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A Wooing in Dunfermline

[And that me thocht ane ferly cace]

This hindir nycht in Dumfermeling
To me was tawld ane windir thing:
That lait ane tod wes with ane lame
And with hir playit and maid gud game,
Syne till his breist did hir imbrace
And wald haif riddin hir lyk ane rame –
And that me thocht ane ferly cace.

He braisit hir bony body sweit
And halsit hir with fordir feit,
Syne schuk his taill with quhinge and yelp,
And todlit with hir lyk ane quhelp;
Syne lowrit on growfe and askit grace,
And ay the lame cryd, “Lady, help!” –
And that me thocht ane ferly cace.

The tod wes nowder lene nor skowry.
He wes ane lusty reid haird lowry,
Ane lang taild beist and grit with all.
The silly lame wes all to small
To sic ane tribbill to hald ane bace.
Scho fled him nocht, fair mot hir fall –
And that me thocht ane ferly cace.

The tod wes reid, the lame wes quhyte,
Scho wes ane morsall of delyte –
He lovit na yowis, auld, tuch, and sklender.
Becaus this lame wes yung and tender,
He ran upoun hir with a race,
And scho schup nevir for till defend hir –
And that me thocht ane ferly cace.

He grippit hir abowt the west
And handlit hir as he had hest.
This innocent that nevir trespast
Tuke hert that scho wes handlit fast,
And lute him kis hir lusty face.
His girnand gamis hir nocht agast –
And that me thocht ane ferly cace.

He held hir till him be the hals
And spak full fair, thocht he wes fals,
Syne said and swoir to hir be God
That he suld nocht tuich hir prenecod.
The silly thing trowd him, allace,
The lame gaif creddence to the tod –
And that me thocht ane ferly cace.

I will no lesingis put in vers,
Lyk as thir jangleris dois rehers,
Bot be quhat maner thay war mard.
Quhen licht wes owt and durris wes bard
I wait nocht gif he gaif hir grace,
Bot all the hollis wes stoppit hard –
And that me thocht ane ferly cace.

Quhen men dois fleit in joy maist far,
Sone cumis wo or thay be war.
Quhen carpand wer thir two most crows,
The wolf he ombesett the hous
Upoun the tod to mak ane chace.
The lamb than cheipit lyk a mows –
And that me thocht ane ferly cace.

Throw hiddowis yowling of the wowf
This wylie tod plat doun on growf,
And in the silly lambis skin
He crap als far as he micht win
And hid him thair ane weill lang space.
The yowis besyd thay maid na din –
And that me thocht ane ferly cace.

Quhen of the tod wes hard no peip,
The wowf went all had bene on sleip;
And quhill the bell had strikkin ten,
The wowf hes drest him to his den,
Protestand for the secound place.
And this report I with my pen,
How at Dumfermling fell the cace.

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A Wooing in Dunfermline - WILLIAM DUNBAR