thy B MF
424. on the rattis … residence. See supra, l. 51 n.
428 ondir] on the MF
quhile stall thou] quhylis thow stall B: quhilk stall thow MF
429 that] om. B
430 a] om. B
the] om. MF
431 thy clamschellis] the clamschell MF
431. clamschellis … burdoun: the scallop shells and staff of the pilgrim 'knycht of the felde' (a derisive title; cf. chevalier de cuisine), kelde is of uncertain sense. DOST conjectures 'caused or allowed to cool' (kele, to cool); Mackenzie glosses 'coloured', prob. from kele, red ochre for marking sheep.
433–5. Mount Barnard, etc. Alpine places on the pilgrim ways to Rome.
434 Scarpre] scharp MF
435 thare] the B
435–6. 'On Mount Niklaus … brigands stop such fellows as you and blind them …'.
436 Brigantis sik bois and] Sic beis of briggand B
blyndis] bludis MF
437 Parise] pairtis R
the] thy B
437–8. buriawe: hangman; cf. supra, ll. 367 ff.
440 sall] man B
the lawe] that law MF
441 have] a B MF
441. the devill … hais: 'may the Devil take the property you have'.
442 mon] ma B: man MF
443 thrift: trift C&M
sald and] and als B
444 that … service] in service that will B
446 of] on MF
446. Danskyn: Danzig, ludicrously far from Dunbar's intended route. There was a Scotch trading colony there.
447 fend] sett B
447. de profoundis: the opening of one of the penitential psalms (cxxx), used in the Office of the Dead.
448 line om. MF
449. In to the Katryne. M. P. MacDiarmid has suggested that this was on the voyage of 1490 (supra, intro. note). The same ship carried ambassadors to France in the summer of 1491 (LHTA, i. 179), from North Berwick, and Dunbar may have been one of the company. But if he was indeed put ashore sick 'at the Bas' (l. 461), he had not been long aboard. However, the allusion in l. 466 supports MacDiarmid's conjecture, for the Katryne was captured by the French in 1490.
451 sene that thou B MF: sene thou C&M
452 Thy] The B
clevis till] clethis to MF
453 na] nor B MF
454 Deulbere, devillis birth] devillis birth dewlbeir B: devilbeir devill birth MF
455 The] Thay MF
sonkyn] suckin B
throu] all throw MF
456 sa] sic B
458 holl] how MF
preposit for] purpost for B: purposit MF
463 than] nor B MF
464 now … wers than] ȝit … war nor B
465 prouvait sa] sa provydit B: sa purvait MF
468 the collum] na tollum B
468. collum ship (? equals; collvin). Cf. Stewart, Buik of the Croniklis, l. 5034, 'Ane navin larg, With craik [ship], colvine, with mony bark and barge'.
469 at a] at the B
470 wil the] the will B
471 fylde] fylit B: fild MF
than] nor B MF
fyftenesum] fyftein MF
472 thy] om. MF
muk B MF: mak C&M
474 with the to have] to haif with the B
474. a false botwand. Obscure; but apparently a stave or other evidence of function or identity; cf. infra, ll. 475–6.
475 marschall: marsehall C&M
475. horse marschall: man in charge of horses (cf. LHTA, i. 305, i. 330).
477 ferily on] frelie upon MF
478 Happyn] For happyn MF
to] om. MF
480 And] For B
mon] may MF
481. Hye souverane lorde: James IV.
482 nacioun: nacion C&M
483 That] Lat B MF
nane] om. MF
484 A] Or MF
the] thy MF
484. thare doune: in England.
486 In] On B
488 Cary] Caus Cary B (Caus apparently added)
corrupt] corruptit B
489. Thou was consavit in the grete eclips. Taken by editors as evidence that Dunbar was born in 1460. But Denton Fox shows (PQ, xxxix (1960), 414–15) that the total eclipse of the sun of 18 July 1460 would not have been noticeable north-west of Italy, and that there was no 'grete eclips' visible in Scotland between 1441 and 1468, though Dunbar was certainly born within that time. This encourages scepticism about all the 'biographical' data in the Flyting.
490 god] grit B
491 at] in MF
494 myten full] my ting fule B
flyrdom like] the flurdome maist lyk B
494. myten. Cf. Bannatyne MS, f. 140r, 'Thow Sathanas seid … Mandrag, mymmerkyn and mismaid mytting'.
495 A] om. MF
crabbit, scabbit] transposed in MF
496 schyre MF: schir C&M: schrewit B
497 gude] and MF
Gilliam] Gwilliane B: Gibboun MF
497. gukkis. DOST glosses as 'a jocular title' (cf. 13. 39); but this is probably the verb, 'talks, behaves foolishly'.
498 Our … prose] Nother parfyte in pecie nor prose MF
or] and B
502 tone] toung B
504 thy] the MF
505–6. Ane benefice … beste. Apparently the first (unfulfilled) promise of a benefice came with Dunbar's pension in 1500 (Baxter, pp. 61, 210 et passim), to gyngill Judas bellis: for treachery. The image is perhaps that of an ass (beste) with bells.
