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To the Merchants of Edinburgh

Quhy will ye, merchantis of renoun,
Lat Edinburgh, your nobill toun,
For laik of reformatioun
The commone proffeitt tyine and fame?
Think ye not schame
That onie uther regioun
Sall with dishonour hurt your name?

May nane pas throw your principall gaittis
For stink of haddockis and of scattis,
For cryis of carlingis and debaittis,
For feusum flyttinis of defame.
Think ye not schame,
Befoir strangeris of all estaittis
That sic dishonour hurt your name?

Your Stinkand Stull that standis dirk
Haldis the lycht fra your parroche kirk.
Your foirstairis makis your housis mirk
Lyk na cuntray bot heir at hame.
Think ye not schame,
Sa litill polesie to work,
In hurt and sklander of your name?

At your Hie Croce quhar gold and silk
Sould be, thair is bot crudis and milk,
And at your Trone bot cokill and wilk,
Pansches, pudingis of Jok and Jame.
Think ye not schame,
Sen as the world sayis that ilk,
In hurt and sclander of your name?

Your commone menstrallis hes no tone
Bot “Now the day dawis” and “Into Joun.”
Cunningar men man serve Sanct Cloun
And nevir to uther craftis clame.
Think ye not schame,
To hald sic mowaris on the moyne,
In hurt and sclander of your name?

Tailyouris, soutteris, and craftis vyll
The fairest of your streitis dois fyll,
And merchantis at the Stinkand Styll
Ar hamperit in ane honycame.
Think ye not schame
That ye have nether witt nor wyll
To win yourselff ane bettir name?

Your burgh of beggeris is ane nest,
To schout thai swentyouris will not rest.
All honest folk they do molest,
Sa piteuslie thai cry and rame.
Think ye not schame,
That for the poore hes nothing drest,
In hurt and sclander of your name?

Your proffeit daylie dois incres,
Your godlie workis, les and les.
Through streittis nane may mak progres
For cry of cruikit, blind, and lame.
Think ye not schame,
That ye sic substance dois posses,
And will not win ane bettir name?

Sen for the Court and the Sessioun,
The great repair of this regioun
Is in your burgh, thairfoir be boun
To mend all faultis that ar to blame,
And eschew schame.
Gif thai pas to aneuther toun,
Ye will decay and your great name.

Thairfoir strangeris and leigis treit,
Tak not ouer mekill for thair meit,
And gar your merchandis be discreit.
That na extortiounes be, proclame
All fraud and schame.
Keip ordour and poore nighbouris beit,
That ye may gett ane bettir name.

Singular proffeit so dois yow blind,
The common proffeit gois behind.
I pray that Lord remeid to fynd
That deit into Jerusalem,
And gar yow schame,
That sumtyme ressoun may yow bind,
For to restor to yow guid name.


To the Merchants of Edinburgh - WILLIAM DUNBAR