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The Devil’s Inquest



[Renunce thy God and cum to me]

This nycht in my sleip I wes agast,
Me thocht the Devill wes tempand fast
The peple with aithis of crewaltie,
Sayand, as throw the mercat he past,
“Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

Me thocht as he went throw the way
Ane preist sweirit be God verey
Quhilk at the alter ressavit he.
“Thow art my clerk,” the Devill can say,
“Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

Than swoir ane courtyour mekle of pryd
Be Chrystis windis, bludy and wyd,
And be His harmes wes rent on Tre.
Than spak the Devill hard him besyd,
“Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

Ane merchand his geir as he did sell
Renuncit his pairt of Hevin and Hell.
The Devill said, “Welcum mot thow be,
Thow sal be merchand for mysell.
Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

Ane goldsmyth said, “The gold is sa fyne
That all the workmanschip I tyne –
The Feind ressaif me gif I le.”
“Think on,” quod the Devill, “that thow art myne.
Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

Ane tailyour said, “In all this toun
Be thair ane better weilmaid goun,
I gif me to the Feynd all fre.”
“Gramercy, telyour,” said Mahoun,
“Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

Ane sowttar said, “In gud effek,
Nor I be hangit be the nek
Gife bettir butis of ledder ma be.”
“Fy!” quod the Feynd, “thow sairis of blek.
Ga clenge thee clene and cum to me.”

Ane baxstar sayd, “I forsaik God
And all His werkis, evin and od,
Gif fairar stuff neidis to be.”
The Dyvill luche and on him cowth nod,
“Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

Ane fleschour swoir be the sacrament
And be Chrystis blud maist innocent,
Nevir fatter flesch saw man with e.
The Devill said, “Hald on thy intent;
Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

The maltman sais, “I God forsaik,
And that the Devill of Hell me taik
Gif ony bettir malt may be,
And of this kill I haif inlaik.”
“Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

Ane browstar swoir, “The malt wes ill,
Bath reid and reikit on the kill
That it will be na aill for me.
Ane boll will nocht sex gallonis fill.”
“Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

The smyth swoir, “Be rude and raip,
In till a gallowis mot I gaip
Gif I ten dayis wan pennyis thre,
For with that craft I can nocht thraip.”
“Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

Ane menstrall said, “The Feind me ryfe
Gif I do ocht bot drynk and swyfe.”
The Devill said, “Hardly mot it be –
Exers that craft in all thy lyfe.
Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

Ane dysour said with wirdis of stryfe
The Devill mot stik him with a knyfe
Bot he kest up fair syisis thre.
The Devill said, “Endit is thy lyfe;
Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

Ane theif said, “God, that evir I chaip,
Nor ane stark widdy gar me gaip
Bot I in Hell for geir wald be.”
The Devill said, “Welcum in a raip;
Renunce thy God and cum to me.”

The fische wyffis flett and swoir with granis
And to the Feind, saule, flesch, and banis
Thay gaif thame with ane schowt on hie.
The Devill said, “Welcum all att anis;
Renunce thy god and cum to me.”

Me thocht the devillis als blak as pik
Solistand wer as beis thik,
Ay tempand folk with wayis sle,
Rownand to Robene and to Dik,
“Renunce thy God and cum to me.”



The Devil’s Inquest - WILLIAM DUNBAR