507 or a floyte, and] or floyit to B: and ane flute and MF
510 cors] croce B
fare on in] syn pas on MF
511 mischance: mischanche C&M
512 forthwarde] ford wart B MF
513 trowane] trowand MF
513. Caym: Cain (Gen. iv); in the Middle Ages, a demon. Tutivillus: a demon who gathered up the words mumbled or syncoped by careless clerks, and those of people who talked in church; familiar from miracle plays, misericords, and other church decoration. See M. D. Anderson, Drama and Imagery in British Churches, 1963, pp. 173–7 and pls. 16b and 24d; G. L. Remnant, A Catalogue of Misericords in Great Britain, 1969, pp. 19 (Ely, no. 2), 114 (Gayton, Northants, no. 3), 132 (New College, Oxford, no. 27), and 141 (Enville, Staffs., no. 2); and Neville Denny in Medium Ævum, xliii (1974), 255, 259.
515. the lard of Hill house. See supra, l. 241 n.
517. Fowmart: polecat; term of abuse. Cf. Bannatyne MS, f. 139v, 'Cum furth fowmart and face thy flytting'. fasert: hermaphrodite fowl; coward. Cf. Rolland, The Court of Venus, Prologue, l. 203, '[als] uncontrair his complexioun / As ane fasert to fecht with ane falcoun'.
518 fond] fownd B: feynd MF
fiend] fleird B
phisnom fy] phisnomy B
519 of dirt drepis … nevir] ay drepis of dirt … noght B: of dirt droppis and nevir gois MF
520 tume: tune C&M: twme B: toyn MF
has tyrit] wald tyre B
521 hell] hellis B: and bell MF
523. attircop: spider. Cf. 'like to the venemous attercope, who … drinkes up the corrupt and poysonable humors' (DOST; 1586).
524. lollard laureate: 'champion heretic'. Cf. Gilbert of the Haye, Buke of the Law of Armys (1456), iv (STS, i. 12), 'a man that traistis to lollardis and fals prechouris and takis to his fude the sedis of errouris and herisy'.
525 provit] prowd B
525. symonyte: one who traffics in benefices, emoluments, etc. (Acts viii. 9–24).
529. Golyas: the Philistine champion Goliath (1 Sam. xvii).
530 Egipya] Egippa B: Egiptia MF
530. Egipya: in the Testamentum Josephi, the name of Potiphar's wife (cf. Gen. xxxix. 7 ff.).
532 Termygantis] Tarmagant MF
temptise: tempise C&M MF
the] om. B
thine] thy B MF
532. Termygantis: Tervagant, one of three Sacracen gods (cf. La Chanson de Roland, ll. 611, 2467–8, 2696–7, 'Pleignent lur deus Tervagan e Mahum / E Apollin dunt il mie nen unt'); hence, a devil. Cf. 52. 115. Vaspasius: the Roman emperor Vespasian.
533 will] he will MF
534 thyne air] thy air B
534. Cayphas: the high priest who condemned Jesus (Matt. xxvi. 57 ff., John xi. 49–53 and xviii. 14 ff.).
535 thy hede of] the heid of thy B
536 To … on] To leld the to hell of B
537 thyne] thy B
537. Egeas: the proconsul who martyred S. Andrew (Bruce Dickins, TLS, 21 Feb. 1924).
538. Marciane: probably Marcion of Sinope (d. c. 160), initiator of the heresy that the Gospel was one of love, excluding the Law. Maxencius: the cowardly and luxurious son of Maximianus, drowned after his rebellion against Constantine in a.d. 317; executioner of S. Catherine of Alexandria.
539 kynnismen] kyniswoman MF
539. Antenor: betrayer of Troy by the wooden horse; Eneas, represented in the Middle Ages (e.g. in Chaucer's Legend of Good Women, iii) as the betrayer of Dido.
540 Throp] throup MF
540. Throp: Criseyde, who was unfaithful to Troilus. Cf. Lydgate, Fall of Princes, Prologue, ll. 281–7; Chaucer 'In youthe … made a translacioun / Off a book which callid is Trophe / In Lumbard tunge … Gaff it the name of Troilus & Cresseide' (Bruce Dickins, TLS, 10 July 1924). Olibrius: the Roman prefect who martyred S. Margaret at Antioch (Mackenzie).
541 Eyobulus] Eubalus B: eik Eȝobulus
541. Puttidew: the Wandering Jew, who pushed Jesus (F boute-dieu) on the via dolorosa and was doomed to wander the earth until the Last Day (Bruce Dickins, TLS, 14 Dec. 1935). Eyobulus: Aurelius Eubulus, officer to the emperor Elagabalus, torn to pieces by the soldiers and people (Dion Cassius, Hist., lxxx. 21).
542 fendis] fryndis B
flour] flouris MF
546 strynde] stryndie B: strynd of MF
548 Prickit: Pirckit C&M: Pickit B
wickit, convickit] wickit stickit convickit B
548. lamp Lollardorum. Kennedy returns to the charge of lollardry (see supra, l. 524).
549 blamyt, schamyt] transposed in B (line om. and added after 552)
paganorum] pagaorium B: pagi-norum MF
550 that] thy MF
552 ad Tertara] ad tertera C&M: and Tartara MF
552. ad Tertara termagorum: to the hell of the devils (supra, l. 532 n.).
colophon Quod … war B: Quod Kennedy to Dunbar MF