This hinder nycht, halff sleiping as I lay,
Me thocht my chalmer in ane new aray
Was all depent with many divers hew
Of all the nobill storyis, ald and new,
Sen oure first father formed was of clay.
Me thocht the lift all bricht with lampis lycht,
And thairin enterrit many lustie wicht,
Sum young, sum old, in sindry wyse arayit.
Sum sang, sum danceit, on instrumentis sum playit,
Sum maid disportis with hartis glaid and lycht.
Thane thocht I thus, “This is an felloun phary,
Or ellis my witt rycht woundrouslie dois varie.
This seimes to me ane guidlie companie,
And gif it be ane feindlie fantasie,
Defend me, Jhesu and his moder Marie!”
Thair pleasant sang, nor yett thair pleasant toun,
Nor yett thair joy, did to my heart redoun.
Me thocht the drerie damiesall Distres,
And eik hir sorie sister Hivines,
Sad as the leid in baid lay me abone.
And Langour satt up at my beddis heid.
With instrument full lamentable and deid
Scho playit sangis so duilfull to heir,
Me thocht ane houre seimeit ay ane yeir;
Hir hew was wan and wallowed as the leid.
Thane com the ladyis danceing in ane trece,
And Nobilnes befoir thame come ane space,
Saying withe cheir, bening and womanly,
“I se ane heir in bed oppressit ly.
My sisteris, go and help to gett him grace.”
With that anon did start out of a dance
Twa sisteris callit Confort and Pleasance,
And with twa harpis did begin to sing.
Bot I thairof mycht tak na rejoseing,
My heavines opprest me with sic mischance.
Thay saw that I not glader wox of cheir,
And thairof had thai winder all, but weir,
And said ane lady that Persaveing hecht,
“Of hevines he fiellis sic a wecht
Your melody he pleisis not till heir.
“Scho and Distres hir sister dois him greve.”
Quod Nobilnes, “Quhow sall he thame eschew?”
Thane spak Discretioun, ane lady richt bening,
“Wirk eftir me and I sall gar him sing,
And lang or nicht gar Langar tak hir leve.”
And then said Witt, “Gif thai work not be thee,
But onie dout thai sall not work be me.”
Discretioun said, “I knaw his malady.
The strok he feillis of melancholie,
And, Nobilnes, his lecheing lyis in thee.
“Or evir this wicht at heart be haill and feir,
Both thow and I most in the court appeir,
For he hes lang maid service thair in vane.
With sum rewaird we mane him quyt againe,
Now in the honour of this guid New Yeir.”
“Weill worth thee, sister,” said Considerance,
And I sall help for to mantene the dance.”
Thane spak ane wicht callit Blind Effectioun:
“I sall befoir yow be with myne electioun;
Of all the court I have the governance.”
Thane spak ane constant wycht callit Ressoun,
And said, “I grant yow hes beine lord a sessioun
In distributioun, bot now the tyme is gone.
Now I may all distribute myne alone.
Thy wrangous deidis did evir mane enschesoun.
“For tyme war now that this mane had sumthing,
That lange hes bene ane servand to the king,
And all his tyme nevir flatter couthe nor faine,
Bot humblie into ballat wyse complaine
And patientlie indure his tormenting.
“I counsall him be mirrie and jocound.
Be Nobilnes his help mon first be found.”
“Weill spokin, Ressoun my brother,” quoth Discretioun;
“To sett on dies with lordis at the Cessioun
Into this realme yow war worth mony ane pound.”
Thane spak anone Inoportunitie:
“Ye sall not gar him speid without me,
For I stand ay befoir the kingis face.
I sall him deiff or ellis myself mak hace,
Bot gif that I befoir him servit be.
“Ane besy askar soonner sall he speid
Na sall twa besy servandis out of dreid,
And he that askis not tynes bot his word,
Bot for to tyne lang service is no bourd,
Yett thocht I nevir to do sic folie deid.”
Thane com anon ane callit Schir Johne Kirkpakar,
Of many cures ane michtie undertaker.
Quod he, “I am possest in kirkis sevin,
And yitt I think thai grow sall till ellevin
Or he be servit in ane, yone ballet maker.
And then Schir Bet-the-Kirk, “Sa mot I thryff,
I haif of busie servandis foure or fyve,
And all direct unto sindrie steidis,
Ay still awaitting upoun kirkmenes deidis,
Fra quham sum tithingis will I heir belyff.”
Quod Ressoun than, “The ballance gois unevin
That thow, allece, to serff hes kirkis sevin,
And sevin als worth kirk not haifand ane.
With gredines I sie this world ourgane,
And sufficience dwellis not bot in Heavin.”
“I have not wyt thairof,” quod Temperance,
“For thocht I hald him evinlie the ballance
And but ane cuir full micht till him wey,
Yett will he tak aneuther and gar it suey.
Quha best can rewll wald maist have governance.”
Patience to me, “My freind,” said, “Mak guid cheir,
And on the prince depend with humelie feir.
For I full weill dois knaw his nobill intent:
He wald not, for ane bischopperikis rent,
That yow war unrewairdit half ane yeir.”
Than as an fary thai to duir did frak,
And schot ane gone that did so ruidlie rak
Quhill all the aird did raird the ranebow under.
On Leith sandis me thocht scho brak in sounder,
And I anon did walkin with the crak.