Obrazy na stronie


Fra scho contentit to beir be Prince of Price,
The Haly Gaist schane in hir tabernakill,
Hes in hir spred patriall flour-de-lice,
MS. A, fol. 9b. Quhilk resauit ane man to reabill; 130
But seid of man bis Virgin permanable
The Sone of God consauit into haist
Be subtell wirking of be Haly Gaist.

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Various Readings: IX. and X. omitted by Laing. 1 prince of price A. 2 haly gaist, the i in gaist written over the line by the same hand A, gast L. 5 virgin A. 6 sone of god A. 7 virking A. haly gaist A. X. 5 thouch A. XI. printed by Laing. 1 Child L. 5 herbriour L. 6 lord A.

Notes: V. 127, 128. Contentit seems to be a doubtful reading, as it cannot be taken as Past Part. here. Possibly the original reading was consentit. The meaning of the next verse is: The holy ghost that shone into her tabernacle.

V. 129. Has made grow in her that royal lily-flower.

V. 130. To reabill v. a. to reinstate, to restore. The meaning seems to be : To restore her to her legitimate state, or rather to make her present state legitimate.

V. 131. bis vergin permanable, this perpetual virgin. V. 135. Cousignes s. A female cousin-germain. The word seems to be derived from the Old French cusinage, which accounts for the rhyme cousignes : pas: wes.

V. 138. Fenze v. n. To feign is used here in the sense of to grow tired, or faint, to flag, for which Mätzner in his Altenglisches Wörterbuch quotes an exemple from Morte Arth. v. 1734.

V. 139. Hir first scho halsit. She saluted her first.
V. 145. Will, adj. Lost in error (Jamieson). To those lost in error a harbour.
V. 147. Till seik the heill etc. Health to the sick, harmony she bore to life.

Efter aucht dais of his nativite
Ms. A, fol. 10a. He sched his blude in circumcisioun;

For mannis saule thir arlis offerit he, 150

Quhill he be his ded be saule price laid doun.

This fair zoung Prince, of all our glore be crown,
Schew intill ded bat he his pepill lude,

That for thair saik sa sone he sched his blude.

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MS. A, fol. 10b. This gracius prince Herod trowit suld ringe
Oure all Jowry, for Symeoun be ald, 170

Various Readings: XII. omitted by Laing. 3 ffor A. 5 prince A. XIII. printed by Laing. 1 kingis A. 2 bathelem A. 3 Barne L. 4 With [Mary] his moder L. [be] A om. Allane A. 5 ffor A. kingis A. 6 adorne A, adore L. XIV–XVI. omitted by Laing. 1 In the A, L. moder him present A, L. 3 lord and king A. 5 symeoun A. 6 ffra A. prince and king A. XV. 1 grcius A. herod A. 2 symeoun A.

Notes: V. 148. Efter aucht dais, after eight days. V. 150. Arles, erles s. An earnest of whatever kind, a pledge of full possession, from the Old French erre, plur. erres, Lat, arrha, arra, according to Mätzner, Altenglisches Wörterbuch. V. 151. Saule does not mean soul here, but sole. V. 153. Lude is contracted from luuede, luvede, loved. V. 158. A word is wanting in this verse, probably the article before cribe. Laing's reading With Mary his moder might also be adopted, to make the verse complete, for the first unaccented syllable is wanting too, as is not unfrequently the case, however, in this poem. V. 162. This verse had to be altered, as the reading of the MS. present does not rhyme with king (v. 164).

V. 169. Herod believed that this gracious prince should reign over the whole Jewish kingdom. Denkschriften der phil.-hist. Classe. XLVIII. Bd. I. Abh. 5

The gentill licht till Iserall be king,
Had him before into be tempill tauld.
Thair he send his men of armes bald,

In Bathelem all innocentis thai slew,
For he be Prince, quhilk king suld be, misknew. 175


Bot God him knew to rigne as maist worthy,
Thairfor till Josaphe he ane angell send,

Quhilk said in haist: be barne tak and Mary,
Syne with baim baith in Egipt sone bou wend.
Thoucht he wes pure and littill had till spend, 180

Without delay he wes obedient,
[And vnto Egipt on his way he went.]


Zeris seven fra he had dwelling maid
Intill Egipt, agane come be angell,

Sayand: Josaphe, se bou, but mair abaid 185
Pass to bi hame, be land of Iserall:
God hes me send agane, be for to tell,

That bai ar ded quhilk wald be barne haue slane.
In Nazareth thus are bai cumin agane.


Ms A, fol.11a. Mair of his life, vnto the twelft zeir, 190
The Ewangellis makis no mencioun[age];
Bot vthir said, bat with his moder deir
In Nazareth he maid his hantage,
Hir and Josaphe seruand in gret [homage,

Various Readings: 4 Into A. 6 bathelem A. Innocentis A. 7 ffor A. prince A. XVI. 1 god A. 3 mary A. 7 The seventh line of this stanza is wanting in the MS. XVII–XIX. printed by Laing. 1 delling A 2 Angell L. 7 nazareth A. XVIII. 1 twest A, twelft L. 2 Evangellis L. mencioun A, [recordence] L. 3 Moder L. 4 nazareth A. his [residence] L. 5 gret reverence A L.

Notes: V. 175. misknew, he did not know.

