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To the King

[Schir, ye have mony servitouris]

Schir, ye have mony servitouris
And officiaris of dyvers curis:
Kirkmen, courtmen, and craftismen fyne,
Doctouris in jure and medicyne,
Divinouris, rethoris, and philosophouris,
Astrologis, artistis, and oratouris,
Men of armes and vailyeand knychtis
And mony uther gudlie wichtis,
Musicianis, menstralis, and mirrie singaris,
Chevalouris, cawandaris, and flingaris,
Cunyouris, carvouris, and carpentaris,
Beildaris of barkis and ballingaris,
Masounis lyand upon the land
And schipwrichtis hewand upone the strand,
Glasing wrichtis, goldsmythis, and lapidaris,
Pryntouris, payntouris, and potingaris –
And all of thair craft cunning
And all at anis lawboring,
Quhilk pleisand ar and honorable
And to your hienes profitable
And richt convenient for to be
With your hie regale majestie,
Deserving of your grace most ding
Bayth thank, rewarde, and cherissing.

And thocht that I amang the laif
Unworthy be ane place to have
Or in thair nummer to be tald,
Als lang in mynd my work sall hald,
Als haill in everie circumstance,
In forme, in mater, and substance,
But wering or consumptioun,
Roust, canker, or corruptioun
As ony of thair werkis all,
Suppois that my rewarde be small.

Bot ye sa gracious ar and meik
That on your hienes followis eik
Aneuthir sort more miserabill
Thocht thai be nocht sa profitable:
Fenyeouris, fleichouris, and flatteraris,
Cryaris, craikaris, and clatteraris,
Soukaris, groukaris, gledaris, gunnaris,
Monsouris of France (gud clarat cunnaris),
Inopportoun askaris of Yrland kynd,
And meit revaris lyk out of mynd,
Scaffaris and scamleris in the nuke,
And hall huntaris of draik and duik,
Thrimlaris and thristaris as thai war woid,
Kokenis, and kennis na man of gude,
Schulderaris and schovaris that hes no schame
And to no cunning that can clame,
And can non uthir craft nor curis
Bot to mak thrang, schir, in your duris,
And rusche in quhair thay counsale heir
And will at na man nurtir leyr;
In quintiscence eik, ingynouris joly
That far can multiplie in folie –
Fantastik fulis, bayth fals and gredy,
Of toung untrew and hand evill diedie.
Few dar of all this last additioun
Cum in Tolbuyth without remissioun.

And thocht this nobill cunning sort –
Quhom of befoir I did report –
Rewardit be, it war bot ressoun;
Thairat suld no man mak enchessoun.
Bot quhen the uther fulis nyce
That feistit at Cokelbeis gryce
Ar all rewardit, and nocht I,
Than on this fals warld I cry “Fy!”
My hart neir bristis than for teyne,
Quhilk may nocht suffer nor sustene
So grit abusioun for to se
Daylie in court befoir myn e.

And yit more panence wald I have,
Had I rewarde amang the laif.
It wald me sumthing satisfie
And les of my malancolie,
And gar me mony falt ourse
That now is brayd befoir myn e.
My mind so fer is set to flyt
That of nocht ellis I can endyt.
For owther man my hart tobreik,
Or with my pen I man me wreik
And sen the tane most nedis be –
Into malancolie to de,
Or lat the vennim ische all out –
Be war anone, for it will spout,
Gif that the tryackill cum nocht tyt
To swage the swalme of my dispyt.