V. 182. This line has been supplied by the present Editor, the 16" stanza consisting of six verses only. The reason why the last line of the stanza was omitted by the scribe, probably was, because the two last rhymes of the stanza did not differ sufficiently from the two preceding ones, wherefore he mistook the rhyme spend : obedient for the final couplet of the stanza.

V. 185. but mair abaid, without further delay.

V. 191–194. The emendation menciounage, which we have inserted for mencioun, as the MS. reads, was required by the rhyme-word hantage. For the same reason we have substituted homage for reverence in v. 194. Laing has kept this word and altered the rhyme-words in the preceding verses, where he printed recordence (v. 191), residence (v. 193).

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Ms.A, fol.11b. Neir thretty zerfra [he] had maid duelling
With his moder, as sempill seruitour,
He thocht it tyme to schaw Lord and King,
Send fra be hevin the tynt man to recure;
He tuke his leife, and to floun Jordane fure, 215

Various Readings: 7 Lindulphus L. XIX. 1 twelve L. 2 Pasche L. 3 Tempell L. 4 Doctouris L. 5 Moder L. sueit sone L. 7 hame, syne L. XX. omitted by Laing. 2 sone and prince to god A. 7 godheid A. XXI. printed by Laing. 1 fra had A, fra [he] had L. delling A, duelling L. 2 Moder L. 3 schaw [him] L. lord and king A. 4 Hevin L. 5 to floun A, [in] flouv L. iordane A, Jordan L. fure A, sure L.

Notes: V. 196. As Lendulphus . . . can record. On this passage Laing has the following learned note: “The author referred to was Landulphus or Ludolphus of Saxony, a Carthusian monk of the 14" century, who has been styled Scriptor ultra saeculi sui sortem elegans (Fabrii Bibl. Lat. Medii Evi, vol. IV, p. 846; Eyringi Synopsis Hist. Liter., p. 433). His great work, entitled "Divinum devotissimumque Vitae Christi Opus' was first printed in the year 1474, and passed through many editions. Translations of it into French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German, had also appeared previous to the year 1500 (Ebert's Bibliographisches Lexikon).

V. 199. Thair wes he tynt. There was he lost.

V. 201. Schent, Past. Part. of to shend, to disgrace, put to shame.

V. 203. Bene adv. well; here it has perhaps the meaning of almost.

V. 207–209. These verses stand in the order 209, 207, 208 in the MS., whereby the structure of the stanza as well as the sense is spoiled. Kenand, Part. Pres. teaching, showing.

V. 211, 213. The pronoun he supplied by Laing before had is necessary here, whereas him after schaue is not absolutely wanted, the rhythm of the verse also being in order, if tyme be read as a dissyllabic word.

Baptist wes thair, thocht he was cleyne of syn,
Kenand all man with meiknes hevin to wyn.


In be desert vnto be fourty day
But meit or drink he keipit abstinence;

He hungerit syne to schaw him man werray; 220
Him for to tempe be feind did deligence;
Bot his angellis keipit him in reuerence,

Sarwand bat sweit rycht as pair awne souerane.
Hegat discipillis, syne zeid in plane.


Thoucht all my hare wer hertis for to think, 225
And all my juntis sang with angellis stewin,

And I mycht leif but sleip, meit or drink,
Off bi panis I couth [nocht] schaw be sevint,
Quhilk bou sustenit to bring me to be Hevin,

In cauld and hungerrymand throw slik and clay, 230
Orthow tholit ded apoun be gude friday.


Ms.A, fol. 12a. Thairfor I hald me bund till ignorance
To tell beteind of bi aduersite;
Bot of [bi] life a gentill rememberance
May mak mencioun bat in pai Zeris thre, 235
Quhilk thow prechit, schew ay sic cherite,
That gud for ewill elik pou wes doand,
Raissand be ded, bai to slay be seikand.

Various Readings: 6 wes thair A, was than L. 7 Lerand all L. XXII–XXIV. omitted by Laing. 2 But meik A. abstinace A. XXIII. 2 Juntis A. 3 meik A. 4 nocht A L om. XXIV. 1 ignorance A. 3 pi A Lom. 6 probably doand, although it might possibly also be read deand in A. 7 [were] A om.

Notes: V. 219. meik, as MS. A reads here and in v. 220, may be a mistake of the scribe; we have inserted meit instead of it; abstinence instead of abstinace, the reading of A, was required by the rhyme. V. 221. To tempe = to tempt. V. 224. Syme zeid in plane; then he went forth into the plain country, viz. to teach the people. V. 225, 226. Thoucht all my hare etc. If all my hair (i. e. every hair on my head) were hearts and able to think, if all my joints could sing with angels' voices, – a comparison which, it is true, does not afford a very high idea of Kennedy's taste and poetical powers. V. 228. It was necessary here to insert the word mocht to make the verse intelligible: I could not show or explain the seventh part of thy pains etc. V. 230. Slik, sb. Slime, the slimy shore; the same word has this meaning also in Low German. The poet, who evidently has not a very clear idea of the geological nature of Palestine, is thinking here of his own country, viz. the Lowlands of Scotland. V. 233. To tell the teind to relate only the tenth part of thy adversity. V. 238. /aito etc. whilst they were endeavouring to kill thee.

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